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Knight Stand
Wonders & Wanderings

JJBrannon
Date: 2013-10-26 20:04
Subject: Entrance, Stage Right!
Security: Public
Location:Newark DE
Mood:querulous
Music:Walk Away René - Left Bank
Tags:free speech, politics
  A couple of weeks ago I took this political policy matching survey:

  http://www.isidewith.com/political-quiz

  with these results:

  http://www.isidewith.com/results/317635188

  It's official -- I'm slightly to the left of Bob Crane.*

  Mind you, I've always been a Marxist.  That is, a Groucho Marxist:  one who would not join any Party that would have me as a member.  As such I've always registered as a small "i" independent and voted in every election for which I qualified.

  My sister Kimberly insists that I was the only student in our middle school -- 6th, 7th, & 8th grades -- in 1972 who in the mock elections [tallied by the real voting booths delivered by the Elections Department to our school on the Monday before the official election] voted for McGovern.

  This is a canard.  Out of hundreds of students, approximately two dozen students voted for McGovern.  I voted against Nixon.

  Anyway, I invite you to take the survey and post links to your results here.  I showed you mine.

  *[Crane's co-star who played his TV character's daughter's boyfriend on the 1975 The Bob Crane Show once commented that the only subject on which he and Crane could agree was that the Russian Revolution was a Communist plot.]


JJB
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JJBrannon
Date: 2013-10-01 23:30
Subject: S'more Baltimore Book Festival
Security: Public
Location:Newark DE
Mood:mellowmellow
Music:"Escape" - Rupert Holmes
Tags:baltimore, books, sf, writers
  Still riding a high from the Festival and contemplating a few people I met who I neglected to mention in my last entry, reminds me I should tip a hat:

  Michael Underwood -- with whom I discussed poet Dylan Thomas because for me Mike's surname evoked Thomas' Under Milk Wood, which was a new one on Mr. Underwood whose experience with fen associated the name with Tolkien.  Please buy Mike's Geekomancy.

  RJ Tolson -- This young man has a résumé that a person twice his age would envy:  philanthropist, writer, composer-musician, athlete, model.  Despite this, RJ appears affable and without presumption in person.

  Chuck Gannon -- I didn't interact much with this Baen author, who seemed always to being headed hither while I was going yon.

  George Peabody -- merchant-philanthropist, patron of the Peabody Institute, outside of which the SFFWA pavilion was located, in Mt. Vernon Park:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0a/George_Peabody_statue%2C_Mount_Vernon_Place%2C_Baltimore%2C_MD.jpg/360px-George_Peabody_statue%2C_Mount_Vernon_Place%2C_Baltimore%2C_MD.jpg
George Peabody

  George seemed highly intent on watching over our SFFWA doings.
JJB
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JJBrannon
Date: 2013-09-30 06:55
Subject: Baltimore Book Festival
Security: Public
Location:Newark DE
Mood:enthralledenthralled
Music:"September Morn" - Neil Diamond
Tags:asaro, baltimore, books, bujold, clough, cons, friends, gilman, heinlein, lamplighter, scottolini, sf, smith-ready, writers, writing
  Lois McMaster Bujold surprised me on Tuesday by posting at Baen's Bar that she was flying in from Minnesota to attend the Baltimore Book Festival this past weekend.

  I called my family members to whom I had addicted introduced her books.  The short notice produced wails as agonized realization ensued that they had counter-scheduled.  Oh, well.  :>)

  While scanning the list of program participants I noted the name of friend and livejournalist L.Jagi Lamplighter arhyalon but hadn't seen any advanced notice on her LiveJournal, so I posted a comment to her most recent post.  Several others flagged my attention:  Catherine Asaro, Laura Anne Gilman, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jeri Smith-Ready, Bud Sparhawk, and Azar Nafisi.
Panda-ering to readers...Collapse )
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JJBrannon
Date: 2013-05-17 02:18
Subject: Getting ready for Balticon 47
Security: Public
Location:Newark, DE
Mood:awakeawake
Music:"Christmas in America" - Melissa Etheridge
Tags:cons, sf
  Prepping the packing -- clothes, computers, books-to-purchase list [Hey, Larry!], books to bring for autographs.

  Be there in 8!

JJB
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JJBrannon
Date: 2013-02-01 00:02
Subject: My Baby's Birthday
Security: Public
Location:Newark DE
Mood:melancholymelancholy
Music:Total Eclipse of the Heart - Bonnie Tyler
Tags:family, kayleigh
  Today marks the 21st anniversary of my daughter Kayleigh's birth.

  I've never held her, touched her, hugged her, dyed Easter eggs with her, helped with her homework, played catch with her, read bedtime stories to her, kissed her goodnight, or watched over her as she slept, as I did my stepchildren Lisa and Aaron, my son Matthew, or my many nephews, nieces, and young cousins.

  Kayleigh, conceived and born in Delaware, was parentally kidnaped -- that's the Federal legal term when one parent causes unilateral removal of a child from her "Home State", another legal term that refers to the State -- again under Federal and all 50 States' law -- when a child is under 6-months-old at the start of a legal action.

  My daughter was born on a Friday evening at Christiana Hospital in Newark, Delaware.
The rest of the story...Collapse )


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JJBrannon
Date: 2012-12-21 00:15
Subject: A Writing Resource Gifts a Writer
Security: Public
Location:Newark DE
Mood:geekygeeky
Music:Frosty the Snowman - Jimmy Durante
Tags:family, flynn, sf
   Several years ago, when on his AOL Community forum, Michael Francis Flynn m_francis asked his ever-bickering faithful fans if they would care to assist him in a story he was writing.
Secret Mission exposed...Collapse )
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JJBrannon
Date: 2012-07-28 23:08
Subject: Budding Scientist
Security: Public
Location:Newark De
Mood:pleasedpleased
Music:"Father & Son", Johnny Cash & Fiona Apple
Tags:delaware, education, family, science, stout
On Thursday my 8-year-old cousin Gabriel Fennemore was recognized by the State of Delaware's Governor Jack Markell for his environmentalism accomplishments.

Gabriel, who is home-schooled, spent the last two years photographing animals and plants.  With his father Bart's help setting up the template and teaching him how to upload, Gabriel produced an online nature journal, "The Young Naturalist".

http://www.theyoungnaturalist.com/

Because of a summer cold, Gabriel was not able to attend the ceremony but his family is sure that opportunities in the future will present themselves for such a naturally curious young investigator.

http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/News/Pages/Gov-Markell-joins-DNREC-Sec-OMara-to-honor-Delawares-2012-Young-Environmentalists-of-the-Year.aspx?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter


JJB
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JJBrannon
Date: 2012-07-19 00:07
Subject: A Little Night Music
Security: Public
Location:Newark DE
Mood:ecstaticecstatic
Music:"Child of Mine" - Carole King
Tags:family, stout
  My cousins -- the brilliant, beautiful, gracious Elizabeth and her nearly as brilliant, artistic, good-natured, loving husband Christopher -- introduce their most recent collaborative effort, Aria Elizabeth Rose, born approximately 5 PM today, 18 July 2012.  Weighing in at 7 lb 2 oz, reaching 21", she's a contendah!
Pictures below...Collapse )
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JJBrannon
Date: 2012-04-19 01:08
Subject: Dick Clark, Requiescat in Melodiam
Security: Public
Location:Newark DE
Mood:nostalgicnostalgic
Music:"American Bandstand" intro
Tags:america, culture, family, kayleigh, music
My daughter's uncle's business partner of 55 nearly 50 years [from when the former was a boyish Al Pacino-ish appearing CPA and the latter a raffish rogue radio personality from NYC], who became the Young Turks of the Philly Scene and the later Boy-Conquerors of the American Music Nation, died today.

He was 82.

Rock & Roll is said to have started, if the disparate charges can be hazarded to have any single ignition point, across from Philly in Gloucester City, NJ, where from 1951 Bill Haley & His Saddlemen [later rechristened the Comets] played an 18-month engagement as the Twin Bar house-band, fine-tuning their sound.  Wildwood politely disagrees, asserting priority.

Regardless, if South Jersey offered reasonable claim to be the lead torch-bearer of a national movement, its metropolitan brother Philadelphia [of all cities, Philly cannot be said to be sisterly] sealed the deal in 1957 with Dick Clark and American Bandstand.  It's early emcee forgotten, Dick was the face of vibrant youth and a youthful sound.

Farewell and thank you for bringing the music into our homes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4E5xy6gjnt4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GR_rYLx_2RQ

and an article quoting my daughter Kayleigh's elusive, camera-shy great-uncle:

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/47100931/ns/business-us_business/

JJB
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JJBrannon
Date: 2012-02-25 14:51
Subject: Terrytoon Epiphany
Security: Public
Location:Newark DE
Mood:enthralledenthralled
Music:"Chariots of Fire" - Vangelis
Tags:books, family, heinlein, lamplighter, sf, writers, writing
Until 1977, I had no recall of encountering the name Anatole France -- great French writer -- until a reference in Carl Sagan's Dragons of Eden where he mentions that Lord Byron possessed one of the largest brains [2200 cc] on record while Anatole France had one of the smallest [1000 cc] for a grown male, despite Byron not being twice as intelligent as France.

However, Anatole France had a profound influence on my life.

As my sixth birthday approached, experiencing my first winter in Fairbanks, Alaska, I encountered this spare, magical eight-minute cartoon, unlike anything else witnessed by me before or thereafter.  I saw it exactly once in my life until this afternoon when it struck me that on the cyber-realization of Gordon R. Dickson's Final Encyclopedia I might relive this moment of my boyhood.  Several months ago, in relating a story to my friend SF writer L. Jagi Lamplighter arhyalon about my childhood in the Great White North, I used GoogleMaps to explore the street level of the church my family attended in the forested outskirts and traveled back in time it seemed to gaze upon again the silver birches I played amongst with my brother.

So, with trepidation, that even though I have been told by a child psychologist that I had close to what is described as an eidetic memory, I feared the reality of the animation would fall short of the wonder of my experience as viewed through the eyes of the child I had been.

Because this cartoon altered the course of my life and shaped my philosophy to this day.

I was not disheartened.

Let me share this very personal epiphany with you:

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x8s7e2_juggler-of-our-lady_creation

Here's the story behind it, by one of its creators:

http://genedeitchcredits.com/roll-the-credits-01/29-r-o-blechman/

As a member of the Heinlein Society and a lifelong reader of Robert A. Heinlein since stumbling upon one of his Juveniles in the school library when I was eight, it came as no great surprise when revealed by Spider Robinson in his The Best of All Possible Worlds anthology that this tale was a favorite of RAH.

JJB
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JJBrannon
Date: 2012-01-18 15:56
Subject: No Tempest in Tucson
Security: Public
Location:Newark DE
Mood:crankycranky
Music:None
Tags:courts, justice, politics, schools
Cross-posted from comments on Karen Healy's LJ: http://karenhealey.livejournal.com/956059.html

Lacking a dog in this hunt -- not residing in Tucson nor even Arizona -- I'm not overly concerned about the outcome, especially as I must aim a baleful eye at the Orwellian Newspeak utilized by the protesters.

Usually, in cases such as this, I employ the goose-gander substitution of terms test.

So, if the State of Massachusetts, USA, passed a law prohibiting Massachusetts public schools, funded by taxpayers, to establish classes intended predominantly for one ethnic group -- White Anglo-Saxon Protestants [WASPs], forex -- that promoted ethnic divisiveness [by singling out blacks or immigrant Vietnamese Hmong, f'rinstance, for lost jobs and decreased property values], sedition, and overthrow of the government to oppose this other targeted ethnic group AND such ordered that any so described public, taxpayer-funded school system must desist in such practice or lose portions of critical funding for all programs as a penalty, would there be an equal outcry?

Would the shutting of the program in response to the law constitute banning when copies of the books remained available in the school library system?

I don't know enough of the on-the-ground details beyond a casual glance to judge whether my parallel suffices, yet -- from gut instinct honed over years dealing with courts and as a discivil libertarian -- my guess is the district Federal courts will apply an "equal protection" standard to the matter, upholding the law; the 9th Circuit will narrowly overturn those decisions; and SCOTUS will affirm the district court's original ruling.


JJB
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JJBrannon
Date: 2012-01-03 21:49
Subject: Stirring the [Melting] Pot
Security: Public
Location:Newark DE
Mood:quixoticquixotic
Music:"Fight for Me" - Citizen Reign
Tags:advocacy, delaware, free speech, politeness, politics
Civilization is not a by-product of happenstance, but a deliberate construct achieved by the efforts of determined minds.

People have live together in small, stationary village-sized groups or nomadic bands for millennia before recorded history began about 5000 years ago.  There's some evolutionary psychology theories supported by cognitive neuroscience studies that assert that the village/band group size limits for most people the ability to recall names and faces to a circle of under a thousand individuals, including those nodding-to regulars one encounters in the same commuter train or convenience store.

Cities began when people deliberately chose to gather in numbers greater than a thousand to pool resources, to increase safety, and engage in more sophisticated commercial trades.  Part of the compromise was the willingness to abstract membership in a group over the particulars of one's tribe.

Courtesy, manners, and customs evolved as the means to bind otherwise strangers into the fabric of civil or civic [=city] society. Politics and politeness also derive from the same root.


Light the power...Collapse )
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JJBrannon
Date: 2011-12-31 23:06
Subject: Books Read 2011
Security: Public
Location:Newark DE
Mood:nostalgicnostalgic
Music:"Flashdance" - Irene Cara
Tags:books, holidays, sf
Here are the books I read this year, if that's of any interest to anyone.
Read'em & weep...Collapse )

Happy New Year,
JJB

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JJBrannon
Date: 2011-12-29 18:34
Subject: Mary Sue Plaint Skewered Again
Security: Public
Location:Newark DE
Music:"A Boy Named Sue" - Johnny Cash
Tags:scalzi, sf, writing
I am recycling a cogent post made to John Scalzi's Whatever forum from a couple of years ago because the argument is worth repeating:

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2009/01/28/reasonably-unscrewed-up-character-≠-mary-sue/

Mary Sue/Marty Stu… where to begin?

Begin here...Collapse )
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JJBrannon
Date: 2011-12-25 16:00
Subject: Favorite Xmas Movies
Security: Public
Location:Newark De
Mood:cheerfulcheerful
Music:"Silent Night"
Tags:family, film, xmas
Merry Xmas everyone!

[Proud Member of the Movement to Keep the Chi in Christmas!]

http://thebiblicalworld.blogspot.com/2011/11/keep-chi-in-xmas.html


In other words, I prefer people understand what they're saying.  :>)

I made a Solstice resolution to spend more time watching movies.  I own over 400 DVDs and I never seem to make enough time to enjoy them.

After my stay in ICU, I thought I could afford to kick back and pamper myself.
We Retun to Our Regularly Scheduled Program...Collapse )
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JJBrannon
Date: 2011-12-23 12:37
Subject: Giving credit where due
Security: Public
Location:Newark De
Mood:gratefulgrateful
Music:Christmas in America" - Pat Benatar
Tags:christmas, health
I owe my life to this guy, Ken Grant, a man to have at one's back:

http://www.townsquaredelaware.com/keep-saturn-in-saturnalia/

You should read his op-ed pieces.  They're always thought-provoking and seeking improvement in our daily lives.  Ken walks the walk before he talks the talk.
More People to Thank...Collapse )
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JJBrannon
Date: 2011-12-21 23:42
Subject: Saddle broken
Security: Public
Location:Newark DE
Mood:optimisticoptimistic
Music:Mary, Do You Know?
Tags:family, health, math, stout
  Usually, the term applies to wild horses which have been tamed.
 
  Here's another take [adapted from an email to Math's mom, my XSO Linda]:

       I'm home on blood thinners.

       A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot to the lungs.

       A saddle embolism has two heads; id est, looks like a saddle.

       In the ER each iteration of reports progressed thusly:

       "You have a PE."

       "You have a large PE."

       "You have a very large PE."

       "You have a HUGE PE."

       When I spoke to the last physician who reported this, he replied, "The technical term is 'massive PE'."
CliffhangerCollapse )
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JJBrannon
Date: 2011-04-05 01:35
Subject: David & Lost children, lost years, enduring quest - Part III
Security: Public
Location:Newark DE
Mood:sadsad
Music:"Forever Young" - Rod Stewart
Tags:cinnaminson, family, friends, kayleigh, math
My mother, bored in her marriage to my step-father Jim O'Brien, decided to remedy herself of the marriage by insisting on a divorce to which Jim would not complacently accept.

My mother applied sweet reason:  "You have to sleep sometime," she told him.

Jim agreed to the divorce.

[This tale I heard repeated on numerous occasions thereafter by my mother who exalted in her "cleverness".]

The divorce proceeded, my mother sold the Belmawr house and bought a newly built one in Cinnaminson, New Jersey, where we moved in the summer of 1971.  It would prove to be the place I lived longest in my life until I was in my mid-20s.

Cinnaminson's schools also employed what later educational models vilified as "tracking", placing students in classes by ability.  This led me -- as a burgeoning young geek -- to meet and befriend some equally bright kids. 
BFFs -- For awhile & ForeverCollapse )
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JJBrannon
Date: 2010-11-27 16:38
Subject: Giving Thanks
Security: Public
Location:Newark DE
Mood:nostalgicnostalgic
Music:"Hey, Jude" - The Beatle
Tags:america, family, holidays, kayleigh, math
     Someone posted this on Baen's Bar:

 

      I wish one and all an appreciative day.

      I am particularly grateful to Jim Baen & Arnold Bailey for building this place, and Toni Weisskopf, Eric Flint, & Mark Van Name for keeping the Bar stocked and the hearth bright in a cold world.

      I am thankful to be alive in the Third Millennium, in America -- still yet the Land of Liberty, Opportunity & Progress!

      I thank the men and women who stand on foreign soil, far from their families, to guard that Liberty and shield that Opportunity, against the dark that rises as if to quench the Lady's torch, jealous of that Progress that is the heir to the Civilization built by the generations before us.

      As I tell my friends, America's Thanksgiving is the only national holiday in the world meant to honor immigrants and people of different origins who put aside those differences to join in peace and the vision of a New World.  America is the first Nation which arose not from tribalism or Folk, but an Idea:  "...Conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

      http://bar.baen.com/Default.aspx

More thanks...Collapse )
 
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JJBrannon
Date: 2010-10-10 21:22
Subject: Metric Day! Start of National Metric Week!
Security: Public
Location:Newark DE
Mood:amusedamused
Music:"Trouble Me" - 10K Maniacs
Tags:humor, math, science
    The Deciphiles outglebe!

    Here's a little note discussing the subject from an industry leader:

    http://www.blog.analtech.com/blog/bid/47946/Celebrating-Metrics-Week-in-Chromatography

    Actually, this was my suggestion.

    We should celebrate by going the full 9 yards 10 meters!



JJB
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