Archive for August, 2009

Neumann Model KU 100

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

I collect old microphones and I came across this interesting stereo mic on a collector’s website. It is designed to give accurate stereo recordings by making the mic into the form of a human head with realistically shaped ears for the receiving sections.

Of course, it is a dumb idea, but beautifully implemented

“The KU 100 is a human head replica with microphones inside of the ears. It is used for binaural pick-up to create the most realistic stereo recordings. This third-generation design is loudspeaker compatible, and accurately reproduces ambient acoustics with information about distance, direction, and perspective. It offers exceptional speech intelli­gibility in noisy environments. Applications for the KU 100 include radio drama, special effects for film, outdoor nature recordings, acoustic evaluation, and scientific research. The KU 100 package includes the head, IC 5 (10 meter) extension cable, AC 20 adapter cable, internal battery supply, external AC power supply unit and aluminum carrying case. The microphone can be powered by external phantom power or by an internal battery supply. Thus, remote location recording is possible with only a minimum of extra accessories.”

Neumann Model KU 100

Roller Derby Tryouts in Yonkers

Friday, August 28th, 2009

Erica spent a good chunk of her childhood on roller skates cruising the sidewalks of the New York’s East Village. She was very disappointed when they moved up to the burbs and there were no sidewalks and the roads were covered with tarred gravel. I bet there was a time when I could have talked her into trying out for the Roller Derby. They are having tryouts this September.

I’ve often thought of shanghaiing my brother Larry and cousin Bob and going down to Yonkers to watch a match. I am a little concerned because Yonkers has so many really bad neighborhoods. I think it would be fun, but I’d insist on taking Larry’s car.

Suburbia Roller Derby – Wanna Play?

Nyack psychedelic artist gets 60 days to change storefront

Friday, August 28th, 2009

There are a bunch of funny stories about the art on this North Broadway storefront. John B. met the artist in a bar in Nyack and wanted her to come to poker. She was all for it, except Jim didn’t want any 20 somethings at the poker table. My mother had some strong opinions about the paint job, as did my aunts.

I, for one, would have liked some new blood (and money) at the poker table. I am not that impressed with the art work, but I think that the village overreacted. The whole situation is much more 1969 than 2009.

Nyack psychedelic artist gets 60 days to change storefront

Bleak History by John Shirley (2009)

Friday, August 28th, 2009

John Shirley is one of my favorite writers. I just finished his latest book Bleak History.

Bleak History is a fantasy novel that has its roots in SF type fantasy such a Fritz Leiber’s Conjure Wife and Heinlein’s Magic Incorporated. Bleak History has quite a bit in common Poul Anderson’s Operation Chaos books. It has that sense of wonder that is characteristic of the best Science Fiction, and it will sit on my bookshelf with the books that I will read again and again.

Short Review of Bleak History by John Shirley (2009)

Template Problems

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

I am now aware that the current dropdown menu has issues where the underlying elements bleed through and prevent the menu from being clicked. It works great in firefox, but is deadly in IE7. I am tempted to upgrade to IE8, but that is not a good solution.

I apologize to visitors who are having a hard time with it. At various times today, as I get a chance to work on it, you may see the entire site broken.

Testing a new blog template

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

This is the unfinished layout and art for my blog.

Testing a new blog template

John Ottinger: SF/F/H Reviewer Linkup Meme, 2nd Edition

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

My Wandering blog made John Ottinger’s Spec-Fic reviewer list. I am required by law to post the whole list:


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7 Foot Shelves
The Accidental Bard
A Boy Goes on a Journey
A Dribble Of Ink
Adventures in Reading
A Fantasy Reader
The Agony Column
A Hoyden’s Look at Literature
A Journey of Books
All Booked Up
Alexia’s Books and Such…
Andromeda Spaceways
The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.
Ask Daphne
ask nicola
Audiobook DJ
Australia Specfic In Focus
Author 2 Author


Barbara Martin
Babbling about Books
Bees (and Books) on the Knob
Best SF
Bewildering Stories
Bibliophile Stalker
Big Dumb Object
The Billion Light-Year Bookshelf
Bitten by Books
The Black Library Blog
Blog, Jvstin Style
Blood of the Muse
The Book Bind
Booksies Blog
The Book Smugglers
The Book Swede
Book View Cafe [Authors Group Blog]
Breeni Books


Cheaper Ironies [pro columnist]
Charlotte’s Library
Circlet 2.0
Cheryl’s Musings
Club Jade
Cranking Plot
Critical Mass
The Crotchety Old Fan


Daily Dose – Fantasy and Romance
Damien G. Walter
Danger Gal
It’s Dark in the Dark
Dark Parables
Dark Wolf Fantasy Reviews
Darque Reviews
Dave Brendon’s Fantasy and Sci-Fi Weblog
Dead Book Darling
Dear Author
The Deckled Edge
The Doctor is In…
Dragons, Heroes and Wizards
Drey’s Library
The Discriminating Fangirl
Dusk Before the Dawn


Enter the Octopus
Erotic Horizon
Errant Dreams Reviews
Eve’s Alexandria


Falcata Times
Fan News Denmark [in English]
Fantastic Reviews
Fantastic Reviews Blog
Fantasy Book Banner
Fantasy Book Critic
Fantasy Book Reviews and News
Fantasy By the Tale
Fantasy Cafe
Fantasy Debut
Fantasy Dreamer’s Ramblings
Fantasy Magazine
Fantasy and Sci-fi Lovin’ News and Reviews
Feminist SF – The Blog!
Fiction is so Overrated
The Fix
The Foghorn Review
Follow that Raven
Forbidden Planet
Frances Writes
Free SF Reader
From a Sci-Fi Standpoint
From the Heart of Europe
Fruitless Recursion
Fundamentally Alien
The Future Fire


The Galaxy Express
Game Couch
The Gamer Rat
Garbled Signals
Genre Reviews
Got Schephs
Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review
Grasping for the Wind
a GREAT read
The Green Man Review
Gripping Books


Hero Complex
Highlander’s Book Reviews
The Hub Magazine
Hyperpat’s Hyper Day


I Hope I Didn’t Just Give Away The Ending
Ink and Keys
Ink and Paper
The Internet Review of Science Fiction


Janicu’s Book Blog
Jenn’s Bookshelf
Jumpdrives and Cantrips


Kat Bryan’s Corner
Keeping the Door
King of the Nerds


Lair of the Undead Rat
Largehearted Boy
Layers of Thought
League of Reluctant Adults
The Lensman’s Children
Library Dad
Libri Touches
Literary Escapism
Literaturely Speaking
ludis inventio
Lundblog: Beautiful Letters


Mad Hatter’s Bookshelf and Book Review
Mari’s Midnight Garden
Mark Freeman’s Journal
Mark Lord’s Writing Blog
Marooned: Science Fiction Books on Mars
Martin’s Booklog
Michele Lee’s Book Love
Missions Unknown [Author and Artist Blog Devoted to SF/F/H in San Antonio]
The Mistress of Ancient Revelry
MIT Science Fiction Society
Monster Librarian
More Words, Deeper Hole
Mostly Harmless Books
Multi-Genre Fan
Musings from the Weirdside
My Favourite Books
My Overstuffed Bookshelf


Neth Space
The New Book Review
Not Free SF Reader


OF Blog of the Fallen
The Old Bat’s Belfry
Only The Best SciFi/Fantasy
The Ostentatious Ogre
Outside of a Dog


Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist
Patricia’s Vampire Notes
The Persistence of Vision
Piaw’s Blog
Pizza’s Book Discussion
Poisoned Rationality
Popin’s Lair
Post-Weird Thoughts
Publisher’s Weekly
Pussreboots: A Book Review a Day



Ramblings of a Raconteur
Random Acts of Mediocrity
Ray Gun Revival
Realms of Speculative Fiction
Reading the Leaves
Review From Here
Reviewer X
Revolution SF
Rhiannon Hart
The Road Not Taken
Rob’s Blog o’ Stuff
Robots and Vamps


Sandstorm Reviews
Satisfying the Need to Read
Science Fiction and Fantasy Ethics
Science Fiction Times
Sci-Fi Blog
Sci-Fi Fan Letter
The Sci-Fi Gene
Sci-Fi Songs [Musical Reviews]
SciFi Squad
Scifi UK Reviews
Sci Fi Wire
Self-Publishing Review
The Sequential Rat
Severian’s Fantastic Worlds
SF Diplomat
SF Gospel
SF Revu
SF Safari
SF Signal
SF Site
SFF World’s Book Reviews
Silver Reviews
Simply Vamptastic
Slice of SciFi
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
Solar Flare
Speculative Fiction
Speculative Fiction Junkie
Speculative Horizons
The Specusphere
Spiral Galaxy Reviews
Spontaneous Derivation
Sporadic Book Reviews
Stainless Steel Droppings
Starting Fresh
Stella Matutina
Stuff as Dreams are Made on…
The Sudden Curve
The Sword Review


Tangent Online
Tehani Wessely
Temple Library Reviews
Tez Says
things mean a lot [also a publisher]
True Science Fiction


Ubiquitous Absence
Urban Fantasy Land


Vast and Cool and Unsympathetic
Variety SF
Veritas Omnia Vincula


Walker of Worlds
Wands and Worlds
Wendy Palmer: Reading and Writing Genre Books and ebooks
The Weirdside
The Wertzone
With Intent to Commit Horror
The Wizard of Duke Street
WJ Fantasy Reviews
The Word Nest
The World in a Satin Bag
The Written World



Young Adult Science Fiction



Cititor SF [with English Translation]



Foundation of Krantas
The SF Commonwealth Office in Taiwan [with some English essays]
Yenchin’s Lair




Fernando Trevisan
Human 2.0
Life and Times of a Talkative Bookworm
Ponto De Convergencia


Fantasy Seiten
Fantasy Buch
Fantasy/SciFi Blog
Welt der fantasy
Bibliotheka Phantastika
SF Basar
Phantastick News
Phantastick Couch
Fantasy News
Fantasy Faszination
Fantasy Guide
Zwergen Reich
Fiction Fantasy


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Reasons to oppose health care reform

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

I have a Google alert on my name. Every time Keith Graham comes up in the news I get an email. There are rugby players, hairdressers, even a web page designer that share my name.

One Keith Graham writes for newspapers in and around Atlanta. I saw the title Reasons to Oppose Health Care Reform in a news page called “Like the Dew, A Journal of Southern Culture and Politics”, and I figured that some Keith was disgracing the name. Then I read the article. The article is 10 really dumb reasons to avoid health care reform:

1) You are so rich and so sure that you always will be that you don’t even need medical insurance.

and 9 others.

I like the last one:

10) You think voting against your best interest is cool.

If you read the article, make sure you read the discussion at the end – they are very good. The anti-health care factions all sound like they wear tin foil hats.

Well, I’ll let this guy into the brotherhood of Keith Grahams. He did a good job, except for the misleading headline, but that was meant to be ironic, and we Americans, as is often said, have trouble with irony.

About the author (the other) Keith Graham (not me): (this other) Keith Graham lives in Atlanta most of the time and on St. Simons Island on Georgia’s coast the rest. Like so many Southerners, Keith was named for a blind piano player, who is now little remembered, and he spent his earliest years living with his parents in the back rooms of a small-town Georgia radio station. Later, he moved to several other states, including North Carolina twice, before returning to Georgia. He has worked for a series of newspapers, including The Atlanta Journal and Constitution from 1979 to 2007.

Reasons to oppose health care reform by Keith Graham | Like the Dew


Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

A friend of mine joined facebook because his significant other is gravely ill with cancer. He uses his wall to keep friends and family informed. It is very sad. He moved her into a hospice last week and then married her in a bedside ceremony. They have been living together for about 30 years, but they decided to make it official.

At first, I thought that it was not a good idea to make things so public, but I think it saves him from having to repeat sad news to dozens of people, and so makes a hard time a little easier. I am painfully aware that I have no idea how to express something comforting. I am very afraid that I will do or say something wrong (even this post is probably a bad idea). He is mostly an internet acquaintance and I’ve only met him a few times face to face, but we have many good friends in common. I  met his wife once at a Blues concert.

So, Glenn and Brenda, I am thinking of you.

Blog Changed and Traffic

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

I made some changes to the home page and the blog. My intent was to improve the navigation. Of course, I wound up changing the wrong elements and, as of 10 minutes ago, the blog is totally screwed. Since the blog is so big it takes 15 minutes to republish it and any mistakes I make are bound to be seen by a few people.

My weeks of traffic glory are now over. Stumbleupon no longer sends me traffic and the BoingBoing link is not sending any new surfers. Inexplicably my Google Page Rank is now down to 1 on the blog and 3 on the home site. This makes no sense unless I somehow offended the Google Gods. I am worried that my eBay pages, which make a good chunk of money, have somehow polluted the site.

My traffic is back to pre-stumbleupon rates plus about 30%. Gone are the days of 1,500+ viewers a day. I’m back to normal. I did notice that people explore more of the site, which is nice. The average person is looking at 4 or more pages, and that is phenomenal.

The reason that I redid the navigation menus is that I want to see this trend of surfers actually reading pages keep going up.

Hunter S. Thompson is still my most popular entry. My Joke-a-day blog is somehow getting hits, even though it is experimental and I never linked to it. Next is the clich� page. A surprise hit are the blog entries about my poker buddy Jim’s kid Stella Maeve who is an actress and is surprising everyone with her performance in The Runaways.

I just checked and the pages seem unbroken and the menus work again. Any ideas for improving the navigation would be appreciated.

Bleak History by John Shirley

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

I finished about 100 pages of John Shirley’s Bleak History last Friday and the book is in the truck calling to me. Shirley reaches right out and grabs you with this one. The only good thing about going to work on Monday is that I can read Bleak History for 45 minutes on the bus.

This is a good one, and no you can’t have it when I’m done. Buy your own.

Lovecraft Birthday Embroidery

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Erica does some fancy stitching. She mixes up some modern stuff with very complex reproductions of needlecraft from 300 years ago. She sent me this site that she noticed because I blogged Lovecraft’s birthday yesterday.

The design is free.

Embroidery Designs at Urban Threads – Free Design – McLovincraft

Predator/Reaper strike simulation

Friday, August 21st, 2009

Is this Science Fiction? It is a simulation of something quite real and frightening.

Defense Tech

The video is both fascinating and at the same time disturbing.”

Nebula Alert by A. Bertram Chandler

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Nebula Alert is a good space yarn with a nautical flavor.

Read my review of Nebula Alert by A. Bertram Chandler