Pixel Scroll 8/7/19 The Files Of Master Scroll And Number Ten Pixel

(1) WHITE AWARD LONGLIST. The James White Award’s 2019 longlisted stories have been posted – titles only, not author names yet: “judging is still going on and we want to preserve anonymity as part of the selection process.” They received 355 submissions.

The James White Award Short Story Competition was established in 2000. It is open only to non-professional writers and offers them the opportunity to have their work published in Interzone,

(2) SF IN CHINA. Derek Künsken’s news-filled “SF in Beijing Report” for Locus Online tells about his visit to Another Planet Science Fiction Convention this past May.

It’s interesting to try to understand where Chinese science fiction conferences are coming from and why this one in particular is being led by a multi-media SF company. I chatted with Ji Shaoting, the CEO of FAA. She’s a former journalist at the Xinhua news Agency who later co-founded Guokr, a massive Chinese-language pop-science website with a few stories, and pop-culture blog, and a fan club called Future Affairs Administration. Her work with FAA and Guokr caught the attention of an investor who wanted to create a repository of IP that could be developed into movies, TV, games, etc., because he “believes in the imagination industry.” FAA transitioned from a fan club into a company whose business goals are publishing SF and developing new Chinese writers.

(3) GOOD NEIGHBOR POLICY. The Addams Family animated movie comes to theaters October 11.

Get ready to snap your fingers! The first family of Halloween, the Addams Family, is back on the big screen in the first animated comedy about the kookiest family on the block. Funny, outlandish, and completely iconic, the Addams Family redefines what it means to be a good neighbor.

(4)NEW ZEALAND ENTRANCE CHANGES. The CoNZealand (2020 Worldcon) blog has notified readers there will be “New entrance requirements for New Zealand from 1 October”.

Entrance requirements to New Zealand (NZ) are changing on 1 October 2019. Please read these instructions carefully, even if you have travelled to NZ before.

The key change is that New Zealand is introducing a pre-travel electronic authorisation process, called an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority). This authorisation must be obtained in advance of travel, and will apply to many citizens of countries included in the Visa Waiver programme, including the United States of America, the UK and most European countries (full list here)….

There is additional information in the full post.

(5) DON’T WASTE A MOMENT. Heritage Auctions’ Intelligent Collector interviews sff art collector Glynn Crain in  “Amazing Sci-Fi Story”. The Glynn and Suzanne Crain Science-Fiction Collection goes under the hammer August 13-14.

If Glynn Crain has a tip, it is don’t ignore late-night phone calls. Especially if you are a collector.

Crain vividly recalls the evening several years ago that he and his wife came home from the movies. “It was about 10 o’clock and a friend of mine had left a message. ‘Hey Glynn, give me a call when you get a chance.’ I didn’t call him back until the next evening. I didn’t think there was any urgency. Well, there was urgency and when he couldn’t get ahold of me, he picked up the phone and called someone else and the painting sold instantly.”

The friend’s find was a painting by famed illustrator Stanley Meltzoff, who in the 1950s created dozens of covers for novels by science-fiction author Robert Heinlein and others. “[Meltzoff] influenced a host of illustrators that came later,” Crain says, “people like Paul Lehr, Vincent Di Fate, and on and on. He’s revered. It was a painting I would dearly love to have, a fantastic example.

“It’s in a good home now,” says Crain, 63, who knows the collector who acquired the painting. “But that was definitely the one that got away. There’s a saying: ‘You don’t regret the art you buy. You regret the art that you don’t buy.’ For some reason, you thought it was too expensive or you just couldn’t come to terms with the person who had it or the timing wasn’t right or maybe you didn’t have the money. It’s always the things you pass on that you really regret. That was something I learned quickly.”

(6) HOGGING THE LIMELIGHT. Let Alexandra Erin sing it for you —

(7) RED INK. Fortunately, Disney’s been recording billion dollar ticket sales from several hits, because the company took a bath on Dark Phoenix. Yahoo! Finance reports“‘Dark Phoenix’ was a giant bomb that hurt Disney earnings”

And yet, “These improvements were partially offset” by a loss from the 21st Century Fox (21CF) business. And the loss at 21CF was “driven by the performance of ‘Dark Phoenix,’ for which we also recorded a film cost impairment.”

(8) NUTTALL OBIT. Early UK fan Stanley Nuttall (1926-2019) died April 26. He was a former Chairman of the Liverpool Science Fiction Society and the British Interplanetary Society. He was made a Knight of St. Fantony at Cytricon III (1957). Dave Kyle quoted Nuttall quite extensively in his Mimosa article “The Noble and Illustrious Order of St. Fantony”.


  • August 7, 1942 Invisible Agent premiered.
  • August 7, 1953 Spaceways debuted.
  • August 7, 2012 — The Curiosity Rover landed on Mars at Bradbury Landing.


[Compiled by Cat Eldridge.]

  • Born August 7, 1933 Jerry Pournelle. Yes, I read his Byte column. And much of his Janissaries series and more than a bit of his CoDominium work as well but I’ll hold that his best work was The Mote in God’s Eye that he co-authored with Niven. The follow-up, The Gripping Hand, wasn’t nearly as good unfortunately. (Died 2017.)
  • Born August 7, 1936 Richard L. Tierney, 83. A Lovecraftian scholar. Coauthored with David C. Smith, a series of Red Sonja novels which have Boris Vallejo cover art . Some of his standalone novels riff off the Cthulhu Mythos. Unless you read German, he’s not available digitally on either iBooks or Kindle. 
  • Born August 7, 1957 Paul Dini, 62. First, he’s largely responsible for the existence  of Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, The New Batman/Superman Adventures, Batman BeyondJustice Leagueand yes, Duck Dodgers And Tiny Toons as well which are superb, too. He’s recently been writing for the Ultimate Spider-Man series which is quite good. He co-authored with Pat Cadigan Harley Quinn: Mad Love.
  • Born August 7, 1960 David Duchovny, 59. Obviously, Fox Mulder on X-Files. Now, has he done any other genre? Well he was Dr. Ira Kane in Evolution, a comic SF film, and then there’s Denise Bryson, formerly Dennis Bryson, played by him, who’s a transgender DEA agent on the Twin Peaks series. He also voices Ethan Cole in Area 51, a first person video game shooter. 
  • Born August 7, 1960 Melissa Scott, 59. I think the first work I read by her was Trouble and Her Friends which holds up well even now. I’m also fond of Night Sky Mine and The Jazz. I see she has an entire series set in the Stargate Atlantis universe. 
  • Born August 7, 1964 A. J. Hartley, 55. His Steeplejack is not only really well-written but has an interesting conception as he tells here. Though written for the Tor Teen line, I recommend it as it’s a fun series. Well fun as dystopias go. 
  • Born August 7, 1975Charlize Theron, 44. She surprised me by being in a number of genre films including 2008), Snow White and the Huntsman and The Huntsman: Winter’s War (which are both quite superb), Prometheus, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Addams Family as Mortica Adams, The Devil’s Advocate, Æon Flux in  Æon Flux, the narrator of Astro Boy and her first film, Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest, a horror film I suspect she’d prefer everyone forget. She played Pria Lavesque on The Orville in the episode called, errr, “Pria”.
  • Born August 7, 1978 Cirroc Lofton, 41. Jake Sisko on Deep Space Nine which I still consider the best Trek series to date, though Discovery is now my second favorite series. Lofton btw, like many performers on all of the series, has shown up in the fan-made video series. He’s played Jacob, no last name, on two part “Requiem” of Star Trek: Renegades. Presumably the name change was because he didn’t have permission to appear as his Trek character. And he played Sevar on Star Trek: Of Gods and Men, another such endeavor.  
  • Born August 7, 1979 Eric Johnson, 40. Scifi’s Flash Gordon on the series of that name that they aired from August 10, 2007 to February 8, 2008. Look, I’m used to Flash Gordon series that are nearly a century old so I had no idea no one had been done recently. Anyone see this?

(11) THE DRAGONS HATCH. Fast work! Mere hours after the ballot went live Cora Buhlert posted an epic analysis of the Dragon Awards nominees in “The 2019 Dragon Award Finalists: Mainstream Respectability at Last?”

So the Dragon Awards finally seem to be moving towards what they were supposed to do, namely reward broadly popular works in a variety of genres. Indies and eager self-promoters can still grab slots in the less popular down ballot categories, but except for military science fiction they no longer dominate any one category. Chris Kennedy still managed to grab a few slots for his publishing outfit, but then maybe he is one of the few who still care. Meanwhile, the 20Booksto50K/LMBPN Publishing folks are notable by their complete absence. There are a few puppy/puppy adjacent authors, but most of them have fanbases beyond the puppy bubble. And indeed, Camestros Felapton dug up Brad Torgersen’s reaction to the ballot and a list of which finalists he considers the relevant ones. It’s about the names you’d expect except for Philip Ligon, who’s notable by his absence.

(12) THE ORIGINAL CRASHLANDERS. Meanwhile, could tardigrades be hibernating on the Moon for however long it takes for us to get up there and terraform it? The Guardian speculates “Tardigrades may have survived spacecraft crashing on moon”.

The odds of finding life on the moon have suddenly rocketed skywards. But rather than elusive alien moonlings, the beings in question came from Earth and were spilled across the landscape when a spacecraft crashed into the surface.

The Israeli Beresheet probe was meant to be the first private lander to touch down on the moon. And all was going smoothly until mission controllers lost contact in April as the robotic craft made its way down. Beyond all the technology that was lost in the crash, Beresheet had an unusual cargo: a few thousand tiny tardigrades, the toughest animals on Earth.

(13) LIKE FOSSILIZED SPACESHIPS. In last week’s Science — “Fossils show large predator prowled Cambrian sediments”.

In the summer of 2018, palaeontologists hammering away at 500-million-year-old rocks high in the Canadian Rockies turned up hundreds of specimens of an unknown but evidently hyperabundant creature. With a hand-size carapace that looks like it was sketched out in science fiction concept art,the diggers nicknamed it “the spaceship.” Now, they’ve given the creature its first scientific description and a name: Cambroraster falcatus—after the famed Millennium Falcon starship from Star Wars

(14) DINNER IS SERVED. Contrary to popular belief, carnivorous cats and canines probably didn’t hunt the same limited pool of prey — “Fossils Reveal Why Coyotes Outlived Saber-Toothed Cats” in the Smithsonian.

…Per CNN’s Ashley Strickland, the scientists’ research pinpoints a different explanation for S. fatalis and other giant cats’ demise, positing that factors, including climate change and an uptick in nearby human populations, precipitated the species’ eventual extinction. (The team is collaborating on a second study with experts across six institutions to further refine these causes, Chrissy Sexton notes for Earth.com.)

Smaller predators such as coyotes and grey wolves, on the other hand, weathered harsh conditions by adapting to the times. As DeSantis tells National Geographic’s John Pickrell, “When the large predators and prey go extinct, not only do [the smaller animals] shrink, but they fundamentally change their diet and start scavenging to become the opportunists we know today.”

(15) NOVEL: ENDORSEMENT. Here’s the plug on the cover of JDA’s next book: “’Could be the most dangerous sci-fi novel of my lifetime. Read it before it’s banned.’ – MIlo Yiannopoulos.” Jon is sure I’ll want to pick that up the first day.

(16) GREASED LIGHTNING. “Stonehenge: Neolithic People Moved Enormous Rocks Using Pig Fat for Lubrication, Archaeologist Says”Newsweek has the story.

In a study published in February, researchers examined how the stones were quarried. They suggested the Neolithic people may have constructed a platform to excavate the rocks, then used wooden levers to lower the rocks onto a wooden sledge that could then have been “hauled away with ropes.”

The largest of the stones, known as the sarsen trilithons, are over 25 feet in height and weigh over 30 tons. These were moved from a site 18 miles away.

Researchers have also previously suggested these sledges were greased to help move them along—past experiments show the most efficient way to transport them would be a greased timber slipway. However, physical evidence to back this up was lacking—the logs used for the sledges are unlikely to have been preserved.

In a study published in Antiquity, Shillito, from the U.K.’s Newcastle University, has said fat residues found on pottery near Stonehenge may help back the greased sled theory….

(17) ALL RISE. Surprisingly, it worked: “The ancient Egyptian yeasts being used to bake modern bread”.

The yeast microbes had been asleep for more than 5,000 years, buried deep in the pores of Egyptian ceramics, by the time Seamus Blackley came along and used them to bake a loaf of bread.

An amateur Egyptologist and one of the inventors of the Xbox game console, he’s also a keen hobby baker who routinely posts pictures of his breadmaking projects on social media.

He has, he admits, made his fair share of “horrible, rock-like loaves”. But this experiment was in a different league altogether.

The first step was to extract the yeast without destroying the vessels where it was held. With the help of archaeologist Dr Serena Love, Mr Blackley gained access to the collections of Egyptian beer- and bread-making vessels held in two museums in the US city of Boston.

(18) POLLY WANNA KLINGON? It could have eaten them for snacks: “Ancient parrot in New Zealand was 1m tall, study says”.

A giant parrot that roamed New Zealand about 19 million years ago had a height of 1m (3ft 2in) – more than half the average height of a human, a new study has found.

The remains of the parrot were found near St Bathans in New Zealand’s southern Otago region.

Given its size, the parrot is believed to have been flightless and carnivorous, unlike most birds today.

…”There are no other giant parrots in the world,” Professor Trevor Worthy, a palaeontologist at Flinders University in Australia and lead author of the study, told the BBC. “Finding one is very significant.”

The Smithsonian calls it “Squawkzilla”.

(19) END OF THE TRIAL. BBC tells how “Franz Kafka papers lost in Europe but reunited in Jerusalem”.

The National Library [Israel] unveiled the documents after years of international searches and legal disputes.

It was left the collection in 1968 by Max Brod, the friend who Kafka had trusted to burn his writings after his death in the 1920s

But Brod refused, later going on to publish them instead.

Brod then left the papers to the National Library of Israel in his will.

However, after he died in 1968 they disappeared – eventually sparking a hunt which led investigators to Germany, Switzerland, and bank vaults in Israel.

It was, the National Library’s spokeswoman Vered Lion-Yerushalmi said, a story which was in itself “Kafkaesque”.

The final batch, which has just been sent to Jerusalem, had spent decades stored in vaults at the headquarters in Zurich of Swiss bank UBS.

(20) COLLATERAL DAMAGE. NPR explains why it’s crackers to slip a wild wasp the dropsy in snide: “New Evidence Shows Popular Pesticides Could Cause Unintended Harm To Insects”.

Consider, for a moment, the circuitous journey of the insecticide called thiamethoxam, on its way to killing a wild wasp.

Alejandro Tena, a researcher at the Valencia Institute of Agricultural Research, in Spain, mixed the chemical into water used to irrigate clementine trees. This is a common practice among citrus farmers. As intended, the tree roots absorbed the insecticide, and it spread throughout the trees’ branches and leaves.

A mealybug landed on the clementine tree, bit through the bark, and began feeding on tree sap underneath. The bug ingested traces of the insecticide. This, in fact, is how thiamethoxam is supposed to work.

Unfortunately, though, the pesticide’s journey wasn’t over. Traces of it showed up in a sticky, sugary, substance called honeydew that the mealybugs excrete. Honeydew is an important food for other insects, such as wasps and hoverflies. In Tena’s experiments, wasps and hoverflies that fed on this contaminated honeydew died in large numbers. Wasps and hoverflies are a fruit grower’s friends, because they help to fight harmful insects.

Tena’s study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is just the latest evidence that a family of pesticides called neonicotinoids, sometimes just called “neonics,” can pose risks to the insect world that are not fully understood.

(21) VIDEO OF THE DAY. “Retrobites:  Hanna Barbera (1961) CBC” on YouTube is an excerpt from a 1961 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation documentary in which Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera explained how an episode of “The Flintstones” was made.

[Thanks to Mark Hepworth, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, John King Tarpinian, SF Concatenation’s Jonathan Cowie, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Chip Hitchcock, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Jack Lint.]

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49 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 8/7/19 The Files Of Master Scroll And Number Ten Pixel

  1. (17) They should talk to Ed Wood at Sourdoughs International – he’s used the Egyptian baking pots, with more recent (but still local) starters. He’s written about it.

  2. 10) I watched the first couple episodes of the SciFi (as it was called then) Flash Gordon series and kind of hated it — mostly because it strayed too far from the original source material, IMO. Not a rocket ship to be seen — instead, Flash et al. went to Mongo & back via Stargates or something along those lines.

    I do remember one villain who was kind of effectively creepy, mostly because he moved like he was standing on a Segway under his robes.

  3. (15) “’Could be the most dangerous sci-fi novel of my lifetime. Read it before it’s banned.’ – MIlo Yiannopoulos.”

    I hope he spelled it that way — M-L-L-O — on the book’s cover. 😉

    (I checked, and that’s Jon’s misspelling, not Mike’s. Though perhaps it’s a mis-capitalization instead?)

  4. @10: the trailer @3 suggests Theron is no worse as Morticia than the other voice actors, who seem to be playing for cheap laughs. (Wednesday screaming “Live!” is so un-Wednesday…)

    typo alert on @15: looks like some insertion (illo?) was mistyped such that it didn’t parse and presents as text; I don’t know enough of this dialect to point to a correction.

    @Nancy Sauer: only to move it through the first yard; it would take another 30-50 to move it through the next property….

  5. I saw some interview with MacFarlane where he was totally fanboying out: “Oh my god, we got Charlize! I got to work with Charlize!”

    (Gotta say, I can sympathize.)

    These (apart from the tourism levy bit) are basically the same as what the EU and other ‘First World’ countries that don’t already have stricter requirements (e.g. US, AU) are all doing.

  7. World Fantasy Convention ballot was just released. At a glance, it looks pretty solid, although I’m not sure about the inclusion of Aliette de Bodard’s “The Tea Master and the Detective” under best novella — not because it’s not a great novella, but because it seems more SF than fantasy?

  8. I will just note here, apropos of nothing,that August 7 is my birthday, and getting older ain’t for the weak, but, hey, consider the alternative!

  9. @Lis,

    Happy birthday!

    10) Melissa Scott’s Burning Bright is one of my favorite post-cyberpunk books and it is a frequent reread of mine. She does a great job with the “game-within-a-game” trope.

  10. @rochrist: it warms the cockles of his little (very little) heart, and that may be enough. More generally, there’s a saying that 90% of advertising is wasted but nobody knows which 10% actually works, and an older one about there being no such thing as bad publicity. wrt which, even if one ignores any argument he makes that there are a hundred Right-Thinking Amurricans salivating to buy something endorsed by one of their idols for every wimpy SJW who sneers at his work, it’s possible (likely?) that he’d sell even fewer copies if he didn’t promote in ways that catch attention from the loony right.

    @14: typo? I assume the head headline is supposed to be “served’ rather than a reference to the late golfer .

    @errolwi: really? I didn’t have to have anything like a visa to get into 6 EU countries 3 years ago — in fact, I didn’t even have to show a passport outside of my port-of-entry (and on arriving in Paris from Barcelona, but it’s unclear that was legal or lasting). I’m a bit surprised NZ is doing this; it always struck me as an Aussie ~paranoid exclusivity that I wouldn’t have expected in NZ.

  11. Chip Hitchcock: I definitely left a hole in that one. “Seved” is now fixed. And in that same item I made an even more shocking typo (or html-o, really) that someone else caught, but must have overshadowed the error in the headline.

  12. I was hooked onto Melissa Scott’s science fiction (haven’t read her fantasy or media tie-ins) with DREAMSHIPS, which was a misshipment from the Science Fiction Book Club (meaning, I forgot to return the reply card). Loved it so much that I’ve read most of her science fiction since (including her recent book, FINDERS). I devoured her earlier science fiction, too: the ROADS TO HEAVEN trilogy, THE GAME BEYOND, and THE KINDLY ONES. She’s also won the Lambda Award a few times.

  13. Rob Thornton notes Melissa Scott’s Burning Bright is one of my favorite post-cyberpunk books and it is a frequent reread of mine. She does a great job with the “game-within-a-game” trope.

    All of her SF holds up remarkably well. Indeed I’d argue that her novels are better written than some of the better known writers of that sub-genre. Certainly her characters are far more interesting, and her stories are often more believable than theirs oft times are.

  14. Lis Carey says I will just note here, apropos of nothing,that August 7 is my birthday, and getting older ain’t for the weak, but, hey, consider the alternative!

    Happy Birthday!

    I’ve experienced the alternative. I’ll take living thank you.

  15. August 7th was a good day for puppeteers. Both Kermit Love and Stan Freberg were born that day. Love designed some of the Muppets on Sesame Street (Mr. Snuffleupagus was his design) after working with Orson Welles’s Mercury Theatre and designing the costumes for Agnes de Mille’s Rodeo.

    Stan Freberg did a lot of everything, but early on he was a puppeteer with Bob Clampett’s Time for Beany.

    Also Billie Burke who we probably best remember for being Glinda the Good, but she was also Mrs. Topper in the Topper series of films.

    And Wayne Knight. Newman. (But also Al McWhiggin in Toy Story 2 and lots of voices on animated shows.)

    Scrolling pixels from a shell

  16. (10) Since the rest of the sentence seems very respectful, I’m guessing that “Derp Space Nine” might be a typo…

  17. @Eli: aw, don’t spoil it. I did so like Derp Space Nine. 😀

    Count me as another one who thinks Melissa Scott is underrated. Trouble and Her Friends was my first, and I thought it was one of the most engaging cyberpunk novels I’d seen. It tends to be a genre that’s long on ideas and short on 3D characters. Scott was a rare exception to that last. 🙂

  18. Derp Space Nine was a typo made at the very early hour of three in the morning. It’s been corrected to Deep Space Nine. I often do these notes when my brain trauma keeps me from sleeping. Conversely that doesn’t mean that I’m at my best for checking spelling and the spellchecker isn’t like the AI in Kritzer’s “Cat Pictures”.

    And it’s been a rough week for me.

    My headache is getting worse which is alarming to me and of course to Jenner, my NP I see every week for an hour, so my meds got adjusted yesterday when I saw her. Taking far too much Imetrix for her liking. The recommended maximum dosage is six tabs per month, I’m taking upwards of that per week. And my my blood pressure refuses to play nice as well.

    I’m also battling severe nausea and cramping so eating isn’t a high priority which means I lost another four pounds this week. Down about fifteen pounds in the last month. So she doubled the dosage of my anti-nausea med and adjusted several other meds.

    And the blood clots in my right arm are hurting a lot right now. Those are the result of the PIC line for my in-hospital staph treatment being taken out wrong.

    So yes sometimes sleep is elusive. And that means I do Birthdays overnight.

  19. @Cat: I’m sorry you’re having that kind of a time. I should’ve made it clearer that I just thought the typo was funny, I wasn’t complaining.

  20. I’m not sure if the upcoming Richard Stanley movie adaptation of “The Colour Out of Space” has been mentioned here before, but there’s a photo and a tiny bit of production news here. Stanley is perhaps best known as the writer-director of the extremely strange 1990 SF-horror movie Hardware; this is the highest-profile project he’s been attached to since being fired from the 1996 Island of Dr. Moreau.

  21. Eli says to me I’m sorry you’re having that kind of a time. I should’ve made it clearer that I just thought the typo was funny, I wasn’t complaining.

    Oh I know you weren’t. I’m just pointing how they happen. It was a spectacularly bad week in several years of such weeks. Head injuries don’t get better despite the belief of a lot of people that they do. So it becomes a matter of managing the injury as best it can be. It’s just a lot of effort to do so.

    I’ve got Jenner who I see every week plus two neurologists, three different physical therapists, one who specialises in memory issues as well, a vascular surgeon for the blood clots, two eye doctors, a hearing specialist, at least one orthopaedic surgeon and I’m sure I’m looking someone… oh the surgeon who cut out the staph infected bone. That still hurts like hell two months later.

    Meds? I counted tonight. There’s fourteen currently. Now some are vitamins which my head trauma refuses to let my body produce but many are drugs you really don’t ever want to prescribed. Jennner jiggers them every week based on the BP and pulse readings I do three times a day every day for the past two years plus general med notes I keep for her on how I’m feeling, eating and such.

    It’s an SF life I wouldn’t wish on anyone, a costly one for the hospital as I have their free care and the in-hospital stay for the staph infection alone was nearly two hundred dollars. The head injury stay? Try half million.

    Oh and the running joke among my care team? I used up my nine lives plus two as I died eleven times. It’s almost funny.

  22. Cora Buhlert says Get better soon.

    I know you mean well. I’m not getting better. I suffered a level three head trauma. Usually that means that you stay dead. I lucked out and they were able to keep reviving me.

    I’ve got autonomic nervous system disorder which among other things means a two year old headache that never ceases. I died. Over and over. Normality is not going to be something I get back. It’s a matter now of making sure it doesn’t get worse, ie right now my BP wants to take a nose dive which is not a good thing so my meds got adjusted yet again yesterday.

    (The Pharmacy at my PCP had never encountered anyone who get meds adjusted weekly and that really through them for a loop.)

    Better? I’d settle for stable. Hell I’d settle for sleeping a full eight hours. Neither’s likely to happen. So that means I’ve had over eighty encounters with Jenner, my NP who’s my PCP in the past two years. If you add in PT and specialist visits, I’ve likely topped two hundred encounters with medical personnel so far. And that doesn’t include forty days in-hospital for a staph infection. Not counting the MEDCU emergency runs to the hospital.

    I hope y’all never, ever have something like this. It’s a life changing event that I wouldn’t want anyone to have.

  23. I really wish there was an established and well-known phrase to use when talking to chronically ill&disabled folks. Most of us don’t “get better (soon or otherwise)” really, and while obviously I understand the sentiment behind it it always feels a bit awkward, like maybe there’s been a misunderstanding. “I hope the particular thing you’re dealing with right now receives effective treatment to improve or stabilise it, or at least that it doesn’t get worse”? Not very succinct…

  24. @Jack Lint: Houseman’s autobiography doesn’t have an index cite for Kermit Love, but given the dates listed in Wikipedia I suspect he touches genre; the main use of puppets by Welles in that time period was a production of Marlowe’s Faust.

  25. @Meredith
    And “I hope you feel better” isn’t exactly what i’d prefer saying in this situation.

  26. @P J Evans

    “I hope you feel better” feels very similar to “get well/better soon” to me, so it has pretty much the same problems. The culture&language base for chronic illness and disability isn’t very good.

  27. Meredith wisely notes “I hope you feel better” feels very similar to “get well/better soon” to me, so it has pretty much the same problems. The culture&language base for chronic illness and disability isn’t very good.

    Indeed. None of my myriad medical care team members talk about me “getting better” as that’s not what’s going on with me. They talk about managing my condition. And it’s a knife’s edge balance at the best of times.

    The only thing they’ve actually made better in the last two years was my staph infection which required major bone surgery followed by forty three days worth of in-hospital antibiotics to get rid of the rest of the infection.

    I think manyfolks are conditioned to believe our medical care system can fix anything. Well it can’t.

  28. I wish you a maximal plethora of your better days when you most need them?

    Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

    Mostly I just wish I didn’t have so many friends with ongoing physical and/or mental chronic conditions, (but I will gladly, even joyously, take having to accommodate the chronic issues of people I love over not having those people in my life).

  29. Lenora Rose says I wish you a maximal plethora of your better days when you most need them? Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

    Reasonable if a bit awkwardly put (grin).

    Mostly I just wish I didn’t have so many friends with ongoing physical and/or mental chronic conditions, (but I will gladly, even joyously, take having to accommodate the chronic issues of people I love over not having those people in my life).

    Yeah that I can sympathise with. And full understand.

  30. @Meredith and Cat
    I have type-2 diabetes. It’s a matter of delaying the inevitable, since it won’t go away.

  31. P J Evans saysI have type-2 diabetes. It’s a matter of delaying the inevitable, since it won’t go away.

    I too have type two diabetes. I was diagnosed with it thirty years ago. It’s (mostly) under control except when the brain decides not to behave in that area which caused my A1C to just go way up overnight. I’m taking Glipizide and Januvia for it currently.

    (I got the injection based Byetta med early. I hope you never had that!)

    I got my blood sugars taken six times a day when in-hospital for the staph infection. Post-hospital stay, I had a Martin Point phlebotomist ask me if I’d ever given blood. I looked at her and said you must be really new to this practice

  32. @ Cat
    So far it’s under control with metformin, generic Actos, and relatively small changes in diet. So far.
    (I tell the phlebotomist which vein is good.)

  33. P J Evans says So far it’s under control with metformin, generic Actos, and relatively small changes in diet. So far. (I tell the phlebotomist which vein is good.)

    Metformin stopped working for me.

    Good for you. My veins are all good though they only currently use the left arm though to the blood clots in the right arm. The staph infection completely destroyed my iron levels, currently 18 up from 16, so I’m eating only gently braised beef, sautéed green veggies, mushrooms and tomatoes. Tasty but more than a little repetitive.

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