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Schoolkid: "So I'll need to create a font of my handwriting.  Upper and 
   lower case.  Two or three versions of each character, programmed to
   appear at random, so the consistency doesn't reveal I'm cutting and
   pasting and duplicating."
Jaitor:    "Good grief,  What for?"
Schoolkid: "Mrs Olsen is making me write 'I will not waste time' over and
Janitor:   "How many times?"
Schoolkid: "25."
Janitor:   "Does your dad tend to drive all over town in search of gas a
   penny cheaper?"
Schoolkid: "I don't have time for irrelevant questions, Frazz."   Beyond the Fringefan #400   

BEYOND THE FRINGEFAN has now been writing his more-or-less monthly screed for over 36 years and over 400 issues; he admits to a fair amount of cutting, pasting and duplicating in an attempt (often futile) to save effort in formatting. Has he been wasting his time? Has he been writing the same thing over and over? Would a competent editor be able to find enough deathless prose and sage wisdom in the entire collection to fill up a small pamphlet? Is he asking irrelevant questions? Answers may be submitted to the N.Y. Cadre ((phone(718) NY-CADRE); e-mailnycadre@alum.rpi.edu; Webhttp://www.nycadre.org), where, not coincidentally, anyone wishing to volunteer for the editing job can find a set of archives to peruse. Meanwhile, the author/editor/proofreader/publisher intends to keep cranking it out for the foreseeable future, presuming continued decent health (minus a gallbladder, of course) and time. This is Beyond the Fringefan #400, for readers of APA-NYU Volume 8, #7 (e-APA-NYU #75) and other former bankers still engaging in electronic fonts transfer, published July 2010 as a combined production of Quick Brown Fox Press and Syscrash Consulting, both subsidiaries of Thigamajig Inc. logo. Cartoon above from Frazz by Jef Mallett, 28 March 2010. All uncredited material copyright ©2010 by Marc S. Glasser. Member fwa.

CONTINUING STORIES OF BUNGLES AND BILLS: Nothing as *ahem* interesting has happened around the Cadre this past month as the previous couple, thank the ghods. I've been on the mend, back to most of my usual routines. My tests of my digestive tract's response to various foods of various fat content have so far not produced any of the distress (nausea and diarrhea) that is supposed to follow immediately (within the hour) upon consuming more than I can handle. I think I'm about ready to try a full steak dinner and see what happens. I biked a few miles on the weekends in June, and have just resumed biking in to work (10 miles each way) on nice days. And I've been working just a little less than full-time at the usual agency; a little less because of taking an occasional day off to ferry Donna to medical appointments she can't get to by herself. (The previous holder of that responsibility is 5000 miles away at the moment.)

     Donna's doing adequately, though still awaiting a diagnosis of her shoulder pain (torn rotator cuff suspected), needing some dental work (after a root canal in mid-June, what's left of the tooth has begun to fracture), taking some antibiotics for yet another UTI, and, as of this writing, recovering from some sort of upper respiratory bug that had her voiceless for a day and sore in the mouth for a week.

One young guy on the street to another: "How are you?"
Other guy: "Fine.  For details, read my blog."
(REALITY CHECK by Dave Whamond, 13 March 2010)      Ethan has now been in Cameroon for over a month, most of that in Bafia, a town big enough to support an Internet café or two, so he's not totally incommunicado. He's living with a host family while undergoing his Peace Corps training; he likes the food, finds the weather too damn hot and humid, and is frustrated by the incompleteness of his skills in conversational French. Those wishing to read more can go to the blog he's been maintaining about his experiences, at <cameroon [dot] betacantrips [dot] com>. He's also acquired a local cell phone, on which Donna and I have been calling him each Sunday (only 50¢ a minute at weekend rates; a good deal more if he were to call us).

     I mentioned a year or so ago that I'd acquired a small recurring gig proofreading a newsletter for an organization dedicated to Holocaust history (16 tabloid pages five times a year). The editor, a Russian émigré, apparently likes my work enough that he recommended me to another Russian. This one is in some way involved with a piece of software that claims to produce winning numbers for lotteries (by statistically analyzing past winners to find biases in favor of some numbers), and wanted someone to proofread a small "HELP" manual he'd written for it (100 pages as a PDF, which, minus the illustrations, boiled down to about 40 pages of copy in a Word doc). As I suspected, the work was less a matter of proofreading than of taking text written by a foreigner who thinks he can write in English, and rewriting it in intelligible grammatical English. (I checked at the door my opinion on whether the program is capable of doing what it claims to.) My two years of college Russian didn't seem to help much. Well, a job's a job, and it kept me occupied during a slow couple of weeks at my regular assignment. (It also delayed this zine, but I always seem to find excuses for that...)

Fringe Reception: Comments on APA-NYU, Volume 8, #6 (e-APA-NYU #74)

ICONOCLAST (Joel Nelson):
(¢Blackman) "Smoothly moving vehicles [when you read in them] cause motion sickness. Lurching vehicles cause the brain to take most of the processing power normally used for reading away from that task to use it to avoid injury to either book or body." I agree with the second part. I'm not sure about the first; the last time I got motion sickness, it was while reading in a lurching bus. I've never gotten motion-sick in a train. (Decades ago I used to get motion-sick while reading in a car, but since nowadays I'm usually the one driving, I don't have much opportunity to see whether I still do.) /*/ Pulling text from a PDF in Adobe Reader can be problematical. With some files, I've gotten lines with spaces compressed out, and other irregularities that took nearly as much effort to fix manually as it would have taken to type it in all over again. /*/ (¢me) "Flashes of light as opposed to temporary (less than an hour) tiny bits of solid color?" I'd see my optometrist pronto if I started getting either of those. /*/ Your creativity in using spreadsheets to figure out how to shrink a JPEG to 45.65% of its original width and 47.43% of its original height, using two operations in MS Paint (whose controls require that the percent number be an integer) is inspiring. But if I recall correctly, JPEG is a lossy format, meaning you lose some picture quality each time you do a manipulation such as a shrink; shrinking it twice would lose twice as much. Assuming no other image-manipulation software was available, you should also have considered doing a shrink to 46x48% and trimming enough pixels off the edges to make it fit the intended dimensions. Then you could present both resulting images to your client, who could then compare them and choose which one he/she liked better. /*/ Our front and back yards at the Cadre are too small to make a lawnmower worthwhile. They're also mostly weeds rather than grass. Somewhere we seem to have acquired an electric string trimmer (generic equivalent of "Weedwhacker"), which we use to keep the front yard down to manageable thickness. This is another one of those jobs I've recently had to learn how to do because the one who was doing it is now 5000 miles away.

JAMISON, TAKE E-LETTER (Mark L. Blackman):
"I seem to have a talent for walking by doorknobs and catching my pants pockets..." For me it's catching headphone wires. Lately when I listen to music on my Palm Pilot, I run the wire down the inside of my shirt so only a couple of inches of wire are exposed to the forces of Murphy. (I've caught coat pockets on a doorknob and a security turnstile.) I trust your injuries are healing. /*/ (¢APA-NEWS) "We're hoping NOT to ride the ferryboat Andrew J. Barberi." We did, and no disasters occurred. The Barberi isn't the only ferryboat to have been in accidents; the Senator John J. Marchi lost power and crashed at Staten Island the night before last year's Ferry Meeting. /*/ (¢me) Ethan's remarked about the scarcity of potable water in his current location, but I thought that was standard in most Third World countries, not specific to Cameroon. (There are plenty of wells near his host family's house, but they're not recommended for drinking from. The pump that supplies water the Corps conditionally suggests using, after filtration, is further away.) /*/ Pardon me, I guess I was on the wrong side of the Brighton Line, and should have said Ditmas Park rather than Kensington in talking about the Boardmans' house. "Flatbush" is used in reference to such a huge swath of Brooklyn that I tend to shy away from it as being less than useless in actually conveying a location. Both the Cadre and the house I spent most of my childhood and adolescence in (on East 18th Street near Avenue T) have been more or less accurately described as being in Flatbush. (The Cadre is in Flatlands according to some maps, Nieuw Amersfort according to the block association, and Vanderveer according to the U.S.P.S.; Ancestral Mansion was in Gravesend according to many, "Kings Highway" (a designation as useless as "Flatbush") according to the World-Telegram, and Homecrest according to the U.S.P.S.) /*/ "And the MTA is coming out with a new subway map ..., abandoning the 'anatomically correct' (geographically accurate) scheme to make Manhattan – literally the heart of the system – larger & (30%) wider (& Staten Island smaller)." Actually, even the recent maps were not to scale, making Manhattan's length only about four times its width, rather than six or seven times. They only seemed accurate compared to the schematic ones we got used to in the 1950s and 1960s, which distorted Manhattan even more and didn't even attempt to show street grids. /*/ "So how does flu differ from other viruses that causes fever?" Probably better to look in a biology or medical text for details. There are many classes, orders and families of viruses; flu viruses are just one family (Orthomyxoviridae). /*/ "(Whatever a reflection tool is.)" A reflection tool is found in image-processing programs and is used to add a reflection, for example when you're positioning an object on top of a glossy tabletop. I don't think MS Word actually has one, although I haven't used any of the new versions of the last couple of years.

As it's less than a month away as I write this, and we have neither memberships nor hotel reservations, I think it's pretty safe to say that we won't be at NASFiC in Raleigh this year. (After recent medical and dental expenses, I'm not much up for spending the money, or for taking the unpaid time off either.) So if you're going there (or to Worldcon in Australia the following month, for that matter), have a good time on our behalf. Keep your air conditioned, everyone, and have a nice July.

>Portions of the preceding have been a literary horrorshow.<

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