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Feb. 1st, 2020 | 12:53 pm

This is the frontier outpost for thaccian whose main homestead is in Dreamwidth Territory.

I cross-post selected entries here and mostly use this outpost to follow along with people, interests and info I might not be connected to over at DW. If you find anything remotely of interesting in these scattered musings, I'm happy to have you along for the ride.

Comment here, comment at Dreamwidth, or choose not to comment. . .its all good.

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Winter By The Numbers

Feb. 15th, 2014 | 06:08 pm

In Chicago this season:

22 days of subzero temps
62.2 in of total recorded snowfall
33.7 in of total snowfall in Jan alone, which makes it the 3rd snowiest single month in the city's recorded history

There are still moments of beauty in it though. . .like the playground in a neighborhood park that waits patiently for the crop of kidlets that will bloom in the spring.

playground rings5</a>    playground rings2</a>

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Standing in history

Feb. 10th, 2014 | 07:21 pm

A friend of mine worked on the Letterman show for several years.

Once when I was visiting him in NY he took me on a tour of the Ed Sullivan theatre, where Letterman is filmed. We were out on the stage, talking about all the marvelous history that theatre had been a part of.

I was a little puzzled when he took me by the shoulders and walked me over to a particular spot on the stage. Then, he faced me out towards the quiet rows of empty seats and said:

"As near as I can tell, this is where John Lennon stood when The Beatles were on the Ed Sullivan show."

I've performed in a lot of theatres. I've trod the same boards as a lot of famous actors and musicians, but I gotta admit. . .that moment, on that stage, standing in the footsteps of John Lennon, thinking back on when I watched The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show . . .well, that was a special little thrill that I will always remember with great delight.

(Thanks, Tim!)

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Hello Weekend

Jan. 31st, 2014 | 08:40 pm

Busy work week completed. Yummy dinner consumed. Delicious libations sipped daintily down. Pleasant evening walk. And now my chariot arrives to whisk me home.

At this moment in time. . .I have no complaints.

My train arrives

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Historical diaries

Jan. 26th, 2014 | 12:01 pm

Ohhhhhh, such a rich historical trove now available for the web reading. I am all about historical diaries (did my master's work on 19th c. Amer. women's diaries about the westward movement), so the fact that these are being digitized and posted has me giddy with delight.

WW1 soldier diaries placed online by National Archives

Diaries from British soldiers describing life on the frontline during World War One are being published online by the National Archives.

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Jan. 12th, 2014 | 03:03 pm

Despite what the headline might suggest by using the word "overzealous", I think this is a nice article about fanfic in general, and its most recent Sherlockian variety in particular.

Sherlock and the Adventure of the Overzealous Fanbase
Whose wankfest is this anyway? The BBC's Sherlock doesn’t just engage with fan fiction - it is fan fiction.

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Jan. 9th, 2014 | 10:52 am

Outside the frame of my existence, the trees lead shadow lives
They whisper to one another in voices just beyond my hearing

Perhaps they discuss what the new spring fashions will be
Perhaps they commiserate over the pain and itch of squirrel chewed branches
Perhaps they bitch about chillblained feet from standing so long in the snow

Whatever it is they share, it is indecipherable to me
Because outside the frame of their existence
I am the shadow life

triple branch frost

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The Inwood Diaries

Dec. 1st, 2013 | 12:41 pm

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman. With time, those who listened to me became my readers. They no longer sit in a circle, but rather sit apart. And one doesn't know anything about the other. I'm an old man with a broken voice, but the tale still rises from the depths, and the mouth, slightly opened, repeats it as clearly, as powerfully. A liturgy for which no one needs to be initiated to the meaning of words and sentences." (Homer, the aged Poet - "Wings of Desire")


I read on the L

Sometimes I mean that literally. I bury my nose in the book du jour, using the pages to replace my own reality with an invented one; a denial of messy existence in favor of a constructed fiction; the replacement of an unknown ending with a carefully planned denouement.

Sometimes I mean that figuratively. I slouch in my seat and I gaze at the other riders, fellow voyagers through space and time. Every ride on the L presents an entire library's worth of stories. Every face, every voice, every gesture playing out a small slice of a large human experience; lives in the midst of an ongoing reality, stories whose ends are still in the process of being written.

I read the faces and I wonder about the stories that have shaped them. I look at the elderly couple in the corner, the lively group of students near the door, the women with shopping bags at their feet and children on their laps, the guy leaning his head against the window, eyes closed, callused hands lax and still. What particular hopes and thoughts and failures and dreams have etched those faces?

Sometimes I see faces so compelling that I ride past my intended stop in order to linger a bit longer over that part of the story. Then the train pulls into a station, the doors open and close, riders make their entrances and exits, some chapters end and new ones begin.

Where are they all coming from? Where are they all going?

The elderly couple holds hands, leans close together, speaking in the easy shorthand that comes from years of shared existence. I am charmed. I am sad. I am sad that my time with their story will be achingly brief, and sad that I am unlikely to ever read their particular chapter again. The train will slide into a station and they will be gone. I secretly hope they are riding to the end of the line, miles and miles past my intended stop, and I wonder if they will hold hands as they exit the train and disappear down the platform?

If I had the ability, like the angels In "Wings of Desire," to move, unseen, among the riders, the ability to rest my forehead against theirs and to listen . . . listen to their thoughts . . . what stories would I hear? How would their personal narratives differ from the ones I make up about them from the outside?

Sometimes, out of the corner of my eye, I catch other readers looking up from the pages of their books and I wonder whether they are also reading the ongoing human story.

And I wonder when they look at me, what stories they read into my face?

(Photo by Will Byington:

Couple on the L

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Suggestions please

Nov. 9th, 2013 | 10:26 am

I have the opportunity to get a new printer/scanner to replace my tiny little travel printer and ancient flatbed scanner. It will be used primarily to scan photos and documents (family history stuff), and for printing out photo collage work.

The printer/scanner must work well with a Mac.

In an ideal world it will have:
* a legal sized scan bed
* duplex printing
* wifi connection
* document feeder
* individual ink cartridges (so that I'm only replacing whatever color has run out at a time)
* handle both regular paper and photo paper
* prints out up to legal sized (8.5 x 14)

Bonus points if it has capability of printing out at 11 x 17

So, I'm looking for suggestions, comments, user reviews, warnings, etc. Am especially interested in knowing what you graphical types are either using now, or would use in an ideal world.

Please spread my question around your individual networks too. My head is spinning from all the online research, and I could really use some more personalized info based on user experience.

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Dreams of Young Icarus

Sep. 26th, 2013 | 12:56 pm

Dreams of Young Icarus

Fooling with collages is so much more entertaining than the dreary, fruitless job search that I should be spending my time on.

Tried out several new GIMP tools with this collage and was happy that more than one of them worked as expected and accomplished what I envisioned. As usual though, the parts of the image that I find most interesting came about by complete accident while I was trying to do something else entirely. I'm finding those happy accidents to be the most delightful part of learning how to do these.

Fortunately for me as well, GIMP is very generous with the corrections process for all those sudden, desperate moments of:
OMG that's not what I wanted to do at all. . .undo, Undo, for mercy's sake UNDO!

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