Since many of us are fans of science fiction and fantasy, I thought that this would be of considerable interest to many of us here. Poul Anderson, long-time science fiction and fantasy writer, is in hospice care, and is expected to die very soon.

This from the bottom of Jerry Pournelle’s daily column at http://www.jerrypournelle.com/view/currentview.html#Tuesday

************
Friends —

It’s with a heavy heart that I write that my father, Poul Anderson is receiving hospice care at home and is not expected to live more than a week.
I know that some of you are fans of his work, and if you would care to send an e-mail direct to my parents house ( trigonier@earthlink.net ) expressing what it has meant to you, he would be very appreciative. I’ll be going down there myself tomorrow (they’re in the Bay Area), so will not be getting mail here for a few days.

Astrid Bear

treat package!

Contents of the cool packet in my box today.

4 paper cocktail umbrellas, no 2 colors alike.

6 fuzzy mini pom poms, about 1/4″ in diameter. again, all unique colors

issue 8 of chewie (check out )

origami heart, stapled shut. (should I open it?)

skotto bracelet. (she ran out of “c” beads, even cooler as I’ve long wanted the letters C and Q stricken from the Alphabet. they are extraneous. replace them with a character to mean the ch sound. that is all.)

a wet nap

a vote yes on indian gaming button.

fragile sticker

corrosive sticker (very cool!)

hawaiian mafia staff car sticker(?!)

sheet of rubber duckie stickers(~35 mini ducks)

blank shield & banner sticker to make a family crest sticker.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

(I left a voicemail on the excite account, too…I’m thinking I’ll have to subscribe to chewiezine.. the price is right. 🙂 )

bonus scotto factoid.

This might seem weird to a lot of people. It doesn’t come up very often, but here it is.

I don’t shake hands with strangers. I try my best not to touch them *at all*. I’m happy to hug my hippie friends, let the cat lick my face, deep kiss my girlfriend… but I want no part of touching strangers. I’ve gone so far in a business meeting to avoid shaking hands by sneezing right as I’m getting ready to leave, so as to avoid having to be put in the situation.

Why? For a couple of reasons.

I don’t know those people from Adam. Who knows what sort of gross personal habits they have, or what they might’ve picked up? Is this guy a nose picker? Did this woman change her baby son before coming to work without washing? Do they have a cold? Is it slimy, clammy, or wet from them just being a sweaty, clammy or moistly sticky person? Yech. I give blood, I don’t want hep.

Few people know how to shake hands properly.

I’m a scary, big man. I’ve got big hands. People’s hands vanish in mine… imagine a baseball glove. them’s my paws. When I’ve shaken hands in the past, invariably some wanna-be alpha male tries to play the “crush his bones, show him who’s boss” testosterone thing. If I’d been feeling uppity, I’d give the death grip right back, hoping to hear the spintering of bone, and rending of sinews on the wanna be he-man. Other times I just give an impassive look, and returned with a firm, but friendly grip. It’s not limited to men, either. I’ve seen a few “I’m as tough as any man” misguided females try the same thing, and get *nail marks* in my oversized mitt, when they can’t fit the dainty meathook of their own around it.

On the flip side, although I’m a gentle giant… sometimes I don’t know my own strength. I don’t want to do the aforementioned accidental marrow-leaking death grip on a frail person with the bone structure of dried maple leaves.

Then there’s the social side of it. The quote below sums it up for me pretty well…
“if you feel compelled to grab part of my body and shake it, before you can even be friendly, you’ve got far worse problems than you think I have.”

Why should I have to touch someone I don’t know? Can’t a friendly smile and a kind voice do the trick without my having to grasp your palm, and have us feel each other out for some bizarre fraternity rite, placing the grip properly so as to let each other know we’re fellow masons/ boy scouts / ATO brothers / Illuminatus ?

To heck with that noise. As far as I’m concerned, a handshake is a form of social assault and battery.

I’m thinking that my next way of getting out of it is going to be…”Sorry… I don’t shake hands. Not with the ebola and all. Nothing Personal.”

client doesnt’ work, and I’m too lazy to embed the links.

So the real news isn’t that half of the anti-missile defense system tests have succeeded, it’s that half of them have failed despite anti-missile system test targets having embedded homing beacons. ( http://www.salon.com/news/col/cona/2001/07/31/test/index.html ) So all that talk about “decoys” was apparently just so much hoohey. If I had a vendor that was faking results, lying to me, and mis-estimating my requirements, I’d drop ’em. Why don’t we fire the Pentagon ( http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/pentagon/ ) and hire the North Korean military ( http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/dprk/ ) instead? it’d be cheaper, and we’d probably get more apropriate solutions.

Champions NPC from the old JSA Game.

Spectre (Jim Corrigan)

Characteristics
   
Disadvantages
88 STR 78
38 DEX 84
45 CON 70
22 BOD 24
38 INT 18
28 EGO 36
55 PRE 45
10 COM
40 PD 22
40 ED 31
12 SPD 72
27 REC
90 END
89 STN
= 480
13 Watched: God (MP, NCI, 11-)
25 Distinctive Features: Not Concealable, Extreme Reaction (Spooky)
15 Secret ID
1344 Big Bonus
= 1397

Powers

40 40/40 Resistant Pd/Ed
30 Full Life Support
20 26pts Mental Defense
20 20pts Power Defense
44 0 End Str
35 360 Degreee Spatial Awareness
151 Sense Magic at Range, 360 degrees, Targeting, Discriminatory, +38 to Per Roll
65 Extra-Dimensional Travel, Any Dimension, x32 Mass
612 245 Point Cosmic Power Pool
= 1017 (Total: 1497 character points, 1397 in disadvantages)

This is how he was in the Golden Age. In the Silver Age, he became
much tougher (then much wimpier, then tougher, but not nearly as tough
he once was).

Some of Spectre’s favorite things to do with his power pool are:

Getting Really Big:

  • 150 20 levels Growth, 0 End
  • 30 +20 resistant Pd
  • 55 +55 Pre

Confusing his enemies, then picking them up in the palm of his hand:

  • 30 Darkness vs Normal, 2″ Radius, 0 End “Fog”
  • 210 7 levels Shrinking, Usable Against Others @ Range, 0 End

Putting a German Army to Sleep:

  • 232 6d6 NND, AOE hexes,Totally Invisible, x2^15 Area (32,768 hexes) 0 End;
    Defense is Life Support: No need to sleep

factoid about scotto –

I like to cook. I really enjoy making a tasty, filling meal… but not for myself. I like eating big yummy meals, but can’t be bothered if I’m preparing it solo… mac and cheese or a tasty sammich will do the trick, and takes less prep and cleanup time. I wonder if that means I don’t like cooking, so much as it means that I like to cook for other folks…does that mean I’m a show off, and not a chef? Some kind of low self-esteem? Maybe (and I suspect that this is the true reason) I get more pleasure from pleasing others than from pleasing myself in the same way. It doesn’t have to be romantic…I’m happy feeding my buddy Dan (or making Newtie treats) as well as preparing my sweetheart a lovely candlelight dindin. The odd thing is, until I had this apartment I couldn’t possibly do so… I actually dreamed of cooking for my sweetie last night, lasagna, salad, and low light, with all the romantic trappings.

yum.

What’s for lunch?

hinterland / kickshaw -words of the day

hinterland HIN-tur-land, noun:
1. A region situated inland from a coast.
2. A region remote from urban areas; backcountry.
3. A region situated beyond the major metropolitan or cultural centers.

Hinterland comes from German Hinterland, “the land behind (the coast),” from hinter, “behind” (from Middle High German, from Old High German hintar) + Land, “land” (from Middle High German lant, from Old High German).

kickshaw (KIK-shaw) noun

1. A fancy dish; delicacy.
2. A trinket.

Where I live is mostly urban to terribly so… however, my beloved takes up residence in a wooded hinterland north of me, so I’m obliged to the post office to get her the little plastic kickshaw along with some chocolates.

does anyone else use http://www.droaidarena.com ? it looks interesting. battlebots online?

if you want to whomp on me or my ‘bot (The Newton, v.01), feel free to seek out Scottobear there, too.

I hate ICQ. Apparently my wonderful girl was on a half hour ago, and I didn’t get any messages until I messaged her just now.

Stupid tech has been a bane all day. LJ crapping out, ICQ. 🙁 My day started out so nice, too.