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A persistent vegetative state

I was going to do lasagna for dinner, then decided to do steak and veggies instead. I think the veggies turned out better than the steak, and the steak was nothing to sneeze at.

The foods

Which brings us to…how in the world did that phrase even get started? Has anyone ever deliberately sneezed at something? Is there some supervillain named Antihistaman whose evil superpower is precisely targeted sneezing? If he detects a bogey, does he launch a booger?

C’mon, people, we’ve got to find out. This question’snot going to answer itself.

P.S.: The second steak survived to be taken to work tomorrow for lunch, as planned. The veggies? They did not survive tonight. Um…plan B?

Conversations with Little E: Day 3188

Chief AndersonYou know, son, back in my day, anime was wide-eyed folks doing good and occasionally forming up into giant robots…

ME: So…wait a minute. It’s called Yo-Kai Watch because…he’s actually wearing…a Yo-Kai…watch?

E: Yeah, dad. What did you think it would be?

ME: I thought maybe…it’d be like…I dunno…a tornado watch?

E: A tornado watch? Dad! That wouldn’t make any sense.

ME: And that way season 2 could be Yo-Kai Warning…

E: Dad! Just stop!

Star Wars “Vintage” T-shirt construction kit

Thanks to scans of the (now incredibly rare) 1977 Star Wars Iron-On Transfer book, anyone can now get some inkjet iron-on transfer sheets and make their own brand-new copies of the almost ubiquitous T-shirts that we were all wearing as kids way back when.

Or…you can roll your own. I isolated the “frame” that’s common to my favorite designs (I refer to it as the “asymmetrical chrome frame”) so anything can be put in the middle. For example:

So here is the empty frame. Click on it to see and download the full-resolution PNG file with transparency; simply right-clicking on this will only get you a low-res JPG.

Make a “vintage” T-shirt of any character you like – BB-8, Ahsoka, Qui-Gon, the lady in the Chewie mask, stoned-looking Wicket from the Ewok TV movies, even Bea Arthur or Jefferson Starship from the Star Wars Holiday Special.


Heroes included at no extra cost

The FalconIf you’re not interested in a very brief rant about Star Wars figures, you might as well skip this one.

I see that the only way to get a 3.75″ scale Maz Kanata figure is going to be in a box set that repackages all the Finn and Rey figures that didn’t sell individually last fall. It’s kind of cringeworthy because the trailers made it very clear: these people, they are who the movie is about. Oh, and Han and Chewie show up too. We knew these people, and the new X-Wing pilot, were our new heroes.

Of course, in the southern states (such as where I hail from), Rey and Finn were peg warmers. It was almost as if everyone was rejecting the notion that a woman and a black guy were the heroes of the new Star Wars. (What, did they think Mace Windu was a fluke?)

So here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to go ahead and get this new box set, just for Maz. Maz is cool; Maz almost makes the movie and I’m beyond happy that she’s already confirmed as being in the next one. I will then take the spare Rey, Finn and BB-8 – all of whom I already have – and put them in my ’78 Kenner Falcon, which sits in the box 364 days out of the year. I will enclose a handwritten note about how foolish people still were in 2015, and how I expect whoever is receiving the note (and the ship and its new crew) to do, and be, better than we were in 2015.

Maybe it’ll be my grandkids.
Maybe it’ll be someone else’s grandkids.
Maybe it’ll be somebody who gets the message, in which case the Millennium Falcon once again saves the day.

Fatherhood, Fandom, Fading Out, and a Book Update

Fatherhood, Fandom and Fading OutSurprise! New book! And probably (with apologies to Steven Moffat) not the one you’re expecting. Fatherhood, Fandom, and Fading Out is a book of essays, largely culled from this very blawg as well as from ‘Zine, though there are a few “previously unreleased bonus tracks” in the mix as well, and of course everything’s been modified so it works as a book. Watch for it later this week in Store and

So let’s talk books for a little bit, because I haven’t talked books in a while, and the last time I did talk books, this new one wasn’t even a gleam in my eye.

FFFO, as I’ve come to call it, is just a little bit of a stopgap project, something that will (hopefully) bring in a wee bit of scratch while I finish up working on the next book, which will be WARP!1, the first Star Trek guidebook in a format similar to my previous Doctor Who guidebooks, VWORP!1 and VWORP!2 (both still very much available in Store, by the way). But it’s not a completely cynical, let’s-make-a-quick-buck thing. The element of the VWORP! books that has gotten more feedback than anything is the brief essays that offer much-needed detours from the synopsis/cast-and-crew/trivia/review format that is 90% of those books. The essays seem to connect with people – a lot. So an all-essay book was always in the offing; I simply decided to move it up in the schedule, just in time for Fathers’ Day no less, while I decided what to do about the WARP! books.

Because the playing field has changed a bit where WARP! is concerned. We now have a new Star Trek series in pre-production, with such luminaries as Bryan Fuller, Nicholas Meyer, and Rod Roddenberry doing the honors. After years of mega-budget popcorn flicks bearing little resemblance to the Star Trek we know and love, the idea of an all-star return to form is incredibly appealing…and it changes things up a lot. (more…)

Waking Up: A Horror Story

Dramatis Personae

  • MAN – in his 40s, blissfully asleep, blissfully unaware of the horror that is about to unfold.
  • PORTIA – an energetic five-year-old tabby cat, forever stuck in perma-kitten mode. Affectionate.
  • PUCK – a seven-year-old black cat, possibly the laziest feline ever. Not slender, to put it charitably.

We hear the sound of LICKING. Fade in slowly, and slightly out of focus, from MAN’s point of view. PORTIA is the one doing the licking, and she’s licking MAN’s face.

Lick, lick, lick, lick…oh hi, you’re awake!


I want you to get up and pet me! So I’m going to start kneading your bladder so you have to get up and pee. Then you can pet me!

PORTIA moves further away and begins KNEADING.

PORTIA [while kneading]
Need to pee yet?


PORTIA [still kneading]
What about now?


PORTIA [still kneading, but obviously pleased with her handiwork]
Oh good!

There is a dull THUD and something completely blocks MAN’s view. (We are still seeing everything from MAN’s POV.) But we haven’t faded to black. This is simply PUCK, who has jumped onto MAN. And is now simply sitting there, self-satisfied and really unconcerned with what everyone else was doing, as we wonder what the


MAN [annoyed]
Hnnnnnnnhhhh. Gotta pee. Move.

PUCK doesn’t move. MAN can’t move.


HARD CUT TO BLACK as the last word echoes into the darkness.


A pause, and then



First book… second edition… now available!

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