stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)
Most archeologists thought there was nothing in the empty area west of Istanbul. However, the first person to perform an extensive dig has found an area inhabited - perhaps continuously - from 800,000 BC (yes, that's eight hundred thousand years) until an earthquake in the 18 Century AD. 

There's a two-page segment on the area in the November issue of Discover

The work there is known as the Bathonea excavations.

Copper Axe

Oct. 10th, 2017 10:49 am
stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)
They found another copper axe, similar in style, composition and age to that of Özti:
stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)

I finally got the  medications I was prescribed Saturday morning. I just took the first two antibiotic pills of the Z-Pack, plus the benzonatate.

Sick, Again

Oct. 7th, 2017 03:51 pm
stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)
I slept well most of the night, but woke a little after 7 soaked in sweat and feeling like I was in an oven. Got up, went to the john and drank some water and felt better. Slept fitfully the rest of the night. 

After a quick breakfast I shaved and dressed and went to the doctor's office this morning. Was diagnosed with (another) upper respiratory infection and prescribed an antibiotic and cough "pearls." Was told the prescription would be phoned in and confirmed which pharmacy.
Went to Krogers after lunch. They had no record of the prescription. Not even at the other Krogers in Frankfort. The doctor's office closes at Noon on Saturday. 
Why did I even bother getting cleaned up and driving through heavy traffic (Twice!) when i could have stayed home and been sick in peace? 
Staying in, probably all weekend. 
stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)

I wound up spending an extra hour and a half and $200 this afternoon. The battery in my car died fast and hard. Car started fine at Wal-Mart. When I left the doctor's office after my allergy shot it went "Clunk! Clickclickclickclickclicicklic."
The guy who answered my call tried jumping it but his portable pack was dead and he had to get another. Even then, the Mustang started hard wouldn't run long enough to make it to Advance Auto Parts. Fortunately, he was in a tow truck. 
Even after they jumped it and got it running at the shop their diagnostic showed the alternator not putting out enough voltage. The shop guy thought the car might need a new alternator plus a battery. I told him to install a new battery and check the car again. Car started immediately and now seems fine, alternator voltage back where it's supposed to be. This is its third battery for this car, a 2005 Mustang. 

The old battery had apparently developed an internal short which was even draining the alternator. So it was far worse than not holding a charge. 
I reset my radio and headed to Krogers to finish my shopping. :-)
stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)
That's definitely the quickest I've had a story rejected. This small press F/SF mag had the first day of their open submissions yesterday, and I used their online submission feature. Got the rejection by e-mail this morning.
stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)

The guideline used to be have supplies sufficient to last three days in the case of a disaster. That was the typical time for government resources to have enough infrastructure repaired for people to be able to restock. 

However, Irma caused so much havoc over so much of Florida that eight days later food and other consumables can't get to some areas and the inhabitants there can't travel far enough to reach a supply source. Some people are described as "scraping the bottoms of their cupboards."

Keep at least a week's worth of canned food on hand. It remains safe to eat indefinitely as long as the cans are not ruptured, bulged or rusted. Two weeks is better. You can cycle through your reserves to keep them fresh, or give stuff to food banks once it gets older than you like. Turn cans with liquids in them over twice a year to help maintain palatability. 

Have a way to heat food which does not depend on your utilities. A camping stove is good, and these can often be found cheap at yard sales and such. 

Learn how to use bleach to treat water for drinking and cooking. Have coffee filters on hand to remove silt and such before using the bleach. 

Have at least one battery powered AM/FM/Weather radio with spare batteries. Have at least one flashlight for each person, also with spare batteries. There are actually radio-flashlight combinations with solar panels and generator cranks which can even charge cell phones. The Etón Scorpion II is a good example. Those aren't cheap, but could literally be lifesavers. 

Keep the same two-week buffer for medications, vitamins and other such supplies. 

stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)
As I was coming home from gaming last night (first time in five weeks, yay!) I noticed several utility vehicles with lights flashing at the substation across the river from my neighborhood. I was therefore not very surprised when I got home to see the display on my microwave blinking. My alarm clock had the right time but the alarm settings had been cleared. However, everything on a UPS was still fine, including my DVR (which was recording as it was set to).
This meant the power had been off long enough that those two appliances to lost their minds, but not long enough for the UPSes to run down. The outage had also happened long enough before my return for the alarm clock (which sets the time by shortwave receiver) to have the right time. 
I reset the alarm part of the clock (time and radio station) and shortly after went to bed. 
About 3:15 I was awakened by the UPSes beeping and the bright light of the flashlight plugged into one of the bedroom wall outlets coming on. (This is one of several emergency flashlights I have which operate this way. Very handy when the power goes off at night.)
From what I could see looking out the windows, the power was out for my neighborhood and part of downtown Frankfort. It came back on in about fifteen minutes. Since I didn't need to be up at any particular time I didn't bother with the alarm clock. This morning it was again on the right time and again I had to set the alarm. 

Update from the Frankfort Plant Board: Power should now be restored to all areas. There was a break-in at a substation where vandals destroyed some equipment. The police have been notified. We apologize for the inconvenience to our customers. 
stickmaker: (Runner Bluegrass Elf)
Bizarrely, every time my AC comes on, my HDMI router blinks to another source. I'll be watching something through my cable box, the AC will come on and suddenly it's switched to an unused HDMI input.

I can hear my thermostat click from where I usually watch TV. It will click, and I lose the signal. I have to grab the remote and switch it back. 


Sep. 4th, 2017 03:11 pm
stickmaker: (Steamboat Abdominal Snowman)
Someone from a photography rental business has a post about how many of the pieces they rented out for the eclipse were returned damaged: 

Still Sick

Sep. 2nd, 2017 04:08 pm
stickmaker: (Marian Holst Adamant)
I had hoped to get to Lexington today, for shopping and gaming. I'm on the last day of antibiotics and when I first got up was feeling pretty good. However, as the day has gone on I've had several coughing fits, my sinuses have shut down, the tightness in the back of my neck has returned, and I'm feeling increasingly fatigued. 

Now, some of this - such as the neck problem - is likely due to weather changes aggravating my arthritis and allergies. Maybe all of it. However, if I'm not better Monday (or Tuesday, if their office isn't open on the holiday) I'm going back to the doctor. 

Another causative factor is that Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I had to do stuff I may simply not have been ready for. Like checking the sump pump at my Mother's house in the rain last night. :-(
stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)
Yesterday I downloaded and filled out a form to send to the folks who manage my IRA. I put it in my mailbox. It was gone when I brought in the mail later. 

Today - when checking to see if the mail had been delivered early - I found that envelope, laid down in my mailbox and hard to see, and soaking wet, with the stamp missing. 

The envelope was ruined. In fact, it fell apart as I was inspecting it. The form was in better shape, the three pages rather damp but intact. By good fortune the ink I used hadn't run. 

I addressed and stamped a new envelope, let the form dry for a while, then refolded it and put it in the new envelope. That went back in the box. Hopefully it gets picked up today. Monday is a holiday.  
stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)
A nice, Generations style meeting of the Supermen:
stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)

Happy Jack Kirby Day.
stickmaker: (Default)
In the sense of the curse...

My cable box was acting up and needed replacing. That wasn't the problem. The problem was one of the guys doing the work. He told me the way I had my DVR connected couldn't work. I noted, mildly, that I had been watching stuff recorded earlier in the week just the night before. He said the recorder would need its own tuner. "That's why I chose that model; it has a tuner." (Why do they even *make* recorders without tuners?!) I don't think he ever believed me. Instead of reconnecting the recorder the way I had it he used RCA cables to take a feed from the cable box. Which meant it could only record the channel the cable box was tuned to. He also told me to never turn the cable box off. ("Then why does it have a power button?" He responded by repeatedly telling me about how little power it used.)

I tried using the recorder his way and indeed it only showed the channel the cable box was tuned to. I reconnected it the way I had it before... and noticed a problem. It wasn't getting most of the channels it used to get. The channels which were missed appeared random. Also, one I regularly record on Saturday nights (MeTV, to get Svengoolie)  was now encrypted. (Note that this whole time the new cable box is working fine.)

I ran the channel scan. Things got worse. I ran it again. Things got a little better. 

The next day I tried a couple more times with the same results. I had a suspicion the cable guy had changed something in the cable box or when he called the office. 

Then I realized something. Something confirmed by a quick look with a light. I had connected the incoming cable to the output connection on the recorder, and vice versa. 

How that recorder found *any* channels that way I don't know. I switched the cables, ran the channel find function (for some reason it took two tries) and now it's fine. I think. Will check what I recorded last night later this day.
stickmaker: (Default)

Ancient Babylonian trigonometry tablet:

stickmaker: (Steamboat Abdominal Snowman)

Just saw a new headline: 

"Watching Hurricane Harvey Approach Texas From Orbit"
stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)


The couple woke slowly and mutually, cuddled in each others' arms. Normally, one or the other had to be up first, often by a good measure, but today - thanks to a combination of the Spring holiday and a low crime rate, but mostly due to the family being on vacation - was a rare day when they could both sleep in. The man of the family kissed his wife on the top of the head.


"So, how do you like your life?" said Randy, grinning. 


"Okay, I have a house in the suburbs of a city I love and I commute to work using tunnels built by a lost, subterranean culture," said Karen, ticking things off on her fingers, "I have a spouse who knows exactly how to please me..."


"Thank you," said Randy, kissing her on the forehead.


"I can take a trip to a tropical island any time I want, thanks to said spouse's job..."


"Sub-tropical," said Randy, still grinning. 


"I have a wonderful wife and a wonderful husband - who happen to be the same person - I have two wonderful children - one of whom I gave birth to myself. What's not to love?"


"Maaaaaa!" came a call. "When's breakfast? You said I couldn't make it myself any more. Maaaaaa!"


"Well, there's that," said Randy, throwing the covers back. 


"You can't fool me. You love that as much as I do," said Karen, doing likewise. 


They turned making breakfast into a family affair. As they sat eating their fresh, hot muffins, though, Randy noticed his wife looking both thoughtful and amused. 


"What are you thinking about?"


"A guy I used to date, in college," said Karen, with exaggerated innocence. "I still talk to him, occasionally."


"Why would us eating muffins make you think of him?"


"He's a nice guy," said Karen, "but he has this really annoying way of eating a muffin."


"How can eating a muffin be annoying?"


"Instead of taking bites out of it, he plucks pieces off and pops them in his mouth."


Randy leaned in close and gave her an evil grin. 


"I'll have to remember that."




He leaned back in his chair, laughing, while Roy looked back and forth between his parents, confused. Little Sarah didn't even notice, focused as she was on the very important matter of eating her hot, heavily buttered muffin. 


"I wonder what powers they'll get," said Randy, after a moment.


"They may not get any, remember," said Karen. She grinned at her daughter. "Though if Sarah gets _my_ powers she should call herself Giant Tess."


"You and your online comics," said Randy, rolling his eyes. 


Vacation this year saw Randy and family in a bungalow as guests of the school. Keeping Randy and Template separate from those who weren't in the know was causing some minor problems, but just now there were few students here and there was little need for Template, which made things easier. Unfortunately, they had just one more full day and a partial before they returned home. 


With the dishes rinsed and put in the dishwasher, they faced the dilemma of what to do until lunch.


"Jungle hike?" said Randy. "Lagoon swim? Ocean swim? Volcano fishing?"


"Volcano fishing!" yelled Roy.


"I'm pretty sure there's no such thing," said Karen, glaring at her husband. 


"Volcano fishing!"


"Roy, that was a joke," said Randy, realizing he was now in trouble with two members of his family. 


"Vo-canno fish!" yelled Sarah. 


Make that three members.


"Okay, we can hike up to the lookout point and take a look at the lava lake," said Randy, hoping that would satisfy the kids.


"Voooo-caaaaay-nooo!" howled Sarah, almost making it a song. 



Aug. 23rd, 2017 04:30 pm
stickmaker: (Steamboat Abdominal Snowman)
I am still sick, well past the two week limit for a cold. Even though I felt better last week, I spent the weekend coughing up chunks. So, I called the doctor this morning for the appointment, and knew when I did so that the service call I had in for my cable box would wind up being at the same time. Yep; ten minutes before I left home, the cable guy called So, that's rescheduled for tomorrow.. 
Well, it's not a cold. I should have gone in two weeks ago, but it felt like a cold. Doctor says it's some sort of bacterial respiratory infection. 
The doctor's visit went fine. They called in two prescriptions for me, but made me hand-carry the one for the cough syrup. Guess which one got there first?
The pharmacy never actually got the called-in prescriptions. I finally had to call the doctor and have them send the other two *again*. I was in Kroger's for over an hour. Then, when I finally got ready to leave, I realized I needed gas. Only every single pump was in use. No problem; I have to come back tomorrow anyway, for my cholesterol medicine, which wasn't ready. Argh.
Traffic on the way home was unusually stupid. At one point I had to change lanes for a traffic stop. As soon as she saw my turn signal come on the driver of the SUV in the lane behind me hit the gas. I got over anyway. Had to; the cop car was blocking the right lane. I don't think the SUV driver noticed; she was too busy with her phone. 
Got home and had two answering machine notifications that my prescriptions were ready - for medications I already had - from two different pharmacies. 
I'm staying in for a while. Like, maybe a month. 

Anyway, here's what he put me on:

  • Start Keflex : 500 MG 1 capsule Orally three times a day,10 days ,30 ,Refills: 0
  • Start Stahist AD : 25-60 MG 1/2 tab Orally twice a day,14 days ,14 ,Refills: 1
  • Start Tussionex Pennkinetic ER : 10-8 MG/5ML 5 ml as needed Orally every 12 hrs,07 days ,120 Milliliter ,Refills: 0
stickmaker: (Default)



Universal Monster History




Rodford Edmiston





This was assembled from a combination of watching many hours of old movies and talking about them with like-minded folks, as well as searching online. Corrections, additions and opinions are welcome. 



1880s Heinrich (Henry) von Frankenstein completes his medical studies in Ingolstadt and returns to the ancestral castle home in the Swiss Bavarian village of Frankenstein, near the German border. 


1890s Henry - bored with the local politics and unable to practice medicine - begins researching the origins of life. He builds a modern (for the time) laboratory in an old watchtower near the castle. 


1898, Spring The Monster is created. (Frankenstein)


1898, Summer Henry and Elizabeth marry. The old Baron dies, and Henry inherits the title. 


1899, Spring Henry's old teacher - Dr. Pretorius - arrives in Frankenstein and encourages his student to continue his work by creating a mate for his Monster. The Bride homunculus is created, then destroyed by the Monster, along with Dr. Pretorius and the watchtower. (Bride of Frankenstein)


1905 Wolf von Frankenstein born. Lawrence (Larry) Talbot born.


1906 Ludwig von Frankenstein born. Later inherits the family estate in Vasaria, Austria.


1923 Larry Talbot leaves his family home to go to the US, where he eventually becomes an accomplished telescope maker and technician in Los Angeles.


1928 Wolf von Frankenstein marries American heiress Elsa. They meet while he is studying medicine in the US. She is of Swiss descent, from a disentitled but wealthy branch of a noble family. Wolf's younger brother Ludwig later names his eldest child in honor of his mother's aunt. This daughter later inherits her father's titles and properties. 


1929 Henry dies, and is buried with his experimental records in a secret crypt under the ruined watchtower. These include his work with Dr. Pretorius on the creation of the Bride homunculus and what survived of the documents Pretorius brought with him.


1930 Elizabeth moves the family to Vasaria.


1931 A vampire identifying himself as Count Dracula arrives in London. (Dracula)


Countess Marya Zaleska arrives to claim her father's body and attempt to break the family curse. (Daughter of Dracula)


Though she cremates his body, this is on an open funeral pyre and she leaves quickly, before the body is completely consumed. Afterwards someone discovers Dracula's skeleton, which is not only still intact but articulated, with the stake and Dracula's distinctive ring in place. Somehow, the skeleton is later acquired by a showman. 


Dr. Gustav Niemann - inspired by the accomplishments of Henry von Frankenstein - attempts the first known brain transplant. This fails, disastrously. He is subsequently sentenced to prison. (Dr. Niemann is the brother of Henry Frankenstein's assistant, Fritz Niemann.)


1935 Werwolf of London


During the next decade the supernatural and bizarre seem to be stimulated by the world's descent into war. 


1937 Mad shepherd Ygor hung, but survives. Begins living in the watchtower. Discovers and befriends the Monster.


1939 Wolf von Frankenstein returns to his ancestral home. (Son of Frankenstein)


Following these events, Wolf gives Ludwig both his notes on his study of the Monster and many of the records from their father's library. He may be unaware of the journals and notes interred with his father. 


1940 Ygor takes the weakened Monster to Vasaria to seek the aid of Ludwig von Frankenstein. (Ghost of Frankenstein 1943) 


After he is badly injured by the Monster, Ygor's brain is transplanted into its body. Shortly after - during a confrontation between the Igor Monster and Ludwig - he falls into a glacial cavern beneath the hospital. 

(Both Vasaria and the cross-border sister town of Visaria are a three-day wagon ride from Frankenstein village.)


1941 Larry Talbot returns to his family home in Llanwelly, Wales. There he becomes the Wolfman and is apparently killed by his father. (The Wolfman)


Sometime during this period, traveling showman Bruno Lampini acquires the staked body of "the original" Count Dracula.


1943 (Son of Dracula)


1945 With the War over, Europe tries to settle into a period of recovery. However, it was not to be, at least on the monster front. 


The tomb of Lawrence Talbot is violated by grave robbers. Revived by the full Moon, the Wolfman kills both of the men who disturbed his rest. Larry Talbot is later found wandering the streets with a severe head wound and amnesia. He comes under the care of surgeon and psychiatrist Frank Mannering. Eventually, he reconnects with Maleva. Together, they travel to Vasaria and Talbot finds the Monster frozen in glacial ice under the wreckage of the hospital. Dr. Mannering arrives and agrees to help cure or kill Talbot. Larry lures Baroness Elsa Frankenstein back to Vasaria, and convinces her to help him, as long as that includes destroying the Monster. She reveals the hiding place of Ludwig's notes. Eventually, both the Wolfman and the Monster are washed back into the ice cavern when the dam is blown. (Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman 1943)


Dr. Niemann and Daniel are freed from Neustadt Prison in a freak thunderstorm. 


Niemann and Daniel travel to the ruined Frankenstein castle in Vasaria, hoping to find Ludwig's lost records. They discover the Monster and Talbot frozen in ice in the cavern below. Talbot finds Ludwig's records and the group (which by now included the Rom woman Ilonka) travels to Niemann's old lab near Visaria (not Vasaria; a city with a similar name just across the border in Germany). During the second full Moon after their arrival Ilonka shoots the Wolfman with a silver bullet, dying in the process.


Alarmed by the horrible events of the past few weeks (Wolfman murders, kidnappings, strange doings at the old lab) villagers storm the lab. Niemann is injured and the Monster carries him into the grassy bog, but the villagers set fire to the grass. The Monster moves deeper into the bog - ignoring Niemann's warnings of quicksand - until they both sink into it. (House of Frankenstein 1944)


1947 Dr. Franz Edelmann purchases Niemann's laboratory and - with his assistants Milizia and the hunchbacked Nina - turns it in to a medical research and experimental treatment institution.


Dr. Edelmann has been working on a mysterious fungus, the clavaria formosa (One wonders what connection this might have with the elusive Mariphasa lumina lupina plant. Perhaps the fungus infested the plant or its soil, unknown to Dr. Glendon and Dr. Yogami?) to produce extracts which have the ability to reshape bone structure. What he does not know is that the same fluid can temporarily prevent werewolves from transforming.


Roughly a year later, a mysterious man calling himself Baron Latos arrives. He tempts Edelmann into delving into more arcane areas by pretending he wants to be cured of his vampirism. He also claims to be Dracula himself, though he provides little support for this. Lawrence Talbot arrives not long after, also seeking a cure. At one point, despairing of a cure before the full Moon rises that night, Talbot throws himself off a cliff. Seeking him, the Doctor finds both Talbot and the Monster. The latter was carried into the caverns by the quicksand, and though quiescent is still alive and holding the skeleton of Dr. Niemann. 


Exactly what Latos's original plans are is uncertain, but among other things he contaminates Dr. Edelmann with his blood. Despite this, Edelmann, Talbot and Milizia destroy the vampire with sunlight. Soon after - even though he is periodically transforming into his own monstrous form - Edelmann manages to temporarily cure Talbot. Villagers - believing the monstrous form of Edelmann is the Wolfman - follow him to the laboratory. Edelmann revives the Monster, but it is very weak. Edelmann kills Nina and fights the police and Talbot. Larry grabs a gun and shoots Edelmann. A fire starts, and the Monster is trapped inside; Talbot and the surviving attackers flee. (House of Dracula 1945)


1948 Larry Talbot discovers a plot by Dracula to revitalize the Monster in the United States. (Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein)


This is apparently the "real" Dracula, or at least the individual who appeared in London in Dracula. Talbot identifies him as Dracula, but makes no mention of Baron Latos, his presumably only previous encounter with Dracula. 







Klausenburgh is a Romanian city in the Carpathian Mountains not far from Castle Dracula


Transylvania was the home of a 10,000 year-old werewolf queen known as Stirba. (The Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf)

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