Pip R. Lagenta|
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|Monday, April 13th, 2009|
|"The Raccoon Movie" on Vimeo
My first video on YouTube was "The Raccoon Movie". After a year... and six hundred views, YouTube forcibly removed my film. Now, using Vimeo, my movie is back!
--Pip R. Lagenta
|Saturday, November 29th, 2008|
|Wednesday, October 15th, 2008|
|The Most Devastating Critique of “Conservatism” That Has Ever Been Uttered
Ari Fleischer (former Whitehouse press secretary under George W. Bush) was on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” last night. Jon Stewart asked Ari Fleischer why he liked Sarah Palin. The first part of Fleischer’s three-part explanation of why Ari Fleischer likes Sarah Palin was “because I am a conservative”.
Mary Mother of God!
What a vile cesspit of bone-stick-stone stupidity “Conservatism” must be!
--Pip R. Lagenta
|Saturday, September 20th, 2008|
|Friday, September 12th, 2008|
|Thursday, August 28th, 2008|
|The "they are both idiots" Chestnut
It is a fact of the World Wide Web (that can be considered to be a Web cliché) that whenever an argument between two personalities is discussed in an open forum, some wag will inevitably opine that "they are both idiots", or words to that effect. It does not matter how much superior one personality’s argument is over the other, the summary dismissal of both parties is brutally certain. The person(s) writing the "Screw ‘em all" post(s) never gives reasons. There are no reasons to give. The only explanation that could be stated is "I don’t understand what these people are saying, therefore they must be idiots". And who would ever say that?
--Pip R. Lagenta
|Tuesday, August 26th, 2008|
|Thursday, August 21st, 2008|
|The Ray Bradbury That I Know Is Not The Ray Bradbury That You Know
There are several blogs (and blog-like web sites) that I like to read regularly. "Boing Boing", "Boing Boing Gadgets", "Pharyngula", "More Words, Deeper Hole", "UKEBOX", "Whatever", "Cheryl’s Mewsings", "erv", "io9" and "File 770" are just a few of the blogs that I try to visit several times a day. As you might expect, each has their own individual style. I like each one for a different reason.
Top among the blogs that I visit multiple times a day is Wil Wheaton’s "WWdN: in Exile". I enjoy Mr. Wheaton’s style of writing enough for me to acquire his books "Just a Geek" and "The Happiest Days of Our Lives". These are nonfiction books. They include essays relating tales of the author’s youth, among other things. I have really enjoyed reading these books.
I have tried my hand at telling tales of my youth. I try it from time to time in this blog. But my first real attempt at it was done about twenty years ago. I put this first attempt up on the World Wide Web eleven years ago this month. I wrote it under the "Galen A. Tripp" name.
I called it "The Stupid Fan".
My twenty-year-old essay, "The Stupid Fan", tells of my meeting, as a teenager, with the-world-famous-author, Ray Bradbury. I had read many of his works and I thought that it would be fun to meet him.
It is "funny" how life does not always go the way that you would like it to. Nope, "funny" is just not the right word here. However, I learned a lesson about Ray Bradbury that you should prefer having related to you by me, rather than experiencing personally. Trust me on this.
Read "The Stupid Fan" at http://home.comcast.net/~galentripp/SFan.html Wil Wheaton makes writing this kind of essay look easy. That is because Wil Wheaton is a professional writer. "The Stupid Fan" is decidedly an amateur attempt.
It seems to me that Ray Bradbury has been getting a lot of press recently. Stories like this "Boing Boing" report tell of a Ray Bradbury utterly different from the Ray Bradbury that I know.
That is fine. I know what I know.
--Pip R. Lagenta
|Friday, August 15th, 2008|
I reread panlives report as I posted it here in yesterday's blog. If I am reading it correctly, panlives is saying that he spoke to Linda Mayfield (A.K.A. Linda Sohus) in the time period AFTER her husband disappeared, but shortly before Linda, herself, disappeared.
--Pip R. Lagenta
|Thursday, August 14th, 2008|
Last night I received an email from a gentleman who has a LV post under the name panlives. In his email, he told me an interesting story. I begged shamelessly for him to post his story on-line. I got down on my knees and cried "Please... please... please... please... please... please... please... please... please!" And he did it! He posted his story as a comment to the pertinent blog post that happens to be seven months old.
You see, my old post of seven months ago is suddenly very relevant to the news-of-the-day. In the last week, I have been contacted by several reporters because of my seven-month-old blog post. I was an acquaintance and co-worker of Linda Mayfield back in the 1980’s. She and her husband suddenly disappeared in 1985. Then, ten years later, Linda’s husband’s bones turn up having been buried in their yard. This old mystery is suddenly in the news again:
I only met Linda’s husband, John Sohus, once or twice. I NEVER met this "Christopher Chichester" (Clark Rockefeller) character. Nor did I ever hear of him (as Chichester) until I saw the "Unsolved Mysteries" TV show on the story, ten or fifteen years ago.
By way of thanks to panlives, I am reprinting here, whole, the story that he had to cut into two parts to fit into the comment section of my seven-month-old blog post.
What brought me here was your posting about Cody back in January. I have always wondered what happened to her. I was talking with her every few days before she dropped out of sight. I bought one of her pieces that she had at Worldcon (LACon) '84. I met her as she was doing teardown at the art show. We talked about her technique (using soft pencil to get a painted look) and that I would like to get a commission piece going. That, and I was also associated with a centaur-art zine called the Centaur's Gatherum Newsletter, which I thought would be a great place to feature her work.
She said that she was going to be busy until after thanksgiving (LosCon), but after that she'd be open to doing a commission or two.
In mid-December I called and we started working on things. She sent me a bunch of B/W preliminary drawings for some centaurs that were being done for another person (who I also knew). We used them as starting points - like one from column A, two from column B to help her compile a new character and pick a background. The process went along fine, stretching out to late January - me calling and after a short time she sending a copy of a sketch via US Mail. Through a few iterations. We were almost ready to go on it when, around the end of January, she got hard to reach. I called, waited, called. Called over to Dangerous Visions to see if she was there. She had been there the day before. She had mentioned that DV wasn't really what she wanted to be doing, but it was work.
So I called again and this time got her. She sounded frazzled and told me that her husband was in NY and that he had been offered a job doing some classified work. I said "Cool! What?" and she said that it had something to do with satellites but she wasn't sure. She said that it was exciting but that she wasn't happy having to drop everything and move on such short notice. She promised me that, as soon as they got settled in at the other end, she would call and we could pick back up on the commission.
I thought "that was weird", but thought that they'll make a lot of money in the short term doing tech stuff for the government...
A month goes by. I figured that "Hey, moving's a bitch" and that it was probably more chaotic than they thought. Then another month. Now I am starting to get a little nervous. After all the time talking about artwork and other stuff, I felt like she was sort-of a friend and I wondered if everything was ok.
A little later and I started calling south again. First to Dangerous Visions - nothing. Then I looked up the only Sohus in that area which turned out to be John's mother. I called, expecting to be embarrassed about being such a worrier (which I am, pretty much all of the time). She, Ruth, answered. I told her who I was and that I was wondering if everything was ok. She immediately broke down in tears and said that she didn't know where he was or what was going on. It got a little incoherent and France came up. I said "France? I thought they were working in NY?" She just kept crying. I told her that I would do what I could to find out what I could. I did searches on the internet (such as it was at the time). I had a friend, who had access to AP and UPI archives, run a search for Cody and Sohus. Nothing applicable came up. I contacted all of the SF art editors that I knew back east and they hadn't heard of her.
So, being 500+ miles away. I gave up. Ever since then people would send me updates, like when the excavation happened. I thought "that's not good" but at the time I hadn't heard that it was confirmed as human bones.
So last night I click on a Yahoo News piece about some German guy - and it turns out to be about Linda and John! I have no idea why I even clicked on it because, as you know, most news is newsertainment and not worth the sectors they use.
Anyway. That started the whole thing up for me again. I called the LA County Sheriffs office and emailed over some notes and handwriting references. Told them what little I knew. Both of us wished that PacBell kept electronic call records after all this time. (I still have their phone numbers on file)
I was wondering, with your connection to Dangerous Visions, did you hear that she had quit or just stopped showing up for work? I know that it doesn't really make much difference, but I just thought that I would ask. By the way, in all the times that Linda and I had talked, and non-art topics came up, I never heard one word about the German guy. So I doubt that they were all "pals".
Well, that's it for me. I am crappy about posting things to LJ. I do have a myspace page (big deal :-) which also doesn't get updated much. I just have a hard time thinking that day-to-day stuff is interesting for other people. I may just not have the "knack" :-)
By way of answer to the question that PanLives poses in the penultimate paragraph above, I responded in my email to him: I was no longer working at DV when Linda went missing. My understanding is that Lydia Marano got no advance warning that Linda was going to leave. PanLives may have gotten more advance information than Lydia Marano got.
That Linda Mayfield was an artist (under the name Cody) is one of the most under-reported pieces of information regarding Linda Mayfield. I do not possess any of her art, but some of her art can be seen here.
Thank you, PanLives!
--Pip R. Lagenta
|Sunday, August 3rd, 2008|
|Monday, July 28th, 2008|
|Reality Sets In
I thought that I would like to go to the BASFA meeting tonight. And I would like that. Then, however, I gave it some more thought. I realized that "Huh... no... I can't do that!" C'est la vie.
--Pip R. Lagenta
|Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008|
|Microsoft Vista Sucks: A Personal Exploration
In this essay, I will be telling you what you should already know: Microsoft Windows Vista 32-bit Ultimate (with Service Pack 1) is unworkable trash. If, in any way, you can avoid Vista, you should do it.
I have not written anything of substance in my blog in several weeks. This is mostly due to adventures with my new computer. Yes, I have purchased a new and high-powered computer. My old XP machine is more than six years old. It is having a number of exasperating age-related problems. I saved my pennies to buy a fancy new computer. I took delivery of the new machine around about my birthday in June.
Within days, the brand-new, one terabyte hard-drive failed. There was much drama in just finding out what the problem was. Microsoft took advantage of the failed hard drive to rip-me-off for an additional $10 to buy backup disks that Microsoft should have included in the first place. So, I have spent much of the past month reinstalling software. But first, I had to wait on Microsoft to send me the freakin' disks that they should have included to start with!
In the past month, I have been getting to know Vista. What a nightmare!
I divide the problems with "Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1" into two categories:
1) Profound productivity-destroying problems that have turned my new high-power computer into nothing more than a door-stop.
2) Irksome and annoying little design flaws that make everyday use a bloody pain.
Where to begin? In "category one", perhaps?
None of the essential things that I use a computer for can be done in Vista. The first of those fundamental things is photo-manipulation.
Vista will not operate the photo-manipulation program that I use. THE ONE PROGRAM THAT I USE MORE THAN ANY OTHER PROGRAM IN THE WORLD WILL NOT WORK IN VISTA. To add insult to injury, the photo-manipulation program in question is a Microsoft program. Before I bought Vista, I was told, explicitly and repeatedly that any program that works in XP will work in Vista. Don't you believe it!
Another "category one" problem is that "Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1" cannot make an ordinary scanner work. I can't scan in photos or documents using the scanner that XP can handle just fine. This is more than just hobby stuff. I need to scan in documents as part of my job. Microsoft has several white papers on this particular scanner issue which all amount to "It's not our problem". It is, in fact, the problem of anyone who may consider using Vista.
I put this next one in "category one" because "Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1" is on my home computer. I spend a lot of time on my home computer playing PC games. "Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1" won't easily start computer games. I can make them start eventually, but it takes an hour or two. "Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1" has a piracy protection system that identifies game disks as "copies", and will not start the game until the "original" game disk is put in. Of course, I only have original game disks. If I keep putting in the disk, and rebooting a lot, eventually Vista will start the game. It takes an hour or two.
I also put this next one in "category one" because "Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1" is on my home computer, and I spend a lot of time on my home computer listening to music or audio-books. My music and audio-books are in the Microsoft proprietary format ".wma" (Windows Media Audio). I use Windows Media Player to play my audio recordings. My audio recordings are in the Windows Media Player's library. I use playlists in the Windows Media Player's library. "Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1" won't easily start the Windows Media Player program. When I start the program, Vista tells me "Windows Media Player has stopped working" and then it shuts down the Windows Media Player program. If I reboot Vista, I can get the program to work. It may take several reboots.
There is a lot of rebooting when dealing with "Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1".
Category two problems are the irksome and annoying little design flaws that make everyday use of "Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1" a bloody pain. And they are legion.
How is this for annoying? The "off symbol" on the Vista "off button" does not actually mean that you can use that button to turn your computer off. In Vista, using the button with the "off symbol" on it puts your computer into a state that looks like "off", but is not "off". If you assume (as I did at first) that the "off symbol" on a Vista button will, in fact, turn your computer off, you could damage your computer, and at the very least, Vista will complain that it was not shut down correctly. In Vista, to turn your computer off, you click on what may be considered the "start" button, then, on the bottom right of the "start" menu you have to move right past the goofy "off" misnomer, past the "lock", and onto a nondescript little triangle. With your cursor on the small nondescript triangle, you will get a menu of items that include the "shut down" function. Eureka!
The "Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1" disk defragmenter function may be a complete joke. Or maybe it isn't a joke. There is just no way to tell. I fired up the "Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1" disk defragmenter program, and I let it plug away for thirty-five hours before I shut it down as a dead loss. After thirty-five hours, was it 2% done or 98% done? There is no way to tell. Did it move so much as a single bit? There is no way to tell.
"Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1" has an amazingly buggy program called "Windows Media Center" (not to be confused with "Windows Media Player"). Using certain of the individual functions within "Windows Media Center" may well result in the blue-screen-of-death. Yes! The use of some parts of "Windows Media Center" will terminally crash and reboot "Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate SP1" with all of a fatal crash's attendant loss of data. We are talking, here, about a "windows 95" style fatal crash.
Ultimate Vista's amazingly buggy "Windows Media Center" program does play DVDs reasonably well. Here is one last irksome and annoying little design flaw to close out this essay: The cursor disappears when using the "Windows Media Center" program. You have to use the cursor to point at your selections within the "Windows Media Center" program, but the cursor is gone. That is to say that the cursor is invisible. The selections light up when the invisible cursor is over them, but maneuvering an invisible cursor to the right place is time-consuming and difficult (read "irksome and annoying").
Please do not think that I have listed, in this essay, all of the problems that I have with Vista. I am not attempting to create an exhaustive list here. I just want to make clear that Vista is bad news. Anyone who says that Vista's SP1 has fixed Vista's problems is, at best, dead wrong. I thought that I could get around most of Vista's major problems by having a high powered computer. I was wrong. I was also in error, also, to believe the people who told me that programs that work in XP will work in Vista. Vista's problems are endemic and fatal.
Maybe Vista can cope with email. I don't know. I haven't tried that yet.
--Pip R. Lagenta
|Tuesday, June 17th, 2008|
|Saturday, June 7th, 2008|
|Friday, June 6th, 2008|
|Friday, May 30th, 2008|
|Pip's fourth YouTube video: The MomCat Movie
I have posted my fourth video to YouTube. It is about the feral cat that comes around for a meal now and then. She is the mother of my two cats, so I have named her "MomCat". MomCat brought her feral kittens into my back yard when they were about three months old. The kittens stayed in my yard because I fed them. That was three years ago. They are now fully socialized. I can't socialize MomCat, however, because she won't stay around long enough for me to do it. She is streetwise enough to survive without help from me. I did catch MomCat, some years ago, and had her fixed so that she would not have any more kittens. Nonetheless, she is still feral.
Here is the MomCat Movie:
Or use this URL:
...because at the above URL there appears to be a "high quality" (but slow loading) version of "The MomCat Movie" available to view if you so choose.
---Pip R. Lagenta
|Monday, May 26th, 2008|
For Jeremy, and all the others...
---Pip R. Lagenta