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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in stickmaker's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, May 19th, 2018
9:52 am

This is ridiculous.

Tragedy strikes, and instead of helping, politicians of every stripe (not all politicians, but far too many) trot out their favorite phrases, blame their favorite bogeyman and feel they've done their job.


Violence is a social problem and an individual problem. Dealing with either type is not easy, but it must be done. Stop targeting this class of object or that favorite group to blame. Find out why this _individual_ did this. Figure out why _society_ allowed them to get to a place in their life where committing such an act seemed acceptable.

We have to figure out why these few - and they are, by a huge measure, exceptions to the general population - do these things. We _must_ as a community learn how to identify them and get them help before they hurt anyone, including themselves. We must _not_ base policies only on these exceptions, but learn to include measures for dealing with them. Bureaucracies love to generalize and hate to deal with individuals, but if we cannot learn to do this we are a failure as a society.

After the Parkland, Florida shooting I heard an interview with a criminal court judge. He angrily stated that law enforcement has been given reliable tools for predicting who will commit a crime, but nothing to help predict who will become violent. That has to change.

As a Christian, I say that we must become our brother's keeper. Not in the _1984_ Big Brother, oppressive sense; but in the sense of paying attention to each other and caring for each other. Of offering a kind word and a supporting hand when it is needed. Of staging in intervention when it is required. The legal tools for this exist but are rarely used and could be improved. Far more important, though, is the change in attitude that our nation and we as individuals must demonstrate.

Look out for each other.

May these few and clumsy words help someone more enlightened produce a solution.

Current Mood: angry
Friday, April 20th, 2018
9:35 am
A Very Twilight Zone Experience
Someone set up a video with every Serling introduction to the program with them all synced to end when he says "Twilight Zone." The cacophony builds and builds until that final moment (reminiscent of the later ending of the Beatles "A Day in the Life") when it all comes together:

Current Mood: amused
Wednesday, April 4th, 2018
9:24 am
Sick Again
I went to ConGlomeration with a mild cold. I came back with a worse one.

I don't know if the worse health now is due to not resting enough - though I
rested plenty, even missing a lot of the con - or if I actually caught
something there. The timing is right for the second; my condition began
deteriorating Tuesday, three days after the middle of the con. That's
generally the incubation period.

Got to bed late last night due to napping in my recliner for a couple of hours
(with the Weather Underground playing at low volume in the background) until
the storms passed. Went to bed chilled and woke up roasting. While I'm still
sick today (Wednesday) I no longer feel as feverish as I did Tuesday.
Hopefully, that means I'm on the mend.

Current Mood: sick
Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018
5:46 pm
ConGlomeration 2018 Images Posted
My photos for the 2018 ConGlomeration are posted at:

Current Mood: accomplished
Monday, April 2nd, 2018
10:34 am
Important Announcement!
Doppler Press has brought out my fourth Masks story as a Kindle e-book through Amazon, as of March 31, 2018!
Can modern heroes defeat mad science and ancient magic? If not, there will be _Vengeance in Vegas!_
You can also still buy the first three Masks stories at the same link!
Read about the history of the Masks universe here:

Current Mood: accomplished
Friday, February 23rd, 2018
10:51 am
More 1993 WorldCon Photos

I found a bunch more negatives of the 1997 WorldCon. They are finally scanned and posted:


Current Mood: accomplished
Thursday, February 15th, 2018
9:06 am
We Need to do Better

We need to be better.

Mass shootings are a social problem, not a technical one. The technical solutions people keep proposing do little or nothing to help. We need social solutions.

We need to understand why some people do these things. We need to learn how to identify them ahead of time. We need to get them help before they hurt anyone, including themselves.

We need to pay more attention to each other and be willing to help them when they need it. We need to be willing to ask for help when _we_ need it.

The motivation is definitely there. It just needs to be turned in the right direction.

Current Mood: sad
Monday, January 1st, 2018
4:51 pm
Sunday, December 3rd, 2017
11:14 pm
Short Review

I recently read a strongly positive review for Epic bars. They're sort of halfway between jerky and modern protein bars, with mixtures of seasoned, dried meat and other ingredients. A bit like pemmican without the fat and berries. (There are several flavors so some may even have berries.)

I bought the most basic versions of the beef and chicken. Tonight I tried the chicken.

One small bite was enough for me to toss the whole rest of the bar. It had so much pepper that should have been listed as the main ingredient.

Now, I'm unusually sensitive to hot stuff, pepper included. If you like that, don't let my unfavorable review chase you away. Just be aware of this ingredient.

Current Mood: thirsty
Saturday, December 2nd, 2017
11:32 am
The Cat Came Back!
<B>Patches is back!</b>

I was putting something on my compost heap, and there she was, walking up the driveway from the back yard.

I picked her up, brought her inside and down to the basement and gave her some food. She'd lost weight but otherwise looked fine. She ate. Then she drank. Then she ate some more. She is now exploring the house.

Current Mood: happy
9:51 am
One Week

It's been a week since I opened the cat flap after the cats' breakfast and they went outside. I later saw Patches again in the early afternoon, briefly, outside. Not since.

I just wish I knew what had happened to her.

Current Mood: awake
Thursday, November 23rd, 2017
3:46 pm
Masks Timeline Update

For those interested in my Masks stories, here is an updated partial history:

Current Mood: amused
Monday, November 20th, 2017
8:41 am
At It Again
The third Masks book is now out on Kindle from Doppler Press, through Amazon:


Alien queens, vampire teens and deadly machines!

Current Mood: accomplished
Sunday, November 19th, 2017
11:19 am
Space Needle Time Capsule

Folks who know me know I have a general interest in preservation and a specific one in time capsules. Here is a recent item on the latter:


Current Mood: geeky
Friday, October 27th, 2017
9:29 am
A Stranger From Beyond the Stars!

Well, at least from outside our star system:


There are currently no formal rules for naming such objects. I suggest using names from mythology and folklore - and possibly even history - of famous travelers.

For this one I suggest Odysseus.

Current Mood: impressed
Wednesday, October 25th, 2017
10:26 pm
More 1993 WorldCon Photos
I found more photos from this WorldCon, mostly of the Masquerade. They've been appended at the end of the album, here:

Current Mood: accomplished
Sunday, October 22nd, 2017
11:54 am
Feelin' Better
Thanks in part to my visit to the doctor yesterday, I slept over 10 hours last night. Not only is my elbow feeling better, I'm feeling better in general. Here's hoping the trend continues.

Current Mood: awake
Saturday, October 21st, 2017
12:01 pm
An Adventurous Morning
I almost didn't get to the doctor's office. On the way I encountered a very impaired driver, an older woman in a white or light grey minivan, who had a handicapped tag hanging from the center mirror. She was all over the road, and nearly hit several other vehicles.

I managed to get around her, which is how I know who was driving. When I turned onto the side street where the parking lot for my doctor's office is located she followed me through the turn. Then into the parking lot. I thought that maybe she was having a medical crisis, which would explain both the driving and her going into the parking lot. However, while I parked, she drove through and out the other entrance. Running over a curb in the process. She turned back towards the main road. She did stop at the red light.

I decided to report her and walked towards her van while dialing 911. Before I could get the license plate # she _ran the light to turn left onto a busy road_. I got the report of an impaired driver in to 911. Don't know what happened after that.

Unfortunately, I got into the office during a very busy period and wound up waiting nearly two hours. (I was a walk-in, no appointment.) When the doctor saw me he soon diagnosed a type of repetitive motion injury. (After considerable confusion and thought, I realized that the most likely culprit was doing a lot of sweeping a couple of days before the pain started.) He diagnosed me with _both_ tennis elbow and golf elbow.

I'm currently wearing an upper forearm brace (which is growing increasingly uncomfortable after at first helping some) and under orders for specific exercise and icing at night.

Current Mood: tired
8:31 am
In Pain
I woke Monday with my right elbow, my right knee and my neck hurting. I thought it was just due to weather changes for my neck and knee - I've had recurring problems with them for years - and that plus sleeping wrong had hurt my elbow. All three soon got better, though my right elbow continued to hurt through the week.

Yesterday (Friday) evening the pain and stiffness in my elbow got worse. I woke early and had trouble getting back to sleep, even after taking an Ibuprofen. My elbow is swollen and sore even as I type this, making the activity a bit painful.

Gonna eat breakfast then get to the doctor's office while they're open this morning (Saturday).

This is ridiculous. I finally got over the respiratory infection, and now my elbow is hurting so much I doubt I'll be going to Lexington for shopping and gaming this afternoon.

Current Mood: tired
Sunday, August 20th, 2017
11:43 am
Universal Monster History

Universal Monster History


Rodford Edmiston

This was assembled from a combination of watching many hours of old movies and talking about them with like-minded folks, as well as searching online. Corrections, additions and opinions are welcome.

1880s Heinrich (Henry) von Frankenstein completes his medical studies in Ingolstadt and returns to the ancestral castle home in the Swiss Bavarian village of Frankenstein, near the German border.

1890s Henry - bored with the local politics and unable to practice medicine - begins researching the origins of life. He builds a modern (for the time) laboratory in an old watchtower near the castle.

1898, Spring The Monster is created. (Frankenstein)

1898, Summer Henry and Elizabeth marry. The old Baron dies, and Henry inherits the title.

1899, Spring Henry's old teacher - Dr. Pretorius - arrives in Frankenstein and encourages his student to continue his work by creating a mate for his Monster. The Bride homunculus is created, then destroyed by the Monster, along with Dr. Pretorius and the watchtower. (Bride of Frankenstein)

1905 Wolf von Frankenstein born. Lawrence (Larry) Talbot born.

1906 Ludwig von Frankenstein born. Later inherits the family estate in Vasaria, Austria.

1923 Larry Talbot leaves his family home to go to the US, where he eventually becomes an accomplished telescope maker and technician in Los Angeles.

1928 Wolf von Frankenstein marries American heiress Elsa. They meet while he is studying medicine in the US. She is of Swiss descent, from a disentitled but wealthy branch of a noble family. Wolf's younger brother Ludwig later names his eldest child in honor of his mother's aunt. This daughter later inherits her father's titles and properties.

1929 Henry dies, and is buried with his experimental records in a secret crypt under the ruined watchtower. These include his work with Dr. Pretorius on the creation of the Bride homunculus and what survived of the documents Pretorius brought with him.

1930 Elizabeth moves the family to Vasaria.

1931 A vampire identifying himself as Count Dracula arrives in London. (Dracula)

Countess Marya Zaleska arrives to claim her father's body and attempt to break the family curse. (Daughter of Dracula)

Though she cremates his body, this is on an open funeral pyre and she leaves quickly, before the body is completely consumed. Afterwards someone discovers Dracula's skeleton, which is not only still intact but articulated, with the stake and Dracula's distinctive ring in place. Somehow, the skeleton is later acquired by a showman.

Dr. Gustav Niemann - inspired by the accomplishments of Henry von Frankenstein - attempts the first known brain transplant. This fails, disastrously. He is subsequently sentenced to prison. (Dr. Niemann is the brother of Henry Frankenstein's assistant, Fritz Niemann.)

1935 Werwolf of London

During the next decade the supernatural and bizarre seem to be stimulated by the world's descent into war.

1937 Mad shepherd Ygor hung, but survives. Begins living in the watchtower. Discovers and befriends the Monster.

1939 Wolf von Frankenstein returns to his ancestral home. (Son of Frankenstein)

Following these events, Wolf gives Ludwig both his notes on his study of the Monster and many of the records from their father's library. He may be unaware of the journals and notes interred with his father.

1940 Ygor takes the weakened Monster to Vasaria to seek the aid of Ludwig von Frankenstein. (Ghost of Frankenstein 1943)

After he is badly injured by the Monster, Ygor's brain is transplanted into its body. Shortly after - during a confrontation between the Igor Monster and Ludwig - he falls into a glacial cavern beneath the hospital.

(Both Vasaria and the cross-border sister town of Visaria are a three-day wagon ride from Frankenstein village.)

1941 Larry Talbot returns to his family home in Llanwelly, Wales. There he becomes the Wolfman and is apparently killed by his father. (The Wolfman)

Sometime during this period, traveling showman Bruno Lampini acquires the staked body of "the original" Count Dracula.

1943 (Son of Dracula)

1945 With the War over, Europe tries to settle into a period of recovery. However, it was not to be, at least on the monster front.

The tomb of Lawrence Talbot is violated by grave robbers. Revived by the full Moon, the Wolfman kills both of the men who disturbed his rest. Larry Talbot is later found wandering the streets with a severe head wound and amnesia. He comes under the care of surgeon and psychiatrist Frank Mannering. Eventually, he reconnects with Maleva. Together, they travel to Vasaria and Talbot finds the Monster frozen in glacial ice under the wreckage of the hospital. Dr. Mannering arrives and agrees to help cure or kill Talbot. Larry lures Baroness Elsa Frankenstein back to Vasaria, and convinces her to help him, as long as that includes destroying the Monster. She reveals the hiding place of Ludwig's notes. Eventually, both the Wolfman and the Monster are washed back into the ice cavern when the dam is blown. (Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman 1943)

Dr. Niemann and Daniel are freed from Neustadt Prison in a freak thunderstorm.

Niemann and Daniel travel to the ruined Frankenstein castle in Vasaria, hoping to find Ludwig's lost records. They discover the Monster and Talbot frozen in ice in the cavern below. Talbot finds Ludwig's records and the group (which by now included the Rom woman Ilonka) travels to Niemann's old lab near Visaria (not Vasaria; a city with a similar name just across the border in Germany). During the second full Moon after their arrival Ilonka shoots the Wolfman with a silver bullet, dying in the process.

Alarmed by the horrible events of the past few weeks (Wolfman murders, kidnappings, strange doings at the old lab) villagers storm the lab. Niemann is injured and the Monster carries him into the grassy bog, but the villagers set fire to the grass. The Monster moves deeper into the bog - ignoring Niemann's warnings of quicksand - until they both sink into it. (House of Frankenstein 1944)

1947 Dr. Franz Edelmann purchases Niemann's laboratory and - with his assistants Milizia and the hunchbacked Nina - turns it in to a medical research and experimental treatment institution.

Dr. Edelmann has been working on a mysterious fungus, the clavaria formosa (One wonders what connection this might have with the elusive Mariphasa lumina lupina plant. Perhaps the fungus infested the plant or its soil, unknown to Dr. Glendon and Dr. Yogami?) to produce extracts which have the ability to reshape bone structure. What he does not know is that the same fluid can temporarily prevent werewolves from transforming.

Roughly a year later, a mysterious man calling himself Baron Latos arrives. He tempts Edelmann into delving into more arcane areas by pretending he wants to be cured of his vampirism. He also claims to be Dracula himself, though he provides little support for this. Lawrence Talbot arrives not long after, also seeking a cure. At one point, despairing of a cure before the full Moon rises that night, Talbot throws himself off a cliff. Seeking him, the Doctor finds both Talbot and the Monster. The latter was carried into the caverns by the quicksand, and though quiescent is still alive and holding the skeleton of Dr. Niemann.

Exactly what Latos's original plans are is uncertain, but among other things he contaminates Dr. Edelmann with his blood. Despite this, Edelmann, Talbot and Milizia destroy the vampire with sunlight. Soon after - even though he is periodically transforming into his own monstrous form - Edelmann manages to temporarily cure Talbot. Villagers - believing the monstrous form of Edelmann is the Wolfman - follow him to the laboratory. Edelmann revives the Monster, but it is very weak. Edelmann kills Nina and fights the police and Talbot. Larry grabs a gun and shoots Edelmann. A fire starts, and the Monster is trapped inside; Talbot and the surviving attackers flee. (House of Dracula 1945)

1948 Larry Talbot discovers a plot by Dracula to revitalize the Monster in the United States. (Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein)

This is apparently the "real" Dracula, or at least the individual who appeared in London in Dracula. Talbot identifies him as Dracula, but makes no mention of Baron Latos, his presumably only previous encounter with Dracula.

Klausenburgh is a Romanian city in the Carpathian Mountains not far from Castle Dracula

Transylvania was the home of a 10,000 year-old werewolf queen known as Stirba. (The Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf)

Current Mood: accomplished
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