Stone of Remembrance

December 24, 2008

The Good Earth

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 12:03

This was sent out on a list to which I belong. It reminds us of the extraordinary first view of Earth from Lunar orbit, forty years ago. (When we had a space program; I remember it and, yes, believe that it actually happened.)

Politicians like to tell us that there is more that unites us than divides us. It’s truer than their callow platitudes can imagine. Democrat and Republican, Liberal and Conservative, American and Briton and Australian and German and Iraqi and Afghanistani and Russian and Chinese, Christian and Jew and Muslim and Buddhist and Hindu… All of us live side by side on this big blue marble, on this light in the sky that a man on the moon could hide behind his thumbnail.

There’s also a link to the famous Good night message from that Apollo spacecraft. The good earth is a fragile place; we received it from our ancestors and preserve it for our children. Whatever our cause, whatever our politics, let’s not forget that.

Merry Christmas – and for other faiths, Happy Holidays.

Montréal Worldcon

Filed under: Commentary, Walter\'s Schedule — admin @ 11:47

I will be at Worldcon in Montréal, August 6-10, 2009.

Readercon 20

Filed under: Commentary, Walter\'s Schedule — admin @ 11:45

I have been invited to, and will be attending, Readercon 20 in Burlington, Massachusetts, July 9-12, 2009. I will probably arrive on Friday, July 10.

December 23, 2008

Hokey Pokey Hate Crime

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 00:06


You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out,
You put your right foot in and you shake it all about
You do the hokey-pokey and you turn yourself around
That’s what it’s all about.

Apparently, what it’s all about is anti-Catholic hate speech, according to Scottish Catholic Cardinal O’Brian and a Scottish MP. Apparently

A spokesman for the leader of the church in Scotland said the song had disturbing origins.

Critics claim that Puritans composed the song (the “Hokey-Cokey”) in the 18th century in an attempt to mock the actions and language of priests leading the Latin mass.

As it’s become popular at football matches, it’s been suggested that fans using the song to taunt Catholic rivals be arrested for hate speech.

Apparently the moonbattery simply cannot run out of juice. It’s been linked to something called The Famine Song, which reviles the Irish who emigrated to Glasgow.

Just when I thought I’d seen everything . . .

December 19, 2008

Should Be Reading . . . and Others

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 15:20

A Song In Stone was reviewed, quite favorably, by MizB on ShouldBeReading. This isn’t the New York Times, but it is an honest and complimentary review by a genuine bibliophile. I hope there are more in my audience.

A number of my fans have told me that they have not seen the book in stores. I am not surprised; the publisher is not supporting any books in the imprint. This book’s success depends on the support of my reader base – people who review for blogs, who attend conventions . . .

So if you can, I hope you’ll order the book online. If you can’t, please ask your local public library to order it. (There’s an acknowledgement for the help I received from my local reference librarian, if that is an incentive.)

So what should you be reading? Why, A Song In Stone, of course.

UPDATE Dec 19: Also got a nice review at Karen’s review blog. Since I’m not getting much help from the publisher, maybe online word of mouth will help.

December 17, 2008

Silly Old Bear

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 23:49

For anyone fond of A.A. Milne, and particularly Winnie-the-Pooh, the true depiction is not the hideous Disney version but rather the traditional one illustrated by Ernest Shepard. For me, there is no other illustrator.

A wonderful collection of illustrations went up for sale recently; I read about it in the Economist, which I read every week. (You should too.) The final selling price was in excess of £1.2 million.

As the Economist article mentions, J. K. Rowling’s handwritten work can fetch a cool £2 million for charity; it’s nice to see that something I would prize even more highly at least got into the same order of magnitude.

Pooh Bear is more than a children’s character; he is a poet (Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie), a philosopher, and a friend to a little boy who must ultimately leave him behind to go to school – but never loses him.

My compilations were fifth and sixth birthday presents from my Aunt Valeria, who is no longer with us, but whom I have also not completely lost. If you have young children or grandchildren, or friends with same, introduce them to the real Pooh Bear.

December 15, 2008

Baseball Digest on Google

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 23:42

How cool is this? Google Books has started scanning back issues of Baseball Digest, starting in July 1945. This is a wonderful source of baseball nostalgia for old-time fans. I’m looking forward to reading these at my leisure.

Makes the hot stove a little warmer. Not that I need it, as L. tells me that I’m a baseball fan more than 365 days a year as it is . . .

Tatnuck Books Event

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 13:59

I will be at Tatnuck Books in Westboro, Massachusetts on Saturday, December 20, 2008 from 1 to 3 PM. A Song In Stone will be featured.

Makes a great holiday gift, and helps your favorite author. Here’s a link to the event description, and to the flyer.

December 13, 2008

Holiday News Flash

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 11:26

Apparently Christmas is evil. At least according to the Religion of Peace™.

A Muslim preacher named Anjem Chaudary residing in England, whose beard is on a little too tight has proclaimed that Christmas celebrations are forbidden by Allah. In the world of extremist Islam, tolerance and respect is a one-way street; in a time in which we are required to allow for the beliefs of the followers of Islam, there are those in that religious community who utter statements like

many Muslims, especially those residing in western countries, are exposed to the evil celebration Christmas.
. . .
Decorating the house, purchasing Christmas trees or having Christmas turkey meals are completely prohibited by Allah.
. . .
How can a Muslim possibly approve or participate in such a practice that bases itself on the notion Allah has an offspring?
. . .
Every Muslim has a responsibility to protect his family from the misguidance of Christmas, because its observance will lead to hellfire. Protect your Paradise from being taken away – protect yourself and your family from Christmas.

Emphasis mine.

This particular wingnut praised the Mumbai terror attacks which killed nearly 200 innocent people; meanwhile, Indian Muslims are speaking out against it. Maybe Anjem Chaudary would like to take a nice walk in a Mumbai neighborhood and spout some more of his hateful speech, and see how well it is received.

In the Christian season of peace, it is beyond me why it is necessary for people like Chaudary to incite and declaim. Makes you wonder exactly what President-Elect Obama is going to apologize for.

December 9, 2008

Silent Star Wars

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 21:26


I’ve been busy the last few days, but got this passed on to me. It’s hilarious.

And while you’re looking, look at this one too (it was on the sidebar):


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