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My lovely little boy dog passed on last Sunday. I shall miss him terribly. ´╗┐He had a series of heart attacks starting late Saturday night. Sunday morning he hadn't improved. Almost everything was shut and I had no way of getting him to a vets even if it was open. Then a friend of Facebook arranged to have her sister give me a lift to a vets in Mt Hutton, which was open. The lift I got to go to Mt. Hutton was too late, so we went to the Vet Hospital in West Wallsend instead (which my next door neighbor, who only just got home, told me about).

But we were too late anyway - Theo died in my arms on the way to the vet. This photo was taken earlier Sunday in the backyard. I shall miss my little bundle of joy greatly.

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Leonard Nimoy, 83, passes away at home

Am rather sad over this, and have been crying a lot today.
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From Daily Record:

ACTOR Peter Falk who played dishevelled detective Columbo has died aged 83.

The twice Oscar-nominated actor, who had been suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia, passed away on Thursday night at his Beverly Hills home.

Falk was born on September 16, 1927, in New York City and grew up in Ossining, New York, where his parents ran a clothing store.

At three, he had one eye removed because of cancer.

He said in a 1963 interview: "You learn to live with it.

"It became the joke of the neighbourhood. If the umpire ruled me out on a bad call, I'd take the fake eye out and hand it to him."

When Falk was starting as an actor in New York, an agent told him: "Of course, you won't be able to work in movies or TV because of your eye."

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Had a phone call from Mum - her brother Allen has died.

In fact, she was phoned by Allen's doctor who was passing on their condolences and was shocked that the police hadn't contacted mum as yet. It seems that Allen hadn't been seen for almost a week, and when the police checked they found his body. It may have to have an autopsy to determine what he died of, though the fact that he has type 2 diabetes would have affected things. He had several cats and they are running wild now. Mum phoned uncle Steven to tell him about the death. Today was Steven's birthday - some news to get! Mum and Allen's sister - aunty Glennis - died in 2007.

The odd thing is that this mirrors what happened to uncle Brian who was dad's brother. In each case they were allowed under the will of their parents to stay in the house as long as they wanted to. The only difference was that Brian paid some of the rates, whereas Allen didn't (and this was a point of contention). Looks like they both died alone, to be discovered about a week later. At one point there were plans to sell the house as the it was behind the royal show grounds  and they were interested in expanding, but that fell through.

I have fond memories of Allen. when my family would go on visits I would talk to him a lot and we'd listen to his collection of stage musical LPs. As I got older I suspected that he was gay, but if he was, it was a "Peter Allen sort of gay", if that means anything to you (and in fact uncle Allen looked and sounded a bit like him as well).  Didn't matter to me either way though when my sister-in-law asked directly about this recently he was offended. I hadn't seen Allen in years since the start of my transition, though when I visited my family in 2008 he had lunch with mum and me. Wish I could post a photo but I don't have any of him, and we didn't want me to take any on that occasion.

Will miss him.

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As noted at The Hero Initiative:

Born in 1932 in New York City, Dick Giordano rose to prominence in the mid-1960s as executive editor of Charlton Comics' fabled "Action Hero" line, which included such titles as The Question, Blue Beetle, and Captain Atom. In 1969, he moved to DC Comics, where he edited such critically-acclaimed series as Aquaman, Secret Six, Beware the Creeper, Hawk and Dove, and Deadman. In the early '70s, Dick departed DC to found Continuity Studios with partner Neal Adams. Dick returned to DC in 1980 and, as V.P., Editorial Director, presided over relaunches of DC's major characters, including Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.

I read all of the comics listed above, and Dick Giordano was for me a signature artist for these comics in the '70s.



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THERE.COM is closing today. It's the 10th here in Australia, but still the 9th in west cost of the USA.

I tried There just after discovering Second Life and for a while it was a contender for the main virtual world that I'd be interacting with. But there were a number of problems back then. There didn't seem to have much in the way of freebies with which to play with, to see if it was worth developing. Also, because I'd tried SL first, There's interface seemed utterly alien to me. The biggest fun I had in There back than was riding my hoverboard about (and it was fun!).

Elsie_Broek and her hoverboard

Anyway, I heard it was closing and decided to take another look - much the same strange "Island Paradise" thing but also much more developed. And I actually had a lot of fun exploring and riding my hover board (again).In a way, I'm sad to see this go, even with all the quirks it had. Whatever There was in general, in many ways it was original, and that should not discarded casually.

Bye bye THERE.COM!

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Just read on a friend's journal that Tim Hart has died of lung cancer.

Bugger. Used to be active in the folk scene, but well before that I used to play cassettes of Steeleye Span until they'd fall apart. He will be missed.

Thomas The Rhymer:

Cam Ye O'er Frae France (which I got "jagged" on:

Gaudete (which, though not Christian, I think is beautiful):

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Kevin just found out that Alix next door died three weeks ago. This explains why I hadn't seen him around much. His wife, Anna, died last year (though I saw her ghost for months afterwards) so they are both gone now.

I don't know what will happen to the house and block. Earlier this year they cleared the back block and it looked like it was going to be developed, and then, nothing. But with Alix gone I expect that things will change.

Until new neighbours moved in the other side a month ago, I haven't seen much of anyone either side, other than clearing and cleaning up. It's been a bit of a vacuum. I haven't done any repairs to the fence on Alix's side because I didn't know what was going to happen. Why fix a fence if it's going to be knocked down the following week?

Alix and I had our disagreements (mostly he would tell me to chop down my trees) but I will miss him.
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EQUALIZER star EDWARD WOODWARD died in hospital yesterday at the age of 79. The much-loved veteran had been suffering from a variety of illnesses, including pneumonia.

I first came across EW in the series Callan, a gritty series about a hitman for British Counter Intelligence. Of the films that he appeared in the one that made the biggest impression on me was The Wicker Man (1973) where he plays the central and crucial role (the film worked because he was in it, the remake was crap).

Most folk probably know him from The Equalizer where he played Robert McCall, but he also appeared in La Femme Nikita where he played Mr. Jones.

Read more:

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John Hughes died on the 6th. I was initially aware of Hughes as a writer for National Lampoon Magazine and was delighted to watch his films. The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off and National Lampoon's Vacation are classics and you can see the National Lampoon influence in all of them.

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There's Sky Saxon:

and Yasmine:

and Farrah Fawcett:

and of course Michael Jackson:



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From CBC News:

Andy Hallett, who portrayed a charming, karaoke-singing demon on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off show Angel, has died at the age of 33.

Hallett was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles on Sunday after suffering breathing problems. He died there, following a five-year battle with congestive heart disease, his agent, Pat Brady, said Tuesday.

Born in Osterville, Mass., Hallett moved to Los Angeles at the age of 23. He worked as a messenger at a talent agency and eventually scored a job as an assistant to the wife of Buffy and Angel creator Joss Whedon.

After seeing Hallett perform karaoke, Whedon asked the lanky young man to audition for a new character on Angel, which starred David Boreanaz as the titular brooding vampire with a soul.

Described by his father as "a very gregarious, happy young man," Hallett became a fan favourite on the show as Lorne, the red-horned, green-skinned, lounge lizard-inspired owner of a demon karaoke bar.

Lorne, who could deduce elements of the future for those he heard sing, soon joined Angel 's group of do-gooders. The show ended in 2004.

According to Brady, Hallett was diagnosed with his heart condition as the show came to an end and had been in and out of hospital over the past five years.

The actor is survived by his parents, Dave and Lori Hallett.

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Brian Naylor, retired Australian TV presenter, died recently in the Victorian bushfires. Naylor and his wife Moiree were found dead after fire destroyed their property at Kinglake.

He presented the Melbourne edition of National Nine News from 1978 until 1998, and also hosted Carols by Candlelight on ten occasions.

Over a hundred others have died in these fires as well, but I don't know their names or faces.

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Majel Barrett-Roddenberry died on December 18, 2008 at her home in Bel-Air, Los Angeles, California as a result of complications from leukaemia. She was 76.

As other Trek fans will know, she was first seen (in the pilot) on Star Trek in the role of "Number One", though was was more widely known in the role of Christine Chapel. Later in her career she appeared as Ambassador Troi in Deep Space Nine and later in a guest role on Babylon 5. She also provided the regular voice of the on-board computers of Federation star ships for Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and most of the Star Trek movies (including the yet to be released film). That being so, she was the actor most heard via Star Trek.

Majel Barrett married Gene Roddenberry in 1969 and after his death she was Executive Producer of Earth: Final Conflict (in which she also played the character Dr. Julianne Belman), and Andromeda - both based on his original ideas.

I don't know about you, but that's taken the shine off my day.

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I drew this little cartoon  in the late 90s, when Pegasus was still mostly a pup - I WILL MISS HIM.

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Yep, he's dead.

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A scene from Futurama - Gygax is the one to the right of Uhura July 27, 1938 - March 4, 2008

Just in case you forgot, Gary Gygax was co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons with Dave Arneson.

Though I used to have an original edition of this (three small books and some dice in a box) I seldom played it. I did however play games that were derived from it, including Traveller (which 1st edition matched the format of D&D), Tunnels & Trolls (a Flying Buffalo knock-off), En Garde! (which I ran postal games of) and Dungeon. Those were all in my "war gaming days".

Apart from D&D, Gygax also wrote other role playing games such as Boot Hill, various rules for miniatures, board games (I used to own a copy of the Avalon Hill edition of Alexander the Great - cool game), a chess variant,  fantasy novels and other books, and edited contributed to various magazines (most notably Dragon Magazine ). He was a co-founder of Tactical Studies Rules (original publishers of D&D) in 1973 and and stayed with the company until 1985.

Now it may be that some of the above might have happened without him, or happened later. However, it would have been entirely different without his involvement. I always had a sneaking suspicion that Dumbledore was somehow based on him (not sure why).

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See article at and New York Times. Bugger - another Perth boy shuffles of the mortal coil (and I'd only just watched him in The Brothers Grimm)!
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Horror Flix Page

Maila Nurmi, who played the character Vampira on TV and in the film Plan 9 from Outer Space, died on the 10th.

Along with "Morticia Addams" (as played by Carolyn Jones) and  Elsa Lanchester's "Bride", I think her Vampira character was one of the main original visual influences for female Goth fashion, and was the direct inspiration of Cassandra Peterson's "Elvira".


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