¡Rábanos Radiactivos!
... es no. 2131
Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2131st Distribution, LASFS Meeting No. 3579, March 16, 2006.
Golden State Colonial Convalescent Hospital, 10830 Oxnard Street, North Hollywood, California 91606-5098.
Telephone: hospital(818) 763-8247; personal (818) 506-3159 * eMail:fredpatten@earthlink.net
L.A.con IV in 2006! Nippon 2007 in 2007! Salamander Press #2614


Last Tuesday (the 7th), Michael Burlake took me to the March Comic Art Professional Society meeting in Sherman Oaks. Most of the cartoonists present worked together on a CAPS page for the 2006 Comic-Con Program Book, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Dick Tracy newspaper strip. The meeting's program was a presentation by courtroom sketch artist Bill Robles, who has been one of the authorized sketch artists at the trials of Charles Manson, Theodore "Unabomber" Kaczynski, Rodney King, O. J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, and dozens of less-famous defendants. I have no particular interest in courtroom sketching, but Robles held everyone's attention with his story of how he came to become a recognized specialist in this field, and how vigilant he has to be to keep his sketches from being plagiarized. His usual price is from $400 to $1,000 per usage per sketch in newspapers and TV newscasts, and he is constantly finding out about and trying to collect for his art appearing without his knowledge in magazines and TV newscasts around the world.

This may be the last CAPS meeting that I will be able to attend. It was announced that the Burbank Board of Realtors had completed its renovations, and since practically all the CAPS members liked it much better than the Sherman Oaks Women's Club as a meeting place, plus it was $600 a year cheaper to rent, CAPS would return there starting next month. But it is still on the second floor of a building without an elevator, so I would be unable to get into it without being hauled up a narrow staircase. Also, CAPS is changing its meetings from Tuesdays to Thursdays, conflicting with the LASFS' meetings. I regret having to drop out of CAPS after 29 years, but I do not see any other choice.

On Thursday evening, Burlake brought me to the LASFS meeting. David Gerrold read his short story "Chester"; another potenial Hugo nominee which was published in the June 2005 F&SF. L.A.con IV members were urged to send in their Hugo nominations before the deadline the next day (which I could not do, since nominations were not acceptable without members' PIN numbers as given on their copies of the latest Progress Reports, and my Progress Reports are presumably now at the UCRiverside Library). I was given a book, Xanthan Gumm, to review by a guest(?), Robin Reed, about an alien from Galactic Center 8,000 parsecs away who comes to Hollywood because his dream is to star in a Steven Spielberg movie. It may be Too Cute, but we will see; I will review it here as soon as I have read it. But Kay Shapero also brought me ten books from the public library, and I had better read them first since they are due back in three weeks. I have a lot to read while in bed at the hospital.

The weather report on Friday predicted rain that evening and weekend. It did not rain on Friday (unless it was after I went to sleep), but late that night there was a lightning flash that lit up my hospital room through the window like a strobe light, and a thunder crash that shook the hospital. It felt like a very near miss.

On Saturday, Rob Powell took me to the March meeting of Cinema Anime. Fortunately it did not rain, although it was so overcast that we brought my raincoat just to be safe. Leader Brett Achorn was absent, so his brother Brad ran the meeting in his stead. Attendance was again very light, which was blamed on the fannish excursion that afternoon to tour the L.A.con IV hotels in Anaheim, although I was skeptical as to how many of Cinema Anime's regular attendees besides Brett were that involved with the coming Worldcon. To my surprise, one of the main conversational topics was the previous night's lightning strike. Everyone seemed to feel that it had been just overhead from their home, it was so bright and loud. That must have been one gigantic flash since so many people across the San Fernando Valley felt that it was so close to them.

The program was the next episode or two of most of the usual anime TV series: Galaxy Angel Z, Heat Guy J, Azumanga Daioh!, Samurai Champloo, Planetes, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex - 2nd Gig, Goddannar, The Twelve Kingdoms, Fruits Basket, and Maze: The Mega-Burst Space. There was no planned feature, but German Gonzales had brought the just-released Otaku Unite! documentary on anime fandom, so we watched it. This fortunately saved me from having to watch the DVD review copy I had received the week previosly, which I had not gotten to yet, since I had much rather watch it uninterrupted on the LASFS' big-screen projection TV system than on my little computer screen, with the hospital's nurses interrupting me frequently. The first ten or so minutes of the movie showed anime fans as such uber-geeks that I wished that I was not in it, although by the time my interview came on-screen, it was as part of a more dignified "elder statesmen/anime professionals" section as an anime historian, so that was all right. But most of the documentary consisted of footage shot at anime conventions emphasizing the costumed fans (including the hairy men in their 30s dressed as schoolgirls) and their very amateur theatricals. I imagine that to the average non-anime fan, 70 minutes of this would be definite overkill.

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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:

Cover - (Schirmeister) This is one of Schirm's best cartoons yet. Whether he gets nominated for the Best Fan Artist Hugo this year or not, he should definitely be kept in mind for next year, too.

I Ignore Yarf* - (Gold) I had not been aware of Wikipedia's anti-Yarf! prejudice. I was not familiar with the Yarf! entry before its deletion, and the present site does not give the reason for its removal; but my guess would be that it was considered too duplicative of the entry Yarf! has on WikiFur. That entry is still in place, at http://furry.wikicities.com/wiki/Yarf . I notice that my Wikipedia entry says that I am known for my work as a historian in the Anime/Manga and Anthropomorphic (or Furry) fandoms, yet the entry only describes my career in anime fandom. Presumably my separate entry on WikiFur is considered sufficient for the information about my Furry career. (It seems strange that WikiFur is one of the largest and most active of the specialized Wikicities, but the Anime Wiki is almost ignored, despite anime fandom being over ten times larger than Furry fandom.) ## Yes, my mail might as well be forwarded from my old apartment directly to me at the Golden State Convalescent Hospital, now that it looks like this will be a long-term address for me. ## There is no hurry to update my Wiki entries. By the way, I noticed that many of the terms on my Wikipedia entry such as "Los Angeles, California", "Hughes Aircraft Company", "Jerry Beck", "science fiction", and even years like "1960" are printed in blue, indicating links to other Wikipedia articles on these; but "Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society" is not highlighted even though the LASFS does have a Wikipedia entry. Is this an error that can be corrected?

Vanamonde #669 - (Hertz) There are New Yorker cartoon theme collections on such topics as Cats, Dogs, Baseball, Wine, Doctors, Lawyers, Romance and many others. Is there any collection of New Yorker cartoons on Scence-Fiction? I wish that I could afford the color collection of all of the New Yorker's front covers.

Godzillla Verses #78 - (DeChancie) So to "To infinity - and beyond!", we can add "To the beginning - and before!"? ## Hooray for a collaboration with Jerry Pournelle that will keep you in L.A. longer! Hooray for a collaboration between you & Jerry, in any case! ## I regret that I have not been able to attend ConDor since my stroke. It used to be one of my regular conventions; San Diego fandom's equivalent of our Loscons.

De Jueves #1469 - (Moffatt) It is too bad you already gave away your bookcase, because the hospital has just given its permission for me to have one in my room; although I have no idea how it would have been transported from your house to my hospital. ## Thanks for the FreeFall strip. I see that this one is dated 2002. How did you find it among all the strips in the FreeFall archives, to speak of slowing down aging? ## I believe that "no" in Russian is always spelled "net" in Cyrillic, but pronounced "nyet". ## April, May, and June were the nieces of Daisy Duck, and by the nature of the Donald Duck comic book canon, Daisy Duck was the symbol of Everything Feminine; and the nieces were copies of her. But I have not seen the Duck stories produced for publication in Europe today, where the nieces are reportedly especially popular, so I do not know how closely they conform to the nieces that I saw as published in the American comic books of the 1960s & '70s.

Bat's All, Folks - (Jackson) So by your definition, Anchors Aweigh in which Gene Kelly dances with a cartoon Jerry Mouse is not a fantasy because that was a "normal dream" sequence? Carousel (the movie of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical) has a dream sequence that is presumably "normal", but Carousel itself is a fantasy.

Toodequirtle #2 - (Castora) There is some Medieval French history book, the title of which I have long since forgotten (a history of the Grand Duchy of Burgundy? A biography of Louis XI?) that made the claim that Louis XI's correspondence is in many cases the only contemporary documentation of 15th century French slang, since he insisted on writing it personally so scribes could not "pretty it up" while the rest of the French nobility dictated their correspondence to scribes who were supposed to write it in flowery formal court French. There was a long footnote quoting one of Louis's letters to some military agent asking for frequent reports on how the campaign against Burgundy was going, because Louis had been forced by politics to give the command of the army to some nobleman who was so stupid "that he is sure to have gotten us deep in holy shit"). The exact French, given in the footnote, was an almost exact translation ("sacre merde"), and was the only evidence (the book said) that the crude phrase was that old. (I don't suppose anyone can identify what history this may be? It is probably at least thirty years old.) ## June Moffatt has already mentioned Newberry's as another major chain of five-and-ten-cent stores similar to Woolworth's. ## The original Coca-Cola formula contained a minute quantity of coca leaf, which is not exactly the same thing as cocaine but almost certainly contained trace amounts of it. For a more detailed history, see http://www.snopes.com/cokelore/cocaine.asp. Another statement, which I cannot find at the moment, says that the amount of cocaine in Coca-Cola at its height in the original formula was actually less unhealthy than the amount of cane sugar contained in it up until 1980, when the sugar was replaced with fructose corn syrup.

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