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I read Mark Evanier's blog in my Friends list. Sometimes it's tedious for me, but other times it's a joy. He's a Hollywood type specialising in cartoons, but not totally. He often has funny stories about actors and other denizens of Tinseltown.

His mother passed away a few months ago, and he's been recounting stories of her life and her decline in his blog. This latest one concerns her encounters with her ophthalmologist, who paid her scant attention until Mark blocked his exit from the examining room. The ophthalmologist started asking Mark questions about various cartoon characters, as he was a cartoon buff as well. And Mark used this to his mother's advantage. Do read the blog post at the link—it's heartwarming.
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There has been a lot of controversy about the Mormon custom of baptising dead relatives in the hope that they will embrace the faith from the depths of hell and end up as gods on their own planets, like all the other dead Mormons.

Well, there is now a website that will allow us to turn the tables on the Mormons. Heaven will be full of very pink Mormons, at this rate.
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Some of the non-religious among us will snicker at this article, which tells of a student's birthday tweet that turned into tragedy.

I can only say "Matthew 25:13". May she rest in peace and rise in glory.
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I don't know whether this has ever happened to you, but occasionally I used to get calls for a business whose number was close to mine. I just would tell people "I'm sorry, you have the wrong number." and hang up. However, Mark Evanier had a difficulty where a local art gallery commissioned an advertisement where their phone number was misprinted—as Mark's number. He spoke to the art gallery and got the advertisement's next printing pulled, in a most ingenious way.
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As a "mixologist", I limit myself to simple concoctions such as a gin and tonic, bourbon and Diet Coke, or at most, a Manhattan. The ingredients required and the instruments necessary to make these are pretty inexpensive. However, I just got an email from a cocktail website that mentioned an ice pick. The blurb states:

Anvil Ice Pick - extra heavy duty ice pick with an anvil end for scoring ice. Perfect size for hand carving ice. For all international orders, due to weight, an additional $1.99 will be added per item to the total shipping cost.

Now you might think that such an implement might cost US$10, or perhaps at most US$19.95.

You'd be wrong.
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Normally when you sack someone, you do it in private, and get the person escorted off the premises with a bin bag after changing their computer passwords.

Well, the New Welcome Baptist Church does it differently.

Suffice it to say that a Tazer and a knife were involved.

See how they love one another!

Thanks to Ron's Log for the heads-up.
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A gentleman in Ohio named Roy Miracle died recently, and his family decided on a very unique tribute, pictured in this Daily Mail story.

Some feel that it's a bit macabre, but even though I (of course) didn't know Mr. Miracle, I think that celebrating his love of his football team is something that he would have enjoyed. After all, this gentleman was waked on his motorbike (yes, there is a picture), and this one stood for the entire time (also a picture).
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Coming of gay age in New York City in the 1970's and 1980's was vibrant. The availability of easy sex on the piers at the end of Christopher Street dissolved into the AIDS crises beginning in the early 1980's. Bars opened, continued, and closed. Apparel and leatherwear shops opened, flourished, and closed. The Christopher Street Bookstore flourished too, along with Ty's, Boots and Saddles, the Stonewall, the Oscar Wilde Bookshop, Manatus, and all the rest.

If you were around Christopher Street in these days, you'll find your heart and mind taken back there by this walk through the gay village. I am now mired in reminiscence, and thank Matt Rettenmund for the heads-up.

I remember the first man I knew with AIDS, who lived a few blocks north of Christopher on Bleecker. He had been a social worker, and we spent lots of time having coffee around the area, talking over politics, men, and AIDS. He died in around 1985 or so.

I remember the many years I attended and assisted at Integrity/New York's eucharists at St. Luke's in the Fields just south of Christopher on Hudson. The first week I attended, in February 1988, I circled the block twice before I got the gumption to go in. The President, Nick Dowen, was so welcoming that, although I had to run out as their speaker was someone from the leftwing political group I had belonged to, I returned the next week and became an Episcopalian in October.

I remember each Pride March I attended, every year, and the exhilaration of walking down Fifth Avenue and then turning on to Christopher Street and ending up at the Pride festival. What a privilege and a pleasure that was!

No other place I've lived except for London has as many associations for me as a gay man. I'm proud to have been a small part of it, and while I realise that time marches on and the gay village has moved to Chelsea, I would love to go back and have a lovely lunch at Manatus followed by a civilised drink in Two Potato, with all those whom I loved but see no longer.
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Those of us who have seen Four Weddings and a Funeral will remember the bumbling vicar played by Rowan Atkinson. Well, your vicar need bumble no longer during your wedding. This couple was "married" by computer program. Computing magazine faults the relatively simple GUI of the program, but as the couple says, the computer is their best friend so why no have their close friend do the honours.

The marriage, of course, was not legal until they went and signed the registers before a Justice of the Peace. But it's the bit that counts, in this case Mr. Bit the robotic vicar.
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For those of us who have lived in New York City, hardly anything about the subway system surprises us. Delays? Yawn! The blind saxophonist who used to ply the #1 train years ago, but who could navigate through the end doors with ease? A tourist attraction! The screech when the #1 train used to navigate the tight turn at the old South Ferry station? Turn up your iPod volume!

But for some commuters, there was a new sight on one platform that stayed there for days without any official intervention.
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One often hears the phrase "as useful as a chocolate teapot." Well, scientists being scientists, a group of same decided to test whether you could actually brew tea in a chocolate teapot, and the results may surprise you.
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From today's Church Times comes this story about the Bishop of St. Albans, here in England.

HE LISTS gardening as one of his hobbies, but the green-fingered prowess of the Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, so impressed on­lookers recently that he was given the chance to turn it into a full-time job.

Dr Smith told his diocesan synod last weekend that, while visiting an aunt’s house, he decided to sort out her somewhat messy garden. He spent the morning gardening, and, while he was working, noticed a woman walking past a couple of times and watching his progress. Then, he said, the same woman’s head popped up over the wall and said: “Excuse me, but I’m looking for a gardener.”

He said: “So I suddenly feel my prospects are looking up, but I said to her: ‘Thank you, it’s very kind of you, but actually this isn’t my full-time job. I have a full-time job.’

“She says: ‘Are you sure you can’t fit it in?’

“I said: ‘No, no, I’m sorry.’

“And she said: ‘What do you do?’

“I looked up, and said: ‘Well, I’m the Bishop of St Albans.’

“And she looked at me in total disbelief, and said: ‘Huh, well, I’m the Queen of Sheba.’”

The anecdote was greeted with laughter by synod members.

Dr Smith said: “You just can’t make it up, can you? Well, you don’t need to, when things like that happen.”

A diocesan spokesman said that Dr Smith was a keen and ac­complished gardener, and had trans­formed part of the garden at his home since he arrived in St Albans in 2009. “He does say that you can tell a lot about someone’s ministry by the state of their garden.”

Ministry through gardening. Perhaps he should have taken up that kind lady's offer.
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We take for granted the purity of the water that comes out of our taps…well, almost all of us do. In Oregon, a tiny mistake by a guy has meant big expenses for the water department in order to avoid the yuck factor…
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It is a well-known fact that of the three Abrahamic faiths, Judaism and Islam are not (in strict sects) very favourable towards man's best friend, the dog. However, what a rabbinical court in Jerusalem has decreed to happen to this dog is pretty gruesome. I do hope that the dog has escaped.
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There are many ways in which our friends in the animal kingdom assist the constabulary in their function of protecting the public. Sniffer dogs come to mind. Well, in Germany the boys in blue have recruited three vultures to their ranks. These feathered friends are to be used in finding corpses that are hidden in difficult terrain. There is only one concern: can the vultures be trained not to nibble at the evidence?
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You may not know what coulrophobia is. However, a woman getting off a trolley in Boston has good reason to have it.
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Many Church of England incumbents (most famously, the late Very Rev'd Colin Slee, Dean of Southwark) have banned the singing of Blake's Jerusalem in their churches. The ostensible reason is that it is not based on a firm religious foundation. Some people have tried to rehabilitate the tune by setting different words to it.

But that bastion of Little England Toryism, the Daily Mail, quotes a gay Tory MP as saying that if this continues, the only ceremonies at which Jerusalem will be sung are lesbian and gay same-sex civil partnerships.

That doesn't bother me at all.
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One might think that this link refers to Her Majesty's visit to the Irish Stud (no, this is NOT Graham Norton). It does not. It refers to the man who was in a great hurry to get to Holyhead in Wales from Wrexham. He had a companion who wasn't allowed on the train. There are pictures!
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Brandon is a soccer player at Adelphi University. He's gay. He wrote his coming-out story for Outsports; I didn't finish reading it with dry eyes and I hope you won't either.
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Every once in a while we see someone we'd rather not interact with, for whatever reason. My friend Joel once had an encounter like that, and learned a lesson therefrom.

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