Archive for February, 2014

Aaron Allston, RIP

Friday, February 28th, 2014

I’m floored by the news that Aaron Allston just died from a heart attack at age 53. I knew he had health issues, but had no idea any were that serious. I used to run into him fairly regularly at Indian restaurants in north Austin, as well as at cons and parties. Aaron wrote mostly media tie-in work, but I enjoyed the stories of his I read.

I should probably finally get around to reading Doc Sidhe, his Doc Savage pastiche…

Shoegazer Sunday: Skies of Ember Covers Slowdive’s “Catch the Breeze”

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

I really am on a Slowdive cover kick. Skies of Ember is a Filipino band, and although it says so nowhere in the title or description, this video is actually a live instrumental cover of Slowdive’s “Catch the Breeze.”

Dream Diary: My Non-Shootout With Michael Jackson

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

I dreamed I was in the process of buying a bank. One customer I knew was telling me she was going to sue me, even though I didn’t even own the bank yet. I think she was doing it out of spite.

Then I was riding in a car with someone I think wanted to sell some sort of service to my bank. While we drove I was worried about what level of fractional reserve the bank should have in these tough economic times. (Yes, I dreamt about fractional reserve banking; I’m just a wild and crazy guy). But then the guy driving drove up and over an unfinished overpass, despite my warning, and we landed with a crash in a closed Target parking lot at night.

I was walking along after that, and I had to go into a convenience store to use the bathroom (yes, one of those dreams), but I was worried my dog would run off while I was inside.

Inside it was more like a hotel or bank lobby, and when I went into the restroom, it was some sort of cave (more like a video game cave than a real one).

For some reason, Michael Jackson was holding a ridiculously long antique wooden rifle on me, something like 15-20 feet long, saying he wanted to die as a woman and as a defender of the Alamo. (I guess he was channeling Phil Collins here.)

The gun was so close to my face that I swept the barrel aside with my left hand while I pulled my own gun out of my pocket with my right. But I couldn’t fire it because there was a beef jerky packet stuck to it that prevented operating the trigger.

Meanwhile, Michael Jackson had turned into a friend of mine, and not only was the rifle he holding normal sized, but it turned out to be made of beef jerky packets connected together in the shape of a gun as well.

Then I woke up.

Library Addition: E. E. “Doc” Smith’s The Skylark of Space

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Another important small press work I bought at auction:

Smith, Edward E., PhD. The Skylark of Space. Buffalo Book Company, 1946. First edition hardback, a VG+ copy with slight bumping at head, heel and corners and faint dust staining at heel, in a VG- dust jacket missing a small 1/4″ triangular chip from center of dj spine, plus about 1/4″ of chipping loss at head and heel, and slight overall rubbing, otherwise intact with $3.00 price on flap. The very first of Doc Smith’s famous space operas. Currey (1979), page 457. Chalker/Owings (1991), page 78. One of two books done by the Buffalo Book Company (the other of which, John Taine’s The Time Stream, I picked up in December).

Smith Skylark

Bought for $237 from Heritage Auctions.

Sunday Shoegazer: Center of the Sun Covers Slowdive’s “Machine Gun”

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

Evidently I just can’t get enough of Slowdive covers. Here’s the now defunct (or on hiatus) Center of the Sun doing a crunchy, guitar-drenched cover of “Machine Gun.”

They also did a cover of Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You.” Obviously this is a band on my wavelength…

Library Additions: Envelope of Letter from H. P. Lovecraft to Robert Barlow

Monday, February 10th, 2014

By now you should have figured out that book collectors are insane. If not, what I paid for the following item should convince you:

Lovecraft, H. P. Envelope Addressed to Robert Barlow, with Lovecraft’s return address on the back, in Lovecraft’s own handwriting. Postmarked December 4, 1931.

Lovecraft Envelope Front

Lovecraft Envelope Back

Barlow was a longtime correspondent of Lovecraft’s. The envelope itself bears the return address for another Lovecraft associate, bookseller George W. Kirk, a fellow member of the “Kalem Club,” a group of close friends from the time he lived in New York City from 1924-1927.

Bought for $328 off eBay.

Pretty much all books Lovecraft signed in his lifetime, as well as letters, postcards, etc., have commas in the price. This struck me as a way I could afford a Lovecraft signature.

Now I just need those James Tiptree, Jr. and Thomas Pynchon signatures…

Shoegazer Sunday: Silvania’s “Trilce”

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

Silvania is Peruvian duo currently resident in Spain (and not a manufacturer of inferior lightbulbs). “Trilce” is from the “floaty, spacy” branch of Shoegaze.

I hope you like religious statuary…

Why Sports Parody Is Impossible These Days

Friday, February 7th, 2014

Though this happened last year, with the Olympics starting it’s newly relevant again: Canadian curler gets two year ban for steroids.

Still waiting for that chess steroid scandal…

Prima Pizza Pasta Relocating, Mi Pizza Taking the Space

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

A double-dose of restaurant relocation news I don’t think has been reported anywhere else:

Prima Pizza Pasta has relocated from its location at Parmer and McNeil to a new location at Anderson Mill and 620 as of February 1st. (The news is so new they haven’t updated their website yet.)

Taking the old Prima space on Parmer (as well as their phone number) is a new restaurant called Mi Pizza, which seems to focus on custom-designed 11 inch pizzas cooked in 5 minutes for $6.99.

(News in route to The Logbook of the Saturday Dining Conspiracy.)

PSA: “Citizens Commission on Human Rights” is Scientology

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

I recently got a packet on my doorstop that included a small square flyer that read “If you or someone you love has been damaged by psychiatric treatment…Please call the CITIZENS COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS”. Plus a number to call.

For the edification of those who received such a flyer and who were previously unaware of “Citizens Commission on Human Rights,” you should know that they are a font group for the Church of Scientology.

Personally I think most psychiatric theory (as opposed to neurochemistry) is little better than pseudoscience, but if you have been damaged by psychiatric treatment, you’d probably be a lot better off contacting the state Attorney General than inviting Scientology into your lives…