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Beyond the Fringefan #405   Nativity scene. 
Mary to three Wise Men: "And remember, the main point of this whole thing 
     is to promote shopping."

BEYOND THE FRINGEFAN is again following his December custom of avoiding department stores and shopping malls at all costs, and wearing headphones while at other retail establishments in a perhaps futile attempt to drown out the chestnuts roasting, jingle bell rocks and rum-pa-pum-pums. If you feel differently, you can throw stale fruitcakes at him at the N.Y. Cadre ((phone(718) NY-CADRE); e-mailnycadre@alum.rpi.edu; Webhttp://www.nycadre.org); there's no truth to the rumors that this address has temporarily or permanently been renamed "Pottersville." This is Beyond the Fringefan #405, for readers of APA-NYU Volume 8, #12 (e-APA-NYU #80) and other insects who don't know the words, published December 2010 as a combined production of Quick Brown Fox Press and Syscrash Consulting, both subsidiaries of Thigamajig Inc. logo. Cartoon above from Bizarro by Dan Piraro, 25 December 2004. All uncredited material copyright ©2010 by Marc S. Glasser. Member fwa.

     Not much new to report this month. I'm still carrying both my new "smart" phone and my old Palm; somehow I'm not getting the old calendar items transferred from the latter to Google Calendar as fast as I might. Probably I need to set up a few more dedicated blocks of time for doing it, rather than just putting in a few minutes whenever I think of it.

     Donna's still in only minimal pain in the shoulders and other joints, but is way out of shape from all the months of greater pain and consequent sedentarity. I was distressed to watch her locomote from the car to the bathroom of a New Jersey Turnpike rest stop, a distance of perhaps 200 feet; using the rollator (= walker with wheels), she had no balance problems, but had to stop to catch her breath three times in each direction. She's trying to work herself up to moving around some more to build up her endurance.

     The electric wheelchair which Oxford got us years ago developed a couple of flat tires on the front wheels during Philcon (or maybe they'd already developed and we hadn't noticed until then), which also cut down a bit on Donna's mobility. A couple of days later, I made what started out as a call to United Healthcare and ended up as a dozen calls distributed between United and a number of providers of durable health-care equipment in the metropolitan area. Supposedly a tech from a place in Mount Vernon will be dropping by Real Soon Now to work on it.

     A late update this past weekend suggests that Donna's mouth will be the focus of next year's medical work; her four upper front teeth, which have been giving her trouble since some botched root canal work nearly four decades ago, are now near the end of their days, and the two on each side of them are sorely in need of crowns. We'll be consulting with an oral surgeon late in the month for more details, but four extractions appear to be in the cards for the first part of the new year. What remains to be determined is whether the vanished teeth will be replaced by a removable bridge or (far more expensive) implants. Either way, the total will be several times beyond the maximum covered by my retiree MetLife dental coverage.

     Ethan continues to blog at <cameroon [dot] betacantrips [dot] com>, which you can check if you want to know why he now thinks of himself as a Chicken of God.

Fringe Reception: Comments on APA-NYU, Volume 8, #11 (e-APA-NYU #79)

Man walking down the street, reading from newspaper:
     "Starbucks is in trouble and they are having 
      to close up shop everywhere."
Woman: "Yeah...There's only, like, fifteen on my street now..."
(REALITY CHECK by Dave Whamond, 26 May 2009) ICONOCLAST (Joel Nelson):
(¢Blackman) "At Starbuck's I usually get the unfancy (Pike Place™ Roast) coffee unless my friend is working there, in which case I get the cafe mocha." I get coffee at a Starbucks so seldom that when I do, I figure I might as well get one of the interesting flavored ones; the difference between $2.50 and $3.50 for a cup of coffee seems slight compared to the difference between nothing (what I pay at work) or about 25¢ (what it costs per mug when I brew it at home from grounds bought on sale) and $2.50. But if I had to pay Starbucks prices more often, I might be more strongly driven to economize. /*/ "Actors lie much more frequently than lawmakers," and so do authors of fiction—because it's part of the job description. Too bad that it seems to have become part of the job description for politicians as well. (Did it become part of the job description because so many actors went into politics, or did so many actors go into politics because lying became part of the job description?) /*/ (¢me) "Currently, Christians spend huge amounts of time saying how evil Obama is (criticism) and very little if any time saying how good Jesus is (evangelism)." If I'm accurately reading the New Testament passages you cite, Herod had publicly violated a clearly defined law, part of a canon he professed to adhere to, and John the Baptist had called him on it. So are you saying that evangelists should confine themselves to telling people which god to worship, but not speak up if they believe they see those worshippers violating that god's laws? (Whether the accusations are fair, or accurate, is a separate issue, of course.) Or perhaps that they should only speak about such things privately, to the violators themselves? /*/ (¢Cinii) "'a version of the Star Wars story done with 3D CGI animals' The world has indeed gone to the dogs." Since she was writing about Legend of the Guardians, that metaphor is for the birds. /*/ re "HERDING CATS": You may have been asking for trouble by naming your cats after wrestlers, without first having a planning session with the one who writes the scripts. One of your cats changed from a face to a heel and began trashing the other. When the plot changed him back to a face, he started being easier to get along with once more. /*/ There seem to be several free Yahtzee-style games (and some that cost a buck or two) available for download to a Droid phone; I've grabbed a few and begun comparing features. I generally don't look for sound effects on PDA/cell phone games, though; depending on where and when one plays, being able to turn them off seems a lot more important.

JAMISON, TAKE E-LETTER (Mark L. Blackman):
"Tom reported on Andrew's wedding (on 10/10/10...)" A news report I heard the next day mentioned the number of weddings held that day because of its supposed auspiciousness. It also mentioned that for at least some geeks, the day was even more auspicious because 101010 is the binary for 42. (Yes, there was a digression explaining the Hitchhiker's Guide reference.) /*/ (¢self) I note that the Abkhazia Marx/Lennon stamp sheet has white birds (presumably doves) and an erroneous "peace" symbol (that could pass for a Mercedes-Benz logo), but nothing particularly representative of Groucho's career. Why-a no duck (with glasses and mustache)? /*/ "Plus, besides the risk of 'overvoting', as candidates are endorsed by multiple parties, minor parties will not properly be credited in future ballot positions." No? I received robocalls from the Working Families Party urging me to vote on that line for the cross-endorsed candidates so as to help the WFP attain permanent ballot status. /*/ (¢Cinii) "Re THE SOCIAL NETWORK, the movie runs longer than I've spent on Facebook in a year, so I'm not bothering." It would be fitting to watch it over the 'Net, but I'll probably be all 20th century and see it on cable.

LA VIE* Á [sic] DIX-NEUF (Ariel Cinii):
Congratulations on 19 years at one address. I realized, as I read that, that I'd reached a similar milestone in the past year: 23 years at the Cadre as of last January, beating out by about six months the length of time I lived on East 18th Street at what I later dubbed Ancestral Mansion (1952–1975). /*/ If the Passport Center is being coy about whether the problem with your digital picture is with the file's resolution or the printer's, perhaps you could take the file to a Staples or a chain drug store and get it professionally printed. "Why can't I just submit a jpeg file to the Passport Center like I can for any e-mail and save all this tsuris?" Because it's government. You can't just submit your own JPEG for a driver's license either; the DMV won't even let you submit a physical picture as the Passport Center does, but demands you show up there to get snapped. /*/ I hope you've once more found the tune for "The New Red Rovers." In my head it's turning into something like "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye"—is that what you meant by "Irish funeral march style?"

     It seems appropriate here to note (slightly belatedly) the 40th anniversary of the syndicated debut of Doonesbury and to congratulate Garry Trudeau on this milestone. (He's taken a few sabbaticals along the way, so the archives actually contain about 38 years of strips.) Another decade and Charlie Schulz will have to watch his back...

Trudeau's first syndicated strip.
B.D. (wearing football helmet, in easy chair in dorm room):
     [thought balloon] "Well, here I sit at college awaiting my new 
     roommate.  I know he'll be cool, since he's computer selected!!
     "You just fill in a form, send it in, and presto!  Ideal roommates!"
(Knock at door.  Mike Doonesbury walks in, waving one hand.)
Doonesbury: "Hi there!  My name's Mike Doonesbury.  I hail from Tulsa,
     Oklahoma, and women adore me!  Glad to meet you, roomie!"
B.D.: [thought balloon] "Of course, there are still a few bugs in the
(DOONESBURY by Garry Trudeau, 26 October 1970)

     I seem to be feeling the cold this year a bit more than last; it's been suggested that this might have to do with the loss of my gallbladder last spring, or the loss of a few pounds of fat (perhaps 5% of my body weight) that surrounded the crisis, but I'm not convinced. In any case, an extra layer of T-shirt seems to be mitigating the problem. My best wishes go out to all for light and warmth in this season of the solstice. A belated Happy Chanukah to those who celebrate it; a proactive Happy Yuletide to those who celebrate it; and may everyone's New Year be better than the old one.

>Portions of the preceding have not been sampled by Kanye West. Yet.<

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