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Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Doctor Franklin may have been ferrying colonists to the moon since the later part of the nineteenth century, but humans do not control much of it. He has one ship. Commodious as it is, The Poor Richard is, really, rather small. You know those yachts you see docked at Monaco? Well, it's like that. Maybe six state rooms. Crew quarters for a like amount. A hold. A galley. An observation 'deck.' A propulsion room. Yadda yadda. Badda bing. Some heads. That's it. And those early colonists wanted to bring farm animals. You know the old reprobate wouldn't go for that. But he did let them bring embryos. Most didn't know what he meant. Got the necessary technology from the same place he got his ship. One dark, winter night, deep in the bowels of an early incarnation of The Anti-Enchantment Bureau...(in a sub-basement of The Walnut Street Theater back then) he tried something new with his 'armonica.' This was by no means as huge or technologically advanced as later models, but still apparently capable of great things. He was experimenting with frequencies... adjusting the crystal discs... moistening them... spinning them... zapping them with tiny, jittery boltlets of electricity. Wintry drafts of frigid air snaked down the narrow, creaking steps. Hurricane lamps flickered. And 'Highwayman,' a semi-domesticated raccoon, covered his eyes and jabbered away behind a stack of old scripts and playbills.Some animals are quite adverse to scientific exploration. Horses positively run from it. But Franklin gave him a plump smoked oyster from Kelly's On Mole Street and that made it all right.

On a whim he added another chord (via manipulation of the discs) based on an old cantorial heard at the Spanish Rite synagogue nearby.... Six part harmonics.... Da Vinci wrote about six part harmonics, but 'died,' or in some fashion 'vaporized' out of this world to God knows where before acting upon it. The sound is intricate and (even at low volume) quite powerful. The air positively vibrates. 

There was a large, heavy, bell jar, maybe two feet high and eighteen inches across, formerly used to keep dust off a stuffed marmoset. Franklin fixed taunt copper wires to its exterior surface with daubs of horse glue carefully applied on the end of a bamboo chopstick given him by a sea captain big in the China trade. Then he pumped the floor pedal, adding a bit more energy, and set it all in motion, infusing the low ceiling chamber with a symphonic cacophony unheard in our solar system since Creation.

A golden mist began to condense on its inner surface and a strange, little, metallic automaton materialized right where the marmoset used to be, resembling nothing so much as a miniature Wizard of Oz tin man, by way of 3CPO. Franklin gasped. Then the creature turned, leaned forward and peered through the cloudy glass, looking right at him . Franklin froze. After a bit the intelligent machine, deciding the old scientist was of no importance, returned to whatever it was doing before being rudely transported.

Franklin watched, transfixed by the magic of it, as the little metal man uttered words through lips that were almost biologic in their movements. With each pronouncement small, complex components popped out of the ether, settled to the floor of the tiny, glass domed, chamber, patiently waiting til their number was sufficient. Then, via magnetic, or electric attraction, they quickly snapped into place, forming a minute version of what became his space craft, The Poor Richard. The hybrid tin-man said something else and the little craft rose from the 'floor' (in this case, an old, maple table) and effortlessly crashed through the thick glass dome, shattering it into five hundred and sixty four pieces. The raccoon peed on the cold, stone floor, as the obviously incredibly advanced contraption buzzed 'round the room like a wasp, before punching through the ceiling and the four ceilings above that, to disappear in the darkness. The metal automaton crumpled down upon the table and moved no more. I believe he rests in a toy museum to this day.

Within two months Franklin had the first of his chambers under the Old Philadelphia Navy Yard, a huge armonica and an almost hangar sized space to accommodate whatever the 'winds' blew in. He meticulously reproduced the harmonies in every way and one night, just before the dawn of a late March day, the metal man came back, only this time much taller (seventy nine inches to be exact) and the ungodly flying machine he pulled from the air was proportionately bigger too.

Thus, via the unwitting pilferage of alien 'magic' The Poor Richard was born. Lincoln wanted to use it against the Confederates, but his generals said such a huge advantage would be most ungentlemanly and quite improper, though I'm sure the wives and mothers of Union dead disagreed.

In that way it began.

Next time we return to the moon.


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Monday, July 21, 2014

What Is A Dyson Sphere?... Doctor Benjamin Franklin knows... 7/21/14

The Poor Richard pivoted 'round til the underside faced the interior surface of the moon and touched down at a little port roughly where forty degrees north latitude would be. When the passengers, both vampire and human stepped out, Doctor Franklin began his spiel..... What you see is very old. The trees and all the other vegetation comes from Earth. Apparently here for at least seventy five thousand years. We know by comparing genetic divergence. Species here are essentially the same as Earth counterparts, however there are slight digressions and by measuring the rate of those digressions, or mutations we arrive at seventy five thousand years. Animals stem from seventy five thousand year old transplants too. (gestures across the void). There be mastodons there and saber toothed felines. But they're in preserves. Seems the original creators didn't fancy being trampled or chomped up, so they put them over there. We'll explore some of their early dwellings later... homey, in a not quite human way... not quite vampire too. And don't ask me where the gravity comes from. I can't explain it. Nor can I find a reason for that vacillating baby sun over there. You'll note that all points on the interior of this lunar shell enjoy the same climate, since all receive identical measures of 'sun' light. But the amount of heat and illumination varies over the course of a Selenial (our name for this inner world, based on the Greek word for moon) day. The central starlet produces everything from palest dawn to high noon and back again. Full night is hypnotic. It dims to a velvety black, though thin, deep, orange lines snake across the surface, from time to time. And tiny, pinpoints of twinkling light that seem to be a type of umpteenth generation hologram, appear at various coordinates in the void... special effects starlight, I suppose. Clouds form naturally, as they would in a terrarium  It rains here. Occasionally we endure soft, juvenile hurricanes and light snowfalls all keyed to the rhythms of the days, nights and seasons of that far off world. A day equals twenty six and a half hours and each season is six weeks long, leading us to believe their home world went 'round a smaller sun. Perhaps an orange dwarf. 

Sarah said - How is it that the light from that little sun doesn't burn us? Luna and I, I mean. We're vampires. after all..... Well, it's not a sun. Not a real sun. Something causes the light. Something creates the heat. But it's not nuclear fusion. Maybe that's why. I don't know what it is. - said the Doctor.

Tomas (staring into the orange glow) quietly asked - Who knows about this place?..... Doctor Franklin considered for a moment and said - I do and all my people of course. A few friends and associates around the world. We've been bringing settlers since The Crimean War..... I never knew - said Tomas..... NASA never knew either - said The Doctor. I suppose they will when they return. Imagine. We have a land area equal to North and South America combined. Those glassy looking shapes you see scattered about are lakes. Wait til you taste the prawns. You can have them now, Tomas, not being vampire and all.

Luna didn't say much. She'd been there before. And Billy was dumbfounded by that Crimean War remark, though he was conscious of a gentler gravitational pull. Back aches are rare around this place. After a bit, they got into a large golf cart, driven by one of the crew members, and bounced off toward a nearby town. 'Baby Philadelphia' they said it was called.

Franklin continued his running commentary as they went along.... We believe this is a rudimentary Dyson Sphere... A scale model, if you will, fashioned from an errant Jovian moon. Why they built it here, I don't know. Buckminster Fuller had his theories, but they were just theories...... Then they came round a bend. Franklin gestured toward a comfortable looking, gray stone house set among the trees and said - Ah, look! The Bluestone's open! Pull in, Geoffrey. We could use some dinner. 

So they entered a traditional, Pennsylvania inn... warm wood floors... creamy plastered walls.. long oak bar... mullioned windows... crown molding... small, cozy fire. The innkeeper, a second generation transplant from Hait-Ashbury, led them to a table (did he know who they were? well, he recognized Franklin.) and they sat down to a wonderful meal. The two vampirinas made do with thin, flavorful bisques, which they thoroughly enjoyed. The human sort savored rich, goose pie, pepper-green salad and blueberries over homemade ice cream.

Everyone had wine.

And the little sun-like thing in the middle of this world went from orange to red to violet to black.

The first day was over.

But the first night had begun...

<more next time>


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Saturday, July 19, 2014

PROGRESSION TOWARD LUNA .... our unusual band visits a strange place..... 7/20/14

Space is quiet. When worlds collide there is no sound. And space is dark... an endless frigid void sprinkled with tiny, orbs representing various degrees of insignificance. Tomas sat by a window gazing at pinpoints of light, the distant hearts of remote planetary systems. He was silent, almost meditative.... a post-vampire lost among the stars. Such things he's seen... The exquisite tinkling fountains of the Caliphate of Cordoba... Elizabethan London.... dhows off The Yemen... Carnival in Venice. He was a vampire for roughly one thousand years and mortal for eighteen years before that. Now adrift... No trim, leather bootkins.... No finely tailored white shirts, black jeans, or other trademarks from those days. Vampires are vain, you know. Iberian aristocrats are too... Tomas de Macabea, also known as Jonathon ben Macabi, presently in a large, midnight skinned, triangular craft floating toward the lesser sister in our Earth-Moon binary system.

He thought about Philadelphia and all his plans... A better world... A spiritual place.... Magic and the mundane reconciled... An enchanted existence where science and the ethereal plane intersect. But now it was over. Power must be controlled. Magic is power and those immersed in it must be contained. Governments and the people behind them demand it. 

He was too vain. Not satisfied to be dead, or whatever that state was. So now Doctor Franklin's Anti-Enchantment Bureau is in adversarial hands. 'Enemy' wouldn't be the right term. They're our government after all and the self absorbed scion from Al Andalus refugees toward Luna..... Not the vampire-physician-protegee of Doctor Franklin, but the world she's named after. 

Crew members padded about, outfitted in those attractive, yet strange, trim, navy and white, Early American uniforms. And were they all really named Jedidiah, or Lucas, or Absalom? Doctor Franklin liked such conceits. Where'd the fresh flowers come from? And the 'Spanish Ladies' (goldfish)? Tomas picked up a decorative trinket from the dark, polished table beside him, some silver shape, maybe it was pewter. Then he opened his hand and let in drift back to the fine, ebony surface. There was gravity, just enough. Franklin never said where it came from.

The others were off somewhere. Onboard timepieces read 7PM. Perhaps they were dining? Sarah and Luna, being vampire, might ingest clear broth, or wine. They could have that. The blogger, Billy, is human. And although Doctor Franklin is a three hundred and seven year old, scientifically preserved 'Founding Father,' he's still essentially human too.

Odd that Tomas wasn't with them. He's human too now. But he has to think. You know how spiritual he is. There was a momentary hiccup. The ship changed direction... just a minute correction. But now he could see the Moon, a large, gray-silver globe... so sharp... so tuned in and precise. The ship drew closer. Where would they land?

He motioned toward a footman... a 'Rupert.' or an 'Eli,' or something and quietly asked - Where do we land? How will we live?..... But the well trained factotum just gave him a cool drink (in a spill-proof, sterling, sippy cup) and smiled.

They passed over the rim of a large crater... like a scene from Kubrick's 1968 epic. Tomas loved that film, even if his part in it was thirteen years too late. But the floor to the crater was not there. He still had a vampire's keen sense of perception. He knew where the surface should be, but it just was not there.

The space-faring craft, The Poor Richard descended down through the lunar crust... through a cylindrical portal round as a Mayan cenote ... flat and steady, like a giant elevator, finally entering into an impossibly immense expanse more than eighteen hundred miles across. And Tomas saw the green, moist, true face of the moon. Rivers traced lacy paths through ancient forests. There were towns. Well, at least he saw the lights. An orange radiance... a miniature sun occupying the space where the core should be, bathed all in a late day glow.

W-what is this thing? - whispered Tomas.....

Your new home, sir - said the Rupert, or Eli.

But the former vampire, who'd seen many things, just stared....

Not even Byzantium came close to this...

<more next time>


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the Phil Spector Wall of Sound <~~~ let me tell you why we have this up... 7/19/14

A lot of people on TWITTER were talking about a 'might be' film focusing on legendary classic rock producer, Phil Spector's early days, entitled SOUND MAN

If you crave rock and roll-prime, listen to the clip up above. Some say JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT considered for the young Phil. And don't forget the pivotal RONNIE SPECTOR role too~~> (LIKE WALKING IN THE RAIN). Picture a younger ROSIE PEREZ. Maybe she could still play it?

My dream is to see PHILADELPHIA AFTER DARK, the coherent, simpler script that came before Vampire Wonderland (picture a quirky vampire love story with a bit of conflict and adventure thrown in) made into a movie with all my favorites from the Phil Spector canon on the sound track. If you'd like to hear lots more, google Phil Spector material on You Tube.... TONIGHT I MET THE BOY I'M GONNA MARRY and all that.


Learn about it...Part of the AMERICAN MUSIC BIBLE. 

< and a lot of KNOWN people were really talking about this..... oh, that TWITTER thing up above is clickable> 

If you want some good Vampire Wonderland material, google BINGO BOY by Billy Kravitz or EL RANCHO TEXACO by Billy Kravitz , click on the top choices and press OLDER POST or NEWER POST when you get to the bottom.. BINGO BOY's a quirky (my word of the day) gritty, under the Philadelphia 'el' tracks romance between kids working in a smoke filled, storefront bingo hall, with a few murder victim ghost narrators. Make a good indie film.

OK, that's it. Almost 4:45AM here. Time to go to sleep, or maybe get up for work. 

Til next time. 


Thursday, July 17, 2014


SCENE - Doctor Franklin's vast, cutting edge, research facility, beneath The Philadelphia Navy Yard.

Technicians and functionaries race down a bright, sterile passageway. Lights flicker. People scream. Small, tactical concussive bombs thrown by advance squadron of 'Black Knights,' covert U.S. government forces used to confront magical types and crypto-biologic creatures. Bodies shatter. Limbs fly off. Eyes liquefy . Tongues sizzle, swell like baked balonies and explode. A female wearing  a white lab coat throws squirming mer-folk toddler, as her torso splinters into a million bits in an almost fireworks-like nimbus of blood. But a Black Knight catches the pudgy sea-child before it smacks against the polished concrete floor.

Up ahead, DOCTOR FRANKLIN, the vampire TOMAS, his consort SARAH, the vampire-physician LUNA and their 'verified' tweeter/ blogger, BILLY make a mad dash for safety, accompanied by various hangers-on. The mad doctor, astride his souped-up  electric scooter, wispy hair flying in the wind leads them.

DOCTOR FRANKLIN - You fall, you're dead. That's it. We're not stopping.

BILLY pivots 'round to catch a glimpse of their pursuers. TOMAS grabs him, just as a severed human head ricochets off the walls, floors and ceiling, bouncing passed DOCTOR FRANKLIN who unceremoniously smashes it under the wheels of his vehicle.

DOCTOR FRANKLIN - Careful the blood! 

More Black Knights round a corner up ahead. Our heroes are caught... (maybe)...

DOCTOR FRANKLIN yells - The guns! The guns! Shoot 'em! shoot 'em! Shoot 'em!

They pull out little 'glass' pistols with a series of carefully ground, crystalline discs mounted in the barrel. LUNA fires off a shot. 

The crotch of one of the dark, spandex clad Black Knights up ahead vibrates for an instant before disengaging into sub-atomic particles and raining down upon the floor. He tries to run, awkwardly, but crumples down and dies. DOCTOR FRANKLIN whoops!

DOCTOR FRANKLIN - Watch my head! 

TOMAS fires (all the time running). Black Knight number two loses an arm plus a big hunk of shoulder, tries to run, but it's a little rough maintaining balance. SARAH vaporizes his cranium. BILLY eviscerates the last one. losing a belly full of slightly digested mac and cheese upon the floor.

And the 'Knights' behind them keep on coming.

Our heroes slip and slide on the bodies, as they follow DOCTOR FRANKLIN  'round a corner toward an opened portal leading to a 'safe room.' Then, the ceiling above their heads begins to sweat... then leak... then cave, as an interior 'tsunami ' floods the hallway, washing them into the waiting refuge...


A twenty four inch thick crystalline slab (ever so slightly milky) slams down sealing them off, as two Black Knights smash against its exterior surface. DOCTOR FRANKLIN (struggling to his feet) thumbs his nose at them, as he leads them up some steps to a round chamber lined with fluted alcoves.

DOCTOR FRANKLIN - Get in. Get in Get in!

Each follows his lead, grabs an alcove and buckles up.... Nothing happens.

Tomas - Oughtn't you Say something, old man???

FRANKLIN smiles.

Then WHOOSH!!! The round chamber streaks up a cylindrical passage, like a sealed canister in a pneumatic tube. Seconds later they break through and rise above a battle, as government operatives, local Philly cops and Anti-Enchantment Bureau personnel slug it out... A few errant Bigfoot creatures and other 'guests' from the exotic 'hotel' (really a menagerie) join the melee.

Three heartbeats later, the mysteriously powered crystalline conveyance (harmonics, Doctor Franklin's science of choice, requires quartz-like substances) 'mates' with a circular opening on the under side of a large, silently hovering, midnight black, triangular air craft (who knows? maybe space craft too?). Seconds layer, crew members tricked out in snug, updated, navy blue and white, eighteenth century Continental Army uniforms help them out and lead all into a grey hushed salon with ergonomic recliners. Each takes a seat...

EXTERIOR SHOT of huge craft, as it ascends above dazzling, nighttime cityscape and flies off...

Back inside....

DOCTOR FRANKLIN - We knew this was coming. I've had offers. The Russians want me... The Chinese... The Canadians...

SARAH - The Canadians? 

He nods.

SARAH - Who brokered that?


BILLY stifles a laugh.

DOCTOR FRANKLIN - Don't judge. Quite the operative, that one. It's all just a cover.

TOMAS - And your decision? 

DOCTOR FRANKLIN - As your countrymen say, my dear boy, 'Que sera, sera.'... (to smartly tricked out crew member) Some grog, please, Jedidiah....

Seconds later they slice through an aurora kissed ionosphere into the endless vault of space... 

<more next time>


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Monday, July 14, 2014


In 1876 the world came to Philadelphia for The Centennial Exposition.  The telephone was introduced. Pedro II, emperor of Brazil made the first call. Coal powered monorails whisked passengers around the perimeter of the grounds. And modern detective practice coalesced out of , well, basically nothing, in order to catch all the murderers. Killers seem to like world's fairs. That's just the way it is. Everybody knows that. I think it was once a question on Jeopardy. Alec said - World's Fairs.... and a Dipsy Doodle champion from Texas answered - What do killers love?... She won.

'Black Marias,' primitive, horse drawn patrol wagons clattered through the streets, stuffed full with cutthroats, doxies, grifters and purse lifters. If you want to read about that era, google a fine, historical novel called THE BLACK MARIA by Mark Graham.

I referenced them to illustrate a point. What goes around, comes around. And Black Marias are back.... Only now the glossy, dark, lead-lined vans collect vampires and other unusual beings unable to sublimate through the dense, soft metal. You see, some government types embrace the enchanted world, while others curse it... That battle's been raging since Salem.

Our modern versions disgorge their load into the maw of the new 'lead room' hastily constructed beneath the haunted, though artistically arranged (and open to the public... don't miss it Halloween Time) medieval looking, two hundred year old, fortress-like bastion that is Eastern State Penitentiary. Vampires and other little known entities writhe in a  pitch black cacophony of terrified shrieks and laughter. Periodically the space is dowsed in gasoline and set afire, the only guaranteed way to destroy night-folk.

But our hero, Tomas, and his consort, Sarah, rest safe within the vast, sterile bowels of Doctor Franklin's Anti-Enchantment Bureau. The name means nothing. Had to call it that way back when. They're almost all healed now. Luna, the other vampirina is too. Don't know what's happened to the rest of the Philadelphia contingent. Edith, their New Jersey Pine Barrens witchy-woman, housekeeper would know. But she's out there and I'm (it's me, Billy) locked in here with them.

And this wasn't supposed to be like that. They expected a big, paranormal vindication... a once and for all acknowledgement and acceptance. Even Bigfoot came. Well, you know there's more than one, obviously. But I don't know how many showed up. They say some vampires are with the mole people, others walked into the sea to join the merfolk. Vampires can do that. Oxygen's nothing to them.

Even Doctor Franklin's afraid. Someone seems to be scanning his files... the digital ones, I mean. And The Bureau, with all its technological /scientific know-how can't stop it. 

I don't know how long he can last. Hope they don't kill us all...

They say there's a door down below.. how many levels I don't know, that connects to the mole people... gets you into the tunnels.

God, I wish I knew where it was...


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These things must be done delicately. There's a reason alchemists always worked in the shadows. People crave power and magic IS power. Do you think a real life 'Darrin' would forbid his Samantha to use 'witch-craft?' Screw Gladys Kravitz (no relation to that Billy Kravitz fellow). They'd be out shaking their tushie and conjuring up stuff right on the front lawn. Come on, if your partner, or ANYBODY you were close to, told you they could overcome all barriers... No frustration... No stress... No work. Enjoy life. Have things. Go places. Meet people, BIG PEOPLE. Dine with the upper crust. Trade ideas with Spielbergs, Scorceses ... even Shakespeares. Live how you want, where you want, for as long as you want. And necromancy, or 'evilness' had nothing to do with it. What? You expect me to believe you'd say 'no?' Magic is just an ability, a way to focus energy. Some people can lift heavy weights, others control the universe. And if I'm exaggerating... if they can't control the universe, they can at least manipulate the part they inhabit.

I was born in New England, right after the Salem Witch Trials. People in Boston still remembered. They pointed at folks on the street and whispered - There goes Mary Parson's girl. No wonder her hens are so fat... the witch- daughter probably fixes things. Probably has her mother's book of skrails (spells). .... Then they'd tut-tut, clutch their market baskets close beneath their bosoms and hurry home in the rain. Umbrellas were still suspect, don't you know... a violation of God's will... Everyone was a Christian Scientist. People died when God told them to.... Might nibble on some folk remedy behind closed doors. Might sip a potion concocted by some old woman. They had midwives, but no physicians. I know. I've seen a lot. In case you do not know, it is I, Doctor Franklin, talking. 

Luna and Sarah are resting. I minister to them in my way. They lay suspended in a bed of harmonics. The vibrations heal their wounds. Look to the previous posting, if you want to know the details. Tomas is resting too. He mumbles. He whispers. Doesn't want to go back... to being a vampire, I mean. Wants to be mortal. Wants to pick up where he was all those centuries ago. Wants to study faith and The Scriptures. All the old venerable European Academies are gone, burnt by the Nazis decades ago. But there are even older ones in The Galilee, in the holy city of Safed and other places.... Mystical  assemblages of students lost in God's Teachings... and, in a sense, alchemists of  'The Word.' .... Tomas wants to go there. His allies here in town, his 'familiars' work to make that possible. ... Best they get him away from all this. 

The streets aren't safe. Rival bands of witches and magic folk fight for the ascendancy. Government functionaries arrest overt practitioners. Black Marias glide through midnight lanes once again. And the huge 'lead room' under construction in Old Fort Mifflin nears completion. 

A new Inquisition fights 'magic' in it's own way. But this inquisition is a hypocritical affair, bent on stealing secrets and commandeering 'adepts' for their own purposes.

Edith gathers friends about her. They'll take to the tunnels far beneath the city and hide with The Mole Folk. They've done so before.

Those with special abilities are all about us. Open your eyes and 'see' what you know you see.

Please 'COMMENT' any questions you might have. All will be answered. Thank you.

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More next time...