¡Rábanos Radiactivos! #2152
Written by Fred Patten, and intended for Apa L, 2152nd Distribution, LASFS Meeting No. 3600, August 12, 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 #2635


Last Monday, my sister Sherrill brought me to her new apartment on Moorpark Street, right by the freeway onramp, for the first time. It is a very large, three-bedroom apartment, with the largest bedroom set up as "my study", dominated by the large desk and new computer Sherry bought me (with George Van Wagner's help) and lots of empty bookcases lining the walls. The apartment was not wired for Internet access yet, and Sherry had not received her furniture (including her TV) from Long Island yet, so we spent the afternoon unpacking some of my boxes of "miscellaneous" that Lee Gold's work parties had packed in my old apartment and that had not been sent to the UCRiverside Library.

Starting last Monday, I received my L.A.con IV programming schedule (I will be on 11 panels); I began getting e.mails & phone calls from Marc Schirmeister, Glen Wooten & Sherry to arrange the details for a professional caregiver to accompany me during the five days of the Worldcon; I got a new proofreading assignment from Sofawolf Press; and I began working with George Van Wagner to prepare some printouts for some of my Worldcon panels. Sherry sent me e.mails daily to keep me informed how her new apartment was coming together with utility connections, deliveries of new furniture (or excuses for delays), etc.

Last Thursday, Michael Burlake brought me to the LASFS meeting. Charlie Jackson gave me the first bottle of ginger beer I've had this year; thanks, Charlie! Marc Schirmeister announced that he was among the 25% of the animators (& other production crew) of The Barnyard whose names are misspelled in the credits, which everyone agreed was suitable for a movie about male cows. Schirm said that almost everyone associated with the movie expressed doubts about putting udders on bulls, but Director Steve Oedekerk insisted the public would consider it hilariously funny. (Favorable reviews of The Barnyard are running at 31%, according to the Rotten Tomatoes website. From The New York Times' review: "The udder looks a lot like the base of a plumber's plunger and the teats look exceptionally friendly, like chubby little fingers waving toodle-oo. They're so friendly that it's hard not to stare at them and wonder what would happen if you milked Otis, which proves both distracting and something of a relief, since there isn't all that much else in this film to think about." A final weekend report: "...As for the rest of the top five, animated kid flick Barnyard was a distant second with $16 million ..."). The meeting was adjourned early for the program, a video sent to us by the National Geographic Channel of its Space Race, Pt. 1 TV Special, about the race between the U.S. & the U.S.S.R. to capture Nazi missile technology in 1945 and build on it for their own space programs. We had time to see about the first twenty minutes of it. During the drive back to the hospital, Burlake & I nitpicked the errors we recognized (claiming or at least strongly implying that Werner von Braun was in charge of the V-2 program at Peenemünde, with no mention of Major-General Walter Dornberger who actually was; no hint of von Braun's broken arm during his & Dornberger's escape to the U.S. Army) and wondered how many other errors/omissions we may have missed.

On Saturday afternoon, Sherry brought me to her apartment again, with a stop at the LASFS en route to pick up a County library book that Karl Lembke had just gotten for me. We spent the afternoon doing more sorting of my stuff into organized stacks and putting them into the bookcases in some order.

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-- Comments on Last Week's Distribution:

Cover - ("Bilan") Is that signature Baron Engel? It looks like Engel's signature, but it does not look like Engel's usual work.

De Jueves #1490 - (Moffatt) But fiction has to be plausible to be convincing, especially mystery fiction. In a mystery novel, if a historian talked about George Washington being president during the Civil War, the reader would be expected to take that as a deliberate clue that the historian was a fake rather than that the author made a mistake. If an author says that a soldier was killed fighting during World War II in December 1945, when it is well-known that that war ended several months earlier, then some explanation is needed to justify the apparent error. (Except for John Dickson Carr, who specialized in such apparent errors which he would justify in the final chapter, such as citing numerous actual cases of people living for hours or days after being shot right through the head or heart to prove that such a murder victim need not have died right away.) Ditto for fictitious books; what would be your reaction to a supposed novel by some new author that was published just in time for this year's Worldcon, with new illustrations by Virgil Finlay or Hannes Bok? ## There haven't been all that many Death Stars reported hovering over L.A.'s freeways, either.

I Feed Goldfish - (Gold) The Union Jack also includes the Cross of St. Patrick for Ireland. ## I have not tried pralines & cream ice cream. I will have to, since I loved the pralines my grandmother had sent to her from friends in New Orleans during my childhood. If I remember correctly, they were raw brown sugar with a pecan nut in the middle.

Fish Out of Water #182 - (Helgesen) Thank you very much for the suggestion of wearing a glove when holding onto the hot metal of a car door in the sun. That sounds more practical than trying to drape a towel over it. I will suggest it to my sister. Her minivan does have a handhold like you describe, which is handy to help me pull myself into the passenger seat with my good hand.

A Top-Posted Title - (Cantor) I do not suppose that your Toyota Scion could actually be too flimsy, or the government would not allow it to be driven in America. Anime fans have gotten used to seeing actual Japanese cars (or their animated versions) that are not allowed for import into the U.S. because they are too small or too flimsy, such as the Honda Beat in You're Under Arrest which is barely large enough for the two policewomen who are the main characters; and Japanese women are not large. ("The Honda Beat, which is the baseline version of Miyuki's custom mini patrol car, is a light compact two-seater made only in Japan. It is not sold in the US due to a general US preference for larger cars and engines, as well as high US collision safety standards which are very difficult for such a small car to meet." You're Under Arrest liner notes.) The climax of The Triplets of Belleville, in which the heroines are pursued by the gangsters in their Citroën stretch-limousines, is not nearly as funny to those who do not know how notoriously flimsy Citroëns are.

Buffalo Wings and Crocodile Tears - (Minsky) Sorry, but I do not know anyone who would be interested in old issues of Road and Driver, unless some of them might have animation-related articles. A lot of animation fans collect old magazines with such articles, and boast of their finds such as that 1944 issue of Look I mentioned here with an article on anti-VD research illustrated by the Disney studio. Another collector reported a 1930s issue of Popular Mechanics with an article on the Fleischer Studios' three-dimensional sets for Popeye the Sailor Meets Sinbad the Sailor. Would Road and Driver have had, for example, an article around 1988 on Benny the Cab in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.

Godzilla Verses #99 - (DeChancie) If you liked the original Mad magazine, were you familiar with Help!, the magazine that Harvey Kurtzman edited after he left Mad? (After the aborted two issues of Trump published by Hugh Hefner.) Help! was published from 1960 to 1965, and included such contributors as Ernie Kovacs, Woody Allen, Arthur C. Clarke, Gloria Steinem, Dick Van Dyke, Algis Budrys, Mort Sahl, Dave Garroway, Sid Caesar, Jackie Gleason, Ray Bradbury, and Jonathan Winters, including John Cleese and Terry Gilliam when they were just starting out. It relied on posed photographs much more heavily than on drawn art, but it was very Mad-like in its humor. In 1965 Kurtzman returned to Hefner, as the writer of Little Annie Fanny for Playboy rather than as editor of a separate humor magazine; and satirical humor magazines were never the same.

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