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   Bartender to dejected-looking Mayan priest:
  Beyond the Fringefan #429

BEYOND THE FRINGEFAN figures itís safe to joke about the end of the world supposedly predicted by the Mayan calendar, because if it turns out to really be the end of the world, no one will be around to taunt him about it. If you want, though, you can taunt him about the content of this zine by contacting him at the N.Y. Cadre ((phone(718) NY-CADRE); e-mailnycadre@alum.rpi.edu; Webhttp://www.nycadre.org). This is Beyond the Fringefan #429, for readers of APA-NYU Volume 10, #12 (e-APA-NYU #104) and other immanentizers of the eschaton, published December 2012 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, 4 May 2012. All uncredited material copyright ©2012 by Marc S. Glasser. Member fwa.

RETIRE SIDE CHATS?: I continue to sign on to the #nyusfs IRC channel every Tuesday, as I have for years, but lately there's been a dearth of other people signing on; some weeks it's been just me and Deb Wunder, and I can't remember the last time more than five of us were on in an evening. I'm suspecting that, like the Thursday meetings in the park, the Tuesday evening chats simply aren't exerting enough attraction to induce people to show up regularly, and that it may be time to quit committing an evening a week to them. I'm using this forum to ask: Will anyone care? And is there enough of NYUSFS left in anyone's life to require any other medium of group communication? We still have the e-apa once a month, and the bounce list for more urgent messages—but a lot of people have fallen off the bounce list through not sending updates to Jailbait when they change e-addresses. (I sent a test message out on the bounce list on the first of December; if you didn't receive it, you should e-mail Jailbait right now at <jb [at] lse [dot] org> with your current e-address.)

A FULSOMENESS OF FOLLOW-UPS: The work on the bathroom, originally estimated by Andre the plumber at seven to 10 days, was finally [nearly] complete four weeks after it got started, too late for us to be thankful for it on Thanksgiving. (To be fair, there were a few things Andre hadn't anticipated when he made his estimate, including hours waiting on gas lines, smaller tiles that took longer to put in place, and an extra evening or two at Lowe's.) Donna moved back into her room on Friday 23 November, after staying with Gary Tesser since the start of the month, and I got to shower again at the Cadre on Sunday the 25th, after borrowing other people's showers all month; but it wasn't until the evening of Thursday the 29th that all the lights and shelves were in place and all the walls sealed and painted. We're still finding the stuff (towels, toiletries, dirty laundry) we stashed elsewhere in the house while the bathroom was unavailable, and making a list of glitches that still need to be fixed.

     Hurricane damage is still being cleaned up in shoreline areas of town—Coney Island and the Rockaways will take a while to rebuild—and I've heard that quite a number of buildings in lower Manhattan are still closed, including the two (4 New York Plaza and 55 Water Street) that I worked in nearly every weekday from 1973 to 2002. But things are looking normal in the neighborhoods where I live and work, and subway service is operating without significantly more random delays than six weeks ago. Less than a week after the storm, I put together a batch of clothing to donate to the shelters that had been set up, only to find that they'd already received all the clothing donations they needed.

     Gasoline rationing (odd/even) was officially ended in New York City on Saturday 24 November, after two weeks and two days. The queues that I'd seen at the pumps had diminished to negligibility over a week earlier, just a bit too late for us to make Philcon.

guy reading newspaper headline:
(CLOSE TO HOME by John McPherson, 11 April 2012)      Dr. T., the cardiologist, confirmed after a follow-up appointment that I'm showing every sign of recovery from the October relapse of the pericarditis, but he's being extra cautious this time about tapering me off the various prescriptions, and scheduling more follow-ups every couple of weeks just to be sure. Meanwhile, I'm feeling more or less like myself (I hesitate to say "normal").

     Oh, and this is probably as good a time as any to mention that Donna and I are now officially Empty Nesters. Ethan found an apartment in a building located conveniently near the Avenue H station on the Q (Brighton) line, and began moving in just days after the hurricane, around the same time as he started his new job at a software start-up called Pave. Exactly what software he and the company are producing, I'm not sure, but it may become clear once the organization gets as far as having its Web site operational (yes, it's that new).

Fringe Reception: Comments on APA-NYU, Volume 10, #11 (e-APA-NYU #103)

ICONOCLAST (Joel Nelson):
I'll be interested to find out why that book about the guy you call your boss was taking you so long to read. /*/ Video functions on digital equipment ought not to default to the greatest possible resolution (which then uses up the greatest amount of storage per still or moving image)—although I can think of two reasons why the equipment makers might choose to do so: one, it will show off the equipment's capabilities the most, and two, they've made deals with the makers of storage media to increase the demand for their products. (I just nearly typoed "demand" as "damned." Funny I never noticed that anagram before). It would make more sense to default to an intermediate setting—but that assumes the typical user has the sense to read the manual. I just had to deal with a similar issue when Ethan installed a new desktop machine with new software in the downstairs office, where our scanner is located. /*/ Windows 8 uses a "Charms bar" for shutting down and for adjusting settings? I bet it's a real Life Saver. I expect to see screeds against this any day now from some of the televangelists who've previously railed against fantasy role-playing games as tools of Satan. (To see the new operating system in action, do you have to attend a demon-stration? ) /*/ (¢Blackman) Borough President Markowitz was interviewing Tony Danza at the Book Fair because Danza had just published a book, I'd Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High.

JAMISON, TAKE e-LETTER (Mark L. Blackman):
(¢APA-NEWS) Why did you "Plus" Dr. Szasz? He was in the In Mem already. /*/ (¢me) "It took Hurricane Sandy ('Arf!') to get the people on Facebook to talk about something other than politics (overwhelmingly anti-Romney/Ryan & the latest Republican bigot)." It depends on who's on your "friends" list. There are a few on mine who have continued to post anti-Obama and anti-Democrat rants to this day, and I imagine there are people whose "friends" are overwhelmingly of that persuasion.
     Wally:   "I heard that the guy you voted for just confessed
          to having an affair with a squirrel."
Dilbert: "Shut up.  The guy you voted for is being sued
          for choking his secretary."
Wally:   "In some countries they don't get a choice of who to vote for."
Dilbert: "I feel sorry for them."
(DILBERT by Scott Adams, 23 December 2006)
/*/ "DR. WHO is not internationally recognized the way James Bond (or even Harry Potter) is." Of course he isn't recognized; he keeps changing his face every couple of years. (Though there have been nearly as many on-screen James Bonds as there have been Doctors.) /*/ "highlighted text seems accidentally to [vanish] by my brushing any key." Um, it's supposed to. You highlight text and then type, and what you've typed replaces what you highlighted. (MS Word makes it an option, "Typing replaces selected text," which you can turn off.)

"After all this, The Organized Seer is now an almost completely different book from what appeared online @ WormholeElectric.com." Should it have an almost completely different title? /*/ "GO TO THE WINDOW (or TV). / LOOK AT WHAT SANDY DID TO NEW YORK AND THE EAST COAST. / SPEND THE DAMNED MONEY TO HIRE PEOPLE TO FIX IT." Sounds like a plan to me. Now we just have to figure out where they get the money. Let's see how effective our friends in D.C. turn out to be this month in averting the "fiscal cliff" (hint: the smart money is on the lemmings); then we'll talk. /*/ Congratulations on not losing your food stamps after all. /*/ (¢me) "Yeah, but I'd have to come up with something that looks and sounds decent enough for people to want to stop and watch and spread around." My point was that anything is better than nothing; even if it's made on a shoestring budget, and doesn't go viral and get a million viewings, a YouTube piece is still a YouTube piece and will still come up when someone who's heard your name or the title of one of your books, and knows nothing more about it, types it in to Google.

Glad you suffered so little damage from Sandy (and didn't need to evacuate to the Cadre!).

     I learned the other week about a Festival of Lights I hadn't previously known of, when I tried to call Frankie the mechanic and found out he was out for Diwali. This festival, celebrated by Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs, seems to date back at least as far as the first century, and features "the lighting of small clay lamps (dipa in Sanskrit) filled with oil to signify the triumph of good over evil," and fireworks (thanks, Wikipedia). Unlike the Western festivals, which cluster around the winter solstice—the point when light is in shortest supply—Diwali happens while the light is still decreasing, in late October or early November.
     So best wishes for a happy Festival of Lights of your choice, retroactively if appropriate; everyone watch out for falling Mayan calendars (those things are heavy!); and may the new year not bring any big winds worse than the ones issuing from the mouths of certain fen whose names I won't mention.

>Portions of the preceding should be brought to an internal temperature of 451°F before consuming.<

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