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Above email address currently deprecated! Use gary underscore farber at yahoodotcom, pliz! Sanely free of McCarthyite calling anyone a traitor since 2001!
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I've a long record in editorial work in book and magazine publishing, starting 1974, a variety of other work experience, but have been, since 2001, recurringly housebound with insanely painful sporadic and unpredictably variable gout and edema, and in the past, other ailments; the future? The Great Unknown: isn't it for all of us?
I'm currently house/cat-sitting, not on any government aid yet (or mostly ever), often in major chronic pain from gout and edema, which variably can leave me unable to walk, including just standing, but sometimes is better, and is freaking unpredictable at present; I also have major chronic depression and anxiety disorders; I'm currently supported mostly by your blog donations/subscriptions; you can help me. I prefer to spread out the load, and lessen it from the few who have been doing more than their fair share for too long.
Thanks for any understanding and support. I know it's difficult to understand. And things will change. They always change.
I'm sometimes available to some degree as a paid writer, editor, researcher, or proofreader. I'm sometimes available as a fill-in Guest Blogger at mid-to-high-traffic blogs that fit my knowledge set.
If you like my blog, and would like to help me continue to afford food and prescriptions, or simply enjoy my blogging and writing, and would like to support it --
you are welcome to do so via the PayPal buttons.
"The brain is wider than the sky, For, put them side by side,
The one the other will include With ease, and you beside"
-- Emily Dickinson
"We will pursue peace as if there is no terrorism and fight terrorism as if there is no peace."
-- Yitzhak Rabin
"I have thought it my duty to exhibit things as they are, not as they ought to be."
-- Alexander Hamilton
"The stakes are too high for government to be a spectator sport."
-- Barbara Jordan
"Under democracy, one party always devotes its chief energies to
trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule --
and both commonly succeed, and are right."
-- H. L. Mencken
"Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom.
It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves."
-- William Pitt
"The only completely consistent people are the dead."
-- Aldous Huxley
"I have had my solutions for a long time; but I do not yet know how I am to arrive at them."
-- Karl F. Gauss
"Whatever evils either reason or declamation have imputed to extensive empire,
the power of Rome was attended with some beneficial consequences to mankind;
and the same freedom of intercourse which extended the vices, diffused likewise
the improvements of social life."
-- Edward Gibbon
"Augustus was sensible that mankind is governed by names; nor was he deceived in his
expectation, that the senate and people would submit to slavery, provided they were
respectfully assured that they still enjoyed their ancient freedom."
-- Edward Gibbon
"There exists in human nature a strong propensity to depreciate the advantages, and to magnify
the evils, of the present times."
-- Edward Gibbon
"Our youth now loves luxuries. They have bad manners, contempt for authority.
They show disrespect for elders and they
love to chatter instead of exercise.
Children are now tyrants, not the servants, of their households. They
no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,
chatter before company, gobble up their food, and tyrannize
"Before impugning an opponent's motives, even when they legitimately may be impugned, answer his arguments."
-- Sidney Hook
"Idealism, alas, does not protect one from ignorance, dogmatism, and foolishness."
-- Sidney Hook
"Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"We take, and must continue to take, morally hazardous actions to preserve our civilization.
We must exercise our power. But we ought neither to believe that a nation is capable of perfect
disinterestedness in its exercise, nor become complacent about particular degrees of interest
and passion which corrupt the justice by which the exercise of power is legitimized."
-- Reinhold Niebuhr
"Faced with the choice of all the land without a Jewish state or a Jewish state without all the
land, we chose a Jewish state without all the land."
-- David Ben-Gurion
"...the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him
an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this
or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages
to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right; that it tends also
to corrupt the principles of that very religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing,
with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess
and conform to it;[...] that the opinions of men are not the object of civil government, nor under its jurisdiction; that to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion
and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty....
-- Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, Thomas Jefferson
"We don't live just by ideas. Ideas are part of the mixture of customs and practices,
intuitions and instincts that make human life a conscious activity susceptible to
improvement or debasement. A radical idea may be healthy as a provocation;
a temperate idea may be stultifying. It depends on the circumstances. One of the most
tiresome arguments against ideas is that their 'tendency' is to some dire condition --
to totalitarianism, or to moral relativism, or to a war of all against all."
-- Louis Menand
"The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis."
-- Dante Alighieri
"He too serves a certain purpose who only stands and cheers."
-- Henry B. Adams
"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the
poor to beg in the streets, steal bread, or sleep under a bridge."
-- Anatole France
"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle."
-- Edmund Burke
"Education does not mean that we have become certified experts in business or mining or botany or journalism or epistemology;
it means that through the absorption of the moral, intellectual, and esthetic inheritance of the race we have come to
understand and control ourselves as well as the external world; that we have chosen the best as our associates both in spirit
and the flesh; that we have learned to add courtesy to culture, wisdom to knowledge, and forgiveness to understanding."
-- Will Durant
"Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is
but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest
winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?"
-- Herman Melville
"The most important political office is that of the private citizen."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both."
-- Louis D. Brandeis
"It is an error to suppose that books have no influence; it is a slow influence, like flowing water carving out a canyon,
but it tells more and more with every year; and no one can pass an hour a day in the society of sages and heroes without
being lifted up a notch or two by the company he has kept."
-- Will Durant
"When you write, you’re trying to transpose what you’re thinking into something that is less like an annoying drone and more like a piece of music."
-- Louis Menand
"Sex is a continuum."
-- Gore Vidal
"I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should
make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state."
-- Thomas Jefferson, letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Connecticut, 1802.
"The sum of our religion is peace and unanimity, but these can scarcely stand unless we define as little as possible,
and in many things leave one free to follow his own judgment, because there is great obscurity in many matters, and
man suffers from this almost congenital disease that he will not give in when once a controversy is started, and
after he is heated he regards as absolutely true that which he began to sponsor quite casually...."
-- Desiderius Erasmus
"Are we to have a censor whose imprimatur shall say what books may be sold, and what we may buy? And who is thus to dogmatize religious opinions for our citizens? Whose foot is to be the measure to which ours are all to be cut or stretched? Is a priest to be our inquisitor, or shall a layman, simple as ourselves, set up his reason as the rule of what we are to read, and what we must disbelieve?"
-- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to N. G. Dufief, Philadelphia bookseller, 1814
"We are told that it is only people's objective actions that matter, and their subjective feelings are of no importance. Thus pacifists, by obstructing the war effort,
are 'objectively' aiding the Nazis; and therefore the fact that they may be personally hostile to Fascism is irrelevant. I have been guilty of saying this myself more than once. The same argument is applied to Trotskyism. Trotskyists are often credited, at any rate by Communists, with being active and conscious agents of Hitler; but when you point out the many and obvious reasons why this is unlikely to be true,
the 'objectively' line of talk is brought forward again. To criticize the Soviet Union helps Hitler: therefore 'Trotskyism is Fascism'. And when this has been established, the accusation of conscious treachery is usually repeated.
This is not only dishonest; it also carries a severe penalty with it. If you disregard people's motives, it becomes much harder to foresee their actions."
-- George Orwell, "As I Please," Tribune, 8 December 1944
"Wouldn't this be a great world if insecurity and desperation made us more attractive? If 'needy' were a turn-on?"
-- "Aaron Altman," Broadcast News
"The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand."
-- Lewis Thomas
"To be ignorant of what happened before you were born is to be ever a child. For what is man's lifetime unless the memory of past events is woven with those of earlier times?"
"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it."
-- Samuel Johnson, Life Of Johnson
"Very well, what did my critics say in attacking my character? I must read out their affidavit, so to speak, as though they were my legal accusers: Socrates is guilty of criminal meddling, in that he inquires into things below the earth and in the sky, and makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger, and teaches others to follow his example."
-- Socrates, via Plato, The Republic
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, represents, in the final analysis, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower
"The term, then, is obviously a relative one; my pedantry is your scholarship, his reasonable accuracy, her irreducible minimum of education, & someone else's ignorance."
-- H. W. Fowler
"Rules exist for good reasons, and in any art form the beginner must learn them and understand what they are for, then follow them for quite a while. A visual artist, pianist, dancer, fiction writer, all beginning artists are in the same boat here: learn the rules, understand them, follow them. It's called an apprenticeship. A mediocre artist never stops following the rules, slavishly follows guidelines, and seldom rises above mediocrity. An accomplished artist internalizes the rules to the point where they don't have to be consciously considered. After you've put in the time it takes to learn to swim, you never stop to think: now I move my arm, kick, raise my head, breathe. You just do it. The accomplished artist knows what the rules mean, how to use them, dodge them, ignore them altogether, or break them. This may be a wholly unconscious process of assimilation, one never articulated, but it has taken place."
-- Kate Wilhelm
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed."
-- Albert Einstein
"The decisive moment in human evolution is perpetual."
-- Franz Kafka, Aphorisms
"All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."
-- Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho
"First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you."
-- Nicholas Klein, May, 1919, to the Third Biennial Convention of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (misattributed to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, 1914 & variants).
"Our credulity is a part of the imperfection of our natures. It is inherent in us to desire to generalize, when we ought, on the contrary, to guard ourselves very carefully from this tendency."
-- Napoleon I of France.
"The truth is, men are very hard to know, and yet, not to be deceived, we must judge them by their present actions, but for the present only."
-- Napoleon I of France.
"The barbarous custom of having men beaten who are suspected of having important secrets to reveal must be abolished. It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile. The poor wretches say anything that comes into their mind and what they think the interrogator wishes to know."
-- On the subject of torture, in a letter to Louis Alexandre Berthier (11 November 1798), published in Correspondance Napoleon edited by Henri Plon (1861), Vol. V, No. 3606, p. 128
"All living souls welcome whatever they are ready to cope with; all else they ignore, or pronounce to be monstrous and wrong, or deny to be possible."
-- George Santayana, Dialogues in Limbo (1926)
"If you should put even a little on a little, and should do this often, soon this too would become big."
-- Hesiod, Work And Days
"Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."
-- Eugene V. Debs
"Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself."
-- Lois McMaster Bujold, A Civil Campaign
"All that we have to do is to send two mujahidin to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written "al-Qaida," in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies."
-- Osama bin Laden
"Remember, Robin: evil is a pretty bad thing."
Gary Farber is now a licensed Quintuple Super-Sekrit Multi-dimensional Master Pundit.
He does not always refer to himself in the third person.
He is presently single.
The gefilte fish is dead. Donate via the donation button on the top left or I'll shoot this cutepanda. Don't you lovepandas?
Current Total # of Donations Since 2002: 1181
Subscribers to date at $5/month: 100 sign-ups; 91 cancellations; Total= 9
Supporter subscribers to date at $25/month: 16 sign-ups; 10 cancellation; Total= 6
Patron subscribers to date at $50/month: 20 sign-ups; 13 cancellations; Total= 7
...writer[s] I find myself checking out repeatedly when I'm in the mood to play follow-the-links. They're not all people I agree with all the time, or even most of the time, but I've found them all to be thoughtful writers, and that's the important thing, or should be.
-- Tom Tomorrow
I bow before the shrillitudinousness of Gary Farber, who has been blogging like a fiend.
-- Ted Barlow, Crooked Timber
Favorite.... [...] ...all great stuff. [...] Gary Farber should never be without readers.
I usually read you and Patrick several times a day, and I always get something from them. You've got great links, intellectually honest commentary, and a sense of humor. What's not to like?
-- Ted Barlow
One of my issues with many poli-blogs is the dickhead tone so many bloggers affect to express their sense of righteous indignation. Gary Farber's thoughtful leftie takes on the world stand in sharp contrast with the usual rhetorical bullying. Plus, he likes "Pogo," which clearly attests to his unassaultable good taste.
Jaysus. I saw him do something like this before, on a thread about Israel. It was pretty brutal. It's like watching one of those old WWF wrestlers grab an opponent's
face and grind away until the guy starts crying. I mean that in a nice & admiring way, you know.
-- Fontana Labs, Unfogged
We read you Gary Farber! We read you all the time! Its just that we are lazy with our blogroll. We are so very very lazy. We are always the last ones to the party but we always have snazzy bow ties.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!
Gary Farber you are a genius of mad scientist proportions. I will bet there are like huge brains growin in jars all over your house.
-- Fafnir, Fafblog!
Gary Farber is the hardest working man in show blog business. He's like a young Gene Hackman blogging with his hair on fire, or something.
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog
Gary Farber only has two blogging modes: not at all, and 20 billion interesting posts a day [...] someone on the interweb whose opinions I can trust....
-- Belle Waring, John & Belle Have A Blog
Isn't Gary a cracking blogger, apropos of nothing in particular?
-- Alison Scott
Gary Farber takes me to task, in a way befitting the gentleman he is.
-- Stephen Green, Vodkapundit
My friend Gary Farber at Amygdala is the sort of liberal for whom I happily give three cheers. [...] Damned incisive blogging....
-- Midwest Conservative Journal
If I ever start a paper, Clueless writes the foreign affairs column, Layne handles the city beat, Welch has the roving-reporter job, Tom Tomorrow runs the comic section (which carries Treacher, of course). MediaMinded runs the slots - that's the type of editor I want as the last line of defense. InstantMan runs the edit page - and you can forget about your Ivins and Wills and Friedmans and Teepens on the edit page - it's all Blair, VodkaP, C. Johnson, Aspara, Farber, Galt, and a dozen other worthies, with Justin 'I am smoking in such a provocative fashion' Raimondo tossed in for balance and comic relief.
Who wouldn't buy that paper? Who wouldn't want to read it? Who wouldn't climb over their mother to be in it?
-- James Lileks
I do appreciate your role and the role of Amygdala as a pioneering effort in the integration of fanwriters with social conscience into the larger blogosphere of social conscience.
-- Lenny Bailes
Every single post in that part of Amygdala visible on my screen is either funny or bracing or important. Is it always like this? -- Natalie Solent
People I've known and still miss include Isaac Asimov, rich brown, Charles Burbee, F. M. "Buzz" Busby, Terry Carr, A. Vincent Clarke, Bob Doyle, George Alec Effinger, Abi Frost,
Bill & Sherry Fesselmeyer, George Flynn, John Milo "Mike" Ford. John Foyster, Mike Glicksohn, Jay Haldeman, Neith Hammond (Asenath Katrina Hammond)/DominEditrix , Chuch Harris, Mike Hinge, Lee Hoffman, Terry Hughes, Damon Knight, Ross Pavlac, Bruce Pelz, Elmer Perdue, Tom Perry,
Larry Propp, Bill Rotsler, Art Saha, Bob Shaw, Martin Smith, Harry Stubbs, Bob Tucker, Harry Warner, Jr., Jack Williamson, Walter A. Willis, Susan Wood, Kate Worley, and Roger Zelazny.
It's just a start, it only gets longer, many are unintentionally left out.
And She of whom I must write someday.
I'VE LOST TRACK OF THE NUMBER OF TIMES I'VE LIVED THROUGH ONE OF THESE.
I went to sleep last night around 1:15 a.m. I was awakened by banging on my room's door around 6:10 a.m., and a shout of "the house is on fire!"
Sleeping naked, I pulled on some shorts, not stopping for underwear, as quickly as possible, and a shirt, and ascertaining that the fire was apparently very small and unthreatening, after running outside to establish this, ran back inside to unplug and grab my external hard drives, throw them in a bag, along with my cash, and run back outside, to stow them in my landlord's car. Shortly thereafter, I went back for the recently acquired replacement computer for the one that had died just a handful of months ago.
And then watched the firefighters from the three trucks, as they pulled material off the wall on the side of the house, hose it down, etc.
The fire was small, causing only a few square feet of damage to the outside of the house, and a small hole in the wall to the 16-year-old's bedroom.
At present, there remains no power upstairs. The cause appears to have been a lightning strike last night, around 3 a.m., that I slept through, but which woke everyone else up, and which seems to have caused a short in the house wiring, thus causing the eventual fire, which wasn't noticed until about 6:10 a.m, by virtue of my hostess, my ex-girlfriend, smelling smoke.
The insurance evaluators have already come and gone. The electrician is supposed to be arriving this afternoon; one thing to be determined is if I'll be able to get all the power back on in my room, which has had circuit failing problems before.
Meanwhile, I'm working downstairs on the MacBook that Nicholas Weininger so incredibly kindly donated to me a couple of months ago. I'm still very unused to the Mac OS, as well as this keyboard, as well as the use of the trackpad, as well as plenty of other quirks of working the Mac, so my online communication will be more limited than usual until such time as either I can start using my desktop computer in my own room again, or I get a lot more comfortable with this MacBook, which is still a godsend from the god, Nicholas Weininger, to whom all thanks.
I've lost track at this point how many fires I've lived through. There was the major one in 1991, in the five-story walk-up, that I barely survived, being unable to get out down the stairs, due to the severity of the flames, and which led to me having to dive through flames emitting from apartments below me on the fire escape, which also took place in the dead winter of December, in Washington Heights, Manhattan, and I had to grapple with the fire escape being encased in ice, one of the biggest blizzards of the season having just taken place; I dropped into two feet of snow, barefoot, after barely managing to dislodge the ladder at the bottom of the second floor, which was severely stuck; hysterical strength came through, and I got out a woman and her child following me who couldn't have lifted the ladder; we would have had to jump two flights, instead of one, otherwise.
That fire started in the apartment diagonally below mine, after some kids stuffed firecrackers in their air conditioner.
Then there was the small fire at the house in Seattle in the early Eighties, where someone aggravated by the people living in the small basement apartment below us, who were drug dealers, pulled a metal garbage can filled with wood and flamnable material up against their door and wall, and set it alight, sending a small fire up the wall, but mainly just causing a lot of scorching before we got 911 to send firefighters to put it out.
And I'm sure I'm blanking out right now, on some earlier fire experience.
I don't care for fires in dwellings, I must say, but in this case I'm immensely grateful it was so relatively minor, and completely non-life-threatening, and didn't even damage any of my possessions beyond a dented file cabinet from the firefighters throwing it around, along with other of my stuff, to get at a crawl space.
Whereas in the previous fire, of 1991 -- in which I lost three quarters of my stuff -- I was convinced for a time that I was about to die, when I realized there was no possibility of getting out through the major flames in the main stair well, and before I realized the fire escape was a possibility, but then again was unsure of what would happen with trying to descend the fire escape through flames shooting out of windows below from the five-story walk-up. Fortunately, I got only trivial burns. And after a while, a nice neighbor noticed I was standing barefoot in two feet of snow, and sent her son to get a spare pair of sneakers, which she donated to me. People can be good and nice, an observation that has sustained my life, and made up for all the examples of people being shitty assholes I've also had occasion to witness.
So how have you been?
ADDENDUM, 8:28 p.m.: In the category of good news: while I was asleep for a couple of hours, the breaker got replaced, and power restored for the time being in my room. I've reconnected various fans and other devices. The password for the house router was changed, but after some problems, I've been able to get the PowerBook to recognize it, and have internet access on this PowerBook again.
In the category of bad news: remember the computer I had to get just couple of months ago? That's my destop computer, that I use for everything. This MacBook, while a godsend, is just an emergency backup, and I still haven't figured out how to do the most obvious things with it, such as write a note to myself, or do anything that's the equivalent of right-clicking on a Windows machine; I can barely use the keyboard; etc.
Anyway, the external lights and fans come on for the new desktop computer, and the monitor seems to be working fine, and they seem to be connected, but I can't get any result other than a blank black screen, no matter what I've tried so far.
Now, the computer was turned on and off a bunch of times in the course of the various power failures. Plus, we had a lightning strike in the backyard last night, which is what caused the whole power overload that shorted the wiring in the wall that started the fire.
So I'm definitely worried that some internal component of the new computer is fried and inoperable. At the moment, I can't think of what else to do about this. If possible, I'll try, when I can, to arrange for testing both computer and monitor with someone else by respectively plugging them into someone else's respective monitor and computers and seeing what works or doesn't. I don't know how soon that will be possible; my relationships with all but one of the people in this house are not good, and the one who is okay with me, the owner, has left for the weekend. (And is a Mac person, besides, fwiw.)
Anyway, right now I'm left only with the PowerBook for communication, and not much else, until I can figure out if the desktop computer problem is just something I'm not figuring out. (It can't be very complicated, from an external perspective: there's power to both computer and monitor, but when put together, there's no visible result.)
I'm naturally in no position to be paying for diagnostics and all, let alone the idea of having to buy another computer within two months of buying one that already took up most of my savings.
So that's my primary concern right now, on top of all of my other, longer term, worries. But at least the fans are on, I have internet access in a very clumsy way, and even tv. Etc. So things could be much much much worse, and I'm very grateful that they're not.
More update when something significant happens; I won't be doing casual blogging until I get the desktop computer working again, as it's just too much of a pain in the butt to use this PowerBook, for me, for now, more than minimally.
Donations via the PayPal buttons more than welcome.
ADDENDUM, 9:23 p.m.: I spoke too soon about having tv working. For some reason, I can't get it to produce sound; it's not the cable box; the same problem exists via the DVD player. No sound. Yes, I've checked the plugs. Will eventually figure it out, presumably.
I sure wish I could get my main computer working; right now I just want to sit back and try to relax with one of my computer games. Oh, well.
ADDENDUM, July 25th, 7:01 p.m.: I've discovered that in addition to apparently having blown out the speakers of my tv, along with the house's router and cable modem, and my new computer, that the lightning strike also killed my (donated; thanks, Phil!) X-Box. It's a good thing I remembered I can play DVDs on this MacBook, or otherwise my only remaining entertainment would be, gasp, books, but it's all still pretty sucky. At this point, it seems clear that something got fried in the new computer. I also can't get two out of three of the external drives to boot up on Mac Book. I'm going to look into paying someone to diagnose the computer, at least, and see what can or can't be done, but it's all costs I can't afford, of course, when my whole income, for now, such as it is, is subscriptions/donations. Anyone who would like to help out by either taking out a subscription, or sending a donation, per the PayPal buttons on the sidebar, is more than welcome to. Many thanks, if you do.
UPDATE, July 25, 9:57 p.m.: Very good news, along with some remaining annoyances. Biggest news: I've restored the main desktop computer. Er, turns out I'm an idiot, and simply forgot that there were two places to plug the monitor into: the primary monitor slot, and the graphics card monitor slot. I had been plugging it back into the primary slot, where nothing showed up. I finally realized this a couple of hours ago, and realized the computer itself was basically fine.
One of my external hard drives seems to have definitely died, though; it won't work on either this machine or the MacBook, although la-di-da, it does light up. But won't connect, so that seems to be that. On the plus side, it was primarily just my back-up drive, so although I've lost my back-ups, and a bunch of games, and some minor programs and such, I don't think I've lost anything vital. The games can be reinstalled, at the cost of some time, and if I find there are any programs I've lost that I really need, the same applies.
Remaining on the annoying side: for some reason, I've lost the ability to generate working sound out of the computer. It has "Realtek Digital Output," and the Sound manager in the Windows control panel says that's working, but that its "speakers" are "not plugged in." This despite it being an internal device.
On the plus side, I had this problem once before, and eventually figured out how to fix it. On the down side, I have no memory of how, it was so complicated, so who knows how long it will be before I'll have sound again. So I have a tv with no sound, and a computer with no sound. (Although I can haul out the MacBook if I just want to listen to music, or make a special special effort to see something on YouTube.)
There's a long list of other problems I had to fix I won't bore you with. And the other remaining mid-sized problem is that my USB hubs either aren't working, or are simply not yet reconnected properly; hopefully, the latter.
UPDATE, July 25th, 10:53 p.m.: Sound problem on the computer fixed. Once more, I'm not really sure what I did, but it happened. Anyone want a tv with no sound output, though?
And I still haven't figured out if the external DVD drive is dead, or what. Seems like, since I can't seem to get it recognized by the computer any more, but I haven't quite given up entirely yet. But all that's endurable for now. And all in all, even with a hard drive to have to replace, a dead x-box, an unusable tv (I can't even figure out how to get closed captioning on it to work), and maybe an external DVD drive dead, given that the computer is okay after all, I count myself lucky.
UPDATE, July 25th, 11:29 p.m.: Oh, crap, the internal DVD drive, though recognized by the computer, doesn't seem to be actually recognizing any discs put in it.
UPDATE, July 26th, 12:01 a.m.: I realize this is boring the crap out of anyone who isn't me, by now, but for the record, I've discovered that one of the problems is that two of the USB ports on the back of the computer no longer seem to work; probably for the same reason the internal DVD drive is being recognized, but not enough to actually work. This does mean I can run the external DVD drive, which is working, after all, but does still cause considerable problems I'll try not to bore you further with.
Thanks, everyone. At present the current theory is that the electrician, who a few hours ago evaluated the electrical situation said that he'd switched out the bad breaker giving me no socket power up here.
Turns out he just pulled it. theoretically, he's coming back later today to actually replace it; all this purely as a temporary, ad hoc, improvement, to last until the actual contractors, in some days or weeks, arrive to do major rewiring.
At present, I've managed to get a fan, and for the moment, the MacBook, plugged into the bathroom sockets and ran extension cords in here, so I'm speaking to you from my room again, such as it is.
Turns out the same breaker also carries the house a/c, so we don't have that, and neither do I have the other four fans going that normally make this room more tolerable in summer. Fortunately, it's not all that hot a day; the internet says it's only 87-91 outside.
Oh, and the breaker was labeled "Furnace." Go figure.
Meanwhile, I've been working on piecemeal cleaning, and taking the opportunity to do my laundry.
Poor A------, the 16-year-old son of J----, had the real damage to his room, the hole in the wall, and will have to live with more smoke smell than I do -- although I have enough, but it seems like nothing compared to the 1991 experience -- until They arrive with equipment to remove the smoke smell; he'll be sleeping over at a friend's house down the block for the next few days, at least. J----- has her friend D--- to stay with, M-------, J----'s daughter has a boyfriend to stay with, and the other person in the house can use J----'s bedroom, so we're more or less covered, assuming I can get the temperature in here tolerable at night, and we don't have a hot spell.
J suggests I may need to remove some of the electrical equipment from this room (tv, tiny refridge, whatever), but we'll see what the electricians say.
Right now I mostly want to go back to sleep again.
And failing that, get better used to the keyboard on this MacBook.
Algernon, so what fanzine did you read that account of 1991 in? At this point I've long since lost track of where I wrote what up, and would genuinely like to know, as I really don't recall for sure where that might have been. I wasn't even sure, by now, if I'd ever written a definitive account, and I'd like to see how my past account reads to me now, if possible.
Oh man, Gary, that was a looooong time ago. What fanzine was that in? I remember it being one of the large ones, might have been mimeo'd on blue paper, but not Lan's Lantern or Mythologies. Was it Alyson's zine? And what was that called? And whatever happened to Alyson? Oh dear, I always get sad when I start down this path.
P.S. (Sorry for the extra comment) If it helps any, in the same article you recounted the story of your kidney stone. I think there was a third horror story as well. You made a recurring joke out of the line, "I am always delighted when I excel."
Algernon, maybe I'm being forgetful, but the only "Alyson" I can think of in fandom is Alyson Abramowitz, and I most definitely never wrote anything or had anything published in any of her fanzines.
It's possible that maybe it was in one of Jerry Kaufman and Suzanne Tompkins (Suzle)'s fanzines, though? If not, I still can't remember, but the tag line you mention I definitely do recall using in an article, which at least makes me now vaguely recall having written something or other along those lines. But where and when still remains a vague mist for me: sometime between 1991 and 2001, I assume.
I've written something like a million words, literally, subsequently, on Usenet and blogs, so keeping track of where and when I wrote what, beyond last week, isn't that easy for me any more.
Which is a primary reason for blogging: to try to keep a record of stuff. I really need to start using del.icio, or somesuch technique, though, to really track all the stuff I read, since blog far far far too little these days, and far less than I want to. Anyway, thanks muchly for the reminder and help.
Oh, and ditto that I never wrote for Lan's Lantern, and while I would have been proud to have been published in Mythologies, I in fact wrote relatively few "formal" fannish articles over the years, and never submitted one to your father.
Then, as now, I tend to shy away from writing something that I have to regard as "finished," rather than something I can regard as dashed off; it's a mental failing I still need to do a lot of work on.
You have apparently located the Mac browser, however--so you're ahead of many of us.
One nice thing about Macs, even with the Viper OSX VII or whatever--you can go out to lunch, or take off the afternoon while files download. MacMellow. They're also handsome machines---for a mere four grand or so you get a big, mellow computer that's a lot prettier and nearly as fast as your $500 PC.