Previous month:
March 2003
Next month:
May 2003

April 2003

Good Luck

I had as much good luck with computers today as I had bad luck yesterday. (Some have suggested that it was talent or skill, but I swear it was only luck informed by the horrors of yesterday's odeal.)

Anyway, I ended up with the 120 gig drive installed on the machine David came home with last night. Which is fine. Now I can suck down all the files I want over our cable modem connection!

Of course, the miracle of it all is that I installed the drive and did all the other stuff while taking care of at least one child at all times.


Zoran Zivkovic's Books to Appear in the US

Zoran Zivkovic writes from Belgrade:

It's official now, so I hasten to tell you. All my fiction books will be brought out in the USA next year. Here is the schedule:

1. THE BOOK & THE WRITER, Prime Books, February 2004
2. THE FOURTH CIRCLE, Night Shade Books, April 2004
3. IMPOSSIBLE STORIES, Night Shade Books, November 2004: IMPOSSIBLE STORIES are my collected story-suits in one volume: TIME GIFTS, IMPOSSIBLE ENCOUNTERS, SEVEN TOUCHES OF MUSIC, THE LIBRARY and STEPS THROUGH THE MIST. (The identical edition will be published in April 2004 in Spain by Minotauro.)

Zivkovic's wonderful stories have appeared with some frequency in Interzone. We reprinted one of them in our Year's Best Fantasy.


Yesterday's Adventures

Yesterday's weather, except for the afternoon rain storm, was almost ideal for human habitation. It was a glorious spring day.

Ever since we got a cable modem, it has been disturbingly easy to run out of hard drive space, so we ordered a 120 gig hard drive (which arrived several days late for reasons known only to Airbourne Express) and I set about trying to install it in our G3 Mac. I've installed various stuff in previous Macs, so I bravely set out to do this. (Don't send advice. I've probably already tried it or downloaded it.) While I did succeed in backing up the old drive to the new drive, I could not make the new drive and the CD-ROM drive run simultaneously, and from a bleak half hour yesterday afternoon, I thought I'd fried everything, since nothing worked.

I began the process three hours before Peter came home from school, thinking that was plenty of time. I ran out to the street to retrieve Peter from the school bus just at the point that I had everything spread out everywhere and no piece of equipment was on speaking terms with any other piece of equipment.

Peter was uncharacteristically understanding about this, perhaps because he could identify with having unexpectedly made a terrible mess. He played nicely without waking the baby (who eventually woke up herself).

At some point, he was outside the front door nicely watering the daffodils. When I checked on him a few minutes later, he didn't have any clothes on. They were all in a pile on the front walk. He evidently had become concerned that I wouldn't want him to get his clothes wet and had solved this problem without my help! I made him put a bathing suit on and took his clothes in the house.

I did eventually get the computer put back together, though I think I'm going to have the hard drive professionally installed by someone who knows what all these differently shaped connectors inside my computer are for.

David came home with another G3 that he'd bought from Patrick Nielsen Hayden. (It was reassuring to know he was coming home with it at the points when I thought I'd destroyed our current G3.)

Meanwhile, I've also been getting as much stuff as possible out of our garage and over to the Congregational Church for their annual Barn Sale. I was expecting to see Cailin Blasdell there (she is a volunteer helping organize the sale) when I dropped off a load of furniture, but it poured rain during the middle of the afternoon when I'd planned to go. Today is the last day I can decommission major objects taking up space, so I'm determined. So far, it's a beautiful day.


New Links List

I have added the obligatory list of links to other weblogs, which appears at the bottom of the page. (When I understand style sheets better, it will be a sidebar!)

Here's the idea: Since I was having a hard time finding a comprehensive list of links to weblogs by people in my general social sphere, I've decided that my page will have the list I wanted. (If you have a web log or know of a weblog thath fits this description that I have missed, let me know.)


Say No to Tasteless Exploitation

Bush May Be a Write-In On More Than One State Ballot (washingtonpost.com)

First came the news that officials in Alabama may have to put President Bush on the ballot as a write-in candidate. It turns out Alabama isn't the only state scrambling to figure out what it needs to do to ensure that the president's name will appear on the state ballot next year.

The GOP's unusually late nominating convention -- it does not begin until Aug. 30 -- is the problem. Bush is not scheduled to accept his party's nomination until Sept. 2, 2004. That falls after the deadline for certifying presidential candidates not only in Alabama, but also in California, the District of Columbia and West Virginia. There are bills in the Alabama legislature to move its deadline from Aug. 31 to Sept. 5. But if, for some reason, they don't pass, the president would be forced to run there as a write-in candidate.

If you understand that the sole reason for the late nomination is so that Bush can exploit the memory of the 9/11 dead (see my previous post on this topic), it is clear that all the states in question should just say NO to requests to move deadlines.


The New York Times Sings the Praises of Our School District

The NYT's real estate section reminds me of the advantages of living in suburbia:

Per-pupil spending for the district, which now has three elementary schools, one middle school and the high school, is $16,289, said Henne Starace, the district's business administrator. The ratio of teachers to students varies throughout the district, she said, with kindergarten classes never having more than 20 students.

Interesting to note that they are actually spending more on our son Peter than the astronomical sum we pay in property taxes.


Iraq on EBay Redux?

Back in January, some joker put Iraq on EBay for 99 cents, where it got bid up to $99 before EBay pulled it.

This month, Gregg Easterbrook makes what I take to be a wry but at least partially serious suggestion:

Since the Tikrit palace was taken without a fight, Best Laid Plans proposes that its chandeliers, grand pianos, artwork, and such be auctioned on eBay--proceeds to help finance the reconstruction of Iraq. Imagine what collectors would pay for a brocade antique couch with Saddam Hussein's DNA residue. For a bed he didn't dare sleep in. For the lovely silver used by his food tasters. For the gurneys that took out his food tasters' bodies. What am I bid?

This is just a hair away from something that might appear in the Onion: Iraqi government assets to be liquidated to pay for reconstruction, Ari Fleisher said today. Needless to say, there are a lot more Iraqi government assets. "Iraq's oil fields are the property of the Iraqi people. And we're auctioning them off to pay for the building of schools and hospitals," he explained. Wouldn't Bush's true constituency just love it? I'll bet some have already suggested it. Let's run Iraq like a business! We'll aquire them through a hostile takeover, them liquidate their assets!

In fact, my little parody sounds a lot like this:

Sunday April 27, 2003, The Observer
Iraq may have to leave the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries so it can pump out extra oil to pay for the country's reconstruction, says a former Iraqi oil minister who is now a key adviser to the American government. . . . In the right hands the output of 7 million barrels a day is achievable in about six years. . . . Chalabi, cousin of Ahmed Chalabi, the Pentagon's choice to head the country, said he would be prepared to serve the Iraqi oil industry if a democratically elected government was in place. He said selling off Iraq's oil assets was the only way to secure investment in his country. 'Iraq is going to need a lot of money in the next five years, up to $300bn. 'Privatisation or partial privatisation is the way to secure this investment.

MEANWHILE, having failed to come up with enough evidence to justify this whole mess, Bush has begun to privatize the search for evidence. (Via ScrappleFace.)

PS: Searching on Iraq and EBay on MSN yields the suggestion that I "Buy Iraq for less at Half.com."


Militant Breasts, Anyone?

Breastfeeding Support and Advocacy  at the Militant Breastfeeding Cult -- Need Breastfeeding Help?  We have an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant on staff

I took their quiz, which reveals me to be a militant breastfeeder! I view this movement, of which I seem to be a part, as an upandcoming species of Feminism. (When I can show up with an infant in tow at an accademic conference and have few problems attending or presenting papers, I know our revolution will have succeeded. I did nurse Elizabeth while introducing David's paper at the ICFA. I've also been spotted nursing while signing copies of my new hard sf anthology.)

Another such in the SF/fantasy field is the wonderful new writer Naomi Kritzer. For some really amusing reviews of parenting and pregnancy books, see Naomi's Motherhood Site. (I hate What to Expect When You're Expecting!)


"We were not lying," said one official. "But it was just a matter of emphasis."

ABCNEWS.com : Officials: 9/11 Was Main Reason for War

Having failed to find the alleged weapons of mass destruction, and in some cases, having failed to look, administration officials are starting to ackowledge what everyone else has known all along: that the attack on Iraq was a reaction to 9/11.


Running the Army Like a Business?

White Resigns As Army Secretary (washingtonpost.com)

Wonder what this one is really about. I suspect the resignation is probably not triggered by the Enron scandal, which this guy seems to have survived, even thought he probably shouldn't have. What I do suspect it that this is part of the fallout from the looting scandal. We'll probably never know.

His corporate ties proved both bane and boon. They were what first commended him to the job, which he took vowing to "run the Army like a business." But they also exposed him to increased scrutiny from Congress and public interest groups once Enron filed one of the biggest bankruptcy cases in U.S. history in December 2001.

One does wonder what business the army was most like, since most businesses don't have guns and WMDs.


Shame on the Bush Campaign

Bush campaign to exploit 9-11

It was bad enough that the Bush administration exploited the first anniversary of 9/11 to sell us the Iraq war.

Now Republican strategists are announcing in advance that a primary element of their campaign strategy will be to exploit the second anniversary. They should be ashamed of themselves -- very deeply ashamed -- for exploiting the memory of the dead.

But they're not.

In fact, judging from their willingness to explain the strategy in advance, they expect not only our acquiescence, but our approval:

President Bush's advisers have drafted a re-election strategy built around staging the latest nominating convention in the party's history, allowing Bush to begin his formal campaign near the third anniversary of Sept. 11 and to enhance his fund-raising advantage, according to Republicans close to the White House.

Breasts of Mass Destruction

Breast-feeding in a time of war

I would boycott Continental Airlines over this, except that in my experience they are better than Northwest about small children and infants:

What did the American male passenger think they were - weapons of mass distraction?

Apparently, yes.

Deborah Wolfe, a Canadian citizen who was just breast-feeding her son and changing his diaper while en route between Houston and Vancouver, says her "subversive" actions led to her being threatened with detainment, RCMP involvement and legal charges for terrorist action against a U.S. citizen in international airspace while on an American flight during a time of war.

I do like the idea that my milk-laden breasts are so formidible. (God, I hate the airlines!)

Via HogBlog.

Update: I wrote to Continental via Continental Airlines - Contact Customer Care

As someone who flew Continenal from Seattle to Newark on Monday with a small infant, I was really upset to read in the Montreal Gazette

that a breastfeeding mother was threatened with legal consequences by a Continental flight attendent for breastfeeding and changing her infant.

While I have been well-treated when flying Continental with small children, it upsets me to know that my experience might have been quite different had I had the flight attendent in question, since I was doing the same things as the breastfeeding mother.

Strike a blow for motherhood and family values. Fire the flight attendent.

Continue reading "Breasts of Mass Destruction" »


Canadian Travel Plans

WHO extends its SARS-related travel advice to Beijing and Shanxi province in China and to Toronto, Canada

Events in Canada I'm still planning to attend:

Science Fiction Research Association, UniversityÝofÝGuelph, Jun 25-29, 2003

American Library Association, Toronto, June 19-25

Returning to its binational roots, the American Library Association will head to Canada for a rare joint conference in Toronto, June 19-25.Ý A record number of programs and events will be available to more than 25,000 Canadian and U.S. librarians, publishers and guests.

And, oh yes, the Worldcon:
Torcon 3, The 61st World Science Fiction Convention, Toronto, August 28-September 1, 2003

One hopes this SARS situation clears up soon. I am the kind of person who would die of it if I caught it, since I have a history of lung problems.

From The Globe and Mail

Yesterday, the World Health Organization clapped the city of Toronto into quarantine. SARS became Toronto's 9/11, the worst crisis in its history. Despite the judgment of the WHO, it's not a health crisis -- yet. It's a crisis of perceptions. The WHO has more or less declared that Toronto has been hit by a deadly terrorist disease, and the world's inclined to believe it.Never mind that the odds of getting SARS remain vanishingly small. In the United States, where the daily SARS news is devoured like the latest chapter in a Michael Crichton thriller, Toronto is now assumed to be as perilous as any pestilential Third World cesspit. And even if it's not, why take a chance?

A couple of measures which I think ought to be tried against SARS, given that it's related to the common cold: sucking on zinc losenges to keep from getting it, and Viropharma's anti-viral drug PICOVIR (pleconeril): it was designed as a cure for the common cold and was not effective enough given the actual low severity of colds in the first place. It is not in commercial production, so they may not have tried it on SARS. But it seems to me that it might work. (I used to own Viropharma stock, but don't anymore.)


Hard-to-Find Front Page Story

U.S. Planners Surprised by Strength of Iraqi Shiites (washingtonpost.com)

This front page story became hard to find by this evening when David wanted to point it out to me. We link to it, since it seems to have been de-emphasized almost into invisibility.

Some U.S. intelligence analysts and Iraq experts said they warned the Bush administration before the war about vanquishing Hussein's government without having anything to replace it. But officials said the concerns were either not heard or fell too low on the priority list of postwar planning.

Chalabi's influence, particularly with senior policymakers at the Pentagon, helped play down the prospects for trouble, some officials said. "They really did believe he is a Shiite leader," although he had been out of the country for 45 years, a U.S. official said. "They thought, 'We're set, we've got a Shiite -- check the box here.' "

"We're flying blind on this. It's a classic case of politics and intelligence," said Walter P. "Pat" Lang, a former Defense Intelligence Agency specialist in Middle Eastern affairs. "In this case, the policy community have absolutely whipped the intel community, or denigrated it so much."

Wish She'd Named Names

Though I don't know how I got on her list, and once tried unsucessfully to get off, Angela Hoy sends me email promoting writersweekley.

The title of an editorial in this week's issue caught my eye:

AngelaHoy.com: Anthologies - A Bad Deal for Writers (Unless You Do It Yourself)

I know a lot about editing anthologies and not only do I edit them, and not only did I spend years working at literary agencies, but I also know many other anthologists. I simply have never heard of many of the practices she describes as standard in anthology editing: She describes payment rates for stories as being on the order of $20 - $50. She presents posting calls for submissions as forcing writers to write for free. That's a new one on me. I've never done an open original anthology because I get paid hourly to read slush. I don't do it for free. But many writers advocates feel it is morally wrong to do closed, by-invitation-only anthologies because they keep out newer writers. This is the first time I've seen open submission policies described as a scam. She also suggests that anthologists coerce writers into becoming a sales force for their books.

Even anthologists for whom I have very little respect don't do things this way. I wish she'd named names.

A few things she says are true: "They get to pick the best [stories] and simply dump the rest." Um, yes. That's my job!

Her solution to the problem is even worse than her description of the problem:

~What Writers Can Do~ If you and a bunch of your friends want to contribute to an anthology, you should publish your own! Print on demand has made it affordable to do so. You can then all share in the low costs ($217 at Booklocker.com) and can also promote the book together AND share in the royalties. To submit your anthology idea to Booklocker.com (no need to submit complete manuscripts on anthology ideas), shoot an email my way. I'm at: angela@writersweekly.com

Perhaps things are different outside sf, fantasy, & horror. But I suspect that whomever she is talking about -- assuming someone actually operates that way -- is not buying fancy cars from the proceeds. Weeding through the slush piles she describes would eat any profits.


Philip K Dick Site

The Philip K Dick Award

Since about the time my son Peter was born, I've been doing the site for the Philip K Dick Awards, by which I really mean, I set up the site and then horribly neglected it for years on end because of the demands of motherhood.

With the addition of a new distraction to the family, it became clear I would never ever again have time for the kind of obsessive fiddling with web sites that I used to enjoy.

So I have set up a revised award site using Movable Type so that the Awards Adminstration can post directly without me standing in the way.

Henceforth, the site should be up-to-date!


How to Move a Totem Pole

Ever wonder how people move totem poles? Quite unexpectedly, we got to find out this afternoon. After a successful morning of thrift shopping, we went to Seattle's Burke Museum, mostly so Peter could see the dinosaur exhibits.

A group of men were struggling to transport a half-carved totem pole up the front steps of them museum. It was big and it looked heavy.

I was standing right next to the camera man from channel 7 and a couple of press people with really expensive-looking camera equipment. I had borrowed dad's Nikon digital and so after a few moments of dumb-founded gawking, I began to snap pictures.

The totem pole is part of the exhibit Out of the Silence: Enduring Power of Totem Poles:

Demonstrations by Emerging Artists
Various artists, including Frank Fulmer and Lorene Kengerski
Selected Saturdays, 11 am - 3 pm, in the Special Exhibit Gallery
The Burke's "Emerging Artists Series" features up-and-coming Northwest Coast artists working on their own projects within the context of the special exhibition, Out of the Silence: The Enduring Power of Totem Poles. This is a unique chance to chat with an array of talented young artists, to ask questions about their craft, to observe the styles that have been passed down in their families, and to discover the vitality of contemporary Northwest Coast art.

As we were leaving, the channel 7 camera man was setting up lights and one of the artists whom I think was Israel Shotridge, one of Alaska's finest Tlingit carvers, was waiting, presumably to beging carving on camera.

It was all so interesting that Peter forgot his teddy bear in the museum and I had to go back for it.


How Did We Get Here?

LRB | Edward Said : The Academy of Lagado

Here's an interesting piece by Edward Said:

What is truly puzzling is that the prevailing American ideology is still underpinned by the view that US power is basically benign and altruistic. This surely accounts for the outrage expressed by US pundits and officials that Iraqis should have had the gall to resist at all, or that, when captured, US soldiers were exhibited on Iraqi TV. Apparently this is much worse than showing rows of Iraqi prisoners made to kneel or lie spread-eagled in the sand. Breaches of the Geneva Conventions are invoked not for Camp X-Ray but for Saddam, and when his forces hide inside cities, that is cheating, while high-altitude bombing is playing fair.

This is the most reckless war in modern times. It is all about imperial arrogance unschooled in worldliness, unfettered either by competence or experience, undeterred by history or human complexity, unrepentant in its violence and the cruelty of its technology. What winning, or for that matter losing, such a war will ultimately entail is unthinkable. But pity the Iraqi civilians who must still suffer a great deal more before they are finally 'liberated'.

Just as I Suspected

The photographs tell the story...

This site has a long shot view of the famous scene of the crowd cheering while a statue of Sadaam was pulled down. This was a highly staged event for the benefit of the Western media, giving them the Berlin wall scene they'd all been waiting for.

I had downloaded the film clip (using out new fast cable modem) and played it myself. I had noticed that all the photos were from very close in and, unlike the fall of the wall, there were no distance shots showing the size of the crowd. I had also noticed that all the close in shots were careful not to show a crowd horizon -- a sure sign that the crowd was not very large.

(Via

Blue Ridge Notes

Here are some notes I made on March 8th and 9th, hoping to post them while travelling.

Yesterday, we woke up in Washington, DC, at KarenÅfs house. I sorted through bags of baby clothes while Peter played with his cousins, Selena (3) and Diana (15 months). Both girls are very fond of their new cousin Elizabeth. And while Elizabeth seemed eager to join in, since she can neither walk nor crawl she was stuck on the sidelines. So Karen and her husband, Tom, played with Elizabeth.

After David and I stuffed as many baby clothes in the car as would fit, given the load of boxes of books plus our existing luggage, we got in the car and headed on to Virginia. Since it was our intention to drive down the Blueridge Parkway from Virginia to North Carolina, we drove to the Shenandoah National Park and took the Skyline Drive south. It is an old-style scenic highway with lots of turnouts at viewpoints. Also, unlike highway departments in much of the Northeast, the National Park Service does its treework, so he viewpoints still have their views.

This whole area entangles history and scenery: There are many Civil War historical plaques by the side of the road saying things like Some of Moseby's men were executed by General Custer near this spot in 1864. I tried to explain the Civil War to Peter, who was thus far innocent of it. I told him that there was a war over whether the United States was going to be one country or two. He asked who won, was it the people who wanted it to be two? I presume he thought that Canada was the second country in question.

In elementary school I was taught that the most important thing about the Civil War was that Lincoln freed the slaves. While freeing the slaves was important, as we drive these roads with our little boy on the eve of a war, what seems most important to me now is how many boys died. (Michael Swanwick mentioned over dinner the other night that Chris Casper, Susan Casper's son, is in Iraq.) These are bloody hills indeed.

When we got to the entrance of the parkway just before sunset, the parkway was closed because of snow and ice. (Not the whole parkway, just portions, as I learned from calling their information line.) So we to the interstate to the turnoff for the Natural Bridge.

We stayed over night at the Natural Bridge Inn. When we got in with our bags, I began to feel faint. (As a nursing mother, I need plenty of food and water!) We hurried downstairs had dinner in their restaurant. I had "Chicken Fettuchini," which was rather like Fettuchini Alfredo, except that in addition to grilled chicken in it, it also had sundried tomatoes and at least as much bacon as chicken. It was tasty, but probably had more cholesterol in it than I had eaten the previous week. David, who worries about such things, had the grilled tuna, which did not contain bacon. Our hotel room had a balcony with a spectacular view of the Blueridge Mountains. I watched the sunrise from my bed this morning.

After breakfast, we went to see the Natural Bridge: It has a mamoth gift shop where you buy the tickets, clearly designed to accommodate a huge crowd in the summer. But since this is early March, only a few other people were there. In the gift shop, they sell Confederate sticker packs, clearly intended for the enjoyment of young confederates. They say things like Confederate States of America and The South will rise again! It amused me to buy one. I'm not sure what the cashier made of someone with an accent like mine buying them. [Peter made a project out of it in the back seat later in the trip.]

I knew I had seen the Natural Bridge before, but I also knew I'd not been there. When I picked up the official brochure, I saw that the cover was a Frederic Edwin Church painting painted in 1852. I'm pretty sure I've seen the original. As a young surveyor, George Washington surveyed the bridge. His initials are still there to be seen about 30 feet up the rock face. Did he scale the wall? Or has the stream carved out that much more of the ground since Washington's time? There were other chiseled initials from the early 19th century much closer to ground level. Thomas Jefferson purchased it from King George III two years before the American Revolution.


Metaphors We Die By

George Lakoff, the author of my favorite book on metaphor, Metaphors We Live By has written an essay, Metaphor and War, Again, concerning the metaphors used to push this new war.

I think it is crucially important to understand the cognitive dimensions of politics - especially when most of our conceptual framing is unconscious and we may not be aware of our own metaphorical thought. I have been referred to as a "cognitive activist" and I think the label fits me well. As a professor, I do analyses of linguistic and conceptual issues in politics, and I do them as accurately as I can. But that analytic act is a political act: Awareness matters. Being able to articulate what is going on can change what is going on - at least in the long run.

This war is a symptom of a larger disease. The war will start presently. The fighting will be over before long. Where will the anti-war movement be then?

First, the anti-war movement, properly understood, is not just, or even primarily, a movement against the war. It is a movement against the overall direction that the Bush administration is moving in. Second, such a movement, to be effective, needs to say clearly what it is for, not just what it is against.

Third, it must have a clearly articulated moral vision, with values rather than mere interests determining its political direction.

As the war begins, we should look ahead to transforming the anti-war movement into a movement that powerfully articulates progressive values and changes the course of our nation to where those values take us. The war has begun a discussion about values. Let's continue it.

Via Shock and Awe


Log In Problems with MT

I had some problems logging into Movable Type for a few days which turned out to be a lethal combo of our new ultra-fast cable connection and slow cgi-processing speeds on the server. (My ISP is doing something to it -- moving all the files to a new server, or some such. They'll be all done in a week.) In case anyone's interested, here's the MT customer support correspondence.

It was frustrating and time-consuming, but I know a whole lot more about Movable Type than I did before.

Continue reading "Log In Problems with MT" »


Pelicans

We're expecting a big snow storm shortly which should bring us 8 - 10 inches of snow. The schools closed in anticipation of the storm. It seems we came back from Florida too soon.

We just got our panorama photos back Friday. Here's a picture of pelicans I took in the Keys at the Wild Bird Center:

Somtimes I really don't understand why I live in the Northeast. I've got a cold. Baby's got a cold. And it's not very nice outside.


Soft Euphemisms

In an article about the invasion of Bagdad in the Washington Post this morning, I read this notable passage:

"Our sensors show the preponderance of the Republican Guard divisions that were outside of Baghdad are now dead," Air Force Lt. Gen. T. Michael "Buzz" Moseley said in a telephone news conference from his headquarters in Saudi Arabia. He added: "I find it interesting when people say we're softening them up. We're not softening them up. We're killing them."

That Hard SF Attitude

We are in the middle of a NYRSF work weekend. During the editing of one piece under consideration, a question arose as to the scientific vintage of the idea of the heat death of the universe. I typed a few key words into Google and came across the page Entropy and Heat Death in the weblog Alamut: Bastion of Peace and Information.

There I found a lovely quote attributed to Charles Darwin in 1876, which seems to me a clear representation of the hard sf attitude:

"[consider] ... the view now held by most physicists, namely that the sun with all the planets will in time grow too cold for life, unless indeed some great body dashes into the sun and thus gives it fresh life--believing as I do that man in the distant future will be a far more perfect creature than he now is, it is an intolerable thought that he and all the other sentient beings are doomed to complete annihilation after such long-continued slow progress."

I wish I'd had this in hand when editing either The Ascent of Wonder or The Hard SF Renaissance!

The most recent entry in the Alamut (4/3/03), entitled Cryptozoology, concerns the recent discovery of a colossal squid. Must read more here!


Great Minds Sink Ships

A parlor game: When snowed in at Sarah Smith's in February, various of us wrote poems based on proverbs. Sarah had a set of refrigerator magnets of chopped up proverbs that we could rearrange.

We reworked the proverbs into lines we liked, then used the lines to make poems:

Great Minds Sink Ships
by Kathryn Cramer

Many hands killed the cat:
Beggars should not throw stones!
Curiosity helps those who help themselves.
Flattery heals all wounds.
Ignorance is a many-splendored thing.
Practice makes the heart grow fonder.
Love gathers no moss.

Beauty catches the worm:
A dog is in the eye of the beholder.
A friend in need smells after three days.
But one good woman washes the other.
Cleanliness gets the grease.
Behind every great man is the road to hell.
Great minds sink ships.

Crime begins at forty:
Misery is next to godliness.
The best things in life should be seen and not heard.
Children make waste; silence sweeps clean.
A womanfs work isn't over till the fat lady sings.
Clothes make the heart grow fonder.
The world is never done.

Love saves time:
Every dog loves company.
One good turn is worth a penny earned.
A bird in the hand moves in mysterious ways.
Whatfs good for the goose makes Jack a dull boy.
Loose lips are soon parted.
Crime begins at home.

Great minds die young:
Dead men can't win them all.
Blood flies when you're having fun.
Good fences keep the doctor away.
Absence is the best policy.
The meek won't hurt you.
Beauty is the best medicine.

The world is never dull:
A rolling stone is its own reward.
Too many cooks die young.
God is a manfs best friend.
Dead men gather no moss.
The meek make the world go round;
Therefs more than one way to skin a god.

Snow conquers all
by David G. Hartwell

The truth is
another manfs
poison.
The meek make
the world go round.
Those who live in glass houses
make light
work
One hand moves
in mysterious ways.

Ignorance
makes perfect.
Misery is next
to godliness.
Dead men can't
win them all.
Familiarity
begins at home.

Flattery
heals all wounds.
Loose lips are
soon parted.
Money flies
when you're having fun.
Crime begins
at forty.

The world
is never done.


The opera finds work for idle hands
by David G. Hartwell

Loose lips are soon parted.
Many hands killed the cat.
Ignorance is a many-splendored thing.
Great minds sink ships.

Fur flies when you're having fun.
Beauty is the best medicine.
Clothes make the heart grow fonder.
Too many cooks shall inherit the earth.

Boys flock together.
Every dog loves company.
Behind every good man is the road to hell.
Variety are better than one.

One good turn is worth two in the bush.
A womanfs work isn't over till the fat lady sings.

Silence sweeps clean
by David G. Hartwell

The squeaky wheel loves company.
A friend in need is never done.
Practice makes the heart grow fonder.
Good fences die young.

Every dog makes waste.
The good will get you nowhere.
A penny saved loves company.
The devill is your oyster.

Two heads are soon parted.
The meek won't hurt you.
A fool and his money is a many-splendored thing.
Many hands are better than one.

Familiarity begins at home
by David G. Hartwell

Practice makes the heart grow fonder
Many hands are better than one.
One manfs meat is a joy forever.
A friend in need is never done.

Absence is the best policy.
A fool and his money makes the heart grow fonder.
The squeaky wheel loves company.
Every dog washes the other.

A friend in need smells after three days.
A womanfs work isn't over till the fat lady sings.
Good fences keep the doctor away.
Ignorance is a many-splendored thing.


Vacation Pictures

We're back from our epic journey to the Florida Keys. We drove down via the Blue Ridge Parkway and back via the coastal route.


Covered with butterfiles in the butterfly house at Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Georgia.


At the beach in the Keys, baby Elizabeth tries to figure out how to get to the bottom of it all.


A heron at the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center in Tavernier, FL.


A pelican on the roof at the Wild Bird Center.


The kids and I wait to go out on Joe Mansy and Kathy Goonan's boat in their back yard, Tavernier, FL.


I show off my new bathing suit on Joe's brother's sailboat in Florida Bay.


Howard Dean

Mary Kay Kare, in the comments section, points me toward democratic presidential hopeful Howard Dean. Dean is the former Governor of Vermont and does seem to be what I was looking for.

In a recent New Hampshire poll, he seems to be tied with Kerry as frontrunner.

Here's the latest on his campaign from Google News.

There is some squabbling in the democratic party as to whether he shold be "divisive" about the war issue. I really chuckled about that one: No democrat who voted to abdicate Congressional war powers to Bush is going to get my vote in the primary. And I'm sure a lot of people feel that way. They're kidding themselves.