August Rambling: Punctuation, Crowdfunding

As someone who has funded a dozen Kickstarter projects, I recognize the insight.

Listen to the KunstlerCast podcast #212: Health & Technology Update. James Howard Kunstler gives listeners an update on his recent health issues, and discusses the importance of advocating for oneself when dealing with medical professionals, rather than taking their word for it.

Keyboard Waffles. (But if they were REAL nerds, they would have spelled nerd’s correctly!)

My favorite new blog: Grammarly, from which the accompanying graphic was purloined. I’m also fond of this description about an English professor who wanted students to punctuate this sentence: A woman without her man is nothing.
The men wrote: A woman, without her man, is nothing.
The women wrote: A woman: without her, man is nothing.

26 Indispensable Writing Tips From Famous Authors.

That’s Progressive, Charlie Brown: On Schulz, LGBT Issues and Integrity.

Arthur links to The Lion and the Mouse II: This Time, It’s Personal,, an interesting essay about “Christian bashing” and LGBT acceptance.

Racialicious Crush Of The Week: George Takei.

Paul Rapp, in writing about Pussy Riot and Julian Assange, notes: “Newspapers used to be the vanguard, the line of defense against any incursions to the freedom of speech. Or at least they pretended to be. They printed stuff they weren’t supposed to, they challenged authority and corporate power, they called out politicians who lied. Newspapers had our back. No more.”

SO BUTTONS: SO MIGHTY a true story by Jonathan Baylis, with art by Fred Hembeck, about Jack Kirby, John Romita, and Thor.

Muppet Thor.

Kevin Marshall believes That botched painting of Jesus Christ is art in its purest form. And maybe it is; it’s generated its own Tumblr page, Beast-Jesus Restoration Society.

Fractured fairy tales.

Saturday morning nostalgia of the 1970s

Someone I know sent me this edition of the comic strip One Big Happy Family. Actually, I have a MUCH better percentage.

Here’s an article about crowdfunding. Even though the topic is Role Playing Games, and I’m not a participant in that world, I thought the discussion about why people do or do not choose to fund a project is right on. As someone who has funded a dozen Kickstarter projects, I recognize the insight.

Saying ‘please’ in restaurants – US v UK, with a link to Lynneguist’s TEDx talk .

A Date With a Countess.

Mary Ann Cotton, Britain’s first recognised serial killer.

I woke up on August 20 to discover that actor William Windom, singer Scott McKenzie and director Tony Scott had all died; my wife had no idea who any of them were, the problem of having a child bride. Here’s Mark Evanier on Windom, though he doesn’t mention either The Farmer’s Daughter or Murder, She Wrote; and Dustbury on McKenzie, who performed one of the most famous songs about San Francisco. The Wife actually has seen some Tony Scott pics, including Unstoppable with Denzel Washington; my favorite of his films is Crimson Tide, also with Denzel. At least she knew who Phyllis Diller was. Thom Wade on Scott and Diller. Also, SamuraiFrog on Muppeteer Jerry Nelson, and more on Joe Kubert by Steve Bissette.

Dinosaur poems, including one by Carl Sandburg.

Status of the Shark Infographic.

Binghamton addresses urban farming, a story featuring friends of mine.

The Doors Sing “Reading Rainbow” Theme (Jimmy Fallon as Jim Morrison).

Take that, Nazi scum! How Moses became ‘Superman’ and other exciting tales from the annals of comic books, a Jewish-American art form.


“Smalbany” is not a pejorative term to me – which was printed in the paper in toto
Nicknames for Albany: “Allah Born” and “The 518″
Let me see your reading list – sorry, not available
Chuck Schumer should can the Yenta/Michael Scott schtick


Zoe Kazan, who wrote the script, is the granddaughter of Elia Kazan, and if you don’t know who he was, look it up.

There is a play, a comedy, I take it, called “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” which I have never seen. The movie Ruby Sparks reminded me of that sentiment, except the last part might be “Stay the Same.” I’ve been thinking about this film since I took a vacation day so The Wife and I saw it on a Monday matinee at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany, with only six other people in the room.

Ever see or read something and all you can think about is only peripherally from the work? I’ve been thinking about God and free will; Lisa wrote something about that recently.

Or maybe it DOES have to do with the movie. The young writer, Calvin (Paul Dano) has enormous commercial and critical success early on. He’s like that hot indie band having a difficult time putting out its sophomore effort. Then he dreams this pleasant, though mundane story about meeting a girl named Ruby, from Dayton, Ohio. Since he’s been having writer’s block, his therapist (Elliot Gould) recommends that he write a story about his dream girl, even if it’s lousy writing. And after he types it out – on a typewriter! – Ruby (Zoe Kazan) appears! His brother Harry (Chris Messina) is the only one who knows the secret.

So obviously, she’s perfect. But as she becomes integrated into his life, she has her own needs. But he is the author of her. Can he change her? Should he? And what would be the consequences? Anyone who has ever been in a relationship, past that first glow, recognizes how tricky the day-to-day stuff can be. “If she would only…” “It makes me crazy when she…” And if you “fixed” it, would it REALLY make it all better?

Zoe Kazan, who wrote the script, is the granddaughter of Elia Kazan, and if you don’t know who he was, look it up. It appears that she, the REAL creator, is having a lot of fun on screen with this role. Paul Dano, with whom she lives, is convincing as a guy who has stopped trusting his skills. Some other nice turns by the cast, listed here.

In all this ramble, the film made me think, a lot, about control and fairness and reality, and that’s more than enough to recommend it.

What the heck is a Mungo Jerry?

“Ray Dorset is…Mungo Jerry…is Ray Dorset”

According to Wikipedia, the group name Mungo Jerry “was inspired by the poem Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer, from T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.” If you go to the Mungo Jerry website, you’ll read that “Ray Dorset is…Mungo Jerry…is Ray Dorset,” the fellow on the left in the photo. And looking at the list of all of the former members of the British group of the 1970s, that would be about correct.

The big hit was In the Summertime, which debuted on the charts on July 11, 1970, and went to #3. Here’s one video and here’s another.

FantaCo memories and FantaCon 2013

FantaCon is BACK! Saturday and Sunday, September 14 and 15, 2013 at the Marriott, 189 Wolf Road, Colonie (near Albany), NY.

I worked at FantaCo, a comic book store/mail order house/publisher for eight and a half years. But it was open 20 years from 1978 to 1998. For reasons I don’t quite understand, my friend Broome, who worked at FantaCo briefly in the 1980s, is in possession of a tractor-trailer, sitting on his property, filled with FantaCo publication.

Going through the truck one day, Broome came across a notebook. It was a journal that I started on September 20, 1984; the last entry was June 19, 1986. However, there were earlier entries, written with such detail that I must have transcribed them from the personal journals I was keeping at the time.

Some examples:
May 17, 1980- Wendy and Richard Pini do a store signing of Elfquest 7
September 19, 1980 – [Name of kid]’s younger brother came in, tried to sell comics stolen from the store a year ago.
December 19, 1981 – Phil Seuling’s house party [Phil ran Seagate, our comic distributor; he gave lavish affairs]
January 22, 1982 – we discover that our phone number in Comic Scene #2 is wrong and belongs to a psychologist who was perturbed at getting a “flood of calls”. [We weren’t happy, either; those misdirected calls meant lost revenue. And no, the psychologist wouldn’t give the callers the correct number.]
April 6, 1982 – Blizzard!
November 2, 1982 – Joe Sinnott comes up, buys 10 copies of Life of the Pope, John Paul II, which he inked. [I’m sure we gave him a discount.]
December 28, 1982 – Kris Adams called, indicated that Neal wishes to withdraw 4-page story for Gates of Eden 2 because he’s gotten a better offer from Pacific Comics to publish it in color.

And other random stuff, which took me right back.

FantaCo used to run conventions. They had them, if memory serves, in 1979, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1988, 1989 and, I believe, 1990. Well, FantaCon is BACK!

Here are the links to everything for need to know about the event being held Saturday and Sunday, September 14 and 15, 2013 at the Marriott, 189 Wolf Road, Colonie (near Albany), NY.

Official FantaCon Facebook Page, where people can “Like” the event

Official FantaCon Facebook Event Page (where people can indicate they are attending)

Official FantaCon Update Website

G is for Gods

Most of what I know about the Norse gods I learned from Thor comic books

I had written all my ABC Wednesday posts up to G. I said out loud, to myself, “What should G be for?” The Daughter said, “G is for God!” I thought to myself, “Which god?”

I had a rare opportunity to go to adult education at my church this spring; usually, it clashes with choir rehearsal. The leader of the study was showing a video, and the Christian theologian on the DVD made an interesting observation about how even some of the people of Israel occasionally worshiped many gods, such as Baal (pictured), although they were commanded otherwise, as in Exodus 20:

1 And God spoke all these words:
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…

Some modern interpretations of Scripture suggest that “other gods” meant money, fame, power, or the like. But many folks, far more versed in this than I, believe that it indicates, for many of the people of Israel, that they had been worshiping other deities, as the first response here suggests.

Of course, the Greeks and Romans had their own gods and goddesses, actually pretty much the same ones, with different names, as one can read here or here, e.g. Sad confession: most of what I know about the Norse gods I learned from Thor comic books. In most traditions, though, there were greater and lesser gods; Zeus/Jupiter/Odin is on a different level than the other deities.

There are multiple gods in other cultures as well. So it is rather amazing that, in this century, about half of the religious adherents worldwide declare themselves monotheists.

Here’s a story from Soulseeds, Searching for God:

A kindergarten teacher was walking around to look at each child’s artwork. As she got to one girl, she asked what the drawing was. The girl replied, “I’m drawing God.”
The teacher paused and said, “But no one knows what God looks like.”
Without looking up from her drawing, the girl replied, “They will in a minute.”

There have been countless visual depictions of God; not sure which ones are correct, if any. The song running through my head is One of Us by Joan Osborne (listen).
Neil Armstrong, R.I.P.

New York Times
I Am A Child of Television

ABC Wednesday – Round 11

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