The Snoozeletter @ s.9TimeZones.com

 
When they fight dirty... 

Re: The Activist Left Doesn't Give a Shit About Your Calls for Civility (Get ready for a summer of rage)

I have a Danish friend who's also a socialist, and he deplores the "depths" to which American progressives have sunk, in order to express their abhorrence of Trump's playbook: cruelty, fear and divisiveness. So when my friend expressed his distaste for the article above, I responded with this:

Yes, we have become animals, by lowering ourselves to the level of our opponents. We don't have the luxury of following the Marquess of Queensberry Rules, because our adversaries are the same brownshirted monsters that invaded Denmark in 1940. You Danes had it easy during WW2, but many others didn't, like the poor souls at Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Bergen-Belsen, Dachau, Treblinka, etc. These shiny-new brownshirts are ripping apart families and putting them in camps. In cages. How long do you think it will take before they turn on the gas?

 
Neutrality is a cop-out. 

We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
--Elie Wiesel

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.
--Albert Einstein

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.
--Thomas Jefferson

He who does not oppose evil, commands it to be done.
--Leonardo da Vinci

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.
--Desmond Tutu

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
--Edmund Burke
 
"Crap" in "Gluttony" - Publication Day! 
Gluttony
I submitted a 2-sentence, 864-word rant ("Crap" - first sentence = 863 words) about desperate constipation, for a print anthology entitled:

"Gluttony" 7 Deadly Sins, Vol. 2. [The Seven: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride.]

The editors replied:

"Hi Alan - we laughed at the beginning, screwed up our faces in the middle, and sighed with recognition at the end. So yes, we will include 'Crap' in 'Gluttony'."

The book was published a few hours ago: https://pureslush.com/store/anthologies-themed/gluttony-7-deadly-sins-vol-2

"69 writers get gluttonous... Edward Ahern, Alan C. Baird, Elaine Barnard, Paul Beckman, Jon Bennett, Howard Brown, Michael H. Brownstein, Mark Budman, Steven Carr, Guilie Castillo Oriard, Changming Yuan, Jan Chronister, Marcia Conover, Carolyn Cordon, Judah Eli Cricelli, Ruth Z. Deming, Andrea Diede, Salvatore DiFalco, Michael Estabrook, Tom Fegan, Nod Ghosh, Ken Gosse, Roberta Gould, Steven Gowin, Noah Grabeel, Anne Graue, Jake Greenblot, Andrew Grenfell, Shane Guthrie, Jan Haag, Mark Hudson, Louise Hofmeister, Sharron Hough, Abha Iyengar, Bryan Jansing, Jemshed Khan, Linda Kohler, John Kujawski, John Lambremont Sr., Ron Lavalette, Valerie Lawson, Tracy Lee-Newman, Larry Lefkowitz, Cynthia Leslie-Bole, Peter Lingard, JP Lundstrom, Chuck Madansky, Karla Linn Merrifield, Marsha Mittman, Leah Mueller, Piet Nieuwland, Carl ‘Papa’ Palmer, Melisa Quigley, Dorothy Rice, Joanne Rizzo, Ruth Sabath Rosenthal, Sarah Salway, Shawn Aveningo Sanders, Rikki Santer, Wayne Scheer, Iris N. Schwartz, Fraser Sutherland, Lucy Tyrrell, Marian Urquilla, Rob Walker, Townsend Walker, Rob Walton, Michael Webb and Jeffrey Weisman"
 
More than EIGHT THOUSAND Facebookers die every day. 

Facebook is a growing and unstoppable digital graveyard (BBC):

At some point, there will be more dead Facebook users than living ones – and for those left behind, it is transforming how we experience the death of those around us. [...]

By 2012, just eight years after the platform was launched, 30 million users with Facebook accounts had died. [...]

Neither Kerry nor my Aunt Jackie are memorialised, which means, for all intents and purposes, their deaths haven’t been recognised by Facebook, or by the unwitting users who chance upon them. Their digital identities continue to exist.


Note: YOU can memorialize your loved ones' Facebook accounts ("Remembering ____"), so they stop appearing in public spaces, like People You May Know or Birthday reminders. Just visit this URL:

https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/234739086860192
 
George Bernard Shaw writes about his visit to Skellig Michael. 

(18Sep1910) Yesterday I left the Kerry coast in an open boat, 33 feet long, propelled by ten men on five oars. These men started on 49 strokes a minute, a rate which I did not believe they could keep up for five minutes. They kept it without slackening half a second for two hours, at the end of which they landed me on the most fantastic and impossible rock in the world: Skellig Michael, or the Great Skellig, where in south west gales the spray knocks stones out of the lighthouse keeper's house, 160 feet above calm sea level. There is a little Skellig covered with gannets — white with them (and their guano) — covered with screaming crowds of them. The Bass rock is a mere lump in comparison: both the Skelligs are pinnacled, crocketed, spired, arched, caverned, minaretted; and these gothic extravagances are not curiosities of the islands: they are the islands: there is nothing else.

The rest of the cathedral may be under the sea for all I know: there are 90 fathoms by the chart, out of which the Great Skellig rushes up 700 feet so suddenly that you have to go straight up stairs to the top — over 600 steps. And at the top amazing beehives of flat rubble stones, each overlapping the one below until the circle meets in a dome — cells, oratories, churches, and outside them cemeteries, wells, crosses, all clustering like shells on a prodigious rock pinnacle, with precipices sheer down on every hand, and lodged on the projecting stones overhanging the deep huge stone coffins made apparently by giants, and dropped there God knows how.

An incredible, impossible, mad place, which still tempts devotees to make "stations" of every stair landing, and to creep through "Needle's eyes" at impossible altitudes, and kiss "stones of pain" jutting out 700 feet above the Atlantic.

[...]

I tell you the thing does not belong to any world that you and I have lived and worked in: it is part of our dream world.


http://www.stefangeens.com/gbs.html

Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Behind the Scenes in Ireland (Skellig Michael):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9f2y4jUYq8
 
[Typing this up for a friend...] 

So I woke up drooling into my pillow...

...and immediately freaked out, because nobody ever warned me that it would happen at this age. Inside my grey-thatched skull is a teenager who can still hit a passing car from the roadside bushes with the firehose of his piss, who still has trouble controlling his erections around girls, and who still hasn't figured out what he wants to be when he grows up.

Why don't they issue a manual that tells you when to stop referring to the loss of memory as "early onset" and just simply call it "onset"? What is the proper age to start expecting that an innocent fart might suddenly turn into a nasty wet brown stain on your boxers? And how many times will you wake up at night to pee before Emily Post considers it to be excessive?

When did the world become so blurry? When did your arms become too short to bring the tiny print on that pill bottle into focus? And when did you start needing a magnifier to read your friends' status updates on Facebook?

Finally, why can't scientists develop a warning device that will tell you beforehand that you are about to have your last sexual experience, so you'd better f*cking enjoy it chucko, because this is the only memory that will keep you warm as you slowly descend into senility...
 
Our Irish Vaca - CliffsNotes: 

Day1) Plane trouble, and we miss the connecting flight in Philly. By 5 minutes.
Day2) We enjoy looking out at the rain from our airport hotel room in Philly. It's a dump.
Day3) We finally get to Ireland, and trudge around to a few sites in the cats-&-dogs rain.
Day4) We get lost in the p*ssing-down rain. Alan: "Hey look, another ogham stone!" Anikó: "That's the same one, genius."
Day5) The GPS breaks. Yeah, that GPS - the one that had all our tourist spots programmed into it.
Day6) A Polish driver backs into our rental car, ripping off a rear-door panel. We are overjoyed.
Day7) We are forced to drive 3 hours to fill out an accident report. Our overjoyment knows no bounds.
Day8) Anikó steps in dog poop, then sheep poop. The good news? Her poop locator seems to be working quite well.
Day9) Anikó takes a tumble, and we hear a loud snap in her wrist. But she was proud that she saved her iPhone.
Day10) Our flight home is cancelled, because the entire crew is sick. Our rerouted flight heads east, instead of west.
(Executive Summary) Despite the unbelievable series of setbacks [which became a running joke after awhile], we actually had a f*cking great time! Delicious food, fascinating sights, and our 200-year-old cottage was straight out of a fairy tale. We'll torture you with more pix and stories later...
Later: http://facebook.com/10155313515412477
 
Uncle Terry. 

Ronald Terrence "Terry" Gilbert
(20 Apr 1941 - 13 May 2018; Age 77)

OAKLAND - Ronald Terrence [Terry] Gilbert, 77 passed away on May 13, 2018, following a short illness. He was born in Waterville, Me., April 20, 1941, son of Ronald W. and Thena Sullivan Gilbert.

In his formative years Terry studied music with the renowned Lila [Ma] Atherton. Upon graduating from Williams High School he studied and was certified as an airline steward. With the love of music still in his heart he entered the Northern Conservatory of Music and graduated with a degree in music education. He also did graduate study in England. He taught public school music for many years in Hudson New York where he had a renowned boys choir. Returning home he taught music in Fairfield, Maine along with maintaining Musical Trends where he offered private music lessons in piano, voice, woodwind and brass instruments. His private students presented outstanding recitals each spring at many different venues. He also worked for a number of years in the mental health field. His loving companions at different times throughout his life were his Chihuahuas.

He is survived by three sisters, Beverly Baird Cauley of Ocala, Fl., Natalie Vogler of Ocala, Fl., Sherry Gilbert of Oakland, many cousins, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, one sister Catherine Bacon and husband Otis, and two brothers-in-law.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 am on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at Notre Dame Catholic Church, 116 Silver Street, Waterville.

Arrangements are under the direction and care of Gallant Funeral Home, 10 Elm Street, Waterville. An Online guestbook may be signed and condolences expressed at www.gallantfh.com

Published by the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel on on May 23, 2018:
http://obituaries.centralmaine.com/obituaries/mainetoday-centralmaine/obituary.aspx?pid=189082977
http://gallantfh.com/obituaries/Ronald-Terrence-Terry-Gilbert?obId=3094006#/obituaryInfo

Terry15Terry77
 
Wallachia: Reign of Dracula - demo available! 

The game demo for "Wallachia: Reign of Dracula" (which I had a small part in writing) is now available!
Details: https://twitter.com/Migami_Games/status/989564649866702855
Other pix: http://facebook.com/vladti/posts/1547768715313285
Original announcement: http://twitter.com/Migami_Games/status/918544660104208384
Free eBook ("Vlad the Impaler: Son of Dracul"): http://9TimeZones.com/vladti.htm

Wallachia Avail

 
Sinclair Lewis sayeth. 

Did Nobel Prize-winning author Sinclair Lewis say that when fascism comes to America it will be "wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross"?

Clever saying, but ummmm, no:

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/sinclair-lewis-on-fascism
 
Mystical Music - radio program pitch. 

I'd like to produce a Sunday radio program (suitable for syndication) dedicated to an eclectic mix of sacred music from a wide variety of cultures and mystical traditions... and I think it would be perfect for NPR. The first seven shows might feature the following works:

Paul Horn - Inside http://s.9timezones.com/2007/05/#2085746800372571221

David Hykes - Hearing Solar Winds http://s.9timezones.com/2007/05/#2633457410530487668

Paul Giger - Chartres http://s.9timezones.com/2007/05/#3411480143126776439

Kudsi Erguner - The sacred flute of the Whirling Dervishes http://s.9timezones.com/2007/05/#5740063515785929747

Vox - Diadema (Hildegard Von Bingen) http://s.9timezones.com/2007/05/#4637967339425104659

Arvo Pärt - Te Deum http://s.9timezones.com/2007/05/#4871938256347569815

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan - Shahen-Shah http://s.9timezones.com/2007/05/#1332275679671829649
 
Wallachia: Reign of Dracula. 

The game demo for "Wallachia: Reign of Dracula" (which I had a small part in writing) will be available on April 26th. Exciting!
Background: http://twitter.com/Migami_Games/status/981648867694440448
Other pix: http://facebook.com/vladti/posts/1547768715313285
Original announcement: http://twitter.com/Migami_Games/status/918544660104208384
Free eBook ("Vlad the Impaler: Son of Dracul"): http://9TimeZones.com/vladti.htm

Wallachia
 
Steinbeck sayeth. 

John Steinbeck once said that socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires. (A Short History of Progress, by Ronald Wright, 2004, p.124)

Steinbeck actually said:

Except for the field organizers of strikes, who were pretty tough monkeys and devoted, most of the so-called Communists I met were middle-class, middle-aged people playing a game of dreams. I remember a woman in easy circumstances saying to another even more affluent: "After the revolution even we will have more, won't we, dear?" Then there was another lover of proletarians who used to raise hell with Sunday picnickers on her property. [¶] I guess the trouble was that we didn't have any self-admitted proletarians. Everyone was a temporarily embarrassed capitalist. Maybe the Communists so closely questioned by the investigation committees were a danger to America, but the ones I knew—at least they claimed to be Communists—couldn't have disrupted a Sunday-school picnic. Besides they were too busy fighting among themselves. (America and Americans, by John Steinbeck, 1966, p.27)
 
Know your ending before you start writing. 

Brautigan: .44 Magnum
Hemingway: 12-gauge Boss shotgun
Kosiński: head in plastic bag
Plath: head in oven
Thompson: Smith & Wesson 645
Wallace: hanged
Woolf: walked into river w/stones in pockets

Boye: sleeping medication overdose
Chamfort: shot off nose/jaw, stabbed w/paper cutter
Ćopić: jumped off bridge
Crane: jumped off steamship
Levi: jumped into stairwell
Mishima: seppuku
Potocki: shot w/silver bullet blessed by priest
Sexton: locked in garage w/car running
Seneca: slit wrists

(Despite mutilating himself so horribly in September, Chamfort didn't die until the following April)
(Potocki was performing a public service - thought he was becoming a werewolf)

Jonker: walked into sea
Mayakovsky: played Russian roulette 3 times, won twice

Tacitus records the elegant suicide of Petronius:
"Yet he did not fling away life with precipitate haste, but having made an incision in his veins and then, according to his humor, bound them up, he again opened them, while he conversed with his friends, not in a serious strain or on topics that might win for him the glory of courage. And he listened to them as they repeated, not thoughts on the immortality of the soul or on the theories of philosophers, but light poetry and playful verses. To some of his slaves he gave liberal presents, a flogging to others. He dined, indulged himself in sleep, that death, though forced on him, might have a natural appearance. Even in his will he did not, as did many in their last moments, flatter Nero or Tigellinus or any other of the men in power. On the contrary, he described fully the prince's shameful excesses, with the names of his male and female companions and their novelties in debauchery, and sent the account under seal to Nero. Then he broke his signet-ring, that it might not be subsequently available for imperiling others."

UPDATE: I just realized I'm not famous enough to commit suicide. Dammit. ;-)

UPDATE 2: Resumé (by Dorothy Parker)
Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.
 
How to see who Likes and Follows your Facebook Page. 

1. Click Settings,
2: Click People and Other Pages,
3. Click dropdown: People Who Like This Page,
4. Click dropdown: People Who Follow This Page,
5. Click dropdown: Pages That Like This Page.
 
No jury duty for moi. 

Last-minute reprieve from jury duty! Maybe this letter had something to do with it:

December 1, 2017

Superior Court in Maricopa County
175 W. Madison St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

RE: Disqualification of Alan C. Baird, Juror ID _________

Dear Sirs/Madams:

I am requesting a permanent disqualification from jury duty. Since my reasons do not fit into the excuses outlined under the law, I will present them here:

1) PREJUDICE: Several years ago, I saw a home robbery in progress, alerted the police and testified as a witness... but the case was dismissed on a technicality. I also sued a telephone company in small claims court for changing my number without notice... but that case was also dismissed on a technicality. Result: I will never vote for any Defendant, civil or criminal, because I now believe they are all guilty as f*cking sin.

2) PREJUDICE, PART DEUX: I have worked for several law firms, so I know their methods intimately. I automatically assume all lawyers are backstabbers, liars and cheats. And slimeballs. Especially slimeballs.

3) SLEEP: I work on the graveyard shift and my normal sleep time is 7am to 3pm. My body takes several weeks to adjust to a new sleeping schedule, so I will be semi-conscious during normal jury hours. If I am deprived of sleep for very long, I start hallucinating. And if I fall asleep in the jury box... well, the snoring and drooling will not be very pretty.

4) FINANCIAL HARDSHIP: My employer pays for only two days of jury duty. After that, I won't be able to buy food. I will starve. And I hate it when that happens.

     I certify that, to the best of my knowledge and belief, the statements provided herein are true and correct.

/s/
Alan C. Baird

***

ALSO: One final note on jury duty.
 
Was your writers' conference like this? 

"An accountant by day, novelist by night, Miss Burrows (Bette Davis) has grown tired of rejection notices from publishers. Her latest submission is about an author who shoots an editor after his book is rejected. When Miss Burrows' novel is ridiculed publicly by a famous editor for being unbelievable, Miss Burrows buys a gun to prove him wrong." Broadcast on CBS-TV - March 10, 1957.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYx8PtXMCzs
 
1.2 billion Facebook profile photos in one massive image. 

here: http://TheFacesOfFacebook.com
 
Facebook lets you know about Russian propaganda. 

As mentioned before, here's the page where you can check to see if you were taken in by the Russian propaganda:

https://www.facebook.com/help/817246628445509
 
Open at last page in LibreOffice Writer. 

Pro Tip - open at last page in LibreOffice Writer:

In an open LibreOffice Writer document, click Tools, Options, LibreOffice, User Data, [type] First/last name/initials, [check] Use data for document properties, OK.

Then click File, Properties, General, [check] Apply user data, OK.

Then click File, Close, Save.

The next time you open your document, you'll be able to continue from exactly where you left off!

https://www.LibreOffice.org/download/libreoffice-still
 
Open at last page in Adobe Acrobat Reader. 

Pro Tip - open at last page in Adobe Acrobat Reader:

Click Edit, Preferences, Documents, and check the box "Restore last view settings when reopening documents."

The next time you open your PDF, you'll be able to continue reading from exactly where you left off!

https://get.adobe.com/reader
 
Script for Sale: Wide World of Shooting. 

Wide World of ShootingClick poster for details.

This mass-shooting script is way too soon, and much too dark, but I think it captures some of the absurd humor in this situation. If we can have a reality-show president, why not turn our recurring national nightmare into a sports reality show? Dark satire. WARNING: NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH.

Mass shootings have been trivialized by many parties, from the NRA, which blocks all attempts to reduce the carnage, to lawmakers in the NRA's pocket, who refuse to pass sensible laws, to worshipers of the Second Amendment, which was enacted during an era when weapons designers could not even dream of a mentally-unbalanced gun owner wielding the destructive capability of a small army. In case you haven't noticed, flintlock muzzleloaders are not remotely equivalent to AR-15s with bump stocks and dual drum mags. The difference between firing four rounds per minute and 700 is pretty d*mn significant.

So by satirizing the trivialization, this script tiptoes into very dangerous territory. It can be seen as having a callous disregard for human suffering, while also being perceived as an emotional attack on some very powerful and moneyed interests. You need to be well aware of these forces, if you decide to move this material into production.
 
Did you get taken in by the Russian propaganda? 

Facebook will let you know...

http://money.cnn.com/2017/11/22/technology/facebook-russia-election-meddling
 
How do I force Facebook's News Feed to show "most recent stories" instead of "top stories"? 

Simply create a bookmark on this URL:

https://www.facebook.com/?sk=h_chr
 
How do I access Facebook's computer desktop interface from the mobile interface? 

Just open your browser and enter this URL:

https://www.facebook.com/home.php

Don't forget to add the 'www' in front of 'facebook'...