Archive for December 6, 2008

It’s Winter. It’s Cold. Time For Some Heat.

December 6, 2008

Harlan fucking Ellison, baby!




Wow. Did I need that!

I’ve been sitting here, oppressed by winter, bored as hell, unable to find a drop of juice to quench my soul — and bam! There’s Unca Harlan.

And look at that. There’s the difference between a writer and someone who pushes words around on paper:

Harlan Ellison: Told he’d never be a writer. Said, Fuck that!

Octavia Butler: Told her story was boring. That didn’t stop her!

J. Michael Straczynski: Told he was writing crap. Stopped doing that!

All three said, The fucking Word is in me. I’ve got to get it out. And I’ll keep doing it until it’s out!

And in their doing, they got better. They learned. They didn’t recycle shit. They knew what to walk away from or put away or change.

And they became the writers they knew they were.

I needed that.

Thanks for the one-billionth-trillionth time, Harlan!

R.I.P. Forrest J. Ackerman

December 6, 2008

Sci-fi ‘creator’ Ackerman dies

He said the term “sci-fi” came to him in 1954 when he was listening to a car radio and heard an announcer mention the word “hi-fi.”

“My dear wife said, ‘Forget it, Forry, it will never catch on,”‘ he said.

He was never a big part of my own life. I preferred the irregularly-published Castle of Frankenstein to Famous Monsters of Filmland. But he had the foresight to amass a huge collection. Too bad all the people who grew rich from his influence never appreciated that and helped to preserve it.

Survivors 1970s Vs 2008

December 6, 2008

16mm film

High-Def (don’t know if it’s 720 or 1080)

You Will Want To BUY eBooks

December 6, 2008

I had a few unexpected hours off the Internet today due to a connectivity issue.

I didn’t feel as isolated as most people do when that happens because my hard drive contains a ginormous backlog of To-Do Things.

One of these had to do with eBooks.

I played around with Sony’s eLibrary software and some free eBooks I’d downloaded of various formats. Note that most of these eBooks were legitimately free. A few weren’t, but were for Research Purposes Only (such as today’s research).

I discovered that Richard Herley’s free eBooks when put into Sony’s LRF file format — by ManyBooks, I think it is — look absolutely dreadful. I don’t understand why there are blank lines between paragraphs. I also don’t know why one of them has formatting conventions included at the beginning!

I discovered that many free PDFs are completely free. No security restrictions at all. I was able, for example, to run one of Charlie Huston’s free PDF eBooks through a PDF-to-HTML converter. However, the results were not very happy to see. This same PDF — and others — also allowed text to be extracted via Save As. In all cases that I tried, however, paragraphs of text are interrupted by any headers in the document as well as page numbers. And typeface formatting is lost.

I also discovered that some utilities I downloaded ages ago were absolutely useless for creating Sony Reader-format eBooks. I forget where I got them from, but I do recall thinking they’d be useful for that purpose. Instead, one of them was for actually taking an LRF file and converting it to other formats. Why would I want that?!

In all, with viewing a variety of free eBooks that are translated on-the-fly and several PDFs, I concluded that anyone who thinks they can build a library of eBooks via format piracy is an absolute moron.

It would be very, very hard work, for example, to take the Charlie Huston PDF and make a near-professional LRF version for the Sony Reader. The amount of time and effort would be greater than the price of buying a legitimate copy.

Also, I noticed that several free PDFs offered by one publisher was infected with fat borders containing notices to Buy Buy Buy a printed copy. This made the file just about worthless for even on-screen reading. And I think PDF reflow on a Sony Reader would have a heart attack trying to parse it.

So, all that free free free stuff you’ve been socking away on your hard drive in anticipation of building a ready-to-go eBook library for a Sony Reader or other device?

You better start taking a serious look at that stuff now.

I think you’ll find you’ll want to buy eBooks that are professionally formatted and free of spam!

Let’s just hope the dying dinosaurs of print progress to impulse-buy pricing so we can buy lots and lots and lots of eBooks!

Because most free just isn’t worth it!

BBC: Remake Of 1970s Survivors Series

December 6, 2008


In the 1970s, British TV writer Terry Nation created a series called Survivors (not to be confused with the recent reality game show, Survivor, the singular).

I didn’t see the series in the U.S. when it originally aired decades ago. It’s one of a handful of British TV series that slipped by me.

Now, the BBC has decided to “re-imagine” Survivors under the stewardship of Adrian Hodges.

Click to continue

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #461: Schiff

December 6, 2008

I’m finally relenting and posting this after having it shoved in my face over and over and over again.

This is where Taking Names should begin.

Listen carefully to how they want to casually steal your life!

Peter Schiff Was Right 2006 – 2007 (2nd Edition)

You know what would be a Pay Per View event I’d give money to see? These lying bastards all in one arena getting beaten to death with baseball bats by the people they cheated!

Gerry Anderson New Scarlet Videos

December 6, 2008

There are several videos dealing with Gerry Anderson’s New Captain Scarlet now up on Youtube. I suspect at least one of them came from a UK DVD of the series. But since that series is not for sale here in the USA …

By the way, check whatever HDTV service you are using. New Scarlet has had sporadic airings on some here in the US. You might get to see it.

New Captain Scarlet – Behind The Scenes

Click for more videos

Chronicles Of Depression 2.0: #460: Protest!

December 6, 2008

Workers Stay At Shuttered Window Plant
Union Claims Bank Of America Has Violated Their Rights In Cutting Off Republic Windows And Doors

CHICAGO (CBS) ― Dozens of former employees of Republic Windows and Doors continued to remain at the shuttered North Side plant late Friday, saying they’re being cheated.

The ex-workers say they found out only three days before Friday’s closing that they would be without a job. Some of them also learned they would not get the vacation they’ve earned to date or the insurance coverage they were promised.

More than 200 union workers staged a sit-in of sorts until they they got what they say is legally owed to them.

The union says company officials told employees they were closing shop because Bank of America would no longer extend Republic its line of credit. Bank of America wouldn’t confirm that due to confidentiality issues. Workers say the fact that Bank of America received $25 billion in the federal bailout makes this even more unacceptable.

“More than 300 people are working here, and what are we going to do now?” employee Vicente Rangel said. “We don’t get any single benefit. They even telling us they are not guarantee our payment for the week we just worked.”

Emphasis added by me.

Bank of America is doing this?

Hey, Chicago workers, this is the same bank that wanted to give illegal aliens credit cards! Can all of you get credit cards from Bank of America?

Keep up the pressure and God bless your cause — for it is just!

Our Government Is Out Of Control

December 6, 2008

SWAT Team Like Radio by Ohio authorities on a farm house in LaGange

Ohio authorities stormed a farm house in LaGange Monday, December 1, to execute a search warrant, holding the Jacqueline and John Stowers and their son and young grandchildren at gunpoint for nine hours. During the raid the Ohio Department of Agriculture and police confiscated over ten thousand dollars worth of food, computers and cell phones. The Stowers’ crime? They run a private, members-only food co-op.

While state authorities were looking for evidence of illegal activities, the family was not informed what crime they were suspected of, they were not read their rights or allowed to make a phone call. The children, some as young as toddlers, were traumatized by armed officers interrogating the adults with guns drawn.

Emphasis added by me.

A terrible, terrible day of reckoning is coming.

Spare not your hand against them!

Go Slit Your Throat, You Scum!

December 6, 2008

In today’s email:


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