Recent entries from Orange Mike's Bemusements - the blog of orangemike
NOTE: This blog has been rated FR15 by the author. Blog content is not moderated by TtH
I wake up late and bleary a little before 10:00 a.m. local time (9:00 a.m. my body's time); but discover there's no programming until 11:00; and nothing I want to attend until 1:00 p.m. I type and post the first installment of this series, and head for the con suite. The Krispy Kreme donuts are all gone, but I grab some cereal and milk, and a few Little Debbie snack cakes, to go with my Dr. Pepper. I wander around aimlessly, greeting acquaintances and smiling at children. As has been happening all con, I get folks shaking my hands and saying things like, "I know it's Chattacon now: the orange guy is here!" I do take advantage of the free massage offer from the local chiropractor trying to drum up business; it aches afterwards, but in a good sort of way.
I drift over to the programming building (the Centennial Center) and wander the hucksters' room, which is more populated now (although a couple of tables will go unclaimed throughout the con). The Larry Smith operation has oodles of new books; there is one person selling "vintage" (i.e., used) books for excessive prices, and a few smaller publishers and self-publishers pushing their own wares, plus artist GoH William Stout selling a tempting array of collections of his own work over the years. Otherwise: dealers in clothing, glassware, jewelry, weapons, steampunk props, and t-shirts, plus one guy (apparently Japanese himself) selling an extensive array of anime- and manga-related stuff. I politely ignore the Dragon*Con booth.
Outsided the dealers room are tables for local cons, the local SCA barony, the AAA(!), and an anthropology undergrad doing a survey about "geek fandom". She explains that her professor said that fandom was about more than science fiction nowadays, so she shouldn't call it "science fiction fandom"; I lecture her about respecting the customs and self-definitions of the culture in which you are doing fieldwork, and tell her the old reservation joke about the basic Native American ...
(For those of you who don't know the story: I was membership #3 at the first Chattacon, which was attended by less than 100 people; so when I moved from Nashville to Milwaukee, I vowed not to break my streak. For probably a decade now, I'm the only person left who has attended every single one. parkingprincess
(Cicatrice) understands, and has occasionally come with me, with or without Kelly, when finances permitted. This, alas, was not one of those years.)
Up at 4 a.m., with the temperature approximately 4 degrees (F) outside. Cicatrice bids me a farewell that does NOT embrace getting out of a warm bed in this kind of cold, and I drive to the airport. (She'll pick the car up later.) I get on my redeye flight and sleep through most of it, as well as the connecting flight out of Detroit (I was up late the night before, proofing her MilwApa zine and doing preparatory stuff for my trip).
In Chattanooga's tiny airport, I encounter a local fan who is on his way OUT of town, since he's got a paid gig; he expresses his regret at missing Chatta this year (it doesn't help that he no longer lives in East Tennessee). The shuttle driver and I discuss the hardships of civil service (he used to drive tanker trucks for the city's vehicle fleet, which can be a really fun gig during a major snowfall event). I learn that everybody locally is dreading an announced "freezing rain" storm, which can leave quarter-inch thick coats of frozen ice on every road, wall, pine needle, twig and power line in the region, and mere fear of which has already caused cancellation of schools, etc. [Anti-climax warning: it didn't happen, and I expect the usual clueless mockery by people who think weather is not a chaotic a system as it is. The hysteria, how...
sat patiently and waited for us to finish being tapped. The stick was pretty easy for me (given the needle phobia thing); they had to tourniquet Kelly's arm with the blood pressure cuff in order to get it full enough with blood to do a good draining.
Last Thursday, right after Christmas, we had a mother come into our office to get her authorization for subsidized childcare renewed. She’d recently started working again, and we’d given her a provisional authorization until the checks started coming and we could set her up permanently. This was vital: the daycare provider, to whom she already owed $Xk, was going to refuse to take the child the next day if the mom didn’t get reauthorized.
Normally, this would be easy-peasy; but the complication arose: she didn’t know the FEIN for her employer, so that we could verify employment on the online databases. “Oh, I work for Alpha Corp.” but no “Alpha Corp.” or “AlphaCorp” had an FEIN, at that address or any other. The mom called her colleague at work (she’d had to take off work to come do this), and the colleague didn’t know from FEINs. “We have a ‘tax number’ of xxxxxxxx”; but that was useless (hint: if you want to hinder a bureaucrat AND make it difficult for them to help you, refer to any and all of seventeen different identifying numbers from FEIN to Sales Tax Exemption Number generically as your “tax number”). “Aren’t we part of Beta Holdings or something?” (no “Beta Holdings” or “Beta Corp.” with an FEIN, at that address or any other). The colleague suggested that the mom call “payroll” at different location.
When the mom reached “payroll”, she was stopped cold: “We don’t divulge that number! What do you want it for? I know you need childcare, but we don’t do that!” (this, about a number which will be right there on the mom’s W-2 within the next four weeks). The mom was getting panicky now, but “payroll” was deaf to her pleas. When she hung up, she started to cry, since if she couldn’t take her child to daycare, she couldn’t go to work, and she’d lose the new job she is so desperate to keep. From the little tables by the window, a small voice piped up, “Mommy, are you o...
Call their bluff. Don't back down. Don't extend the Bush tax cuts for the 2%, not even temporarily. Don't agree to the gimmicky "chained CPI" as a way to cut Social Security on those who need it most; or to raising the Medicare eligibility age; or to cutting Medicaid funding in any way. You were right; YOU WON; they lost. Don't surrender our country's finances to these bluffing Norquisters and Randroids, Barack Obama: be a Harry Truman Democrat, not a Taft Republican!!!!
That leaves Thatcher and Dubya (and Scott Walker, of course), to name the obvious ones. Pinochet and Pol Pot are already before a Higher Court.
Call me a bleeding heart leftie: I just made my latest blood donation. I've got a pathetic needle phobia, but since parkingprincess
can't donate, I've been doing it on her behalf anyway, for over a decade now.
I'm proud to say that Kelly Lowrey did the same thing herself [for the first time] a week or two ago; and will repeat over and over how proud we are of her for doing so!
I've always respected the right of people to have different opinions and ideologies than my own; but I see no reason to grant a specious "right" to have different realities than actually exist.
Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh just went full Todd Akin. He told reporters that abortions are "absolutely" never medically necessary to save the life of a mother, or protect her health, thanks to "advances in science and technology." He doesn't believe in science, of course, when it tells us about evolution, or global warming.
He is, of course, a Tea-Party Republican. (In all fairness, he once campaigned as a moderate but later went full Tea-Party.)
One congresswoman who had a medically-necessary abortion, and has discussed that on the floor of the House, is ripping Walsh a new one:http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1012/82652.html
She is, of course, a Democrat.
Walsh, an ex-actor, is running for re-election against combat veteran Tammy Duckworth. At a July 2012 campaign event, Walsh accused Duckworth of politicizing both her military service as a helicopter pilot and her Iraq War injuries which cost her both legs and the partial use of one arm. He sneered, "my God, that's all she talks about. Our true heroes, the men and women who served us, it's the last thing in the world they talk about." (She's Asian-American, AND a woman, AND a Democrat; I'm not sure he thinks she should be allowed to vote.)
Last night, Mittens Romney kept interrupting the female moderator of the debate, with a condescending smirk on his mug, in a way he didn't try to pull with the male moderator of the last one. This August, Congressman Todd Akin sparked national disgust by claiming that victims of "legitimate rape" do not usually get pregnant "because the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down"; and some of his fans still insist (against all science) that he was right.
Last week, Wisconsin Republican Assemblyman Roger Rivard, who has said repeatedly in interviews that "some girls rape so easy", got to be so embarassing that most major Republicans (including Walker and Ryan) grudgingly revoked their endorsements of his campaign, although they've loved him in the past.
But Roger Rivard and his Republican homies still don't get it. Just last Saturday - in spite of everything - the Republican Party of Washburn County held a rally to support Rivard and other right-wing candidates. When asked by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
why they are still supporting Rivard, the chairman of the Washburn County GOP said that he saw no reason to make any changes to the event. "I don't know what the issue is here," he said. "I don't know why people are even making an issue of it."
Republicans in Wisconsin and across the U.S. have proved time and time again that they don't respect women's rights. They spent the last two years waging a war on women - they've limited women's access to preventative healthcare, cut programs for sexual assault victims, and eliminated basic equal pay protections.
In case you are wondering, Rivard's opponent is Stephen J. Smith, a businessman. Smith's website is right here.
As you can see, he's more conservative than I am; but he's no Roger Rivard.
Group - Attack ad spending reported to end of September
Crossroads GPS (Karl Rove's group) - $3,939,029.00
U.S.Chamber of Commerce (not WMC [our local Chamber]) - $2,047,863.00
Americans for Prosperity (backed by the Koch brothers) - $1,998,067.00
National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) - $1,717,581.00
The 60+ Association (whose spokesperson is Pat Boone) - $520,800.00
NFIB - $145,587.00
TOTAL OF THESE (TOP 6) -$10,833,445.00
Call for papers:
“Outrageous, Dangerous, Unassimilable”
Experimentation and Second Wave Feminist Literature
Second-wave feminism has been dismissed for being theoretically unsophisticated, essentialist, racist, earnest, and just not funny. Yet the complex cultural interventions and formal experimentations of Seventies feminism belie this characterization. This critical collection of essays builds on ongoing critical work, like Lisa Hogeland’s Feminism and Its Fictions and Kathryn Flannery’s Feminist Literacies, to investigate second-wave feminism’s sustained engagement with aesthetics. The literary was central to Seventies’ feminism: critical studies by feminist scholars such as Kate Millett, Elaine Showalter, and Judith Fetterley challenged traditional notions of the literary and called for rethinking and multiplying aesthetic categories and standards; drama, poetry, and the novel experimented with form, with gender and sexuality, roles and power, and crafted utopian visions for change and practical guides for living. Feminist writers created a dazzling array of texts, forms, and genres because they believed that literature could change the world. Our reductive and somewhat embarrassed characterizations of this period have not accounted for the scope and originality of its vision and its literary production.
We seek a wide range of essays investigating the literary interventions of second-wave feminism in the Seventies and early Eighties, including well-known consciousness-raising novels like Jong’s Fear of Flying, French’s The Women’s Room, Piercy’s Small Changes, Walker’s The Color Purple, and Brown’s Rubyfruit Jungle, and experimental novels, science fiction, romance, mysteries, short stories, poetry, and drama that interact with and expand our understanding of the literary legacies of second-wave feminism. Feminist formal experimentation was central to the larger explorations of identity that increasingly occupi...
Posted: 8 Oct 12 11:20 • More
My daddy got a Silver Star, a Bronze Star with clusters, and (eventually) 100% disabled. My family lost two of its three sons fighting for the Union against the slaveholder's rebellion.
When FAUX News asked him why he didn't bother praising America's troops in his speech, Romney responded:
When you give a speech you don't go through a laundry list, you talk about the things you think are important.
His excuse is that he spoke in favor of "a strong military". That dog won't hunt, Mittens: "a strong military" is code for throwing money at defense contractors for programs that even the brass hats don't want or need.
Do you know ANYBODY that served in either of the Bush wars? Do you know anybody (besides your servants) who has a son or daughter over there? Do you know anybody who's lost a brother, mother or even grandchild over there? I don't think so. People like us, the poor whites and the people who don't have to put on facepaint to be "people of color": we're the ones who go and die; and that's obviously not one of "the things you think are important", Mitt.
"The rules: Grab the closest book, turn to page 52, post the 5th sentence on that page. Don't mention the book's title in your post, but please do include a copy of the meme's rules."
The closest book:
"The most recent involved shooting his way out of the Castel Sant'Angelo while rescuing the pope."
Thanx to browngirl
for the reminder
My daughter keeps a blog on wordpress, and there is no way for a free membership such as mine to create an RSS feed so that I can read her blog from LJ. Anybody have a solution?
(She's looking at a story outline of hers, and at one point the universe is checking the scene of the crime. We figured out that the uniforms (i.e., uniformed law enforcement officers) were checking the scene; and my dyslexic darling's typo was spellchecked into "the universe".)
SHEBOYGAN, Wis. - In an anti-union hard line reminiscent of Walmart, Piggly Wiggly announced it would close its Sheboygan, Wis., store on Sept. 1, throwing all 108 workers into the street, rather than submit to a federal court ruling that it broke the law by cutting 19 workers from full-time to part-time in violation of its United Food and Commercial Workers contract requiring negotiation of such moves. Local media in Wisconsin largely ignored the dispute, U.S. District Judge Charles Clevert's ruling against Piggly Wiggly in May, and other impending complaints against Piggly Wiggly around Wisconsin.
The chain already faces other unfair labor practice charges in Menasha, Racine, and Kenosha, Wis., all brought to the NLRB by the UFCW. An NLRB administrative law judge will hear those cases in Milwaukee, starting July 23. The NLRB office there has accused Piggly Wiggly of bargaining in bad faith at those stores.
I'm in the Concourse; the room's even in my name!
I'm on four panels, I think; even moderating one of them.
I'll watch the magic pinboard for messages as well.
My late father, Jim Lowrey, was (among other things) sports and outdoors editor for a Southern newspaper. He taught me to respect fishing and hunting, and that has not changed just because I'm a Quaker. I grew up reading Field & Stream
, Sports Afield
and Tales of the Lower Forty
, not hot-rod magazines. I haven't owned a gun since I was a teenager; but that doesn't stop me from understanding the 2nd Amendment and its defenders; and (before he was killed on the job) my late union bargaining team partner, game warden Andy Krakow
taught me more of the Wisconsin hunter ethic.
My beloved Wisconsin has been under attack from within by our reactionary extremist governor Scott Walker, a disgrace to the progressive tradition within his own party; and I've fought him for reasons of ideology and human rights as I understand them, while some of my acquaintance have not. But now he has gone too far, even for some of us easygoing cheeseheads: he's appointed as "deer czar" to manage our state's whitetail deer herd, a Texas radical rightwinger who describes public hunting on public lands as the "last bastion of communism"! According to Dr. James Kroll, public lands and public game management are evil commie plots. You should have to pay some privatizing firm to hunt on what was once public land, and pay heavily for the privilege, as you do on the game farms he admires so much. Hunting should once more become a privilege of the rich and powerful, as it was (and still is, as I understand it) in the Europe that many of our ancestors escaped.
That's not how we do it in Wisconsin, and not how we want to do it. I hope, of course, that this is the final straw, and that it costs Walker the election; but I notice that the conservative local press and those purporting to speak for hunters an...
Originally posted by coffeeem
at Help Us Support Planned Parenthood
Note from me: I was initially suspicious about this, since the notice below doesn't say how much of one's V-gift donation actually goes to Planned Parenthood. But I found the answer in the original post's comments: 100%. All the money you spend to shower your friends with Planned Parenthood v-gifts will go to Planned Parenthood.
For those of you who don't approve of Planned Parenthood, your response is easy: Don't buy one of these. None of your LJ subscription money goes to PP. If you'd rather donate an equivalent amount to an adoption charity, or another organization providing inexpensive or free medical assistance, please do; all
charity organizations are hurting for funds in this economy.
Originally posted by theljstaff
at Help Us Support Planned Parenthood
Join us in standing up for reproductive health and education. Planned Parenthood, the organization that delivers reproductive health care, sex education and information to millions of people worldwide, has come under fire in the U.S. lately, with many politicians on both state and federal level seeking to end funding (and in a few cases succeeding).
During the month of May, you can send...
A fellow editor in Wikipedia, with whom I disagree politically but whom I've helped over the years and who considers me a friend, posted something in a discussion where I was accused of excessive harshness towards new editors who are clearly there to pimp their company. He notified me of his (favorable) testimony [his term], and wrote, "I hope and trust crises have strengthened you IRL."
My reply? The only way crises strengthen me, is when they drive me to prayer. In the next two months I've got a dictator to overthrow (regardless of who wins this Tuesday's primary), three conventions to which I'm a delegate (all out of town), a minor union election [I'm president and acting as secretary of my local], and a major science fiction conference where I'm on four panels, one of which I'm moderating). Busy? Who, me? On the other hand: that two-month span also includes my 31st wedding anniversary, so how could I really complain when she's* in my life.
is being used by the Wisconsin Film Festival coming up in Madison next week, for the short film "Wisconsin" in which a certain bearded face appears briefly, excoriating Scott Walker as a betrayer of the traditions not only of his own state but of his own party as well. It's been suggested most of the viewers will think I'm a crusty old hunter come down from Up Nort' to protest; I can live with that.Guide to Wisconsin Film Festival 2012The video