This is Dexter Nextnumber's User page. There is some personal content in this user page to bring you up to speed as to which subjects he is likely to touch on, and what he may end up contributing material to. If you embark upon a personal vendetta, resorting even to the mailing of snail-mail letters to him, as though they were authored by him, as if he would use his own name to mail them to himself, or if you attempt to appropriate electronically his credit and abuse it, or do even worse, under the impression you are anonymous, rest assured you are not.
- 1 That Said, Dexter Nextnumber goes on to say:
- 2 Lineage
- 3 Healthy
- 4 Kind to animals
- 5 Interested in Languages
- 6 Familiar with some computer programming
- 7 Likes Science Fiction
- 8 He also likes certain works of Popular Fiction
- 9 Dabbles and Doodles
- 10 Likes old movies more than modern movies
- 11 Not Recreation
- 12 Recreation
- 13 Not Interested in Sports
- 14 Religious Views
- 15 Radio Listening
- 16 Television Viewing
- 17 Periodicals that he subscribes to
- 18 Dexter Nextnumber admires several celebrities
That Said, Dexter Nextnumber goes on to say:
He is a male.
He is 51 years old.
He wore a beard and mustache until September 27, 1998, shaved off his beard but retained his mustache until April 1, 2004, when he shaved his face completely, becoming completely beardless, and by choice remaining beardless to this day.
He wears different kinds of wireframe glasses depending on whether he is reading, walking around, or driving.
His father had brown eyes.
Dexter Nextnumber's mother had and still has blue-grey eyes, while Dexter has hazel-green eyes. His brothers all have brown eyes. See the article on eye color to understand this more. Nobody in his family is colorblind; all of them can see all of the colors in the spectrum. However, human beings are a remarkably varied lot, and Dexter would not be surprised that, perhaps, somewhere someone in the world can discern even more colors than he can.
Dexter Nextnumber's father had dark hair, but it went white by age 70. His father's half-brother had dark hair, but it went grey by age 65.
Dexter Nextnumber's mother had dark hair, his mother's older sister had auburn hair; his mother's younger sister had dark hair, and her little brother had dark hair. They are all grey now. Dexter Nextnumber's mother's father is reputed to have had red hair, but this was before color photographs were widespread. An unusual genetic trait possessed by his grandmother, is that she had never had a haircut, or even trimmed it, and yet she never managed to grow her hair down to her shoulders. It just never grew down that far. Another unusual trait, is that Dexter's grandmother is still alive, over 102 years old. She enjoys a great longevity.
In other words, or perhaps to sum up, he and his brothers and his mother and father all have or had dark hair, this being a color that is between brown and black. However, his younger brother's hair is the lightest shade amongst them. Neither he nor any of his brothers are going bald, but because they were all born in the 1950s, they are getting pretty grey. Even still, Dexter Nextnumber has pretty thick hair. See the articles on hair and hair color to understand this more.
His lineage goes back several hundred years, variously, to Wales, Oslo, and Le Puy. Dexter Nextnumber has unusual genetics, and has very wide feet. He was cursed with a pair of supernumerary wisdom teeth (so that he had six wisdom teeth in all), which in his 27th year an oral surgeon removed in one lengthy afternoon, requiring him to convalesce in bed for over a week, and his gums didn't fill in the sockets for seven or eight months after that. Somewhat more curiously, and somewhat less than tangentially relevant, his aunt was born with three kidneys. Although his mother had her tonsils taken out, he has never had his out, nor his appendix, and for all that, furthermore, or anyway, he generally enjoys good health.
Dexter Nextnumber has never checked into a hospital. He does not believe that people should have to go to the hospital if they don't want to. It is probably healthier for people to quarantine themselves for as long as it takes to get well, than go to a hospital. If people fall ill from exposure to contagia (i.e., contagious diseases), they should make this fact known by putting a sign on their front door.
He does not smoke or use drugs. He does not drink alcoholic beverages, tea, or coffee. (This is mostly because he doesn't want to get a stomach ache, or a headache, or worse, and he knows that empty calories are not healthy to consume; being a sensible person, he sometimes breaks his self-imposed rule on beverages, tea, and coffee, but not very often.) It was in the mid-1990s through the 2000s that he drank a regular caffe latte or mocha latte but in 2004 or 2005 he decided to save some money and quit doing that, and he now avoids tea and coffee altogether. Be that as it may, his occasional indulgence is confined now mostly to a few hot chocolates every week, or a jar of light green tea when he goes to the movies.
He is not a party animal. Moreover, he does not feel comfortable with party animals. In fact, party animals sort of scare him. Some people think he is a boring, straight-laced 'square' and that probably isn't too far from the truth.
He does not have a bicycle.
He does not know how to ride a motorcycle. When he was a kid, he was scared of motorcycle gangs.
He is unwilling to learn how to hang glide or sky dive. He has never been on an airplane, jet, or helicopter. He has only been on a roller coaster once, and that was around 1970 when he and his parents and his brothers went to Disneyland.
He has never climbed a snow-covered mountain peak. The closest he came to doing that was when he walked for 30 minutes on Ptarmigan Glacier on the south side of Mt. St. Helens. (The eruption and mud flow was on the north face - the other side of the mountain.) It got so cold that he had to turn back. And that was in the height of the summer in August. His feet were icing over, even while the air was 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
He has a car, and wishes that gas didn't cost so much.
He often walks to or from points on a mass transit line, provided the weather is fair, and the distance is less than 7 miles. If the overall cumulative elevation change is more than 300 feet, those 7 miles become a little more difficult. Sometimes he drives halfway through the city he lives in, and matches that distance in miles of walking. He walks just as much for health, as to save money.
He does not like riding elevators or escalators when taking the stairs is so much better for a person. He thinks that running up and down stairs is more fun than running on a racetrack. He does not like being trapped in an elevator and having to breathe other people's air.
Kind to animals
He has never seen an armadillo in the wild, and looks forward someday to seeing one.
He actually saw a colony of bees migrate once. Their scouts travel first, and the entire hive follows second, usually about 5 to 10 minutes later. The hive traveled directly north, up from the south. At first it looked like a dark cloud, and as it passed over him, the sky darkened, almost like it was night. (It was about 2 pm, and the weather was sunny and blue, probably August.) No, he is not allergic to bees. They didn't attack him, they just went right over him. A truly amazing sight to see.
He likes cats, even if he is allergic to them. He pets his cat every day. On this account, he sometimes has a mild sneezing attack, or allergy-induced asthma. Once, when he was hiking through a neighborhood in Southeast Portland, he came across a curly-haired cat. The gene for curly hair in felines is supposed to have originated in The Dalles around 1990. Because it is dominant, it has spread around the world in remarkably short time. On March 20, 2010, his grey cat gave birth to a litter of four kittens. What made this strange, is that three of them were of varying degrees of grey. The fourth was a perfectly white albino female kitten with pink eyes (viewed from one perspective) or light blue eyes (viewed from another perspective). This litter lacks the gene for meowing. About 10 days later, the grey mother's sister gave birth to a litter of two kittens. These have tiger-like stripes, and know how to meow.
He thinks dogs are too noisy. And he's allergic to them, too. Or, more accurately, he is allergic to a specific protein present in the animal's saliva, which is deposited on their fur when they groom themselves.
He saw a pair of hummingbirds engage in a courtship dance once. Even eagles have courtship dances. It is a unique way of flying in circles and spirals, often with bobbing of their heads, and irregular flapping of their wings. If they were interested simply in flying, they wouldn't have flown so crazy.
He once saw a tribe of little animals on a foothill to the Cascade mountain range. These little creatures are half as tall as Hobbits, live in rockpiles, and are probably variants of marmots. They stand upright, and can walk (as they are to some degree bipedal (like prairie dogs)), and have opposable thumbs. If you camp there, they can get into your knapsacks and steal your cookies. Smart little critters. Do 'em a favor, and give them some food when you see them. Who knows, they might even have a big brother species mistaken for the saskwatch. They have a cry that sounds a lot like "meep!"
Parrots are territorial animals capable of intense pair-bonding with humans when their own kind are not available to them. They are so territorial that if you barge in on them unexpectedly, they will start screaming and shrieking, and it is safer if you depart from them promptly, especially if their owner/master is nowhere around. They are a lot like burglar alarms or watchdogs, with piercingly loud cries.
He saw a peacock attack its own reflection. Those things need to be protected from themselves.
The last time he saw a porcupine in the wild, was 40 years ago on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon.
The common possum really likes the smell of fresh bread. If given his preferences, he will go for a loaf of fresh bread instead of meat or cat food. His long snout lets him sniff out the location of bread, even if it is wrapped up in a plastic bag. Yes, the female of the species likes to hide in burrows and make clicking sounds when calling for a mate.
He saw a sparrow attack an eagle once and win. They do this by hurling themselves at one of the eagle's wings in midflight. By disturbing the eagle in this way, the larger bird can be made to flounder, falter, and fall out of the sky.
He wishes the genes of the woolly mammoth could be introduced to the modern elephant but if the world is undergoing global warming, that's probably not a good idea. Be that as it may, he feels mammoths are really cool.
He does not understand why the genes for zebras are not crossed with more horses. Sure, it's difficult, and many of the hybrids are infertile, but modern science should let us find a way to create race horses that look like zebras.
Interested in Languages
He is currently struggling with Hebrew and needs all the help he can get.
He studied Classical Greek at the university for 2 years. A lot of it went in one ear, and out the other.
He studied Classical Latin for 2 years in high school, 7 years at the university, and a couple years on his own; this was once his specialty, and he's still pretty good at it.
He took a couple years of Italian, and remembers almost nothing of it.
He studied German for 4 or 5 years at the university, but it has been a long, long time since he has taken a refresher course.
He finds the Nawatl language intriguing.
Familiar with some computer programming
He is comfortable with 6502 and 68000 assembly language programming. He believes that the closer you can get to the metal, the better. In fact, good programmers ought to be familiar with machine code no matter what microprocessor they are working with. He thinks that clean room design is a challenging concept because it requires an engineer to have, on the one hand, an exceptional programming ability, talent, or 'knack,' and, on the other hand, extreme inexperience with the platform being scrutinized. For this reason, Dexter Nextnumber refuses to learn how modern GUI-based computer systems "do their thing" - it is enough to see that one or more 'mouses' need to be clicked (in or out of sequence) before something happens. A similar argument can be raised against learning how an unfamiliar text environment acts in response to keyboard input: a very good programmer charged with the duty of authoring or designing a competitive platform can withstand charges of copyright infringement if he has never seen the source code behind a particular operating system.
He is not a '"C" programmer. Good programmers know what kind of bytes are being executed, where they are, and where they came from, and what they do; good programmers are capable of reaching executable opcodes and altering them, one way or another.
He does not approve of Unicodes or HTML although he admits they are currently useful, if only because they are all over the place, clogging up bandwidth. Their usefulness vanishes in an environment where they are absent, however, such as private, non-internet data streams (some involving Gateways) where meticulous care is observed in keeping those blasted things out. Hewlett-Packard Laser Jet Escape Sequences are a lot more useful than HTML codes, however much HTML is touted as the "in thing" to be aware of.
He had a highly expanded C-128 single-user computer, and has fond memories of PETSCII and prefers pronouncing it with all three syllables: PETASCII. He finds single-user computers to be more useful than modern contraptions designed for multi-user environments. Multi-user environments are just plain difficult to program for. He is familiar with the sixteen color codes of PETASCII, and what it means to be in Commodore quote mode. He still feels good symbolic assemblers should be able to support string arguments in Commodore quote mode, something that is pretty much hard (if not impossible) to find nowadays. (Go to Dexter Nextnumber's talk page to see a .GIF on the CBM Kernal.)
He felt the CBM Kernal was an interesting thing for beginning programmers to study.
He considers a shift lock key far better to have than a caps lock key. He wishes his keyboard didn't have a caps lock key. It only gets in the way. What madman dreamed that awful thing up, anyway? The caps lock key serves no rational purpose other than to make it that much harder to type a long sentence, let alone a paragraph or book.
He prefers white letters on a black screen. And second to that, cyn-colored letters on a screen of deep blackish blue. If the wordprocessor can't, won't, or doesn't support colored text, there's something seriously wrong with it! Or maybe it's just the hardware platform being saddled with the wrong operating system.
He has heard of make and break codes for scanning the keyboard, but still thinks that it is a lot easier (and sometimes more elegant) to do it by raising a line high, and seeing if someone pulled it low (as by depressing it and forming a closed circuit), and then detecting it by looking for a ground, the way people did in the 1980s.
He thinks that the upside down exclamation mark found in the Spanish alphabet should have its own key on the keyboard, and its ASCII value should be $A1; similarly, the upside down question mark should be on the same key as the regular question mark, but use a different modifier key than the SHIFT key, and the ASCII value returned should be $BF. He thinks that the left curvy double quote should have its own key on the upper left side of the keyboard, and its ASCII value should be $A2, the right curvy double quote should be $A3, again with a key of its own, on the other side of the keyboard. Yes, these values represent significant departures from PETASCII as a standard, but it's one he could live with. The delete + backspace key should be hexadecimal $14 while the insert key should be $94. For a delete "without backspace," that should be $15.
He thinks the letters "WP" ought to stand for WordPerfect. Although he has tried WP for the Atari ST, he has come to the conclusion that WP 5.1 for DOS is probably the best manifestation of that Word Processor. Most of his documents from 1988 through 2008 are written in Word Perfect format.
He thinks that SpeedScript was an interesting word processor. Nevertheless, he liked WP 5.1 for DOS somewhat more because of its 80 column display, and preview screen.
Likes Science Fiction
He enjoys science fiction when he has plenty of time to waste reading it.
Here is a list of some of the books he has recently read, or tried to read and gave up, or read in part and plans to read to completion. At least 9 out of 10 have been read all the way through. It is not the same thing as a book collection. (Many of these books he just gives away, rather than keeps; that said, there are some books he would never throw out, starting with Abbott's New Card Games (1963) by Robert Abbott, the inventor of Baroque chess. ) However, in the list below, most of the books are science fiction but some of them are not. This list is not sorted by title or genre but by author, and even then a significant liberty has been taken with some of their spellings, as the subject matter may compel something to be taken out of order. (Please don't re-alphabetize them, or attempt to sort them.)
- Neanderthal Planet (1959 - 1969) short stories by Brian W. Aldiss
- Isaac's Universe, (1990) collection of short stories edited by Martin H. Greenberg. These short stories are situated in a universe where the wide variety of habitats unsuitable to mankind have nevertheless given rise to a number of equally intelligent alien species all contemporaneous to one and another, and equally capable of space travel, and tentatively capable of inter-species rivalry.
- Azazel (Asimov) (1988, 1990) collection of short stories about a demon that stands 2 cm tall, by Isaac Asimov. All of these stories are united by a single theme, namely, how the good intentions of a man in possession of a demon are thwarted in unpredictable but ironic ways.
- The Duplicated Man (1953, 1959) by James Blish and Robert Lowndes
- Times Without Number (1962, 1969) by John Brunner. "Don Miguel", an official of the Roman Catholic Church, travels back in time to undo the meddlings of another time traveler, to make sure the Spanish Armada loses an otherwise insignificant and little known naval battle in 1588.
- Productions in Time (1966, 1971) by John Brunner. A hugely famous English actor admits he is an alcoholic, spends the better part of two years in a sanatorium, and when he is pronounced with a bill of good health, signs out and embarks on resurrecting his career but discovers nobody wants to hire an alcoholic has-been. Now that he is at rock bottom, his agent finds him a role in an outrageously over-funded theatrical production. The entire cast is stationed in an English estate out in the country, complete with a swimming pool, tennis court, and jogging range. All for the indulgence of the cast. The actor wonders if this is a tax shelter meant to lose money, or something else altogether. Things take a turn for the worse when he discovers webs of tiny wires running through his bed, and a tape player under the mattress. If that didn't beat all, the same setup was in every room in the mansion. Would the staff trick him into drinking again? Instead of drinking to his health, making sure he died?
- More Things in Heaven (1973) by John Brunner. After discovering a way of transmitting matter into the universe, and retrieving it, the application of this principle on human beings brings about unanticipated results.
- Anima (novel), (1972) by Marie Buchanan. A woman attends some seances, and believes her psychic powers are so great that, some day, she can take over the body of the medium nextdoor, and that way have her husband.
- All These Earths (1978) by F. M. Busby. Interstellar flight was made possible with the discovery of the Skip Drive. But when he returned home, it appears he has reached a parallel earth with a different history predating his departure. When he knocks on his wife's door, she hasn't the slightest idea who he is. Regrouping with his crew, they discover that this Earth is not their Earth. The admiral offers them the possibility that the next world they travel to, may be more to their liking. The economy of scale convinces the admiral to send out hundreds of two-man courier ships in the hope that each world they travel to, elects to send out hundreds of two-man courier ships, and the law of averages will guarantee safe return on the part of some of the ships. This book reminds Dexter Nextnumber of the logical extreme to which the Sliders television show could go, if thousands of individuals could travel from parallel world to parallel world.
- The God Machine (1968, revised 1988) by Martin Caidin. A supercomputer discovers a way of transmitting its prime directive into the minds of men through irradiating men's optic nerves with subliminal impulses.
- Fossil (1993) by Hal Clement. An archaeological site on a distant planet yields fossilized remains of an "aboriginal" or "archaic" winged species that could not have evolved there. Or could it?
- Giants Unleashed (1965, 1966) edited by Groff Conklin. A collection of short stories, including a story by J. T. McIntosh.
- Transit (1964) by Edmund Cooper. An ordinary human being finds himself teleported to a star 79 light years away. He materializes on a planet where he must battle for his life. This may have been a partial source of inspiration for one or another Star Trek episodes. (Namely, Episode #18 or Episode #45).
- Space Winners (1965) by Gordon R. Dickson. A spacecraft's computer makes an emergency landing on a Quarantined Planet. But part of the computer's programming requires it to commit suicide (and reduce the entire ship to radioactive slag) if it ever finds itself on a Quarantined Planet, this being a favorable result compared to corrupting the people on the planet with outside ways. But the cargo includes three humans who are more interested in surviving than committing suicide.
- The R-Master (1973) by Gordon R. Dickson. Volunteers might be committing suicide when they take the mind improvement serum. Or they might be turning themselves into super-geniuses, capable of adding millions of numbers in a second, and figuring out solutions to problems that other men could not figure out, even if they had several lifetimes to fret away on. If he is one of the lucky ones, he will be in the best position possible for saving his brother's life. The letter 'R' stands for Roulette. It's a chance of a lifetime, but is it worth it? It's kind of like Russian Roulette. But what happens if he takes another dose?
- First Train to Babylon (1955) by Max Ehrlich. A wife is not sure about her husband's role in a robbery and murder after she receives an anonymous letter in the mail accusing him of murder, and threatening to "out" him if he doesn't pay the blackmailer $25,000 dollars.
- The Reincarnation of Peter Proud (1973 novel) by Max Ehrlich. A professor of anthropology wishes to discover whether his series of repeating nightmares have any basis in historical fact. Could he really be experiencing memories of his death from a previous life?
- Reincarnation in Venice by Max Ehrlich. A computer programmer travels to Venice to discover who murdered him in a previous life.
- Spin the Glass Web (1951, 1952) by Max Ehrlich
- Inside Outside (1964) by Philip Jose Farmer. A man is resurrected in an afterworld that is "inside out" with hulkish demons around to torment him. Is he in Hell?
- The Green Odyssey (1957) by Philip Jose Farmer. On a planet with dogs that are as big as horses, a star traveler discovers he is trapped in a planet with a primitive mediaeval state of technology. Vaguely "steampunkish, the star traveler has to break free, and contact the other star travelers that have apparently landed. He has to do this before it is too late, for if they leave, he will be trapped there for the rest of his life.
- Night of Light (1966) by Philip Jose Farmer. An adventure involving an unlikely hero. A questionably reformed Catholic Missionary travels to a distant planet where a rival religion appears to be spreading, and spreading successfully at that.
- The General Zapped an Angel (1969, 1970) by Howard Fast.
- The Great Brain Robbery (1970) by James P. Fisher. A college student majoring in psychology discovers he has psychic powers, and agrees to travel to a distant solar system on a mission of mercy but when he gets there, aliens want to steal his brain.
- Lords of the Psychon (1963) by Daniel F. Galouye. Alien beings have arrived on Earth, and turned off all the electrical turbines for an unknown reason. Worse, the alien beings view humans as game for the taking.
- Clockwork's Pirates (1971) by Ron Goulart. Robots! You just can't trust 'em. It's bad enough they are so unpredictable, it's even worse when they form robot gangs, and start infesting the high seas of a far off planet as bloodthirsty pirates. Things take an interesting twist when the protagonist (himself a recombined man) discovers a world populated by magical creatures that are exceptions to the rule that science governs all things. For instance, a wizard has discovered how to reanimate the dead so they stagger around as obedient zombies. The magic-in-science theme is similar to that pioneered by science fiction writer Christopher Stasheff some years earlier in The Warlock in Spite of Himself series from 1969.
- Ghost Breaker (1971 novel) (1971) by Ron Goulart. A collection of nine short stories from the 1960s where a private investigator finds his special talent for exorcism is in high demand. In one of these short stories, a woman fears her husband has fallen under the charms of a beautiful mermaid. When the lead character investigates, he finds the husband equally worried the woman is having an affair. In either case, it becomes necessary to tail them both, and find out as much as he can about the third party to the romantic triangle, quite possibly a mermaid, perhaps with an element of art fraud and forged paintings.
- Suicide, Inc. (1985) by Ron Goulart. An Interplanetary task force does work as an Intelligence Agency directing suicidal androids and robots to do its bidding. But androids and robots can go only so far before you need a human to enter into the formula. The protagonist is a human who must do some pretty dangerous things to get the job done.
- Memory of Man (1981) by John Griffiths
- 6 X H (1961 - 1969) short stories by Robert A. Heinlein
- The Door Into Summer (1957) by Robert A. Heinlein. A robotics engineer travels into the future through suspended animation, and then attempts to discover a way to travel back in time.
- Tower of Birds by Oleg Korabelnikov or perhaps Korabelnikow, translated from the Russian by Holly Smith
- A Mile Beyond the Moon (1958) by C. M. Kornbluth
- The Ultimax Man (1978) by Keith Laumer A man hones his tremendous telepathic powers so that he can save the entire human race from aliens that are too distant to reach with conventional means. It's a case of raw mental power versus raw mental power.
- Identity Seven (1974) by Robert Lory
- The Resurrection of Roger Diment (1972) Douglas R. Mason
- Six Gates from Limbo (1968) by J. T. McIntosh. A man awakens from a suspended animation tank, and discovers there are two women with him in paradise. It becomes clear they enjoy perfect physical health, and mental acuity. But be that as it may, there may still be an element of jealousy and possessiveness, as this is anything but a fantasy come true. They must decide whether to escape their tropical paradise, or be content with what they have.
- Snow White and the Giants (1966, 1967) by J. T. McIntosh. Where did Snow White come from? And the young men that follow her everywhere, where did they come from? They are so tall, they tower over her. They stand six foot ten - some kind of strange college students with their fancy outlandish clothes and all. They seem to know something about what is really going on. Even stranger, these beatnik types speak English with an accent or lingo that cannot be placed. How did they know a plane was going to crash? And what do they know about an insurance agent's looking the other way when it came to approving the sale of insurance policies to risky clients with dangerous properties?
- Flight from Rebirth (1971) by J. T. McIntosh After all these years, Old Ben wants only to have his privacy respected, but when a chance meeting with an eccentric billionairess leads to his name being written into her last will and testament, he will never have the peace and quiet he wants. To escape public scrutiny, he attempts to live off the grid as a modern day nomad, but they are after him, and won't stop until they catch him.
- The Million Cities (1958) by J. T. McIntosh. Earth is so developed that nearly every square inch is covered with a big sheet of metal. From above, it gleams like silver, and development has - not surprisingly - proceeded nearly to the core of the planet. Since the entire earth has become developed - and grossly overpopulated - with billions of people in every layer of the planet, the logical course of action would be the exporting of excess population to the moon, and worlds beyond. But development and planning has not allowed for the development of a single place from which to launch a ship. Access to the outermost 'skin' of the earth is severely limited, and even prohibited by government fiat. When a trio of engineers discover a safe means of launching ships to the moon, the government decides to go after the only people capable of embarking on a program large enough to build the ships. And these people are already part of an underground secret society called "chartists" (like our own, constitutionalists, in a manner of speaking). A dragnet is in force, and the trio of engineers could well be rounded up with the rest of them. There were a million cities to hide in, but where would a conspicuous person go?
- Suiciders (1973) by J. T. McIntosh
- One in Three Hundred (1953, 1954) by J. T. McIntosh. Modern science has led to a highly accurate prediction of the Sun's increase in solar output. In fact, the prediction has been confirmed by the world's community of scientists. They only have a couple years before the Earth gets roasted in a near-nova increase in light. Can mankind build a flotilla of space ships to escape to Mars? How many of the spaceships will make it there successfully?
- Transmigration (1970) by J. T. McIntosh. It's one stroke of bad luck after another, until the hero discovers he can invade other people's minds and take over their bodies. The only catch, is that he has to die first. (Sometimes it takes several lifetimes before you can be with the one you were meant to be with.)
- World out of Mind (1953) by J. T. McIntosh
- The Best of C. L. Moore by C. L. Moore and edited by Lester Del Rey. A collection of short stories from the 1930s and 1940s.
- Planets Three (1979, 1982) collected stories by Frederik Pohl
- Turn Left at Thursday (1958, 1959, 1960) short stories by Frederik Pohl
- The Years of the City (1984) by Frederik Pohl. In the distant future, New York City becomes a domed metropolis.
- Man Plus (1976, 1994) by Frederik Pohl
- The Towers of Utopia (1975) by Mack Reynolds
- Goblin Market (Dover Edition), collection of poetry by Christina Rosetti
- Night Walk (novel) (1967) by Bob Shaw
- One Million Tomorrows (1970) by Bob Shaw. A corporation discovers an immortality potion that doesn't have the disagreeable side-effects the current immortality potion has. If they can record their product in the US Patent and Trademark Office in time, they stand to make trillions. But other corporations have somehow caught wind of the discovery, and are attempting to erase all the witnesses of the misappropriation.
- The Nebula Awards #18 (novel) (1983, 1984) edited by Robert Silverberg. Collection of nine science fiction short stories, all of them earning a Nebula Award for Best Short Story.
- The Panorama Egg (1978) by A. E. Silas. In the late 1970s or 1980s, a worldwide market began to thrive in the buying and selling of faberge-like eggs whose carefully pinpricked shells admit viewing into alternate worlds, fantastic constructions in and of themselves, that disappear when the egg is cracked any further, or are otherwise broken. But so long as they are kept intact, some of these amazing eggs have the power of transporting their viewers into the worlds within. So far as Dexter Nextnumber can tell, this unusual book is the only literary work ever written by its author, Ann Elizabeth Silas. The idea is that a macrocosm exists inside every microcosm. For other illustrious individuals interested in themes along these lines, consider Archimedes Plutonium and his theory that a universe is contained inside every atom.
- Highway of Eternity (1986) by Clifford D. Simak. A college professor finds himself whisked away by a mysterious jukebox that churns out only 'A' class term papers for college students. He awakens in an agricultural world that is apparently in the Middle Ages, and nearly unpopulated.
- Resurrection Days (1981) by Wilson Tucker Thousands of years in the future, a journeyman carpenter finds himself resurrected in a world completely under the control of women who cannot tolerate his intrusion into their carefully ordered lives. The first time, he got hit by a train at a railroad crossing. And that was the 20th Century. This time around, he won't be so lucky. They want to hook him up to a brainwashing machine. And to avoid that fate, he has to use all of his wit and guile to survive.
- Where Were You Last Pluterday? (1968, 1973) by Paul Van Herck. I'm not sure about the continuity behind this one.... This is one strange book.
- Computer World (1983) by A. E. Van Vogt
- Bell from Eternity (1968) by Robert Moore Williams. This had to have been inspired by the Jetsons? It takes an undercover interplanetary SWAT team to take the overlord of a gambling casino into custody.
He has recently read:
- Murray Leinster's "Proxima Centauri" (1935) where mankind travels to the solar system of Proxima Centauri, and meets up with an alien race that is vastly superior to it. The dominant species of the planets surrounding that star, is an intelligent, woody, cellulose-based "tree people" that evolved from a carnivorous plant like a Venus Flytrap, and as such has an instinctive drive to kill animals, and eat all and any kind of animal life, whether mammalian, reptilian, or insectile. The species has discovered space travel, and spread out to all the habitable planets in the solar system, denuding them as they go. When the aliens finally meet the Earth's representatives of humanity, the awful plant-based creatures want to kill them, dry out their bodies, and sell as food as many humans as possible. The earthling ship is huge and bulky, roughly a mile in diameter, and unsuitable to tactical manoeuvering. Much like Noah's Ark, the earthlings have brought all kinds of animals with them, ranging from rabbits and chickens, to cats and dogs and birds. The spaceships flown by the woody "tree people" can out-navigate the earthling spaceship. When the tree people come, in an attempt to intercept the earthling ship, they do so with a great host of spaceships. A number of scout ships surround the earthling spaceship and subject it to intense microwave beams in an attempt to cook the humans. But the earth ship has a field barrier as a result of the engines that gave it a near-light velocity; even though the ship has been decelerating for a couple decades, it still has a field barrier for protection. The microwaves can't get through. The humans elect to play possum and feign disaster. This proves a successful lure, and convinces the aliens to approach them, thinking the occupants are all dead. After the aliens come into contact with the ship, and effect a boarding, the earthlings turn the tables on them, and take a number of aliens hostage. But that only enrages the alien commanders more, who bring in warships with stronger energy beams. The humans can't escape by outrunning them, and after a barrage of high-powered laser guns, find their bulkhead has been reduced to plasma that splatters away into space. Corridors automatically lock as tight as a vault to keep the air from escaping into space.
- Murray Leinster's "Trans-Human" (1953) where horrifying, highly intelligent, giant spider creatures capture a human baby at age 2, and raise it as though one of their own, solely for the purpose of engineering a means of penetrating the vast interstellar human society, and bringing about mankind's destruction from within. But as the human baby grows, it shows it has an innovative character they had not first suspected it could have. The small human was trained to hate humanity, and think of ever-more-clever ways of destroying mankind.
- The Hollow Man (1992) by Dan Simmons. Out of millions of people, how could a telepathic man somehow run into a telepathic woman? After decades without meeting another telepath, it seems that they were made for each other. Theirs is a happy, joyous marriage. Was it chance or divine fate? But after she is diagnosed as terminal, and dies, he loses the comfortable familiarity of her telepathic connection - her warm feelings for him - and, without her, his life turns into a total trainwreck. Can he survive without her? He has his job in the math department of a university, but money means very little to him. And an equally weighty dilemma presents itself to him: he is the only one that can nail a maniac killer on the loose, and stop him. He runs into him in the Florida everglades at the worst possible moment - just after he has lost or thrown away his handgun. Can hearing another's thoughts be what it takes for him to escape?
He also likes certain works of Popular Fiction
These aren't exactly science fiction, but deal more with dystopias, governments, and societies gone wrong.
- Flatland (1884) by Edwin Abbott
- Brave New World (1931) by Aldous Huxley
- 1984 (novel) (1949) by George Orwell Futuristic totalitarian society weighs down on a man that dares to think differently.
- The Planiverse (1984) by A. K. Dewdney. A college professor accidentally communicates with a two-dimensional being through his primitive mainframe computer.
- Spaceland (2002) by Rudy Rucker. A man is elevated to higher dimensions when he is given a super-dimensional eye, attached to him by a fourth-dimensional being.
- All the King's Men (1959) by Robert Penn Warren Dramatization of a ruthless, unprincipled, Southern Governor-turned-Senator (like Huey Long).
- We (1921) by Eugene Zamiatin. A futuristic one-world government seeks to export its one party political system to the stars.
- When Worlds Collide by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer (1932, 1933). Two worlds (as in a binary in orbit around each other) hurtle into the solar system, coincidentally aimed at Earth. How real can that be? Well, in frantic response to the emergency situation, the world's governments resort to draconian measures to build an ark that will save a select few from sudden destruction. This is one of those books where the reader is invited to read about "what happens as we try to flee" (similar to J. T. McIntosh's (1953) One in Three Hundred novel (above) but with a much crasser, male chauvinist pig perspective about which women in the species are most deserving of rescue.
- The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor. Stumbled on this book lately, and it is supposed to be a takeoff on "Alice in Wonderland" with a scarier premise: the Lewis Carroll version was a fraud and mockery written for the purpose of discrediting the ongoing wars in Wonderland, and the real Wonderland involved an epic adventure in a parallel world that was wracked with war, dissension, and underhanded schemers. In that respect, it is not a children's book, but an adventure in escaping from oppression. Dexter Nextnumber hasn't read this one, but plans to.
Dabbles and Doodles
He dabbles in repetitive mathematical patterns confined to regular and irregular grids and lattices, including transformative logarithmic grids. If you know of an unusual grid that produces an interesting pattern, you might wish to mention it in the discussion page associated with this account. The five-cornered rectangular grid for Nine Men's Morris is an example of a dislocated grid that was stretched by adding an extra corner.
Likes old movies more than modern movies
His List of Top 12 Films have currently the following entries:
- 1. Lord Love a Duck, a 1966 film directed by George Axelrod
- 2. Watership Down (film), an animated film from 1978, and winning a Hugo Award in 1979
- 3. Zotz!, a black and white film from 1962 directed by William Castle. Yes, it's actually spelled with an exclamation mark on it.
- 4. The Mole People, a 1956 film directed by Virgil W. Vogel
- 5. Contempt (film), a 1963 film directed by Jean-Luc Godard
- 6. The River (1951 film), directed by Jean Renoir
- 7. Donnie Darko
- 8. King of Hearts (1966 film) directed by Philippe de Broca
- 9. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (film), a 1966 film directed by Richard Lester
- 10. Highball (film), a 1997 film directed by Noah Baumbach, shot in less than 72 hours
- 11. Mr. Accident, a 2000 film directed by, and starring, Yahoo Serious
- 12. Wizards, a 1977 film showcasing Ralph Bakshi's marvelous artistic style
Not all films are worth having, but many are worth seeing. Having already seen Sole Survivor (1970 film) on TV, he wishes he had it on DVD. On the other hand, some films are so entertaining, they are worth having on DVD. For that reason, he wishes he had Modern Girls on DVD, this movie being a vehicle for the beautiful actress Daphne Zuniga. And then there is the occasional movie with a clever artistic twist (like the huge tilted space ship bubbling away in the shallow waters off of Sicily, in 20 Million Miles to Earth, or some novel rendition of an old classical song, that makes it interesting. For instance, Bermuda Depths (with the striking tune of "Jenny's Theme") or She with Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.
He does not consider his moviegoing to be a form of recreation, but a serious investment of time for a money-making, business related purpose.
When it comes to filmmaking, a number of employees of the state of Oregon, and of the United States, associate themselves with him every step of the way. They understand the gravity of this matter, and are going to continue to offer him assistance in this matter.
When he was a teenager, more or less, he played Backgammon, Baroque, Chess, Conquest, Diplomacy, Dominoes, Gin Rummy, Hearts, Mille Bornes, Risk, Spades, Sprouts, Stratego, and Uno. His experience in wargames is pretty much limited to SPI's 1971 game, Napoleon at Waterloo which inspired him to design a similar game with a few extra pieces on a slightly larger, rectangular grid (necessitating complex moving and stacking rules), but the French Army tended to lose because it had a much harder time with the sneak attack on the little farmhouse and orchard in the center of the battlefield. He felt SPI's Wolfpack was really boring, and kept rooting for a return to simple, if not simpler, Napoleonic games. When SPI's East is Red came out, he felt that a much better game would have been MacArthur Rules (where the US embarks on an all out war in the 1950s with a first strike on North Korea and Red China) using a similar game map, and game rules.
Around 1979 or 1980, he played West End Games' Junta a few times. And, for more conventional games, a variant of Nine Men's Morris on a 5-cornered rectangular lattice (it was a dislocated rectangular grid). His experiments with dislocated rectangular grids extended from Nine Men's Morris to offbeat variants of Chess and Go. Fascinated with the number 5, he also played variations of backgammon with smaller "tables" but was dissatisfied with the playability of those variants. During the late 1970s, he also dwelt on the playability of playing cards with five suits with thirteen (or fourteen) cards each, namely, Ace (high), King, Queen, (and a Knight sometimes), Jack, Ten, etc. The high price of printing up cards of that nature mitigates against them ever becoming as prevalent as the traditional suits.
When he was in college, he played The Awful Green Things From Outer Space a few times. It deserves a special mention even though he never got good at it. He just couldn't bear to kill the little green things, no matter how awful they were.
He is currently thinking of getting a copy of Ticket to Ride (board game) for a lady friend. It's a game about railroads and itineraries, and she probably would like that a lot. However, he has not ridden a train (i.e., passenger car drawn by a locomotive) since he went to the World's Fair in Seattle in 1962.
Not Interested in Sports
He can't imagine anything more boring than having to sit on some bleachers and watch sports. Just about as boring, would be staying home and watching sports on television, whether it's Football, Soccer, Rugby, Baseball, Basketball, or Volleyball. The same thing applies to car races, dog races, horse races, motorcycle racing, skiing, tennis, wrestling, boxing, swimming, and hockey. Similarly with sports involving toboggans.
He is not a fan of the Olympics, or any kind of Olympics. There must be something else to do with your time.
Even watching Bowling Tournaments, Bridge Tournaments, Ping Pong tournaments, Poker tournaments, and Polo tournaments counts as the same thing - watching sports on TV - and he could pass on any or all of those activities without batting an eye.
That said, anyone being familiar with feats of great endurance and daring, such as having participated in the Iditarod, or being involved in the support crew for that sort of thing, is someone he would regard as a hero or near hero, even if he wouldn't want to do something like that himself. He also has the greatest respect for those involved in search and rescue operations.
He is not sure if orienteering is a sport or a pastime, but that is something he could get into, given the motivation and opportunity. He actually has a couple of funny stories relating to his attempts to go and attend a couple of orienteering contests. But each time, he was either a week late, or several hours late, mostly because he had gotten himself lost getting there in his car. Just try going to one of those events, and discovering everybody has already gone home!
He has strong religious views that are admittedly unconventional.
On Sunday nights at 9 PM, Dexter Nextnumber occasionally listens to Little Steven's Underground Garage. Unfortunately, he is torn between the desire to listen to this program, and watch Masterpiece Theater (see below). He cannot do both at the same time.
Dexter Nextnumber occasionally watches the following programs, in whole or in part:
- 700 Club
- Fox News Channel
- Masterpiece Theater
- Myth Busters
- PBS NewsHour
- Washington Week in Review
He generally changes the channel when a sports program comes on.
He has fond memories of Sliders, and never had the free time to watch it as much as he wanted to. And now it's off the air.
Periodicals that he subscribes to
Dexter Nextnumber currently subscribes to the snailmail version of the National Law Journal.
In the mid 1990s, he subscribed to the "Advance Sheets of the Oregon courts" - a collection of opinions published by the Oregon Judiciary. He did not throw them away, and still has them. He has also subscribed to the Oregon State Bar Bulletin.
In the early to mid 1970s, he subscribed to The National Review and Current Events magazine.
Dexter Nextnumber admires several celebrities
Among many other luminaries of stage and screen, as well as luminaries in their own right, he admires in particular, Daphne Zuniga, Nadya Suleman, Ali McGraw, Susan St. James, Stephanie Zimbalist, and Fran Drescher. Also worth watching, are actresses who once were quite famous for no or little reason, but who have become accomplished actresses in their own right, such as modern performers Susan Dey, Molly Ringwald, and Justine Bateman.