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  #61  
Old 01-14-2013, 04:23 AM
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Yay! A new Buddy story!

Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Michael Straczynski
This is how my cat is trying to kill me by artificially inducing a myocardial infarction. I was doing laundry the other day, mostly sheets, and realized I'd forgotten the pillow cases. I went out to the other room, grabbed them, tossed them in the front loader and slammed the door. Reached for the START button --

"Maow?"

I looked around. No sign of the cat. Glanced into the hallway. No cat. Shrugged. Reached for the button again.

"Maow...?"

Ohshit. Can't be. Can it?

I opened the door of the washing machine. There he was, sitting among the laundry. Blinking. "...maow?"

I'd left the door open for a minute, I'm talking here a minute TOPS. If I'd been a second faster on the start button, or if I hadn't heard him...

He's trying to kill me. It may LOOK like he's the poster child for attempted suicide, but trust me, I'm the one he's after.

Just in case any suspicions arise during the inquest.
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  #62  
Old 01-14-2013, 02:28 PM
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For those who never saw it, JMS posted the Buddy story as told back in (yikes!) 2003:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski
Some folks have asked me to repost the story recounting how I ended up with Buddy the Miracle Cat (or BuddyTMC to his hiphop friends), so the story appears below. Originally posted July 2003.

Just a little story, a day in the life, as they say....

You'll remember, when last we gathered, I mentioned that a number of feral cats and kittens had settled onto the property. (And I think I've found a group that can help with them.)

Anyway...on Thursday morning, about 9:45 a.m., I heard a caterwauling from behind the house. I went back to see what the heck was going on, and the cats scattered from where they'd gathered. As soon as they were gone, I found out what they were going on about...a mewling was coming from one of the
landscaping drains.

Understand: around the house are a series of vertical 4" landscaping drains, which usually have covers on them. Designed to carry away water, they go vertically down about 2 to 2 and a half feet, where they T into a series of smaller (maybe 3") PVC tubes that evacuate the water out into the street.

When I looked down the vertical tube, which had somehow lost its cap, I saw a kitten, maybe 4 weeks old, two-thirds of the way down the tube, where it had fallen. I reacted instantly and reached in to grab the kitten, shoving my arm into the tube as far as I could reach...and I could just barely touch fur. I tried to pull my arm back for another try...and found that I was stuck. Badly.

It's worth mentioning that, at this particular moment, I was alone in the house. I fought, twisted, turned, and after several minutes finally got my arm free.

When I looked back into the drain tube...the kitten was gone, somewhere in the T that went off in different directions. I could hear him mewing down there.

I called animal control, and they sent someone over... unfortunately, it was just one person with a stick and loop, which wouldn't do any good because he was at very least a few inches around the corner of the T. And the animal control people don't dig for liability reasons. By the time she'd arrived, the kitten had stopped mewing. She suggested that perhaps he had made his way out the street-side drain already, but in any event, there was nothing that could be done until they knew a) if he was still in there, and b) where in that maze of pipes he was.

At this point I had to leave to take care of some appointments that couldn't wait or be postponed, though I continued to worry. I kept hoping he'd made it out.

I got back to the house around 6:00 p.m. or so, went back...no sound. I leaned into the long tube, and...well, mewed. Over and over. I'd just about given up, and was ready to assume he had indeed gotten out safely, when I mewed one last time...and from deep underground, he mewed back.

He was still in there. I think he must have gone to sleep or been too scared to respond earlier. Now he was calling back in a big way. And the sound was coming from between that tube and the one nearby which was a sheer drop to a
second maze of tubes beneath.

Frantic, I put blocks at the other tubes in an attempt to keep him from going any further, then called every plumber in the phone book. Nobody got back to me; it was, remember, the night before the 4th, and they wanted to start their vacations. Finally, desperate, I called the Fire Department, and after several who couldn't help, I found one that would.

So around 8:00, the big-ass fire truck pulled up in front of the house, and out came the fire captain and three of his guys. They went to the drain area, and the captain said, "Sir, do you confirm there's a cat in there?" I confirmed, and they went to work. They dug out the original vertical tube, pulling out a small cypress in the process, taking turns, breaking two shovels but still
going Even the captain got in there to do his share of the digging.

Finally, having cleared away the dirt around the tube, we're talking about a hole nearly three feet deep and as wide around, they removed the vertical tube and put in a mirror to check the lower tube (which was, again, only about 3" wide).

No kitten. He'd either gotten past the blocks, or -- my worst suspicion -- had fallen down the intersecting tubes that would have taken him even deeper underground. And he'd gone silent again.

Since there was nothing else that could be done at that point, they headed out. Figuring that the kitten must still be mobile if he was able to get out of there, I stayed at the hole from 8:30 until 11:30 p.m., never taking my eyes off the hole, putting out cat food and lights to try and attract him if he came this way again.

Nothing.

Around midnight, the mewing came back again, weaker than before. He'd now been in these underground tubes, meant to carry away water, for nearly 15 hours. It was dark above and no doubt pitch black beneath.

I went back to the phone book. Called everybody I didn't call the first time. Finally, a 24 hour plumbing service sent out a guy at nearly 1 a.m. When I explained the situation, he said he might have to tear up the pipes, uproot another tree, and it was gonna cost a lot. I said do whatever you have to. Seeing how determined I was, and that it was a kitten, he knocked some of the price down, and started digging.

After half an hour, he had the idea to call his brother who had a snake-camera, the kind you fish in to look at obstacles. Didn't know if he was home, but tried. Got the brother, he came out, joined the effort. Kept putting the snake in and looking around. The video carmera showed nothing, though we could still hear him. It had now been sixteen hours.

Finally, they shouted and I ran to the display. I could see the outline of the kitten, on its side, half in water. It had to raise its mouth above water to mew. The kitten totally filled the pipe, meaning there was no way it could turn around, it could only go forward. And that's what it had been doing for sixteen hours, going forward in the pitch blackness and the water, crawlilng
blind. It was now deeper into the maze, but at a point where if it backed up, it would eventually get to the opening dug by the fire department. But that was nearly 20 feet back. If we tried to dig, he might scoot forward and get clear...and if he went further, he'd be under concrete, and the end was blocked by roots. If we lost him this time, he'd be gone for good.

So we started bonking him in the nose with the snake camera. He put up a heck of a howling at this, but he backed up. Inch by inch, bonk by bonk, we backed him up for twenty feet.

Finally, he was getting near enough to the opening for me to see the red light of the camera lighting the tube. I dived into the freshly-dug hole face first, shoving my hand into the pipe in hopes of snaring him when he came this way. I knew I was only going to get one shot at this, and if he squirmed past me, we'd be screwed. It was now 2 in the morning, and there I was upside-down in the mud, hand shoved into the drain, with every imaginable mosquito and insect crawling over me, biting, stinging...I'm pretty sure I saw a black widow spider crawl over the back of my hand. But there was no power on earth that was going to get me to pull my arm out of that drain; I missed him once, I wasn't going to miss him again. The water was also backing up around the kitten, and I could hear him gurgling, choking.

Suddenly I felt his back feet brush my hand. I grabbed hold for all I was worth, resolved not to let go, and began pulling. To give you some idea how tightly he was jammed in there, as I pulled his fur dragged the pipe on all sides, making a shuuuuuuppppp sound as I pulled him out, worried that I might injure him by the angle I had to use.

With a final pop he came loose and up into my arms, covered in mud, soaking wet, shivering, but he was OUT goddamnit. The guys were so moved that they agreed to come back the next day for almost nothing to fix all the pipes and even replant the trees.

We bundled him up in a towel and got him to an all night emergency vet's office, where he was diagnosed with extreme hypothermia. Another couple of hours and he wouldn't have made it. He would've lost too much body heat.

He stayed at the vet's for 48 hours, getting warmed up, checked out, getting his blood work and vaccinations done, they checked his fluids and rotated his tires...and he's fine. His name is Buddy, for what I said when I got him out, over and over, "you're okay, buddy, you're okay now."

As I type this, covered in little bites, with the garden more or less back as it was, he is in one of the guest bathrooms, sleeping soundly on a warm towel, surrounded by small toys and big bowls of food and kitten milk. The one thing I've found I can't do is turn the lights off. He's scared of the dark, and probably will be for a while. He's the sweetest tempered kitten you've ever seen, with gray-blue eyes, long black and white fur, and he's just happy to be
alive.

I haven't yet decided if I'm going to keep him or let him go for adoption when the other cats and kittens are taken, but the main thing is he's okay. The little buddy's okay.

A day in the life, as they say....

-----------

Postscript, today: Buddy is 9, weighs 18 pounds, is a yard long nose to butt, and has a tendency to overcharge his credit cards.
And a small follow-up:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski
After about six months he stopped being quite so afraid of the dark, though he does still get a bit flippy at the smell of mud. That aside, rescuing the little guy was maybe one of the best things I've ever done, even though I'm convinced more every day that the whole thing was a set-up to get in the house.
JMS also passed the 10,000 'Like' mark on his FB page today.

Jan
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Last edited by Jan; 01-14-2013 at 08:30 PM.
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  #63  
Old 01-14-2013, 08:31 PM
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Found another postscript to the above but couldn't add it because it made the post too long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski
An aside: while one of the cypress trees could be replanted, the other died, so I had a plum tree planted there because he was plum lucky I found him that morning. Downside: the purple leaves are always falling into the pool, the only tree nearby that does that. I'd take it down and put up something else except I worry that it would be bad mojo for Buddy to do so.
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  #64  
Old 01-28-2013, 02:02 AM
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Back in the mists of time, when the Sci-Fi channel was actually about science fiction, there was a Masters of Fantasy segment about Harlan that also featured JMS. He found and posted these.

Part 1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-KueIGzn1g

Part 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KRBer6LXgs

I adore the Arthur C. Clarke quote, "Harlan has the biggest heart/body ratio of anyone I know."

Jan
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  #65  
Old 01-28-2013, 05:34 AM
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"Her Most Serene Highness Empress Jan of the Babylonian Empire, Goddess of Eeps, Honored Denizen of rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated, Transcriber for the Great Maker, Engraver of the images of the faithful and the Great Maker, Archivist of the Sacred Scripts of the Babylon 5 Universe."

GASP! Jan you ARE starting a Church of JMS! I guess it's only fitting you get the high priestess role.
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  #66  
Old 01-28-2013, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ubik View Post
"Her Most Serene Highness Empress Jan of the Babylonian Empire, Goddess of Eeps, Honored Denizen of rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated, Transcriber for the Great Maker, Engraver of the images of the faithful and the Great Maker, Archivist of the Sacred Scripts of the Babylon 5 Universe."

GASP! Jan you ARE starting a Church of JMS! I guess it's only fitting you get the high priestess role.
Well...Of Course I'm starting a Church of JMS. I *AM* JMS - Jan M. Schroeder. See? Who better to start a church worshipping Me than Me?

Jan

What? Huh? You didn't mean me? Ooohhh....well...nevermind...
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  #67  
Old 01-29-2013, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan View Post
Well...Of Course I'm starting a Church of JMS. I *AM* JMS - Jan M. Schroeder. See? Who better to start a church worshipping Me than Me?

Jan

What? Huh? You didn't mean me? Ooohhh....well...nevermind...
Jan, I’m sure you’ve earned a church devoted to yourself, especially where B5 is concerned!

JMS might make a good acolyte.... of course, like all acolytes in the church of Jan M. Schroeder, he’d be dressed as Zathras, and would be required to stay firmly ‘in character’ whilst performing his duties. You could allow him time off in the evenings to pen new holy books.
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  #68  
Old 01-29-2013, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ubik View Post
JJMS might make a good acolyte.... of course, like all acolytes in the church of Jan M. Schroeder, heÆd be dressed as Zathras, and would be required to stay firmly æin characterÆ whilst performing his duties. You could allow him time off in the evenings to pen new holy books.
You know...that's one of the *oddest* visualizations I've ever had while awake!

I'm afraid Buddy might have a thing or six to say about it, too.

Jan
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  #69  
Old 01-29-2013, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan View Post
You know...that's one of the *oddest* visualizations I've ever had while awake!
Glad to be of service!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan View Post
I'm afraid Buddy might have a thing or six to say about it, too.

Buddy could perch on JMS' shoulder, and act as his 'keeper'. We all have our keepers!
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Old 03-15-2013, 03:06 AM
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Did you know there's a Studio JMS YouTube channel? It started with film of the dancing zombies from SDCC last year and in the last couple of days has added on the announcement videos and the first episode of JMS' City of Dreams audio dramas, "The Damned are Playing at Godzillas Tonight". Hope they add the rest, too.

http://www.youtube.com/user/StudioJMS2012/videos

Jan
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  #71  
Old 03-19-2013, 03:15 PM
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A fan posted a question about how fandom sometimes seems to take on aspects of religion. The poster asked what JMS' outlook on that was, since he had a unique perspective on the question.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski
People sometimes get very casual in their use of the word religion. It properly refers to the belief in the existence and efficacy of supernatural beings. That is the basic dictionary definition of the thing. When fans of any form -- from football to SF -- get sufficiently engaged, it can produce an almost religious zeal, but it is not the same as religion, and should not be confused or conflated with same.

In terms of me, my beliefs and Babylon 5...when we were making the show, I knew I would be discussion Minbari and Foundationist beliefs, and just for my own purposes, so I was clear on it all, wrote what began as an essay and ended up as a small book putting forth the Foundation as a philosophy and sorta-kinda religion, which was and is very much in step with Minbari ideas. It's not a big book, but it's a goodly size, and in my view has some very cool ideas and some challenging notions that I haven't seen elsewhere.

From time to time, I consider releasing it, but then the specter of L. Ron Hubbard rises before me, and I reconsider. In my will there's a list of my unfinished or unpublished works divided into two parts: burn and don't burn. At present the book is in the burn category. But in time, who knows, that might change.
I *so* hope that it does!! Having only read that tiny bit, the 'Never Surrender Dreams' essay, I really feel that there's probably some really important insights contained in it.

Jan
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  #72  
Old 03-20-2013, 12:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan View Post
A fan posted a question about how fandom sometimes seems to take on aspects of religion. The poster asked what JMS' outlook on that was, since he had a unique perspective on the question.

I *so* hope that it does!! Having only read that tiny bit, the 'Never Surrender Dreams' essay, I really feel that there's probably some really important insights contained in it.

Jan
Having watched B5 repeatedly , and having seen more of JMS' work, I think he has a strong contribution of insights. So I agree, Jan.
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  #73  
Old 03-27-2013, 12:32 AM
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"The next 24 hours should be very interesting indeed...."

JMS is such a tease! Obviously something big in the works or an announcement coming. I'm still amazed at how many people respond with 'New B5!?!?'.

Personally I hope it's some news on Sense8, or new SF TV from JMS.
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Last edited by Ubik; 03-27-2013 at 12:34 AM.
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  #74  
Old 03-27-2013, 03:36 AM
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I think the teasing is his way of sharing his excitement. Must be hard sometimes to wait for the 'official' announcement of something.

This was interesting. Many folks on FB have adopted a temporary avatar to show that they support marriage equality as tw important cases are being heard by the Supreme Court this week. A fan wondered that she hadn't seen any B5 folks changing theirs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fans of J. Michael Straczynski
Some have, I believe that Pat has. I guess for myself, I've never felt the need to wear a badge that somehow validates my position or falls in with public trending. When folks blasted politicians because they didn't wear a flag pin, as if that somehow made them less patriotic, that was absurd and ridiculous to me. Your patriotism is judged by what you do, not a pin; any scoundrel can put on a pin, it's your actions that determind who you really are. My stance on marriage equality is pretty clear and I've made no bones about it, having posted and defended long messages here about the history of same sex marriage in and out of the church over the centuries. Some folks like to wear a pin or a profile picture, which I suppose is fine for them, but it's also a very easy thing to do. I'd rather let my actions speak for themselves rather than put up a picture that's trendy for a while then gets shifted to the next cause celebre (as was done with visual artists/green screen profiles). Kinda lets one off the hook and just move on. My positions are lifetime choices, not momentary shifts of profile pictures.
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  #75  
Old 03-27-2013, 03:55 AM
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I guess the comment may have been in relation to the Supreme court ruling / ongoing case?

I can see what JMS means about the 'badge wearing'. One part of me agrees, the other thinks it's a nice show of solidarity from the online community.

I for one will always support equality for all, regardless of race, age or sexual orientation.
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Last edited by Ubik; 03-27-2013 at 04:00 AM.
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