Sunday, February 18, 2018

Happy "Year of the Dog"

Hooray for our buddies!

The Lunar New Year, also known as the Chinese New Year, ushers in the Year of the Dog and kindly shows the Year of the Rooster out. According to Chinese astrologer Laura Lau, this year will feel very different from last year -- and that might be for the better.

Lua says that, within the Chinese Zodiac, the Dog is a true companion, associated with loyalty, honesty, intelligence, and a strong sense of right and wrong, as opposed to the Rooster, which has a tendency to be demanding and a tad persnickety. "Dogs are known to be swift and passionate believers in their own personal philosophy," Lau says. "The Dog does his best to protect high-integrity people and support their cause."

In other words, this year of the Dog may see people fighting for the causes they believe in. This influence could manifest itself as large-scale political movements or something as simple as local community work and small acts of kindness. Some astrology buffs are inclined to believe that we'll see more of the latter than the former, due to this year's representative element -- Earth.

A Taste of Honey (and Turmeric)

Strictly "anecdotal" evidence, I'm sure -- but what the hey, I'll try it just for a new "taste sensation." If you're really ill -- go to the doctor. We all know that, right?

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Memories of John Dos Passos' Visit to Our House

Gift from John Dos Passos. Marvin spelled the name incorrectly.

John Dos Passos

Stately Mangus Manor is loaded with memories. We moved in here in 1962. So I'm trying to organize 56 years of hoarded memory artifacts. I decided to clean out three of the Magnificent Marvin's old briefcases.

Mostly they were filled with desiccated rubber bands, paper clips, old pencils, "magic markers," foam rubber ear plugs, etc. -- but I did find two "gems." A collapsable tin drinking cup and a knife-sharpening whetstone gift from the famous "Lost Generation" author, John Dos Passos.

Dos Passos came to Alaska to write a travel article on Alaska for "Holiday" magazine in 1966. It was some of the little feature magazine work he could get. He had long-since been "blacklisted" by the establishment for being a "Commie sympathizer."

This actually ties into one of my favorite "Marvin stories." JDP had been told to look dad up by their mutual friend -- dad's art mentor in Washington DC, William F. WalterAlaska.

So dad monologued JDP's ear off about Alaska and its lore for two hours as JDP diligently took notes. Finally, Marvin thinks to ask, "So what do you do for a living, Johnny?" Pregnant pause. "Well -- I'm a writer, Marv.

Dad had no clue who the famous John Dos Passos was. Classic. 

Anyway, I was thrilled to find this JDP-marked gift in amongst the dried-out erasers, thumbtacks, matchbooks, etc. -- A memory "gold nugget" buried in the detritus...

John Dos Passos

Monday, February 5, 2018

Anchorage The Mall at Sears: One-Man Comic Con

When I put on a one-man proto-comic con in the Sears Mall in Anchorage, c. 1974, I recall I bought and sold a heap of the Marvel monster mag reprints. They were a real crowd-pleaser. My older brother is seen here working my sales table. The man with the beard, Chuck Doulgerakis, started a comics collector club up here. I was official member #3.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Exercises

I don't know about getting rid of my CPAP machine (I've been using it every night and for every nap for 18 years) -- but I guess it wouldn't hurt to build up my face muscles...