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small red square In August 1977 when I heard the news about Elvis' death I was sitting in my room of the big house I shared with D & G and others. In the street outside I could see David walking by with his girlfriend so I threw open the window, stuck my head out and shouted "The King Is Dead!"

small orange square Yesterday the NPR news stepped over the line of good taste a bit (but it's no longer a surprise when they do that) - this time the subject was an execution, in Texas, by lethal injection. A meticulous play-by-play was eventually terminated by some dead air, and my anguished vocal. It's not administered by somebody physically, like with a needle - instead, an IV drip is "introduced" previously. Then, once the condemned man has been strapped down horizontally in the special room set aside for this purpose, he's connected up to some slender plastic tubing. At the appointed hour, when all the witnesses are assembled (including in this case victims' family) detached "medical personnel" adjust the mixture going into his IV, adding in the poison. This was all entirely too familiar with my own hospital experience I described last month. They had an IV in me, too, "just in case". Today I received the bill... but my feet are actually healing up now - they had their first real visit to the gym this morning (since the operation) complete with treadmill running.

small yellow square Looking through the newspapers, I thought I could mention The Comics I Read - it'll be short, there's only four. I've finally become able to totally ignore the rest of the comic pages<1>, and broken any habit of daily reading. (Now of course I can & do get the real stuff at the local comics shop.) So first we come to "Doonsebury" - often I have no idea what the characters are talking about, or who they are even, but certain of those make it good when they show up: Uncle Duke, Mr. J, etc. The three in the comic pages: "For Better Or Worse", "Dilbert", and "Peanuts". Lynn Johnston kinda gives us her own journal in FBOW. "Dilbert" I pick up in weekly chunks off their web page <2>, and as for Charlie Brown, I've been meaning to quote Sparky here on Prayer in the Schools - this is from the 1998 Comics Journal interview with Gary Groth:
SCHULZ: I don't believe in school prayer.
GROTH: You don't?
SCHULZ: No, I think it's total nonsense.

SCHULZ: ...I did write a letter condemning promoting school prayer to the church publication I was very active in, It was called "Vital Christianity," published in Anderson, Indiana. And there were people writing in saying how important it was to have school prayer. I wrote a letter which was published in their letters to the editor saying how ridiculous I thought the whole thing was.
GROTH: Does that belief stem from a belief in the separation of church and state?
SCHULZ: I just believe that it comes from an absurd use, a ridiculous use, of prayer. That... [laughs] this runs us off into all sorts of thoughts, Gary.
GROTH: Prayer should be a private act rather than a group activity?
SCHULZ: And all of that business. And who is the teacher there that is going to have them pray? And is the teacher going to be Catholic or Mormon or Episcopalian or what? It just causes all sorts of problems. And what are the kids praying about anyway? Does it really matter, does praying in school... what are you doing it for ? The whole thing just opens up all sorts of elements of discussion.
I think it's crazy.

small blue square Listening to the new William Orbit - actually it's the current Madonna CD "Ray Of Light" - she's his vocalist this time. Some good stuff - I like the vague Arabian horns in the background of "Skin", as well as that tune's fluid, speedy drumming, like that of "Vogue" but even more hyper & synthetic.

"Kiss Me, I'm Dying".

IV - intravenous
Sparky - Charles Schulz (everyone calls him by his nickname)

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<1>And the rest of the paper, besides Back

<2>I was thinking about how it was "Dilbert" who led me (and a lot of others, I'm guessing) onto this World Wide Web. Back when he was new, before Scott Adams was signed by United Features, you didn't find Dilbert in the mainstream press - I first noticed him in the books (Clues For The Clueless, etc). But when Mosaic was new the daily Dilbert was the reason we were bringing it up. Back