Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Happy Feast of the Bloggers!

Since my proffering of St. Brigid's cook St. Blath (pronounced Blah) didn't pass muster, today we celebrate the man whom Catholic bloggers everywhere have acclaimed as their patron saint!

He was a great scholar. He knew many languages. He fact-checked against original sources. He supported and was supported by fearless, scholarly and religious women. He successfully fought against the world, the flesh and the Devil.

And dang, did he understand flamewars.

St. Jerome -- we who are about to blog, salute you! Pray for us now, and in the hour of our thinking it's a good idea at the time. Give us your blessing, and drop a clue-by-four on our heads whenever we need it. Like you, saint and curmudgeon, may all our combativeness and words help us fight our way through to the Word made flesh, and may all our wandering and pilgrimages lead us to the Way. We ask also for the prayers of your patient friends, St. Paula and St. Eustochium, that we may be both patient friends ourselves and patiently befriended.

Patron saint of translators, pray for all of us crazy people who try to translate things, whether for a living or for fun, that our work may draw people together and teach them something of the truth. Pray also for the writers of translation programs, especially Babelfish, because they really are a help to folks.

In Christ our Lord, Amen.

St. Jerome, aka St. Hieronymus.

Since You Were Asking...

...down in the comment box, I'll answer. No, I don't live in the Dakotas. However, we have a lot of phonebooks where I work, and I come into contact with those phonebooks on a fairly regular basis. I have to tell you, it does wonders for your geography. (Not to mention your respect for pronunciation gazetteers.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Speculative Catholic

How did I not run into Speculative Catholic before?

The Unbearable Coolness of Last Names

It's always instructive to read phonebooks. Especially ones from North and South Dakota, with all those little towns' itsy-bitsy white pages.

Aadnes, American Horse, Antelope, Ayutapi, Azure.

Bad Heart Bull, Basaraba, Baumstarck, Bear Catches, Beitelspacher, Berreth, Big Bear, Big Eagle, Binfet, Bjerkness, Black Cloud, Black Fox, Black Moon, Blackhoop, Blue Earth, Blue Thunder, Bobtail Bear, Bonogofsky, Bovkoon, Brave Bull, Brekke, Brown Otter, Bubbers, Buchfinck, Buffalo Boy, Bullhead.

Carry Moccasin, Charging Cloud, Chase Alone, Chasing Bear, Chasing Hawk, Cheauma, Chiapputi, Crow Ghost, Crowshoe, Czapiewski.

Dammel, Dog Eagle, Dogskin, Dralle, Droog, Dumdie.

Eagleshield, Ebach, Eisenbraun, End Of Horn, Enzminger.

Fallgatter, Fast Horse, Flying By, Flying Horse, Follows The Road, Fool Bear, Four, Four Swords, Fourbear.

Gabbard, Gangl, Gazette, Glerup, Goldsack, Good Iron, Good Left, Grindstone, Guggolz.

Hairychin, Haraseth, Has Horns, Hatzenbuehler, Hetletved, High Elk, Hillius, Hilsendager, Hoisington, Holy Elk Face, Hosie.

Incognita, Iron Boulder, Iron Cloud, Ironroad, Ironshield, Iszler.

Jochim, Jutila.

Kadlec, Kaffar, Keepseagle, Kills Pretty Enemy, Klindworth, Klundt, Knispel, Kooker.

Lafromboise, Lamsters, Left Hand, Limesand, Long Feather, Looking Back, Looking Horse, Lukesh.

Mad Bear, Makes Him First, Many Horses, Manywounds, Marlenee, Mauai, Mayforth, Molash, Morlock, Muggli, Myllykangas.

Naasz, Nodak.

One Feather, Ongstad, Opoien.

Peerboom, Peyerl, Pipe Bear, Plenty Chief, Pulst.

Rainsberry, Red Tomahawk, Redlegs, Rising, Rising Sun, Rosebud, Rough Surface, Round Tree.

Schurhamer, See Walker, Sees The Elk, Shoestring, Situpiska, Skwarok, Soete, Spotted Horse, Szczur.

Taken Alive, Three Legs, Thunder Hawk, Treesoul, Treetop, Turgeon, Turning Heart, Two Shields.

Uhde, Uses Arrow, Uses Many.

Vaaler, Vachal, Valandra, Vavra, Vilhauer.

Wakole, Weispfening, White Lightning, White Mountain, White Temple, White Twin, Wingire, Wise Spirit, Wruck.

Yarlott, Yellow Bird, Yellow Earrings, Yellow Fat, Yellow Hammer, Yellow Lodge, Yineman, Ylitalo, Younker.

Zbasnick, Zeeb, Zimbro, Zinke, Zuther.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Song: The Fast Food of Love

I should probably explain that this song doesn't come from firsthand experience. However, it does come from personally watching too many of my friends do their best to mess up their lives and futures. And for what? If their boss treated them like this, they'd never have stayed a week!

The Fast Food of Love
Lyrics & Music: Maureen O'Brien

I remember working fast food --
The schedule always changin',
The busy pace derangin'
I remember working fast food
You lived your life around their plans.
You had to work like crazy,
And you never got all you need
And you know what that reminds me of?

CH: Polyamory
Way too much work for something free
If you really wanted sex that bad
Plenty easier ways to be had.
All your life's just a string of dates
Eating hamburger 'stead of steak --
The fast food of love.

I remember working fast food
You never got the hours
Though it was in their power
I remember working fast food
You had to work two jobs to eat.
You had to work like crazy,
And you got burned constantly.
And you know what that reminds me of?

I remember working fast food --
The days stretched on before you
They'd stress you and they'd bore you
I remember working fast food
'S why I don't work there anymore.
Even getting a promotion
Was really not that good
It meant you'd work your life away
Managing fast food!

Let's see if Blogger will let me put this song up this time....

Sunday, September 25, 2005


Richard Purtill is one of those fantasy writers whose books are very hard to find, but very good reads once you do. He's also one of the Tolkien scholars who don't cause me to talk back to the book in a loud and frustrated voice. (Not often, anyway!) That's one reason why I've always been disappointed that nobody else ever seemed to have heard of him, except for the hardcore old school Tolkien folks. (I guess I should have mentioned him to the folks from Washington state fandom.)

But now here's a nice little article on him. (He's still alive! Yay!) More importantly, here's his website, with reprints of some of his old novels and a good few new ones. (Even more yay!) I'm not sure if this JRR Tolkien: Myth, Morality and Religion is the same as Lord of the Elves and Eldils or not. (And you really don't want to know how many years of looking through used bookstores it took me to get a copy of that one.) I imagine it must be much expanded, if not wholly different.

And if anybody needs a DAW copy of The Parallel Man, I've got two.