BEYOND THE FRINGEFAN turns sixty this month, not broke but not rich enough to quit working either. He's looking really good for his age, but be sure to speak up when you tell him that. He won't tell you to get off his lawn (because it's all weeds anyway) at the N.Y. Cadre ((718) NY-CADRE); email@example.com; http://www.nycadre.org). This is Beyond the Fringefan #422, for readers of APA-NYU Volume 10, #5 (e-APA-NYU #97) and other sexagenarians, published May 2012 as a combined production of Quick Brown Fox Press and Syscrash Consulting, both subsidiaries of . Cartoon above from Speed Bump by Dave Coverly, 21 October 2008. All uncredited material copyright ©2012 by Marc S. Glasser. Member fwa.
GOIN' LIKE SIXTY: So big deal, now I'm untrustworthy twice over. I'm still too young to claim Social Security or Medicare, and I've been qualifying for senior discounts for five (in some places) or ten (as an AARP member) years now. Doesn't seem as much of a milestone as it used to.
ENTANGLING ALLIANCE: I guess I've measured up to AllianceBernstein's exacting standards, since Charmae has informed me she wants me to continue working there full-time at least through the end of May. The big quarter-end crush I was told to expect in April lasted a bit less than two weeks, during which quarterly commentaries and the accompanying PowerPoint decks they call "servicings" were arriving thick and fast, and Charmae was reassigning them back and forth among readers several times a day according to who was likely to have a free hour the soonest. (There was a schedule listing about 75 AB "products"—groups of funds with names like "US Small Cap Growth Equities" and "Emerging-Market Debt" and "Global Fixed Income"—with the names of the writer, the desktop publishing (DTP) person, and the proofer assigned to each, and the due dates for the quarterly and the servicing. Everything except the writer and the DTP person was subject to change on short notice. I learned that, next time around, I need to go through the schedule as soon as it's issued and make a list of what I'm assigned to, and keep updating it, so that I don't lose track of anything in the heat of battle.) To make things a bit more confusing, Charmae took a week off in the middle of everything to go and get married—how dare she!—but Andrea, who's been freelancing at AB for a few years, was able to take over as schedule juggler in her absence.
(Someone e-mailed me about the boredom of checking long columns of figures all day. Perhaps surprisingly, there hasn't been an awful lot of that. Each servicing has a page or two of tables, but I haven't had to verify most of them, just make sure they're consistent and formatted properly. There are displays (graphs), which are supposed to be drawn according to house style, have the proper footnotes, and be referenced properly in the text. Mostly there's a lot of trying to make sure that paragraphs actually read as grammatical English and make sense—much the same as in my previous assignments, but with financial jargon instead of advertising jargon.)
The steady work and the steady paychecks are, of course, devoutly to be wished, especially with Donna's mouth in a continuing state of Under Construction (she maxed out her share of our dental coverage for the year in early April). But of course, there's a cost in time and missed sleep, and lots of little things I was just starting to get around to doing around the house during February have had to fall by the wayside for a while. I have little doubt there will be idle periods ahead, though, whether I seek them or not, so I'll enjoy this time of full employment while I can.
Lest anyone forget, The Kid is still in Cameroon, where the academic year is about to wrap up. He's been notified of the official date in August when his tour of duty ends and he gets mustered out (or whatever they call it), and is busy making plans to meet some friends to do some tourism in Europe before returning to the States. He's still blogging at <cameroon [dot] betacantrips [dot] com>, though less frequently than he used to, and many of the entries appear to be part of an ongoing work of fiction involving volunteers sent from Earth to another planet to help the natives there improve their lot. I hope the rebellion that the events in the story appear to be leading up to does not reflect any real-world goings-on around him, or that if it does, it doesn't break out until, oh, September or so.
Comments on APA-NYU, Volume 10, #4 (e-APA-NYU #96)
I'm not sure how it happened, but I seem to have committed to traveling with Donna on Memorial Day weekend to attend our first Balticon in at least a quarter century, so perhaps I'll see some of you there. Otherwise, look for the next thrilling installment around D-Day or thereabouts.
[Hard-copy COVER (Greg Baker, M.W.T.):
- It's a small, unpleasant irony that a run of old covers by Greg should come up for reuse right after his death. There'll be another on #98.]
ICONOCLAST (Joel Nelson):
- "And there are people who want Mitt Romney to become President?"... "And there are people who want Rick Santorum to become President?"... "Biden is one of the reasons I pray for Obama." It seems as though you're a heartbeat away from distrusting all politicians. (I'm not sure I'm that far away.) /*/ I see that George Barna, author of The Seven Faith Tribes, which you review this month, also co-wrote Pagan Christianity, which you mentioned last month. Does he believe his conclusions apply to the whole world, or only to America? Does he think any other nation is currently doing a better job than the United States at placing common interest before self-interest?
JAMISON, TAKE e-LETTER (Mark L. Blackman):
- "Lately, after remedying itself for awhile, it's taken several tries, restarts & re-installs of Juno to get online, to e-mail, my start/home page & to the Internet." How many computers has Juno screwed up for you now? /*/
I've had pizza on the last two Pi Days (and reheated a frozen pot pie on the one before those). The cafeteria where I work was advertising fresh fruit pies for the occasion this year, but apparently ran out within minutes. /*/ "This year is the 40th anniversary of the BPLF."
I'll drink to that! /*/ (¢APA-NEWS) "Chris Schander '...demonstrated the special trenchcoat he wore, where he had numerous extra pockets to put books in (not for stealing, but for getting as many books as possible onto the flight! They weigh the luggage, but not the person and the clothes worn).'" I've often wondered about the rationale behind that policy. I guess the airlines' search for new and better ways to charge passengers extra fees didn't begin in earnest until the last decade, by which time the prospect of a class-action lawsuit from obese passengers had become a deterrent. /*/ (¢Cinii) Hydrox may have been the original and the first to be kosher, but Oreos finally drove them out of the market. You can't get Hydrox any more (and Oreos have been reformulated to earn an O-U hecksher).
/*/ "The only change in Nutrition in my lifetime was the USDA replacing the Food Pyramid with the Food Plate." Oh? What about monounsaturated fats, trans fats, oat bran, resveratrol in red wine, flavonoids in dark chocolate, omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils, the Surgeon General's recommendation that everyone take a daily multivitamin pill... /*/
(¢Nelson) "Btw, I hear that someone want to turn LEFT BEHIND into a game." I can see it now: roll a pair o' dice to see if you roll into Paradise! Seven or eleven gets you to Heaven...But watch out for Snake eyes!
DANCE* WITHOUT WINTER (Ariel Cinii):
- I'll remember Greg Baker as the composer of the first Hitchhiker's Guide filk I heard ("Zaphod Beeblebrox and Me," featuring the immortal line "Let's touch down. Avoid the whale meat. Have some fun"). /*/ "I miss my Winter...So this is what we have to look forward to for the rest of the century...?" I'd give it another year or two before I come to any long-term conclusions as to exactly what global climate change will do to New York winters. /*/ "Typing on glass is v. futuristic but rather frustrating; my fingers felt like bludgeons!" Yeah, the haptic feedback is all wrong. Fortunately, I don't have much occasion to type on my cell phone (I'm still hardly texting at all). I haven't decided whether it'll be worth paying a premium for a physical keyboard on the next smartphone I get. (If, as I fear, the trend is away from physical keyboards, I may have to give up features or functions as well as cash to get one. In that case I'll probably grit my teeth and work harder on getting used to it.) /*/ "I suggested the [Encore] game have its own programming track at the next filk con where it was played." I like it: the Floating East Coast Encore Game. Maybe even the Oldest Established Permanent Floating Encore Game in the East, picking up at the start of one con at the point where it left off at the end of the previous one.
>Portions of the preceding don't have a good beat,
and you can't dance to them. R.I.P. Dick Clark.<
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