Inhuman Swill : Page 107
Why is my blog called Inhuman Swill? Because you can unscramble the pieces to make William Shunn.

Fort Tomahawk, The Bronx

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What's that blocking traffic up ahead? Oh, nothing just a Tomahawk Missile. Heh heh.

(Via Laura.)

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Via cyclist friend Colin, Patrick O'Grady starts asking important questions about the Tour de France:

Beer Me, Floyd

And that magical elixir called Shiner Bock gets a shout-out, proving that evil is not the only thing Texas exports.

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Conned again

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ConEd's statement:

NEW YORK - Con Edison wants its customers in Northwest Queens to know that our crews are doing everything possible to restore power to its customers affected by the recent heat wave. The damage to our equipment was significant and extensive. We worked very closely with customers, businesses and city officials this week to ensure that outages weren't more widespread. We have hundreds of crews working around the clock in the area to assess the damage and repair many power cables, and will keep our customers updated as best as possible as to when full restorations will occur.

We appreciate their continued cooperation and patience during this difficult time. [that's the whole thing, really]

Ah, yes, that clears everything up. At least the mayor showed up to talk tough, as reported by the New York Times:

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg held a news conference in Astoria Park to reassure residents that he was pressing Consolidated Edison to restore power and telling them he was sending hundreds of city workers to help them.
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No power until next week? So says Gothamist. Jesus!

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Municipal voyeurism

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I haven't even had a chance to listen to it yet, but my story "Observations from the City of Angels" is available now from the Escape Pod podcast, read by Stephen Eley!

Listen now!

Let me know what you think, and I'll do the same.

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My contributions to the July CD Mix of the Month Club were Groove Hunter and Groove Hunter 2.

We were scheduled to meet at The Porch over on Avenue C, but it turned out to be closed for renovations and surrounded by a huge wooden fence. So we met at d.b.a. instead and sweated it out on the crowded back patio as we enjoyed birthday cake and cupcakes in honor of our interpid organizer Lisa. Laura and I decamped in a cab just in time to beat the thunderstorm.

(The story so far.)

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The 8% solution

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When you call ConEd today, they'll report an 8% voltage reduction in northwestern Queens. In our bit of Astoria, though, it's more like 8% voltage period.

For a couple of days now, throughout the heat wave, our power has flickered from time to time. We had pared our electricity usage down to bare essentials, like air conditioning and some lights. But last night, sometime between 11:00 and 11:30, the voltage fell drastically. Some appliances still ran, like the cheap digital clocks and the fan in the bedroom and the fluorescent light over the kitchen sink. But throughout most of our floor, there was not even enough power to run the lights. (The circuit breakers were all fine—I checked them.)

We sweated through the night with the windows open, though at least the thunderstorm last night had cooled things down. But there were lots of sirens.

By morning, a few of the incandescent lights showed a very faint orange glow if you turned them on. I called 311 and ConEd both, but got no helpful information. Laura took Ella out for a walk and gathered more helpful intelligence: electrical fires in the power lines all over our neighborhood. One man reported watching all the power lines for blocks around catch fire and burn. At 31st Avenue and about 44th Street, Laura herself saw a ConEd manhole cover in the street with black smoke pouring out it while it danced and popped and crackled. It was cordoned off and guarded by a cop.

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Stet peeve

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Never again would be too soon to hear the phrase "war-torn Lebanon" one more time.

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Human Space Invaders

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Presented without comment, for the benefits of classic video game aficionados:

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ShunnCast #20

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Epidode #20 of "ShunnCast" is now available, in which at least two people are rendered dripping wet, one senior companion braces for a return to reality, and Bill unexpectedly learns the true meaning of death. Plus a bedtime horror story!

See also [info]shunncast.

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The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

Signed editions
that even a
could afford.

Order yours now!

William Shunn