Archive for March, 2008

The good oil!

March 12, 2008

“Moving parts in rubbing contact require lubrication to avoid excessive wear. Honorifics and formal politeness provide lubrication where people rub together. Often the very young, the untraveled, the naive, the unsophisticated deplore these formalities as ’empty,’‘meaningless,’ or ‘dishonest,’ and scorn to use them. No matter how ‘pure’ their motives, they thereby throw sand into machinery that does not work too well at best.”— Robert A. Heinlein, “The Notebooks of Lazarus Long,” from his novel, Time Enough for Love.

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The Worlds of Tolkien

March 11, 2008

On Tuesday, 1 April 2008 at 6:30 PM there will be a panel discussion on “The Worlds of JRR Tolkien” at the William K. Sanford Library, 629 Albany-Shaker Road, Loudonville, New York 12211; +1-518-458-9274.  Join us in Middle-earth.  The panelist are KATHRYN A. Laity – The College of Saint Rose; Kelli O’Connor – Salomon of Sage College & me to add the fannish element to the evening.  We will meet at 4:42 pm at the Pearl of the Orient across from the old location of FoF.  It is only a little bit over a mile back to the library.  A nosh & a natter!  Questions?  Please contact me.

Works for me!

March 11, 2008

There is no greater gift to an insecure leader that quite matches a vague enemy who can be used to whip up fear and hatred among the population.  -Paul Rusesabagina, humanitarian (b. 1954)

The Reunion Tour of Middle-earth!

March 10, 2008

The Return of the Tour!    In JAN 04 I travelled down to Middle-earth.  The 18-day tour was fantastic.  We had almost enough fun.  J    In MAR 06 I led 3 Hobbits on a similar Tour of Middle-earth.  Again, we all had a grand time, even if I did tear my rotator cuff.    The tours were organized by Jan Coyle, Pacific Pathways, http://www.pacificpathways.com/ .    Jan is now looking at organizing a “Reunion Tour” in 2010, tho the exact date is up in the air.  Part of it depends on when The Hobbit is made.    I’ve suggested, we wrap The Tour around the Premiere of The Hobbit in Wellington.    Nothing is set yet, but if the idea of visiting Middle-earth [Beautiful New Zealand] is appealing to you, begin to put away your money.    Truth in advertising.  This is NOT an inexpensive trip.  However, it is a once [except for a few of us real nutcases] in a lifetime trip.  Join a group of Hobbitheads/Ringers for 18 to 28 days [may throw in some general sightseeing as well].  Dressing up and being silly [well to the mundane world] is highly encouraged.    Interested?  Drop Jan a note and tell her to put you on the mailing list.    Elen síla lúmenn’ omentielvo!   Pippin, the wandering hobbit,  Thain Peregrin Took II, Great Smials, Tookborough, The Shire

Ah ha! The winner rewrites history!

March 6, 2008

The successful revolutionary is a statesman, the unsuccessful one a criminal. -Erich Fromm, psychoanalyst and author (1900-1980)

KANSAS – Glad I escaped!

March 3, 2008

There was an old SF novel called “The Gods Hate Kansas!”  It is also obvious that Kansas hates evolution and women.  I love it.  Women aren’t allowed to officiate sports if males are playing.  Well, at least if St. Mary’s Academy is involved.    Now I would think, they would also want to consider changing the name of the school.  Hey, “Mary” is a girl’s name.  Can’t have a boy going to a school named for a girl.  You just never know what sort of damage this would do to his fragile male psyche.

I knew it all along!

March 3, 2008

> I believe I found the missing link between animal and civilized man. It is us. -Konrad Lorenz, ethologist, Nobel laureate (1903-1989)

The [un]Patriot Act in Action!

March 3, 2008

Recently, in a couple of mysteries the [un]Patriot Act was mentioned and used.  While I’m not a big fan of terrorists, I would be very much one of their targets, I do feel, the Constitution does have some merit.    I find, the ability to go into the library, bookstore, office, etc., and gather records on someone without their knowledge to be something only a dictatorship would relish.  On top of this is the fact that the library, bookstore, business, cannot make mention of this to their lawyer, the person involved or anyone else under penalty of going to jail.    Not too different from the USSR or Nazi Germany in my eyes.    Laws made in haste lay waste to the population they are supposed to protect.    My library does destroy their request or reserve list after the book has been checked out.  Your library may not be doing this.  I’ll also bet that Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc. doesn’t destroy their buyers’ list.  You buy a “naughty” book from them, and the Feds will know, if they wish to.    I do hope, your name doesn’t sound like an Arab’s.  An acquaintance is on the “bad girl” list at airports.  She uses her middle initial.  Well, airline ticket machine run first & second names together.   Guess what?  This results in her having a common Arab name and being put on the “watch list.”    She found out about it when denied permission to do disaster training in a “sensitive” area – an airport.  So anyone out there with the name of Red A. Smith will most likely get on the doo-doo list.  Reda is a male Arab name.  J  Ain’t our fearless gummit wonderful.  Your tax dollars at work!

Bang, bang!

March 3, 2008

Words are loaded pistols. -Jean-Paul Sartre, writer and philosopher (1905-1980)