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The Empty City

New this week: Chapter 93, in which "Visions of the Martian Civilization" opens at the Teldman Gallery


2:11 am, April 15th 1912

The Time Traveler stood on the tilting deck of the Titanic. "At last we know what really happened this night," he said quietly, while waiting for the Automatic Return Cycle to engage. But the accounts were wrong; the great ship sank 9 minutes early. 200 years in the future, the Titanic claims an extra victim.


"Dr. Granite should be in in just a moment." -- a nurse

Cool Words

mammon (mam'-un) n. money personified as a false god

Haiku Reviews

Reefer Madness :-(
Good argument for
legalization of pot.
And gun control laws.
Daddy-O's Reviews

A Hard Day's Night

Paul McCartney's grandfather (who's very clean) is my favorite example of the kind of wacky character I hope/plan to be someday, when I'm an old guy.

Tirade's Choice
Find a Grave
Fruits of Chaos
Fabric Origami


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June 24, 1999

New this week:


What's New?A Week at the Beach

We're just back from spending the better part of a week in Nag's Head, North Carolina, with my 3 older brothers, my parents, and assorted nieces, nephews, and wives. It's been a long time since we've gotten one of these trips together... when we were growing up, we used to go on roadtrips every summer. As a family, we've been to all 50 states. But now that we're all grown-ups, a big family trip only happens once every 3 or 4 years. This is one of those years, and this year, we rented a cottage at the beach for a week.

Despite some less than perfect weather, the crazyness of having two-year-old twins running about, and the fact that we couldn't find the darts for the dartboard, it was a great trip. We had a wonderful beachside cottage, we swam in the ocean and flew kites and rode bikes and played games and explored the beach and the town and otherwise just relaxed. We also did something I've always wanted to do: Hang Gliding.

Aviation trivia buffs will recall that the Wright Brothers made their historic first flight at Kitty Hawk, which is just a few miles south of where we were, on the Outer Banks. It's a prime location for hang gliding, for the same reasons that Orville and Wilbur choose it as their airstrip: it has soft, steady breezes and soft, forgiving sand dunes -- ideal for crash landings. So, Kristin and I signed up for lessons and had our own historic first flights.

As a hang gliding first timer, you gain your wings with the human equivalent of training wheels: two instructors run alongside your glider, spotting you and calling out instructions as you swoop along the dune at an altitude of about 7 feet. Our 5 flights were all very brief, covered distances shorter than Orville's first trip aloft, and almost as often as not found us crashing into the sand at the end... but they were also wonderful and exhilarating and left us wanting more. There's talk of making this trip a new annual family tradition, so perhaps we'll take more lessons next year. It takes about 8 such lessons to get certified for solo flying.


AndyAnyway, Enjoy Life!

New Iceland cartoonthe story so far

Thought Residue
The informal attitude at the beach is great for someone like Kristin, who has a perfume allergy, since hardly anyone there seems to wear it!
"An embarrassment to any neighborhood" - slogan of a beach bar called Kokomo Joe's
"I hate you... and I vote!" - bumper sticker seen in New Jersey by Judy

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