BEYOND THE FRINGEFAN searched far and wide for a reason not to open his issue #404 with an allusion to one of the most common (and annoying) messages encountered when crawling the Web, but ultimately it was Not Found. (If you can locate the cascading style sheets among all the world-wide cobwebs in the author's cranium, they'll probably specify that no cheap laugh or obvious allusion is to be bypassed.) Readers may deal with this Net loss by clicking the "Back" button on this collation, by reporting the error to the Webmaster at the N.Y. Cadre (((718) NY-CADRE); email@example.com; http://www.nycadre.org), or by turning off the computer and doing something useful for a change. This is Beyond the Fringefan #404, for readers of APA-NYU Volume 8, #11 (e-APA-NYU #79) and other browsers, published November 2010 as a combined production of Quick Brown Fox Press and Syscrash Consulting, both subsidiaries of . All uncredited material copyright ©2010 by Marc S. Glasser. Member fwa.
THESE AREN'T THE 'DROIDS YOU'RE LOOKING FOR. MOVE ALONG: I've had my new Android "smart" phone for a month now and am still working on getting it to the point of taking over for my Palm. Many, though not all, of the built-in capabilities of the PDA are available to an Android user through Gmail and other Google functions, which have the useful attribute of automatically syncing between the phone and Google's servers; of course, this comes at the cost of putting all that data on Google's servers and trusting the company to live up to its stated intent of not being evil. I talked to a few people who didn't think that was much of anything to worry about, so I started working on moving my old Palm data over to the phone.
I won't bore my readership with all the gory details here (if you want 'em, ask me, and I'll also put them up online when I post this zine), but after ten days of research and many hours editing a spreadsheet file, I got the Contacts data base ported over to Gmail. After a similar amount of time and effort, I concluded that I was unable to get my Calendar data base moved over to Google Calendar, and am now slowly working on cutting and pasting from one system to the other, one at a time, the records of the past few years' events that I think are essential to have at my fingertips. The Memo function of the Palm has no direct analogue on Google, but I found an app for the phone that works very much like it, and which is capable of importing/exporting records through Google Docs; it also proved capable of importing all my Palm memos with a minimum of fuss. So I may be able to stop carrying the Palm by the end of the year, which is good, since the phone now occupies the belt pouch the Palm used to, and not all my pants have roomy enough pockets to accommodate the Palm as well as keys, money, wallet, and so on. I'm still getting used to the touch-screen keyboard functions, which probably are objectively neither better nor worse than Palm's Graffiti handwriting-recognition software, but the transition is taking some habit adjustment.
SHOULDER STAKES: Donna made an interesting discovery last month. When the pain in her right shoulder was the worst, she found a different sleeping position that put less pressure on it—and found that she woke up with the pain not only no worse, but somewhat diminished. By last week, when we went to see Dr. Madrid, the surgeon who does the reverse shoulder prosthesis surgery (see last issue), the pain was down to a tolerable level, though not entirely gone.
Dr. Madrid (a youngish guy who looked over Donna's surgical-history-on-an-index-card and remarked "Cool!") said that it did not appear to him that Donna's shoulder was now dislocated, but merely subluxated. (I'm pretty sure that means not as bad.) He sent her for some more X-rays to compare to both past and future ones, and expressed the opinion that if she is now at a level of pain she can live with, there's absolutely no reason for her to go under the knife again; if things get worse in the future, we can re-evaluate the prospect of more surgery then. This struck us all as an impressively reasonable attitude, not least because it was what we'd been thinking for the preceding several weeks. So it looks as though Donna will not be getting cut up again in the immediate future. Huzzah!
Ethan's recently gone through the trauma of report cards—for the first time from the side of the person writing them. He continues to slog through the process of becoming a teacher in a strange land, blogging as he slogs (at <cameroon [dot] betacantrips [dot] com>). We recently sent him a package and were a bit distressed to find that the U.S.P.S. no longer has a parcel post class for packages to Africa; the cheapest rate, International Priority Mail, worked out to over $60 for an 8½-pound package. (UPS and DHL want even more.) We'll be fascinated to see how long it actually takes to get there. Priority, yeah, right.
Comments on APA-NYU, Volume 8, #10 (e-APA-NYU #78)
JAMISON, TAKE E-LETTER (Mark L. Blackman):
- "I complained to the Borough President to use some of his clout to keep the MTA from disrupting subway service in Brooklyn during one of its major cultural events, what his own newsletter calls 'New York City's premiere free literary event'." Have you heard back from him? (My guess is a form letter and nothing more.) /*/ I finally got to try the new voting system on 2 November, having not voted in the primaries (as a registered independent, I'm ineligible). Some of the bugs on which you remarked may have been worked out between the primaries and the general elections; everything seemed to work smoothly this time. Like you, I missed the decisive clicks and clanks of the old machines. /*/ "A workman leaving my apartment (intercom replacement) yanked off my doorknob, and, when the door shut, I was locked in." Can you sue the landlord for imprisonment without due process? /*/ (¢Hlavaty) Um, how does "[They] falsely accused [us] ...[and] we kicked their ass" constitute making the "us" villains? /*/ (¢me) True, turning one song into another is the folk/filk process, but in the case of "Mbube"/"Wimoweh"/"The Lion Sleeps Tonight," the original composer (a South African Zulu named Solomon Linda) was still around twenty-odd years later when the later adaptations were recorded (and made their performers lots of money); intellectual property customs and laws say he deserved a piece. /*/ "Fred's friends joke that he doesn't READ the books he buys..." A fairly nasty piece of gossip to be spreading in bibliophilic circles, even when qualified by calling it a joke. Does your phrasing it in the third person that way imply that you don't participate in the joke, or that you don't number yourself among his friends?
ICONOCLAST (Joel Nelson):
- (¢Cinii) "'the extra $80/month for the new rent rate' I guess rent stabilization has its limits." Rent stabilization in The City lets the rent go up with each lease renewal, by a percentage determined each year by the Rent Stabilization Board (typically 2% to 4% for a one-year lease or twice that for a two-year lease). The days surrounding the announcement of the year's permitted raises see a lot of grandstanding by tenants' groups about why the expected amounts are so big that they'll impoverish tenants, and by landlords about why the expected amounts are so small that they'll bankrupt landlords. /*/ (¢me) "The algorithm I prefer is to use numbers with sentimental value to you. That way, you at least win the chance to deal with numbers you like." The algorithm I prefer is not to waste my money on lottery tickets, or to buy one every few years, just in case some supernatural being is out there just waiting for a chance to bestow good fortune upon me.
JUST FOR A CHANGE (Deb Wunder):
- (¢Hlavaty) "I also like the idea of being a Reformed Grammarian." I think Arthur used the phrase "Reform Grammarian"; there's a nice distinction (so to speak). By analogy with certain other forms of belief, I too can see myself as a "Reform Grammarian" (favoring updating the rules to take into account the evolution of the language and the changing world, while retaining the spirit of the rules, i.e., to facilitate clear communication). I think a Reformed Grammarian, though, would be someone who's renounced grammar entirely and repudiates the time heesh spent as a grammarian.
LIFE* WITHOUT HER (Ariel Cinii):
- Enjoy your solitude while it lasts. I see by your LiveJournal that she's told you she'll be back for the long run this month. /*/ I haven't started on your beta because of a small paying gig, but hope to shortly. I've downloaded it to my new phone; that's a start. /*/ "Instead of 'The Force is with you,' [the owls in Legend of the Guardians] keep referring to the feeling in their gizzards." I guess that's another way of saying you should go with your gut (or contemplate your navel). /*/ Yep, the price of a passport (over $100) is absurdly high. At least it's good for 10 years now. /*/ Is that filk to "Drunken Sailor"? I want to hear how you make some of those lines fit the scansion.
ESPRIT DE L'ESCALIER on NICE DISTINCTIONS (Arthur D. Hlavaty) in APA-NYU Vol. 8 #9:
- "I am a Human Exceptionalist. I will stop being one as soon as some other animal writes a poem or proves a theorem." Alas, "Human Exceptionalists" notably include the folks who believe that the creator deity has given humans the right to destroy any other parts of the world the deity created, including entire living species, at whim. They also include the types who praise anything done by animals (like building a dam, or killing for food) as part of the wonderful Grand Tapestry of Nature, but condemn anything done by humans (like building a dam, or killing for food) as a crime against nature.
We're aiming to attend Philcon, so I hope I'll see some of you there. Watch out for falling leaves and overdone turkeys. (That was not a veiled political comment.) See you in Grinch season...
>Portions of the preceding would love to see a restoration of sanity,
but fear it won't be happening anytime soon.<
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