Gwnewch y pethau bychain

Month: January 2007

Improbable Gifts Catalog: The Pong Watch

Courtesy of riff_77, we have the Pong watch.

Sadly, it doesn’t appear to actually be a product so much as a proof of concept, but still, one can’t help but admire it.

What’s wrong when all is well?

Today’s installment of the webcomic Todd & Penguin struck a chord with me:

Most people who know me socially remark on my generally sunny disposition. In fact, I remember jhayman asking me once “Are you always that cheerful?” My reply began: “No, but more often than not. I long ago came to the conclusion that you cannot always control what is going on around you, but you can always control how you react to what is going on around you. Positive attitude won’t solve all your problems, but a negative attitude will make all your problems worse. So why not go with the better percentage?”

And it’s true that this is how I try to live, and many times I succeed. But the flip side of my personality, which not everyone sees, is that I am always worrying about things. What have I missed? What am I not doing right now that I should be doing? What is going to go wrong? It’s no wonder that my favourite of Murphy’s General Laws is “If everything appears to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.”

I try not to obsess about these things to the point that they paralyze me, and I do make a conscious effort to put a positive spin on things, but the point is that it is a conscious effort. Worrying is my rest state. This is probably why I tend to be very shy of change, and why I always stress more at quarter end when work evaluations are due. Given nothing actually plausible to fret over, I’ll invent something to worry about. Am I boring to my sweeties? Have I offended someone terribly and that’s why I haven’t heard from them lately? Is a piece of the International Space Station about to fall to earth and land on my car?

I don’t expect to actually do anything about this, mind you. It’s just something to ponder this morning, as I try to recapture my normally blithe spirit in the wake of the last couple of days.

Gafilk and Dave Alway postings

I haven’t had a chance to sit down and really process the weekend, which was wonderful, but I will definitely write a con report in the next week or so. Meanwhile, as per my usual habit, I have collected all the con reports I can find on LJ in my memories:

Collection of LJ con reports for Gafilk 2007

I will add others as I see them. If you know of one that is not there, please make a comment with a pointer.

I have also collected all the posts reacting to the death of Dave Alway. It’s been said you can take the measure of a man by the quality of the people who hold him in high regard. Dave was a great, great man.

RIP Dave Alway (1950-2007)

peteralway just posted to announce that his brother Dave passed away this morning, from apparent heart failure. He was 56 years old.

Dave was a frequent attendee to Gafilk in recent years, and he spent his final days surrounded by friends and family, sharing music and laughter. I hope that when it’s my time to go, I will have the same.

He was a warm, sweet, and caring man, and I was glad to call him my friend. He will be greatly missed by all of us.

And there’s one more thing, I’ve got the pink slip, daddy…

Five years ago, shortly after deidrecorwyn and I broke up, I found myself signing papers that said I agreed to be responsible for paying a lot of money to Wells Fargo bank in exchange for them letting me drive their car around.

A few days ago, I made the final payment on that loan.

Today, I got the title in the mail.

I’m terribly pleased about this. 🙂

A wish for you on New Year’s Day

Hello, and welcome to 2007.

In 2007, may you spend more time looking forward, not looking back.

In 2007, may you spend more time making grand plans and executing them, inviting your soul and being creative, and living life to the fullest.

In 2007, may you spend more time doing small, special things for your friends, your family, your loved ones.

In 2007, may you spend more time laughing, and making music, and increasing the joy in the people around you.

In 2007, may you spend more time helping each other, and holding each other, and saying “I love you” to each other.

Best wishes to you all. The best is yet to be.

The Dumb Ones Don’t Live Long

The Dumb Ones Don’t Live Long
by Robert Wynne
Music: “Only The Good Die Young” by Billy Joel
© 2007

Well, hey there, Blondie, don’t make me search
You think you can run faster than I can lurch
Or that you’ll be safe if you hide in a church
I hate to tell you that you’re wrong

Well, they showed you a house and they said stay away
But you couldn’t wait past the end of the day
Now your brains are the center dish on my buffet
You will not outlive this song
You know the dumb ones, they don’t live long

You might have heard I died and was buried and gone
But I’ve come back and I’m here until dawn
When you see my hand coming up through the lawn
It might be best if you ran along

So come on, now Blondie, leave me a trail
Your attempts to escape are predestined to fail
Sooner or later, I’m bound to prevail
And your flesh will make me strong
You know the dumb ones, they don’t live long

You had a nice white dress that you shed for no apparent reason
Then you came down the stairs
Mmmmm, In your underwear
Oh, but Blondie you’re a morsel who has just come into season
Your night will just get worse
Once I stop to eat your boyfriend first

You might think that the dead would just stay in the ground
But I’ve never been one for just lying around
And you can’t hide long before you are found
You shouldn’t go where you don’t belong
You know the dumb ones, they don’t live long

Oh, your mama said fast living only leaves you in a poor condition
This isn’t what she meant
But now you’re cornered and your luck is spent

Come out come out come out, Blondie don’t make me search
You think you run much faster than I can lurch
Or that you are safe if you hide in a church
I hate to tell you that you’re wrong
You know the dumb ones, they don’t live long


by Robert Wynne and Larissa March
Music: “The Overall Distance” by Ben Wakeman
© 2007

Thirty miles from Memphis
There’s a wreck on the Interstate
Some folks crash and die,
While the rest reanimate.
They start to shamble towards my car
I think my time is running out
At first I feared they’d want to eat my brain
But now I don’t have any doubt.

It’s not the overall death toll,
But all the zombies on the way,
That send you fleeing from your home,
Make you run further every day.

There’s a dead woman next to me,
Right outside my Oldsmobile.
Half her body’s gone,
She’s too horrific to be real.
So young to be undead,
But she’s clawing at the door,
I think I could take her out myself,
But here come half a dozen more.

It’s not the overall death toll,
But all the zombies on the way,
That send you fleeing from your home,
Make you run further every day.

There’s a corpse standing by the on ramp
Gnawing on a dying man
His coat is stained with blood
He’s got a brain clutched in his hand
I could chop him into bits
And at first I think I will,
But his friends are closing in on me
And there’s more of them than I can kill.

It’s not the overall death toll,
But all the zombies on the way,
That send you fleeing from your home,
Make you run further every day.

There’s a terror I start to feel
I turn and run through open fields
I know the zombies are hot on my trail
And i won’t have a future if I fumble and fail
I’m a man on the run and I don’t know how long my life will last
I must escape the undead
I must escape the undead — run fast!
Run fast!

Press Gang (Ya Got Trouble)

Press Gang (Ya Got Trouble)
by Robert Wynne
Music: “Ya Got Trouble” by Meredith Wilson (from The Music Man)
© 2007

Well, either you’re closing your eyes
To a situation you do not wish to acknowledge
Or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated
By the presence of a film crew at your convention

Well, Ya got trouble, my friend, right here,
I say, trouble right here at your convention
Why sure I’m a filking fan
Certainly mighty proud I say
I’m always mighty proud to say it.
I consider that the hours I spend
With an axe in my hand are golden.
Help you cultivate rhythm sense
And a cool hand and a keen mind.
D’ya ever take and try to get
A round of applause for yourself
From a three verse parody?
But just as I say,
It takes judgment, brains, and maturity to play
In a chaos circle
I say that any boob kin take
And film a song with a camera
And I call that sloth.
The first big step on the road
To the depths of deg-ra-Day–
I say, first, newspaper men writing features
Then TV reporters!

An’ the next thing ya know,
Your fan is singin’ for money in a video
And list’nin to some big out-a-town jasper
Hearin’ him tell about Creation conventions
Not a wholesome fannish con, no!
But a con where they charge for the autographs!
Like to see some stuck-up filker’boy goin’ on Wife Swap?
Make your blood boil?
Well, I should say.

Now, friends, lemme tell you what I mean.
Ya got one, two, three, four, five, six guitarists in a circle
Guitarists that mark the diff’rence
Between a filkcon and distress
With a capital “D,”
And that rhymes with “P” and that stands for press!

And all weekend your convention fans’ll be frittern away,
I say your good fen’ll be frittern!
Frittern away their circle time, panel time, concerts too!
Get the song on the camera
Never mind gittin’ chairs in a circle
Or the flyers set out or the mics set up
Never mind pourin’ any water
‘Til your filkers are caught with the pitcher empty
On a Saturday night and that’s trouble,
Yes we got lots and lots a’ trouble.
I’m thinkin’ of the fans in the beanie-hats
Button-mail true fen, peekin’ in the filk room window at the mess
Ya Got trouble, folks, right here at your convention
Trouble with a capital “T”
And that rhymes with “P” and that stands for press!

Now, I know all you folks are the right kinda fans
I’m gonna be perfectly frank.
Would ya like to know what kinda conversation goes
On while they’re loafin’ around that camera?
They’re tryin’ out bumpers, tryin’ out slow fades
Tryin’ out SFX like video fiends!
And braggin’ all about
How they’re gonna cover up a tell-tale flub with a punch-in!

One fine night, they leave the filk room
Headin’ for the party on the third floor
Anime fen and Star Trek watchers!
And electronic, shameless music
That’ll grab your fan, your filker
With the arms of a TV media instinct!

Friends, the filmer’s lens is the devil’s playground!

Trouble, (oh we got trouble),
Right here at your convention
(Right here at our convention!)
With a capital “T” that rhymes with “P”
And that stands for press,
(That stands for press.)
You’e surely got trouble
(We’ve surely got trouble!)
Right here at your convention!
(Right here!)
Gotta figger out a way
To keep the filkroom pure and a success
(Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble…)

Fans of this convention!
Heed that warning before it’s too late!
Watch for the tell-tale sign of press infiltration
The moment that fan enters the room
Does he rearrange the buttons pinned below his badge?
Is there a pencil impression on his index finger?
A video camera hidden in his backpack?
Is he starting to memorize jokes from hallway conversations?
Are certain words creeping into his vocabulary?
Words like…like ‘quote?”
Ah-ha! And ‘can we get some better lighting?”

Well, if so my friends,
Ya got trouble,
(Oh, we got trouble!)
Right here in at your convention
(Right here at our convention!)
With a capital “T”
And that rhymes with “P”
And that stands for press.
(That stands for press!)
We’ve surely got trouble!
(We’ve surely got trouble!)
Right here at your convention!
(Right here!)
Remember Gafilk, FKO, and all the rest!

Oh, we’ve got trouble.
We’re in terrible, terrible trouble.
Those guys with the cameras takin’ notes are the devil’s guests!
(Devil’s guests!)
Oh yes we got trouble, trouble, trouble!
(Oh yes we got trouble, yes we got big big trouble!)
With a “T”! Gotta rhyme it with “P”!
And that stands for press!!!
(That stands for press!!!)

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