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Confessions of an information junkie

Having multiple tabs open is not a new phenomenon. (click to embiggen(

When I did most of my personal computer work on a desktop machine with a pair of large screens, my husband used to tease me about how many applications I had open all the time. One time when I had a browser window open on one screen, with about 12 tabs open on that browser, and a second browser with a similar number of tabs open on the other screen, he teased me about having two dozen open tabs, and what kind of drain that put on my system resources. I laughed and said, “Two dozen is nothing!” I then proceeded to show him the other browser windows that were minimized. After opening all of them and resizing them did some counting, and said, “Today it’s only about 62 open tabs.”

I have always considered this just a variant on an older technology behavior: I would have piles of books on my desk or stacked beside my bed with bookmarks in them. Sometime a small book with a bookmark would be acting as a bookmark inside a larger book. Yes, a lot of the books in those piles were books that I was reading, and just hadn’t finished. But a lot of them were part of one of my research projects, and the bookmarks were things that I wanted to be able to look at again as I moved forward with the project. Some of the projects were for school, so the books would be returned to their shelves once the essay or whatever I had to turn in was finished. Other projects were personal. I might be researching something for a story I was trying to write. Or I might be researching something for a scenario I was running for one of my gaming groups, and so on.

I do try to do a better job of limiting how many tabs are open on my computer, though improvements in browsers (sandboxing among them) has made it less likely that having all those tabs open is going to slow the computer down or cause crashes. And there are some websites (certain news sites, for instance) that I learned long ago that I need to close down as soon as I finish reading an article.

One problem with this habit is that it also means I always have a whole bunch of projects in progress at any time. Which means things don’t get finished as quickly as I like.

Which sometimes plays out here, as I will have dozens of draft blog posts ranging from a dozen or so words to hundreds that I just haven’t finished, yet.

Even when I give myself a totally arbitrary goal to post something every day for thirty days in a row, I find myself staring at a bunch of draft posts, opening one after the other, maybe adding a few words, yet somehow unable to commit and just finish one.

And it’s more than a bit frustrating. It’s also a little confusing, because finishing, and putting things away once a project is done, are things that I really enjoy. So you would think that would motivate me.

And yet…

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Friday Five (its all about the tantrum edition)

It’s Friday! It’s the first Friday in 2019. I am typing the year correctly most of the time, now, so that’s an improvement.

I have reached the end of the anti-biotics and most of the related medications, and while I feel less sick, I don’t yet feel well. But no one is feeling great right now, so I’m in good company.

Anyway, welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week, five stories about things that should need proving or explaining, five stories of interest to queers and our allies, five stories about science, five stories about the government shutdown and five videos (plus notable obituaries and things I’ve written).

Stories of the Week:

Cyntoia Brown Is Granted Clemency After 15 Years in Prison.

Black farmers were deliberately sold ‘fake seeds’ in scheme to steal their land.

Four Best Friends Were Buried Under ‘FRIENDS’ Tombstone.

The Daily Caller Bewildered to Learn Obama Has Secret Service Protection.

Gavin McInnes, Hate Group Founder, Writes Letters to Neighbors to Take Down Anti-Hate Signs.

This Week in Water is Wet and Other Revelations:

Fake news on Facebook is more likely to be spread by people over 65.

Millennials Didn’t Kill the Economy. The Economy Killed Millennials. “The American system has thrown them into debt, depressed their wages, kept them from buying homes—and then blamed them for everything.”

American Psychological Association links ‘masculinity ideology’ to homophobia, misogyny. Yes, we’ve been calling this phenomenon toxic masculinity for years.

There Is No Crisis At The Border – And DHS Stats Prove It.

Samuel L. Jackson: ‘Calling that Muthafukkah a Motherfu**er is not an issue, calling that Muthaffuqah President Is’.

Queer stories of the Week:

Queer Films Won Big at the Globes — But Queer Representation Did Not.

This Transgender Woman Says a Message From Her Doctor’s Office Turned Into a Transphobic Tirade.

Evangelicals Think LGBT People Shouldn’t Be Protected From Lynching and just hours later: Liberty Counsel Tries To Backpedal On Lynching LGBTs.

“Death To Gays” Pastor Apologizes For Fucking Hookers But Wants You To Know He Still Hates Gays.

3 in 10 California youth have been mocked by family for being LGBTI – Half have been bullied at school.

This Week in Science:

Zero is just 1,500 years old. Before it, there was nothing.

This Professor Teaches Advance Mathematics Through Knitting.

Milky Way to face a one-two punch of galaxy collisions.

Edinburgh scientists discover mammoth secret in ivory DNA.

New Report On HIV Viral Load and Transmissibility of HIV Infection Supports Undetectable Equals Untransmittable.

This Week in Government Shutdown News:

Trump Walks Out of ‘Waste of Time’ Meeting with Democrats: Shutdown Update.

TSA union says airport screeners are quitting as government shutdown continues.

HUD instructed landlords to use reserve funds during shutdown – not knowing federal program had expired.

FBI Agents Warn Shutdown Hampers Anti-Terror Work.

Common Saw Easily Cuts Through Wall Prototype.

In Memoriam:

Norman Gimbel, Oscar-winning lyricist of ‘Happy Days’ theme, ‘Wonder Woman’ TV series theme, and ‘Girl From Ipanema,’ dies at 91 .

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 1/5/2019: It’s ugly, oh, so ugly….

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, or Undecorating on Three Kings’ Day.

Public Service Announcement: How to Delete Online Accounts You No Longer Need.

Truth.

Fighting toward the light at the end of the tunnel—or why hope is important in sf/f.

Sometimes Extinction Arrives on Wheels — more of why I love sf/f.

Videos!

Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel | Special Look:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Stephen Colbert Trump Just Wants To Be On Primetime TV:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert – Trump: It’s My Right ‘To Do National Emergency’:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Trump’s Wall Has Changed a Lot: A Closer Look:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Troye Sivan – Lucky Strike:

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Friday Five (his shutdown continues edition)

It’s Friday! It’s the first Friday in 2019. I have to type the date a lot at work (I’m working on planning documents and such right now) and I keep typing 2109 as the year. I’m apparently ready to skip to the next century!

Since my cough was getting worse, I went to see the doctor and next thing I know I was at the pharmacy picking up five prescriptions: antibiotic, steroid, prescription cough tablets for daytime, codeine cough syrup for nighttime, and a new kind of inhaler. Apparently the doctor was not happy with what he heard through the stethoscope when he asked to to take a deep breath and I had another coughing fit.

Anyway, welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week, five stories about writing and reading, five stories about deplorable people, and five videos (plus notable obituaries and things I’ve written).

Stories of the Week:

Gifting Burdens.

New Horizons images bring Ultima Thule into sharper focus, revealing snowman-like structure.

Ike’s Mystery Man review: astonishing tale of a gay White House aide.

The nation’s first two Muslim congresswomen are sworn in, surrounded by the women they inspired.

Under Speaker Pelosi House Passes Spending Bills to Reopen Governmen.

This week in Writing and Reading:

The Christmas Specials that Never Were – in which the blogger describes Doctor Who Christmas Specials that could had been if they’d done them for the first several doctors.

Speculative Fiction Links of the Week for December 28, 2018. I should start doing a special category of linking to one of Cora Buhlert’s awesome book/publishing/sf weekly round ups.

Edward Gorey and the Power of the Ineffable.

In the era of Trump and apocalyptic change, Hopepunk is a storytelling template for #resistance — and hanging onto your humanity at all costs.

Public Domain Day Is Finally Here!: Copyrighted Works Have Entered the Public Domain Today for the First Time in 21 Years.

Best LGBTQ+ Books of 2018: The Coil Staff Picks.

Awful, Deplorable People:

Sarah Sanders has ‘struggled’ to find a new job as the White House press office becomes ‘Night of the living dead’: report.

Gowdy: ‘I Will Not Be On The Ballot Ever Again’.

GOPer In NC Election Fraud Probe Asks Court To Declare Him The Winner.

Former Trump Tax Attorney Busted on Federal Extortion Charges.

Members of Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Cult Arrested for Kidnapping NY Kids.

In Memoriam:

Hector Xtravaganza, ‘Grandfather’ of House of Xtravaganza, Dies at 60.

Absolutely Fabulous Star June Whitfield Has Died.

June Whitfield, ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ and ‘Terry and June’ Actress, Dies at 93.

Daryl Dragon, “Captain” of music duo The Captain and Tennille, dies at 76.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 12/29/2018: Empty Seat in District 9, First Kisses, and Double Dads.

Sunday Funnies, part 32.

New Year’s Eve Links, or, News from the Dead of Winte.

My New Year’s Wish for You, 2019.

It’s the first day of your arbitrary time demarcation—embrace it.

Thoughts on a book recommendation list.

Hitchers, and Reapers, and Phantom Riders—more of why I love sf/f.

Videos!

Panic! At The Disco Performs “Hey Look Ma, I Made It” and “High Hopes” – The Voice 2018 Live Final:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Behind The Track: No Matter What With Calum Scott | Sound Bites:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Calum Scott – What I Miss Most (Official Video):

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Eli Lieb – Chemical Love:

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Sam Smith – Fire On Fire:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Sunday Funnies, part 32

Another in my series of posts recommending web comics that I think more people should read.

Reading Doonesbury: A trip through nearly fifty years of American comics by Paul Hébert This is a fun blog. Hébert hold degrees in (B.A., M.A. and Ph.D.) in history, and teaches reading, writing and history to high school students in Vancouver, British Columbia. This blog is mostly about the Doonesbury comic strip by Gary B. Trudeau which has been being published for 50 years. At the current official web-page they’re reprinting a sequence from 1991, but Trudeau is still creating new strips. But back to the site I’m reviewing: Hébert looks at various sequences and themes from the comic strip, writing essays analyzing how the story went, putting it in context of the time it was printed, and so forth. He also reviews other comics and graphic novels. So even if you aren’t into Doonesbury, you’ll find many other interesting reads in his site. I started reading Doonesbury when I was about 12 or 13 years old. I still have a collection of paperback compilations I bought during my late teens and into my twenties, so I find it interesting to look back over the old strips and think about them again. I especially like how Hébert tracks Trudeau’s changing attitudes toward women and queer people.

Sharpclaw by Sheryl Schopfer is an anthropomorphic web comic that the author describes as “fantasy comic that blends various fairy tales into an adventure story.” Schopfer is the same artist who does the Deer Me series I have been recommending for years, and I probably should have put this series in here a while ago. I’ve known her for several years, and got to hear some of the early scripts for this series while she was figuring out how she wanted to do it. The first story is about twin sisters who both have the potential to be sorceresses. One pursues magic power, the other does not. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next. The artist unfortunately was hurt some weeks ago, and both her strips had to go on hiatus until her wrist healed enough to get back to drawing. New entries in both strips are scheduled soon. If you enjoy her work, you can support the artist by going to her Patreon Page!


Comics I’ve previously recommended: Some of these have stopped publishing new episodes. Some have been on hiatus for a while. I’ve culled from the list those that seem to have gone away entirely.

Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 3.18.45 PMCheck, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu is the story of Eric “Bitty” Bittle, a former junior figure skating champion from a southern state who is attending fictitious Samwell College in Massachusetts, where he plays on the men’s hockey team. Bitty is the smallest guy on the team, and in the early comics is dealing with a phobia of being body-checked in the games. He’s an enthusiastic baker, and a die hard Beyoncé fan.

“Manic Pixie Nightmare Girls” by Jessica Udischas is a hilarious web comic that tells of the adventures of Jesska Nightmare, a trans woman trying to make her way in our transphobic world. The comics are funny, insightful, and adorably drawn. The sheer cuteness of the drawing style is a rather sharp contrast to the sometimes weighty topics the comic covers, and I think makes it a little easier to keep from getting bummed out to contemplate that the strips aren’t exaggerations. If you like the strip, consider supporting the artist through her patreon.

https://lifeofbria.com copyright  Sabrina SymingtonLife of Bria by Sabrina Symington is a transgender themed comic that ranges from commentary to slice of life jokes and everything in between. Even when commenting on very serious stuff it remains funny—sharp, but funny. It’s one of the comics that I would see being reblogged on tumblr and lot and I’d think, “I ought to track down the artist so I can read more of these.” And I finally did. And they’re great! If you like Symington’s work, you can sponsor her on Patreon and she has a graphic novel for sale.

Nerd and Jock by Marko Raassina This is a silly webcomic about a Nerd and Jock who are good friends and like to have fun together. Frequently the joke of the strip is to take a cliché about jocks and nerds and twist it in some way. It’s cute. I happen to really like cute and low-conflict stories sometimes. If you like this comic, consider supporting the artist on Patreon.

Assigned Male by Sophie Labelle is a cute story about a transgirl (we meet her at age 11) and goes from there. Some of the strips are more informational or editorial than pushing the narrative forward, but they are in the voice of the main character, so it’s fun. The artist also has a Facebook page of the site, and is in the process of moving to a domain of her own (though currently it still doesn’t have the actual comic strips available). I mention this so you will not be put off by the words “old website” she’s added to the banner. If you like her comic and would like to support her, she has an Etsy shop were four book collections of the comics and other things are for sale.

Stereophonic by C.J.P.

Stereophonic by C.J.P.

“Stereophonic” by C.J.P. is a “queer historical drama that follows the lives of two young men living in 1960s London.” It’s a very sweet and slow-build story, with good art and an interesting supporting cast. But I want to warn you that the story comes to a hiatus just as a couple of the subplots are getting very interesting. The artist had a serious health issue which was complicated by family problems, but has since started posting updates to his blog and Patreon page, assuring us that the story will resume soon. If you like the 300+ pages published thus far and would like to support the artist, C.J. has a Patreon page, plus t-shirts and other merchandise available at his store.

The_Young_Protectors_HALF_BANNER_OUTSIDE_234x601The Young Protectors: Engaging the Enemy by Alex Wolfson begins when a young, closeted teen-age superhero who has just snuck into a gay bar for the first time is seen exiting said bar by a not-so-young, very experienced, very powerful, super-villain. Trouble, of course, ensues.

3Tripping Over You by Suzana Harcum and Owen White is a strip about a pair of friends in school who just happen to fall in love… which eventually necessitates one of them coming out of the closet. Tripping Over You has several books, comics, and prints available for purchase.

dm100x80“Deer Me,” by Sheryl Schopfer tells the tales from the lives of three friends (and former roommates) who couldn’t be more dissimilar while being surprisingly compatible. If you enjoy Deer Me, you can support the artist by going to her Patreon Page!

copyright Madeline McGraneMadeline McGrane is a cartoonist and illustrator who is from Wisconsin and lives in Minneapolis. She posts vampire-themed comics and other art on her tumblr blog. My favorites are the vampire comics about three child vampires. They’re just silly. Her black and white comics are minimalist and really work well with her style of humor. Her color work is a bit more complex. If you like her work and want to support her, she has a ko-fi.

The Junior Science Power Hour by Abby Howard logo.The Junior Science Power Hour by Abby Howard. is frequently autobiographical take on the artist’s journey to creating the crazy strip about science, science nerds, why girls are just as good at being science nerds as boys, and so much more. It will definitely appeal to dinosaur nerds, anyone who has ever been enthusiastic about any science topic, and especially to people who has ever felt like a square peg being forced into round holes by society.

The logo for Scurry, a web comic by Mac SmithScurry by Mac Smith is the story of a colony of mice trying to survive a long, strange winter in a world where humans have mysteriously vanished, and food is becoming ever more scarce.

title
And I love this impish girl thief with a tail and her reluctant undead sorcerer/bodyguard: “Unsounded,” by Ashley Cope.

logo-1Fowl Language by Brian Gordon is a fun strip about parenting, tech, science, and other geeky things. The strips are funny, and he also has a bonus panel link to click on under the day’s strip.

lasthalloweenThe Last Halloween by Abby Howard is the creepy story of 10-year-old Mona who is reluctantly drafted to save the world on Halloween night. This is by the same artist who does the Junior Science Power Hour. She created this strip as her pitch in the final round of Penny Arcade’s Strip Search, which was a reality game show where web cartoonists competed for a cash prize and other assistance to get their strip launched. Though Abby didn’t win, she started writing the strip anyway. If you like the comic, you can support Abby in a couple of ways: she has some cool stuff related to both of her strips in her store, and she also has a Patreon.

Last Kiss® by John Lustig Mr. Lustig bought the publishing rights to a romance comic book series from the 50’s and 60’s, and started rewriting the stories for fun. The redrawn and re-dialogued panels (which take irreverent shots at gender and sexuality issues, among other things) are syndicated, and available on a bunch of merchandise.

“Champion of Katara” by Chuck Melville tells the tale of a the greatest sorcerer of Katara, Flagstaff (Flagstaff’s foster sister may disagree…), and his adventures in a humorous sword & sorcery world. If you enjoy the adventures of Flagstaff, you might also enjoy another awesome fantasy series set in the same universe (and starring the aforementioned foster sister): and Felicia, Sorceress of Katara, or Chuck’s weekly gag strip, Mr. Cow, which was on a hiatus for a while but is now back. If you like Mr. Cow, Felicia, or Flagstaff (the hero of Champions of Katara) you can support the artist by going to his Patreon Page. Also, can I interest you in a Mr. Cow Mug?

Private I, by Emily Willis and Ann Uland is a comic set in 1942 Pittsburgh in which queer gumshoe Howard Graves is trying to sort out a collection of bewildering clues and infuriating eccentric suspects. It’s an interesting take on a lot of noir tropes. It handles the queer elements well—being outed or caught by the wrong people can spell the end of not just one’s career, but possibly life–without being all grim-dark. If you like the comic and want to support the creators, check out their Ko-fi.

The Comics of Shan Murphy As far as I can tell, Shannon Murphy doesn’t post a regular comic on the web. But among the categories of illustration on her site are comics. Her art styles (multiple) are really expressive. And she just writes really good stuff. If you like her work, considered leaving a tip at her ko-fi page.

Screen Shot 2015-08-02 at 5.36.43 PMMuddler’s Beat by Tony Breed is the fun, expanded cast sequel to Finn and Charlie Are Hitched.

The Young Protectors: Legendary by Alex Woolfson. This is just a new story arc for the Young Protectors comic recommended above. However, Alex is changing up the artists he’s working with in this arc, and the focus is decidedly different. This new arc begins by exploring the changed relationship between our protagonist, Kyle (aka Red Hot) and one of his teammates, Spooky Jones. The story is NSFW, although unless you are a patron of Alex’s Patreon, you see a lot less of the explicit artwork. It isn’t porn, per se, and it isn’t a romance. If you check out the page, you’ll see that Alex has written several other comics, some of which are available to purchase in hard copy. And, as I mentioned, he’s got a Patreon account.

12191040If you want to read a nice, long graphic-novel style story which recently published its conclusion, check-out the not quite accurately named, The Less Than Epic Adventures of T.J. and Amal by E.K. Weaver. I say inaccurate because I found their story quite epic (not to mention engaging, moving, surprising, fulfilling… I could go on). Some sections of the tale are Not Safe For Work, as they say, though she marks them clearly. The complete graphic novels are available for sale in both ebook and paper versions, by the way.


Note: Usually when I do one of these posts, I include the slightly shorter reviews of all the comics I’ve recommended previously. I do periodically go through those lists and remove comics that have vanished entirely. For now, I’m leaving in those that have stopped publishing new episodes but still have a web site.

But the list is getting awfully long, and I’m not sure how useful the older links are. I’m still thinking about it. Feel free to comment if you have strong thoughts on the topic.

Friday Five (market crash edition)

Shutdown solution seems unlikely before Dems take House

Shutdown solution seems unlikely before Dems take House: https://abcnews.go.com/amp/Politics/wireStory/shutdown-solution-dems-house-60045357

It’s Friday! It’s the final Friday in 2018, and I’m not quite ready for the new year to begin.

I’ve been on vacation all week, and that will continue until after New Year’s Day… but I’ve also been sick since Tuesday, so it hasn’t exactly been all fun and frolics. But we had a nice quiet Christmas at home and we’ve cooked some fancier meals than usual, so it’s all good.

Anyway, welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week and five videos (plus notable obituaries and things I’ve written).

Stories of the Week:

Many Stories Are Told Through the Typography in Science Fiction Films.

Why I Buried My Siblings Alive. This is actually a story about how child abuse survivors deal with adulthood.

Markets stage one of worst Christmas Eves ever, closing down more than 600 points as Trump blames Fed for stock losses in a tweet.

A push for compromise on LGBTQ protections may tear evangelicals apart. I feel as if I’ve read this headline many times before, and so far, no.

Merry Christmas, the Seahawks Are in the Playoffs.

In Memoriam:

Donald Moffat, Commander Garry in John Carpenter’s The Thing, passes away at 87.

Larry Eisenberg, 99, Dead; His Limericks Were Very Well Read.

Things I wrote:

On the first day of Christmas Vacation, I drove into Trump Country….

Three Considerations On the Third Day of Christmas Vacation (or the Eve of Christmas Eve).

Christmas time is here, have some Christmas cheer—and jingle until you’re upsot.

Rainbow Christmas – Ho! Ho! Ho!.

Santa Baby, just slip a sable under the tree for me….

Embracing many realities, or why sf/f is about more than just ideas.

Videos!

This Beautiful Rendition Of Cher’s “Believe” Is Adam Lambert’s Gift To Us All:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

The Modern Strangers – Red Strip Lights:

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Temptation // All Hail The Silence:

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Leland – Middle Of A Heartbreak (Official Video):

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O’Leary Car Ride: Showtunes 2018:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.

Friday Five (gingerbread people edition)

A gingerbread cookie decorated to look like it is dressed in heavy bondage gear. "Why I'm no longer asked to make gingerbread men for the church bake sale."

(click to embiggen)

It’s Friday! It is both the final Friday before Christmas and the Winter Solstice! Wow!

It was a month of insane deadlines at work, so I worked very long hours last week and this. In fact, it is actually in the wee small hours of Friday morning that I’m typing this, because it took my past midnight to finish the things that had to be done before I could leave for my Christmas vacation.

Enough of that. Welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week, five stories about awful people, and five videos (plus notable obituaries).

Stories of the Week:

Neighbors Are Saying This Woman’s Christmas Dragon Decorations Are Inappropriate, So She ‘Fixes’ It.

Ursula K Le Guin remembered by her son Theo Downes-Le Guin .

How young is too young to talk about LGBTQ stuff?

Top of mind: ‘Justice’ is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year.

Bumblebee Review: For the First Time in Over 30 Years, Playing with Transformers Is Fun.

Awful, Deplorable People:

What happens when the No. 1 cable news channel is steeped in white nationalist rhetoric?

The stock market is on pace for its worst December since the Great Depression.

Investors seeking tax breaks skip poverty-stricken areas.

Suspected White Supremacist Arrested in King County.

The study found that black, mixed-race, Asian, and Latina women were mentioned in abusive or problematic tweets 34% more often than white women, while black women specifically were targeted 84% more often than white women.

In Memoriam:

Penny Marshall, ‘Laverne & Shirley’ Star, Director, Dies at 75.

Rosie, Madonna Mourn Penny Marshall.

Penny Marshall, Beloved Sitcom Star and A League of Their Own Director, Dies at 75.

Things I wrote:

A season of light and love in my queer taoist/wiccan household.

It’s time we hung some tinsel on that evergreen bough….

Need a little angel sitting on my shoulder… or, save me from the well-meaning enablers.

Mixing up some festive tunes… or, how else do you think I manage 2538 Christmas songs?

Videos!

Brandon Stansell: Hometown [Official Music Video]:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Stephen Colbert Destroys Fox News’ Tucker Carlson: ‘The Little Racist Who Could’:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Package Thief vs. Glitter Bomb Trap:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Def Leppard – We All Need Christmas:

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White Wine In The Sun by Tim Minchin – A sentimental song about Christmas:

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Friday Five (oopsie edition)

It's easy to shop for me, really (click to embiggen)

It’s easy to shop for me, really (click to embiggen)

It’s Friday! It is the second Friday in December, but tomorrow is that third Saturday, and that’s important, because it means our annual Holiday Party along with the Ghost Story Challenge is this weekend! Woooo!

And as I’m assembling this post on Thursday night, after two very long work days, I barely have any of the Ghost Story finished! Eeek! On the other hand, most years this is exactly where I am at this point. As one of m

Enough of that. Welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week, bottom five stories of AWFUL peole, my blog posts, and the top five videos.

Stories of the Week:

This religious right group forgot which side they’re on in the War on Christmas.

Jury Clears Man Who Blasted ‘F*ck Tha Police’ at Cop.

Canopy cameras shed new light on monkey business in Brazil.

A Gay Las Vegas Couple Was Beaten And Stabbed At Their Home In An Apparent Hate Crime And Bystanders Did Nothing .

The Queer Importance Of Dazzler, Marvel’s Disco-Inspired, Rollerskating Superheroine .

Awful People:

Michael Cohen Sentenced to 3 Years After Implicating Trump in Hush-Money Scandal. Something to keep in mind with this story. The federal judge, while passing sentence, stated as a matter of fact that the alleged President of the United States was complicit in the crimes Cohen is going to prison for.

‘This was a humiliation’: Report shows how Trump’s spiteful firing of John Kelly blew up in his face.

Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters: Did Trump shut down HIV cure study to appease religious right stance on fetal tissue? The answer is yes: Trump quietly shuts down HIV cure research to appease the religious right.

Speaker Paul Ryan retires: his legacy is debt and disappointment .

Washington Post Introduces ‘Bottomless Pinocchio’ Factcheck Level for Trump.

Things I wrote:

Doubling-down isn’t how you make sf/f for everyone… and being southern isn’t a license to condescend.

Weekend Update 12/8/2018: Guilty men sometimes face consequences.

So today is our wedding anniversary….

How do you make sweet potato pie. Only later did I realize I should have titled this one, “How do I make sweet potato pie”

Videos!

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – The Danish National Symphony Orchestra (Live):

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

United States Navy Band – Dueling Jingle Bells:

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AVENGERS 4 ENDGAME Trailer (2019):

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

John Legend – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (Official Video):

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

The Minus 5 – “Christmas in Antarctica” (feat. Ben Gibbard) [Official Lyric Video]:

(If embedding doesn’t work, click here.)

Friday Five (consensus edition)

© Greg Perry

It’s Friday! It is the first Friday in December!

It’s been an odd week. For instance, my bus commute is on one of the Rapid Ride lines. One of the things about the Rapid Ride buses is that all of the doors open at each stop, and most of the stops are equipped with a pay station so that passengers with a bus pass or pay card can pay before the bus arrive. Makes each stop faster, but also puts people on the honor system. So there are random teams of Fare Enforcement officers who board buses and check everyone’s passes while the bus continues. Normally I only see Fare Enforcement about once a week. This week, every single time I rode the bus, Fare Enforcement boards. And each time they found two people who hadn’t paid, who were then written up with a ticket. The best was coming home Monday night, though. A Fare Enforcement crew got on the bus just before we pulled out of downtown. They found two people, then they got off the bus at a later stop (where they wait for the next bus). Then, about 100 blocks later, a second crew got on the bus, and they also found and ticketed two people (and they were different people, because the others had left the bus by then). Fun, eh?

Enough of that. Welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: five stories about one of the sweetest holiday specials Jim Hensen’s Muppets ever made, the top five (IMHO) stories of the week, five stories about writing and reading, five stories about awful people, and five videos (plus notable obituaries).

This week in Emmet the Otter:

For the First Time Ever This December, Two Jim Henson Holiday Favorites Hit the Big Screen: ‘Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas’ and ‘The Bells of Fraggle Rock’.

Paul Williams unearths lost ‘Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas’ Muppet soundtrack: ‘One of my favorite things I’ve ever done’.

Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas Soundtrack Gets First Ever Release.

Oscar Winner, Paul Williams, Talks Jim Henson, Muppets and Music on Tom Needham’s Sounds of Film.

‘Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas’ turns 40: An oral history of Jim Henson’s holiday Muppet musical.

Stories of the Week:

Exclusive: Sparkly, opal-filled fossils reveal new dinosaur species.

Osiris-Rex: Nasa probe arrives at Asteroid Bennu.

Latest House results confirm 2018 wasn’t a blue wave. It was a blue tsunami.

ACLU Files Suit Against School That Won’t Allow a Student Gay-Straight Alliance to Call Itself ‘Gay’.

Ocasio-Cortez shreds Mike Huckabee: ‘Leave the false statements’ to your daughter.

Writing and Reading:

“Don’t Lose Sight of the Big Picture” by Barbara Ashford .

“The Revision Machete” by Derrick Boden .

Hard Enough.

Through a Painted Door: An Ode to Children’s Science Fiction/Fantasy Art.

Better Worlds.

Awful People:

Milo Yiannopoulos’ debt crisis .

Republicans Brazenly Gut Voting Rights in Lame Duck Before They Lose Power.

FRAUD: North Carolina GOP Allegedly Destroyed Absentee Ballots.

Handgun reported stolen in 1990 found atop Seattle police officer’s locker.

Far-right terrorism in North America, Europe increased even as terrorism deaths declined: Report.

In Memoriam:

Buzzcocks singer Pete Shelley dies at 63.

Podcast: What It Felt Like to Live Through the George HW Bush Presidency.

Dead Poppy. “one thing that’s been left out in this rush to praise Bush as the Greatest Single-Term President in History or whatever other superlatives you wanna toss out there in the encomiums of doom is that he had no fuckin’ choice when it came to legislative goals except to do some rational shit. He had a Democratic House and Senate for his entire term.”

Videos!

The Danish National Symphony Orchestra – For A Few Dollars More (Live):

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‘Captain Marvel’ Official Trailer #2 (2019):

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Jingle Bells | The King’s Singers:

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Making Christmas (from ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’) – Pentatonix:

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Tom Goss – Gay Christmas – This video is for those who have felt like an outsider on what is supposed to be the happiest time of the year. If you don’t feel at home this holiday season, I hope you can spend time with those that love you for all that you are:

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Friday Five (puppies and wooly mammoths edition)

It’s Friday! It is the final (and fifth) Friday in November.

Today is the first of my string of Fridays off. For many years now, when I can, I have been taking the Friday between the Thanksgiving holiday and New Year’s Day off. Having a string of three-day weekends leading up to Christmas makes shopping and decorating and other holiday prep a whole lot easier.

Welcome to the Friday Five. This week I bring you: the top five (IMHO) stories of the week, five stories from the realm of science and sf/f, five stories of the blue wave, five stories about awful people, and five videos (plus notable obituaries and my blog posts).

Stories of the Week:

Rising from the ashes.

A Dutch church is holding non-stop services for a refugee family.

Why legal pot is forcing some drug dogs into retirement.

What is ‘Judeo-Christian,’ anyway?

Layoffs Begin At NRA’s Media Arm.

Science and Science Fiction stories:

Dog finds ancient woolly mammoth tooth in Whidbey Island backyard.

‘Siberian unicorn’ walked Earth with humans.

Humans ‘off the hook’ for African mammal extinction.

Twitter bans misgendering and deadnaming in pro-trans move.

A Note on Robert Silverberg.

This Week in the Blue Wave:

Black Voters Propelled Blue Wave, Study Finds.

Congress’s incoming class is younger, bluer, and more diverse than ever.

House Progressives Are Set To Wield A Lot Of Power In 2019.

Last undecided House race is in California; here’s the latest midterm tally.

The 2018 blue wave included quite a few LGBT wins – even though voters are still wary of gay, trans candidates.

Awful People:

He Says He Got Away With 90 Murders. Now He’s Confessing to Them All.

Salvation Army slaps ‘gag order’ on employees so they don’t talk about LGBTQ issues. Because when people find out their bigoted policies, they donate to other, more worthy causes.

GM Lays Off 14.7K North American Workers, Puts 5 Plants Up For Closure.

Trump gets ‘raging hot angry’ every time a staffer tells him something is ‘against the law’.

Alexander Acosta gave Jeffrey Epstein the deal of a lifetime.

In Memoriam:

Harry Leslie Smith was a gift. I’ll miss him.

“World’s oldest rebel”, wartime hero, author, activist and fierce defender of the NHS – RIP Harry Leslie Smith.

Harry Leslie Smith dead: ‘World’s oldest rebel’ dies aged 95 after long fight for the poor.

Harry Leslie Smith: War veteran who spoke out against austerity, the far right and Trump.

Andrew Burt (1945 – 2018). Appeared in classic Doctor Who, Blake’s Seven, and various other shows.

‘SpongeBob Squarepants’ Creator Stephen Hillenburg Dies at 57.

Things I wrote:

Weekend Update 11/25/2018: Pictures and headlines.

Don’t stop writing!

Stop digging, don’t you see how deep you already are?

Videos!

The Original Cinematic Universes (how certain unrelated historical films can be viewed like a franchise):

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MARVEL || Lions Inside (collab w/ djcprod):

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Once Upon A Deadpool | Official Trailer:

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“The Story Continues” Featurette | Mary Poppins Returns:

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Gwen Stefani – You Make It Feel Like Christmas ft. Blake Shelton:

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