Welcome!

More Guestblook

[Originally posted June 20, 2006]

Hi! This is where you can stop in, say hello, comment on my work, whatever. Don’t feel you need to have anything important to say.

[Original comment page is here.]

More About the Guestblook

[Originally posted June 13, 2006]

Huh. SFF Net just fixed the configurator on the old Guestbook, so it’s green again, but I’m still planning to abandon it and settle here unless some amazing anti-spam measures are installed.

In the process of fiddling with the poor old thing I happened to check on the four pages of Archives, and discovered that they’ve gotten far more hits than I’d have expected, ranging from more than 13,000 for the first one down to 3,300 for the fourth one, which has been up for fifteen months. (I haven’t posted a fifth yet.) That’s far more than I’d have expected. In fact, I didn’t expect anyone to ever bother looking at those things. You people continue to surprise me — unless it was all spambots hunting targets…

Anyway, we’re here now. I’m figuring any time a particular “comments” page gets unwieldy, rather than trimming it the way I did on the old Guestbook I’ll just start a new one and shift the links on the Misenchanted Page.

So — even though any posts here are officially “comments,” don’t feel you need to have anything to say beyond “hello.” Just drop by, check in, say whatever you like.

Welcome!

Announcing Helix

[Originally posted June 15, 2006]

I am pleased to report the advent of a new online SF magazine, Helix. I’m managing editor; William Sanders is senior editor. Our first issue has just gone live, and contains first-rate stories by Janis Ian, William Sanders, Richard Bowes, Adam-Troy Castro, Beth Bernobich, Robert M. Brown, and Bud Webster.

Why I Haven’t Been Posting

[Originally posted January 8, 2006]

In case anyone’s wondered…

I refuse to post to any blog unless people comment on what I’ve posted. I have no interest in diaries or lecturing, only in starting discussions.

The response here and on “Luncheon Ex Machina” has been a bitter disappointment to me, and I have therefore abandoned them both. You want me to talk to you, you’ve gotta talk to me, and it’s gotta be substantive.

Everything Old is New Again

[Originally posted December 15, 2005]

Julie and I attended a party last night, in honor of Harvey Mudd College’s fiftieth anniversary. (There’s a little more about it at “Luncheon ex Machina”.) Had a very pleasant time — and I realized that one reason I liked it so much was that I got to tell a bunch of my standard stories to a new audience. Julie even encouraged me in a couple of instances!

It helped that our hostess was a linguist by profession; that meant I could trot out lots of old tales about dealing with foreign languages: the Cancun cab driver, dealing with various Italian dialects, the Danish “Star Wars” story (which isn’t really mine, it happened to a friend, but I tell it anyway), our encounter with various “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?” editions, and so on. I even dragged in my father’s Grand Tour.

Someone mentioned the Manhattan Project, so I brought out the HTG copper story and the thing about the War Department owing my mother a day’s pay.

I even got to tell about why my grandparents got married in Halifax. That’s a favorite.

I’ve told most of these stories a dozen times, but it’s still fun to present them to a new audience. I wonder, really, why it’s so much fun telling the same old stories over again. I never get bored with them.

My kids sure did, though.

Girl Cooties

[Originally posted December 5, 2005]

I have a full beard. It’s going grey. It’s going grey in a pattern that looks, well… stupid. It’s grey on the sides, with a still-brown stripe partway down the middle, as if I’ve been drooling tobacco juice.

So Julie suggested I might color it, not so much to hide my age as to make it look less like I spilled gravy on it. By coincidence, I got a coupon for Just For Men hair color in the mail the other day, so today I went to the local pharmacy and looked in the hair-color aisle.

No Just For Men; no Grecian Formula; nothing aimed at the male consumer. Hundreds upon hundreds of brightly-colored boxes showing women with hair in assorted colors, including many never seen in nature; nothing for men.

After a moment’s thought, inspiration strikes — I ask a clerk where the shaving supplies are. She directs me two aisles over, and sure enough, amid the Mach3 Turbo razors and other machismo-drenched products, I find a decent selection of Just For Men.

The fact that it’s hair color is less important than the fact that it’s for manly men, who wouldn’t ever set foot in the girly-girly, cooties-infested hair color aisle.

Sigh. Humans are so silly.

[Original comment page is here.]