The story of Orion and Cassiopeia: Part 2

The story of Orion and Cassiopeia: Part 2

via WordPress katzenworld.co.uk/2016/12/24/the-story-of-orion-and-cassi…
If you’ve missed Part 1 click here!

Parker and the swat
Eventually we adopted another cat, this one we named Parker for his short gray fur, which looked like it was parkerized. He was another one who adopted us, asking my partner for a place to stay. He was fairly well mannered, yet somewhat timid. Orion mentored him. This involved training in household rules and the occasional swat when he needed it. I found it a little odd, because Parker was an unaltered male, but Orion knew who was truly master of the house, and his lack of fuzzy pompoms meant nothing. He still had muscles of steel when he needed them, and he beat Parker at wrestling every time.

Once, Orion caught Parker sitting in a window he wasn’t supposed to be in. With a single smooth motion, he grabbed Parker with his paws and threw him bodily out of the window seat. It was the most amazing display of kitty-judo I’ve ever seen. Even though he became a little enforcer, Orion was still gentle when he needed to be. I often saw him washing Parker, gently tussling with him, or sleeping with him in a ball.

One day, though, our cats had cause to worry. Parker had come to us with worms, so they all needed to be treated. My partner and I both anticipated trouble. Orion would probably deal with it fine, but Parker and Cassiopeia were growler-yowlers when it came to pills. Yet, the pills needed to be administered, no matter what, so we came up with a plan. We’d use a towel and a syringe of water so that ever-popular pill would go down. First, we tried it the nice way, holding the cats on our laps and talking to them gently, explaining why we needed to give them the odious pill, and telling them they wouldn’t be hurt. Parker was first, and he didn’t listen at all. Instead he tried to scratch us. With no choice left, out came the Towel of Doom. Now he really acted like he was being murdered.

As Parker was struggling and yowling, I saw Orion come up behind him. I was surprised by what Orion did next. Instead of sympathy, he delivered a hearty whack to Parker’s towel-wrapped rear end! It was as if he was saying “calm down, you idiot!” We pilled Parker, then wrapped Cassiopeia up. She started howling and doing the same things Parker had. Orion gave her a whack too, but not as hard.
Now it was Orion’s turn for the pill. I looked at him, standing there, not running away or hiding. I asked him “are you going to take your pill like a good boy?” He still didn’t run, so I took him onto my lap and gave him his pill with a minimum of fuss, without even the need for a syringe of water. No scratching, no biting, not even one yowl. He still trusted me. I petted him and told him he was a good boy.

The Fall of Basement Cat
We had several good years together. When we discovered Lolcats and the Cheeseburger Network, we decided that Orion must really be Basement Cat. He didn’t seem to disagree, but only gave us the Evil Kitty stare that he’d perfected, as if to prove our point.

Eventually our fortunes changed. My partner, Orion, Cassiopeia and I moved first to Nevada, then Arizona. Parker had to be re-homed. We’d lost our house and had nowhere to go but south. So south we went, in search of work and warmth.
Arizona was lovely, very different than damp Washington and dry Nevad. We were lucky and found someone who let us camp in their yard, while I was waiting for my first paycheck from my new job. Cassiopeia was doing all right, but Orion fell ill. He’d probably gotten a case of Valley Fever, most likely from when he had his first ecstatic roll in Arizona dust. Valley Fever lives in dust, and it’s a fungal infection that can be fairly difficult to treat even with veterinary care. My boy would have needed strong antifungal medications and probably IV treatment. No vet would talk to us, however, and with my recent history I couldn’t qualify for carecredit. We grew desperate. Orion stopped eating and lost weight no matter what we did. Despite our best efforts, and my partner’s attempts at CPR at the end, Orion passed from this world at about two AM in December, cradled in our arms.

His loss tore me up inside. I sobbed all night, inconsolable. In the morning, we laid him in the ground, digging through the hard Arizona soil, laboriously making a hole large enough and deep enough for his body to be protected. My partner wrapped him in her favorite sweater, that he’d so often liked to sleep on, and we said a few words over his grave. We put him under a tree where birds lived, bred and chattered, where he’d loved to watch them. I told my mother and she donated to a cat charity, putting the gift in his name. A big part of my life was gone. Now I’d lost my home, and my best friend.

We both mourned him for a long time. We missed him so much – he had been such a vibrant presence in our lives. Gradually as the pain faded, we realized he wasn’t truly lost. His body might have been in the ground, but his spirit was still with us. We felt him curled up at our feet at night, or stropping against our legs during the day. With his physical form gone, he was set free to follow us where he willed. Cassiopeia had mourned him just as much as we did, but we’ve caught her playing with his spirit too, late at night. Every once in a while they’ll still have one of their chase-games.

Hope Springs Eternal
We found an apartment, moved in, settled down. I got used to my new job and realized it was better working in this town then where I’d come from, and the pay was better with lower cost of living. We started to see there was hope. At the same time, we discovered more things about our Cassiopeia when she embraced her role as Only Cat.
For one, we noticed that her skull was rather highly domed, with plenty of room for brains in there. As she grew older and wiser, she began really showing her intelligence. We learned that she liked the sound of Japanese better than English, so her name morphed into “Nezumi,” which means “Mouse” in Japanese, because she liked that better than either Cassiopeia or Mouse. We learned she could throw her toys, sometimes quite high. We also learned how well she understood us, and how much she missed Orion. We heard her imitate his meow, and sometimes wake up late at night, calling for him.

Nezumi took over Orion’s old duties, putting us to bed when it was time, and watching for me when it time for me to come home from work. Later, she learned her own tricks, like patting us on the knee or cheek when she wanted something, or wrapping her tail around one of our wrists to hold hands. She discovered eat lettuce which she loves to eat, and she is an inveterate hunter of moths. At one point, she even learned the command to lie down! It’s not a trick, but rather her understanding of our request and complying with it. She can even tell time. You can say “Nezumi-chan, one more hour. Bother me then.” She’ll understand.

Now she’s our artist’s cat. She oversees all writing and drawing in the house, watches over our computer use, monitors my blogging. She’s also happy to pose for photographs.

Into the Future….
We moved to a better place with tile floors and wonderful light, and now our girl has a big front window she can see me come home in and watch the birds through. Her legs, once so weak, are strong and staying that way with the help of her daily dose of Cosequin. She’s getting a little older now but is still very full of life. It’s plain she remembers Orion and what he taught her…

… because she still puts us to bed at night, and wakes us in the morning…

All images and text in this entry copyright Rohvannyn Shaw of Mindflight, used with permission on Katzenworld.

Filed under: Guest Posts Tagged: #katzenworld, ねこ, cat, cat story, cats, cute, 猫, funny, guest post, ネコ, katze, katzen, kawaii, personal story

Posted by katzenworld on 2016-12-24 07:08:10

Tagged: , Guest , Posts , #katzenworld , ねこ , cat , story , cats , cute , 猫 , funny , post , ネコ , katze , katzen , kawaii , personal

The Scarlet Crusader

The Scarlet Crusader

} Relative to my other stories, this segment takes place earlier in the careers of Clayface and other featured characters.

Hey, my name’s Wally West. I’m one of the, what, nine or so people that’ve been dubbed “The Fastest Man Alive”? … I’d say I’m at least the second fastest, especially when you factor in that some of those guys can only reach top speed on straightaways, I happen to know two of them are doppelgängers, and really, I’d call Savitar more of a sprinter… I, uh, don’t like to get hung up on technicalities.

I’m an invaluable member of the Justice League, and not just for my powers. I’ve got a winning personality that neither hardened space-cops nor immortal warriors can resist. Even Batman likes me. Or, “trusts me”… Trusts me enough to protect his city, and that’s saying a lot, for him. He contacted me this morning, explaining that he has business on the other side of the world, something about his ex and a pool turning people into zombies… I don’t think I would’ve gotten the gist of it, even if he’d expounded. He says he’ll make it back by tonight, and if it were anyone else but him (or me, I guess), I wouldn’t have believed them.

Being Batman for a few hours doesn’t sound so bad, but the thing is, I’ve got a decent system with the Rogues back in Keystone. They’re good at avoiding collateral damage, usually even-tempered about the “getting arrested” part… Even got Tarpit to take it to an abandoned lot the other week. I’ve heard Gotham has less cordial villains. And more of them. And more than a few citizens that have had their share of false vigilantes running around. Nothing a dashing guy like me can’t work around!

0.082 seconds after I stepped boot inside city limits (I was taking it slow until I saw some action), I was in the GCPD precinct to let the commissioner know about the changing of the guard, maybe catch a whiff of a case that could use solving. Turns out you don’t need the Speed Force to find a crime scene in Gotham. The nice officer at the front desk informed me that a break-in had occurred INSIDE the station at dawn.

*flash*

GCPD EVIDENCE STORAGE

I probably should’ve thought about how people from around here aren’t used to a red and yellow lightning bolt zipping through buildings. I might not have made the lasting impression of causing the portly detective before me to hurl his styrofoam coffee cup into the air. I caught it too late to save his shirt.

Detective: What IS this?!

Me (handing the cup back): This is yours. (pointing at his stains) THIS is my dry-cleaning bill, sorry pal. (jerking both thumbs at my chest) And THIS is Gotham’s substitute hero for the day, made with 100% less angst.

Detective (glowing crimson): I’m gonna wring the Bat-freak’s neck! What’s he do, take sick days now??

Another detective walks in around a shelf. Her uniform is tidy, her hair even more so.

Detective #2: Don’t tell me you MISS the Bat now, Bullock.

Bullock: If he’s gonna be a nuisance, I’d prefer he be a predictable one. Now he’s phoning up other leotards to come stick their noses in my cases!

Me: “Leotards”. I get it.

Detective #2 (offering a handshake): Detective Montoya. Batman already got in touch with the commissioner, told us you’d be here before we knew it.

Me: That’s my thing. So… don’t take this the wrong way, but how…

Montoya: … did we let someone sneak into our evidence room and get away? We’re in the middle of breaking up a gang dispute at the docks AND a massive manhunt for a birthday-obsessed serial killer. The station has been practically vacant, and no one’s had time to fully assess our latest acquisitions.

I look over the unsorted items that have halved the room’s capacity, all strewn across tables.

Bullock: Hands off. I don’t care if you ARE wearing’ gloves!

Me: You don’t have to tell me that… although I could touch everything in here, and if you blinked, you would never know.

Bullock’s mouth opens wide enough to ensnare passing birds, but Montoya interjects.

Montoya: Cameras were wiped. I know it looks like a mess, but we’ve had a dozen other of our people take inventory, and nothing’s been nicked. Someone came and went without lifting a single thing…

Me: … Had the sense to take out the cameras…

Bullock (unwrapping a toothpick): … But was sloppy enough to set off the alarm. It’s gotta be some goon screwin’ around with no real plan in mind.

Montoya: On top of all that, if they touched anything in here, we’ll never find it against a hundred other fingerprints.

Amidst the chaos, a computer monitor and what appears to be a heavily modified hard drive catch my eye.

Me: Mhm… What’s the story with this?

Bullock (hurriedly): Some guy we nabbed last week; Etienne Guiborg, “The Dealer”. Thinks he’s a real mastermind, but we dismantled his illegal auctioning ring without any fight at all.

Montoya: He has his OWN inventory on that computer; thousands of heisted weapons, artifacts, and their locations. Once our schedule lightens up, we’re hunting down every last one. Actually…

Me: You need a speed-reader. On it.

Bullock: Wait a minute, I’ve seen you in the papers before. Can’t you do that, whatsit called, time-hole thing? Go back a few hours and catch the perp in the act!

Me: Do you want to run the risk of my actions causing a ripple in reality that changes this timeline to one where everyone is biologically half-chicken, all on the account of stopping an opportunistic thief?

Bullock: …

Me: Time travel’s nuts, man.

*flash*

Me: Hey, anyone else notice this down here?

The detectives lean under the desk to where I went to plug in the machine.

Me: This outlet has dust all over it, but the lower socket, it’s clean. And what do you know… The Dealer’s extension cord has dust between the tines.

Bullock: Sunuva… they DID swipe something!

I think it over for 0.053 seconds (I’m sluggish on weekends), then a light bulb switches on.

Bullock: Well, are you gonna plug it in? They may have wiped the memory!

Me: Don’t touch anything.

Bullock: You can’t tell ME not-

*flash*

*Scotch tape obtained from main office*

*flash*

I begin tearing tape and sticking every inch of the keyboard’s surface.

Montoya: What is he-

*flash*

Me (thrusting fistfuls of tape towards them): LOOK!

Bullock: … Congratulations genius, you managed to get NO fingerprints on even one of ‘em.

Montoya: Wait… no fingerprints? But it hasn’t been dusted, not since we busted The Dealer.

Me: YEAH!

Bullock: Would you care to let us in on whatever harebrained theory you just concocted?

Me: No time, but I’ll have your guy in a jiffy.

Bullock: “NO TIME”, he says!

Me: Uhh, I’m going to need…

*flash*

Me: (arms loaded with twenty-odd tape dispensers): … all of these. I’ll restock, promise.

*flash*

Montoya: Under that mask, I’d put money on him being CSI.

Bullock: I’d put money on him being a fruitcake.

***

Thirty intersections later, and I find myself at what I’m hoping is the bad guy’s lair. A middle school, deserted for the summer. Everything’s fitting together.

*flash*

My entrance, like last time, startles the classroom’s occupant. This time, they drop a neatly-organized box of Crayola. This time, I don’t bother to recover it. Villains don’t deserve neatly-organized boxes of Crayola. I rush forward and slug the surprised criminal in his cylindrical mask. He careens over the desks, and catch him by the collar on the opposite side of the room, before he has an unfriendly run-in with the floor.

Me: Alright, pencil-neck, talk to me.

Eraser: Hands off the suit! Do you know how much money you have to sink into a cyber-yellow pinstripe suit? Did you even know CYBER-YELLOW was a color?!

Me (lowering him): Okay, noted, the suit’s expensive.

Eraser: How did you FIND me??

Me: Familiarity with GCPD’s layout and security, leaving no evidence behind but still tripping an alarm to show off… Fits your m.o. like a glove. I do my supervillain homework before I go barging into other cities. You couldn’t resist wiping off the keyboard, so I had a hunch you also compulsively cleaned other public property before use… like crosswalk buttons. After some trial and error, and no small amount of tape, I tracked y-

Eraser (scoffing): Aaand Batman would have me snitching by now. You’re not so fast.

Me: Trust me, you don’t want me to get too Batman on you, or…

Eraser (dramatically): You wouldn’t be able to come back from the darkness?

Me: I was going to say it might make me physically ill. Speedsters eat way more than the average person every day, and if I vomit, it’ll be one heckuva mess to clean up. One that you probably won’t be able to ignore.

Eraser: … That’s the flimsiest, most contrived threat; you can’t actually get physically ill from tha-

Me (crossing arms): I’ll self-induce it.

Eraser: You wouldn’t…

Me: Tell me what you saw on Dealer’s database.

Eraser: Okay look, some guy I’ve never seen before hired me. Says he knew about Dealer’s confiscated computer, and wanted me to get him inside just for five minutes to look around. It’s not like I cared what he was doing, so I have no idea what he got out of it. But I know what I got out of it: Stencils. The good stuff.

Me (gritting teeth): I’m a millisecond away from collecting all the gum under the desks in this place and putting them inside your mask.

Eraser: EDWARD BURKE! I heard him whispering “Edward Burke” over and over! I’ve got nothing else!

Me: That’s oddly useful. Okay, I’m arresting you now.

*flash*

GCPD HOLDING CELLS

Me: I’d appreciate it if you confessed to your crimes, whenever they happen to notice you in here. I’m sort of up against the clock.

Eraser: Nothin’. doin’.

Me (locking Eraser in): By the way, you made me waste a bunch of these guys’ tape just to find you. Why can’t you Gotham rogues all hang out at a bar, like they do in Keystone?

*flash*

Eraser: … A supervillain bar… huh.

BURKE INSTITUTE OF ASTRONOMY (formerly Norbet Institute of Astronomy)

I pause for a entire 1.4 seconds to confirm the sign outside, before crashing through the main entrance and finding my way to the development facility. Machinery is scattered across the tiles, beakers bubble uncontrollably… and a man that looks like an astronaut suffering from insomnia is slouched on the floor, rewiring the circuitry running through his suit’s chest-plate.

Me: Dr. Edward Burke?

Burke: Oh, have you been here long? I’m very sorry, I’ve been preoccupied with my work for…

He glances at a wrinkled calendar, halfway lodged in a drawer near his head.

Burke: … a solid two weeks now, I suppose. Time management was never my strongest quality.

Me: Don’t get me started. Look, I know all about Etienne Guiborg using your laboratory to store his wares, and I think we can resolve this without any violence…

Burke (perking up): That name! I heard about him in the newspaper not long ago. Oh, no sir, I’m not involved with any smuggling, I must affirm! No, no more business with supervillains. My old boss Irving Norbet, he was a very bad fellow! Tried to use our technology to rob banks!

Me: You’re wearing the suit right now.

Burke (toying with small components and dials on the suit): AM I?!? … Ah, so I am. Well, it really has quite fascinating functions; I’m only looking to improve the design, not use it for anything nefarious, absolutely not! Dr. Norbet only did what he did after overexposure to a strange meteor we were analyzing… messed with his head. This was all confirmed by the police!

I take a quick survey of the room while he’s rambling, spotting a grey mass perched on a workbench, shrouded in a sort of haze, like it’s giving off energy.

Me (scowling): Does this meteor look anything like that one sitting over there, NOT in its container and likely effecting you?

Burke: Dear… dear me. Well, this all must look highly suspicious! If you didn’t believe I was innocent, as I’m sure anyone as keen as you would, you might be very confused by the circumstances.

Me: Actually I’m… still comprehending the idea that two people in this timeline wanted to use the name “Planet Master”.

Then the most embarrassing thing that can happen to a speedster happened; I got ambushed. Enough volts to jumpstart Gotham City shoot through my body, launching me straight through the reinforced wall of Burke’s Institute and into the evening air, leaving me a smoking red heap on freshly-cut grass.

… I’d like to take an intermission from my story to clarify that accelerated perception is a superpower that has to be turned on. OKAY? It takes a lot of adrenaline and carbs to activate. I can’t just see EVERYthing in slow-motion. … Moving on.

I crane my head and spit out a mouthful of sod, while my eyes adjust to see my attacker stepping through the Flash-shaped hole in the building. He’s dressed in black armor, orbs of electricity wavering in his fists, and grinning like a wild dog. Lester Buchinsky.

Electrocutioner: Heh. Friend of mine tipped me off that some hero might come poking around here tonight. Not the one I was hoping for, but murderers can’t be choosers.

Me (feeling Speed Force welling up inside me again): Just keep talking there, friend-o, I’ll be with you in a sec.

Electrocutioner (unfazed): Overheard you talking to that idiot Burke. You really think our kind would trust our gear with him? Be caught DEAD working with him?

Me: Yeah, well, the bar’s set pretty low, Taserface.

Electrocutioner: That’s it.

Before he can lift his arm to incinerate me, I dart at his midsection, only to once again rebound and land in the planters HARD.

Electrocutioner: Like the force-field? I’ve been upgrading. Get this…

I roll out of the way of a bolt lobbed from his fist, leaving it to carve a charred path across the lawn.

Electrocutioner (admiring the gloves): They’re projectile now.

Me: Mama Buchinsky must be proud.

I begin running circles around him, as Electrocutioner jerks around to try and draw a bead on me. The faster I punch him, the more the force-field will resist. If I try running at him at a normal pace, his gauntlets will meet their mark before I can land a blow. So… I guess I’ll have to try letting him hit me again.

I take a detour to the parking lot, rip the tires and hoods of off two vans, and race back to Electrocutioner before he knows I’m gone. I come to a halt and plant the hoods on either side of me, with the tires wrapped around my torso. Now for the only part of this plan that I know will 100% work…

Me: Yo, Shocker!

Electrocutioner lets loose a solid flow of electricity from his hand to me, and I brace myself as it races directly at my chest. My suit is a conductive elastomer: Good for streamlining my own charge, but the Speed Force doesn’t play nicely with outside currents. That’s why this guy is even a slight threat to me. Car tires, on the other hand, are great insulators. Or so I’ve heard. I’m really hoping that’s true.

Electrocutioner’s assault strikes the tires. I still feel it. A lot. But I force myself to stay put. As I hoped, Electrocutioner only pours on more power when he sees I’m still standing. I have no idea how much juice he has left in those gloves, or if I can outlast them. Just as everything starts turning grey and I feel my knees giving out, the pain stops, and he’s standing with outstretched arms and sputtering gloves, and I’M standing with two car hoods locked in potential difference.

Electrocutioner: Wha-?

Me: Capacitor. Seriously, you should know what that is.

*flash*

Electrocutioner collapses with a black eye. I shake out my knuckles and check on Burke, who’s still tinkering away carelessly. Maybe whoever hired Eraser thought to make up Edward Burke a ruse, just to sic Electrocutioner on anyone potentially tracking him. In which case, I was looking at a dead end, unless Electrocutioner wasn’t as dumb as he looked. As I go to interrogate my third supervillain today, I notice something on Electrocutioner’s fingertips and boot soles.

Salt. I hadn’t drained his power supply with my capacitor at all; salt was its own dielectric, and enough had accumulated on his weapon to short-circuit the system when Electrocutioner overdid it. The question of why it would be anywhere near his equipment came to me just as quickly as the answer. Salt. The Dealer’s storage space. I knew where I had to look next.

*flash*

WAMPUM UNDERGROUND, PENNSYLVANIA (a lively 300+ mile jog from Gotham) {

I zip into the mineshaft-turned-warehouse, slowing once I pass into the restricted sections, and all ambient light winks out. I try to muffle the slap of my boots on the expansive floor, but the echo is unstoppable. Rubbing my palms together at just the right speed, I generate a steady flow of Speed Force sparks, enough to brighten a few feet around me. I’m in the right place; old movie props, autographed portraits, film reels stacked to the ceiling…

A mannequin with a camera for the head…

*flash*

Only this time it wasn’t me. Blinding white like I’ve never seen washes over my field of vision, and I stagger backwards, trying to shake it off.

Voice #1: Feeling a little EXPOSED?

Something damp and heavy envelops why chest and neck, lifting me off the floor. My head is still spinning, and before I think to phase through the restraint, I’m slammed back down. The back of my skull hits a metal shelf, and at once my strength gives out. I lay there stunned, barely picking up on another voice past the ringing in my ears. A choked, slithery sort of voice.

Voice #2 (sighing): “The Flash”, is it? No need to fret, in that event; your concussion will clear right up in a few hours, no doubt. You ARE one of those heroes that can heal. Makes for such dull, tensionless action sequences.

Me: What… are you looking… for, in here… Clayface?

Clayface: Ah, I needn’t introduce myself, how convenient. I see The Batman DOES brief his minions before sending them to their doom.

Me (ignoring him): Let me guess… a potter’s wheel? Been… wanting to lose some weight and… make a nice vase at the same time?

Voice #1: A regular Bob Hope, this guy.

Clayface (ignoring me in turn): You still managed to locate us.

Me: What, after you sent me on a goose-chase after Planet Master? Your hired meathead still had some salt on him from when he was, I guess, helping you break into this place? I already knew you were looking for something The Dealer had hidden away… Salt, secret stash…

I hear Clayface walking closer.

Me: … Salt mines. The moisture is great for preserving all kinds of stuff. I went to the one out in Hutchinson, Kansas for a field trip.

His pace stops inches from my face.

Clayface: I RIGHTFULLY assumed Eraser would betray me. I had not known he overheard my mention of Edward Burke until he queried me later on, and so I concocted a lie for him to pass on to YOU.

Me (the pain in my temple worsening): If you weren’t… looking for Edward Burke after all, then what… did Eraser hear?

Clayface: He heard correctly. I am looking for an Edward Burke… Edward C. Burke…

There’s a sound of metal clunking into metal; Clayface’s accomplice rummaging through the film reels. One last crash, and a whoop of excitement reverberates through the cavern.

Voice #1: Right where the computer said it was, Karlo!

Clayface (clasping his grimy palms): Splendid, Mr. Camera! You see, FLASH… Edward C. Burke is portrayed by the great Lon Chaney, in the lost film “London After Midnight”. That is to say, formerly-lost. The Dealer did indeed possess many antiquities.

Me: You… tampered with evidence in police custody, hired an… assassin, and broke into this place for a MOVIE?

Clayface: I cannot always gratify the wild imaginations of you vigilantes, assuming we supervillains are continuously out for blood, dreaming up blueprints for world domination. A film like this deserves to be in the care of someone who can appreciate it, not lock it away.

Me: And “Mr. Camera”; you suckered a C-Lister into… helping you with this insane hobby?

Mr. Camera: He’s in it to build a legacy. Me, I’m making a scrapbook.

Clayface (amused): You are so deluded, speedster, you think anyone branded a criminal has no allegiances to their own, never without an ulterior motive. Eraser, Electrocutioner, they knew precisely what they were in for. Now look at yourself, bludgeoned like a dumb animal, conveniently in a deep hole to have dirt poured over you… Did The Batman offer you some compensation for this humiliation? Why would he appreciate your reckless heroics when he would gladly sacrifice himself in the same manner, in the “righteous pursuit of evil”, and think nothing of it? … I could smother you right now, but I choose to leave you alive…

His footsteps leave in the direction of the mine’s entrance.

Clayface: … I do not wish to instigate bad relations with the Rogues. Unlike you noble heroes, I value partnerships. I would not dream of robbing them of their favorite quarry. Let us withdraw, Mr. Camera.

Mr. Camera follows him. I feel something light and stiff bounce off my arm. A Polaroid photo.

Mr. Camera (sneering): Here. I think I got your good side.

I muster the energy for one more sentence.

Me: Heroes don’t… need a pat on the back to feel… good about the work they do. You’re right, we hardly ever know what we’re… getting into… aside from our eventual deaths. That’s okay, because… we’re not living for ourselves…

The waves of nausea take their toll, and I pass out. Whether or not Clayface was still near enough to hear me, I can’t shake the feeling my words have fallen on deaf ears.

Posted by Gallisuchus (Clayface) on 2019-04-12 17:14:19

Tagged: , lego , dc , flash , superhero , villains , mystery , story , eraser , mr , camera , electrocutioner , custom , detective , montoya , bullock , planet , master , minifigures , basil , karlo , anthology , clayface

ASTRODOME SHELTERS KATRINA VICTIMS

ASTRODOME SHELTERS KATRINA VICTIMS

Snapshot taken by Linden Hudson in 2005 outside of the Astrodome. He was working as a sound man with a national tv network. It’s very late at night as a caravan of busses nears the Astrodome with refugees from Hurricane Katrina. They will be housed in the Astrodome and will sleep in the open arena.

Who is Linden Hudson?

CLASSICBANDS DOT COM said: “According to former roadie David Blayney in his book SHARP DRESSED MEN: sound engineer Linden Hudson co-wrote much of the material on the ZZ Top ELIMINATOR album.” (end quote)

(ZZ Top never opted to give Linden credit, which would have been THE decent thing to do. It would have helped Linden’s career as well. The band and management worked ruthlessly to take FULL credit for the hugely successful album which Linden had spent a good deal of time working on. Linden works daily to tell this story. Also, the band did not opt to pay Linden, they worked to keep all the money and they treated Linden like dirt. It was abuse. Linden launched a limited lawsuit, brought about using his limited resources which brought limited results and took years. No one should treat the co-writer of their most successful album like this. It’s just deeply fucked up.)
+++
Hear the original ZZ Top ELIMINATOR writing/rehearsal tapes made by Linden Hudson and Billy Gibbons at: www.flickr.com/photos/152350852@N02/35711891332/in/photol...
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Read Linden’s story of the making of the super-famous ZZ Top ELIMINATOR album at: www.flickr.com/people/152350852@N02/
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LICKLIBRARY DOT COM (2013 Billy Gibbons interview) ZZ TOP’S BILLY GIBBONS FINALLY ADMITTED: “the Eliminator sessions in 1983 were guided largely by another one of our associates, Linden Hudson, a gifted engineer, during the development of those compositions.” (end quote) (Gibbons admits this after 30 years, but offers Linden no apology or reparations for lack of credit/royalties)
+++
MUSICRADAR DOT COM (2013 interview with ZZ Top’s guitarist Billy Gibbons broke 30 years of silence about Linden Hudson introducing synthesizers into ZZ Top’s sound.) Gibbons said: “This was a really interesting turning point. We had befriended somebody who would become an influential associate, a guy named Linden Hudson. He was a gifted songwriter and had production skills that were leading the pack at times. He brought some elements to the forefront that helped reshape what ZZ Top were doing, starting in the studio and eventually to the live stage. Linden had no fear and was eager to experiment in ways that would frighten most bands. But we followed suit, and the synthesizers started to show up on record.” (once again, there was no apology from ZZ Top or Billy Gibbons after this revelation).
+++
TEXAS MONTHLY MAGAZINE (Dec 1996, By Joe Nick Patoski): "Linden Hudson floated the notion that the ideal dance music had 124 beats per minute; then he and Gibbons conceived, wrote, and recorded what amounted to a rough draft of an album before the band had set foot inside Ardent Studios."
+++
FROM THE BOOK: SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP (By David Blayney) : "Probably the most dramatic development in ZZ Top recording approaches came about as Eliminator was constructed. What had gone on before evolutionary; this change was revolutionary. ZZ Top got what amounted to a new bandsman (Linden) for the album, unknown to the world at large and at first even to Dusty and Frank."
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CNET DOT COM: (question posed to ZZ Top): Sound engineer Linden Hudson was described as a high-tech music teacher on your highly successful "Eliminator" album. How much did the band experiment with electronic instruments prior to that album?
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THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE, MARCH 2018: "Eliminator" had a tremendous impact on us and the people who listen to us," says ZZ Top’s bass player. Common band lore points to production engineer Linden Hudson suggesting that 120 beats per minute was the perfect rock tempo, or "the people’s tempo" as it came to be known.
+++
FROM THE BOOK: SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP by David Blayney: (page 227): "…the song LEGS Linden Hudson introduced the pumping synthesizer effect."
+++
(Search Linden Hudson in the various ZZ Top Wikipedia pages which are related to the ELIMINATOR album and you will find bits about Linden. Also the main ZZ Top Wikipedia page mentions Linden. He’s mentioned in at least 7 ZZ Top related Wikipedia pages.)
+++
FROM THE BOOK: SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP By David Blayney: "Linden found himself in the position of being Billy’s (Billy Gibbons, ZZ Top guitarist) closest collaborator on Eliminator. In fact, he wound up spending more time on the album than anybody except Billy. While the two of them spent day after day in the studio, they were mostly alone with the equipment and the ideas."
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FROM THE BOOK: BEER DRINKERS & HELL RAISERS: A ZZ TOP GUIDE (By Neil Daniels, released 2014): "Hudson reportedly had a significant role to play during the planning stages of the release (ELIMINATOR)."
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FROM THE BOOK: ZZ TOP – BAD AND WORLDWIDE (ROLLING STONE PRESS, WRITTEN BY DEBORAH FROST): "Linden was always doing computer studies. It was something that fascinated him, like studio technology. He thought he might understand the components of popular songs better if he fed certain data into his computer. It might help him understand what hits (song releases) of any given period share. He first found out about speed; all the songs he studied deviated no more than one beat from 120 beats per minute. Billy immediately started to write some songs with 120 beats per minute. Linden helped out with a couple, like UNDER PRESSURE and SHARP DRESSED MAN. Someone had to help Billy out. Dusty and Frank didn’t even like to rehearse much. Their studio absence wasn’t really a problem though. The bass and drum parts were easily played with a synthesizer or Linn drum machine." (end quote)
+++
FROM THE BOOK: "SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP" BY DAVID BLAYNEY: "After his quantitative revelations, Linden informally but instantly became ZZ Top’s rehearsal hall theoretician, producer, and engineer." (end quote)
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FROM THE BOOK: "ZZ TOP – BAD AND WORLDWIDE" (ROLLING STONE PRESS, BY DEBORAH FROST): "With the release of their ninth album, ELIMINATOR, in 1983, these hairy, unlikely rock heroes had become a pop phenomenon. This had something to do with the discoveries of a young preproduction engineer (Linden Hudson) whose contributions, like those of many associated with the band over the years, were never acknowledged."
+++
FROM THE BOOK: ​SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP (By DAVID BLAYNEY) : "The integral position Linden occupied in the process of building El​iminator was demonstrated eloquently in the case of song Under Pressure. Billy and Linden, the studio wizards, did the whole song all in one afternoon without either the bass player or drummer even knowing it had been written and recorded on a demo tape. Linden synthesized the bass and drums and helped write the lyrics; Billy did the guitars and vocals."
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FROM THE BOOK: "TRES HOMBRES – THE STORY OF ZZ TOP" BY DAVID SINCLAIR (Writer for the Times Of London): "Linden Hudson, the engineer/producer who lived at Beard’s house (ZZ’s drummer) had drawn their attention to the possibilities of the new recording technology and specifically to the charms of the straight drumming pattern, as used on a programmed drum machine. On ELIMINATOR ZZ Top unveiled a simple new musical combination that cracked open a vast worldwide market.
+++
FROM THE BOOK: "SHARP DRESS MEN – ZZ TOP" BY DAVID BLAYNEY: "ELIMINATOR went on to become a multi-platinum album, just as Linden had predicted when he and Billy were setting up the 124-beat tempos and arranging all the material. Rolling Stone eventually picked the album as number 39 out of the top 100 of the 80’s. Linden Hudson in a fair world shoud have had his name all over ELIMINATOR and gotten the just compensation he deserved. Instead he got ostracized."
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FROM THE BOOK: ​SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP by DAVID BLAYNEY: "He (Linden) went back with the boys to 1970 when he was working as a radio disc jocky aliased Jack Smack. He was emcee for a show ZZ did around that time, and even sang an encore tune with the band, perhaps the only person ever to have that honor." (side note: this was ZZ Top’s very first show).
+++
FROM THE BOOK: "SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP" BY DAVID BLAYNEY: "Linden remained at Frank’s (ZZ Top drummer) place as ZZ’s live-in engineer throughout the whole period of ELIMINATOR rehearsals, and was like one of the family… as he (Linden) worked at the controls day after day, watching the album (ELIMINATOR) take shape, his hopes for a big step forward in his production career undoubtably soared. ELIMINATOR marked the first time that ZZ Top was able to rehearse an entire album with the recording studio gadgetry that Billy so loved. With Linden Hudson around all the time, it also was the first time the band could write, rehearse, and record with someone who knew the men and the machines. ZZ Top was free to go musically crazy, but also musically crazy like a fox. Linden made that possible too."
+++
FROM THE BOOK "ZZ TOP – BAD AND WORLDWIDE" (ROLLING STONE PRESS, BY DEBORAH FROST, WRITER FOR ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE): "… SHARP DRESSED MAN which employed Hudson’s 120 beat-per-minute theory. The feel, the enthusiasm, the snappy beat and crisp clean sound propelled ELIMINATOR into the ears and hearts of 5 million people who previously could have cared less about the boogie band of RIO GRANDE MUD."
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THE GREATEST ROCK REBRAND OF ALL TIME (by Jason Miller): "Sound engineer Linden Hudson researched the tempos at which the most popular rock tracks in the charts had been recorded. His data showed that there was something very special about 120 beats to a minute. Gibbons decided to record pretty much the whole of ZZ Top’s new album at that tempo. The result? 1983’s Eliminator. It was named after Gibbons’ Ford Coupé; it had been created through a unique combination of creative collaboration and data mining. And it was about to take the world by storm."
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ULTIMATECLASSICROCK DOT COM: "This new melding of styles was encouraged by Hudson, who served as a kind of pre-producer for ​EL LOCO … … Hudson helped construct ZZ Top drummer Frank Beard’s home studio, and had lived with him for a time. That led to these initial sessions, and then a closer collaboration on 1983’s ​ELIMINATOR.
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FIREDOGLAKE DOT COM: "I like Billy Gibbons’ guitar tone quite a lot, but I lost all respect for them after reading how badly they fucked over Linden Hudson (the guy who was the brains behind their move to include synthesizers and co-wrote most of their career-defining Eliminator record)."
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EMAIL FROM A ZZ TOP FAN TO LINDEN (One Of Many): "I write you today about broken hearts, one is mine and one is for you. I have been a ZZ Top fan since I was 6 years old. I purchased ELIMINATOR vinyl from Caldors in Connecticut with the $20 my grandma gave me for my birthday. I will spare the #1 fan epic saga of tee shirts, harassing Noreen at the fan club via phone weekly for years, over 40 shows attended. Posters, non stop conversation about the time I have spent idolizing this band, but more Billy G, as he has seemed to break free of the Lone Wolf shackles and it became more clear this was his baby. In baseball I was Don Mattingly’s #1 fan, Hershel Walker in football, Billy Gibbons in music. What do these individuals have in common? They were role models. Not a DUI, not a spousal abuse, not a drug overdose, not a cheater. Until I read your web page. I read Blayney’s book around 1992 or so, I was in middle school and I was familiar with your name for a long time. I didn’t realize you suffered so greatly or that your involvement was so significant. It pains me to learn my idol not only cheated but did something so wrong to another being. I now know this is where tall tales and fun loving bullshit and poor morals and ethics are distinguished and where I would no longer consider myself to look up to Billy. I love to joke and I love credit but I have always prided myself on ethics and principles… I hold them dear. I wanted to say, the snippet of UNDER PRESSURE you played sounded very new wave and I may like it more than the finished product. Well that’s all. You have reached ZZ Top’s biggest fan and I can let others know. Bummer. Cheers and good luck. James."​
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VINYLSTYLUS DOT COM: Much of Eliminator was recorded at 124bpm, the tempo that considered perfect for dance music by the band’s associate Linden Hudson. An aspiring songwriter, former DJ and – at the time – drummer Frank Beard’s house-sitter, Hudson’s involvement in the recording of the album would come back to haunt them. Despite assisting Gibbons with the pre-production and developing of the material that would end up on both El Loco and Eliminator, his contribution wasn’t credited when either record was released.
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INFOMORY DOT COM: ‘Eliminator’ is a studio album of the American rock band ZZ Top. It was released on March 23, 1983 and topped the charts worldwide. Its lyrics were co-written by the band’s sound engineer Linden Hudson while the band denied it.
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MUSICMISCELLANEOUS DOT COM: (ELIMINATOR ALBUM):
However, despite the album credits bass-player Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard were replaced during the recording process by synthesizers and a drum machine programmed by engineer Linden Hudson, who allegedly co-wrote much of the music with Gibbons despite receiving no credit at the time. Gibbons would later say of Hudson that “he was a gifted songwriter and had production skills that were leading the pack at times. He brought some elements to the forefront that helped reshape what ZZ Top were doing”. Hudson did no less than show the band how to stay relevant in an age where three guys from Texas with long beards (except famously for Frank Beard) and blues licks were one of the last things the contemporary market was demanding.

Posted by lindenhud1 on 2018-09-16 14:32:16

Tagged: , astrodome , news , news media , katrina , katrina refugees , katrina victims , hurricane victims , reporters , cameras , night time , usa , america , disaster relief , refugees , story , history , historical , tragedy , displaced_people , domed_stadium

SENSATIONAL TEXAS MURDER TRIAL

SENSATIONAL TEXAS MURDER TRIAL

Photo by Linden Hudson (amateur photographer). This photo taken during lunch break at the Chante Mallard murder trail in Forth Worth Texas, USA.

Who is Linden Hudson?

CLASSICBANDS DOT COM said: “According to former roadie David Blayney in his book SHARP DRESSED MEN: sound engineer Linden Hudson co-wrote much of the material on the ZZ Top ELIMINATOR album.” (end quote)

(ZZ Top never opted to give Linden credit, which would have been THE decent thing to do. It would have helped Linden’s career as well. The band and management worked ruthlessly to take FULL credit for the hugely successful album which Linden had spent a good deal of time working on. Linden works daily to tell this story. Also, the band did not opt to pay Linden, they worked to keep all the money and they treated Linden like dirt. It was abuse. Linden launched a limited lawsuit, brought about using his limited resources which brought limited results and took years. No one should treat the co-writer of their most successful album like this. It’s just deeply fucked up.)
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(see full story at Linden’s website: www.linden-hudson.com/birth-of-the-zz-top-eliminator-album )
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Hear the original ZZ Top ELIMINATOR writing/rehearsal tapes made by Linden Hudson and Billy Gibbons at: www.flickr.com/photos/152350852@N02/35711891332/in/photol…
+++
LICKLIBRARY DOT COM (2013 interview) ZZ TOP’S BILLY GIBBONS SAID: “the Eliminator sessions in 1983 were guided largely by another one of our associates, Linden Hudson, a gifted engineer, during the development of those compositions.” (end quote) (Gibbons admits this after 30 years, but offers Linden no apology or reparations for lack of credit/royalties)
+++
MUSICRADAR DOT COM (2013 interview with ZZ Top’s guitarist Billy Gibbons broke 30 years of silence about Linden Hudson introducing synthesizers into ZZ Top’s sound.) Gibbons said: “This was a really interesting turning point. We had befriended somebody who would become an influential associate, a guy named Linden Hudson. He was a gifted songwriter and had production skills that were leading the pack at times. He brought some elements to the forefront that helped reshape what ZZ Top were doing, starting in the studio and eventually to the live stage. Linden had no fear and was eager to experiment in ways that would frighten most bands. But we followed suit, and the synthesizers started to show up on record.” (once again, there was no apology from ZZ Top or Billy Gibbons after this revelation).
+++
TEXAS MONTHLY MAGAZINE (Dec 1996, By Joe Nick Patoski): "Linden Hudson floated the notion that the ideal dance music had 124 beats per minute; then he and Gibbons conceived, wrote, and recorded what amounted to a rough draft of an album before the band had set foot inside Ardent Studios."
+++
FROM THE BOOK: SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP (By David Blayney) : "Probably the most dramatic development in ZZ Top recording approaches came about as Eliminator was constructed. What had gone on before evolutionary; this change was revolutionary. ZZ Top got what amounted to a new bandsman (Linden) for the album, unknown to the world at large and at first even to Dusty and Frank."
+++
CNET DOT COM: (question posed to ZZ Top): Sound engineer Linden Hudson was described as a high-tech music teacher on your highly successful "Eliminator" album. How much did the band experiment with electronic instruments prior to that album?
+++
THE HOUSTON CHRONICLE, MARCH 2018: "Eliminator" had a tremendous impact on us and the people who listen to us," says ZZ Top’s bass player. Common band lore points to production engineer Linden Hudson suggesting that 120 beats per minute was the perfect rock tempo, or "the people’s tempo" as it came to be known.
+++
FROM THE BOOK: SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP by David Blayney: (page 227): "…the song LEGS Linden Hudson introduced the pumping synthesizer effect."
+++
(Search Linden Hudson in the various ZZ Top Wikipedia pages which are related to the ELIMINATOR album and you will find bits about Linden. Also the main ZZ Top Wikipedia page mentions Linden. He’s mentioned in at least 7 ZZ Top related Wikipedia pages.)
+++
FROM THE BOOK: SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP By David Blayney: "Linden found himself in the position of being Billy’s (Billy Gibbons, ZZ Top guitarist) closest collaborator on Eliminator. In fact, he wound up spending more time on the album than anybody except Billy. While the two of them spent day after day in the studio, they were mostly alone with the equipment and the ideas."
+++
FROM THE BOOK: BEER DRINKERS & HELL RAISERS: A ZZ TOP GUIDE (By Neil Daniels, released 2014): "Hudson reportedly had a significant role to play during the planning stages of the release (ELIMINATOR)."
+++
FROM THE BOOK: ZZ TOP – BAD AND WORLDWIDE (ROLLING STONE PRESS, WRITTEN BY DEBORAH FROST): "Linden was always doing computer studies. It was something that fascinated him, like studio technology. He thought he might understand the components of popular songs better if he fed certain data into his computer. It might help him understand what hits (song releases) of any given period share. He first found out about speed; all the songs he studied deviated no more than one beat from 120 beats per minute. Billy immediately started to write some songs with 120 beats per minute. Linden helped out with a couple, like UNDER PRESSURE and SHARP DRESSED MAN. Someone had to help Billy out. Dusty and Frank didn’t even like to rehearse much. Their studio absence wasn’t really a problem though. The bass and drum parts were easily played with a synthesizer or Linn drum machine." (end quote)
+++
FROM THE BOOK: "SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP" BY DAVID BLAYNEY: "After his quantitative revelations, Linden informally but instantly became ZZ Top’s rehearsal hall theoretician, producer, and engineer." (end quote)
+++
FROM THE BOOK: "ZZ TOP – BAD AND WORLDWIDE" (ROLLING STONE PRESS, BY DEBORAH FROST): "With the release of their ninth album, ELIMINATOR, in 1983, these hairy, unlikely rock heroes had become a pop phenomenon. This had something to do with the discoveries of a young preproduction engineer (Linden Hudson) whose contributions, like those of many associated with the band over the years, were never acknowledged."
+++
FROM THE BOOK: ​SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP (By DAVID BLAYNEY) : "The integral position Linden occupied in the process of building El​iminator was demonstrated eloquently in the case of song Under Pressure. Billy and Linden, the studio wizards, did the whole song all in one afternoon without either the bass player or drummer even knowing it had been written and recorded on a demo tape. Linden synthesized the bass and drums and helped write the lyrics; Billy did the guitars and vocals."
+++
FROM THE BOOK: "TRES HOMBRES – THE STORY OF ZZ TOP" BY DAVID SINCLAIR (Writer for the Times Of London): "Linden Hudson, the engineer/producer who lived at Beard’s house (ZZ’s drummer) had drawn their attention to the possibilities of the new recording technology and specifically to the charms of the straight drumming pattern, as used on a programmed drum machine. On ELIMINATOR ZZ Top unveiled a simple new musical combination that cracked open a vast worldwide market.
+++
FROM THE BOOK: "SHARP DRESS MEN – ZZ TOP" BY DAVID BLAYNEY: "ELIMINATOR went on to become a multi-platinum album, just as Linden had predicted when he and Billy were setting up the 124-beat tempos and arranging all the material. Rolling Stone eventually picked the album as number 39 out of the top 100 of the 80’s. Linden Hudson in a fair world shoud have had his name all over ELIMINATOR and gotten the just compensation he deserved. Instead he got ostracized."
+++
FROM THE BOOK: ​SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP by DAVID BLAYNEY: "He (Linden) went back with the boys to 1970 when he was working as a radio disc jocky aliased Jack Smack. He was emcee for a show ZZ did around that time, and even sang an encore tune with the band, perhaps the only person ever to have that honor." (side note: this was ZZ Top’s very first show).
+++
FROM THE BOOK: "SHARP DRESSED MEN – ZZ TOP" BY DAVID BLAYNEY: "Linden remained at Frank’s (ZZ Top drummer) place as ZZ’s live-in engineer throughout the whole period of ELIMINATOR rehearsals, and was like one of the family… as he (Linden) worked at the controls day after day, watching the album (ELIMINATOR) take shape, his hopes for a big step forward in his production career undoubtably soared. ELIMINATOR marked the first time that ZZ Top was able to rehearse an entire album with the recording studio gadgetry that Billy so loved. With Linden Hudson around all the time, it also was the first time the band could write, rehearse, and record with someone who knew the men and the machines. ZZ Top was free to go musically crazy, but also musically crazy like a fox. Linden made that possible too."
+++
FROM THE BOOK "ZZ TOP – BAD AND WORLDWIDE" (ROLLING STONE PRESS, BY DEBORAH FROST, WRITER FOR ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE): "… SHARP DRESSED MAN which employed Hudson’s 120 beat-per-minute theory. The feel, the enthusiasm, the snappy beat and crisp clean sound propelled ELIMINATOR into the ears and hearts of 5 million people who previously could have cared less about the boogie band of RIO GRANDE MUD."
+++
ULTIMATECLASSICROCK DOT COM: "This new melding of styles was encouraged by Hudson, who served as a kind of pre-producer for ​EL LOCO … … Hudson helped construct ZZ Top drummer Frank Beard’s home studio, and had lived with him for a time. That led to these initial sessions, and then a closer collaboration on 1983’s ​ELIMINATOR.
+++
FIREDOGLAKE DOT COM: "I like Billy Gibbons’ guitar tone quite a lot, but I lost all respect for them after reading how badly they fucked over Linden Hudson (the guy who was the brains behind their move to include synthesizers and co-wrote most of their career-defining Eliminator record)."
+++
EMAIL FROM A ZZ TOP FAN TO LINDEN (One Of Many): "I write you today about broken hearts, one is mine and one is for you. I have been a ZZ Top fan since I was 6 years old. I purchased ELIMINATOR vinyl from Caldors in Connecticut with the $20 my grandma gave me for my birthday. I will spare the #1 fan epic saga of tee shirts, harassing Noreen at the fan club via phone weekly for years, over 40 shows attended. Posters, non stop conversation about the time I have spent idolizing this band, but more Billy G, as he has seemed to break free of the Lone Wolf shackles and it became more clear this was his baby. In baseball I was Don Mattingly’s #1 fan, Hershel Walker in football, Billy Gibbons in music. What do these individuals have in common? They were role models. Not a DUI, not a spousal abuse, not a drug overdose, not a cheater. Until I read your web page. I read Blayney’s book around 1992 or so, I was in middle school and I was familiar with your name for a long time. I didn’t realize you suffered so greatly or that your involvement was so significant. It pains me to learn my idol not only cheated but did something so wrong to another being. I now know this is where tall tales and fun loving bullshit and poor morals and ethics are distinguished and where I would no longer consider myself to look up to Billy. I love to joke and I love credit but I have always prided myself on ethics and principles… I hold them dear. I wanted to say, the snippet of UNDER PRESSURE you played sounded very new wave and I may like it more than the finished product. Well that’s all. You have reached ZZ Top’s biggest fan and I can let others know. Bummer. Cheers and good luck. James."​

Posted by lindenhud1 on 2018-05-13 14:47:26

Tagged: , murder , murder trial , chante mallard , trial , fort worth , fort worth texas , texas , 2003 , worldwide news , world news , huge story , satellite trucks , sensational , news , story , huge_audience , sensational_news_story , media , communications , crime , courthouse , news_media , international_news , journalists , news_story , headline_story , homeless_man_murdered , vehicular_homicide

What’s Your Great Gatsby? Love Story, 1920s Story Or Money Story?

What’s Your Great Gatsby? Love Story, 1920s Story Or Money Story?
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic American novel, The Great Gatsby, like a lot of novels that have withstood the test f time, means a lot of different things to different people.

To some, it’s a love story. Jay Gatsby is in love with Daisy, but if unable to pursue her because he doesn’t have enough money to be a reasonable suitor, so he works hard for years to achieve the money and status necessary to be on her level, loving her every minute. During this time, of course, Daisy marries Tom Buchanan and they have a child. Somewhat undeterred, Gatsby purchases a house close to Tom and Daisy’s, where he can see the “green light” on their dock from his own yard. In fact, the novel closes with what is arguably one of the most famous Great Gatsby quotes, ” Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter – tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms further.”

Gatsby’s love story is ultimately a tragic one, of course, but then, so is Romeo and Juliet. The fact that Gatsby doesn’t end up with Daisy (as well as the fact that he ends up dead in his pool and virtually no one comes to his funeral) doesn’t negate the strength of his feelings for Daisy or the lengths he was willing to go to to be close to her.

To other people, The Great Gatsby is the ultimate tribute to the 1920s. It’s set in the wake of World War I (also known as the Great War), and while it was not a wonderful economic time for a large portion of the country, Fitzgerald focuses on the wealthy elite portion of the country; on their “beautiful shirts” and lavish parties. The Great Gatsby is so closely intertwined with the 1920s in some peoples’ minds that they’ll use “Gatsby” and the “the twenties” interchangeably, at least in regards to theme parties. People associate things like flappers, the Charleston, and fancy old cars with The Great Gatsby, though that may have to do more with the Robert Redford film based on the novel.

Finally, some people think of The Great Gatsby as very sharp economic commentary. So much of the novel revolves around money: having it, not having, getting it, losing it, etc. People who believe that this novel has more to do with economics than love often cite the green light on Tom and Daisy Buchanan’s dock as an example of why this novel is about money. Green is, of course, a color frequently associated with money, and F. Scott Fitzgerald says that Gatsby “believed” in the green light, something the economist theorists insist confirms their belief that F. Scott Fitzgerald meant his most famous work to be a biting social and economic commentary in the tradition of Jane Austen (another beloved author whose body of work has been subjected to multiple interpretations, by the way).

Shmoop is an online study guide to learn about Great Gatsby and Great GatsbyQuotes. Its content is written by Ph.D. and Masters students from top universities, like Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard, and Yale who have also taught at the high school and college levels. Teachers and students should feel confident to cite Shmoop.

Don’t Let Your Story Book Relationship Turn Into a Category 3-Type Hurricane

Don’t Let Your Story Book Relationship Turn Into a Category 3-Type Hurricane

You have been in a wonderful love relationship for sometime now. It is everything you always wanted. You two are very close. Your partner has been warm and loving. There have been no real problems. You have pretty much agreed on everything. A break up is the farthest thing from your thoughts.

The love-making has been great; extremely satisfying. You do so many things together as a couple. All of your friends and family envy your love and relationship. Except for a very few minor ups and downs, everything has been going in an almost story book fashion.

You cannot do enough for each other. You give each other the space you need. You each have your own friends and mutual friends that you spend time with.  Even after all this time together, you find each other desirable and enjoy each others company. 

There is a sense of calm and security that you have been feeling. You have been basking in the glow of the sunny side of love. It is like a dream. It looks like your story book relationship will last forever.  You are content.

Until now, that is!

What happened all of a sudden? Hurricane Season has hit with no warning!

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the federal agency that focuses on the condition of the oceans and the atmosphere tells us that the Atlantic hurricane season lasts about 6 months. However, it seems like this unnamed storm in your personal life is about to put an end to your relationship.

We all know the catastrophic damage hurricanes can do. Winds can exceed 155 miles per hour, spawn tornadoes and cause extensive damage from heavy rainfall and flying objects.

Hurricanes are classified into five categories based on their wind speed, central pressure, and damage potential. Category 3 hurricanes are considered major hurricanes causing major damage.

That’s what you relationship seems to be getting to. You and your partner have started arguments that last way longer than necessary. It seems like a tornado has hit. The damage from the flying angry words and the mistrust is about to cause extensive injury.  It looks like you could break up.

You have got to do something to make up before it is too late. This storm has been brewing for several weeks or maybe even months. You just did not notice the warning signs. You do not want to break up.

You cannot stop the destruction of a hurricane.  However, with care and consideration, you can stop major damage in your relationship if you are willing to take the time to find the cause and the effort it takes to make up and put it back together.

Angela Baden (and Jamie Gray) are ecommerce entrepreneurs with a great many interests. Their focus now is on helping couples maintain a healthy loving relationship that lasts 4 ever. See more on the blog. http://makingup4ever.com

“was a good life”!

"Was a good life, now it is all but over", a senior resident of Georgia Belle Independant Living facilities, Tallahassee, Florida, setting outside to look at the
setting sun.
She told me, when I walked up to her, that she stepped out to see what was going on outside of the building. She actually *was* out there to look at the sunset!
I did not ask her what she was thinking about.

Here at georgia belle Independant living facilities, there are about 160 residents. Often the ambulance comes at night, and everyone sort of just knows that one day soon it will come for them!
Some just sit an Wait for the undertakerbus to pick them up, eventually, but others have the philosophy of
…."Life is Good till the very last Drop"!

An Apt metaphor for someone who is nearly 80, to watch the sun set to the West, "was a good life, still *is* a good life, and even the setting sun is setting in a nice way, after all some sundowns go down hard with 38 degrees and drizzle and 20 mph winds! Today the temperature might be over 80 degrees, in this sub-tropical locale, around the 12th of November, a perfect sunset.

I know a lady here who is a 80+ year old grandmother, and a couple of years ago, one of her grandkids gave to her a Super Nintendo System [SNES] console. I had heard about her, I finally last month met her. Yes she plays only RPGs, rpgs like legend of Mana, the final fantasy series, etc.etc; some of the best role playing games ever made.
[she was a computer programmer in her youth!]

——-

–Another morning, months later, I made a small Discovery in the trash bin, a discovery that goes with this photo.

Well, I had a small discovery yesterday
at my senior residence!
I left in the 8 AM morning by the back door near the trash container, as I had trash to throw out and when i looked in the trash bin door, I saw a box someone had pitched out just earlier. The box was full of empty meds bottles and mostly bottles pertaining to laxatives. Behind this box was a emema-giving device, tossed by the same person. I gave a "detective" glance at all of this to try to feel what the sufferings were of this person: i suspected having a bowel movement took this person hours each and every day, had to, or else "fecal empactation" might occur, a terrible problem in some elderly people!
Later that afternoon, at the Store on the second floor, i saw a small "yard sale" sign on a door across from the store. I knocked on the door and several relatives came to the door and they let me in. The apartment was nearly empty, i was told that the lady who lived here, in terrible health, was now being moved to the Nursing Home, where she could get better care.
I then noted a box of kitchen cooking tools, all rusted and dirty, she probably lived here for years, and cooked a lot, but as her health went down, she cooked less and less, and could not even clean up. Next to this box was yet another box of laxative stuff: now I knew she was the lady who had her relatives pitch out the trash, earlier! As I left, i heard one of the relatives talk about being sure to get all of her geneology books together.

Thus then "it hit me"! here was a lady who moved into Georgia Belle, a lady who had many many interests and talants. She probably did geneology searches on her whole family. A person
of Intelligence and Feelings!
But now years later she is a medical case, her body
might be almost useless, one of these people who if you asked how she was, "this morning", it would take her an hour to reply as she has *SO* many body-ill conditions to report!

My father was like that, the year I lived with my aunt, his sister, he had about 10 strokes and five heart attacks, and in the Home, he was dementia-tated to about a 8 year old child! If one were to meet him there in the Home, for the first time, one might never know he was a blacksmith and a man who once talked four hours non stop and the 10 people who listened did not say one word and when he had to go, one man turned to speak out, and spoke for all of them, "its too bad Dudley had to go, I wanted more"! A STORYTELLER. indian legends, mines, coal, geology, politics, etc.
But you would not know, there, at the Home, then, about Dudley’s amazing life!

MORAL of this post?: One can never judge a summer by the weakly warm last day of October! One cannot judge a river by its low water level in the drought year!
Take this lady who is watching her sunset go down. She might have also had, in her own way, an amazingly creative life, but now her sun sets. The late october sun cannot anymore warm the tomato plants in the New England garden, tis all you can do to keep the nightly frosts from killing the plants outright as you cover then each and every night, the tomatoes are now in "maintanence mode-only", and that "maintanence" takes up the whole day, fills it. You might not know that this tomato plant bore a tomato that won the state fair first prize, in August, several months before!! Next week, probably, the artic blast will cover this plant in 6 inches of snow at 15 degrees, to grave and worms and bone-dust we each all Go some day!

the River of one’s life is measured by
the High flood levels, *not* the drought levels in the dry years!

that tomato plant will be Measured by that prize-winning Tomato!

*not* by how many hours it takes to have a bowel movement, with emema-bag and ten laxative pills at the ready, when she is 87 years old!

—it takes Work, though, to live Good till the very last drop! Mostly it is "attitude", having an ideal that life is Interesting. Thus you then can "rewrite your past" by forgiving the hurts and the negativities that are behind you, then get to know that the Tombstone is but a door, then live like you are *already* on the other side of it, here on earth!

Yes life, whether at age 20: "there is Life beyond your cell phone peer group" to, at age 82, "there is more to life than an enema bag"; takes a bit of action on your part.

One has to become a part of the "life support team", the people around you that make it possible for you to live.
–whether the teachers, bus drivers, car repair people, tech support, if you are 20,
–or the doctors, janitors, clergy, if you are 80!

freestone

Posted by freestone on 2006-02-17 19:03:08

Tagged: , florida , sunset , sundown , old age , seniors , retirement , retirees , retired , retire , people , oldpeople , old , evening , elderly , dying , elder , die , death , city , aging , aged , age , tallahassee , weather , story

Sleeping dog over Minneapolis

Sleeping dog over Minneapolis

So, I made this picture, and then I wrote this story to go along with it. I call it:

"I’m Not Very Good At Titles: The Story of the Picture Above These Words".

Enjoy 🙂

***

It came without warning. The sky had been overcast for days, but that was completely normal in mid-winter Minnesota. As usual the snow had made for a very picturesque, if very cold, Christmas. Local meteorologists had noticed a handful of anomalous readings over the past couple of days, but nothing that needed urgent attention.

It was when the clouds started to swirl that people took notice. It was slow at first, but after a few hours it was undeniable that the weather was acting, well, just plain wrong. People started to panic, thinking it was a tornado in the making, but that theory was quickly put down. This was something completely different, something no one had ever seen before. The swirling mass of cloud continued to spread, the hypnotic spiral casting an ever wider maelstrom, its centre fixed above Anoka County, just a few miles north of Minneapolis. Soon, lightning started to leap between the clouds, creating brilliant flashes in the sky a rumbling, almost rhythmic cacophony of booming thunder. There was no rain though, and people flocked outside and onto rooftops to watch the incredible display of nature that was before them.

And then, everything stopped. The clouds stopped moving, the thunder and lightning stopped, and every computer, every car, every phone and every light bulb suddenly went dead. The wonder and awe that the crowds were feeling was starting to give way to anxiety, and then to fear. There was an agonising, silent second.

A flash!

Everything was bathed in blinding pure white light, and the city, previously darkened by the thick cloud cover, was at once brighter than lit phosphorous. All over eyes were dazzled by its incredible, unfathomable brightness.

Unable to see, the next sensation was the sudden return of the thunder. But this was like no thunder that ever been heard before, it was so loud that immediately windows shattered for miles around. A split-second later the ground rumbled with such force that it could only have been an earthquake, and any glass that had survived the sound obediently disintegrated.

It was followed by another blast, and another, and even some buildings began to bow before it, crumbling to rubble. As vision started to return to the millions of astonished people, they all had the exact same thought at once.

“What the f…”

Before them, in what had once been Anoka County, and what was now a desolated crater, stood a creature of impossible size. Words like ‘giant’ or ‘enormous’ didn’t convey how big this being was. Even standing on four legs it was easily five miles tall, from the top of its head to its massive, 700 foot wide paws. It’s entire body was covered in a fine coat of dark brown fur, each strand thicker than a full grown redwood and at least as tall. As the blindness faded and its form became clearer it started to become apparent what was before them, even if every rational brain cell told them it was impossible.

“Is that…is that a dog?”

Questions raced through peoples’ minds-

“How is this happening?”
“Where did it come from?”
"Is this real?"

-but one question was at the forefront, the one every single person wanted answered but was utterly terrified to find out:

“What is it going to do?”

The thunder returned, the incredible boom shaking buildings and knocking people off their feet. But it was almost discernible now. The dog was whining.

Frightened by his new, completely unfamiliar surroundings, Ajax took an uneasy step forward. To the tiny people, smaller than fleas to him, his motions appeared slightly slowed, yet he still moved with incredible, incomprehensible speed for something of his magnitude. His paw ascended with impossible speed into the sky, debris from the suburban blocks it had demolished raining down as it did so. Then, like the judgement of a vengeful god, the dog’s front left paw descended from the heavens, annihilating everything –and everyone- beneath it. The simple footstep sent a reverberating shockwave out for miles.

Ajax took another step, and then another, looking this way and that, all the while whining in confusion. He tilted his head back and sniffed the air, and, finding no scents he could recognise, tilted his head to the ground.

From down on the ground miles below, people watched the dogs face rush toward them. It was truly like being in the presence of a deity, so humbling was the canine’s presence. His brown eyes, hundreds of feet wide, swept over the landscape, and for many it truly felt like, for a moment, they had made eye contact with a god. The dog’s face stopped short a few hundred feet from the ground, mere inches on its own warped scale, and suddenly a new terror was unleashed.

Searching for something, anything, he could recognise to help discover where he was, Ajax sniffed at the densely peopled ground below. In a heartbeat the total stillness of the air became the most powerful gale ever felt, as whole buildings, trucks, cars, and hundreds of screaming people were lifted skyward. Some crashed against the debris in their flight, still others were dashed upon the dog’s colossal muzzle. But the majority found themselves sent rocketing into the dog’s nostrils. Most died on impact, or else were crushed by the debris that accompanied them. But some, by some miracle of luck, found themselves alive, ensnared in the dog’s impact-absorbing mucus.

Finding no familiar scents on the ground, Ajax lifted its head again. The rubble that had entered his nose was as fine as dust to the him, and it tickled. With a single sneeze the godlike dog sent pieces of Minnesota all the way into Iowa.

Ajax was anxious, but also dizzy, a side-effect of the journey he didn’t know he had taken. Giving in to the unbearable light-headedness, he lay down right where he stood. Down below, in northern Minneapolis, people could only stare in disbelief. By random fortune they had been spared from the immense paws, and had been directly underneath the dog’s stomach, watching in horror as it inhaled hundreds of people. Now, like an asteroid, the dark drown belly fell upon them, erasing absolutely everything and everyone in its path.

Shifting his paws, Ajax dragged a trench of total destruction across West Minneapolis, his hundred-storey-high toes obliterating everything they touched.

At last he stopped moving. Plonking his head atop his front left leg, Ajax closed his eyes and quickly fell asleep. His mouth came to rest over the edge of Minneapolis’ central business district, but didn’t make landfall, instead hovering precariously over building that were smaller to it than blades of grass.

The dog lay sleeping, gently breathing in and out with only the force of a strong wind. There was a slow, collective sigh of relief as people started to realise that, for now, it was over. The mass paralysis that had overcome every one of the awe-struck onlookers finally began to subside and they quickly turned to rout, rushing to escape the chaos.

And then, with an abrupt, sleepy snort, the entire central business district and its litter of sky-scrapers was blown away like dust in a breeze.

The End

***

So, that was longer than expected. I hope it was worth the time it took to read it :). Also, I realise that seeing the picture before reading the story sort of ruins the dramatic tension and the reveal of what the creature is, but that’s not really something I can work around. I only hope that part wasn’t just tedious. Also, apologies to the residents of Minnesota. I have nothing against your state (I’ve actually never been to America at all, all the geography references were from google maps), the background picture I used was just too perfect to pass up.

Comments? Criticisms? Non Sequiturs?

Posted by mikka_90 on 2014-11-06 22:25:54

Tagged: , dog , giant , animal , macro , Labrador , size , shrink , tiny , city , destruction , story , nose , vore , paw , stomp , crush , mega , giga

Shawnta Jonstone–Fairy Dust

Shawnta Jonstone--Fairy Dust

Posted by ReinventedLook on 2011-08-29 19:35:42

Tagged: , abstract , art , artwork , fairy , bird , artistic , background , graphic , computer , design , digital , drawing , rainbow , feather , plume , leaf , element , fantastic , fractal , artifical , fantasy , fibers , flash , frame , generated , black , blue , gray , grey , color , light , star , universe , space , abstraction , glow , illustration , magic , mist , misty , night , paint , style , sutures , smoky , smoke , texture , threads , wallpaper , web , backgrounds , textures , advertising , publicity , stand , card , picture , fabulous , improbable , dreamland , fairyland , fairy tale , tale , story , fib , Russian Federation

I so need a fairy godmother

I so need a fairy godmother

continue to be busy, one last wedding on Friday, then things start to chill. Took some time out to make my son’s BFF a fairy skirt and pixie dust necklace for her bday… didn’t really have time but it was fun to do something creative that didn’t involve the computer ;P

Posted by Cosi! on 2011-09-08 04:09:51

Tagged: , tulle strips on elastic waist band, ribbon, butterfly decorating pick , fairy wear , trees , owp , story , september