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December 2014

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From Marty Helgeson 12/14/14

"'Adam and Lilith lived happily ever after. So did Eve and the Snake. Should we classify this group as Christian?'

"You didn't say who/what the group is, not that it really matters. I assume your question was rhetorical."

The only group I've named so far is the Martian Israelites, who present another set of problems.

The group faced with this question decides to refer it to the Religious, Spiritual, and Philosophical Council -- which thereby comes into existence.
"Adam and Lilith lived happily ever after. So did Eve and the Snake. Should we classify this group as Christian?"
Thursday December 4, 2014 Lee Gold: "'The virus which turns humans into werewolves has jumped to squirrels in the Twin Cities.'

"What mass is a squirrel who used to be a 150 pound human?
"What kind of teeth does a squirrel have who used to be a human with fillings and/or dentures?"

Slight misunderstanding. This is squirrels who now become wolves when the Moon is full. Not humans shapechanging to squirrels.
The virus which turns humans into werewolves has jumped to squirrels in the Twin Cities.
Saturday November 15 (more) to Sunday November 23, 2014

Saturday 11/15/14: Forgot to include: Reading by Jason D. Wittman at DreamHaven Books.

I won a prize: a DVD of Planet of the Cats and Revenge of the Mice. Err, Cat People and Curse of the Cat People.

***Thursday 11/20/14 From Lee Gold: "Sunday 11/16/14. World and Future Building MinnSpec meetup at Black: Coffee and Waffles. It worked well, despite my poor planning. (I thought Black would be uncrowded on Sunday. Figured about 5 people would attend, and there were about 13. Acoustics rather less favorable than I realized.)

"It devolved into several conversation groups.

"Note: Black has black coffee, but doesn't seem to have black waffles."

Blackberry syrup? (I may suggest that, but it's only a partial fix.)

"Wednesday 11/19/14. -'Cold Weather Hits All of US,'- Star Tribune story listing, front page.

"So, how well did Honolulu do at snow removal?"


Los Angeles didn't have any snow either.
Or any special cold weather last night.

***Friday 11/21/14: Outdoor Adventure Expo at Midwest Mountaineering. Earned one raffle ticket, entered one prize drawing. Picked up swag, including a device originally designed for cleaning horses' hooves and repurposed for cleaning camping footwear and other equipment.

At a sled dog table, petted a puppy not old enough to pull a sled (nine weeks.) At the "adopt a Siberian Husky" booth, petted a full-grown husky.

***Sunday 11/23/14: Back to the Expo. Attended presentation on Croatia and Slovenia, by someone who conducts tours there. I visited Croatia, back when it was part of Yugoslavia. The presenter's taste was somewhat different from mine. (Not unexpected; he warned the audience about taste differences when he began speaking and showing slides.)

***Bought an exercise device: a thick rubber ring meant for developing hand, finger, and forearm strength and for stress relief.
November 16-19 2014.

Sunday 11/16/14. World and Future Building MinnSpec meetup at Black: Coffee and Waffles. It worked well, despite my poor planning. (I thought Black would be uncrowded on Sunday. Figured about 5 people would attend, and there were about 13. Acoustics rather less favorable than I realized.)

It devolved into several conversation groups.

Note: Black has black coffee, but doesn't seem to have black waffles.

**(Monday 11/17/14. At the Wedge Coop, a toddler and I pretended to menace each other.

Wednesday 11/19/14. -"Cold Weather Hits All of US,"- Star Tribune story listing, front page.

So, how well did Honolulu do at snow removal?

***Decision: Use much more description in writing. Synesthetic, straight sensory, emotional. Starting in January; in fiction, nonfiction, this journal.

Why not start right away? I'm scared.

***At Walker Library, I took out: Richard Kadry, The Getaway God. -"My name is Death. And it appears that I have been murdered."- That's the most interesting passage; unfortunately, it's a teaser for the next in the series.

The nasty old gods who God stole the universe from want to take it back. Which means everyone on Earth, in Heaven, and in Hell will die. Their supporters and opponents include humans, angels, demons, vampires, and four of the five persons God has split into. (The fifth is dead.)

Moderately good story. There's too much background detail explained rather than shown, and too many wisecracks, for my taste. Theological accuracy not guaranteed.

Charles Stross, The Rhesus Chart. Haven't read it yet.
Wednesday November 5, 2014 As I expected, Minnesota's Independence Party has lost major party status.

The party had one real success: Jesse Ventura's 1998 election as governor. The Republican and DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor) parties got him elected, by choosing unpopular candidates. (Note: Back then, it was the Reform Party.)

***Freelancers Union Twin Cities After Hours event at CoCo Coworking Uptown.

CoCo's business is one which no futurist or science fiction writer predicted (to the best of my knowledge.) It provides a place for people to plug in their computers and work together. Or to work alone. They provide free coffee and tea, and there's a kitchen.

There were about 13 people at this After Hours. Largest group: people with computer-related skills. Second largest: writers, editors, copy editors, etc. Some attendees were both.

A dog attended part of the meeting, but did not give its profession.

There was an agenda, set nationwide for November After Hours. Formal (sorta) discussions were followed by socializing.

I believe some connections were made at the meeting.
For a while after the Soviet Union fell, "USSR invades America" novels were still appearing in bookstores. I doubt they sold well. As for the ones almost ready for submission....

On the other hand, some Warsaw businesspeople used their new freedom to sell an exotic American delicacy -- bagels.

It pays to keep track of trends which might affect your product. A couple of suggested sources:
http://sciencedaily.com
http://politicalwire.com
reprinted from freelancersunion.org, Twin Cities After Hours Hive
Wednesday October 22, 2014. Christian werewolf romances. Hmm; a how-to article on writing a non-existent fiction genre might be fun to do. But just in case, I googled.

And there are actual Christian werewolf romances.

Later, I tried vegetarian werewolf romances. They exist. (Presumably the werewolves are lacto-ovo-vegetarian; that is, they eat eggs and milk products.)

***Wedge Coop Annual Meeting, in the event center at St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church. Fortieth anniversary.

Not enough attendees for a quorum, as usual. Minutes for last year's meeting couldn't be approved. But voting was mostly by mail, paper ballot at the grocery, or online.

The food, catered by the Wedge's catering service, was good.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
The Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist's Personal Journey into the Dark Side of the Brain, James H. Fallon, 2013

Fallon, who had investigated the brains of psychopaths, accidentally looked at a scan of his own brain. Guess what it showed.

Another relative's genealogical research turned up several murderers and others who did the kinds of things psychopaths are inclined to do.

Fallon doesn't have a significant criminal history. He's in a long-lasting marriage, and otherwise is more stable than he thought people with such brains were capable of being. He does exhibit some psychopathic traits; enough to disturb some people, and make his life less than optimal.

Informative. I'm skeptical about his speculations on why having a certain percentage of psychopaths in the population is useful to society. Otherwise, recommended.

If I'd read this last year, I would've felt superior about his failure to recognize his psychopathic traits. (He'd had little hints such as test results, and comments from colleagues.) But this year, I found out I had depression.
9/22-9/26 2014

***Sunday September 21, 2014 Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers. Scott Lynch spoke and answered questions.

Most interesting to me: the convoluted series of accidents which resulted in his first publication(s).

***Tuesday September 23, 2014. From World Building community on Google Plus:

" We are manufacturer & Exporter of stainless steel Handrail & balustrade and Architectural Hardware products from India.
We would be happy to supply customised product and OEM as per requirement of the client."

***Thursday September 25, 2014. Snow White and the Seven Satyrs. One is named Gropy, another Squeezy. But what are their other names?

Adult Children [of alcoholic and otherwise dysfunctional families] Anonymous meeting.

***Friday September 26. 2014. To Community Emergency Service for their produce giveaway. Brought bags for others to use, as I've done the last few times. Also a wounded briefcase, and a laundry basket.

A little girl was pushed a stroller around. I pretended to sit down in it, for her to push me around.
Saturday September 20, 2014

***Dan Goodman @dsgood Sep 18

What would you expect a synesthesia coach to do? #synesthesia #writing

Bill Detty @BDetty Sep 19

@dsgood Human being, or conveyance?

Dan Goodman @dsgood

@BDetty Human being.

Bill Detty @BDetty

@dsgood Darn. Okay, she trains you to optimize your nontypical sensory perceptions. Useful in some sports that may not exist yet. And sex.
20 Sep 2014

@dsgood, September 25: Actually, synesthesia can be useful in physical activities -- including for sports which already exist. I find mine useful this way.

I gather that women are much more likely to have synesthetic responses to sex than men.

Bill Detty @BDetty Sep 20

@dsgood Sudden thought: service animals for the synesthesia-impaired.

***Book sale at Southeast Library. I bought one book: "Quotationary."

***To the Wedge coop grocery. Signed up for the Annual Meeting.
Thursday September 18, 2014:

***From Denny Lien, Sept. 17:
d-lien University of Minnesota

[On becoming less hampered by depression]
"Keep at it."

***"For your amusement, you might want to check out David Gerrold's story in the current Sept/Oct MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, 'The Thing in the Back Yard.' It begins:

"'That pesky Dan Goodman is not a bad person. He has a good heart. He's well-intentioned. And I just might kill him anyway.'

"(I assume this is a different Dan Goodman, since as far as I know you've never been in the habit of finding domiciles for homeless half-trolls.)"

Thanks. I think it was Matthew Tepper who called my attention to the series.

***The Minnesota Daily (U of MN student paper) had an article on a store two blocks from my home: PFFTmpls.

PIFFmpls, a one-stop shop for streetwear needs, opened Labor Day, and it consigns luxury shoes and clothing from brands like Versace, A Bathing Ape, Gucci and Hugo Boss.

Its self-described "curator" and owner, Ben Alberts, said though the store’s stock is now split evenly between shoes and apparel, Alberts is looking to expand to art, prints and fixed-gear bicycles.

Alberts said the boutique is always looking to pick up "fresh kicks" from people hoping to sell or trade near-mint street-savvy regalia, rare finds and items released in limited collections.

But PIFFmpls only deals in what Alberts described as "deadstock" brand-new items or apparel worn only once or twice.

***Attended Adult Children Anonymous meeting.
Catching up a bit:

Still dealing with the re-diagnosis from ADD/ADHD to depression. One thing I'm doing differently is reminding myself that "___ isn't worth doing" (or worth doing right now) may not be accurate.

Am concentrating more on using my senses (including synesthetic ones) to help memory and thinking.

Doing more meditation. Haven't found the best method for me.
Thursday August 21, 2014. Some businesses are more bureaucratic than any government I've encountered. Walgreens drug chain is among them.

Missed two calls saying my prescription was ready to be picked up. I don't have a prescription at Walgreens. Tried to call back, so they could correct their mistake and call the right number.

After enduring a commercial, I was allowed to go through a maze to the pharmacy department and wait.

Waited, waited, waited. Gave up. Tried again several more times.

Sent email to Walgreens headquarters, filling out their complaint form.

***Attended Adult Children Anonymous meeting.

***Friday August 22, 2014. A soon-to-open store in my neighborhood has a window sign saying "sneakers/apparel/lifestyle." They probably won't literally sell lifestyles. Found myself thinking about a store which would.

I probably wouldn't buy a lifestyle from a store whose window display includes issues of Life Sucks Die magazine.
Thursday August 14, 2014. Adult Children Anonymous -- got my eight-year medallion.

***On the bus home, a large group which included some with cat whiskers painted on their faces boarded. Turned out they were returning from the International Cat Video Festival.

***The August issue of Chess Life has an article on Fritz Leiber's chess-related sf and fantasy stories.

***Friday August 15, 2014. I usually wish the classical music announcers on KSJN talked much, much less. However, this was Leon Theremin's birthday. Turns out he was a Soviet spy, along with his other work.

***Saturday August 16, 2014. Mnstf (Twin Cities sf club) meeting at Scott and Irene Rauns. Good meeting.

***Sunday August 17, 2014. Reread Melissa Scott's Conceiving the Heavens -- a book on writing science fiction, published in 1999. Included was a bit of speculation about electronic currency. I suspect Ms. Scott didn't expect it to arrive just ten years later.

***MinnSpec (Minnesota Speculative Fiction Writers) meeting at the Uptown Lunds supermarket. Topic: Emotional Manipulation of the Reader. I suspect the topics brought up could be used for at least six panel discussions.

I brought the (not(yet?)) official MinnSpec Library for its first outing. The library was, so far, six books on writing which I hadn't read in a while. One got taken out.

***Wednesday August 20, 2014. Birthday of H. P. Lovecraft and Jacqueline Susann.
Wednesday August 13, 2014 Berlin Wall anniversary

Night the Wall went up, I was listening to Radio Moscow news. But it was next day before I found out what had happened.

The newscaster kept explaining Why This Step Was Necessary. And I kept waiting to find out what that step was.

***"Turn of the century charm," real estate ad in a neighborhood paper. Someone hadn't noticed the 20th century is over.

***To Waite House for monthly NAPS (Nutritional Assistance Package for Seniors), and for twice-monthly produce giveaway.

The produce giveaway is preceded by a presentation. This time, on sugar in bottled drinks. You might be surprised to learn that sodas and energy drinks have unhealthy amounts of sugar.

We were urged to sign up for a "sodacation." Refrain from drinking sodas with sugar between August 17th and September 2nd. Participants to get a choice of free items at the end; with drawing for a grand prize the following week.

I signed up.

***Seen from bus on the way home: a stilt-walker with butterfly-like wings. Part of a local health expo.
Happy Birthday, kit_r_writing!
8/2/14-8/6/14


Saturday August 2, 2014 To DreamHaven Books for Michael Merriam's reading.

DreamHaven had a rack of free books. One I took was The Year 2000, published 1970 (ed. Harry Harrison.) Among glimpses of that future year:

The US and the Soviet Union will have solved their pollution problem, and will be the world's most prosperous countries.

New York City will have a dominant Black majority, and a white minority. And apparently no Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans....

Smoking tobacco will be as respectable as it was in the 1950s.

Some female Australian government employees will go topless at work.

The reading was good. Merriam read from published work, and a bit from his Fringe Festival show.

Tuesday August 5, 2015 The Indonesian Hobbits didn't exist, it seems. New expert analysis of the original skeleton shows Down Syndrome rather than membership in another human species.

***Attended the National Night Out event at Van Cleve Park.

Wednesday August 6, 2014 Minnesota Daily (U of MN student paper; weekly during summer) story on research study at the U which shows female hormones make addiction more likely.
Wednesday July 30, 2014

"According to recordings of the teen's police interrogation, the boy mocked the attacks on the Boston Marathon and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut as 'pretty lame' and 'pathetic' and said he idolized one of the Columbine gunmen.
.......
"However, his father told reporters that he does not believe his son would have carried out the plan and that there were no signs the teen was troubled."
Minnesota Daily (U of MN student paper; weekly during summer), July 30-August 5, page 2.

More on Minnesota police matters. From the Star Tribune Police Blotter, from Chanhassen: "Someone called to report a turtle in their yard in the 8400 block of Stone Creek Drive."

***The August issue of Glamour had a good article on friendship.

They also had a couple of fashion Do and Don't lists with pictures. I mostly preferred the Don'ts to the Dos.
Years ago, I was diagnosed with ADD/ADHD.

Tuesday, a doctor said I don't have ADD. I have depression, plus some symptoms from my cerebral palsy.

This calls for a good deal of rethinking, to put it mildly.
Washington Post: "No, the United States isn't trying to build a military force of centenarians. It just seems that way after the Selective Service System mistakenly sent notices to more than 14,000 Pennsylvania men born between 1893 and 1897, ordering them to register for the nation's military draft and warning that failure to do so is 'punishable by a fine and imprisonment.'"
politicalwire.com, July 11
Support the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Masochists.

Give until it hurts.
Saturday May 17, 2014 Frost warning last night. Today I wore sandals.

I saw one college-age man who was shirtless. (But no shirtless women.)

***Comments of Comment:

Keith Lynch 5/17/14: "Charles ?@NONPROGRAMMABLE 10 Technologies You Will be Witnessing In The Near Future
http://zite.to/1nwB9ig"

10. Artificial Gills
Fish can only get by because they need much less oxygen than mammals.

Also, some water has very little oxygen. Especially water that's comfortably warm. Will this thing give some kind of low-oxygen warning? Does it have an air tank as a backup?

Speaking of air, breathing pure oxygen is dangerous, especially underwater where the pressure is higher. Does this thing also extract appropriate amounts of nitrogen from the water?

8. Sunscreen Pills
The idea of sunscreen is to stop the UV before it hits and damages your skin. How can anything inside you possibly do that?

7. Paper-Thin, Flexible Computers and Phones
Pads, sure, but how would you hold a paper-thin phone? If it's flexible, wouldn't it crumple up? And if it isn't flexible, wouldn't it cut you?

6. Tooth Regeneration
Better than implants only if it's cheaper than implants.

4. Real-Time Google Earth
including real-time Google Street View? :-)

What's the resolution of the thing? Unless it's impossibly high, how would you zoom in? Wouldn't you need a separate camera for each simultaneous user?

If it's to be mounted on ISS, as is suggested, what happens when ISS is deorbited? Last I heard, plans were to do so in about a decade. Possibly much sooner if the Russians take their marbles and go home, as they're threatening to.

3. Wireless Electricity
Tesla had that. Too bad it has such low efficiency, and that it jams the whole radio spectrum and screws with pacemakers, etc.

2. Ultra-High Speed Tube Trains
Maglev, at 4000 miles per hour? Pikers. Make it 18,000 miles per hour and they won't need maglev. You'd be in orbit at ground level.

If weightlessness tends to bother passengers, bring back the maglev and speed it up to 25,000 miles per hour. They'd experience 1G again. And could watch the scenery going by upside down.

Just don't let terrorists anywhere near the thing. If someone breaks the vacuum, the train will burn up like a meteor.

1. Sustainable Fusion Reactor
Thirty years away, just as it always has been.

"ProPublica A haunting #longreads about a heroine addict struggling to get clean:"

I'm not addicted to heroines. Nor to heroes. I can give those novels up anytime I want.

"Top 10 Baby Names for 2013 Source: Social Security Administration Boys Noah ..."

That's disturbing. Maybe I'd better get one of those artificial gills just in case.

Jette Goldie 5/17/14: I dunno what you guys have against those poor wee birdies. What did a Snipe ever do to you that you have to hunt it? ;-)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snipe

***From Twitter:

Dan Goodman ‏@dsgood: Hello. My name is Harry Potter. You killed my parents. Prepare to die. #MASHUP

Dan Goodman ‏@dsgood: Harry, I am your parents.

Science fiction ‏@Scienfiction: These Were The First Female Astronauts In Science Fiction - io9 http://dlvr.it/5hsmlY