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Happy Valentines Day

Planet Nilknarf
February 2010
February Birthdays

What Is Planet Nilknarf?

That is the question my favorite Christmas present got me asking. Seeing it brought back
many exciting memories. Many years ago I was involved with at least three different KISS
Fanzines: “The Oath”, “Flaming Youth” and “Firehouse”. I first found out about “The Oath”
when I was at the 1983 KISS concert on their “Creatures of the Night” tour. Somebody was
handing out flyers. Lo and behold I soon started subscribing. At one point I even met the
editors, Gary and Leslie Saunders, when they were living in Mississauga. They even knew
Paul Stanley personally and I got to speak to him on the phone. I remember him telling me he
was pigging out on chocolate chip cookies and I remember telling him about my play. At that
time I was involved with the Acorn Theatre's production of The Wizard of Oz at Trent
University in Peterborough. Paul was kind of shy. I think I did most of the talking!!

As a result of being involved with these fanzines, I had many pen pals. I wonder whatever
became of them all. I developed a huge crush on Al Samujh in England! We used to write to
each other nearly every day and sometimes he and his friend Leslie Dunn would phone and
we'd talk for hours!! I wonder whatever became of these guys.

As a matter of fact, I wonder whatever became of Gary and Leslie Saunders. There was a
rumour floating around that Gary had cancer. I hope that wherever he is he's okay.

Ron Roxburgh was mentioned in this book. Apparently, “Firehouse” has been one of the
longest-running fanzines. Wherever he is now, I hope he's doing okay. We had a bit of a
falling-out back in the 80's when I started losing interest in KISS and becoming more
interested in Boy George and Culture Club and I was quite hurt and offended by a comic strip
in his 'zine that depicted KISS beating up Boy George.

I have since forgiven him and as a matter of fact one of my “Life With Louella” Halloween
stories shows, among the shenanigans going on in the background, while a devil with a
lawnmower chases a hula dancer in a grass skirt, a group of KISS lookalikes about to dunk
someone dressed as Boy George into the punch bowl!!!!

Which brings us back to the question once again: What is Planet Nilknarf? You could say it's
the unofficial KIDEO fanzine as there's been quite a few things about them over the last year
or so. I probably know more about these guys than any of their other fans, much to their
dismay. You could say I'm a stalker but I'm not. I was just curious! Then again you know what
they say: Curiosity killed the cat and made the dog walk funny.
Planet Nilknarf, if you're just tuning in for the first time, is a special place where I basically talk
about my favorite things, yet share my random thoughts and musings. Even when things are
not going so good, I can share not only my tragedies, but my triumphs when things improve.

It is a place where I share my talents and special projects that might not otherwise see the
light of day. And it is the Internet equivalent of the monthly parties I used to host back in
Toronto when I was living alone and single and computer illiterate. Nowadays instead of
crowding the house with as many people as possible, putting a hamburger casserole which I
made the night before into the oven and serenading everyone on my guitar, I just zoom to my
kitchen table and throw a bunch of crap together on my computer!!!

The original “Life With Louella” comic strip was created for a newsletter called “The Dufferin
Dogstar”. After numerous meetings and one wild and wonderful party, only one issue was
ever printed and that was it. I still continued the story, which I made several copies of and put
in duo-tangs which I gave to my friends. This is the series you see every month. It was my
masterpiece and I often find myself wondering if I could ever create such a thing again, as
with the “Life With Louella” stories that appeared on Richard's “Rapid T. Rabbit and Friends”
show for many years.

To everything there is a season, and although I've been unable to create anymore “Life With
Louella “stories in recent years, I've been gradually trying to get back into my music, which is
by no means an easy feat either as I've also been unable to write any new songs. The last
one I wrote was “I Hate Ice” and that was well over five years ago.

My “Springtime in Narnia” CD was a masterpiece in its time, and although it didn't make me
famous either, it did bring me together with my soul-mate. I love to tell the story of how Dave
was one of only two people who bought my CD after seeing me advertise it on “Speaker's

We both miss that show. I guess it's become obsolete because the Internet gives people
another chance to make idiots of themselves, which is mainly all the show was becoming in
later years! Which brings me to the next subject:

Moments I wish I Had on Video!!

Back when I was living in Lindsay I used to ride my bike through the park to work every
morning. Often I would stop to feed the ducks. One day I had a bag of leftover movie popcorn,
so I sat on the ground with it and suddenly at least a dozen yellow fuzzy little baby ducks
were all over my lap!! I was wearing shorts and Chinese slippers and their wet little webbed
feet tickled my legs. They were so cute and their mother didn't discourage them from visiting
me because she and the other ducks trusted me as they knew me from my daily visits! Oh,
how I wish someone had been around to take a picture!

Then there was the time my parents and I were at my aunt's brother's cottage across the
street from our house, having a bonfire. This must have happened at least 20 years ago
already!!! My dad was sitting there having a drink and we didn't know he was on the edge of a
ditch!! Suddenly, his lawn chair folded up underneath him and he tumbled over backwards
into the ditch!! All you could see was his hand reaching out of the ditch holding up his glass of
vodka and orange juice!! He hadn't spilled a drop!!!

And since we've been on the subject of KISS and Fanzines today, here's another funny story
that ties in quite nicely. Once I caught my dad looking at one of my KISS magazines. He was
stretching out his tongue as far as it would go and looking down at it, almost cross-eyed. He
didn't know he was being watched and it was impossible to look at him and not laugh!! When
he caught me looking, he said “That guy must lift weights with that thing!!”

One morning I was walking to the clubhouse. It seemed like any ordinary day, but as I neared
the library I saw several photographers with big, fancy cameras taking pictures of the trees
which were full of these beautiful tawny, crested birds. I asked them what kind of birds they
were. “Waxwings.” they replied. If only I'd had my digital camera back then.

What Every Woman Should Know/Have:

The following email, a list written by Maya Angelou, was sent to me recently and got me

A Woman Should Have

Enough money within her control to move out and rent a place of her own even if she never
wants or needs to.

A Woman Should Have

something perfect to wear if the employer or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour.

A Woman Should Have

a youth she is content to leave behind.

A Woman Should Have

a past juicy enough that she's looking forward to retelling it in her old age.

A Woman Should Have

a set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill and a black lace bra.

A Woman Should Have

one friend who always makes her laugh and one who lets her cry.

A Woman Should Have

a good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone in her family.

A Woman Should Have

8 matching plates, wine glasses with stems and a recipe that will make her guests feel

A Woman Should Have

a feeling of control over her destiny
Every Woman Should Know
how to fall in love without losing herself

Every Woman Should Know

how to quit a job
break up with a lover
and confront a friend without ruining the friendship

Every Woman Should Know

when to try harder and WHEN TO WALK AWAY

Every Woman Should Know

that she can't change the length of her calves, the width of her hips or the nature of her

Every Woman Should Know

that her childhood may not have been perfect, but it's over.

Every Woman Should Know

what she would or wouldn't do for love or more.

Every Woman Should Know

how to live alone even if she doesn't like it.

Every Woman Should Know

whom she can trust, whom she cant, and why she shouldn't take it personally.

Every Woman Should Know

where to go, be it her best friend's kitchen table or a charming Inn in the woods when her soul
needs soothing.

Every Woman Should Know

what she can accomplish in a day, month and a year.

Okay, I certainly don't have enough money to move out even if I wanted to, but I don't care.
I'm happy here. I have the most wonderful husband in the world and he'd never hurt me.

And I don't have anything perfect to wear for a date or an interview unless it's summer.

I'm content to leave my youth behind but I've always liked the expression “It's never too late to
have a happy childhood.” I still enjoy carousel rides, watching cartoons, dressing up dolls and
other things considered “kid stuff”.

And I guess my past is pretty juicy all right...

No, I don't have my own screwdrivers, cordless drill or black lace bra. Dave lets me use
whatever tools I need whenever I want to and besides lace makes me itch!

Yes, I do very well in the friends department. I can say I'm truly blessed with the friends I

A good piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone in the family? Dave bought us both
matching living room chairs and those red footstools. And my mom bought me that plastic
drawer chest for my craft supplies.

Okay, I do NOT have eight sets of matching plates or wine glasses with stems. We don't even
have a dining room!! Entertaining guests for dinner just isn't really something we do. Even
when I lived alone and hosted my parties we basically roughed it. Back in Lindsay we
gathered around a plate of nachos or pizza we'd ordered and when I lived in Toronto, I'd make
a hamburger and pasta casserole the night before that I could just pop into the oven when my
guests started arriving. How on earth did I afford to do this on the slave wages my former
boss used to pay me?????!!!! As people came and went, we basically ate in shifts and when
some people finished eating I'd quickly wash plates for the next guests!

A feeling of control over my destiny? Riiiiiiiiiiiight!!! I've just learned to go with the flow and
follow the path to whatever happens to be around each corner. I am a big fan of synchronicity
and serendipity. I hate questions like “Where do you see yourself five years from now?” Heck,
some days I don't even know where I'll be five MINUTES from now!!!

I know where I WANT to be five years from now...!! WORKING ON MY CAROUSEL!!! Be it

building horses with my crew, cutting the red ribbon on opening day or sitting in the shop
selling ride tickets and hand-embroidered T-shirts and souvenirs while watching all those
happy children riding and waving at me and their parents and grandparents, or performing in
the show that surrounds the carousel while the audience rides and watches all kinds of
colourful, exciting things going on!

Autism Awareness Carousel Project Update

Well, I've been busy as a buzzy bee making the quilt and I have here a pair of British
As you can see, the blue one has space on that big red banner to be personalized with the
winner's name, if desired, when the draw finally takes place. I hope to have this quilt finished
by mid-May, early June and have the draw in November. Here's DeeDee and Ardith, along
with my original drawings of them which I did using MS Paint on pictures I scanned from the
colouring book:

If you'd like to decorate more horses for the carousel, you can find my unadorned line
drawings at this link:
And, last but not least, we we have more drawings from our anonymous participants on the
previous page and below:

Continuing Adventures of the Travelling Dolls

Margaret's Day at Knoebel's Grove!!!

2009 NCA Convention Continues:

Dentzel-style bunny and rooster (above) and Illions-style stander (below) at Peddler's Village
in Lahaska, PA, all carved by Ed Roth, PTC#9 Frame.

Aluminum Allan Herschell horses at Menlo Park in Perkasie, PA

Please Touch Museum, Philadelphia, PA. Fred Fried's favorite carousel, a beautifully restored
Dentzel that had previously been in storage for many years at the Smithsonian. Here are
some amazing details:

Notice the way this horse's forelock sweeps over his eye! And that perfect hoof! And check
out the gorgeous hippocampus on that shield!!
And, the last carousel we visited on this tour was Soupy Island:

Most of these horses are sadly in need of restoration and repainting, but as you can see on
the right, they are gradually working on it. They had about six of them redone when we were

Food For Thought

Welcome to my new column of monthly recipes. I thought it would be fun to share not only
some of my favorites that I've tried but other recipes for local cuisine in some of the places
I've visited. This month's recipe comes from my trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania. It was on the
bag of cherry cordial-filled Hershey's Kisses I brought home from my trip. I'd like to make this
one of these days but I haven't seen this flavour available in Canada and of course we'd
already eaten them before we could do any baking, ha-ha. Besides, cheesecake is a local
delicacy in Philly. It was served for dessert nearly everywhere we went!

Cherry Cordial Cheesecake

½ cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted, 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar, 1teaspoon vanilla
extract, 2 eggs, 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, ½ cup Hershey's cocoa, ¼ teaspoon baking powder,
¼ teaspoon salt, 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened, 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 cup
chilled whipping cream, 1 can cherry pie filling, drained, 25 Hershey's Kisses Brand Milk
Chocolates filled with Cherry Cordial Crème, unwrapped.
Directions: 1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F, Line 9-inch round cake pan with foil beyond
sides. Grease foil. 2.Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add egg to
mixture, beating with spoon until well-blended. Spread batter in prepared pan. 3. Bake 25
minutes or until cake is set. (Cake is fudgy and will not test done) 4. Beat cream cheese and
powdered sugar in medium bowl until well-blended. Beat whipping cream until stiff; gradually
fold into cream cheese mixture, blending well. Spread over brownie layer. Cover; refrigerate
until serving time. Use foil to lift out of pan, remove foil. 5. Just before serving, put drained
cherry pie filling in 5-inch wide heart shape in centre of dessert. Place chocolates around the
edge. Cut into wedges; serve with remaining pie filling. Cover; refrigerate leftover dessert. 10
to 12 servings.

Autism Awareness Carousel Booklet

I would like to thank Celeste Robichaud for the following link! She has designed this
wonderful booklet with all the carousel horses I've embroidered so far:

Creative Circle Quilting Bee

Every Monday Afternoon from 1:00 until 3:00 I can usually be found at the Creative Circle
Quilting Bee here in Oshawa at the Community Health Centre on Grassmere Avenue. We
always have a good time and we recently just finished a colourful Alphabet baby quilt and we
have now started what's called a “log cabin” quilt. A log cabin quilt is comprised of many strips
that form interlocking “L” shapes.

Above: (left) Peggy with the completed Alphabet baby quilt and (right) the Log Cabin quilt we
just started.

And I've been making regular video blogs about my own project:
The Worldwide Power Outage: Are You Ready?

Just before New Year's Eve, my husband happened to tune into a TV talk show where a
psychic was talking about her predictions for 2010. Last year she was right about the deaths
of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett, as well as a few other things. This year she predicts
that there will be a WORLDWIDE POWER OUTAGE!! She did not predict when this would
happen or how long it would last. Chances are, she might not even be right about this
prediction anyway but Dave thinks it's very important to be prepared just in case she is.

Just what do you think could cause such a major catastrophe? Global warming? Solar
activity? a Terrorists or some evil computer hacker(s)? Extreme weather conditions such as
an earthquake or Tsunami. After all she did also predict tsunamis hitting Japan and California.

So far, us people in Oshawa have been pretty lucky when it comes to avoiding extreme
weather conditions. We got tons of rain the summer of 2008 but just before Christmas we
were narrowly missed by a Tornado which caused some damage in Vaughn, Whitby and
Brooklin. Fortunately, nobody was hurt, but several roofs were torn off of houses and several
basements flooded. Vaughn is the home of Canada's Wonderland and you'd think if any of the
rides were damaged, we would have heard something about it by now.

Anyway, I'm really not that worried about this power outage. We've lived through one before.
Back in the summer of 2003 there was the big one that must have lasted at least 2 or 3 days
covering the grid of southern Ontario and much of New York. My biggest concern was that the
Jazz Festival might be cancelled. I spent most of the time in the master bedroom where I was
glad that there was a nice breeze coming in through that window. I was preparing a bunch of
sachets for my sale.

Perhaps what concerns me most is where I'll be when the outage takes place and how long it
lasts. I hope it doesn't happen at the carousel convention. Just think what an impact it might
have on those electronic locks that we have nowadays where you have to slide a card
through a slot to get into your room. Never mind the fact that many of the carousels run on
electricity nowadays and we probably wouldn't be able to ride them. And what about airline
travel. Never mind getting the plane off the ground. We need electricity to run all the
computers, schedule charts, security equipment, speakers and God knows what all else.

At least if I'm home when it happens, or within walking distance, I'm not worried. I made the
best of it last time. We weren't prepared, but this time Dave has been stocking up whenever
he goes shopping so that we'll be sure to have plenty of bottled water, toilet paper and other

When you really think about it, electricity is a relatively recent invention. More people
gradually started using it regularly since about the turn of the 1800's. Hard to imagine but for
thousands of years we lived without it. We accomplished whatever we could during the
daylight hours and spent our evenings by candlelight and kerosene lanterns. We didn't even
have flashlights. To think there was no electricity back in Biblical times when Jesus walked the
earth. People didn't miss it because people didn't have it yet.
And the Amish and Mennonite people still don't use electricity for the most part. They've been
living the same way for hundreds of years. And there are still third world countries and
primitive tribes in faraway places who have always lived without electricity.

Think of the things we have nowadays that we didn't have when we were children. And the
things our parents didn't have when we were young. Nowadays just about every household
has a computer. I can't imagine life without the Internet to share my art and stories with the
world!! There was a time it was hard to imagine life without TV. Back in the 80's when I lived in
Lindsay, I had a little black-and-white portable in my room that only got one channel. I
suppose I could have had cable if I really wanted it but I couldn't really afford it. Then when I
got my own apartment I HAD to have colour TV, even if I still didn't bother with cable. I also
HAD to have a VCR. There was nothing I enjoyed better than inviting a bunch of friends over
to pig out on munchies and watch movies together.

Now VCR's are pretty much obsolete but my husband and I still use ours to tape TV shows
even though other options are available such as Tivo or Rogers On Demand. And we have
cable and might find it hard to imagine life without it. When I lived in Lindsay with only one
channel, like I said, I mostly just used my TV for watching movies with the VCR, but for the
most part, I hardly ever watched TV when I was home alone. I did a lot of painting in those
days and when I lived in Toronto, I devoted much of my free time to my music.

If this power outage happens, people will have to learn other ways to entertain themselves.
Kids nowadays have their battery-operated video games, but what will they do if the outage
lasts so long that nobody can recharge their batteries anywhere anymore?

During our last power outage, it was a pleasant opportunity to kick back and enjoy the lost art
of conversation. Everything was so quiet. It was like suddenly having an impromptu camping
trip thrust upon us in our own home. That was one way to look at it. It was nice to be able to
see the stars without all that light pollution. I don't know why we didn't sit outside as often as
we could have.

One thing I want to be sure of during this time is that when the power goes off, I want to make
sure that most of our major electrical outlets are unplugged. Especially the one in the kitchen
where the computer, microwave, etc. is plugged in. Because when the electricity finally DOES
come back on, are we ever going to be hit with a major power surge!!!!!

Before I conclude this report, there is one other theory as to the cause of this outage. It's
possible that it may be a result of the RAPTURE!! If all our Christian electrical workers are
gone along with the rest of the Christians, the rest of the world might be left in an abrupt lurch.
Then again, don't get me thinking about the Rapture. I was convinced that it was going to
happen any minute now when I had my bipolar episode. But that, of course, is another story.

See You Next Month

Margaret Franklin