Archive for February 2008

More Shameless Self-Promotion

February 21, 2008

In the hopes that I might get more reader feedback in response to my Shadow/Superman fan fiction story Shadows of Steel, I posted it on the archive site. To go directly to my story, you can click this link, or you can go to the main page, click on the “Movies” link, scroll through the list of movies until you find “Shadow,” and click on it. Since my story is the most recent Shadow story posted, it will be at the top of the list. You can also find the story on my personal website.Hope you enjoy it!


Fan Fiction Follies

February 14, 2008

Having just completed my most elaborate piece of fan fiction to date (“fanfic” to those in the know) I found this set of items from the always interesting Eve Tushnet to be especially noteworthy. Eve links to:

I started writing fanfic myself while in graduate school as an antidote to the academic and theoretical bilge I was forced to read and regurgitate on exams and papers. I’ve loved it ever since. I think fans writing their own stories about characters from [insert name of your favorite TV shows, movies, books, etc. here] is a way for fans to take part ownership of characters they enjoy and become producers of culture and entertainment, rather than just passive consumers of whatever swill the corporate suits in New York and Hollywood want to feed us. While I think it would be unfair for fanfic writers to publish their work via conventional means and profit from it without acknowledging or paying royalties to the creators of the characters they borrowed, I can’t see any harm in uploading your own stories of Captain Kirk or Mulder and Scully to a website and making them available for free. Write on!

Wollf at the Door

February 14, 2008

In other comment news, in response to my recent post on a blessing for beer from the Rituale Romanum, blogger Wollf, author of the Howling at the Moon blog wrote:


First time visitor, nice house.

Thanks, Wollf. Glad you like it. Come on in and have a look around. Come back often and tell your friends. It’s nice to know somebody besides me reads this blog every once in a while.

More on Access Israel

February 14, 2008

My mention of Access Israel, an Israeli disability rights and advocacy organization, in my last post brought this comment from reader Tomer, who wrote:

Hi Niall,

I’m a volunteer working for Access Israel. In fact, increased awareness as well as new legislation has greatly improved the accessibility situation in Israel.
Almost all tourist sites have a reasonable level of accessibility for people with disabilities.
If you like, Access Israel can help you plan you visit.
Contact me at for more details.



Shalom, Tomer! I’m glad to know that my previous impression of limited access to tourist sites and other locations in Israel for people with disabilities was incorrect. I would love to visit your country, and maybe one day, God willing, I will have the opportunity.

The comment feature that allows bloggers and their readers to enter into conversation like this is one advantage of a blog over a traditional journal, isn’t it?

Memed by The Maximum Leader

February 11, 2008

KT Cat, Maximum Leader of the Feline Theocracy and principal author of The Scratching Post blog, has tagged us with a meme here at It’s All Straw. Participants in the “Week, Month, Year, Half-Your-Life” Meme are to pick four places on the globe and explain where they would spend a week, a month, a year, and half of their lives. After some careful thought and in full and total obedience to the command of the Maximum Leader, I herewith submit my choices:

A Week – Rome

I told you I was Catholic, right?

A Month – Ireland

I was fortunate enough to get to go to Scotland for a week, when I was in college, but I’ve never been to Ireland. Since about half my ancestors were Scots and half were Irish, I’m missing a connection to about half of my heritage!

A Year – Israel

The Holy Land. The land of kings and prophets. The land where Jesus walked. Bethlehem. Jerusalem. Golgotha. The empty tomb. Places I’ve only read about in the Bible. Almost ’nuff said. But when I was doing a Google Image search for pictures of Israel, this image caught my eye. It’s a “badge of honor” awarded by an organization called Access Israel to Israeli businesses, government agencies, and tourist attractions that make a special effort to ensure that their facilities are accessible to those with disabilities. I gather from the information on Access Israel’s website that access to public facilities and full participation in daily life is still fairly rare for Israelis with disabilities.

Half My Life – Myrtle Beach, SC*

For this one, I’m going to cheat a little bit and name the place where I actually did spend nearly half my life–Myrtle Beach, SC and environs, the coast of South Carolina. Like KT, I’m a beach bum at heart because I grew up just over the hill from the beach, and when I was younger my idea of the perfect summer day was one where I could swim, lie in the sun, build sandcastles, and play in the dunes. I’m going to cheat a little bit more and say that it’s the Myrtle Beach of my memory–hence the asterisk–and not the battery powered, neon-lit, plastic-coated Babylon it’s become. I grew up there in the 1970s, which was probably the last generation before it became a major tourist and retirement mecca. It was still a fairly small town frequented and populated mainly by people from North and South Carolina. The beach was always the main attraction, and people who came to visit it stayed mostly in beach houses and Mom-and-Pop motels, not sprawling, soulless mega-condos as they do now. My Dad was involved in an ad hoc citizen’s group trying to keep such behemoths out of our neighborhood. With his usual talent for exaggeration, he used to say that our parish church was built for the tourists, but in the off-season, the entire Catholic population of Myrtle Beach could fit in the first two pews. Ah, the good ol’ days!

I digress from the meme! By the authority vested in me, I do hereby tag Mark Mossa at And I Let Myself Be Duped, Louise at Purcell’s Chicken Voluntary, and D. G. D. Davidson at Sci-Fi Catholic. So there.

Test of New Keyboard

February 5, 2008

This is a test:

Mary had a little lamb,
Whose fleece was white as snow
and everywhere that Mary went,
The lamb was sure to go.

This is being typed on a new Kensington SlimType keyboard for Macintosh. My cleaning lady expressed an interest in my old iMac G3 for her nephew, and since I was using the old keyboard, I figured I would get a new keyboard for myself and give her the G3, old keyboard and all. Unfortunately, the new keyboard does not have its own USB port for a mouse, but with a little juggling, I was able to rearrange my USB hub satisfactorily and allow me access to my mouse, printer, and digital camera cable. The new keyboard has “short fall” keys like those of a laptop, so it has a very light touch, unlike my old keyboard. That will take some getting used to, but overall, I expect many happy hours of typing from the new device.