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My old LJ posts have imported successfully. I suppose it helps that I never posted much to begin with. Despite my B.S.J. degree, I have never been good at keeping journals.

My personal history appears to be in Google Photos. It keeps reminding me what I was doing "five years ago today." Clearly I have spent my life taking cat pictures and driving downstate photographing corn out the car window.

My business records are in email archives. I have spent my working life reminding clients that I can't make deadline if they don't send me sources/comments/approvals on the agreed-upon date which was yesterday.

Perhaps I was better off forgetting?
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Because what else could I put here that would be more appropriate? This is how Sid relaxes.

black cat practicing extreme relaxation
Note to my new friends here: When I post cat pictures I promise to post only actual cat photographs taken by me of actual cats. Mostly the ones that live in my house and keep getting into the way of my camera.  And not all that terribly many of them.
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... and I gotta be driftin' along.

"acmespaceship" is open for business on Dreamwidth.  Hope to see y'all over there.
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Hello world at Dreamwidth.
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Originally posted by [ profile] e_m_b at I’m about to retire. Do you want my job?
Hello, this is E. Michael Blake.  I have to say a lot in this post, so I’ll get right to it.  I am currently Senior Editor of Nuclear News, the monthly newsmagazine (yes, you read that right) of the American Nuclear Society (ANS), and I will retire at the end of July.  The job has been opened to applications, and I hope that ANS can hire someone who is right for the job.  Maybe that someone is you.

My replacement would probably come in at the level of Associate Editor, but be called upon to do day-to-day work (cover news beats, conduct interviews, write articles, proofread copy, gather information for reference material such as the World List of Nuclear Power Plants) pretty close to what I do most of the time.  If you’re not familiar with Nuclear News, and you probably aren’t, go to and follow links under “Publications” to see some limited samples from back issues.

Exactly why this is still a monthly newsmagazine, and is still valued by the ANS members who receive it as the main benefit of their membership, is a very long story that I won’t tell here, although a serious applicant ought to hear it and I’ll provide details if asked.  There is a strong possibility, however, that the means and frequency with which the news is delivered may be about to change a great deal, with Nuclear News people also perhaps to deliver news electronically with much shorter frequency and quicker throughput.  My replacement would be involved with this, if it happens.

The person we’re looking for would be able to report and write clearly and understandably, and have (or be able to gain) an understanding of nuclear science and technology.  This doesn’t mean that you have to be able to design the fuel placement for a reactor core, just that you understand basic concepts and, when presented with unknowns, are able to learn their relevance to the work you’re doing.  I hope that there will be plenty of overlap from the new hire’s arrival to my departure, so that I can impart general knowledge of the industry and how to get more info.

NN isn’t an advocacy publication.  Some of our readers might want that, but in fact the vast majority of the readers want unbiased information on issues that affect their work (ANS is a membership organization of professionals in all nuclear fields).  Some might think that just covering nuclear, and accepting it for what it is, could count as pro-nuclear advocacy; I would disagree with that belief.  We cover nuclear opposition groups, but we don’t demonize them.

The person taking this job would work full-time from ANS headquarters in LaGrange Park, IL, which is in the near suburbs of Chicago.  I’m pretty sure that ANS will not cover relocation expenses.  Salaries are not high, and the benefits that have compensated for the pay scale have eroded somewhat in the past few years.  ANS is not in tip-top shape financially, although it has plenty of endowment available to keep everything afloat.  NN is, quite frankly, understaffed for what it is called upon to do, although if ANS decides that it seriously wants to go to what I call “short-cycle news” delivered electronically, the society’s governance would almost certainly have to provide much more money, both initially and over time.

If you’re not interested, but know someone who might be, feel free to pass this along.  Use this information only if you are serious about applying for the job: Contact Betsy Tompkins, Editor and Publisher, at  For more information of the kind that I haven’t been able to fit into this post, please leave a comment.
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OK people, drop everything right now and go to the Chicago Cultural Center.  Then we meet in the PVC plumbing section at Home Depot and plan our next moves.  Meanwhile I have so many photos to process.  Including lots of component details.  I'll be posting them here.  I think the question "what should we do at Musecon?" has been settled, yes?
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Last night 's show packed the Eastgate Cafe and collected $180 for the Greater Chicago Food Depository.  We have two more shows, both at larger venues.  More seats to fill means, hopefully, lots more money to collect.  If you're in the Chicago area, you've been meaning to check out The Geek Bar anyway, right?

Moebius Theatre presents a live audio theatre production of Charles Dickens' classic steampunk musical ghost story: A Christmas Carol

Sunday, Dec. 6 at 8:00 p.m.
Geek Bar 1941 W. North Avenue, Chicago

Saturday, Dec. 12 at 3:30 p.m.
Friendly Lounge 6733 Roosevelt Road, Berwyn

No cover charge.
Actual quote from audience member who was only slightly buzzed from box wine:  "This was more fun than The Goodman.  Really."


Nov. 22nd, 2015 01:28 am
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A Christmas Carol. Dec. 4, 6 and 12. Moebius Theatre does Charles Dickens' classic steampunk holiday time-travelin' musical ghost story.  Eight performers tackle 38 speaking roles, 35 music cues, an amazing sound effects machine (still under construction) and at least one ukulele.

12/4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Eastgate Cafe, 102 Harrison Street, Oak Park, IL.

12/6 at 8:00 p.m. at the Geek Bar, 1941 W. North Avenue, Chicago, IL.

12/12 at 3:30 p.m. at the Friendly Tap Lounge, 6733 W. Roosevelt Road, Berwyn, IL.

No cover charge, but we will accept cash donations for the Greater Chicago Food Depository.  Now excuse me while I work on my Cornish accent...
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Through no conscious fault of my own, I have somehow fallen onto the mailing list for WTTW's "Check Please" Planner.  This is a weekly email self-billed as "a curated look at food-related happenings around town."

For the moment I will set aside my annoyance at the overuse of the term "curated."  I will try not to question the wisdom of "pumpkin quesadillas."  And I will attempt, desperately and with little hope of success, to get my brain to stop singing "duck liver mousse" to the tune of "New River Train."  Dining on that duck liver mousse, dining on that duck liver mousse...

Instead, because me iz a professional editor, I simply note this item in today's email:

Halloween at County Barbeque:
The lights are turned down and guests are served house-smoked meats by candlelight - surrounded by spider webs and skeleton decor. Guests are dared to try out the special dish of the night - a traditional Mexican tripe taco in a smoked tomato sauce that resembles guts. Those brave enough to order will receive a complimentary whiskey shot of the day.

I beg to inform these people that a Mexican tripe taco does not resemble guts.  It IS guts.  Thank you. 
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For certain types of Chicagoans who feel the need for distraction and/or voodoo to get through this perilous evening, I note the special at Chuck's Southern Comforts tonight is barbacoa de chivo.  Yes, chivo is Spanish for goat.  You're welcome.  Go Cubs.


Aug. 7th, 2015 10:29 am
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The Eternal Ukulele Summit: 3:00 p.m. Saturday.
The Inevitable and Inexcusable Actors' Improvisation Workshop: 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

I was channel-flipping last night and caught part of a bio about songwriter Jimmy Van Heusen.  The narrator said it's hard to find a mid-century recording artist who hasn't covered a Van Heusen song.  Well, sure enough, we've got one in the uke packet so we can all qualify as mid-century artists.  Quote from Sinatra: "I'd be Jimmy Van Heusen if I could only pass the physical."

In the uke packet this year:
clicky... )
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Went for a walk in Brookfield.  Serious paws.
Lion 1 crop
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Jerry Garcia's SAG Membership Card, 1977
Item Description:

Jerry Garcia's 1977 Screen Actors Guild card presumably for his cameo banjo playing appearance in the film "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" with Donald Sutherland and Leonard Nemoy (sic) that was released in 1978. Estimate $10,000

The live auction ends April 12 so get those bids in fast. I think I'll pass on this item, but the knowledge that it exists is invaluable.  Sutherland's 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon Number is 1, meaning Garcia's Bacon Number is 2, and from there we can connect all of rock and roll.

OK, further Google investigation shows that Garcia was already known to have a BN of 2 because of Christopher Guest in Heartbeeps which I have never heard of, despite it starring Andy Kaufman and Bernadette Peters as robots. Thank God we have the internet; we couldn't make this stuff up.
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And sometimes I wonder why I have trouble getting work done...
Staff Sid-002
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"Mutual Event"

Examples of sentence usage:  "My family is having a Mutual Event on Thursday."  "This can of pumpkin and this can of evaporated milk will soon undergo a Mutual Event."  "My cat wants a Mutual Event with this pastrami sandwich."
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It has to be said: 

The WFMT announcer's lot is not a happy one...

Keep going... )

WFMT still uses this script, written by Mike Nichols in the 1950s, to audition hopeful job seekers.  You can hear it read aloud here:

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Ira Obsidian wishes you all a happy Halloween and reminds you of basic survival etiquette.
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It's just a hunch, but I think those Fermilab cormorants might be a bit too cheeky for classic poetry.  Sure does liven up the poem, though.

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The great thing about birding Fermilab is that nothing makes sense. Double-crested cormorants in the middle of the Illinois prairie? Buffalo grazing above a particle accelerator?  Killdeer in the reflecting pool?  Sure, why not?  Didn't see any coyotes this trip, but that's exactly how they want it. I did see frogs, but they were hard to find and I didn't take pictures, lest the egrets were paying attention.
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