Archive for the ‘Wombats’ Category

Great Trip!

September 6, 2012

Well, I’m back!  My trip with Lin to Chicago and Worldcon was grand.  Visited a friend prior to the con.  At CHICON I did 3 panels, MCed the masquerade, partied, didn’t get enough sleep, and smiled a lot!  On the way back we detoured to Brookfield Zoo so Lin could see a real wombat.  With it hot & humid, the 2 we saw were sacked out on their backs.  Lin said they looked like me in my recliner, but needed a book.  It was fun to get on the road again.  Red Shift averaged nearly 30 mpg on the trip.


February 28, 2012

The “Yaminon Defense Fund” web site, ,  is once more up and running.  We expect to get PayPal available within a week.  You can also send us a cheque.

The Yaminon is the 6th most endangered mammalian species in the world.  There are, maybe, 138 of them left.  There are now two reserves for them.

Today’s the Day!

October 22, 2011
Happy Wombat Day!

A dream come true!

October 22, 2011
I am so very excited over this!

“I am delighted to announce that The Wombat, jan howard finder, will be our Master of Ceremonies at the Chicon 7 Masquerade.

Byron Connell
Chicon 7 Masquerade Director =”

My wombat glows in the dark!

August 11, 2011

Tuesday, 9 August.  The drive from Grants Pass to Eureka was both beautiful and exasperating.  I went from the dry forests east of the coastal range to the wet forests on the western side.  From trees with plenty of space between them, and little underbrush, to thick woods with little or no space between trees and heavy underbrush.  All of a sudden tall pines began to include even taller and thicker redwoods.  I was now driving through hallways of green.  I was absolutely gorgeous.

The only worm in the apple was a drivers.  I especially dislike the drivers of motor homes and those pulling campers.  They will spend $100,000 on their motor home and refuse to spend $500 more for an engine that will keep them driving at the speed limit on the level and on hills.  Moreover, since they have big vehicles, they see no need to pull over and let others pass.  They seemed to enjoy backing up traffic behind them.  These are the times when I wish I did have a phaser and/or kinetic energy weapon on my car.  It would be so much fun to blast them out of the way!

As the drive took longer than I expected, I went directly to the Motel 6 and got a room.  I then called Elizabeth Berrien and Jackie Simpson-Welsand to arrange for dinner.  Elizabeth, The Wire Lady, and Jackie I know through science fiction conventions.  It’d probably been about 25 years since I last saw Elizabeth.  She can do the most amazing things with wire.  I still have a 1″ x 1″ wire wombat she made for me.  If you go to see Louisville and Ottawa airports, you can see her creations hanging from the ceiling.  She is a marvelous artist.

For convenience we arranged to meet at the diner next to the motel.  We then proceeded to chat over dinner for about three hours.  It was marvelous.  Elizabeth also presented me with another wombat, which I am told, will glow in the dark as the wire is coated with a fluorescent material.  How neat is that?

Jackie had seen some of Elizabeth’s work and how they knew each other.  They will probably meet up again as a fan from Southern California moved up to the area and has started a periodic get-together of fans in the area.

I may have also convinced Elizabeth to submit some of her work to the Loscon art show next November.  She is considering returning on a limited basis and conventions.

In the fading light I got to show off Red Shift to the two of them.  They were most appreciative.  🙂

It was time to call it a day on a most enjoyable day.  Tomorrow there’s the Highway Of The Giants!

Attack of the POD people, followed by murder

July 16, 2011

Thursday, 14 July.  I got a little bit earlier after poor night’s sleep.  The situation wasn’t helped by the appearance of the POD people next door.  The person who lives there was moving and having all her belongings put in to POD containers.  This resulted in lots of noise at 7 a.m.  I was not a happy wombat.

I finally get to work catching up on my diary, as well as e-mail.  I also went out in the sun to get some meds and gasoline.  Actually, it wasn’t that out with the temperature in the upper 80s.  Had it been 88 in Albany I probably would’ve been panting and very and comfortable.  Dry heat really is different.

I got back and lazed about.  Arbor and I are going to head off and take in a dinner theater tonight.  We have seen this dinner theater in the past and probably a more intimate setting.  The play is called “Marriage Can Be Murder.”  The two times we’d previously seen it, the play was slightly different both times.  I am hoping that the move to a casino as the host venue, it had been held in a small breakfast restaurant, will not detract from the intimacy.  We sought when it was held in a restaurant.  In a case we are both looking forward to seeing the play again.  I do hope the actor who played the hostess the first time we attended the play will be our hostess again.  She played the blonde ditz to perfection.  She really is a marvelous actor.

We found our way to the casino without too much trouble.  Driving on and about The Strip is always a hassle.  The picked up our tickets and went to see club where the play was to be held.  The wise-ass door Warden asked for some help.  I volunteered and passed out the plastic cards for dead beast.  Even in line while waiting for the door to open the laughs came easily and often.  The room itself was not too big which was very nice.  I believe the max seating is 60 people.  This is the kind of dinner theater where the more you interact with the actors for more fun it is.  Barb got picked on by our host and was called the Cougar.  Two other ladies were also singled out by the host.  Then the hostess, Lola, came in and the fun really began.  I don’t believe I saw her at the other venue.  In any case she did blond ditz exceedingly well.  Almost immediately people began to get killed off.  I had been designated as one of the pallbearers for any of the dead bodies that showed up.  The fun and insanity continued and several people could hardly stop laughing the entire evening.  During some pauses the audience was to mingle and ask people he didn’t know what would cause them to kill someone and what would they use.  I said if they mess with my car I would beat them in too much with a mucking big club.  They would feel my pain.  I also gave out a couple of my wombat backrub cards.  For some reason this and use some people.  One of the people to whom I gave my card was a young lady at the next table sitting adjacent to me.

Finally it was crunch time, who was the murderer?  For some reason, I’m not sure if it is because I am psychic or psychotic, I looked at the young lady sitting adjacent to me at the next table and said, you are the murderer.  She just looked back at me.

The police Lt. returned and started laying out all the clues.  Slowly it became obvious just to the murderer was.  It WAS the young ladies sitting at the next table adjacent to me.  She jumped up and ran to the stage brandishing what looked to be a .38.  As she explained her motivation becoming more hostile to the audience, she demanded that I stand up.  Obviously, she was threatening to shoot me.  I was not worried as I was wearing my summer weight “invisible guard all shield.”  I wouldn’t even notice a .38.  Now a Mosin could cause me trouble.  However before she could attempt her dastardly deed the cop shot her dead.  Her reign of murder was over!

On the way out we congratulated the cast for an excellent evenings entertainment.  I can only recommend the show to anyone who is visiting Vegas or lives there.  Even the food wasn’t too bad.

And that the Barb’s place an attempt to get a decent night’s sleep.  On Friday I had miles to go.

The Tasty Mongols’ Horde Meets!

June 4, 2011

Once more the stars align, and I’ll be out west on a road trip.  This calls for a gathering of The Tasty Mongols’ Horde Salon.  [Since attendees are writers, artists, & other interesting & varied folk, I feel “Salon” is appropriate.  :-)]

 Saturday, 9 July in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Yaminon vs. Bytelock

March 5, 2011

Life can be interesting.  Years ago I suggested the word “Bytelock” to indicate the internet being blocked or backed up.  It never did seem to catch on.

My interest in wombats led me to nickname the Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat as “Yaminon.”  Yaminon is an Aboriginal name for wombats.  I ran across it in “The Secret Life of Wombats,” written by James Woodford.  This is an excellent book.

So I began the Yaminon Defense Fund, , to raise some money to help save/restore the Yaminon, which is the 6th most endangered mammal on the planet.  When I was in Oz in ’07 I donated A$1000 to the chap who runs the research station at Epping Forest National Park in Queensland.  I helped put up some of that chain link fence.

Googling the “yaminon” I note that not only Wikipedia uses the term, but so does a number of Australian animal sites.

Bytelock may not make it into the diction, but Yaminon, meaning the Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat, looks as if it will.

Such is life.

The Muddle-headed Wombat

February 19, 2011

Looking for some adventurous souls.

I recently received an article from a dear friend, entitled “Muddled Up” by Jon Casimir.  It appeared in the 5 JAN 11 issue of the Sydney Morning Herald’s “Summer” supplement.

The article is about Ms. Ruth Parks and her creation “The Muddle-headed Wombat.”  Whilst almost unknown outside of Oz, it was a very successful radio show, 3139 episodes over about 3 decades, and 13 books detailing the adventures or misadventures of WOMBAT, TABBY, & MOUSE.

I have a couple of the books sent to me by wonderful friends.  They are delightful.

In his article Mr. Casimir wonders if anything can be done to save WOMBAT, TABBY, & MOUSE.  My friend was desirous of the same outcome.

Now  would it not be possible to, via internet radio, do new episodes, in conjunction with Ms. Parks estate, of “The Muddle-headed Wombat.”  Today, the shows could originate from almost anywhere.

So is there anyone out there interested in giving it a go in order to save WOMBAT, TABBY, & MOUSE from oblivion?

I’m trying to contact Mr. Casimir.  He may well be able to provide some assistance or publicity on this.


The cast is died!

January 26, 2011

I have connected up the folk who will transport Red Shift with the Chevy dealer out west who will receive her.

I just bought my train ticket for the trip out west.

The thick plottens!

I’m shipping my car out west so I don’t have to drive both ways. Training out, will pick it up in the east Bay area, then start a 10 or 11 week road trip.

See you at Westercon & Worldcon?

Me & Red Shift will be hitting the bitumen for some… fun roads.