Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

August 21st, 2008:

Odd Lots

  • I lived in Scotts Valley, California for three years, and I never once heard of Axel Erlandson, an arborsculptor (that is, a person who coerces trees to grow in odd or artistic ways) who had a roadside attraction of sculpted trees in Scotts Valley from 1955 to about 1970. Not as weird as the Mystery Spot and clearly not weird enough for the Santa Cruz vicinity, the Tree Zoo was not a success, but some of those trees are mighty odd.
  • There's a PDF document detailing name changes to Chicago streets here, and it explains who or what some of Chicago's streets were named after. The street where I grew up, Clarence Avenue, was named after a river in Australia. Kedvale, the street on which my grandparents lived, was an Anglicization of an Indian term for the print of a moccasin in damp ground. (Hence those shoes named “Keds.”) Thanks to Pete Albrecht (another old Chicago boy) for the link.
  • From the Some People Have All The Fun Dept.: Walter Jon Williams got himself and several other SF writers a tour of the NORAD facility inside Cheyenne Mountain, during this recent Worldcon. How they pulled it off isn't clear; I was told by people who have reason to know that they're just not doing tours anymore. (And sheesh, I only live about 3/4 of a mile from the Big Iron Door!) Thanks to Jim Strickland for letting me know.
  • Bill Higgins sent a link to an interview with Wayne Green in ComputerWorld. Ol' Wayne is now 86 and still out there, supporting weird causes and making a ruckus–just not in the magazine business anymore. I'm fond of the guy because he bought my very first published article in the fall of 1974, and quite a few others in subsequent years. His legend counfounds historians; I've gotten many different opinions on just how much he had to do with Byte. I still have a very funny but weird little book called See Wayne Run by Gordon Williamson that suggests that he had little or nothing to do with Byte, but other people with reason to know claim otherwise. Here's some useful reminiscence/discussion; see especially the comment by Harry Helms W5HLH.