November 26th, 2007

phil ochs troubador

link salad--while my presumptuous cat gently sleeps...

via oursin: Zoe Williams on support undergarments:

Now tummy-tuck jeans ain't the half of it - the big market is in support pants. You want trendy, you go for Spanx, beloved of Oprah and all A-listers including, apparently, Reese Witherspoon and Gwyneth Paltrow. Weird - I didn't think they made a support garment that small. Paltrow could very easily mistake a pair of her support pants for an elderly person's wrist bandage. Imagine the rollicking farce that would ensue.

yhlee on ConLangs (constructed languages) made cheap and easy.

jaylake on mailing back your CEM.

APOD: Irridescent cloud.
bear by san

if you think that's not torture, watch this.

Wake Up offers an Amnesty International film demonstrating what a stress position is.

The Directors approached the making of the film in a way that has never been done before, choosing to show the reality of Stress Positions in as authentic a way as possible. They filmed a person being put into Stress Positions over a 6 hour period. There is no acting on the part of the “prisoner” – his pain and anguish is for real.

writing one-eyed jack

Blaze away! You're a daisy if you have.

Book Report #80: Karen Holliday Tanner, Doc Holliday: A Family Portrait

Yes, I'm one of the John Henry Holliday, D.D.S., apologists. He shows up in One-Eyed Jack & the Suicide King, in fact, and in preparation for revising that next year I'm brushing up on my research. Now that I've gotten the disclaimer out of the way--

Karen Holliday Tanner's biography of gambler, dentist, and occasional lawman and shootist John Henry "Doc" Holliday could be better, but overall is not bad.

She is a cousin of Doc's, and her book is marked by her access to family records that have not been made public. It's in many ways very good, especially in that it concentrates on just about everything in Doc's life other than the legendary 18 months in Tombstone, which actually get refreshingly short shrift, with the gunfight around the corner from the O.K. Corral taking up just a couple of pages. (There are entire books on that gunfight: anybody (coffeeem? willshetterly?) want to recommed me a good recent one with the current forensics and research in it? I wrote this book in 2003: I know I need to update it.)

What she does concentrate on is the documentable life of Dr. Holliday, outside of the legend. She chases the paper trail, in other words ,and lays it out in narrative with a certain amount of speculation and revisionism, but not too much, as such things go. The writing style is a little pained in places (three references to Ike Clanton's squeaky voice on one page is two too many) but mostly straightforward. And while she's firmly on Doc's side, I can forgive that. (I'm firmly on Doc's side, after all, myself.) Wyatt gets off a bit easy (I've always been kind of fond of Virgil, myself, but that might by the Sam Elliot connection.) but at least it's not an obscene hagiography of either man. (She is guilty of making Doc a bit taller and more handsome than he probably was, however.)

And thank god, she's not buying into the legend of the indomitable doomed gunfighter. (What do we actually know about Doc's gunslinging skills? Well, he was fast. He was also apparently fast at hitting the floor, when necessary. He's generally considered by reputable historians to be the best candidate to have killed two or four men (possibly Mike Gordon, Tom McLaury, possibly Frank McLaury, possibly--with Wyatt Earp-- Frank Stilwell); there are five more he wounded; there are several more for which he's either a reasonable candidate, or the entire Earp gang is almost certainly responsible. Reports that he gunned down 23 or 26 men are probably exaggerated. The Ed Bailey story, in particular, appears to be cut from whole cloth.)



"There was something very peculiar about Doc. He was gentlemanly, a good dentist, a friendly man and yet, outside of us boys, I don't think he had a friend in the Territory. Tales were told that he had murdered men in different parts of the country; that he had robbed and committed all manner of crimes, and yet, when persons were asked how they knew it, they could only admit it was hearsay, and that nothing of the kind could really be traced to Doc's account. He was a slender, sickly fellow, but whenever a stage was robbed or a row started, and help was needed, Doc was one of the first to saddle his horse and report for duty."

--Virgil Earp, Deputy US Marshall
spies mfu bolsheviks _ naominovik

(no subject)

3 for 4 today, the last 5.5 and two 5.6s. Failed on the fourth 5.6, though there are stil two more in the gym I can try. And I just didn't have enough oomph left to take a second crack at it. The Jeff conquered it, though. Ratfink.

I needed a new bete noir, anyway, as I sent the one that has been defeating me since my very first trip. That felt pretty good.

I am getting better at this, though, dammit. And between this and the gittar, my forearms are turning into forearms of steel.

We're going back tomorrow.

And right now, Bear Needs Food Badly.