Monday, April 30, 2012

Faerieworlds 2012 Summer Celebration

For 2012, Faerieworlds will be held from Friday, July 27th to Sunday, July 29th at the Mt. Pisgah Arboretum located Southeast of Eugene, Oregon. It will be the festival's fourth year at the site. Activity will center around the eight standing stones of the Stone Circle which was installed before the event in 2010.

You may have heard of Donovan, especially if you're old enough to remember the '60s - well, OK old enough to be alive during the '60s. (There's also a saying that if you remember the '60s you weren't really there.) So anyway, yes, it's that Donovan, the one who gave us "Sunshine Superman," "Hurdy Gurdy Man," "Atlantis" and "Mellow Yellow." Donovan was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio on April 14, 2012. The Faerieworlds organizers have announced, "Donovan will premiere 'The Living Crystal Faery Realm,' a new musical and visual experience that the world will see for the first time at Faerieworlds under the stars at Mount Pisgah."

Niyaz, Baka Beyond and Soriah with Ashkelon Sain are making their Faerieworlds debut. Also making her first Faerieworlds appearance with be dub-step violinist Lindsey Stirling, who was a quarter-finalist on America's Got Talent two years ago. I'm excited about seeing Baka Beyond, a group that mixes African and Celtic music. I've liked their music for years.

Returning performers include SJ Tucker and Tricky Pixie (SJ is a part of Tricky Pixie), John Doan on harp guitar, Trillian Green, Treguenda (first time at Faerieworlds but they've played at FaerieCon West), Adam Hurst and more.

That's just the Main Stage - the lineup for the Neverworlds Stage will be announced later.

Faerieworlds has released a couple of YouTube videos on their channel featuring Donovan and Lindsey Stirling:

I will be there this year. I'm not sure yet how I'll afford it or how I'm getting there, but I really am determined to be there. A friend, Whisper Fae on Facebook, who I met while helping a vendor last year, has offered a vendor pass. I'll have to upgrade it to a vendor camping pass, but that's cheaper than paying for a regular camping pass and I may be able to put up my tent behind the booth Whisper and two others will be at - Three Moons Emporium. (Want to help me get there? Take a look at the ChipIn widget in the top right corner of this blog. Any amount, even a buck, will be appreciated.)

Moby as Gwydion the Wizard

Seems like every year I, along with many others, say this will be the best Faerieworlds yet, and every year we're right. We'll be right again, I'm positive. For me, Faerieworlds is more than just a festival. I've gotten to know a lot of people who help make it happen along with members of the Facebook group A Circle of Merry Folk. Along with them, I look forward to this event all year. This is my Thanksgiving, Winter Solstice, Christmas, New Years and vacation all wrapped up in five days including Thursday and Monday when I'll be helping set up and take down the vendor booth.

New Signature for Delphi Forums

Image from Luciole Press on Facebook

It's not this big on Delphi because I try to keep my sigs small. I found this while poking around on David Gerrold's page. This is the size as it will appear in my Delphi posts:

Image from Luciole Press on Facebook

Simon & Garfunkel: The Dangling Conversation

In one of the Delphi Forums I frequent, the host is considering ways to make the forum a better place for reasonable people to have intelligent, wide-ranging conversations on matters from the sublime to the ridiculous without a whole lot of acrimony stirred up by trolls, sh*t-stirrers and haters.

One of the changes proposed is a new forum name. Several have been suggested. My favorite so far is "Life, the Universe and Everything" since I'm a big fan of Douglas Adams. Another poster suggested "The Dangling Conversation." Here was my response, which includes the YouTube video:

I'm also a big fan of Simon and Garfunkel. It's been a long time since I've heard "The Dangling Conversation." While I think it's a great song, it has always seemed to me to be about how relations between two people can become superficial and banal as they grow apart. It's a sad thing to experience. I'd like to see this forum as a place where people can grow together, grow stronger, rather than grow apart.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Enterprise Arrives in New York City

From George Takei's Facebook page comes this interesting photo:

His comment: "Apparently the "Enterprise" was recently taken to the Intrepid in NYC. A fan captured the moment here."

A fan commented "that's a really small Enterprise." True, but it's still a fun photo creation.

For those who may not know, the space shuttle Enterprise, which was a test prototype and never went into space, was moved to the aircraft carrier Intrepid which is docked in New York harbor and serves as an air and space museum.

Devil's Tower, Wyoming

Devil's Tower is a monolith in northeastern Wyoming located not too far from Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. The site was declared the country's first national monument in 1906. It's probably most widely known for the part it played in Close Encounters of the Third Kind where Richard Dreyfuss' character obsessively sculpted a replica out of mashed potatoes and at the movie's climax the alien ship descended above the tower broadcasting its five-note audio signal.

Back in September 1999 I spent the month driving around the eastern 2/3 of the US. I spent three days in the area of Rapid City, SD visiting Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse memorial (still in progress of being sculpted), Wind Cave and Custer State Park. At Custer State Park I realized you really wouldn't want to rollerskate in a buffalo herd as one surrounded my car on their way across a road.

Devil's Tower is an impressive sight since it sticks up well above anything else nearby. It rises to a height of just short of a mile. Even from further away than this picture (from Wikipedia) was taken, it is noteworthy.

On my trip, I got to the tower in mid-day so I had plenty of time to look around. There's a 1.3-mile trail that circles the base of the tower, giving views from all sides. With a pair of binoculars, one can watch the numerous climbers (about 4,000 annually) ascending to the top. It was a beautiful day, perfect for viewing the tower.

Heading back to the car, I heard a car alarm go off. I wondered what was going on. when I got back to my car, several minutes after the alarm had stopped, I discovered it had been my car's alarm. My passenger side door was open. On the floor of the passenger side, my backpack, which contained my laptop, was still there and apparently hadn't been disturbed. The laptop was still inside. I might've left the door unlocked accidentally as there was no sign of forced entry. Maybe someone just opened the door thinking my car was theirs or maybe someone was looking for easy pickings. I'll never know.

That night I stayed in a KOA campground in one of their "Kamping Kabins," a very basic little cabin with bunks where campers supply their own bedding  - air mattress and sleeping bag in my case. I had to get up in the night to facilitate the euphemism. On my way back I encountered a few small deer, probably white-tailed deer. At least I think that's what they were - at the time I wondered if they might've been a small pack of coyotes. Whatever they were, they moved off pretty quickly and quietly. It was pretty darn dark since there's hardly any artificial light in that area at night. During the night some rain, with a little thunder moved in and was still around by morning, so I headed off to Yellowstone National Park on the other side of the state. Had the weather stayed fair I might've gone back to the tower.

Check out  Wikipedia for a lot more information on the formation and history of Devil's Tower. It's definitely worth seeing if you're in that part of the country.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Toad Away

This (from Facebook):

Reminded me of this (from YouTube):


A long time ago, in a state far, far away, I was in a bad way. It was Summer 1973 and my wife of a little less than three years moved out of the apartment where we'd just started living in  Grafton, MA after returning from Denver. I'd heard of the Firesign Theatre, and thought maybe they'd give me a few laughs. I bought their first four LPs. It helped enough to keep me going.

Fast forward to Portland, Oregon, the Aladdin Theater in 2005. I took advantage of a rare opportunity to see The Firesign Theatre live. It was "fun for all and no fare to anyone." The whole audience joined the 4 or 5 Crazy Guys in singing "Toad Away."

Peter Bergman and David Ossman (above) at the Aladdin Theater, Portland, OR, Jan. 29, 2005 and (below) Phil Austin and Phil Proctor.

Star Trek - The Soft Weapon

Kirk: "Captain's log, Stardate 4520.5 - We are patrolling near the border between the Federation and the Klingon Empire. We have just spotted a Klingon vessel."

Chekov: "Kepten! The Klingons are attecking! They have launched a futon torpedo!

Kirk: "Shields up! Oh, and Chekov, it's pronounced "foe-ton," not "foo-ton."

Sulu: "Excuse me, Captain, but I think Mr. Chekov might be...."

Sulu: "...correct."

Kirk: "It would appear so, Mr. Sulu.

Spock: "Fascinating."

Scotty: "I cannae believe it!"

Kirk: "Bones?"

McCoy: "Dammit, Jim! I'm a doctor, not an interior decorator!"


While I was looking through a Delphi Forums forum about Star Trek, I came across a quiz which tells you which ST captain you might resemble. I had a little fun with it answering some seriously and some not so seriously. This was my result:

Which Star Trek Captain Are You?

More on Star Trek. Created by BuddyTV

Hmmm ... well, there's a slight question about gender, plus I prefer decaf coffee with milk.

I haven't watched Voyager in quite a while. Back when I lived in Massachusetts, the Boston station carrying it kept pre-empting it for Red Sox games and I lost track. 

One of my favorite moments from Voyager was when Paris and Neelix got into a food fight over something. It was interrupted by Janeway calling them to her ready room to tell them they were being paired up for an away team mission. After telling them about it and seeing the looks they gave each other along with their messy uniforms, she said, "Is there a problem?"

Paris started to answer, "Well, yes, Captain..."

Janeway cut him off with, "Solve it!" in a tone that absolutely allowed for not a smidgen of argument.

My sister and I were watching that and she said, with a huge grin, "Oh, I'm going to use that!" At that time she was office manager for a group of doctors and had to deal with some often petty office politics. I hope she did.

I wanted to include a YouTube clip of that, but the only one I could find was in German and it ended before "Solve it!"


They're out there. They're watching you. Every breath you take and every move you make, every bond you break, every step you take.... No, wait, that's Sting and The Police.

This is much, much worse. It might affect your choice of insurance companies, your choice of Disney cartoons, your choice of where to idle away a sunny day - Boston Public Gardens is definitely to be avoided. It might cause you to have a panic attack around people named Donald or Daisy. You might not want to watch The Big Bang Theory because one of the characters is named Howard. It puts the "foul" in, um, er, waterfoul...I mean, waterfowl. (Well, heck, they sound the same!)

What is it? It's the dreaded anatidaephobia, that horrible sneaking feeling that every breath you take, every ... wait, been there, done that. Let's take that again:

What is it? It's the dreaded anatidaephobia, that horrible sneaking feeling that you are being watched by a duck.

Anatidaephobia comes from Greek.  

Anatidae is the Greek word for the family of ducks, geese, swans and and other nasty, wet flapping creatures.

Phobos is the Greek word for fear. (It's also the name of one of Mars' small moons, so if that's what you're afraid of, you have Phobosphobia. Forget about exploring the red planet.)

Fortunately, unless you're totally quackers to begin with, you don't have to worry about anatidaephobia. OK, you might worry about spellling it correctly because your average spell checker may flag it even if you get it right. But other than that, relax.

Anatidaephobia is not a real phobia. It is a word dreamed up by the loony Gary Larson, creator of The Far Side, in 1988.

So go to the park. If it rains, feel free to duck in to a nearby coffee shop to meet your friends, Donald, Daisy and Howard. Try not to notice if they're not wearing pants - although maybe Howard is due to trademark issues.

If someone yells "Duck!" hit the dirt. Don't worry about who, or what, might be watching.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Hailing Frequencies Open?

A new type of communication using neutrinos has been tested. It's still very primitive, but if it could be developed, it could help in space communications. Neutrinos zip through just about anything as though it weren't there.

Hailing Frequencies Open? Communication Via Neutrinos Tested Successfully

The good thing about science is that it is
true whether you believe in it or not.
- Neal deGrasse Tyson

The Be Book

Dick Ford is an artist living in the small town of Mize, Mississippi. I met him online when he was one of a group of regulars in The Punnery which was part of TeleJoke on the GEnie service. That was back in late 1991 when everything was still text-based.

Dick was single when I first encountered him, but he soon married. Soon after, he and his wife had a son, Adam. A few years later, Dick's wife died - way too soon.

Adam was home-schooled and like his father was very interested in the arts. He was active and bright. Then at 15, a few years ago, he was killed in a tragic accident while visiting relatives.

In spite of these tragedies, Dick's answer to the question "To be or not to be?" is "Be."

The Punnery on GEnie ended, but Dick kept in touch with some of the active participants. I lost touch for a while, so in '98, the one time I was driving in Mississippi, I didn't get a chance to meet him. We reunited online. Dick's still into puns as always and hosts the group Punday on Facebook. There's a few of us old hands from The Punnery along with lots of new members from all over.

For more of his work, check out

In spite of our long online association, I've never met Dick in person. I'd lost touch with him for a few years, including the one time in '98 when I drove up the Natchez Trace.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Interesting & Unusual Stuff - Buried Spitfires

I've been posting on Delphi Forums for over 13 years. During that time I've seen a lot of posts about interesting and unusual items from all kinds of places. I even post a fair amount of it myself. Since I'd like to do more blogging and perhaps draw some attention to my ChipIn campaign to become less broke (it's over there --->), I'll give a shot to posting stuff here as well as Delphi, Facebook, etc.

I saw an item about  Britain's famous Spitfire fighter plane from World War II. At the end of the war, a shipment of Spitfires sent to Burma (now Myanmar) was declared surplus. The local commander decided the easiest and cheapest way to deal with them was to bury them still in their shipping crates. 67 years later, a man has plans to dig them up. According to another Delphi poster, they could go for around 5 million pounds each if they are in pristine condition.

Mark XIV Spitifre - the type buried in Burma

British farmer’s quest to find lost Spitfires in Burma 

British man recovers buried Spitfires in Burma 

This photo is of a different version of the Spitfire. This has a Merlin engine with a four-bladed prop, while the ones found have Griffon engines and five-bladed props.

 I used to love reading about World War II fighters when I was in high school in the early '60s, a time when the war had been over for less than 20 years instead of 67 years.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Off to a Good Start

My ChipIn, Save the Whale (Me) got off to a good start the other day with some friends donating. I'll be able to eat for the rest of the month and pay a bill or two.

I'm wondering if a goal of $2,000 has led folks to think they need to be able to donate more than perhaps they feel comfortable giving. I'd just like to say that every little bit helps. It all comes through PayPal, so I don't think there's a minimum amount one can send. Even a dollar will help. Lots of small donations from a lot of folks adds up.

With jobs still seeming to be scarce for someone of my age, I need the help. I am collecting Social Security, but that mostly covers rent, electricity, cable/internet and some food. The credit card bills are high and that's starting to be a real problem. I really hope I won't have to deal with collection agencies. They can be horrible. That's one kind of job I would never do because it requires one to be an absolutely heartless jerk.

Anything helps and thanks in advance once again!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

MobyD Is Broke

This isn't an easy thing to start. Oh, the technology of it is pretty easy. Signing up on ChipIn only takes a few minutes, and I've already got a blog, MobyD's Soundings on

The hard part is acknowledging I'm scraping bottom and need to get some money to prevent a total personal disaster by asking for help.

"Get a job!" you might be thinking. Easier said than done when you're about to turn 66 (April 27, 2012). I apply for jobs and get an interview here and there, but after interviews either I get an email saying I didn't get the job or more often there's no response at all.

I've posted over 100 pages at For a while I really thought things might take off enough to at least supplement my Social Security (which I started early at 63), but it never really has. I'm really not the sales type and to really make Squidoo work, you really have to be sales-oriented. I've created pages that have won awards on Squidoo, so I know I can create good stuff, but that's only half the battle.

I tried answering surveys to make some money, but that turned out to be not such a great way for someone in my demographic. For most surveys I'd go through the beginning and get told I wasn't qualified. The only good to come out of that experience was when I signed up for a depression study at a clinic in Portland.

At the clinic they said, yes, you're depressed and I thought things would be good and I'd make some money for taking part in the study. Then someone from the clinic's headquarters in Boston wanted to talk to me. I was told the call might last 45 minutes to an hour. It lasted 20 minutes and a few hours later the doctor I'd been talking to called and said they'd kicked me out. He was pretty upset on my behalf, I was thinking getting involved in a depression study isn't supposed to make it worse, but I did get six months of visits in after-care and I'm taking an inexpensive anti-depressant. Is it helping? I hope so, because I don't dare quit to find out.

So here I am, about a year later. Still no job after all the applications and some interviews. I'm out of money - well, less than $50 right now - and I signed up for the SNAP program (food stamps but it's an EBT card these days). The credit cards are maxed or close enough as makes no difference.

My car's battery died just before Christmas. I sold some US Mint proof sets to a coin dealer for just about enough to buy a battery. Then I discovered I'd missed a car insurance payment and it was canceled. I'd been driving for over a month with no insurance. The car's in my parking spot and I've been getting around by MAX light rail and buses. I'm still undecided about selling the car, but leaning that way.

The goal I've put on the ChipIn widget is just something so I have a goal and see how it goes. Maybe it'll be something to keep me going until I can land a job.

As I mentioned, my birthday is April 27, so if you'd like to chip in as a birthday present, I would definitely appreciate it!

For those of you who know me from Faerieworlds, I'd sure love to be there this year (July 27-29), but right now it's not looking to great for that happening.

I've got some books and stuff I'm looking to put up on, so be on the lookout for that. I have some really rare and signed books by Spider Robinson. It's been nice to have them, but I need the money more than being able to say I have something few others have. I also have a few musical instruments, a couple of very good coats, and a lot of books I may also put on Yardsellr. I'm going to have to take a lot of pictures to make all that happen. Yardsellr is known as "eBay for Facebook."

If you can help, go to the ChipIn widget at the top right of this page. This works by paying me through my PayPal account. Click on the ChipIn button and you'll be taken to a PayPal page. You can either pay through your own PayPal account or by using a credit or debit card. I've been using PayPal for my Squidoo payments and a few other things and have never had a problem.

Thanks in advance!