Incomplete Imaginations Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in the "Filk Daddy" journal:

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September 8th, 2014
09:11 am


A Quick Political Note
Tomorrow is the NY primary, which will largely determine who the candidates are for state office. I recommend that anyone in NY who's registered with a party (NY's primaries are strictly per party, unlike many other states) get out and vote.

Of course, I recommend that Democrats vote the same way as me, i.e., for Zephyr Teachout and Louis Tim Wu. It's pretty telling that while the NYTimes didn't endorse Teachout, neither did they endorse the incumbent, Andrew Cuomo. Considering the possible shenanigans he pulled with the committee intended to investigate corruption, in which he apparently directed it not to investigate his people, that's a very strong statement for the Times. Moreover, they DID endorse Wu over conservadem Kathy Hochul, who looks like another triangulating Rockefeller Republican, rather than the modern progressive Democrat NY needs.

If Cuomo and Hochul win, I'll hold my nose and vote for them as by far the lesser evil in November, but I really hope not to have to.

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September 1st, 2014
11:26 am


Doctor Who, Series 8
No spoilers, though skirting the edge.

I have a love/hate relationship with Clara, especially after her utterly shallow reaction to the Doctor's regeneration at the beginning of Series 8.

Kind of saw where this ep was going early on, when I wondered why they didn't deal with what turned out to be the solution when it was clearly the key to the episode the first time they encountered it.

Fascinated by the Doctor's refusal to bring Journey Blue along because she's a soldier. We keep running up against violence vs non-violent solutions as a major theme this series, and we're only two eps in.

And, of course, who's Missy? (I see five possibilities: (1) The Master, reincarnated female (others have already noted "Missy"<--"Mistrress"); (2) The Rani (less likely, I think); (3) The Valeyard (possible but not as likely even as the Rani); (4) an embittered, empowered Clara (so far what she's done is consistent with the powers of, say Souffle Girl); (5) something else. We DO know that she has some way of keeping track of the Doctor, and some way of retrieving his victims from oblivion (I suspect a transmat just prior to death in the case of the human; rebuilding the robot is a far less difficult matter).

Okay. Enough for now.

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10:51 am


Books That Have Stayed With Me
All the Kool Ckids are doing it, and it got me thinking, which is the whole point. So nu, here are ten-plus books that have stayed with me throughout the years. They're in no particular order (except that some of them are associated in my head with others), and I reserve the right to could-have-had-a-V8 and add to the list:

The Butterfly Kid - Chester Anderson
Black and Blue Magic - Zilpha Keatley Snyder
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Robert Pirsig
The Tao of Pooh - Benjamin Hoff
Illusions - Richard Bach
Stranger in a Strange Land and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress and Glory Road - Robert Heinlein
The Forbidden Tower - Marion Zimmer Bradley
Moving Pictures/Rock Music (the entire Discworld series, really, but if I have to choose...) - Terry Pratchett
The Girl, The Gold Watch, and Everything - John D Macdonald
Brave New World/1984 (These are inextricably linked in my mind) - Aldous Huxley/George Orwell

[Note: Yes, it's been a while. I'm mostly on FB these days, and really should return here for more long-form blogging and the other things -- like the people -- that LJ is better at.]

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January 28th, 2014
09:01 am


National Day of Mourning, 28 January
As everyone, their mother, and their cats have noted today, musical and actiivist icon Pete Seeger passed away early this morning of natural causes at age 94. It's not a tragedy, because of the rich legacy he leaves in both music and conscience, a higher ideal than many of us can aspire to reach (though an excellent one to aim for).

Add that to the fact that this date is also the anniversary of the Challenger disaster, and it would be a good day for a National Day of Mourning in the US (and elsewhere).

Here's a song that's triply appropriate, as being Pete making music (though not a song he wrote) with an environmental theme, and about space.

Cut to save bandwidth or data on metered connectionsCollapse )

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December 28th, 2013
03:38 pm


Making Excuses for Science Fiction in Locus
One of the best explanations of the genre I've read, by Kameron Hurley.

Pull quote: "When I looked at what I’d call ‘‘breakout’’ books – books that everybody I know is reading, not just my trusted SF/F circle of buddies – I started to notice a common thread. No one ever tried to sell me on Carrie by say­ing, ‘‘You really need to have a solid understanding of telekinesis.’’ Not a single Hunger Games fan said, ‘‘You’ll only get it if you’ve already read Battle Royale.’’ Instead, they talked plainly about the stories – the bullied high school girl who gets revenge. The older sister who volunteers to take her younger sister’s place in a fight-to-the-death lottery. They sold me on impossible situations and impossible choices. They sold me on stories."

Yep. It's about the people, and their stories. The technology (or magic, or both) is a useful way of shining lights and holding up mirrors, but it's all about the human experience.

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December 19th, 2013
06:13 pm


Paging browngirl
Have you heard this song yet? (It won't embed without me logging into Vimeo, which I don't want to do. Besides. the information is about the song on that page.)

ETA: NOT casting aspersions on your baking; this is about other folks' concoctions and prejudices and cliches. But you are associated with this baking in my mind, and thought you'd want to hear it. And maybe filk it for competent baking :-)


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December 9th, 2013
07:55 am


Vote for the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame!
If you've ever wanted a voice in the MLB Hall of Fame election, you're in luck! The website Deadspin has persuaded (read: purchased) a BBWAA voter to vote the way the site's readers tell him to. There are numerous reasons each of them has done this, though the one they go on about is "to make a mockery and farce of the increasingly solemn and absurd election process, and to take some power from the duly appointed custodians of the game's history and turn it over to the public."

Whether you agree or not that the ballot should be mocked (and there are lots of reasons to do so, starting with the fact that many eligible voters no longer actually cover the game), here's your chance to vote for the Deadspin ballot, which (along with its voter) will be revealed only AFTER the results of the HoF election are announced.

If you need lifetime stats for anyone, you can find them at Baseball-Reference or The Baseball Cube.

FWIW, here's my ballot:

Tim Raines
Alan Trammell
Mike Piazza
Greg Maddux
Tom Glavine
Jack Morris
Mike Mussina
Frank Thomas
Jeff Bagwell
Craig Biggio

Explicitly NOT voting for admitted PED users. (Suspected is a different story. Show me the evidence and I might change my mind.) So no Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, or Mark McGwire.

In another year, I might have voted for Lee Smith or Edgar Martinez. But Frank Thomas is, IMO, a better DH than Martinez -- despite Edgar's also being deserving -- and Smith is probably a borderline yes in a year that doesn't have a dozen or fifteen legitimate candidates. (Personally, I dislike the ten person limit, but it's in place, so there.)

Anyway, go vote.

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November 28th, 2013
04:59 pm


It's Aliiiiiive!
Despite earlier reports that Comet ISON might have broken up at perigee with Sol, it seems to have survived. Yet another thing to be thankful for today.

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November 23rd, 2013
11:24 pm


Adjunct material for 50 Years of Doctor Who
Yes. I saw The Day of the Doctor and mostly loved it.

Here are three more things to watch, if you haven't already, that are well worth the time.

As usual, video goes behind the Pixel CurtainCollapse )

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November 22nd, 2013
09:46 am


As sad and disastrous as it was, I believe that the assassination of John F Kennedy was only the second most important assassination of a Kennedy in the 1960s.

My thinking goes thus: JFK had accomplished a great deal, and doubtless would have done even more good for the country. However, RFK would have defeated Nixon, at which point Watergate either doesn't happen or doesn't discredit the Presidency the way it did. Add to that all of what RFK stood for -- serious liberal and progressive changes -- and the difference he would have made directly, far less in not having Ford, and possibly not even Saint Ronny of the Economic Golden Showers, and his loss is great indeed.

All that said, I was two years old when JFK was shot, and don't remember it. But it was a great loss for our country, and worth remembering solemnly.

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October 26th, 2013
11:39 pm


Honda Ads
Honda makes great commercials. The latest, for the CR-V is full of trompe-l'oeil. It's not as good as the Rube Goldberg machine made from (and the ad for) the Accord several years back, but it's still fun.

sodyera especially will want to see the newer ad.

And you can see both of them behind the Magic CurtainCollapse )

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05:36 pm


An Excellent Article on Poly at
This article is currently on the front page of It's an excellent piece, both fair and fairly in-depth. Yes, it presents the viewpoint of a therapist who asserts that poly amounts to people running away from their responsibilities in a relationship, but that contrasts with the overall poly-positive tone of the article:

It's not just a fling or a phase for them. It's an identity. They want to show that polyamory can be a viable alternative to monogamy, even for middle-class, suburban families with children, jobs and house notes.

"We're not trying to say that monogamy is bad," said Billy Holder, a 36-year-old carpenter who works at a university in Atlanta. "We're trying to promote the fact that everyone has a right to develop a relationship structure that works for them."


According to the flier Billy Holder handed out at the Pride Parade, which borrowed from The Polyamory Society and More than Two, there are many ways to define polyamory.

"Polyamory is the nonpossessive, honest, responsible and ethical philosophy and practice of loving multiple people simultaneously," it said.

"Polyamory is not a swing club or group."

"Polyamory is not about recreational or promiscuous sex."

Otherwise, there are no universal rules for "how it works," one of the most common question polys say they hear, Holder said. The most common dynamic tends to start with a couple, married or unmarried, who might identify as straight, gay or bisexual. Guidelines are set within each relationship -- ideally, a negotiated framework of communication based on trust and honesty, he said.

This is one to spread around, and I'm glad CNN had the cojones to publish it.

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October 14th, 2013
09:06 am


More on the SciAm/Biology-Online incident
A link in this article indicates that Biology-Online has apologized for the offensive comment and fired the employee who sent it.

Update: 5:24 am, 14 October – Alan Weisleder of Keebali, the company that operates, sent an apology (JPEG screenshot) to Danielle Lee overnight. On their discussion board, a slightly extended apology is directed to the community. Weisleder notes that Ofek was a new employee and has since been terminated.

That's good news. Now if only SciAm would admit that its policy which led to deletion of the dispute was in error and correct it, we'll have seen real progress.

By contrast, note that while there's "debate among authors" when a white male declines to write for free, there was no racial or misogynistic insult as a result. A single anecdote is not anecdata; still, it fails to disprove the contention that there's a long way to go.

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October 12th, 2013
11:32 pm


Privilege? Do ya think...?
Stop me if you've heard this one: a female African-American blogger refuses uppaid work and gets abused for it

Scientific American’s blog network drew controversy Friday after removing a complaint about mistreatment posted by one of its scientific bloggers.

Danielle N. Lee, Ph.D., rejected a request for unpaid writing by, a partner site of Scientific American, notes Wired Magazine writer Maryn McKenna. In an emailed response, a editor wrote, “Are you an urban scientist or an urban whore?”


Editors on the site subsequently removed the post without warning. “@sciam is a publication for discovering science,” Scientific American editor Mariette DiChristina said in a Twitter post as public reaction began to mount Saturday morning. “The post was not appropriate for this area & was therefore removed.”

Other bloggers in the scientific community have been rallying to her defense over the incident, under the Twitter hashtag #standingwithdnlee and in subsequent commentary.

Video of her formal response behind the cutCollapse )

Do you think that maybe, juuuuuuust maaaaaaaayyyyyybe, a white male wouldn't have been treated that way?

[ voice style="sarcasm"]Naaaaaaaaaaah[/voice]

(8 comments | Leave a comment)

September 28th, 2013
02:23 am


Genesis Revisited
Saw Steve Hackett's Genesis Revisited show. The NYCB Theatre at Westbury (I still want to call it "Westbury Music Faire") is a really nice venue; it's wide and bowl-shaped, with good sightlines from everywhere. It's still a theater in the round, though the sections behind the musicians were closed off tonight.

The band (Steve Hackett - Guitar; Roger King - Keyboards; Lee Pomeroy - Bass; Gary O'Toole - Drums, Percussion, Vocals; Rob Townsend - Sax, Flute, Woodwinds; Nad Sylvan - Vocals) was terrific; they had lots of energy, and aside from Hackett's known virtuosity, showed total mastery of their instruments. The high points included (but were certainly not limited to) "The Musical Box", which kicked butt and collected coccyxes, "Supper's Ready", which was twenty-odd minutes of total bliss; and "Firth of Fifth", one of my all-time favorite songs.

If I were to pick nits, there are three ways the show could have been even better: I would have liked more interpretation of the music, rather than (in many cases) a more or less note-for-note recreation of the original arrangements; several pieces ("Dance on a Volcano" and its bookend, "Los Endos") could have used the double drum kits that Genesis toured them with (then again, they had Phil Collins and Chester Thompson playing); and finally, Sylvan's voice, while good and (almost as importantly) reminiscent of Peter Gabriel's in the early 1970s, is not as full, especially in the highest part of his range, as Gabriel's was then. But those are all "gee, wouldn't it have been nice if", and not in any way really hurtful to the enjoyment of one of the closest things a fan can get to returning to 1973-1974 or so. (Interestingly, The Musical Box, the very best Genesis tribute/recreation band there is, is playing two shows at Westbury at the end of November: one recreating the Foxtrot show, and the other, the Selling England by the Pound show. While they were on special tonight, the dates are, I think, on Thanksgiving weekend, and I hope -- expect -- to be at The Ultimate Darkover Grand Council then.)

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September 6th, 2013
09:58 am


The universe is telling me something. I just don't know what.

Three times in the past couple of days, in books I've been reading, shows I've been watching, or online, I've come across the parable of the scorpion (and the frog, or the fox, or whatever animal he cons to get across the river, but fails to arrive as his nature overrides reason and he stings his ride to death, drowning himself).

I think I need to think this out again.

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August 23rd, 2013
10:58 am


Live Music: Not So Much?
Via Metafilter, I found this article: Guest Column - Are backing tracks killing live music by Public Service Broadcasting" by J Willgoose of London duo Public Service Broadcasting.

I hadn't realized quite HOW widespread and prevalent this practice is. The author is a pro, and does a really good job of laying it all out.

For me, the key is THIS: "[F]or me, live music should have an element of risk, and an element of danger. It should be capable of going quite spectacularly wrong. Singers should be able to hit wrong notes, harmonies should occasionally go out of whack, drummers should go out of time - it should be the aural equivalent of a tightrope walk. There should also be room for improvisation, even if only in small measures. How else are you supposed to be able to tell a good performance from a bad one?"

I understand why bands, especially those with complex bits to handle, would use backing tracks onstage (and that applies, perhaps more than any, to bands in one of my very favorite genres, prog rock). The thing is, what I've always been taught as a musician, and have tried to teach in turn, is that if you mess up, it's part of the performance. If you crash and burn, the audience will almost always forgive, provided you don't just turn tail, whimper, and flee. I WANT variance in my live tracks from the studio ones; it's why I listen to live music.

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July 8th, 2013
05:35 pm


Health stuff
I have been unwell since the Fourth. (No, not something I ate. I was sick on the day and ate nothing.) Due to the rules at work that penalize people for calling out on the day following a holiday if it extends a weekend, I shlepped in at midnight and promptly left at 12:45.

I've spent most of the weekend since then in bed, trying (and largely failing) to sleep.

Kudos to my son for not only waking up on short sleep on Friday at 2AM, but going out to the 24/7 Duane Reade for Gatorade. (His mom was in no shape to go.)

Feeling better, sort of, today. Managed to move the car from one side of the street to the other and sat with it until alt-side was cleared (a total of about 30 minutes, literally outside the building's door), and came in, exhausted. Stamina is just not there, so have called out of work (falling over onto my keyboard would be Bad).

Going to try eating some non-BRAT food tonight (okay, I had some grilled chicken breast on Sunday, and it stayed down) and see if I can gain some strength back.

Sick sucks.

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July 5th, 2013
03:04 pm


Now I'm Jamming With Moxy Fruvous
Heard this story on the radio about the King of Spain surrendering his yacht, and immediately got earwormed. This is to get past that, and to spread the joy :-)

News story:


(Leave a comment)

June 30th, 2013
04:20 pm


This one is for sodyera
You've surely heard the urban legend that there's a warehouse full of virtually undriven 1950s and 1960s cars somewhere in the American Midwest.

It's true. Here's the video, made by the auction house.

Via Metafilter.

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