BEYOND THE FRINGEFAN felt pretty good about being a retiree of JP Morgan Chase, until recently; the past month or two, not so much. He takes comfort that only half of his 401(k) is invested in JPM stock, and that he's still working at least part-time. When he's not commuting to AllianceBernstein to proofread investment advice, you can find him watching the market quotations from the N.Y. Cadre ((718) NY-CADRE); firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.nycadre.org). This is Beyond the Fringefan #424, for readers of APA-NYU Volume 10, #7 (e-APA-NYU #99) and others whose stock made them broker, published July 2012 as a combined production of Quick Brown Fox Press and Syscrash Consulting, both subsidiaries of . Cartoon above from Dilbert by Scott Adams, 14 July 2012. All uncredited material copyright ©2012 by Marc S. Glasser. Member fwa.
MISTAKE OF THE MONTH: I had a vague feeling that something was wrong when I mentioned Rep. Edolphus Towns (D—Brooklyn) in last month's issue; if he was our Congresscritter, why didn't I remember voting either for or against him? The day after collating the apa, I did the fact-checking that, as a self-respecting copyeditor, I shoulda done before submitting my zine, and confirmed that we are not actually in Mr. Towns' district (the 10th), though the boundary line passes within half a block of the Cadre; we are in the 11th Congressional District, and our representative is Yvette Clarke (also D—Brooklyn)—whose electioneering I do remember.
I will leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine whether this says something significant about the state of the political process in 21st century America, or merely about my own obliviousness. (On the other hand, Rep. Towns and his staff didn't catch the error either. On the gripping hand, Rep. Clarke doesn't seem to have done any speechifying about the Peace Corps at all, so if Rep. Towns' staff had done it accurately, Ethan wouldn't have had his 15 minutes of recognition in the Congressional Record. Go figure.)
The Kid, by the way, has concluded his teaching, but remains in Cameroon for another few weeks dealing with a few special projects and some bureaucratic bullfeathers. He'll take his leave in early August and then fly up to Europe to meet with a friend and do some touristing in Italy, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic, before returning to the States just prior to Labor Day. He still blogs occasionally at <cameroon [dot] betacantrips [dot] com>, for those interested in how his assignment and the piece of fantasy fiction it's inspired are winding down.
EXPANDS TO FILL THE TIME AVAILABLE:
I got only one offer of paying work during the four weeks of otherwise "idle" Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays in June. That was a one-dayer on the very last Wednesday, at 20% less pay per hour than I've had at any assignment in the last five years, and the offer came after I'd already committed to being in two other places at various times that day. I decided I wasn't that desperate.
I wasn't totally idle during the "idle" time, of course, what with getting Donna to and from a bunch of medical and dental appointments, dealing with Deb's hospitalization, making various attempts at dealing with the cat's increasing incontinence (still worsening), and having a couple of service folk in. I didn't get anywhere near the amount of cleaning and organizing done that I'd hoped to (big surprise). So in that regard, it was a bit of a disappointment. I should try to plan better for the next part-time month I do.
("Deb's hospitalization?" I hear you cry. A brief summary in case Deb doesn't get a zine in this month: Deb found herself physically unable to climb out of bed on 21 June. Her sister came to check on her on 22 June, and called to ask me to help get her standing up and over to a hospital. After several hours in the ER, she was diagnosed with septic cellulitis (a systemic infection), admitted, and placed on IV antibiotics. She was released with a supply of oral antibiotics after four days. It is possible that the infection had been going on undiagnosed for months.)
Comments on APA-NYU, Volume 10, #6 (e-APA-NYU #98)
SERCON (Fred Phillips):
- You list six books after crediting Mark with spotting three at The Thing; are the last three the ones you found on your own? /*/ I must correct you on one point: the repast following the Shikar was not at Teresa's (which is in Brooklyn Heights, and where we have dined in the past after visiting the Brooklyn Book Fair) but at Christina's (which is in Greenpoint, half a dozen blocks south of The Thing). Both restaurants offer great Polish cuisine, but Christina's is a bit cheaper owing to the area being less gentrified. /*/ I'm not sure that independent bookstores are "been making a comeback in NYC" as you assert; rather, I suspect that having more Drowned Rats seeking out possible sites for future Shikars has brought more of the surviving ones into our awareness. (This confirms the value of having a good research staff.) With the loss of the competition of a bunch of Borders stores last year, a few new entrepreneurs may be feeling emboldened to set up shop, but I haven't yet seen convincing evidence of this.
ICONOCLAST (Joel Nelson):
- I couldn't find How to Play Math listed at Amazon or any of the libraries around here. Are the cards you mention simple flash cards, or something more elaborate? /*/ "I would recommend a truce between the movie industry and the Church." Neither one (if by the Church you mean Christendom as a whole) is monolithic enough to make such a thing remotely possible. And "churchgoers" comprises such a diverse group of people that it's arguable whether "the movie industry" consistently "portray[s] churchgoers in a bad way in its movies"—or in any particular way at all—now. You aren't asserting that every churchgoer on Earth is a perfect human being, are you? But then I hardly go to movies at all, so I may not know whereof I'm writing. I prefer to watch movies with friends via VCR, DVD, or DVR, to permit pausing the show when someone needs to refill a drink or go to the bathroom, or even rewinding when someone misses a line or a good visual. /*/ The computers where I've worked have generally given a week or two's warning before requiring password changes. This enables me to figure out which day I can change my password and have the best chance of remembering the new one. (Monday or Tuesday is good, permitting me to reinforce the change of habit by logging in three or four more times before the weekend break.)
JAMISON, TAKE e-LETTER (Mark L. Blackman):
- The cake you brought to FIStFA for my birthday did not go to waste; I had most of it over the next few days, reserving some for Donna and Gary, so it went to three waists. Thanks. /*/ (¢cover) Mr. Belov was clearly selecting the muon neutrino as a cat pun. The identification of "XI" as "the number four" was absurdism or psychotic Dadaism, of a piece with the epigram "There are only five things in this universe..." on a frame that patently contains only three things. /*/ (¢me) Among computer geeks, the verb "sort" subsumes both alphabetizing and what you call numericizing, though different computers and applications have different ideas about whether numerals come before or after letters, and what the order of the punctuation marks and other special characters is. /*/ "I don't recall any space-version of the Peace Corps [in s-f stories]..." I think I do, but I can't think of titles offhand. But before there was a Peace Corps, there were other aid organizations, governmental, nongovernmental, and religious; the Corps just tries to be a bit more subtle and less heavy-handed in the way it proselytizes. So if we make it into space, no doubt there will be new waves of such aid efforts. /*/ Weren't you having problems with Juno long before you were using machines with Windows Vista? /*/ (¢Nelson) "Of course religious services are strange to outsiders and often uncomfortable for nonbelievers ... this is not a particularly profound observation." Perhaps not, but I think the author's point is that it doesn't have to be that way; especially in a small congregation, the congregants can be watching out for newcomers and going out of their way to welcome them, find out what their backgrounds are, provide extra explanation for obscure rituals, and generally make them feel more like new friends and less like outside observers.
I'm a bit busy lately, with the quarter-end rush keeping us hopping at work, Donna now seeing an acupuncturist regularly once more, and the necessity of mopping up rather more feline urine than I ever signed up for, but I might be seen at a Brooklyn Cyclones game in early August, as well as at FIStFA. May everyone stay comfortable in the sauna that is summer in the City.
>Portions of the preceding were made for you and me.<
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