An Enumeration Of Good Things

So, in the wake of Tuesday’s rather sad announcement, I’m taking a piece of my bereavement leave to try to write down all the nifty things I haven’t actually gotten a chance to sit down and share. The store is back up and running again as the only thing more expensive that dying is living, and I needed to fire the coffee engines up sooner than I might’ve liked to help my mom out. Such is life and death.

First off, I inaugurated a new BBotE Ambassador for Perth, Australia. Karl made a convincing case for why the fine but odd folk of Australia’s far western shore deserved to have BBotE regularly arrive, and lo it has been done. He is furnished with 1000ml bottles and you can reach him by email, karl [at] fishoutoforder [dot] net. Sometime in the near future Indianapolis will be added as the next city with Ambassadorial representation, but I still have to hammer out exactly who will assume this mantle.

My compiled thoughts regarding alcohol and Antarctica back in June seems to have struck a chord with a few folks out there. I’ve been interviewed by the BBC World Serivce, The Atlantic, The Guardian, a decent substance abuse site The Fix, and Smith Quarterly (hasn’t come out yet) despite the fact that my Antarctic experience was a decade ago. Apparently, I’m still sufficiently entertaining and the tales odd enough to be worth talking to. Go figure.

Remain CalmThen there’s this comic book called Atomic Robo I might’ve mentioned it once or twice over the years. They had a kickstarter project to put together a store and get some merchandise together. Not only did they succeed, they broke their goal by almost 2000%. I had offered to do some special Atomic Robo themed label bottles but it was determined, logistically speaking, that this was a pain in the butt considering the need for refrigeration, limited shelf life, and bundling all the rewards together. These labels do exist and may appear on special bottles by and by, probably after all the Kickstarter rewards go out. However, they weren’t going to let me off that easy. One of the reasons I’ve been somewhat radio silent, other than being ridiculously busy, is that I got tapped to make a contribution to the Tesladyne Field Manual. From their stretch goal statement:

“$70,000 Actual Scientists – Here’s where things get a little crazy. Our buddy PHIL BROUGHTON, of Funranium Labs (also of Vol 6 and Vol 8 fame) will write a whole bunch of SAFETY TIPS covering a wide range of catastrophic sci-fi problems as well as a special chapter/entry/whatever pertaining, we think, to the problems and pitfalls of time travel and why you shouldn’t ever do it if the chance arises. I mean, obviously everything in the Field Guide is real, right? Like, you follow our advice and I promise you’ll never be killed by a dinosaur. But Phil’s stuff is extra true because he’s been there, man. Possibly including time travel, I dunno, the side effects of his super coffee are not fully documented.”

I handed them several thousand words of Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory culled from my physics degrees, Fortean Times, countless night driving dark roads listening to Art Bell with my dad, and helldiving expeditions on (NOTE: do not go to that website without a healthy sense of humor and at least one adult beverage at the ready). I’ve lost count of the number of times Brian has said “Oh lord why” in the course of writing my contribution for them. It was also just a *titch* longer than they expected, perhaps by an order of magnitude, but I believe in giving value for money.

A good friend and talented spookypants musician Meredith Yayanos, AKA Theremina, has returned to the Bay Area after a long stint in Wellington, NZ. Kiwiland’s loss is our gain. Her latest musical endeavor, The Parlour Trick, is pretty much exactly what you need for Halloween. And Purim. And Christmas. Also Flag Day. I do strongly recommend getting rid of any creepy dolls you have in the house that might be staring at you before hitting play though; there’s a couple songs that might get to you if they’re on the shelf. If you happen to have creepy dolls and need them dealt with by Full Ecclesiastical Decon & Disposal before listening to your musics, well…

I have acquired a Dominican friar! It’s not okay to call him my Pokémonk. Br. Gabriel Mosher is here in Berkeley as a student at the Graduate Theological Union and is an exemplar of the Dominican precept of “Faith Through Reason” (which is why the Dominicans founded so many universities). I think I’ve made him happy by being an atheist who thinks religion is intensely interesting on the grounds that none of human history EVER makes sense without studying religion. Well, that and I’m fond of good beer, happy to discuss pretty much anything that doesn’t violate clearance, and not in the least bit embarrassed by his white robes. I mean, c’mon, I used to hang with Vampire LARPers long ago; the full Dominican regalia is quite mild by comparison. You may find his ecclesiastical musing here.

In August, I visited Portland as part of effort to take a long weekend out of town at least once a month to get myself out of the Lovely Assistant’s hair so she can write thesis. There is nothing in this house, not me, not kitties, not the internet, not even herself, that is more distracting than me. I simply have no off switch, therefor I gotta to go. In addition to attending the fifth a final season of Trek In The Park, I got to visit the magnificent citadel of nerdery for Guardian Games right after they moved to their new location, and I got to consume a bit of the Mackinlay & Co. “Antarctic” single malt whisky recreation from Shackleton’s Endurance Expedition. I also got to participate in this short music video about depression for my friend Jessica, who is also the Caffeinatrix of PDX.  It was a pleasure.

The coming weekend of October 25th is going to be crazy-go-nuts.

First, I will be working the door and being generally interesting for BarBot with the Lovely Assistant. I love booze, I love robots…of course I’m going to be there. I don’t have a bot to present but I definitely support and appreicate the work and talent on display. I would love to see you there. I will be the strange man with long red hair and a funny looking stein.

After I finish my BarBot-ly duties on Saturday, I will then wander down the the street a little way to join the Octoberkast in the wee hours to be entertaining and generally try to keep people awake and pledging. The Octoberkast is always a treat and are now raising money for a variety of charities beyond Child’s Play. As I did for the last three years, BBotE will be on hand I will be putting a 665ml FMJ stein up for auction. More news for this as it develops.

I’m going to leave it there for the moment as I should go get back to more serious business, but it’s important to remember the good things.