Stanislov Petrov Day

Stanislov Petrov is not the only person who saved the world during the Cold War. But he’s the one whose name I know.

“On September 26, 1983, just three weeks after the Soviet military had shot down Korean Air Lines Flight 007, Petrov was the duty officer at the command center for the Oko nuclear early-warning system when the system reported that a missile, followed by another one and then up to five more, were being launched from the United States. Petrov judged the report to be a false alarm, and his decision is credited with having prevented an erroneous retaliatory nuclear attack on the United States and its NATO allies that could have resulted in large-scale nuclear war. Investigation later confirmed that the satellite warning system had indeed malfunctioned.”

The future thanks you, Mr. Petrov.



Happy birthday, M!

Thirteen years ago this morning I was sitting in HCMC, sleep-deprived and waiting. J and I were there, with M’s birth family, in a crowd of people that the HCMC staff didn’t really even blink at. M was born later in the day. Thick red hair, bright blue eyes, red-faced and blotchy and squished in the manner of most newborns.

Holding him permanently altered the course of my life.

Happy birthday, sweet boy. I love you.

All the usual things

1. I was inspired by the knitted things at the MN State Fair this year. I think I shall try to level up my knitting over the winter, and submit something next year.

2. I started listening to a podcast called Witch, Please, a podcast re-reading and re-watching the Harry Potter properties. It’s entertaining! And it makes me want to re-visit the books, myself.

3. Some friends were in town this weekend, and I made a point of taking them to the Mill City Museum, where I promptly failed my saving throw in the gift shop and bought a book. :looks sheepish: It’s my hometown museum! I can go there any time! Why do I continue to buy books there! And, more importantly, WHERE WILL I PUT IT.

4. I am really looking forward to the Pokemon Go Plus. I would like to get walking credit for my everyday activities, dangit! And keeping my phone screen live, in my pocket, does not work for me.



Minnesota State Fair!

Here is a clip of Ann Reed singing her song, “The Fair.”


I have said this before, but I genuinely and sincerely love the Fair.


That’s the key.

When I was in my twenties I went to the State Fair once or twice. I did not like it. A big part of that was my own fault. I was at a point in my emotional growth as a person where I did not recognize and accept sincere enjoyment. I spent my time at the Fair being cool, ironic, and detached. I judged the hell out of everyone who was having fun, marking them down in my head as simple and unsophisticated, as naive dupes of marketing and Americana.

Dear everyone: I was an *idiot* in my twenties. I am sorry.

I purely love the Minnesota State Fair.

I love the vegetables and the animals, the nervous teenagers with their prize agricultural products. I love the niche-specific sales of dog treats and food. I love the handicrafts building, the knitted TARDISes and the hand-carved sailboats.

I love crop art.

I love the political crop art, the sarcastic crop art, the painfully sincere crop art. I love the In Memoriam crop art.

I love the historical agricultural machines. I love the new agricultural machines. I love the Midway and the Kidway, the carnie rides and the huckstering games. I love the honey tasting and the bee educational booth.

I love the Miracle of Life barn. I love the Old Mill Ride. I love the smell of diesel at one end of the Fair and the smell of manure at the other end of the Fair.

But what I love, more than any of this, is how tens of thousands of people, vibrant in their difference, speaking dozens of languages, from all over the state, come together for ten days to celebrate our collective lives together in this place.

I may not have a heck of a lot of national pride, but I have state pride, for sure.

You betcha.



Were you a CONvergence 2015 Invited Participant?


We at CONvergence are already working the 2016 convention. And, to that end, we love hearing feedback.

If you were an Invited Participant at CVG this year, and you missed giving us feedback, please drop me an email!

sigridellis at gmail dot com

Links for August 31 2016

* <a href=""Boredom was hardest part of yearlong dome isolation: NASA crew

“Verseux’s advice to new volunteers on a similar isolation experiment: “Bring books.”
Another mission member, American Tristan Bassingthwaighte, agreed, urging future participants to bring “lots of books.””

* Urban Rabbit Farm Found at Teotihuacán

* How to Keep a Zibaldone, the 13th Century’s Answer to Tumblr

“A strange melange of diary, ledger, doodle pad, and scrapbook, these volumes—along with similar “hodgepodges” and “commonplace books”—served as a pattern for interior life from the 14th century onward, bringing comfort and inspiration to everyone from Thomas Jefferson to Lewis Carroll.

They helped citizens of a rapidly changing world to make sense of what they were reading, seeing, and becoming, opening the way for more contemporary recording forms, like blogging, tweeting, and sharing on Tumblr.”

* The Court that Rules the World

“But over the last two decades, ISDS has morphed from a rarely used last resort, designed for egregious cases of state theft or blatant discrimination, into a powerful tool that corporations brandish ever more frequently, often against broad public policies that they claim crimp profits.”



The hardships of trivial parenting

Last night my daughter and I sat down to watch her first real horror movie. And it was one of the MOST difficult acts of trivial parenting I have done. Sure, there have been many parts of parenting that were harder for me. But those were mostly real, serious parts of parenting. Things that mattered. In the grand scheme, it is not really that important whether K likes horror movies or not.

But it matters to *me*. And I didn’t want to wreck it for her.

So we sat down to watch the 1999 movie The Haunting, the updated remake of The Haunting of Hill House, the one with Liam Neeson and Catherine Zeta-Jones, you remember? And I kept my mouth shut through the entire film.

Did I point out the way the purgatory metaphor worked for Eleanor and her mother as well as the dead children? No, I did not. Did I discuss Theo’s bisexuality and Eleanor’s mistrust of affection? No, I did not. Did I discuss the rich tradition of haunted house stories and their relation to the locked-room mystery? No, I did not. Did I pause the movie to discuss mirror-horror and the fragmenting of self-identity? NO, I DID NOT.

I remained silent. I watched the movie. I suggested we have popcorn. At one point I said, “THAT doesn’t look good!” when the house started caving in.

We finished the film.

This morning, when K said she slept fine, no troubles at all, I suggested she next watch The Shining.

I am so pleased with K!

And I want a damn gold star. for my monumental discretion.