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Dance-a-thon, GE-style

As Nigel would say: Cue music!

(putting the first one in here as well so I have only one link for the whole thing.)

51 comments to Dance-a-thon, GE-style

  • witchyg

    absolutely love it! πŸ˜€

    • It was lots of fun to shoot. It was inspired by Lynn Abbey’s traditional winter solstice “dance around the peanut butter jar.” πŸ˜€ Wiishu heard us joking about it and now considers it the thing to do at all four solar “cardinal points”.

  • Ah, the great Zipptiy-doo-dah incantation!

    (I have the strangest craving for peanut butter….)

    I suggest, now that they are done with the ritch-woolz, a time-honored song:

    “Jam on it, and jelly tight!”

  • …Oops, that would be, “Jam Up, and Jelly Tight” by Tommy Roe.

  • Hanneke

    It worked! The magnolia stellata is in full bloom – and isn’t it a beautiful bush when it’s flowering.
    I had to replant mine last year but I’m afraid that killed it, it’s still not doing anything.

    Wiishu looks as if he’s had a haircut, all neat for this important occasion; I love the Pookster’s wild an colorfull hair in that last shot, you can see how charged up he is by the ritual. I’d expect them both to be exhausted!

    • That’s his Apollo hair.

      Isn’t it cute? And Pook loves wigs. He basically gets one out of every sample I get in. I love that one, tho he doesn’t wear it a lot. The long ones tend to dominate his itty bitty face.

      Oh noooos! I love that magnolia. Ours is finally starting to come into it’s own. I finally got a decent sprinkler on it last year.

      I hope yours makes it! They can really surprise you. My rule is, if it’s not break-off brittle, it’s not dead. We fear we’ve lost another hinoki cypress. :*( This cold-dry winter was brutal, and this super-dry heat is taking a painful toll on those plants that survived. So far both magnolias are doing fine, but the rhodys are seriously suffering. And the rose aphids are horrid. I try to avoid poisons because of the ladybugs, but they can’t stay ahead of these. πŸ™

  • Welz…at least you din’t have them spinnin’ ’round an’ ’round like a pair of derf…derf…er, dervishes……although if Wiishu hears about them, he’s likely to want to try it…..

  • Speaking of Apollo: (segue) Robby has an orange space shuttle jumpsuit and cap coming today or tomorrow, and I hope to have another adventure ready to post for him on the weekend before that (this coming weekend) if all goes smooth sailing, er, flying.

    I’m not sure there’ll be a spaceship by then, but later there will be.

    Today at lunch, I need to come up with an answer for a Robby plot point introduced last time. So far, I haven’t been satisfied with the ones I’ve come up with. Working on it; it needs to be subtle.

  • Heck, I wish I could go to Space Camp too, and get off this mud ball!

    The time I had to do the photostory for Robby, toward the July 20th anniversary of the moon landing, may have vanished.

    I am still waiting on word from one county, whether they agree that I’m paid in full, or whether there’s still something outstanding that I owe.

    I just got word on the other confused county taxes, but I cannot tell from any of the numbers whether this is something else or whether it is what I paid off two months ago. Of course, it’s from a different person than I was dealing with on that. It looks like I’ll have at least an afternoon to straighten out with them what’s going on there, and arrange payment if I do owe more, which at this point, looks likely.

    I may lose two or three days to deal with this before next week. So I may lose my free time to do the photostory.

    Meanwhile, I’m working towards deadline on filing for federal back taxes, before I know what I will truly owe there. I am expecting a long-term payment plan of several years to ensue.

    I have home repairs I need to get done but can’t afford now, until I know how much I owe. But I am expecting that working through remaining data will get most of my house cleanup done, so that I can be a big step toward getting ready to sell my home and move out, which is what I currently expect to have to do to pay things off.

    However — I intend to treat myself after my next big milestone, and after I get things filed on or before deadline in early September, because I will need some reward (and incentive) to get through all this mess.

    So… I still want to get a photostory up to commemorate the moon landing, but I don’t know now if I’ll be able to meet my goal. I want to, for fun, to get through things a little. We’ll see.

    — Jane, CJC said on her blog that you’d hurt your finger, and people have been replying there. Please get well soon. That hurts! — Best Wishes. ~ Ben W.

  • I may not get a photostory done, but I *will* get a photo of Robby in his new “space shuttle astronaut” jumpsuit. Very cool, available for 18in. dolls like Kidz n Cats (such as Robert) and the American Girl/Boy Dolls and Our Generation dolls. Not too pricey (~$15) on eBay or probably at Target or Toys-R-Us, in case anyone develops a similar case of the “gotta-have-it’s.”

    Aarrgh, paperwork, going through old filing to get data. Aarrgh, ugh, ick…. Give me writing and editing, desktop publishing. Heck, you could give me calculus if I could still do it and I’d love it. Accounting and taxes? Bleh. People who like that, more power to ’em, but I really dislike those. It is going way too slowly, and I am going to plug away some more today, now that I’m going at it again.

    ——

    I have a question, and this and other things I’ve noticed in the BJD/doll world have me thinking about an essay / blog post on gender issues, still. I tried a draft of that a while ago but it went off-course into rant territory midway through, so I will redraft it.

    In with outfits I ordered for Robby recently was a pale pink t-shirt, among other t-shirts. The other colors were good and I should be able to use those just fine.

    A pale pink t-shirt for a boy doll? In the doll world, age seems to be very flexible, but Robby is, to me, around early elementary school age, more than older elementary or middle school ages. I occasionally wore pink dress shirts around high school age and college age and after, and could even do that at school (public school, not private school).

    But my question is, could an elementary school or middle school boy (esp. in America, but any English-speaking country) wear a pale pink t-shirt, without a lot of nonsense from other boys? I have a feeling he couldn’t, unless he had a very thick skin and/or presented as a very tough boy, not to be messed with.

    Robby’s character, especially this early, is a fish out of water, a naive, sweet-natured boy used to life overseas, not in America. Not so much a tough kid, but more active than I was as a kid. I anticipate he’ll have some adjusting to do to fit in, for a character arc. So he’s more used to European culture, especially German, than American. I also am trying to figure out a thing or two about his relationships. (In particular, who “Jacob” is and how Robby would have an “I Heart Jacob” shirt. But however I go with that, I want it to be very subtle, nebulous, because Robby is very young and his feelings and opinions ought to be fairly basic and naive, unformed at that age.)

    Since our buddy Robby is a story character, a persona, in doll form, I’m up for giving him a few plot complications to overcome, things that would be suited for a real boy that age, who lives in his real world and his imaginary world, which would be pretty real to him too. So I’m not above having him run into “trouble with kids at school,” for instance, and having things go from there. I could see he might get a gift from a relative or friend that’s unlikely, for instance, or somehow it slips by his new family/guardian one morning for school, who isn’t used to parenting yet.

    I’m therefore curious what people would think would be usual or very unlikely for most American boys that age today, and what would be usual or unlikely for European boys or other English-speaking boys outside the USA.

    (An alternative is to dye the pale pink t-shirt, which might be what ultimately happens, as an experiment. But I’m leaning towards a plot complication first, before htat.)

  • Robby has a new third adventure after all, posted today in the Toy Box Tales.

    http://www.shinyfiction.com/toybox/

    For those following along, you may notice hints at a few plot threads starting to emerge.

    I have some idea where this is going and how it connects to Augie’s adventures, but I am still discovering what’s going on behind the scenes with Robby and Augie. I need to sit down and plan ahead more.

    Yes, Robby’s adventures are more kid-friendly, but I think Augie’s are more teen SF&F, and ideally, I’m aiming for something all ages can enjoy. Augie and crew may occasionally run into something more serious or darker in themes, but Robby will be lighter, while still (I hope) tackling real world things along with the imaginative, light-hearted stuff.

    I am still getting the hang of how to do this as an illustrated story versus a photostory. As a photostory, it hasn’t reached its potential yet. I’m still learning.

    I’ll be interested to see if people start to pick up on what is, or might be, going on in the larger story. Enjoy!

  • Hanneke

    I don’t think a boy would be dressed in a pink T-shirt. We’ve quite absorbed the American idea that pink is for girls, even a baby dressed in pink is sure to be a girl. For a man, pale pink dress shirts in a suit are not unusual, maybe because by then there’s not likely to be much confusion about whether he’s a girl, but I haven’t seen men wearing any other pink clothing, except in pale pastel tints as a dress shirt in a suit. Hot pink sports gear is marketed for girls, not boys.

    Blue for boys is less strict, as ‘tomboyish’ active girls are quite acceptable and girls wear blue jeans as often as boys, so that colour hasn’t become off-limits for girls the way pink has for boys.

    • chondrite

      You could start him on American pop culture by getting him an iron on of Princess Bubblegum from Adventure Time for the shirt — she kicks butt! and is pretty in pink! and, according to the wiki, speaks German!!

  • Hanneke, thank you. I’d thought that was the case, but wasn’t sure.

    I wrote out a long post that was part reply and then a further part. I think I’d saved it, rather than posting it.

    That may get posted later, here or on my own site, but I really need to edit it down and split it before I do.

  • Depends on what his history is, but it c/b a good plot device for making the point that pink being girlie is STUPID. Maybe he likes pink and picked the shirt himself, maybe he looks good it in and had a female buy it for him who was oblivious to the painful reality of the STUPIDITY. anyway…he might have it, wear it, only to get grief when he wears it to school, and have to deal with that. depends a little on how protected he was.

    • I’ve plotted a “school day” misadventure involving purple, even though it shouldn’t be a problem, some boy(s) might make it one.

      I like the suggestion that Robby could have a free-spirited, sort of wild aunt / cousin / female friend of the family, as an explanation for occasional clothes choices and other goings-on. πŸ˜‰

      I’m also leaning toward, Robby has a few tendencies himself that he’s too young to be aware of yet, and I think those have to be appropriate to his age level; that is, they’re more nebulous, he’s not really aware of things being one way or another (friendship and love, for instance, shade into each other).

      Robby’s also been mostly in Germany, though for his backstory, his parents (and he) were Americans, academics or researchers. And Robby’s been around some things he doesn’t know about, and his imagination gets a little overactive or vivid, which I plan to use to sneak in a few things into the overall story.

      I’m still trying to figure out how much ultimately will be a photostory versus an illustrated series of episodes/chapters/short stories. I keep leaning toward doing stories, science fiction and fantasy, with extra illustrations (photos and drawings) because there’s more I want to do and I can’t devote too much into crafts to do elaborate photos that would really suit what’s going on. I wish I knew 3D animation, and I wish I could get proficient with Inkscape like I was with Freehand. πŸ™‚

      I need to sit down and write out more plans for what’s ahead for Robby (and separately for Augie’s crew). — Deciding who Jacob is and what the story is there is a main point I need to resolve, but for now, it’s waiting.

      Come to think of it, I need to come up with a name for Robby’s penguin buddy too. πŸ™‚

    • Oh, and — I agree, that “pink is only for girls” rule doesn’t make good sense, but yet I grew up with that rule, and the exception that older boys and men can wear a pink dress shirt and be stylish (and still straight). That’s even grown so that hot pink, as Hanneke said, is also almost off-limits for boys. (Though guys can get away with a hot pink or magenta camp shirt, sort of 50’s retro style, if they have the personality to carry it off.) It’s a really odd “boundary case” for socially accepted / expected gender roles / identity.

      I think I have a pretty good idea of Robby’s personality now, but he may surprise me, and his background and family and friends may surprise me. πŸ™‚

      Hmm, I fell into a trap with his first adventure of his foster parent / guardian being “Ben,” and essentially me.

      I think I ought to work my way out of that, retcon it, or declare these earliest adventures a test run, a draft of later adventures. Something. Lesson: I should’ve done more pre-planning before getting him out there doing stuff. πŸ™‚ I will taek care of it somehow. (There’s also, in the present photostories, the built-in problem of his foster dad / guardian being off camera in the real world, versus Robby in his world. Ideally, I’d have a bigger figure in the scenes, but I don’t yet know if that will happen in photos.

      I’m realy liking the challenge, though.

  • Just saw the alien post. CUTE! Love the reflections in the alien pix. And Wiishu WANTS one of those jumpsuits! πŸ˜€

    • Thank you! — The reflections were a simple side effect. Those panels are two sheets of foam core, one black, the other the super iridescent stuff, which has a plastic coating over it, which, it turns out, gets reflections — from the black panel, the little glow in the dark alien, and (hah) the sky and a portion of the breezeway between my house and garage. (Old-style 1960’s home, detached garage.) I tried to be careful not to get my own shadow in the pics, but it might still get in there sometime. The foam core was from Walmart. The iridescent panel called out for things like transporter effects, sorcerer’s apprentices, and son on. πŸ˜‰ I think I got two of the black panels, with the intention of stippling a star field on one, possibly a star system on the other. That round to-it is proving hard to chase down!

      The shuttle astronaut jumpsuit and cap are ready-made to fit 18 inch / 45/46cm dolls, like the American Girl/Boy, Our Generation Battat, and Kidz n Cats (and a few others). (Heh, I’m learning those fast!) — As far as I know, only the Kidz n Cats dolls have joints at the elbows, knees, and wrists, and the others have a mix of vinyl and cloth bodies, while the Kidz n Cats are all vinyl, a real ball jointed doll but not resin. (Very good quality to them.)

      I would guess that the Amercian Girl makers did a deal in order to make the astronaut outfit. Those are real zippers and a velcro closure that belts the waist. — I *haven’t* seen an astronaut outfit for the 27cm dolls Wiishu’s size and build. I think they’d sell like flatcats! πŸ˜‰ Or Mars bikes, at least. πŸ˜‰ (Hmm, auto-incorrect has never heard of flatcats and thinks they should be flatcars. :snerk: ) — You’d think they’d also make the astronaut outfit in the cerulean blue version.

      I’m not sure what I have for spaceships around here, or rather, where they “landed.” (Boxes.) Something to locate, so I have it/them ready for future adventures. — I am fairly sure my old Mego Star Trek Bridge playset and action figures are still around and made it through the move from my parents’ house to this one, but in shuffling things around, I haven’t yet located the box the set wound up in. (Original 70’s toys from when I was a little guy. πŸ˜‰ I sure hope they’re still around, but things got chaotic then and after.)

      I discovered Robby has difficulty keeping glasses on for a photo shoot. Next time, that may be aided by a string or thread.

      Oh — The grey round thing he’s on there at one point is…a garbage can lid! πŸ˜€

  • Hanneke

    Hah! I was wrong about the pink shirts: yesterday my not-gay, quite self-assured male boss wore a pink Tshirt to work; a slightly salmon-pink one. Things are getting better on the “pink is girly” front.
    And I read somewhere that in Japan, where the Western marketing machine has had less influence, blue is still most girls’ favorite color, as it was traditionally, and as it is mine.

  • Good for your boss!

    To add a new wrinkle in the pink t-shirt debate, I think I’m going to order another pink t-shirt and dye that one, leaving the first pink one for continued use.

  • I relocated my in-print copy of my German textbook. I’d shuffled it elsewhere while doing something else, of course.

    It is once more on my headboard, until I’ve cleared things further.

    My ebook reader apps/devices are flaky right now, so I’m glad I have the print version.

    It’s now been long enough, I’ll need to review, but I may make quicker headway, once I have.

    The second pink t-shirt is still on order, and will be dyed once it gets here, but it may be a while before another story installment appears.

    Also, I discovered whoever Jacob is, he probably doesn’t like mornings either, which I approve of highly. It seems the German version of FrΓͺre Jacques is “Bruder Jakob.” Of course, in the song, he’s a friar, a monk, not a literal brother. But I can relate to not being a morning person.

  • chondrite

    As a cultural sidelight, how’s your damaged finger, Jane? Don’t type if it hurts…

  • There’s a new post on my blog about Dye Stuff:

    http://shinyfiction.com/blog/?p=98

    There will be pictures upcoming. — I’ve dyed two shirts for Robby. There’s still a pink shirt.

    • Hanneke

      I’ve tried dying a few times, and found the results to be quite unpredictable. Staying with the batch in progress is important, as even a minute extra can make a difference. Rinse hyour fabric before throwing out the dye-batch, as that sometimes removes most of the colour so you need to soak it further.
      If the fabric is (part) synthetic it might hardly take any colour, or just one of the components of that colour. I’ve had white socks, lightly painted with ocean blue, turn out pale pink. Soaking them in dark navy blue for a long time turned them pale (pinkish) lavender with pink toes and heels, a far cry from the pale pastel-blue I was aiming for. Natural cotton bathmats painted with warm beige-brown turned out bright golden orange.
      The watery paints for silk, which are fixed by ironing, are much more true to the expected results, and don’t change from the colour they give when you apply the paint, but the colours are hard to see in their bottles (too dark), so I painted me a colour-combinations chart on a leftover scrap of white silk – a row of all the pure colours at the top and along the left side, then fill in the square with two drops at every intersection of line and column, so I have a basic colour chart of what each colour by itself, and each two-colour combination looks like. That helps a lot, because the silk shawl fabric I sometimes try to paint is always the same, and these paints give consistent results; they just don’t give the bright saturated royal blue I like – pale blue, turqoise, and a graytoned dull darker blue is what I can find, and there’s no way I can make ‘real’ blue from those, so I haven’t done that for a while.

      • Hanneke

        Oops… I meant dyeing! This typing on my phone means I make an awful lot of mistakes and can’t check my writing, but don’t worry – that was just a typo.

  • Got it! — And my computer’s browser tries to auto-incorrect all sorts of perfectly good words, so don’t feel bad. Typing on a phone is for the very brave!

    Once the t-shirt was washed and dried, it shows as more of a medium brown. The dark brown was quite nice.

    The polo shirt though, whatever the fabric content is (synthetic of some kind) hardly took any of the dye, and once I see what it looks like fully dry, I’ll know if I want to try dyeing it with more brown or another color.

    That silk dye chart sounds very useful. — Aside from navy / indigo, I’m surprised they wouldn’t have a good royal blue or cobalt blue available. Or Phthalo blue or Ultramarine blue could work. — But like you, I’d expect people would want a bright primary blue or the slightly toned down postal blue. — If you can get cyan or aquamarine or teal, you could experiment with percentages of magenta / fuchsia to get toward a royal blue / primary blue.

    I was sure startled at how this first attempt to dye cloth turned out. Such a strong absorption for such a little bit of dye! It very much helps to know that the results can be hit-or-miss, more random than I would’ve guessed. So it sounds like experience with fabric content and the dyes used are what’s needed.

    • chondrite

      Now you know why that wool I sent you was so variable in color. I dyed it using food coloring, and was aiming for a darker forest green, but couldn’t get it deeper than that medium green you saw. A friend of mine who dyes her own wool for spinning used Kool-Aid and got a rainbow of medium to pastel colors on white wool.

      For dying with natural ingredients, try finding an old Girl Scout or Boy Scout manual. One of the merit badges has a part about using things like onion skins to dye fabric. You can also see if your library has the ‘Foxfire’ series, which covers a plethora of old-timey skills like whittling, dying, making your own soap, shoeing horses, wildcrafting (finding useful herbs) and a bunch of other things people in the Appalachians needed to know around the turn of last century.

  • I’ll be on the lookout. πŸ™‚

    (Kool-Aid for dye? Unless the sugar actually helps fix the dye, I’d think it’d be cheaper to get dye like food coloring and try that. :shrugs: I don’t know.)

    —–

    The Foxfire Books — I don’t have all the books anymore, I wish I did.

    My dad was from a tiny spot in Virginia near the border, near Cumberland Gap. The old-time dialect is dying out with modern education and media and travel, and with so many regional kids going off to college and city life. But my grandma and grandpa still spoke more that way. Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton are both from near enough that same area and that’s close to how people from my dad’s generation and newer still speak, as far as accent and vocabulary.

    (And when I try to imitate it, it gets mixed with the Texas accent I grew up around, haha, so I’d need to concentrate and stay in the area a while to fix the accent in my mind.)

    A lot of those old folk-ways and crafts, the knowledge, was indeed dying out with the older generations, and so it’s extremely valuable that they’ve saved part of it in the books. — But that wasn’t only in Colonial and pioneer days. It was used right up through World War II and past. — My dad put in electricity and indoor plumbing for my grandparents. (The grandmother I usually speak of was my mom’s mom. Dad’s parents were grandma and grandpa.)

    When I was a kid, any time we’d go to a pioneer village or museum, heheh, my dad could point out any old hand tool, these were often iron made by a blacksmith or machine-made later, and he could tell what it was and what it was for, how it was used — because he grew up using the same tools. The region is mountainous, isolated, and mostly poor. The people are tough and they’re friendly but careful about outsiders. There aren’t large, farmable areas, they’re more small plots, though it might be acreage. So my dad grew up using these very basic old tools and knew exactly what they were.

    This often amazed the tour guides / presenters / reenactors who were there to tell about the exhibits or show how things were used. Occasionally, he’d end up giving them a mini-seminar on something. — I’m a city-boy, I didn’t grow up farming, so I didn’t absorb very much of this, and wish I had. — As an adult, I now know many times those guides and reenactors were from around the area, getting a summer job for college money, or often, they might be history majors and so on, who wanted to know and keep alive something of the old ways.

    It is, to me, a little puzzling that right in the heart of the former Colonies, and in fact right near one of the earliest routes into the West and the interior, where it’s been settled so long and so traveled and populated, that here would be a whole, large population of what amounts to a piece of our nation’s past, and in some ways, their own minority ethnic group. (Actually, several: whites descended from European settlers, blacks and other non-white minorities, Native American Indians who weren’t “resettled”, and people of uncertain origins, because of how prejudices grew up about race, so that peope had to hide their real origins, or those were confused even by accepting people. (Heck, for that matter, in the early Colonies and after, Germans and Dutch were often conflated as “Dutch,” when they weren’t.) — There’s a group called the Melungeons in the Appalachians, whose real ethnic background is so varied and uncertain that even the people themselves don’t know for sure. — And it’s common for people to say they have “Indian blood” in the family, because it’s often true, somewhere in there, through intermarriage and other contacts, consensual or accepted by the families and neighbors or not.

    The dialect, the accent, the vocabulary, reflect the makeup of the Europeans who first settled there: English, Irish, Scots, Germans, Dutch, French, mostly. And because that was as early as the 1600’s and 1700’s, you get survivals, holdovers, from very early modern English from the King James / Shakespeare / Elizabeth I era. Most of that is being lost now, as kids learn from school and media. But even very old dialectal things like “hit” for “it” were around in my grandparents’ day. Or “airish,” which is still used, which means it’s cool or breezy out, a bit chilly, you might want a sweater. (And you’d better, even in July at night!) The word, “outlandish” isn’t used the old way so much now, but in my grandparents’ generation, it was both a noun and an adjective. It meant an outsider, someone who wasn’t a local, not from around here, or even a foreigner, someone from another country, say England or Canada or other places.

    Oh — One story which sounds like a tall tale or superstition from the area is about something called a “hoop snake.” People there will *still* swear that hoop snakes are real. — A hoop snake is probably folklore, tall tales, legends. But a hoop snake is supposedly a type of snake that will grip its tail in its mouth and *roll* away like a hoop. (Kids used to play with hoops, rolling them along with a stick, a game borrowed from the Indians.) So a snake rolling along like that was, well, it sounded good…. But yes, even my grandma swore they were real. Whether she was just kidding her little kid grandson, I don’t know, but she claimed they were real. — She did *not*, however, believe in “haints.” A “haint” is a ghost, a spirit, (a haunt). (Aunt is pronounced ant or aint there too.) — Oh, but the hoop snake also…grandma said she’d never seen it and didn’t allow as to how it were true, but some folks claim that hoop snakes can also “fall to pieces,” into more than one hoop snake. (Or more likely, that more than one will go head to tail, then let go.) Heh. Yeah, I think that’s just local tall tales and superstition, but it’s a piece of folklore that some folks there really did (or still do) believe. — Interesting thing: There’s no reason why a snake or worm *couldn’t* grab its tail and somehow roll along. It would be very, very strange as an adaptation, but it could work…maybe. Just really unlikely…I suspect.

    However — One (two) things about the area are definitely *not* just superstitions: You do have to be careful when hiking or at night, because yes, there really are still bears (black bears and brown bears and grizzlies, mostly black bears) and mountain lions (cougars, pumas) in the area. There’s plenty of rugged terrain and caves and woods, and plenty of streams for fish and berries, and small game. So there are still bears and mountain lions there. (A “painter” or panther is another word for them.)

    Whether Bigfoot or Sasquatch is out there, I don’t know. That seems to be more a Northwestern thing, but there’s no reason they could not be in the area, except for extensive human population.

    The town near where my dad grew up was renamed in the 1800’s, but it used to be Old Martin’s Station, a trading post and fort in Colonial times, near Cumberland Gap, a route to the interior. Local historical figures like Daniel Boone, Thomas Walker, Chief Bench / Benge, and a certain Lt. Hobbs / Hobbes, who is possibly an ancestor on my grandma’s side, really did go through there. — Hmm, the story between Lt. Hobbs and Chief Bench, who were brothers-in-law or blood brothers or both, is one of the real local tragedies of white and Indian relations in the Colonial period. My dad believed it was an outcome that Lt. Hobbs must not have wanted. But it is very likely he was a relative. It is also very likely from that that I have Cherokee or Chocktaw ancestry from there, besides likely on my mother’s side from her father’s family, back a couple of generations. So…much good and bad in the area’s history.

    Heh, it’s a great part of the country, though. — I’m a confirmed Texan, but I miss visiting Virginia and the Appalachians. It’s really beautiful, any time of year. — Ah, but even in June and July at night, you will need a warmup jacket or even a thick coat.

    • chondrite

      Regarding the spook stories of the area, you might try looking up a series of books and stories by a gent named Manly Wade Wellman. He did for the Appalachians what Lovecraft did for New England. His main character was called John the Balladeer, or Silver John, for the silver strings on his guitar. He roamed the hills and valleys of the area, collecting the old-time songs and knowledge, playing guitar for his keep, and was a ‘dab hand’ at getting rid of spooks, haints, and suchlike. If you find yourself dealing with a Flat, a Hidebehind, or a Gardinel, or troubled by Old Scratch or his minions, Silver John might could give you aid.

    • chondrite

      And for dyeing with Kool-Aid, use the unsweetened packets; the ones with sugar will just make your shirts sticky πŸ˜€

  • Hanneke

    Sorry to bother you when you’re so busy. There’s something strange going on with Cj’s blog: though headlines and bold text look OK, ordinary text is scrambled as if it’s been put through a secret coding process. I hope it’s not a ransomware attack. We had one at work a few weeks ago; the advice was never to pay the ransom, but shut off all the access points to the intrnet, remove the infected parts and put a backup up instead; then let the antivirus/firewall company figure out how the ransomware got through and update your antivirus with that knowledge before opening access to the internet again.

    • Yeah…Thanks for the headsup. I just realized the other day that we had a huge problem on CC as well—like a disappearing shopping cart. I think it has to do with an update of WordPress (the underlying modular coding for all our sites) that changed some of the core program language and dropped all our sidebar widgets. (Mine are all screwed up as well. Just the inbuilt WPs remain.) I’ve done a temp patch on CC but wanted to wait until my brain was clearer to really investigate. It’s likely to be a big headache. Haven’t checked Wave yet, but I’ll go do that right now. I’ll try to get all of them fixed ASAP.

    • Okay…I just checked her site and it all seems fine to me. Is there a specific page or sidebar you noticed it on, or is it all standard text? Anyone else having the same experience?

      • Hanneke

        I just checked again, and it looks fine to me now, too.
        It was on the main blog page, all the ordinary text looking like it was rendered in a strange language.
        Maybe it was a strange hiccup in my Android phone, though other sites didn’t have it, and I went back and forth among CJ’s blog and others via my favorites a few times, and CJ’s had it every time I came by.
        Or maybe WordPress thought for a few minutes that all her text needed to be translated into something like Russian, but using the Latin alphabet with some more accented letters; maybe because my visit comes in from a European router… if it’s a result of a glitchy update, anything can happen.
        Sorry to worry you for just a temporary little glitch. Please go back to resting your brain before doing complicated things to the computer; working on computers with half a brain from tiredness or feeling ill is practically guaranteed to give horrific results. πŸ˜‰

      • did you change the format of the main page so that the “latest posts” are on the right column, where before they were on the left column (like “Wave”)? I don’t expect this to be a copy of “Wave”, it’s your blog and your personality goes into it…just curious, though.

  • chondrite

    Poking a (possibly) dead horse…
    All you BJD aficionados out there, anyone have recent experience with Mr. Super Clear matte fixative? The BJD sites like DoA recommend it highly for sealing face-ups, but the FAQ on the site where I plan to buy it (it’s not available in the local stores) says it shouldn’t be used over water-based colors, only Mr Color. Naturally, water-based colors are also recommended for face-ups. I’m confused, and don’t want to spend a fair bit of money on a spray which might wreck my BJDs!

  • Hanneke

    Hi Jane, sorry for not posting here for a while. I thought you being quiet meant you had no time or brainspace to deal with us on your blog, which is why I took my chatter over to CJ’s blog, even though I prefer talking here. It’s nice enough over there, but I still feel freer to talk here – talking on CJ’s blog I always tend to feel as if a large part of the visitors wouldn’t be the least bit interested in whatever I’m saying, or if I do respond to all the things I’d like to I’d look much to dominantly present in the left column, so I tend to break off and not continue every discussion that interests me.
    Here in your place I always feel welcome, as if only the nicest people come here, not the impatient ones I don’t want to irritate. Not that people have ever been irritated at me on CJ’s blog, but I just feel more comfortable here.
    But I didn’t want to bother you while you were so very busy, you having to do practically everything around the house and garden *and* help CJ with that impossible deadline looming over this next book.
    So I’m sorry if my mistaken attempt to be considerate has made you feel that we’ve all abandoned your fine and pleasant talking-place here on the Internet; please accept that we didn’t intend to abandon you, just give you some space while you seemed to need it.
    I just had the flu, I understand there’s a not-very-clear border between “i’m sick, leave me alone, I only want to sleep” and “I haven’t seen or spoken to a single person in four days, has everyone forgotten me, wah…”, and over the Internet it’s even harder to judge that border.

    Anyway, I hope getting rid of that old carpet will make the rooms you are working on much nicer to work in, with a lot less clogged sinuses and sniffles and such (though it’s miserable while you have to deal with that dusty old carpet itself).

  • Hanneke

    Since the WordPress update messed with the widget that allowed us to jump directly to the newest comments, and the present long post with all the slideshow pictures and almost 50 comments mean we have to open the post and scroll down a very long way to check if someone’s talking, could you perhaps put up a new post, just a short line that you’re very busy and don’t have time to chat with us would be enough, so we can continue our comment-posting in the new spot? I know I would find it a lot easier to keep checking and chatting with whoever passes by, that way, even if you’re too busy to talk and clearly won’t have time to do anything with the silly WordPress widget until the next book CJ and you are working on has been sent in to its impossibly short deadline. We all appreciate the work you’re doing to make that possible, and are quietly* cheering you to on in the attemt to fulfill that deadline (*not loudly, so as not to disturb your concentration, you know πŸ˜‰ ).

    • Hanneke

      Bah, another two typos: mean=means, attemt=attempt. I’m also sorry about the very run-on sentences! I really can’t edit or proofread on my phone ;(

      • chondrite

        Smartphones do some things well, others adequately, but until they have the full-size holographic interactive display, I’ll stick to using them to make phone calls and the occasional picture. My fumblefingers are just too big!

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