November 3rd, 2009

politics, Kerry Edwards

Election Day

You have to wonder who Bill Thompson pissed off in the Democratic Party in order to be tapped to run against Mike Bloomberg for mayor of New York. Bloomberg -- who pretended to be Republican in order to ride Rudolph Giuliani's coattails -- is running as an independent. There is no Republican candidate (I don't think -- I'll know for sure when I go to the polls), because Giuliani is the only person in the Republican party who has mattered in greater New York politics in my lifetime. Seriously, until Giuliani ran in 1991, every city-wide election (and most local ones outside of Staten Island) was decided during the Democratic primary. And, in fact, all the other city races this year were decided in September.

Anyhow, Bloomberg is a popular two-term mayor who has actually done a mostly good job, and I just don't see any way for Thompson to beat him. The mayor has a twelve-point lead in the polls....
  • Current Music
    "Orange Juice Blues" by The Band

Schott's Miscellany 30 October 2009

Feast day of St. Marcellus the Centurian, patron saint of conscientious objectors


Those on the breadline live a bread and cheese existence unable to break bread with others or even to fill their hungry breadbaskets. Unless, that is, a breadwinner knows which side his bread is buttered on and decides to use his loaf and cast his bread upon the water. Such a bread and butter way of life can be brightened by the bread and circuses of popular entertainment--without doubt the greatest thing since sliced bread--yet entertainment always seems to cost a lot of bread, and one cannot help but feel that some people are only able to earn a crust by taking the bread out of one's mouth.

A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman's birthday but never remembers her age.
Robert Frost (1875-1963)
  • Current Music
    "Roots to Branches" by Jethro Tull

Schott's Miscellany 31 October 2009



"Splice the mainbrace" is the order given within the Royal Navy to issue an extra tot of rum* or grog to the men. (Grog is rum diluted with water, named after the 18th century admiral "Old Grog" Vernon.) It seems the phrase derives from the hazardous job of repairing the rigging's main brace. The order can be given by commanding officers and the monarch (the queen mother also issued the order on occasion). In recent times, the order had been issued when Queen Elizabeth II reviewed the fleet during the Sivler Jubilee of 1977; in 1981 to commemorate the marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales; and in 2002 to celebrate the Queen's Golden Jubilee.

* The Navy's rum ration was abolished in July 1970 by the 1st Sea Lord Admiral "Ginger" Le Fanu. (In response to his order, the admiral's nickname swiftly became "Dry Ginger.")

Architecture, of all the arts, is the one which acts the most slowly, but the most surely, on the soul.
Ernest Dimnet (1866-1954)
  • Current Music
    "George Jones is Playin' in the City Tonight" by the Austin Lounge Lizards

Schott's Miscellany 1 November 2009

Michelangelo's ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was exhibited to the public for the first time (1512)


Originally the ninth (novern) month, November has long been associated with slaughter, hence the Dutch Slaghtmaand ("Slaughter month"). The Anglo Saxon was Blotmonath ("blood" or "sacrifice month").

A dismal month, November has been the subject of many writers' ire. As J.B. Burges wrote: "November leads her wintry train, / And stretches o'er the firmament her veil / Charg'd with foul vapors, fogs and drizzly rain."

Famously, Thomas Hood's poem "No!" contains the lines, "No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease... / No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, / No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds--November!"

Where large sums of money are concerned, it is advisable to trust nobody.
Agatha Christie (1891-1976)
  • Current Music
    "Darlington County" by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

Schott's Miscellany 2 November 2009

In California, Howard Hughes piloted the maiden (and only) flight of the huge Spruce Goose (1947)


The SPORK is a combination spoon and three-pronged fork, sometimes with a sharpened or serrated cutting edge. Although the term (a conflation of spoon and fork) was current in 1909, the spork was only patented in 1970 by the American Van Brode Milling Company. The WOON is, apparently, the name given to the curved wooden spatulas that come with small tubs of ice cream. Edward Lear introduced to the world to the RUNCIBLE SPOON in "The Owl and the Pussy Cat":

They dinèd on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon

Opinion is divided as to what a runcible spoon might look like. Some claim it is a spoon with a bowl at each end (one a teaspoon, the other a tablespoon), centrally hinged so the spoon can be folded in half. Others assert that it is a long, curved, sporklike pickling spoon with three prongs.

REPONDERATION--weighing something again
"Reponderation proved the butcher's scales faulty."
  • Current Music
    "Crazy Love, Vol. III" by Paul Simon
tangled roots

Farscape continues....

I worked on Farscape #5's script, which starts a new arc, over the weekend, and then got notes from Rockne and Ian on it tonight. This is a very nonstandard issue, and I'll be curious to see how folks react to it.

I also need to do a final revision on D'Argo's Quest #3.....
  • Current Music
    "Suzie Q" by Creedence Clearwater Revival

author and husband stuck in Germany

Author Catherynne Valente (catvalente) and her freshly minted husband went on their honeymoon, and got screwed by Expedia. They are currently trapped in Germany. Here's the entire scoop on reannon's LJ, which has specific links to the entries in Cat's LJ, including a tip jar (Cat is also selling stories to raise money to, y'know, leave).

Please do help them out, if you can.....
  • Current Music
    "Black Knight's Work" by Cats Laughing