¡Rábanos Radiactivos!
Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2147th Distribution, LASFS Meeting No. 3595, July 6, 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 #2630


Michael Burlake brought me to last week's LASFS meeting. Jerry Pournelle gave the meeting a somber start by announcing the death of publisher Jim Baen from a stroke. Apparently Baen Books is left in good enough hands that there is no danger of its going out of business as Byron Preiss' publishing companies have following his death, but the news was still a depressing shock. Baen was such a creative innovater that successors may keep his company running but his unique genius will be missed. The rest of the meeting was more upbeat, but still had a heavy "end of an era" air since it was the last of President Ed Green's term. Since most of the outgoing administration had declined to run for reelection due to the pressure of the upcoming Worldcon, the next term of office will bring a new administrative personality.

On Saturday, my sister Sherrill came to visit me at the hospital just as Rob Powell arrived to pick me up for the July Estrogen Zone meeting at Freehafer Hall. I was glad of the chance to introduce my sister to one of the two fans who have been giving me transportation for over a year Sherry has just sold her home in NYC and moved here to take care of me (and with the expectation of also caring soon for our mother, who is 93 and on the verge of no longer being able to live alone). Rob was able to show Sherry how he helps load me into his truck's passenger seat and my wheelchair into the back of his truck, which will help Sherry decide what kind of vehicle to get to help take me out. Sherry followed us to Freehafer Hall, to see where I go every Thursday evening, though she did not stay for the program.

This month's Estrogen Zone theme was pirate movies. Due to our talking with Sherry at the hospital, we arrived late, about 2/3 of the way through Disney's Treasure Planet. Fortunately, I saw it when it was released recently, and it is not my favorite Disney feature so I did not mind missing most of it (though I do not think it is so bad that it deserved being ignored by the public; though I still insist that the perfect space-opera update of Treasure Island already exists in the anime TV series Outlaw Star). Treasure Planet was followed by The Pirate Movie (the early '80s "hip" musical update of The Pirates of Penzance). Zathura, and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, none of which I had seen before. The latter ended at 9:00 p.m., a good time to return to the hospital for its 10:00 p.m. curfew, so we did not see the later movies on the program. I am not sure how Zathura is supposed to relate to pirate movies (if it was because of the Zorgons, they were carnivorous space monsters, closer to the cannibalistic Reivers in the Firefly s-f series than space pirates), but I enjoyed it and was glad of the opportunity to see it. I had fun, although I had trouble seeing Pirates of the Caribbean because I developed ominous double vision during the evening. Fortunately, my vision was back to normal by the next morning. Eyestrain, I guess.

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Tim Susman just sent me this on the iBooks bankruptcy:

I got another communication from the iBooks bankruptcy lawyers informing us that they have filed another motion to extend their time to look over iBooks' contracts, this time until October. So we can look forward to waiting another three months before hearing anything.

Just thought you should know.

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Anthro #6, July - August 2006, is now online with my latest book reviews.

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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:

ˇRábanos Radiactivos! #2146 - (me) Sorry. The Nip and Tuck printed here does not make nearly as much sense as a comment on Spicy Rabbit Stories as the one I had expected, which was more explicit as to BeeBee Bunny as a would-be sex symbol to the males of Malarkey County, from their point of view (she does not cooperate). But at least this shows what she looks like.

De Jueves #1485 - (Moffatt) Pistachio is still a common ice cream flavor. I believe that it is one of the permanent flavors at Baskin-Robbins and other major ice cream chains. They served it here at the hospital last week. Was it ever a regular third flavor in Neapolitan ice cream before chocolate, though, or was that just a special variety made for a particular Italian restaurant? I read an article once (probably in the Wall Street Journal) interviewing a Baskin-Robbins executive about special flavors they had been asked to make, and special flavors that they had experimented with. If I recall, the exec said that dill pickle ice cream was unexpectedly popular if you could get people to just try it; and the one flavor that nobody could stand was tomato. ## I have seen someone in a powered wheelchair zooming along Burbank Boulevard near the LASFS. I am not sure that I would care to try it. I originally planned to get a powered wheelchair, until I found out how much they cost, and how much they weighed. It would take about four people to lift one into a vehicle. I do not know what the range is of one before its battery needs recharging; whether I could get from the hospital to Freehafer Hall and back, or not. Only one of the patients at Golden State Convalescent Hospital has a powered wheelchair, which he does use to zoom around the hospital and cross Onard Street to shop at the big supermarket across the street. His wheelchair battery gets recharged every evening. ## I remember red ants from my youth in the 1950s, when I used to ride the streetcar from home to junior high school and high school. There used to be a new red ant nest every block along the streetcar tracks. I assumed that the reason for the ants' disappearance was the paving over of the streets when Los Angeles got rid of the streetcars and tore up the rails. Did they disappear from all over L.A. about that time? There are black ants behind the hospital, and plenty of mockingbirds around still, so I do not know why they would have moved out of your neighborhood.

Godzilla Verses #94 - (DeChancie) I remember having mixed feelings, including a little disappointment, when I learned that the real Nazi spies in Britain and the U.S. during the 1930s & '40s were never as efficient or clever as the ones in the mystery thrillers of the period. I still recommend Manning Coles' Tommy Hambledon mysteries like Without Lawful Authority, which the L.A. Public Library still has even if they are out of print today. Fritz Kuhn does seem to have been a doofus, organizing goose-stepping parades in a Nazi-like uniform when Hitler reportedly wanted the Bund to keep as low a profile as possible to minimize its association with the Nazi government, for both public-relations and intelligence-gathering purposes; even before it was known that Kuhn was personally embezzling the Bund's finances. ## Beatniks in space. You bring back memories of Heavy Metal, the 1970s magazine and the animated feature. So dated today, yes.

Toony Loons #2 - (Zeff) I am disappointed that the Jamaica soft drink is not the Jamaican-style ginger beer, but it still sounds worth tasting. ## Have bookstores ever had enough space to put all of their books with their covers showing, instead of their spines? I think that cover art styles have just changed.

Nightmare Around The Corner: Two Weeks & Counting - (Gold) I have asked around for a third volunteer who can bring me to Freehafer Hall when neither Michael Burlake nor Rob Powell are available, but so far I have not found one. This will become especially important if Rob Powell moves out of Los Angeles, since he is looking for a new job as far away as Tucson. My sister Sherry expects to be able to transport me, once she finds a house or apartment in the North Hollywood/Burbank area and gets a vehicle that I will fit into comfortably. ## So far I am mostly interested in getting books, which I can read while laying in bed for hours during the afternoon and at night. I can only watch DVDs while sitting at my computer, and I usually have too much writing to do during my limited time at the computer. Also, I find it much easier to get back to writing when I am interrupted by nurses (to take medicine, to exercise, to go to the dining room for meals, etc.) than to break off a movie or TV drama and return to it later. Furthermore, I believe that most of the DVDs you are storing for me are incomplete anime series; volumes 6 & 7 without the first 5, or volume 1 alone of a series of several. So I do not think that I want any; they can all be sent to the UCRiverside Library. ## The fictional stories around Akagi (mah-jongg) and Hikaru no Go (go) is what makes them interesting, especially the latter which was designed to introduce modern (Japanese) children to go and make it fascinating to them and easy to learn. Akagi assumes that the viewer is already an adult veteran mah-jongg player and starts with a game among professional gamblers in progress. ## No, I do not consider iced tea or coffee, whether in cans or not, to be soft drinks. The LASFS often stocks its refrigerator with canned fruit nectar (peach or pear or mango juice) along with the soft drinks, which I approve of. ## I dimly remember that Mad Magazine cartoon of the Big Bad Wolf blowing down the Berlin Wall. 44 years ago? How time flies! One of my current reviews in Anthro #6 is of Magic Tailes, edited by Martin H. Greenberg & Julia Pack (DAW Books, September 2005), which contains the story, "All the Pigs' Houses", by Mickey Zucker Reichert, which provides an amusing explanation as to how the Wolf got the lung power to blow down houses. ("Elijah gave both brothers an encouraging look. 'If the wolf could do the same damage to Ezra's house as yours, he would have.' He finished the last bite of pastry, then scratched at his snout with his now-free hoof. 'At least we know he can't handle blowing down two houses in the same evening, and I doubt he'll act in broad daylight, law or no law. You're safe tonight.'" -- pg. 245) ## Volle does mention powdering fur, but as a means to delicately scent it, not to whiten it. Incidentally, I understand that Sofawolf Press will have a table at the Comic-Con for the first time, this year. If so, LASFen who attend the Comic-Con should have the opportunity to flip through Volle and decide for themselves whether the illustrations by Sara Palmer make the Furry characters look overdressed in Regency garb.

Sonata For Zither In The Key Of R - (Cantor) I remember Nehi grape soft drinks from the 1950s, along with Bireley's and Shasta and others that came in bottles that you fished out of a big cooler of icy water. Unlike Bireley's, which was my favorite (Bireley's strawberry; I don't think Nehi had strawberry), I think I remember seeing Nehi around recently at the Beverage Warehouse, although it was in cans like most other soft drinks today. I was buying ginger beer, so I did not try the Nehi to see if it was still non-carbonated.

What's My Zine? #4 - (Castora) If you are going to recycle your former titles, I like Merrie Maladies best. ## Frank R. Paul was certainly the most imaginative s-f artist of the 1920s and early '30s, if not the best draftsman. I liked the cover paintings of Howard V. Brown better as artwork, but they could never match Paul for a Sense of Wonder. ## Laughter is no longer the best medicine for me! Since my stroke, if I laugh too hard I choke up and cannot breathe. I can no longer safely watch Laurel & Hardy, or read Terry Pratchett!

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