S&F&SF roundup in honour of VCon

Now I want one for Firefly.

I”m on the songwriting panel for tomorrow. At 11. AM

Fabric of dragons.

Fabric of squid.

Fabric of robots.

Fabric of general sf themes.

Mercury is – can we talk!? – a hot mess.

Moby’s living relative.

Urban decay (zombieland).

Nothing the McKennas didn’t know (hallucinogen research turns up interesting results).




Steven Pinker quoted



The women’s rights movement has seen an 80 percent reduction in rape since the early ’70s when it was put on the agenda as a feminist issue. There has also been a two-thirds decline in domestic violence, spousal abuse, or wife beating, and a 50 percent decline in husband beating. In the most extreme form of domestic violence, namely uxoricide and matricide, there’s been a decline both in the number of wives that are murdered by their husband’s and the number of husbands that have been murdered by their wives. In fact, the decrease is much more dramatic for husbands. Feminism has been very good to men, who are now much more likely to survive a marriage without getting murdered by their wives.

Two days to debate a 102 page bill that among other things adds more jail time to marijuana charges

fuck the Conservatives.  Fuck them, and every last whoreson who voted for them.  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-notebook/tories-slap-two-day-limit-on-debate-over-sweeping-crime-legislation/article2181592/?from=sec431

Can’t wait

I’m on vacation next week.

I intend to practice

Register for various events

Go for a labyrinth walk

Buy a new musical instrument

Get orthotics

Get my knees xrayed

Go to Wreck Beach at least once, depending on what the weather does

Go visit my parents

Research my October 9 and December 4 homilies


This last paycheck didn’t have my Mike payout on it… hope it’s at month end, what with OVFF and Vcon I am gonna need it.


One thing and another

Ziva’s in the shop.  I won’t get her back until Friday, and in the meantime, I guess I have morphed into a muscle car fan, because this Toyota courtesy car is the most gutless (although biddable) piece of iron I’ve driven in quite a while.

Work is hilarious.  I just schooled difficult individual; I was polite, I was thorough, and I made my opinion of him unmistakably clear.  Well, why not, he told Tanya I sounded like I was on drugs.  The only drug was the stench of his entitlement, but whatever.


Later…. the difficult customer got back and vented his ass on me.  Only knowing that I have the recordings of his abuse of me and the other staff is preventing me from losing it.

We have hired a sound tech for church.  Woot!

Some power in the morning.

Rev Fred Cappuccino, one of the luminaries of Canadian humanitarianism AND Canadian Unitarianism, preached at church this morning on his view of Jesus.  It was an AMAZING sermon; especially since a lot of it was a very extended quote from somebody else’s sermon.  He did a meditation which moved me to tears and which he allowed me to scarf after the service.  I shall TREASURE it, and I’ll post it when I re-type it.  It’s a science fiction blessing!  It’s amazing.

Had what I thought would be an exceedingly unpleasant conversation with a fellow congregant, which turned out not to be unpleasant.  To truly say things with love is hard.  I hope to get better at it.

AND it was the water ingathering, one of my favourite Unitarian rituals; I got up and poured water for Transition and Change, that being the kind of summer I had.  Mike came back to work with me; Katie finally freed herself of the family she’d entangled herself with, both the kids got full time jobs, I committed to getting my back better and it’s already better; I committed to singing and playing as part of my every week schedule; I finally got to Wreck for the turning of the year; work changed, possibly for the better over the long haul; I shook most of my depression off; I realized that I’m not a gardener, but I can tend other things.

And there was a baby and there was a kitten, and there was a young married couple getting into the just married car, right on my street as I came home.  I sang out, my heart full and a big smile on my face “Good luck” as I went by.  Even if you don’t believe in God, it makes for some power in the morning.


Memo to the world if I’m ever killed in a terrorist attack

Memo to the world if I’m ever killed in a terrorist attack.

I’d like to deliver a pre-event FUCK YOU to the media, sort of a “Panopticon friendly living will”.

I am an atheist, so please don’t drag God into it.  God had nothing to do with mining the uranium out of the ground, or fabricating the explosives, or manufacturing the ricin, or in any way constructing whatever method blew me to bits or poisoned or drowned or suffocated me.  Nope it was people, mostly men, who put me in the ludicrous position of trying to speak to you from my grave.

I don’t want the government to use my death as an excuse to harass people of colour; people who look different from my variously pink and white corpus; people who never had the complex edifices of hereditary and colonial privilege which are my daily and mostly unrecognized portion.  The war on terror is a failure; my death is proof of that, but this proof will get drowned in a sea of wall to wall “How awful, how terrible, buy my hot chocolate pls” coverage.  Besides, as I see it, I’m more likely to get killed by a domestic terrorist, lone wolves with grudges can walk into any church and start blasting away, and they don’t even need a coherent world view to act.

I don’t want the people I love to use it as an excuse to hate anybody.  Fifty-two years on this ball o’ mud have taught me that only about 1 percent, maybe fewer, of human beings have the power to withstand social pressure when surrounded by the tribal emblems and ranting anthems and religious indoctrination that we grow up in, wherever we are; whether it’s the Inerrant Holy Text or the cult of Apple, we need our tribes and their shibboleths – and all the wit and good intentions and scientific advancement of 20 centuries means squat in the face of that drive.  We try, we fail, we try again.  A child is born; we vow to try again.  A loved one dies, we rededicate ourselves.  We are puny, but it’s hardly an excuse.

I have tried to join a tribe — or tribes — that at least look at human suffering and try to diminish it.  I am angry, as angry as a human can be, at the starvation and false imprisonment and environmental destruction of people across the globe, but I don’t want to make it worse by running out and killing folks in revenge, even if I think they deserve it.

So my tribe of filkers (look it up, I’m tired of explaining it) sings and brings the making and sharing of beauty into its heart, and my family tries to integrate a lot of different world-views without breaking, and my tribe of Unitarians tries to stay cheerful, motivated and active for justice in the face of a lot of angst and doubt, and my tribe of coworkers tries very hard to make and support good products, although the way the global supply chain is looking that’s harder every year.

And now I’m dead, and my tribes will miss me.  I’ll get a paragraph when they do a write up about the dead.  Well let ‘em know.  I loved the world, and I was sorry to leave it with so much undone.  But I didn’t want revenge, and I want any grief to work its way into a useful memorial for the benefit of the world.  And, FUCK YOU, mass media. Whatever you do, whatever you say, you’re going to get it wrong.

My reward

My conscience didn’t let me go to another board meeting without carpooling. Vehicular independence is all very well but there’s no excuse when I live scant blocks from two of the other board members  So Peggy and I went together in Ziva (I forced her to listen to Nancy Freeman on my car stereo boo hoo) and my reward was to have Tom materialize (scary, actually) next to Ziva when I dropped her off afterward with a container of frozen shrimp.  I was told to share it with Paul but that will be no hardship – apparently his niece Kaitlyn is in town this weekend.

The meeting itself was very good.  Everybody is so tired and overwhelmed but we work really well together and it was good to see.

Work, oh well.  I hope today is better.