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Who I am:
I operate under a couple of aliases:
dr_whuh  (You don't have to pronounce the "dr" part. If you want me, just yell, "Whuh?".)
BB,kaffyr's nickname for me on her LJ and Dreamwidth pages.
In the Real World, I get called Bob a lot.

Doctor Who Critique

My response to the most recent Doctor Who episode, entitled Listen:

My chest.
Her head.
Our bed.
'Nuff said.
Live! From Evanston Hospital! Live as I'm liable to get, anyhow ....

     A quickie from my bed of ... uhm ... not much of me:
     First things first; if you'd like to read the entire story of my health adventures, you can link back to the tale as told by kaffyr , starting here.
     My thanks — beyond anything I could possibly express — to all the people who have offered me their good wishes, and have been so supportive of my sweetheart in the past couple of weeks. Many angels have won their wings.
     Fitz, thanks so much for the books (crosswords and xkcd)! They have served to save my sanity, and when you hear about the full "hospital psychosis" episode, boy, will you be impressed. Idle hands are the devil's playground, believe you me.
     kaffyr  is sitting here, dutifully taking dictation, because typing raises my heart rate well over 100. Even talking can jack it up pretty well. Moi, as Silent Bob? Tough to imagine, ain't it?
    More, later. I really just wanted to check in to say thanks right now. Lurve yer all,
    Smilin' Bob
 Martin Gardner

October 21, 1914 - May 22, 2010

His mind was an ocean of great breadth, depth, and diversity. We shall not see his like again in our time.



At least we're both in great company.

I'm so glad I forgot that yesterday was my 28th wedding anniversary.
It saveskaffyra lot of embarrassment for having forgotten it too.

Wasn't that sweet of me, dear?
Felicitations on Your Natal Anniversary, My Dearestest, Most Wonderfulestest
I am just the luckiest person ever.
Casa KathBob recently received the following postcard from the brilliant, witty and lovely bibliofile :

I went to the bookcases, and after some scrounging came up with this:

How did she know?

It runs in the family, I suppose....

Andrew Louis McNeill Berlien, performing They Might Be Giants'
She's An Angel

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

...This Just In

It's benign.
He's doing as well as can be expected with four incisions in his side.
It's benign.
He's in pain (expected) and  really tired (also expected).
It's benign.
He ate a big ol' Belgian waffle before he went to sleep.
It's benign.
He thanks you for your thoughts, wishes and love. And so do I, his faithful correspondent.
It's benign.

ETA: Brownies are still appreciated

Oh, the Irony....

My previous post showed up on the Friends Page of one vmelasr .
I believe that I just pissed myself.
Spam, fraud: "vmelasr" running Ponzi scheme on LJ, "friending" people randomly

"vmlasr" (http://vmelasr.livejournal.com/) has

1. Made me his/her "friend" for the second time. I don't know "vmelasr", and neither do the five or so of my *real* friends that this person(?) lists as "friends".

2. Has, on three occasions to date, placed ads on "his" (for brevity's sake) Journal, attempting to recruit "home workers". This is not only a violation of LJ's "no doing business" rule, it is a fraudulent pyramid or "Ponzi" scheme (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme). The dates of the "ads" are:
February 4th, 2009, 05:24 pm
February 6th, 2009, 06:03 pm (A blatant display ad which lays out the details of this Ponzi scheme)
February 10th, 2009,03:36 pm

The rest of the LJ's content is what appears to be a rambling short story about a very disturbed person.

I don't want "vmelasr" bothering me anymore, and as I understand such things, "vmelasr" is using LiveJournal in a way that breaks the law, via said pyramid scheme.

Please investigate and take appropriate action; I don't need "vmelasr", and neither do you good folk at LiveJournal.

BTW, how do I get "vmelasr" off of my "friend of" list?



May Your Days Be Merry And Bright

Kathy, Andy and I just finished our annual Christmas Eve viewing of It's a Wonderful Life. I set a new record, starting to get teary-eyed during the first scene. It's one of my two favorite films, the other being Seven Samurai (go figure).

At the end of the movie, George Bailey, the lead character, receives a copy of Tom Sawyer from his guardian angel, Clarence Oddbody. Clarence has written an inscription, which reads, in part,

Remember --
No man is a failure who has friends

I am more successful than I ever dreamed I'd be. Thank you all for this gift beyond price. I celebrate your existence every day of the year.



If this don't move you -- Jack, you dead

Crank it.

Patsy Cline, taking my favorite Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys tune around the block.


My only regret in this historic week has been that Mom and Dad, and my other relatives of their generation aren't around to experience it. Lou Berlien and Roberta Conkell were both adults during the Depression, and I was raised with stories of their heroes, Abe Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

They had no truck with totalitarianism, Fascists or Commies. During WWII they both worked in defense plants. Mom wasn't Rosie the Riveter -- she was Bert the Welder, and it convinced her that she was as good as any man. Dad's brother Bob took a bullet in the shoulder at Anzio, and years later went to his grave with the German slug in his arm, because doctors scared him worse than Nazis.

Mom and Dad were both union stewards, and when I was a baby they took turns carrying me on the picket line when their local went on strike. The blood of Organized Labor runs in my veins -- around the turn of the (twentieth) century, my Grandpa Berlien organized with his fellow coal miners in southern Indiana to strike for an eight-hour, six-day work week. They got shot at by the goons the mine owners hired for their efforts (and won the better working conditions). Grandpa Conkell? A life-long railroad man, and yup, a Union Man too. He worked on the Grand Trunk/Canadian National line through Michigan to Toronto. Mom was born in Canada, and became a U.S. citizen as a child, when Grandpa moved the family to Battle Creek, Michigan.

Dad was a coal miner as a young man, too, until he scraped up some dough, went to college to get his teacher's certificate, and taught in a one-room school. Hard times hit, so he moved to Battle Creek, where there was work in the factories. He saved enough money to bring his father, mother, and kid brother out of the poverty of the failing coal mines.

Neither he nor Mom could stand or understand bigotry of any kind. He told me that we're all the same kind of critter, and that every coal miner was black when he walked out of the shaft at the end of his shift. Mom believed that God had built a big, beautiful garden, and that if all the flowers were the same color He'd be bored. When we lived for a year in a very segregated Florida in 1959, she made a point of entering stores through the "coloreds'" door. She had to explain to me that the drinking fountains that stood only about three feet from the floor weren't put there out of kindness to kids, but that they were there because the "coloreds" couldn't drink from the adult-height, refrigerated, "whites only" fountains. She was so ashamed at this that, from then on, we both drank from the same fountain, and she had to get on her knees to do it. It would have been one of the highest points of my parents' lives if they could have seen a black person living in the White House.

And their son Bob? He grew up to marry a Canadian Union Maid (who's getting her American citizenship), be a Union Organizer, and vote for the first President who wasn't a white guy. And it's all their fault. Y'see, Bob wanted to follow in the footsteps of his heroes.

Wow! Right out in public!

apostle_of_eris just sent me this link, laying out Obama's and Biden's plans for the future. I haven't read the whole thing, but from what I have, and the speed with which they got it on line, I think I'm just liable to like these guys. Pretty gutsy, putting it right out there where everyone can see it and hold them accountable to it.

Meanwhile, Bush's people are trying to figure out what "transition team" means, because they never had one. They were too busy making up lies about Clinton's team's supposed vandalism of the White House as they left to make room for the Thief-in-Chief and his crew of thugs and goons. And I imagine that Cheney made sure that nobody was made aware of The Presidential Transition Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-293) . It might have led someone to believe that they could actually Read The Fine Manual for hints as how to move into the Executive Branch, let alone that big handbook, the Constitution.

From One Old Fart To Another....

Hey, carnyjack ! 

Happy Fuckin' Birthday!

Well yes, now that you mention it....

They are paved with gold.

The definition of "Toddlin' Town"
(Let me show you around. You'll love it!)

This kid's great-grandchildren are why we elected the guy.

I've been remiss. I didn't shoot these Obama Celebration pix. I kyped all of them from The Huffington Post.
Kathy got to be there, because she's a reporter, so I did get a lousy really neat t-shirt (like the one the kid's wearing, only lots bigger).

Nobody Comes In Second

I know that a lot of people will read an LJ post and skip the comments. One of my dearest friends, mmbutler responded to my previous post, and his words were too good to be hidden by a link:

"Do you suppose this just might hasten the day when any sane person speaking of 'my race' will mean the human race? Then yes, we all won."

Mike, you have never been more eloquent. Or so right.

And when we are all that sane, we'll realize that that the human race is one that everyone must win, or nobody will. Then we'll pick each other up when we stumble, carry those of us who can't run, give each other sustenance when we're hungry, forgive those who bump into us, hold each others' hands when it gets dark, shepherd those who stray from the course, and stop to dance once in awhile.


Inch by inch, row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
Gonna mulch it deep and low
Gonna make it fertile ground

Inch by inch, row by row
Please bless these seeds I sow
Please keep them safe below
'Till the rain comes tumbling down

Pullin' weeds and pickin' stones
We are made of dreams and bones
Need a place to call my own
'Cause the time is close at hand

Grain for grain, sun and rain
Find my way in nature's chain
Till my body and my brain
Tell the music of the land

Plant your rows straight and long
Season with a prayer and song
Mother Earth will make you strong
If you give her loving care

Inch by inch, row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
Gonna mulch it deep and low
Gonna make it fertile ground

Garden Song
by David Mallett

Crying always gives me a migraine...

and this is the best one I've ever had.

Grant Park, Chicago, Nov. 4, 2008

We all won, even if some folk don't realize it.

Sounds like a plan to me....

Any questions?

Kyped from Will Shetterly, as is the link to the music I'm listening to right now. Note to Emma & Steve: That really doesn't suck! Jeez, I miss Y'all. Won't you please come to Chicago ("Y'all" includes Will, of course)?

Golly! Three plugs & a desperate invitation in one post. Purty sneaky, eh?

Icon photo (c) Fred A. Levy Haskell

What's a Two-Word Dessert that Rhymes?

My once-and-future bass player Sandy "Gonzo" Andina wrote and sings this, and old pal Steve Rich put the vid together:

Palin wouldn't last five minutes in a broken-beer-bottle fight debate with Gonzo.  She was a contestant on Jeopardy, and would've won if her opponent hadn't cheated in the way he held his "buzzer button".  She won't get fooled again.

Saw this quiz on kaffyr 's LJ. Being the wishy-washy Liberal that I am, I took it twice.

How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a Peace Patroller, also known as an anti-war liberal or neo-hippie. You believe in putting an end to American imperial conquest, stopping wars that have already been lost, and supporting our troops by bringing them home.

How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a Reality-Based Intellectualist, also known as the liberal elite. You are a proud member of what’s known as the reality-based community, where science, reason, and non-Jesus-based thought reign supreme.

Apparently, neither candidate ever attended a high school debate. I've heard their stump speeches.

The format of the debate was terrible; I'd love to see one where a question was asked, and each candidate had two minutes to answer it. If a candidate fails to give a direct answer within that time, said idiot shall be forced to step one foot closer to a rabid wolverine, chained to the middle of the stage.

Should both candidates answer the question, a three minute free-for-all period follows, during which anything short of direct physical violence goes: interrupting, name-calling, shouting the opponent down; extra credit is given to anyone brave and fast enough to pick up wolverine feces and pitch them at the opponent. A free electoral vote if the shit hits the other dickwad.

Hugs back, kids!

Thanks for being born, kaffyr .

I wrote these lyrics about a week after we moved in together. Seems like a fine time to let them out for some fresh air.

Canadian Lady, she treats me real nice;
When I want some lovin', I need not ask twice.
If she were a painting, it would be worth any price,
Just to see her.

The Nova Scotia climate grows 'em strong, grows 'em smart;
It puts steel in their bodies, it puts heat in their hearts.
If I were to lose her, I would tear the world apart,
Just to find her

There is beauty in this world, there is truth, there is light;
There's the sun in the morning, there are stars in the night.
And I have them all, for they're all locked up tight,
In my
Canadian Lady

Daughter of the rockbound coast, sister of the waves,
When she's standing beside me it's easy to be brave.
When I come home bruised and battered,
She's the sustenance I crave,
I find peace,
I find release,
With my
Canadian Lady

(c) 1981, Robert J. Berlien, Morally Handicapped Publishing
Any resemblance to a red-headed Canuck I often refer to as Moncton is an understatement.

...my wonderful Daughter-'Cause-I-
Notion art_tastic and her "Cloning the Old-
Fashioned Way" sister, KT!
With that much talent, brilliance, kindness and beauty, twins were a necessity.

I love ya, ya crazy kids!


I suppose that I should have explained the whole Nerdfighters thing a bit more. So I will, especially for those who haven't read the comments -- including mine -- on my previous post. If you have read those comments, you can probably skip the following, as it's largely a matter of "copy & drop".
My old pal markiv1111  said, "...I don't get it, either as a joke or 'not a joke' -- not at all clear what this is all about or why it matters." Following is my reply, expanded a bit:

I stumbled on 'em on YouTube. Started by two (quite nerdish) brothers. From their YouTube site :

Hank and John Green, Brothers for over 27 years, decided not to write to each other during all of 2007, and instead make daily video blogs.
Though the project "Brotherhood 2.0" has now ended, they decided to keep updating the YouTube channel at least once a week. Additionally, the community of nerdfighters that they helped create is now stronger than ever, and lives at:

The term "Nerdfighters" is a bit confusing. The concept is not to fight against nerds (heaven forefend!), but to be "Nerds Who Fight".  "Made of Awesome. United against Suck."
As someone who has spent his adult life proudly, via thought, word and deed, telling folk that I am a nerd/geek/spaz/foureyes/dork/egghead/dweeb/... , I thought this was kinda neat, so I signed up.
Buncha fun people -- they're, well, sorta us , in a way,.
For Further info, check out:

NERDFIGHTERS HOME PAGE: http://nerdfighters.ning.com/

NERDFIGHTER HAPPY DANCE PROJECT (If you don't click on any other of these links, ya gotta catch this one):

JOHN AND HANK GREEN (NERDFIGHTERS) YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/vlogbrothers


Member Badge

Surprised? I didn't think so.

I really don't, post very often, do I?

Today I received a nice note from the talented and lovely mjlayman , in response to my "Welcome!" post. In an attempt to respond to her, I managed to delete said "Welcome!" post from this lj, taking her note with it.

So here's her comment, and my reply, so my reputation as an asshole doesn't get more evidence:

On March 28th, 2008 04:34 am (UTC), mjlayman commented:
I know both of you in person! Bob, remember the Minicon downtown with the round room where you spun the music? Great time!

My reply:
Shore 'nuff do! The last Minicon, in fact, that the Canuck & I have been able to attend. (There will be a loooooong "friends only" post re why we disappeared after that, Real Soon Now.)

And, of course, We'll Always Have RASFF....



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