tatterpixie: a sensible candy for the aged (small-n-bitter)
The big excitement this past week was that I was FINALLY able to get through to the VA to make doctor appointments. Amazingly enough, I got an appointment with my primary care doctor this month! This is an accomplishment since she is insanely busy.

Labor Day we went to the Great Allentown Fair and wandered around a bit, had a tasty smoothie and saw some sheep while walking to and from the car. My stupid TOE started hurting, though, so we didn't walk too much. There were some very cool exhibits in the Ag Hall, which gave Angie ideas. She is thinking of submitting some stuff next year. XD Then we came home and chilled a bit before going over to her parents' house for some delicious grillin' with her dad.

And how is it September already?

Currently at Bethlehem, PA, USA at 10.46am: Partly cloudy
Temp: 82F (feels like 86F)
Humidity: 69% (dewpoint 71F)
Pressure: 29.94"
Winds: W 6mph
Forecast: Chance of thunderstorms that won't cool us down, high 90F, low 65F

The weather was fricken GORGEOUS right up til this weekend, nice and almost fall-like with low humidity and highs in the low 80s. Then it got hot and muggy. Looks like it's going to remain so for the rest of the week before it cools down again. It feels like a swamp around here. So we're getting August in September?

Walking to Rivendell:
You have walked 290.7 miles.
You have passed Still south of the Road.
It is 9.3 miles to the next landmark.
You have 167.3 miles to reach Rivendell.

Walked about a mile around the Fairgrounds XD

On My Plate:
Tags and Other Writins:
  • Working the Bilge Pump (Silvermoon)
  • Not Your Average Walk In The Park (Perfect World)
  • The Agent, the Witch, and the Nightclub (Perfect World)
  • work on Whit's commission
  • ship Ebay stuff
  • prep more stuff for Ebay for Angie's dad
  • practice harp
Weekly Things Checklist:
  • Thing Arted: nothing
  • Thing Writed: nothing
  • Thing Cleaned: dishes and catbox and laundry
This week I'm going to get in touch with USAA and see about reducing my car insurance. Since Tinycar is paid off, I no longer need to carry the maximum. Yay! I also have an appointment with my shrink. Whee fun!

Posted by Bob Mayer

Why the book and title?  I had to get your attention, just like engineers, soldiers, pilots, astronauts, passengers, policemen, firemen, etc. need to get someone’s attention just before a catastrophe occurs in order to either prevent the event or save lives. And engineers, systems analysts, workers, and managers have to get the attention of others in order to point out cascade events that, if unchecked, will lead to a catastrophe.

ShitDoesntJustHappen!&(1)Consider the meaning of the phrase shit happens. Saying “shit happens” indicates events are random, have no meaning and there is no accountability or responsibility. It indicates such events could just as easily happen again and there’s nothing we can do about them.

This series, with the first book coming out 9 September, is about catastrophes and disasters and tragedies and how to avoid them, mitigate their effects and learn from them. As you will see studying seven significant events in each book, they didn’t just happen, and the people and organizations involved weren’t completely helpless victims. Taking the attitude shit happens is potentially fatal for the future. It ignores painful and tragic lessons from the past. If we’re going to make the deaths and suffering of victims to mean anything, we must learn from them.

The bottom line is we can predict and prevent many catastrophes because almost every one has a man made factor, a cascade event, involved. In other words, we have control over whether shit happens. But it means changing a complacent mindset, getting rid of delusional thinking, and viewing the world around us in a different way. Because shit doesn’t just happen.

Why write this book? Because I’ve made mistakes.

We all have. And some of us have made mistakes that contributed, either completely or in whatever percentage, to a no-do-over. This is an event where you can’t go back and change the result. There has been an irrevocable event. Often these involve death or permanent injury/wounding. You can’t undo those.

Soldiers understand this because the environment in which we operate is full of no-do-overs. I discuss why Special Forces are called Masters of Chaos in the book, but even as Masters, we only control what we control. The best-trained, best equipped, soldier in the world is still only one piece of the entire picture.

That’s the part we have to focus on; what we have control over. Our lives play out with many events and tragedies that are beyond our control, but in which we have some input, some effect. That’s what this book highlights, showing you catastrophes step by step, and how each step teaches us something.

There aren’t bad people in these catastrophes (mostly). They might have made some wrong decisions, but we all have, and the value we can place on them is to learn from them. Sometimes, many of the victims were innocent and not responsible, but we must focus on those who are responsible and in charge and made the key decisions. Or didn’t make a key decision.

I can look back and have to examine where my part was; where my human error, my lack of focus, my wrong thinking, poor decision-making and ignorance, entered into things. There are things I might not have been able to prevent, but if I don’t examine my role, I’ll never become better at what I do and a better person. And deep inside, I wonder what I could have prevented.

That is why this book exists.

Book One covers:

Titanic: Systematic Failure
Kegworth Plane Crash: The Danger of Deferring to Authority and Experts
Little Big Horn: Leadership Failure
New London Schoolhouse Explosion: Lack of Focus
The Donner Party: Social Disintegration
From Tulips to the Housing Bubble: Greed Overwhelms Reality
Apollo 13: Success Snatched from the Jaws of Catastrophe

Each week I’ll bring a new blog post with information from and about the book, along with lessons learned in my Survival Guide and Who Dares Wins.

The book is available for pre-order on all platforms.

Right now, the lineup for Book 2, due out 23 September, is:  The Challenger Explosion; The Fall of the Czar; The Kursk Sinking; The BP Deepwater Horizon Explosion; the Sultana explosion; Pearl Harbor; the Andes Plane Crash

I’m also open to suggestions about catastrophes you’d like to see me cover in subsequent books.

Filed under: Write It forward Tagged: Bob Mayer, catastrophe, disaster, Kindle


Sep. 2nd, 2014 04:12 am[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Plague doctor costume, along with a savvy explanation of why it made some sense.

Making a Besom

Sep. 2nd, 2014 08:53 am[syndicated profile] downstrodden_feed

Posted by downstrodden

IMG_4913Witchcraft isn’t something one does, it’s something one is…Magic becomes such an integral part of one’s life; it effortlessly and seamlessly weaves into the everyday and pretty soon the boundary between sacred and mundane vanishes (a good indication that you’re doing something right!). If we look to our forebears for guidance we quickly see that an everyday functional form of magic was pretty much the form! Sure there were grimoires, the common assumption that most old time Witches were illiterate has been widely discredited and I’m sure more fancy magic was occasionally employed. For the most part however you made do with what was at your fingertips, flamboyant tools weren’t affordable and quite frankly I doubt that they got anywhere near as sentimentally attached to ‘stuff’ as we might today. Our ancestors were indeed practical but they were also cautious and ‘every day’ objects were a good means to hide the tools of their arte in plain sight of prying eyes…a humble knife in the kitchen, a simple cooking pot, a copper basin, a mirror and of course the broom.

Fortunately the majority of us no longer live in a society where we need to hide anything (go to any Witchcraft suppliers or Neo Pagan conference if you are in any doubt) so our tools can be as simple or as ornate as we want them to be. As it happens my current besom needed a refurb, it was old, heavy and cumbersome so I have spent the last couple of months making a new and improved besom to hang over my door! Here’s how I did it, I’ll ‘hint’ at a little lore along the way.

If you want a ‘traditional’ besom the three components (Staff, Brush and Binding) are made from Ash, Birch and Willow respectively. These represent the three ‘feminine’ elements of Air, Earth and Water or the 3 F’s (Flax, Fodder and Flags). I suggest folks read some of the Robert Cochrane material to glimpse a deeper understanding of these things.

The first thing to do is collect an Ash staff. The South East of England has been subject to some pretty intense storms this past couple of months so finding a wind fallen Ash staff was not hard for me! But as with all things “ask and you shall receive”…keep your eyes peeled and whether you chose to cut from a living tree or collect dead wood the choice is a completely personal one, all I will say is be respectful when taking anything from nature…and give a little something back (even if your taking ‘dead’ stuff!)


The Ash Phallus

Your next decision is bark left on or bark stripped off? My old broom had the bark left on but its bloomin’ rough and if you are planning to ‘ride’ your broom at any point you may prefer the smoothness a nice stripped and sleak length can offer ! If you are stripping the bark do that as soon as possible. If you are carving the staff with ‘traditional’ male anatomy at the opposite end to the handle then this can also be done at this stage. The staff can be given a rub down with sandpaper and left to dry somewhere ambient and free from temperature and moisture extremes. You can ‘preserve’ and polish the wood with beeswax or boiled linseed when the wood is dry.


The Birch Brush

Whilst your staff is drying you have plenty of time to gather the material for the brush. As mentioned above Birch is traditional and my brush ended up being pretty much all Birch with some dried Mugwort stems I happen to have. I have seen brooms made from Straw, and brooms made from Ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris), brooms made from Heather and even brooms made from (strangely enough) Broom (Cytisus scoparius). Like I said we have the freedom to be creative, it just depends how traditional you want to be (it’s also worth looking back in time to see what was traditionally used in your locality).

This goes for size too. Your broom doesn’t need to be massive, it needn’t be any longer than your arm if you prefer something a little more compact, just keep in mind what you will ultimately be doing with your broom.

Once you have all your brush bits, bunch them all together in your hands (a second pair of hands is sometimes useful). Bunch everything up tight and bind with strong garden twine or a cable tie. This is just temporary to support the material and leave your hands free to finish the broom. Meanwhile have a selection of Willow withes cut (again with thanks) and soaking in water.

With your brush facing away from you on a table or bench you should now be able to thrust the phallic end of your staff into the centre of the brush, you should struggle with this, it’s the tension which will hold your broom together so it needs to be a tight fit.

Once assembled throw the broom around a bit, treat it rough, make sure its sturdy and can withstand everything you are likely to throw at it, look through the brush…can you see the staff? Do you need to redistribute the brush more evenly?

Once you are satisfied you can then bind with the willow withes. Willow shrinks a great deal when it dries so it sometimes pays to dry out soaked willow and then re-soak to prevent extreme shrinkage when it dries again. Bind the willow around tightly and in at least two places for extra support (I like three bindings…for reasons!)


Bound with Willow

If you wish you can decorate your now completed Besom further with ribbon or such like but what you have now is a fully functioning traditional besom ready for you to clean house, leap over or fly upon! The besom should of course be ceremonially dedicated to the spirits and the craft.

Traditionally the broom was kept by the door, if the brush was up clients would know you were busy advising another towns person, brush down you were open for business. As I am not a ‘working’ man I just keep my broom close at hand…very useful when visitors come and leave all their nastiness behind, and for assisting with the weekly chores. Remember, as simply and seemingly ordinary as it may be the Broom is a powerful magical implement, no matter when you use it or why, use it with purpose and in full awareness…use slow deliberate sweeps, handle it respectfully. Yes it’s only a ‘tool’ easily replaced but repetition breeds power…the longer you have your broom, the more effective it will become and the better it will serve you!

One Glitch

Sep. 1st, 2014 09:21 pm[personal profile] elf posting in [community profile] glitches_of_ur
elf: Silhoette of autumn scene; one glitch sitting on a park bench, another leaping in the air (Glitch - Autumn Day)
Forwarded message:
There should be one Glitch – one place that all glitchen come to in order to remember the place of the giants and to keep in touch with one another. Right now there are several sites of several types where this happens in different ways. The glitchen are dispersed. They miss what is going on in other places. Many sites do not have enough traffic to be lively and up-to-date. The glitchen drift away.

There should be one Glitch – but what form should it take? I think Slack is the answer. Details, explanation, and invite info inside. )


Sep. 2nd, 2014 12:19 am[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
"Books people recommended to me that I am still bitter about having read" could be a whole series.

Call for Prompts

Sep. 1st, 2014 09:56 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 LJ user Lb_lee is hosting a call for prompts on the theme of "service and servitude."  There will be some fiction posted and you can donate to see more.

Music meme, no arms

Sep. 2nd, 2014 01:14 pm[personal profile] china_shop
china_shop: Sam in casual wear, laughing on the phone (Default)
via [personal profile] cyphomandra

You can tell a lot about a person from their music. Hit shuffle on your iPod, MP3 Player, etc. and put the first 10 songs! One rule, no skipping! Tag 10 people and pass it on!

We Close Our Eyes - Go West
Beautiful Collision - Bic Runga
Sunshine - Wheatus
Horses - Greg Johnson
Whatever (I Had a Dream) - Butthold Surfers (Romeo + Juliet soundtrack)
All Connected - The Feelers
Beautiful World - Colin Hay
Without a Sound - Headstones
The Whole of the Moon - Peter Mulvey
Hard - Grey Eye Glances


*resumes radio silence to conserve arms*

[ SECRET POST #2799 ]

Sep. 1st, 2014 06:30 pm[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
case: (Default)

⌈ Secret Post #2799 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.


More! )


Secrets Left to Post: 03 pages, 058 secrets from Secret Submission Post #400.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here is my second card for Round Four of the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This bingo challenge encourages original or fanfic material across all formats and lengths. It's a terrific fest if you want general and/or gentle fiction, although people can interpret prompts any way they like. There are many categories, and you can choose to omit up to three. Read the rules first.  Browse the Round Four prompt list.  Request a Round Four card here. Prompt lists are renewed once a quarter, and you may request a new card then even without bingo on a previous card. (See all my 2014 bingo cards.)

If you'd like to sponsor a particular square, especially if you have an idea for what character, series, or situation it would fit -- talk to me and we'll work something out. This is a good opportunity for those of you with favorites that don't always mesh well with the themes of my monthly projects. I may still post some of the fills for free, because I'm using this to attract new readers; but if it brings in money, that means I can do more of it. That's part of why I'm crossing some of the bingo prompts with other projects, such as the Poetry Fishbowl.

Round Three: September 1-November 30, 2014.
Cards may be requested prior to November 30.
Any content, fiction or poetry, etc. fanfic or original.
Minimum of 100 words for fiction, poetry, or other text fills.

Underlined prompts have been filled.


Regret Playing Cards Vulnerable Women Being Awesome Mobile / Carnivorous Plants
Croatia Laboratory Beautiful Afternoon Primary Colours
We're all going to die! Introspection Wild CardBeing Silly Confessions
Partnership Revelations and Concealments Far Over the Misty Mountains Cold Gardening Reality is Illusion
Injury The Cost of Magic Character transformed into an animal Ritual Marks and Body Decorations International Speak Like a Pirate Day

james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
But it did make me realize nobody wanted me to read this (yet) and technically it just falls within the parameters of the Tears reviews.

The Many Coloured Land

Except I only read it because one of my profs was nuts about it. Me, not so much.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here is my card for the [community profile] ladiesbingo fest. This bingo challenge celebrates the various shades of relationships amongst female characters. It's intended to raise the amount of female-centric literature available. All modes are welcome here: het, slash, femslash, poly and gen. All media/formats are welcome, including poetry; fanfic and original material are both acceptable. Some of the content may be NSFW. Read the FAQ and rules first. The signup post is here. Anyone tired of womenless mainstream entertainment, but not sure what to make? Get a card for inspiration.  (See all my bingo cards for 2014.)

I thought this might be an effective way to attract some new readers. It's also useful for developing some of my series with female leads or other characters as a prevailing feature. Consider The Adventures of Aldornia and Zenobia, Hart's FarmPath of the PaladinsSchrodinger's Heroes, and Walking the Beat. In other series such as An Army of OneFledgling Grace, and Monster House there's at least one F&F or F/F relationship amongst a more widely scattered cast and plot.  Polychrome Heroics is kind of a unique case because 2/6 of Damask (Mira and Maze) are female; and of course it has other kick-ass superheras.

If you'd like to sponsor a particular square, especially if you have an idea for what character, series, or situation it would fit -- talk to me and we'll work something out. This is a good opportunity for those of you with favorites that don't always mesh well with the themes of my monthly projects. I'll still post some of the fills for free, because I'm using this to attract new readers; but if it brings in money, that means I can do more of it. That's part of why I'm crossing some of the bingo prompts with other projects, such as the Poetry Fishbowl.

Underlined prompts have been filled.

Flirting Physical imperfections Tragedy Love without Hope Dystopias
Character Death Mutation / Transformation Fate Small Vices Smell
Summertime (and the Livin' is Easy) A New Start Wild CardThe Shopping Mall Ritual Marks and Body Decorations
Spring Feudal Ties / Master and Servant Funerals and Wakes Internet / Social Media It all depends on this one choice
Five Things Women Being Awesome The Tower Amnesia Opposite Sides of the Track

Card, please!

Sep. 1st, 2014 01:47 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 [personal profile] purplecat has announced that new rounds are open for [community profile] ladiesbingo and [community profile] genprompt_bingo.  I have found both of these fests to work great for inspiring crowdfunded material -- I like to combine a bingo prompt with a fan prompt.  [community profile] ladiesbingo is all about relationships between women, which may be sexual/romantic, familial, professional, or whatever.  [community profile] genprompt_bingo focuses on topics outside the sex/romance range, for folks who want to write about something else, although it is acceptable to write sex/romance for that fest if you wish. 

New Bingo Rounds

Sep. 1st, 2014 01:43 pm[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith posting in [community profile] crowdfunding
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 [personal profile] purplecat has announced that new rounds are open for [community profile] ladiesbingo and [community profile] genprompt_bingo.  I have found both of these fests to work great for inspiring crowdfunded material -- I like to combine a bingo prompt with a fan prompt.  [community profile] ladiesbingo is all about relationships between women, which may be sexual/romantic, familial, professional, or whatever.  [community profile] genprompt_bingo focuses on topics outside the sex/romance range, for folks who want to write about something else, although it is acceptable to write sex/romance for that fest if you wish.
annathepiper: (Dalek With Tea)

This was in our household’s consensus opinion pretty much not a good followup to the season opener. Which is a shame, because we like Capaldi, and we’re now hoping he’s not going to be wasted on inferior scripts.

My main beef with it? I’ve been hearing rumblings going around about how this season is supposed to be darker, and how this Doctor is supposed to be more morally ambiguous–except the questions raised in this episode are all questions we’ve seen raised before in far better episodes. And not to mention that we’ve seen the whole “shrinking down to go inside something” plot before. Hell, this thing even namechecked Fantastic Voyage!

Spoilers behind the fold!

(ETA: And oh hey, Dara’s got her own reaction post up. That she has chosen to illustrate her points with screencaps from Lost in Space pretty much sums up what you can expect in her reaction!)

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

thnidu: A maze. www.promrds.com/chapter9/mazegenerator.htm (maze)
Dear Everytown.org:

I am viewing your Gun Sense Voter site* from my laptop, on battery power, with 65-year-old sight. I am very much in favor of background checks for gun purchases, so when I got your email I clicked "Sign the Pledge". I unchecked "I want to volunteer"... and a rectangle popped up in the corner of my screen saying "Please fill this field", with a caret pointing to nothing at all.

At first I thought it was a problem with not volunteering, and I repeated the effort twice with the same result. So I started this letter to you and went back to review the Sign screen, and only then did I see the field(s) in question, in the middle of the screen:


with the fields looking like a divider (intermittent horizontal rule) between the text above and the pledge button, and their labels in faint grey on a peach(?) background.

These need to be more visible. See the WorldWideWeb Consortium's Accessibility Guidelines for text color contrast. I've attached color samples of your background color and the text of those labels— which, by the way, is in a font size whose lines are just one pixel wide.


* I can't tell whether gunsensevoter.org is actually your site or belongs to an organization you're working with, but there's no Contact link on it that I could report this to. So if it's not you, please pass it along to whoever's in charge there.
galacticjourney: (Default)

Let me tell you the story of a missile, one that should make us (ironically) a bit safer.

Wehrner von Braun and his German team of scientists in Alabama developed a short-ranged nuclear missile called the Redstone back in 1953. It was an evolution of the wartime V-2. Then his team created the Jupiter intermediate-ranged nuclear missile, which has been used to launch a number of satellites into orbit, and which is in the process of being deployed in Italy and Turkey to threaten the Soviet Union.

There was originally an intent to mount the Jupiter missile on submarines. This is the reason for its unusually squat shape--it was supposed to fit inside the tubes of a mammoth submersible ship. The Navy quickly thought better of this idea and developed their own sub-launched missile--the Polaris. Propelled by solid fuels, unlike the liquid-fueled Jupiter, the Polaris was recently test-flown for the first time.

This marks the beginning of a whole new era of nuclear warfare: Submarines are about to constitute the third leg of an atomic weapon triad.

The first leg of the triad is the bomber, which has been a vehicle for nuclear weapon delivery since 1945. Their weakness is that they can be shot down before dropping a bomb, and they take a comparatively long time to get to target. On the other hand, they can be recalled or redirected as needed.

Missiles are the second leg, and have just come on station this year. They include the Thor and Jupiter IRBMs and the new Atlas, Titan, and Minuteman ICBMs coming on-line shortly. Missiles are incredibly fast and cannot be shot down. They also cannot be recalled or redirected.

Both bombers and missiles can be destroyed on the ground by an enemy first-strike. This is a dangerous situation for two nuclear superpowers to be in. It ensures that both countries are always looking for an opportunity to deliver a knock-out punch, which could come at any time. Bomber crews must be ready to scramble at a moment's notice. Missile crews must be trained to launch their "birds" in minutes to get their weapons off the ground before being hit. That readiness to retalliate at the first sign of a radar blip will check the other side's willingness to fire preemptively, but it also means a single mistake could bring about armageddon. Hair-triggers are dangerous things.

This is why submarines are so important. The enemy will never know where they are at any given time, thus they cannot be destroyed by a first-strike. They can fire from almost anywhere, and they can be redirected and recalled like bombers. They provide insurance that, even if the Soviets manage to destroy our missile and bomber forces in a first-strike, we will have a powerful retaliatory force. They will help relieve pressure on the nuclear "button."

Of course, the Polaris isn't deployed yet. For the next few years, we have a window of heightened tension wherein an Alas, Babylon scenario is possible, perhaps probable.

Here's hoping that the world makes it to 1965 without blowing itself up.


P.S. Galactic Journey is now a proud member of a constellation of interesting columns. While you're waiting for me to publish my next article, why not give one of them a read!

(Confused? Click here for an explanation as to what's really going on)

Posted by IanC

Some may not know, but my old friend Jeff Rosenbaum has suffered a rapid onset brain-cancer which ended his life yesterday afternoon. Listen to this while you read, if you like:

It is proper, now, to speak of my old friend Jeff Rosenbaum, a man who was like a like a brother to me, over many decades. Sometimes closer, sometimes less so, but always loved as family. He has passed far too soon, his work still in progress, but he has left a legacy that continues to bring joy, wisdom and art to the world.

I met Jeff in the mid-1970s, through the Society for Creative Anachronism. He was, at the time, living as an Orthodox Jew, and was the baker of bread for the wonderful medieval feasts that the Barony of the Cleftlands (SCA in Cleveland Oh) put on. Jeff’s golden challah loaves won him the honor of royal baker to the king of the Midrealm.

But Jeff enjoyed baking more than bread, we soon found ourselves part of a circle of friends interested in experimental consciousness exploration, using methods ranging from those of Aleister Crowley to those of Timothy Leary. Many an evening was spent in contemplation of such things as the football-shape that the universe must assume when you look at it as a cross-time object, or discussing whether the Abyss was really as close as that tree’s shadow.

Jeff remained a student and advocate of traditional Judaism and Jewish culture all of his life, but his personal devotion didn’t survive his consciousness studies. Jeff participated in our late-70s experiments in eclectic Paganism, but in general he was more of a scientist than a religionist. While he surrounded himself with students and teachers of a variety of esoteric spiritualities he never personally identified as anything in particular except, perhaps, as a fellow traveler on the great voyage.

In the spring of 1977 it was Jeff who convened the meeting that founded the Chameleon Club and, later, the Association for Consciousness Exploration. The Chameleon Club was brought together by a mutual interest in mind arts and sciences and a quiet revolutionary optimism that we could make a corner of the world a cooler, freer, sweeter place. With an agenda drawn largely from “Cosmic Trigger” we set about hosting events as simple as showing movies at a Case Western Reserve University venue and as major as bringing Dr. Leary to Cleveland for the first time as he returned to public speaking in the late 70s. By 1980 we had bought into a house in Cleveland Hts. and were keeping an office as well, all managed by Jeff’s hard work, supported by the Club.

Tim Leary, Robert Shea, Pat Monaghan, Jeff, Gillie Smythe
In 1980 the Club made a road-trip to the Pan-Pagan Festival. Pan-Pagan ’80 remains a historical moment, when 500+ Pagans and Witches gathered to share community. From that festival were born the majority of the round of “national festivals” still in business today. The Chameleon Club came home and immediately began working on what became the Starwood festival. Thirty-five years later that festival is still rockin’ on.

Starwood became Jeff’s love-child, his farm and his factory. It is a festival that drew on the Pagan community, yet included new science, environmental and political activism and performance art along with anything else cool we could drag into the woods. With Jeff’s guidance over the years the festival grew to provide inspiration, pleasure and learning to thousands of people. Generations of children have grown up with Starwood as their ‘church camp’, bands have been born, religious systems invented, all brewed in the bright, faceted jewel cauldron of the Starwood Festival.

It is entirely likely that none of that would have occurred without Jeff’s vision and direction, but he wouldn’t want me to give the impression that he did it alone. The Chameleon Club, and our later allies and heart-kin, were the family that made Jeff’s plans materialize. Yes, when our lives became busy and balls were dropped it was usually Jeff getting them back into the air. If no one else did it, Jeff did. His personal time, talent and treasure were devoted to making the Starwood community, and promoting Starwood’s ideals of beauty, freedom and growth. However he did it for and with others. Jeff never promoted himself overly. He never wanted “the credit” for the wonderful thing he helped to build, freely sharing that with the many staff and volunteers.

Jeff could be counted on for his enduring care and loyalty. Those of us from the old Chameleon Club are Chosen Kin, mostly as inescapable to one another now as any big ethnic clan. Jeff was one of the Old Uncles, as alternately beloved and annoying as any. He could be counted on for a good joke, a weird movie, a cool new band, a bad joke (did I say that?). He could be counted on by his friends when times were hard, his quiet charity a boon to several over the years.

Jeff’s life can serve as a lesson that a devotion to ideas, to manifesting dreams, to serving a community can be fulfilling, and leave a lasting legacy. The Starwood Festival will continue, rolling on the solid chassis of Jeff’s old bus. The enchantment he helped to weave is only made the wilder by Jeff’s transition from at-the-desk manager to his new life in story and memory. May his atoms make new beauty, may his work grow new wonder, may his spirit find joy in its fate.
synecdochic: "america i'm putting my queer shoulder to the wheel" (america - queer shoulder to the wheel)
So, the other day I mentioned that Steve Rogers almost certainly knows the Little Red Songbook. (You will never, ever be able to convince me that Steve, whose formation of political consciousness would have happened during the Great Depression, is not at the very least extremely pro-labor, if not an outright socialist.) Then I thought, hrm, a lot of what I know out of the Little Red Songbook is quite possibly more recent: what portion of it would Steve know?

Long story short (you should all know how I roll by now), this has led to a week of researching the shit out of things to date particular songs, then listening carefully to as many versions of them as I could find to find the version that would be closest to the version Steve would've known it as. And the next thing I knew, I had a mix. (There's some fic in there, too, and I was going to write more, but I wanted to post this today instead of waiting.)

If Steve was in a union at any point (and I don't think he was, but depending on what Bucky was doing for a living, Bucky probably would've been), he likely wouldn't have been a member of the Industrial Workers of the World, aka the Wobblies -- the heyday of the IWW was the period from about 1910 to 1924, and what Steve would've thought of as a union would not have precisely been the Wobblies' idea of one. (The difference between industrial unionism and craft unionism is a huge distinction that is waaaay beyond the scope of this entry, but was a major point of contention in labor organizing until at least WWII. Suffice it to say, what you think of when you hear 'union' is almost certainly a craft union.)

Still, even in the post-WWII period when the Wobblies were considered horribly dangerous, seditious and radical, and IWW membership had declined sharply, these songs stuck around and were still sung. (And I think Joe Hill, who wrote a lot of these, would've liked that. As he said, once: "A pamphlet is only read once, but a song is learned by heart and repeated over and over again.")

This is not the entirety of the Little Red Songbook as Steve would have known it; there are about twice as many in the editions from his time that haven't really survived in anything other than lyric form, or that aren't sung or aren't recorded. But everything on this mix is a song Steve and Bucky could have and probably would have known.

And I'm posting this not only to share some of the music Steve would have known, but because today is Labor Day, and because in the US we celebrate a watered-down version of it, Labor Day at the beginning of September instead of International Workers' Day on May 1, and if you brought some of those labor leaders of 1914 forward and showed them the world of 2014, they'd celebrate how far we've come while still being damn upset at how far we still have to go. And because:

When I went to high school -- that's about as far as I got -- reading my U.S. history textbook, well, I got the history of the ruling class. I got the history of the generals and the industrialists and the Presidents who didn't get caught. How about you?

I got the history of the people who owned the wealth of the country, but none of the history of the people who created it. So when I went out to get my first job, I went out armed with someone else's class background. They never gave me any tools to understand, or to begin to control the condition of my labor.

And that was deliberate, wasn't it? They didn't want me to know this. That's why this stuff isn't taught in the history books. We're not supposed to know it, to understand that. No, if I wanted the true history of where I came from, as a member of the working class, I had to go to my elders. Many of them gave their best working years, before pensions or Social Security, gave their whole lives to the mines, to the wheat harvests, to the logging camps, to the railroad. Got nothing for it -- just fetched up on the skids, living on short money, mostly drunk all the time.

But they lived those extraordinary lives that can never be lived again. And in the living of them, they gave me a history that is more profound, more beautiful, more powerful, more passionate, and ultimately more useful, than the best damn history book I ever read.

As I have said so often before, the long memory is the most radical idea in America.
-- Utah Phillips

The long memory is the most radical idea in America. )

Right-click, save as: 18 songs, 47:44 total running time, 87.9MB download.

Events Calendar for September 2014

Sep. 1st, 2014 10:00 am[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
otw_staff: Jennifer OTW Communications Staffer (Jennifer OTW Communications Staffer)
Banner by caitie of curtains opening to show a stage with the words OTW Events Calendar
This month in fandom: Teen Wolf fans gather in Spain, a children’s fantasy author is honored, Fanlore Stub September begins, and more! http://bit.ly/1qiWIGd

A Certain Anniversary

Sep. 1st, 2014 10:00 pm[personal profile] izmeina
izmeina: a big eared American eagle listening to everything (conspiracy)
The powers that be have been boring us all witless with the endless commemorations of the centenary of what used to be called The Great War (or of course, the war to end all wars)
The events started in June and there will likely be at least a good four years of indulgence and nostalgia. One wonders why they even bother since some hundred years on they have not learned any lessons at all from the insane craziness and are once again ever so eager to sign up for the latest overseas adventures.
Strange how no one has spared a second thought for the 75th anniversary of the beginning of another war marked on this very day.

Here's guessing that when they have spent the last dozen years invading Iraq and Afghanistan and now want to do it all over again after a brief intermission, any mention of Poland is just a bit too embarrassing.
Even in a so called democracy, once the bosses start the dog whistling and beating the drums of war, the people fall ever so quickly into line. Even the so called opposition party that normally never misses a chance to take a swipe at the government. They are now all signing up to play for Team Australia and there's hardly a peek about how outrageous it is that once again The Fearless Leader can send the country down the warpath with one phone call from his Lord and Master without any requirement whatsoever to discuss the matter in Parliament.

The Greens and Andrew Wilkie are the only voices out there in the wilderness. Wilkie used to be a spook and went whistleblower over the weapons of mass destruction BS back in 2003. He is the most inconvenient proof about the outrageous lies told at the time no matter how they now try to whitewash the whole saga with talk of the wisdom of 20/20 hindsight in ferreting out all that faulty intelligence.

After the last few months where the talk has been of nothing but slash and burn in order to reduce the debt and deficit incurred by the irresponsible previous government, there is no question about the wisdom of signing over blank cheques to Uncle Sam.

Once again there will be the endless photo opportunities with toy jets and assorted members of the armed forces but should any of them crash and burn, get beheaded or return to Oz stir crazy or with bits missing then they will be given the usual runaround and made to jump through hoops to get any sort of assistance.

Who knows what wars they will be commemorating 100 years from now. That's assuming the planet has not been totally trashed before then.

(no subject)

Sep. 1st, 2014 09:16 am[personal profile] synecdochic
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
Mondays, every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)
aunty_marion: Official Aunty Marion (Default)
The workmen turned up at 8.45 this morning, so it's a good thing I'd got up early! Two blokes, not the one who came last week, and they found the doorbell. When I opened the door they exclaimed about a large spider who was spinning a leisurely web across the door (as they often do), and boggled when I casually picked it up by part of the web and put it on the floor. Then they boggled again at the other large web across the side of the 'porch', and even more when I pointed out the cable-car effect one in the garden - there are several really strong visible lines going down from the wall to (I assume) a plant, joining into one main one, with an almost invisible web below, and the only 'cable-car' on the line is the spider itself.

Anyway, they had the seals, and replaced the ones at both corners of the join, and were gone by 9am. So I have hot water, YAY!!!

Then I looked at emails, and Pat was wanting me to put death notices (or 'bereavement' notices, as the papers coyly term them) into the local papers in Staffordshire and Nottinghamshire. So I googled for addresses, etc - the Staffordshire Evening Sentinel has a website, which is navigable though a little unclear in places, and I managed that OK, only to get an automated receipt which says they won't place the notice till they've had confirmation from the Funeral Director. So I had to email Pat to get that, put it in, emailed them to say this is the only notice you're getting, chums, the funeral director is in Swansea and we're not paying him to do it when we can do it ourselves. But all I got was another copy of the automated receipt! So I had to phone them, and I'm supposed to be getting a confirmation back. (ETA, three paras later: Just got that email.)

Next up was the Chad (Mansfield/Ashfield edition), which does not have an online form. The website helpfully says to contact them by email, which I duly did. They emailed back asking for my address and contact details, and then I got a 'proof copy' by email ... which I had to phone to pay for. No, north Notts has not reached the 21st century yet. That's a weekly paper, so the announcement will go in tomorrow's edition. Even more confusingly (yes, it's a big local-paper conglomerate, but): they are registered in Scotland; the address on the 'Booking Proof', which looks like a printed letter but was sent as an email attachment, is in Sheffield; and the number I had to call was in London!

Or, how to spend £115 in one swell foop. Well, Viv will reimburse me (out of Mum's money).

I also had a moment of slight hilarity - one of Pat's emails asked if I could work out from a vague/badly written address where my cousin Neil is/was living (our only cousin on Dad's side), so she could send him a card. Obviously, since she'd given me the postcode, I just googled that and found the street instantly. Then, out of idle interest, I googled Neil. And discovered that he's a singer/songwriter, and performs with his wife (he plays semi-acoustic guitar, she plays piano accordion!!!!) in north Notts and thereabouts - folk-type songs (all written by him) about odd subjects like the demise of the Nottinghamshire coalfield, Curry, and Keeping Dry At Festivals. He's also on Twitter, so I tweeted to let him know, though I don't know if he'd remember me. My mind is still boggling, though.

Having put the stuff from the hall cupboard back in it, in a slightly more organised (!) fashion, and washed the pots in Hot! Water!, I shall now contemplate my packing again. Etcetera. The mifi is plugged in to recharge, and then I can turn my home wifi off so I can log onto the dongle and top up.

Stub September - Fandoms

Sep. 1st, 2014 12:36 am[personal profile] fanloremod posting in [community profile] fanlore
fanloremod: (Default)
For this year's Stub September, we have chosen weekly themes to focus on specific types of stubs. However, you are always welcome to work on any stub (or any other article!) at any time.

The first week's theme is fandoms!

There are a number of pages about individual fandoms that need more information. Some of the current stubs include:

and many more! Feel free to browse the stubs, pages that need expansion, and examples wanted categories.

Resources for editing fandom pages )

Check back next week for a new theme! If you have any questions, feel free to comment on this post or to email the Fanlore Gardeners.

You are also totally welcome and encouraged to leave comments letting us know about your contributions to the challenge. Happy editing!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This story belongs to the series Love Is For Children which includes "Love Is for Children," "Hairpins," "Blended," "Am I Not," "Eggshells," "Dolls and Guys,""Saudades," "Querencia," "Turnabout Is Fair Play," "Touching Moments," "Splash," "Coming Around," "Birthday Girl," "No Winter Lasts Forever," "Hide and Seek," "Kernel Error," "Happy Hour," "Green Eggs and Hulk," "kintsukuroi," and "Little and Broken, but Still Good."

Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Natasha Romanova, Phil Coulson, Clint Barton, Betty Ross, Bucky Barnes.
Medium: Fiction
Warnings: Mention of human trafficking and nonconsensual drug use. Slightly offstage sexual violence. Dubcon/Noncon.
Summary: Sometimes the Black Widow needs to hunt, and sometimes she needs help settling her personality afterwards. Uncle Phil arranges an extra ageplay session.
Notes: Hurt/comfort. Family. Fluff and angst. BAMF!Black Widow. Black Widow is creepy. Coping skills. Asking for help and getting it. Hope. Nonsexual ageplay. Caregiving. Competence. Girl stuff. Toys and games. Gentleness. Trust. #coulsonlives

Begin with Part 1, Part 2.

Read more... )
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
On my way over to catch the bus, noticed a guy sleeping on the edge of the bus lane, next to the wall that defines its edge. Safe where he was but one roll away from being where bus tires pass. Pointed him out to a security guard on the grounds being crushed under a bus is not restful. Found out this evening a very drunk guy was arrested at the terminal about the time I pointed the fellow out, so I guess that is what happened.


Aug. 31st, 2014 10:52 pm[personal profile] telophase
telophase: (Default)
I have counted at least 23 mosquito bites on me. 14 of those are on one leg.

On Saturday we went over to the new house of my brother-in-law and his girlfriend to help them and Toby's parents lay sod and do other work in the backyard. Twice, I saw mosquitos on me, but didn't realize how bad it was until this morning. (I did put mosquito repellant on, but not until after I saw the Mosquitos...oops.)

Driving me crazy, of course. I think I may resort to Zyrtec tonight, even though it knocks me out and makes me fuzzy-headed the day after I take it.

My legs remind me of the way they were when we lived in Tanzania. I was always eaten up with bug bites, and you can still see the faint network of scars on my skin from it.

And now I know

Aug. 31st, 2014 09:52 pm[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
Ibid has a meow for "Put me down so I can run over and groom Groucho."


Aug. 31st, 2014 08:32 pm[personal profile] telophase
telophase: (Default)
Latest Wordpress update broke the way the theme I made displays category posts (i.e., the list of categories gets a 404) so guess what I get to spend Labor Day doing? Yes, that's right, recoding a *&^*^& theme! Because now the ConDFW website doesn't display a nice list of guests when you ask it to, instead it displays a 404 page.

It's definitely fault of the child theme I coded--I've checked all the plugins and its not them, and it works when I deactivate the child theme and stops working when I re-activate it. Man, I don't even know where the hell to start looking to find the problem. :P

Two pictures

Aug. 31st, 2014 07:37 pm[personal profile] telophase
telophase: (Default)
Remember how Sora feels about the white fluffy carpet in my office? (If you don't: he hates it and does his best not to step on it.) It's not just that carpet--he doesn't like our brown bathmats, either. We recently got a cat mat, which has two different surface textures and a ball attached to it. He's adopted the mat as his own, but...

cut for Sora pic )

Also, our first harvest!

cut for photo )

Hot Coffee Part 30

Aug. 31st, 2014 10:49 pm[personal profile] tamoline posting in [community profile] girlgay
tamoline: (Default)
Title: Hot Coffee Part 30
Author: Louisa
Game of Thrones
Pairings: Sansa/Daenerys
Main Characters: Sansa Stark (POV),
Daenerys Targaryen, Shae, Asha Greyjoy
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: None really
Warnings: None really
Beta: Tamoline
Disclaimer: Don't own these characters, or anything else about the setting

Note: Just a heads-up, my posting may be fairly erratic for the next couple of months due to game conventions and Femslash Ex.

james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

I mostly made this post to address this Daily Dot article that went around earlier this week (How The Growing Generation Gap Is Changing The Face Of Fandom) The basic premise was that NineWorlds = good and inclusive because it’s a young con run by young people! And WorldCon = awful on the diversity front because old white men.

Well. I attended both cons as a young queer Asian woman and I think that’s a pretty unfair assessment of what the cons were actually like.

[Aug 24] [TWD] Gone for Good

Aug. 31st, 2014 10:47 pm[personal profile] crookedspoon posting in [community profile] 31_days
crookedspoon: Gintama's Gintoki (gintoki -bubble-)
Title: Gone for Good
Day/Prompt: Aug 24, "You can’t lose this one."
Series: The Walking Dead (TV)
Character/Pairing: Daryl, Merle
Rating/Warning(s): PG, canon character death
Word Count: 100

( Absences marked Daryl's life. )

Posted by Bob Mayer

25 years, over 60 books, and I still screw things up. Here are six things I’ve done “wrong” according to most accepted practices for a successful writing career and a note on whether I’ve corrected each, will correct each one, or screw it, it’s just the way I am.

  1. Not networked enough.

This is a people business, just like any other. Early in my career I really believed I could just sit at home, write books, and everything would go fine. Not. I should have made more of an effort to get to know agents, editors, publishers and especially other writers.

Fixed? This is something I’ve worked hard to correct, especially since forming Cool Gus. I try to make it to Seattle once a year to meet with Amazon; in New York to meet with Barnes & Noble. Been to Toronto to sit down with Kobo. Go to BEA to meet industry people. Go to various writers conferences to meet writers. Perhaps the one thing I could do more of is attend science fiction events, since I have had several bestselling series in the genre, but I also have seen too many scifi authors get caught up in the con thing to the detriment of their writing. A balance has to be struck. I’ve noticed that I don’t have a single conference scheduled for 2015, which is a first. I’ll be going to BEA for business networking, and probably stop by RWA Nationals and Thrillerfest for author networking. But beyond that—the slate is wide open for the year.  Maybe I’ll do something science fictiony?

  1. Not taken charge of my career.

I thought my agent was in charge of my career for a long time. Wrong. An agent can help shape your career, but it’s up to the writer to determine goals and actions. I received a lot of good advice from agents over the years, but didn’t focus enough on implementing a business plan that I originated.

Fixed? Once more, since forming Cool Gus, I’ve had to take complete responsibility for my career. There are two sides to this. On one hand it’s a lot of work, but on the other hand it’s tremendously liberating. I determine what I’m writing, how long I take, when I publish, what I publish, etc. etc. I think a trad author (having been one for 20 years and 42 books) really has little idea how great it is to be indie. Yes, you lose a lot of the support of agent/publisher, but the freedom is worth it. As well as the much higher profit margin. I think a lot of authors are seeing sales go down—the best way to offset that is to make more per sale.

  1. Not stuck to one genre and focused on one series.

I’ve had bestsellers in science fiction, thriller and romance. Not a formula for success. I recommend to authors that if they want commercial success, they pick a specific niche and become known for it. Which means do what I didn’t do. I’ve got books that don’t even technically fall into a genre. I tried starting a new genre, technomyth, where I mixed technology and mythology. My Atlantis series was in the vein. My Area 51 series was pitched as an X-Files type story. The Rock, one of my favorite books, was reviewed by Publishers Weekly as the “best combination of science fiction and thriller this year.” Which means it didn’t fit in either.

Fixed? Nope and not really going to be. I just turned in the 4th book in a new series, Nightstalkers: The Time Patrol. I’ve start a new nonfiction series: Shit Doesn’t Just Happen: The Gift of Failure. I’ve got to write book 5 in the Nightstalker series, then book 8 in my Green Beret series, but after that, who knows? I write what I care about and what interests me.  My Shit Doesn’t Just Happen books might turn some people off with the title but I strongly believe the subject matter is so important, it’s worth it.  If we don’t learn from past catastrophes it leaves us vulnerable to future ones.

  1. Not accepted others and gotten in feuds.

This is connected to not networking. In fact it’s the opposite. My wife says I’m a contrarian and I tend to disagree with her on that. Enough said. I think it’s a guy thing. I have noticed that most of those speaking out in publishing and ranting are male. The women are quietly working and making the big bucks.

Fixed? I work hard on this every day. I don’t post comments on blogs like I used to. My own blog rarely gets into the business of publishing these days– I’ve discussed pretty much everything and its in the archives here. I’ve decided trying to talk about publishing is like eating soup with a fork because, as we say at Cool Gus, there are many roads to Oz and Oz means different things to each person.  I work hard to respect everyone’s path, even if I don’t agree with it.  I simply don’t have to take that particular path.

  1. Not enjoyed the gifts of a writing career.

Seriously, it’s a great job. I forget that I don’t have to commute, technically don’t answer to a boss (other than the reader!). That my work of 25 years all earns me income now. In essence, becoming an indie author and the ability to sell to readers through various platforms has completely changed the business model for authors. What would have been 50 out of print books gathering dust on my shelves, now earns me a very nice revenue. It’s not backlist if you haven’t read it! I get to work at home, with my two yellow labs snoring underneath my desk. Get up and go for a bike ride whenever I feel like it.  Can’t beat it.

ShitDoesntJustHappen!&(1)Fixed? I try to be grateful every day that I can work at a job I love.

  1. Not taking enough time off from writing.

The flip side of being my own boss, is that I’m not a very good boss at times. I work all the time. I always feel under pressure to deliver. Under deadlines that I impose on myself. It is rather stressful.

Fixed? Nope, but I’m aware of it. I actually penciled in three days of ‘vacation’ near the end of October, right after a conference. I already know I won’t take those three days off because I have a manuscript due at the end of October. Unless, I work really, really hard and have it done before that conference. Sigh. Catch-22.

What mistakes have you made in your writing career, and what have you done to fix them?  Or do you not care about fixing them?

9 days until publication of Shit Doesn’t Just Happen: The Gift of Failure! Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks





Filed under: Write It forward Tagged: Amazon, catastrophe, disaster, Kindle

This pleases me

Aug. 31st, 2014 03:46 pm[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

It's squirrel footprints preserved in sidewalk concrete.

[ SECRET POST #2798 ]

Aug. 31st, 2014 03:43 pm[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets
case: (Default)

⌈ Secret Post #2798 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.


More! )


Secrets Left to Post: 03 pages, 071 secrets from Secret Submission Post #400.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 1 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.

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