10 years

A.D. After the Deluge

When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts

Elton John at JazzFest

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Waking Up Naked in Strange Places

The Louisiana Story

King Creole

A Streetcar Named Desire

The re-opening of the Canal Street Cars.


Bonus: Red beans and rice

Tom Doherty Statement on Tor.com [fixed]

From file770.com

Tor Books publisher Tom Doherty issued a statement on Tor.com about Irene Gallo’s Facebook comments, distinguishing them as not representing the company or himself:

The Science Fiction community is populated with engaged authors and fans many of whom have strong and varied opinions on many subjects. Tor supports that diversity of viewpoints by publishing a widely varied group of authors and books through Tor/Forge and by posting a variety of material and reader comment on Tor.com.

Last month, Irene Gallo, a member of Tor’s staff, posted comments about two groups of science fiction writers, Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies, and about the quality of some of the 2015 Hugo Award nominees, on her personal Facebook page. Ms. Gallo is identified on her page as working for Tor. She did not make it clear that her comments were hers alone. They do not reflect Tor’s views or mine. She has since clarified that her personal views are just that and apologized to anyone her comments may have hurt or offended.

Tor pays authors for the words it represents. Tor does not, as a believer in the First Amendment, take responsibility for any words it does not pay for.

The Puppies groups were organized to support a slate of authors for steal the Hugo Awards, given annually for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year. Media coverage of the two groups initially suggested that they were organized simply to promote white men, which was not correct. Each Puppies’ slate of authors and editors included some women and writers of color, including Rajnar Vajra, Annie Bellet, Kary English, Toni Weisskopf, Ann Sowards, Megan Gray, Sheila Gilbert, Jennifer Brozek, Cedar Sanderson and Amanda Green. Some of the authors on the Sad Puppy slate have been published by Tor and Tor.com, including  Kevin J. Anderson, John C. Wright, Ed Lerner and Michael F. Flynn. Many, many Hugo Award nominees and winners are our authors too, including Kevin J. Anderson, John C. Wright and Katherine Addison this year and John Chu, John Scalzi, Cherie Priest and Jo Walton in past years, just to mention a few.

In short, we seek out and publish a diverse and wide ranging group of books. We are in the business of finding great stories and promoting literature and are not about promoting a political agenda regret the appearance of putting female employees in their place.

Tor employees, including Ms. Gallo, have been reminded that they are required to clarify when they are speaking for Tor and when they are speaking for themselves, such as confining opinions and snark to their very own facebook comments. We apologize for any confusion applaud controversial voices, such as Ms. Gallo’s comments may have caused. Let me reiterate: the views expressed by Ms. Gallo are not those of Tor as an organization and are not my own views.  Rest assured, Tor remains committed to bringing readers the finest in science fiction – on a broad range of topics, from a broad range of authors.

Red beans and rice...

Eight years ago, I was hitting the refresh command on the Times-Picayune website over and over, hoping something good would appear. It did. After reading of people gathering in the Marriott's hallways in order to avoid window shrapnel, after reading about attic gatherings and power outages, after reading about wind damage, I just wanted to read that the sun had risen again.

Then, silence. No matter how I tried, hitting 'refresh' didn't change the last entry at the time: "Red beans and rice..." The sun did rise, and with it the waters of New Orleans rose. And then New Orleans sat underwater for six weeks. At least, 80% of it did anyway.

That's a very nice number. New Orleans population is up to 80% of pre-Katrina population. Tomorrow, August 29th, I'm going to eat a deluge of red beans and rice.

Chinese dinner

So, you go to a Chinese restaurant. There's four of you. You each order your own entree. 14.95 apiece, let's say.

Next time, you go and get family style. Same amount of food, but it's only $12.00 apiece.

Now, let's say you're a larger group. You get everything you wanted, but it's $9.00 each.

So, you go again, but this time someone says they forgot their wallet. So it's $11.00 each, but one person is covered.

There will come a point where, even if you get everything you want, you will begrudge the guy who didn't have his wallet. How many people must forget wallets before you have to pay more than if you got your own entree?

Here is the Republican mindset. They would rather pay more than allow one person to pay less.

Republicans hate dim-sum. And they don't want you to have it because of their fear that someone, somewhere, isn't paying their share.

Make a wish as the candles go out

Katrina is seven today. I can't believe how fast she has grown.

This is the first year since the Federal Levee Failure that I haven't been to New Orleans. (I went twice last year.) I'm not an expert. I'm a tourist. I visit and revisit for the food, the music, the art, the architecture, the decadence, the cemeteries, the bridges, the waterways, and, sure, the alcohol. Every trip, except one, I've been with Julie. Sometimes just the two of us; sometimes in a group.

I wish I were there. Maybe not today, exactly, as a storm named Isaac is battering and threatening the city on the seventh anniversary of Katrina's birth. But I wish I were there at some point. There's only so long I can go without eating at the Green Goddess. Or grabbing late-night snacks at the Quartermaster. Or hearing amazing music (from out on the sidewalk or inside with a seat) coming from Snug Harbor. Or covering myself with powdered sugar from Café du Monde. Or watching as Julie eats Acme oysters, which I think is about the strangest thing she does.

Isaac is not Katrina. Not nearly as mature. A little under-developed, in fact. But we'll read about how Isaac is like Katrina, and how Isaac has a more attentive upbringing than Katrina did, acting as though, with this second child, we've become better parents.

Katrina is the real star. She's still not that good of a swimmer; but she has learned to talk like an adult.

PTHS Redskins

The Port Townsend High School (where I graduated) got a new superintendent, who wants to get rid of the name 'The Redskins.' This name has been in use since at least 1926. (I haven't been able to figure out how to write "their mascot is the Redskins," so I'll have to ignore my subject/verb agreement for the rest of this.)

This is an issue many PT alumni feel strongly about. Some think the superintendent should be focusing on improving resources and educational opportunities. Some cling, almost religiously, to the name. Local natives, as in 1972 when this same issue came up, are fighting to save the name. Of course, others agree with the discontinuation, from mildly stating that the mascot is no longer appropriate for our times, all the way to emphatically declaring it racist and derogatory.

It is fascinating following this debate, taking place largely on an almost-public facebook group for PTHS alums, and on the opinion pages of the Port Townsend Leader.

Here's what I think: for now, keep the name. It's part of tradition and history for those in PT.

But don't ever name another team or school mascot that again.

Biblical View of Marriage #121: They just keep getting younger and younger

He [Jehoram] was thirty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem. He conducted himself like the kings of Israel of the line of Ahab, since the sister of Ahab was his wife; and he did evil in the Lord's sight.

(2 Kings 8:17-18, New American Bible)

He [Ahaziah] was twenty-two years old when he began his reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Athaliah; she was the daughter of Omri, king of Israel. He conducted himself like the house of Ahab, doing evil in the Lord's sight as they did, since he was related to them by marriage.

(2 Kings 8:26-27, New American Bible)
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