Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #419 - Musical Monday for 1608.29

Me and Liesel - Scotland - Isle of Skye - 1505.21
Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #419 - Musical Monday for 1608.29

Hi Mom,

There have been 20 Musical Mondays before this one, so this makes 21. It's a steady feature and an easy one. It's easy features that will keep me daily through the end of the year. I used to work farther ahead with the T-shirts blog. With blog, I should work to get ahead, but I am often right to the day, which is how I also fall behind.

There's so much great stuff on the Internet. It's going to be easy to keep this going.

I may have to steer the blog to auto-pilot at times this coming fall to keep myself on track, but it's easy to render items like this one that will keep me going. I have to remember to temper my ambition. My initial idea for the blog was for SHORT, daily entries. EMPHASIS on the brief, the short.

As for the photo above, I have taken to sharing photos with my Park University students on their weekly announcements, especially ones in which they can see pictures of their teacher as it makes me more real. This great photo of me and Liesel was the ones I shared today, which seems appropriate given all the rain we have had lately. In fact, I just came in from mowing the lawn , which sprouted wildly with all the rain.

This entire blog playlist is dedicated to a musical session the other day with all song splayed at maximum volume. Now that the ninety-something neighbor has moved out from next door, I no longer need to feel self conscious about cranking the loudness, though the CD player and the turntable are both louder than the iPod. I would like to increase my stereo volume nonetheless.

I have not fully vetted all these live versions, but I am pleased to find them. I have not featured anything but new Radiohead on this feature yet, and I don't believe I had anything yet by the Cure.

Actually, to be honest,I did not feature this Style Council song in my romp about the living room as a work break last week, but it's a solid song and a great video.

Likewise, the songs from My Life in the Bush of Ghosts played loudly, but I was back to work by then.

These videos are truly worthy of the songs from My Life in the Bush of Ghosts with amazing imagery.

The live videos are also great, especially the vintage 1997 Radiohead performance of "The Bends."


"Confessions of a Pop Group"
from the 1988 TV special


THE CURE - "The Kiss"
from Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
performed live at Coachella 2009

Radiohead - "Paranoid Android" 
- from OK Computer
Performed live at the Reading Festival 2009

Radiohead - "The Bends"
from the album named The Bends
performed live at Glastonberry 1997

Two songs with truly unique videos from Brian Eno and David Byrne album

My Life in the Bush of Ghosts


"The Jezebel Spirit"


Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 421 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - date - 1608.29 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #418 - Y&R - 11,000 Episodes

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #418 - Y&R - 11,000 Episodes

Hi Mom,

So, The Young and the Restless or better known as Y&R is celebrating 11,000 episodes as of September First (this coming Thursday).

Every time I watch Y&R, I think of you, Mom. And I am pleased to tell you that I am caught up. Often I have a huge back log of Y&R to watch. Though I have not watched Friday's (1608.26) episode yet, I am otherwise current with the show.

I often get mocked (criticized) for my Y&R fandom by people close to me, but I no longer care. I am open and leaving myself vulnerable to discuss this nearly daily pursuit of episodic fiction that is near and dear to my heart.

Starting in 1973, we watched so many episodes of Y&R together. Even when I was away at college, The Young and the Restless  is something I watched as often as I could and that we would discuss together when you took me out to lunch.

It was our lunch time thing. For years, I would break for lunch just before 12:30, and we would eat together and watch our soaps (eventually we added The Bold and the Beautiful for a 90 minute lunch time).

When you had your bout with meningitis and were in a coma, I started playing Y&R for you in your Intensive Care room. I hoped that the familiar sounds would be soothing to you, comforting, like they are to me. We continued this practice even after you woke up. For a long time during that hospital stay, you could not talk. But we communicated as best we could, and we talked about Y&R.

Back in 2012, when Y&R celebrated 10,000 episodes (see link at end of this blog entry), we watched much of the celebration together. Checking back in my calendar, I know I spent the day with you on September 8th and again on October 2nd, which was right around the time of the 10,000th episode. We would have Y&R marathons together. I miss those.

At the rate of just about 260 episodes a year (five each week times 52 weeks is 260, but 365 - 104 is 261; 104 is the number of weekend days in a year), it's easy to see how Y&R is gearing up to celebrate its next anniversary with 1000 more episodes to reach the new landmark of 11,000. Since the 10,000th episode both you, Mom, and the grand dame of the Y&R cast, Jeanne Cooper, have passed away.

Before each episode for the past week, Y&R has been showing these interview chats with the cast as they reminisce about past stories and episodes and thank the viewership warmly for its dedication and loyalty. I was tempted to save these episodes on my DVR, but then I found that they are easily available online and so I embedded them here. I also posted the fun promo here as well.

You would have loved all this, Mom. I feel I share it all with you spiritually, but I wish I was sharing it with you physically, in person.

There are big plans for the 11,000th episode. Star Trek vet Nichelle Nichols will play Neil's mother, from whom he has been estranged for his entire run on the show. And Lee Phillip Bell, who co-created the show with her late husband Bill Bell will appear in a scene with her real-life daughter Lauralee Bell, who plays Christine Blair Williams, formerly known as "Cricket."

This is all explained here at SOAP SHE KNOWS - 11000 MILESTONE.


1st Row (left to Right): Hunter King, Miles Gaston Villanueva, Melissa Ordway, Sean Carrigan, Mishael Morgan, Bryton James, Amelia Heinle, Jason Thompson, Eileen Davidson, Gina Tognoni, Peter Bergman, Eric Braeden, Melody Thomas Scott, Steve Burton, Sharon Case, Joshua Morrow, Justin Hartley, Melissa Claire Egan, Jess Walton, Tristan Rogers, Christel Khalil and Daniel Goddard
2nd Row (left to Right): Robert Adamson, Sofia Pernas, Michael E. Knight, Beth Maitland, Tracey Bregman, Christian Le Blanc, Doug Davidson, Lauralee Bell, Kristoff St. John, Camryn Grimes, Greg Rikaart, Mara McCaffray, Catherine Bach and Kate Linder

Not pictured: Chrishell Stause (current girlfriend of Justin Hartley) as Bethany Bryant.

Here's a great article by Candace Young, of whom I beginning to become a fan. She writes for SOAPS SHE KNOWS.


Generally, I stay away from fan sites, mainly because of spoilers as I am often far behind on both Y&R but especially B&B. I think my record is 120-some unwatched B&B episodes on my DVR. I did not watch them. I would read recaps and watch every 12th episode or so.

So, two days after your death, Mom, I posted the first T-shirt blog post that I have posted in two years:

T-SHIRT #366.

I have been saving up content and ideas to do this HUGE Y&R post for the T-short blog, but maybe that's the wrong way to do it. Maybe I need to spread out the content over multiple parts. #366, pt.1; #366, pt.2; and so on. I will cross post this content to T-shirts as #366,pt.2.

I have made other Y&R posts on this blog as part of Hey Mom, but not many.

Hey, Mom! Talking to my Mom #4 - Last Y&R watched together aired Tuesday 1506.30.

Hey, Mom! Talking to my Mother #12 - I miss you

and then, because you would hate it and I would love to taunt you:

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #281 - Y&R - Victor goes to prison.

I have probably mentioned Y&R at other times that I did not save to the Y&R category. I am sure I have mentioned it as part of my Talking Again series. It's a constant theme in my life as I "watch" Y&R while working, just like we did together for all those years. Y&R is part of the soundtrack of my life. Its cadences and rhythms are a soothing music for me. And I do love it, as I love you, Mom.

But in all of this content and photos and things, there's something escaping me. There's an ineffable significance to this TV program and its place in my life, in our lives, Mom.

Maybe in the next Y&R post I make, I will figure out what it is and find a way to articulate it.

ENJOY these videos.

In case the following videos are ever broken, here's the page from SOAP SHE KNOWS that shares the interview videos.

Lauralee Bell (Christine Williams), Doug Davidson (Paul Williams), Tracey Bregman (Lauren Baldwin) and Christian LeBlanc (Michael Baldwin) are the latest stars to share their favorite memories from "Young and the Restless." Picking a favorite moment out of 38 years is "almost impossible" as Davidson notes. However Bregman jokes, "My hair alone, that could be a storyline just there!"

In the latest "Young and the Restless" video celebrating 11,000 episodes, Jess Walton (Jill Abbott), Kate Linder (Esther Valentine) and Jason Thompson (Billy Abbott) reflect on their favorite moments. Walton looks back on the "most wonderful relationship" she had with the late Jeanne Cooper (Katherine Chancellor) and the hilarious scenes they shared.

In this first video, Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman) and Eric Braeden (Victor Newman) reflect back on the beginning of their characters and their favorite moments. Braeden remarks on a pivotal turning point for his and Scott's characters, "Once I had done that scene, I walked off the stage, I knew that it would open up a Pandora's Box for all kinds of emotional scenes."

In the next video, Melissa Ordway (Abby Newman), Sean Carrigan (Dr. Ben "Stitch" Rayburn), Justin Hartley (Adam Newman), and Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea Newman) discuss their favorite memories. On Adam and Chelsea, Egan notes, "They are great lovers, but they are great fighters! Chelsea has gone through a lot, but I'm confident that one day she will find her happy ending."

From 2012, the celebration for 10,000 episodes. I tried to embed the link to the video on that page, but it failed. So if interested, go to the page and watch the video there.


Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 420 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1608.28 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #417 - The Existential Fallacy

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #417 - The Existential Fallacy

Hi Mom,

Here we are again in the re-posted content world in which I take on the role of content provider, and basically say, "Hey, check out this nifty thing that I found on the Internet." It was really the picture that caught my eye.

But first a note on last night's dream. I am not writing this one up in the next dream post as I do not remember it very well. The image that has been haunting me all morning is you, Mom, standing. You are your post-meningitis self, though a bit more straight of spine and shoulders back than you really were. In the dream, you're standing really well, with both hands on a chair in front of you, palms down, balancing. Really a pose you could never hold after the meningitis. There was other content in the dream about me taking care of you and us watching Y&R together. I slide you around on a bed, boosting you up, and you laughed. Also, there was stuff with Dad and an old guy friend of his who was undefined in the dream. We were at some comic convention in which someone gave a talk about ghosts and Buddhist meditation and spirituality. Then, we had to leave and I had to change shoes, which was a very big deal and very time consuming in the dream. The large bathroom with its steps down into a center rotunda and step up to the left (120 degrees) to urinals and step right (60 degrees) to stalls made an appearance again. It's a very Victorian/Early Twentieth Century space with attendants. Lots of people at the comic con coming out of its double doors (entrance and exit).

I take this as a sign to write again about Y&R, which I will do tomorrow, but first this re-published stuff.

Some thoughts on the EXISTENTIAL FALLACY post: There's not much actual content here  in the actual post that I am sharing. The post really leads you to a podcast. And there's advertising. But I like the sponsors. Socks, a mattress company, and Great Courses. The SOCKS COMPANY is very cool.

Also, there are cool people who speak in this podcast and the post below describes those people.

The first topic of the podcast is vampires. The speaker uses vampires to demonstrate the existential logical fallacy.

It's worth a listen.

Buy the socks.

Hypothetical situations involving dragons, robots, spaceships, and vampires have all been used to prove and disprove arguments.

Statements about things that do not exist can still be true, and can be useful thinking tools for exploring philosophical, logical, sociological, and scientific concepts.

The problem is that sometimes those same arguments accidentally require those fictional concepts to be real in order to support their conclusions, and that’s when you commit the existential fallacy.

In this episode we explore the most logical logical fallacy of them all, the existential fallacy.

No need to get out your pens and paper, we will do that for you, as we make sense of one the most break-breaking thinking mistakes we’ve ever discovered.

This episode of the You Are Not So Smart Podcast is the tenth in a full season of episodes exploring logical fallacies. The first episode is here.

Download – iTunes – Stitcher – RSS – Soundcloud
This episode is sponsored by Bombas – game-changing socks. Bombas decided to take socks seriously, by designing the most highly engineered, best-fitting, comfortable socks humans have ever imagined – and they look cool too. Go to Bombas.com/SOSMART for 20% off your first order.
This episode is also sponsored by Casper Mattresses. Buying a Casper mattress is completely risk free. Casper offers free delivery and free returns with a 100-night home trial. If you don’t love it, they’ll pick it up and refund you everything. Casper understands the importance of truly sleeping on a mattress before you commit, especially considering you’re going to spend a third of your life on it. Get $50 toward any mattress purchase by visiting www.casper.com/sosmart and using offer code “sosmart.” Terms and Conditions Apply.
This episode is also sponsored by The Great Courses Plus. Get unlimited access to a huge library of The Great Courses lecture series on many fascinating subjects. Start FOR FREE with The Fundamentals of Photography filmed in partnership with The National Geographic and taught by professional photographer Joel Sartore. Click here for a FREE TRIAL.
Support the show directly by becoming a patron! Get episodes one-day-early and ad-free. Head over to the YANSS Patreon Page for more details.
BobBob Blaskiewicz is an assistant professor who teaches, among other subjects, critical thinking at Stockton University. He also writes about logic and reasoning at skepticalhumanities.com, and is a regular guest on the YouTube show The Virtual Skeptics.
Julie Galef is the president and co-founder of the Center for Applied Rationality, a non-profit devoted to training people to be better at reasoning and decision-making. She is also the host of the Rationally Speaking Podcast and writes for publications like Slate, Science, Scientific American, andPopular Science. This is her website.
Vanessa Hill is an Australian science writer and stop-motion animator who hosts BrainCraft, a PBS series exploring psychology, neuroscience and human behavior. She previously worked for Australia’s national science agency, as a science reporter for ScienceAlert, and has appeared in TIME,TheHuffington PostScientific American, and Brain Pickings. Her Twitter page ishere.
In every episode, after I read a bit of self delusion news, I taste a cookie baked from a recipe sent in by a listener/reader. That listener/reader wins a signed copy of my new book, “You Are Now Less Dumb,” and I post the recipe on the YANSS Pinterest page. This episode’s winner is Samatnha Menzies who sent in a recipe for Chewy Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies. Send your own recipes to david {at} youarenotsosmart.com.
Links and Sources
Download – iTunes – Stitcher – RSS – Soundcloud
Image Source – Paul K, CC Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic

Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 419 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1608.27 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #416 - HUGO STUFF-2016

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #416 - HUGO STUFF - 2016

Hi Mom,

In my continuing efforts to share a variety of content and to bring news to both you, Mom, (though you may not care), and my small huddle of readers, here's some content related to the People's Choice Awards of science fiction: The Hugo Awards, which are awarded each year at the Worldcon science fiction convention.

Last year, I wrote about the Hugo Awards flap in two key entries:




For those who read, or those who care, there was a whole flap over the last few years that really came to a head last year with a group called Sad Puppies and another called Rabid Puppies, who were both trying to advance an agenda by affecting voting for the Hugo Awards.

It's an interesting (well, interesting to me) polemic in the science fiction fan world. My main resource for news on the Hugo nonsense is John Scalzi. Several links below and the main content of this post -- republished  with credit -- come from his blog. I also have a few other informational links here from GRRM (George RR Martin) and the LA Times. I also added my message back to John, whose blog I read avidly.

Not much else to say here. Explore if you wish, dear reader, or otherwise note that this is a repository for me to reference all this information.

The Hugo Awards were given out last week, and the list can be found here at LOCUS HUGO RESULTS, which is also linked in John's article. I am keen to read the best winning novel by NK Jemisin, The Fifth Season and the novella:

  • Binti, Nnedi Okorafor (Tor.com)
as well as the Besst short story (see link in John's article along with his picture posing with the author).

The long and short is that science fiction is alive and well, growing more diverse all the time, and the puppies were unable to destroy it. Yay!!

But perhaps the greatest takeaway here for readers is that this post features some great reading. Time to get busy.







Gum on the Shoe of History, or, Why the Hugos Are Still Not Destroyed

Before I get into the post-mortem of 2016’s Hugo Awards that I promised, let me first say that the award that made me happiest was Naomi Kritzer winning the Best Short Story Hugo for “Cat Pictures Please.” Naomi and I go waaaaaaay back — if she was not actually the first person I knew in science fiction genre circles (and I think she was), then she’s certainly one of first three or four. She’s always been one of the best of people, to me and to others in the field, and a consistently wonderful writer. We came up in the field together, and to see her work get recognition makes me immensely happy, and even more happy for her. As you can see, she looks pretty pleased herself. And, well. She deserves to be. Good story, great person.
Now, for some other stuff about the Hugos, and this year’s set of nonsense.
As you may recall, once again this year Theodore Beale (aka “Vox Day”), in his guise as the ringleader of the Rabid Puppies, tried to hijack the Hugo Awards via slates dictated by him, nominated by minions. Last year Beale, along Brad Torgersen, who administered the Sad Puppy variant of this nonsense, engaged in simple cronyism and/or favor-currying, with a couple of unwitting human shields thrown into the mix. That didn’t work out so great for them, so this year Beale asked himself “what would Xanatos do” and came up with a three-prong strategy:
a) Put people and works that were already popular on his slate so he could claim credit for their success when they won, regardless of the fact those people/works would likely be on the ballot anyway;
b) Comb through the Locus recommended reading list for the year and nominate people Beale suspected the people he hates would want to vote for, i.e., more human shields, just a slightly different strategy;
c) The usual cronyism of pals and/or work and people he published through his personal micro-press.
Plus there was homoerotic writer Chuck Tingle, whom Beale slated for the lulz.
(The Sad Puppies, the originators of the nonsense Beale sucked himself onto like a tick, were largely a non-factor this year, which is probably better for them in the long run. They’re now all in for the brand-new Dragon Awards, administered by DragonCon, and you know what? Good for them. I wish the Dragon Awards every possible success, and independent of that, if the Sad Puppies want to focus on them instead of the Hugos, I wish them absolute joy in the work.)
So, how did this particular strategy work for Beale? Well, of course, poorly. The stuff that was obvious cronyism mostly ended up below “No Award” in just about every category, again, for the third year running. In the cases of the human shields and the already popular nominees, Hugo voters simply ignored the fact Beale slated them. In the case of the latter, no one sensible believes that folks like Neil Gaiman, Andy Weir or Neal Stephenson would willingly associate themselves with a minor racist shit-stirrer, and in the case of the former, Beale’s obvious assumption that the people he classifies as SJWs would explode with cognitive dissonance when he put people/work on his slate that they’d otherwise want to vote for (“I want to vote for it! But I can’t now because it’s on a slate!Nooooooooo!”) is predicated on the idea that these folks are the strawmen he’s created in what passes for his mind. They’re not; they knew what was up, and they largely decided to ignore his master strategy.
And then there was Chuck Tingle, who, when he found out what was going on, trolled Beale so long and so hard and with such obvious glee that it became an enduring thing of joy. Rather than being appalled that Tingle had been nominated, the Worldcon community largely embraced him (or whoever Tingle is; no one is really sure). Here was someone who was nominated by a bigot to antagonize other people, who instead allied himself with those folks and was appreciated by them in return.
Did stuff on the slates win? Yup: The stuff that could have won anyway, and the stuff that had merit despite Beale’s cynical attempt to make other people run away from it. Nothing that won, won because it was on his slate. At best (for Beale) it won despite being on his slate, an assertion we can infer from the performance of everything on the slate that fit into category c); again, nearly every crony nomination finished below “No Award” in the voting. An active association with Beale is, bluntly, death for your Hugo award chances. I mean, it takes a lot for someone as esteemed in the field as Jerry Pournelle to finish below “No Award” in Hugo voting, and yet, there he is, sixth in a field of five in the category of Best Editor, Short Form.
But that’s a sign of bias! It most certainly is. For three years Beale, with or without assistance, has been placing mediocre to awful work on the Hugo ballots; for much longer than that Beale has been a racist, a sexist, and a homophobe. The Beale brand, earned through time and repetition, is “graspingly untalented bigot.” And of course Beale knows this, the poor bastard, which is why he tried to drag down actually talented people and their good work by attempting to associate his brand with them. That didn’t work (because again people aren’t stupid), but if you actually intentionally attach yourself to the Beale brand? Then, yes, “associates with a graspingly untalented bigot” is now part of your brand, too. If it’s powerful enough to drag down Jerry Pournelle, a man of no uncertain talent and accomplishment who does in fact deserve better than to finish below “No Award,” think what it’ll do to you.
Beale has stated, in a pathetically grandiose fashion that belies the limit of his actual ability to affect the world at large, that his intention is to “destroy the Hugos.” He’s failed spectacularly three years running. In the years of his effort the Hugos winners have, in point of fact and entirely independent of his efforts, highlighted the immense diversity of talent currently operating in the field. Beale publicly flatters himself, as he publicly flatters himself in all things, as somehow being a prime mover in these events. What Beale is really doing at this point is trying to mitigate his own inability to have the status and influence he assumed would be his, by pathetically attempting to shoehorn himself into the history of others who have done more, and better, than he has. If he can’t be the hero, and at this point it’s become clear he can’t, then he’ll settle for being the footnote — the gum on the shoe of someone else’s long walk to esteem.
Here’s the thing about that. See my friend Naomi up there? She was nominated for the Nebula Award and the Locus Award along with the Hugo. At no point does the story of Naomi Kritzer — her talent, her ability, her recognition for her work — rely on Beale in any way. If he didn’t exist, she’d have been on the ballot anyway. At no point does the story of Nnedi Okorafor, who won the novella Hugo, rely on him either. Or Andy Weir’s. Or Neil Gaiman’s. Or Ellen Datlow’s or Shelia Gilbert’s or N.K. Jemisin’s — Jemisin, who Beale has repeatedly targeted for blatant overt hatred because of who she is, and who has accomplished so many things he hasn’t and is likely never to — all without reference to him. Nora, her talent, her work and her recognition, exist without him, thrive without him, impress without his approval, don’t need him and never will.
Five years from now, few people will remember, and even fewer will care, about the nonsense Beale and his pals kicked up; hell, last year, the crest of the Puppy nonsense, is already mostly remembered with rolled eyes and a “well, thathappened” mutter. Ten years from now, only academics and true Worldcon nerds will think about it at all. But Naomi and Nora and Nnedi and Neil and everyone else who won a Hugo this weekend will still have had their moment of deserved recognition, and god willing will still be at it, making work and finding their audiences. They will continue to create and build and make science fiction and fantasy a genre worth reading and thinking about, and will probably do so for decades.
And none of it will be about Beale at all.

Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 418 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1608.26 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #415 - Talking again #6 - Throwback Thursday

My sister, Lori, circa 1973
Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #415 - Talking again #6 - Throwback Thursday

Hi Mom,

I will spend all day building this conversation with you in honor of our Throwback Thursday.

I am having lunch with Lori today, so a picture of Lori is appropriate. I believe that picture above is Lori out yelling the outboard motor on the Pinkster's pontoon boat at a Tower-Pinkster summer picnic. I suspect it's circa 1973-ish. Four years old? Lori will probably be able to confirm this guess.

As always, this blog entry is all about the random. I am not promising any kind of organization.

For instance, I have been trying to drop weight, so I have been off candy bars this summer. I have had exactly two. Yesterday, I bought a Payday, which is on my desk until I earn it by dropping more weight.

It's very humid here. Warren Ellis also wrote about weather in his daily post yesterday. I saw a clear translation of Celsius to Fahrenheit: 31C is about 88F. It's humid on the Thames Delta where he lives. It's humid here. It only got down to 73 degrees last night. Phone says it's 73 now, but the outdoor thermometer reads 73, too. That's usually not the case.

I have hip pain. Or maybe groin pain. I am not sure. I went to the doctor yesterday.

I have a lot of grading to do, but I have a new Hypnagogue podcast! I also found a new podcast yesterday, but I haven't yet subscribed. I may not.

Grand Hotel, President's Suite, Mackinac Island - 1976?
I need to clear out my email more.

I finally opened a file and started to offload notes for my novel into the computer. Like this blog entry, I will earn the right to do more throughout the day as I work.

I think these other photos are from Lori's birthday at the Grand Hotel in 1976 when she turned seven? Seems right to me compared to other photos.

I am doing better. I have had pain lately in my hip. Worried about a return of cancer or just a severe tear to a muscle or tendon, I went to the doctor the other day as the area had been incredibly painful, especially after a walk. I have been resting it the last few days: no exercises, no walks, no biking, no rolling, very limited stretching. And I have been taking Ibuprofen to reduce what was definitely some inflammation. I think I had been aggravating it with walks or exercises. I may do another round of physical therapy. I have an appointment for September 6th. But at least, it's better, which is a relief.

I have been doing a lot of math, and I am ahead of schedule on my grading for the week, which means less work this weekend.

I need to mow the lawn.

Saturday, Liesel and I are invited to go to the Dilleys for a Chinese Dumpling party. It should be fun.

It was nice to have lunch with Lori today. We're going to try to do that at least once a month.

I wonder if anyone is interested in these random collections of newsy bits than you and me, Mom. I do still share a great deal of this material with Dad on the phone, but you were always the one interested in EVERYTHING and him not so much.

I kept having a network failure with my desktop every time I would get an automatic update. I think it was an out of date network driver. I updated drivers and so far no crash this week. But I am knocking on wood as I share this thought because until a full week or even two without a crash goes by I am not going to feel out of the woods. But so far, so good.

I think a lot about my upcoming schedule with school. It feels more manageable with only one class that I am taking rather than two, but I know adding three classes overall (two teaching and one taking) will increase my work load. I do feel fortunate to have days mostly clear. My two WMU courses that I am teaching are on Mondays and Wednesdays at 3 p.m., giving me a lot of the day to get stuff done before I have to leave. Then, the Discrete Math course is on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 to 6:10, which means making dinner before I head out on Thursdays, unless that's one day I don't make dinner (not that I make dinner all that often). KUDL follows on Wednesdays, which is the long day. I am not sure I can play with this hip thing, but I am hopeful. So, I think about my days as I work. Thoughts like, "this is when I would have to leave for my class" to get a sense for how much I can get done before the hammer falls. I think it will be manageable.

One of my students wrote about losing his mother and what a huge impact that had on him. I feel for him, but this also made me think of you. I had another student who wrote about how her mother is dying. This kind of family stuff makes a big impact on me.

I want to do more writing on my novel.

And more math.

But there's work to do and now it's Friday, so up this one goes.

I love you, Mom. I think about you all the time.

Lori's Birthday - Grand Hotel, President's Suite, Mackinac Island - 1976?

Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 417 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1608.25 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.

The Not so often Formerly Daily Bowie - #76 - "Zeroes"

The Not so often Formerly Daily Bowie - #76 - "Zeroes"

Hi there, welcome the former Daily Bowie that is now the very intermittent and can I even do two in a row Bowie, especially since I originally set this one up for Monday 1608.22 and now it's Thursday 1608.25.

I am going to try to post more often.

We miss you, David.

It seems fitting to come back after almost a month between Bowie posts with a song called "Zeroes" that features the line "It doesn't matter, what you try to do" repeated over and over.



The entry in PUSHING AHEAD OF THE DAME - "ZEROES" is great and does a good job of refuting Bowie's own claim describing "'Zeroes' as stripping away all the meanness of rock and coming back to the spirit with which one entered the thing. It’s the ultimate happy-go-lucky rock tune, based in the nonsensical period of psychedelia. So it’s a naivete song about rock, using a lot of cliches.”

The article is worth a read, here's what follows that quote and serves as a good taste for what can be found via the link:

 It’s always a mug’s game to accept a composer’s description of his/her work as gospel, and this quote is such a misreading that it seems like a deliberate feint, much as how Bowie regularly knocked “The Bewlay Brothers” for being gibberish. Because there’s little that’s “happy-go-lucky” in the song, which opens with demonic, distorted screams in lieu of actual audience noises, and whose first verse and chorus is a sharp self-assessment of Bowie’s battered aesthetic condition and where he stood in regard to “The Sixties.”

The latter, by 1986-1987, had been cast into a hollow, brightly-colored tomb, a ceremonial contrast to the political and cultural mood of the era. “The Sixties” was an opposition party happily exiled to the past. And while a number of underground bands were exploring the legacy of “nonsensical psychedelia” and appropriating pieces of it for their own ends, the official “Sixties” narrative was used to shame the allegedly frivolous and/or derivative pop music of the Eighties. There was a sense, pushed by the “classic rock” radio stations and the major rock magazines (blessedly not Spin, the oasis of the era), of Sixties music as being a perfected strain of rock & roll, the High Canon, to which no music afterward could be compared. All that was left for younger musicians was to pay homage, and for Sixties survivors to occasionally reunite and demonstrate “real” music to kids.

In “Zeroes” Bowie tries to position himself, shiftily as usual, as someone who had been both part of the era and yet always outside of it, and one who was trying to escape the decade’s long shadow while simultaneously exploiting it.

"Zeroes" - NEVER LET ME DOWN - 1987


Rest in peace, David. We miss you.

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1608.25 -  9:14

NOTE ON WHY THE DAILY BOWIE IS NO LONGER DAILY: For 53 days, I completed daily Bowie posts. My schedule is too demanding to make a post every day, so this will now be a feature that is called The Daily Bowie, but it will not be daily. I will post as I can. I will post often. But if I miss a day, I will skip it. Otherwise, I get in the position of making five Bowie posts all in one day, and that's a lot of Bowie for people to swallow all at once... (yeah, leaving that badly phrased, innuendo packed statement. I bet Bowie would have laughed at it).

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #414 - How Alice Trumbly Learned the Secret, a poem, Writerly Wednesday

F. W. Woolworth and S. S. Kresge stores on Lackawanna Avenue, in downtown Scranton, Pennsylvania. The two stores were often found near one another in downtown areas.


Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #414 - HOW ALICE TRUMBLY LEARNED THE SECRET , a poem, Writerly Wednesday

Hi Mom,

Here's the weekly poem. I have enough for the rest of the year, but eventually I will run out, and I am not planning to write new ones. I could short-short stories, but I would hesitate to share the longer stories. We shall see.

For a time, I became interested in narrative poems, and in using my interest in the fantastic in poetic form, using magical realism and fantasy in the real world.

Here I was trying to capture the hum-drum of Americana, and I felt that the five-and-dime of yore best expressed that homogeneity that I wanted as the setting for what happens to Alice.

I see a bit of my own judgement and snobbery in the idea of what happens to Alice. But it's not harsh. I think the notion is born of being naive and with a fair amount of nostalgia for the department stores of old.

I also wanted a name that evoked the dead end of the nickel and dime days: Alice Trumbly. I may have been thinking of Eleanor Rigby as the name has the same lilt and trill. But mainly I was having fun with the magical idea expressed in the poem.

And I have to show off a word from list of words to use poems. Yes, I have an actual list. So, "chary" makes its appearance, and as I read, I feel that it really stands out apart from the rest of the language. As if I had thrown the trump card. Like using "inchoate" and not even pronouncing it properly.

Still, I like the line that gets repeated and is the last line of the poem. The poem may make the wrong assumption about housewives (see where I use "chary"), and I feel that's a misstep, too, But I like the image evoked there. Plus, I am not revising these poems before I share them.

So, here we go...

Alexandria Bay , NY - http://www.flickriver.com/photos/rjhayphotography/sets/72157624576960776/


Alice Trumbly worked at the Five and Dime.
Until one day, after stocking a bin of nail polish,
Alice discovered that she had become a floor mat,
the inexpensive kind, with the sticky, latex backing.

And there lay Alice Trumbly in a stack of bathroom mats
located between the plungers and the Tidy Bowl.

For a long time, Alice lay still, eyeless, mute
like a man after sex.

Alice heard the moan of empty aisles,
the chattering register.
Alice felt the weight of unbought mats,
and the chary caress of house-wives,
smoothing her nap,
much the same touch they perform,
mindlessly, late at night, waiting to be fondled,
as their husbands begin to snore.

Alice had always wanted to be thinner,
but this was ridiculous.
Her eyes, nose, arms, legs, and all her organs
were squeezed together like an orange
and then drained, flattened, and pruned.

Lying there, pressed tightly,
Alice flowered to life.  She felt tremors
rock the amalgam that was now her body.
Her new body sang, and she knew things
that she desperately wanted to share.

To each customer who strolled past pushing
a shopping cart to the rim of the day,
to each patron whose glassy eyes fell on her by mistake,
Alice wanted to scream what she had learned,
like a newsboy shouting headlines.  And she would have,
if her mouth were not part poly-urethane and part nylon,
like a man after sex.


Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 416 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1608.24 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.