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Sep. 27th, 2016

Tea and dragon

Tuesday Pocket Report

So, Steve needed to be in Gardiner early this morning for Reasons, and I went with him.  For this outing, I for the first time, loaded All The Things into the Scott eJacket, including tablet, phone, camera, ID, money (forgot to try the water bottle pocket), pens.

The jacket worked pretty well, but I was surprised to find that my camera weighs more than my tablet.  Or, as Steve suggests, the tablet, being flat and thin, spreads its weight more cunningly than the little rock that is the camera.  In any case, the right side of the jacket was noticeably heavier than the left side, so I'll need to work on balancing my load, so to speak.

While we were in Gardiner, and after Steve's Mission was completed, we went over to Bridge Street and had a late breakfast at the justly famous A1 Diner, which has been serving at the same location -- not only on Bridge Street, but on the bridge -- for 70 years, this month.

After breakfast, we drove the long way to Rockland, and so to home.

Here's a picture of me at breakfast.  Photo by Steve Miller.

coffee-at-the-a1-sept-27-2016

Sep. 26th, 2016

Reading is sexy

Books read in 2016

48.  The City of Lightning, Kaja & Phil Foglio
47.  Tell me a Dragon, Jackie Morris
46.  Feet of Clay, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
45.  Vision in Silver (e), Anne Bishop
44.  Murder of Crows, Anne Bishop
43.  Men at Arms, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
42.  Queen of the Deep (e), Kay Kenyon
41.  Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel
40.  Lightning that Lingers, Sharon & Tom Curtis writing as Laura London (re-read for both; first time reading aloud)
39.  Guards!  Guards!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
38.  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs
37.  Tiger's Chance, Jan Henry, illustrated by Hilary Knight (re-read)
36.  Carousel Tides, Sharon Lee (1st read for pleasure)
35.  The Fall of Kings, Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman (e)
34.  Play of Passion, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
33.  Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner (re-re-&c-read) (e)
32.  Swordspoint, Ellen Kushner (re-re-&c-read) (e)
31.  Incarnate, Jodi Meadows (e)
30.  Discount Armageddon, Seanan McGuire (e)
29.  Tiger Eye, Majorie M. Liu (e)
28.  Visitor, C. J. Cherryh (read aloud with Steve)
27.  To Have and to Hold, Nalini Singh (e)
26.  The House of Shattered Wings, Aliette de Bodard
25.  Bride of the Rat God, Barbara Hambly (e)
24.  Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (e)
23.  Maximum Ice, Kay Kenyon (e)
22.  War for the Oaks, Emma Bull (re-re-re-re-read)
21. Wheel of the Infinite, Martha Wells (e)
20.  Algonquin Cat, Val Schaffner, illustrated by Hilary Knight
19.  Karen Memory, Elizabeth Bear
18.  Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie
17. When Falcons Fall, C.S. Harris
16.  Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Winifred Watson (re-re-re-&c-read)
15.  Uprooted, Naomi Novik
14.  Strong Poison, Dorothy L. Sayers (re-re-re-read)
13.  Written in Red, Anne Bishop
12.  Andy & Don, Daniel de Visé
11.  The Thief of Time, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
10.  Foxglove Summer, Ben Aaronovitch
9.   Broken Homes, Ben Aaronovitch
8.   Soul Music, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
7.   Whispers Underground, Ben Aaronovitch
6.   Moon Over Soho, Ben Aaronovitch
5.   Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
4.   Conflict of Honors, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e) (re-read)
3.   Mort, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
2.   The Sculptor, Scott McCloud
1.   A Short History of a Small Place, T.R. Pearson

Sep. 25th, 2016

booksflying1.1

From Facebook

Usually, I write a blog post here, and give the folks on Twitter and Facebook a link.

Today -- just to keep y'all on your toes -- I'm doing it backwards.

Posted at Facebook at 11:00 am on Sunday, September 25, 2016:

So, yesterday was a work day, and today will be another like it. I have to pay bills first, and straighten out the mess that I have allowed the checkbook to become, then rewrite the scene I wrote last night, using the Proper Viewpoint (you'd think I'd get these things right the first time at this point in the game, wouldn't you?), and move on with the next scene.

Crisp and cool this morning; sunny, with a persistent breeze. Over breakfast, Steve and I discussed the Vital Matter of Turning On the Heat, and decided it's time to bring the basement thermostat on-line, to warm the floors, and calibrate as necessary from there.

This morning on Facebook, I unfriended someone for being so ill-advised as to "poke" me. This is policy, folks: "poke" me and be cast into the outer darkness.

I wrote a blog post yesterday -- here's the pointer, for them what's interested in the trials and tribulations of raisin bread.

Also, I am reading a book. I am not happy with this book, *at all* (no, I'm not going to tell you which book). The plot, at about 2/3s of the way through Makes No Sense; the "romance" is making me crazy (they hate each other, but they can't keep their hands off each other. Please. Just...please); another plot-point has Just Now been introduced that only promises to make things more confusing, rather than more exciting. . .but, worst of all, the heroine is Too Stupid to Live. Unfortunately, it looks like she's going to make it to the sequel. At this point, I'm reading on to see if the author can actually pull it out; if they do, I'll have learned something.

What else? Oh. Steve is making spaghetti and meat sauce for supper. It's a good day for spaghetti.

What're y'all doing today?

Sep. 24th, 2016

Tea and dragon

Sweet

So, y'all are probably anxious for news of the raisin bread.

The bread came out pretty well, though, next time I'm going to put in more raisins.  The recipe I had was light on raisins, and couldn't seem to be able to decide if it wanted to be cinnamon swirl or raisin bread.  Because the recipe made two loaves, I did the cinnamon filling for one, and just baked the other free-form, so to speak.  Both sorts baked and tasted just fine, except, like I said, they needed more raisins.

Where it went off the rails was at the icing stage.  The recipe for the icing told me to use two cups of confectioner's sugar, one teaspoon of vanilla extract, and "enough milk to make a thick paste."  I did not understand this to mean, "start with a half-teaspoon of milk, and if that's not enough, go for another half-teaspoon," so what I got was sugar glaze.  Which is fine.  But next time I'll know.

Many thanks to everyone who sent me a recipe, or a link to a recipe, for smearcase!  I'll be trying that some while down the road.

In other news, a kind friend gave me a Scott eVest jacket for a belated birthday present.  I'm still studying on how it works, but, wow, isn't it just like a pilot's jacket, with public pockets, and hidden pockets, and a special place for your license, and a pocket that holds a water bottle?  I'm impressed; and I'm going to get a lot of use out it, too.

Work on Book the Next goes forth, for those of you who are of a nervous disposition.  Also coon cats are being brushed and cuddled, though not as often as they would like.  Last night, the low temperature here at the Confusion Factory was 33F/0C, and the high temp today is set to top out at 61F/16C.

And that?  Catches us up.

Hope everybody has a lovely weekend.

# # #

"Glorious its deeds," Nelirikk added.

road-block-sept-22-2016

Sep. 23rd, 2016

Tea and dragon

Sufficient to the day the adventures thereto

Where was I?

Oh.  Wednesday -- volunteer gig at the hospital.  I did not entirely remember my lines -- or, at least, I remembered the lines I had been given several weeks ago, but they were no longer the lines that were required.  An interesting day therefore was had.

I arrived home to the happy news that my reading corner rug had arrived!

Have I mentioned here that I was renovating the corner of my office where my the cats' rocker had been located, and making it into a proper reading corner?  In fact, it's a project that has been going on for a number of months, as I haunted Marden's and estate sales and sale-sales.  I finally located the perfect chair at a doable price at the local furniture store's pre-Labor-Day sale*.  It was, naturally, the floor model, and it is a lovely chair indeed.  I'm very happy with my purchase**.

So, anyway, more window shopping and turning the Internet upside down, looking for the deals in its pockets finally turned up a (machine loomed) Turkey carpet at an incredible price, and that?  is what arrived on Wednesday.  I immediately unrolled it and set the unabridged dictionaries along the roll-edge to flatten, because this is exactly why god gave us unabridged dictionaries.

Yesterday -- Thursday -- the final piece arrived -- a full-spectrum reading lamp.  The corner is now complete -- and I may never leave.

Today! Because Central Maine persists in withholding raisin bread with white icing***, for which I've had a strong yen, ever since getting back from Maryland -- I will be making raisin bread with white icing.  *snaps fingers under universe's nose*

I'm also jonseing for smearcase (schmierkase in the proper German), but I'm pretty sure the universe is going to win that one.

All that said -- I have a question for y'all.

Miri and Liz appear together in the stories "Fighting Chance," and "Misfits;" they also appear in Agent of Change.  Are there any other stories with a strong Miri-and-Liz dynamic?

Here are some pictures of the renovated reading corner:

trooper-test-driving-new-rug-sept-22-2016 new-reading-corner-sept-22-2016

___________

*No, I don't know why you'd have a big sale before Labor Day, but Maine is a different country.  GM used to do model changeover in August, which meant that all the dealerships had stunning sales on Last Year's Models, so perhaps there's something similar that goes on with furniture.

**The tags on the chair allowed it to be a La-Z-Boy from the so-called "Designer's Choice Collection." A friend on Facebook offers the further information that it is a "high-leg recliner" and is most likely the Woodmont model.  *hits Google*.

Uh.  Yeah, that's it.  I am, for the record, a Shopping Goddess.

***I asked the baker at the local supermarket if they ever had raisin bread with white icing, and she stared at me blankly before offering up the information that, at Easter, they make hot cross buns.  All of the pieces of my childhood are evaporating before my eyes.  I think this is how people die; when the last thing thins out into fog, so do we.

Sep. 19th, 2016

Red umbrella from rainbow graphics

"Queen Molly says watch your back, mister."

Yesterday was a half-holiday.  Steve made His Own Sort of Gourmet Mac-n-Cheese for our supper, then we -- with the coon cats, who were very interested, indeed -- viewed The Book of Life, and assorted short features.  We also finished reading aloud Feet of Clay, the. . .third? Night Watch novel.  Next up is Peter Pan.

Why Peter Pan, you ask?  Well, when we were down south, sitting vigil for Steve's step-father, I was at one point the only one in the room, aside Pete.  I figured he might miss all the noise and voices, being so very used to living in hubbub.  I'm not much of an extemporaneous chatterer, but I can certainly read out loud.  So I started reading Peter Pan, since I don't seem to have The Prince and the Pauper on my tablet at the moment.  Steve came in at some point, and when I would have stopped, asked me to go on.  Turns out, he doesn't remember reading Peter Pan, so we'll finish it up properly.

After Peter -- or, at least, starting on September 30 -- we will of course begin reading A Night in the Lonesome October one chapter a night 'til Halloween, as has been our custom for some years now.  After that, perhaps it will be time again for the Watch, and Jingo.

In possibly more relevant news, readers are already writing to me in various states from mild curiosity to barely-restrained panic, wondering why it is that they cannot yet! pre-order the electronic edition of The Gathering Edge from Amazon (and I assume the other on-line bookstores).  The fear is that ...Edge will only be available in hardcover, and be released in electronic at some later date, after Demand Has Built.  Or something.

Now, if y'all will cast your minds back, you will recall that Amazon has not, at least for the last four Liaden titles, opened pre-orders for the electronic edition this early.  Yes, I say early.  ...Edge is scheduled to be released in hardcover on May 2, 2017 -- more than eight months from now.  Regardless of what may be done for other titles by other authors, for Liaden titles -- and the Carousel titles, too -- Amazon opens pre-orders for electronic editions somewhere between one month and three days before the hardcover release date.

So, there's no need to panic, honest.

Related to this -- yes, work is going forward on Book the Next, still without a proper title, poor tyke.  Before our unfortunate break, I had said that I would post snippets, but not word count, because of the Very Odd Way in which this book is going together.  That is still in force.

So!  Today's blog post title is brought to you by Foul Ole Ron, from Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett.  Because it amuses me.

# # #

"Don't you get attitudinal with me! Won't hurt you to show a little respect – and a lotta restraint! What if he'd been driving? Or flying? You might've killed him, is what -- and I ain't having it! Acazzi?"

belle-might-be-a-little-tense-sept-18-2016
Reading is sexy

Books read in 2016

46.  Feet of Clay, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
45.  Vision in Silver (e), Anne Bishop
44.  Murder of Crows, Anne Bishop
43.  Men at Arms, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
42.  Queen of the Deep (e), Kay Kenyon
41.  Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel
40.  Lightning that Lingers, Sharon & Tom Curtis writing as Laura London (re-read for both; first time reading aloud)
39.  Guards!  Guards!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
38.  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs
37.  Tiger's Chance, Jan Henry, illustrated by Hilary Knight (re-read)
36.  Carousel Tides, Sharon Lee (1st read for pleasure)
35.  The Fall of Kings, Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman (e)
34.  Play of Passion, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
33.  Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner (re-re-&c-read) (e)
32.  Swordspoint, Ellen Kushner (re-re-&c-read) (e)
31.  Incarnate, Jodi Meadows (e)
30.  Discount Armageddon, Seanan McGuire (e)
29.  Tiger Eye, Majorie M. Liu (e)
28.  Visitor, C. J. Cherryh (read aloud with Steve)
27.  To Have and to Hold, Nalini Singh (e)
26.  The House of Shattered Wings, Aliette de Bodard
25.  Bride of the Rat God, Barbara Hambly (e)
24.  Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (e)
23.  Maximum Ice, Kay Kenyon (e)
22.  War for the Oaks, Emma Bull (re-re-re-re-read)
21. Wheel of the Infinite, Martha Wells (e)
20.  Algonquin Cat, Val Schaffner, illustrated by Hilary Knight
19.  Karen Memory, Elizabeth Bear
18.  Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie
17. When Falcons Fall, C.S. Harris
16.  Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Winifred Watson (re-re-re-&c-read)
15.  Uprooted, Naomi Novik
14.  Strong Poison, Dorothy L. Sayers (re-re-re-read)
13.  Written in Red, Anne Bishop
12.  Andy & Don, Daniel de Visé
11.  The Thief of Time, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
10.  Foxglove Summer, Ben Aaronovitch
9.   Broken Homes, Ben Aaronovitch
8.   Soul Music, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
7.   Whispers Underground, Ben Aaronovitch
6.   Moon Over Soho, Ben Aaronovitch
5.   Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
4.   Conflict of Honors, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e) (re-read)
3.   Mort, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
2.   The Sculptor, Scott McCloud
1.   A Short History of a Small Place, T.R. Pearson

Sep. 16th, 2016

perplexed

La

So, it appears that I have Utterly Forgotten everything about this book in 12 short days, so my first order of bidness, on Get Back To Work Day is?  Rereading the manuscript.  Again.

Also, there does not appear to be a Bluetooth dongle anywhere in this house, which fact is producing a cosmic crane-load of angst.  Steve has gone out to hunt and gather and promises to bring said dongle home, but how can he be sure -- that's what I want to know.

Also, also, I finished reading Vision in Silver, only to find that the ebook edition of Marked in Flesh is $13.99, which -- no.  I guess I'll wait 'til next year to find out how long the Elders have given Simon to prove his point -- just as Simon begins to Get A Clue, may I say?

Also, also, also!  Windows has declared itself to be downloading updates for the last six hours, revving like a jet plane the while.  Steve has done Mighty Work in re resetting directories and whatall, but it hasn't seemed to appease Windows, or even convinced it to shut up so I can hear myself think.  I may be finishing this book sitting in a corner of the couch, with the nice, quiet Linux laptop.

We did visit the ocean very briefly yesterday, and came home to find a note from Baen, pointing to the Official Press Release regarding the partnership between Baen ebooks and Pinbeam Books.  Here's your link.

Everybody have a good weekend.

I'll be on the couch.

nap-buddies-june-23-2016

Reading is sexy

Books read in 2016

45.  Vision in Silver (e), Anne Bishop
44.  Murder of Crows, Anne Bishop
43.  Men at Arms, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
42.  Queen of the Deep (e), Kay Kenyon
41.  Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel
40.  Lightning that Lingers, Sharon & Tom Curtis writing as Laura London (re-read for both; first time reading aloud)
39.  Guards!  Guards!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
38.  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Ransom Riggs
37.  Tiger's Chance, Jan Henry, illustrated by Hilary Knight (re-read)
36.  Carousel Tides, Sharon Lee (1st read for pleasure)
35.  The Fall of Kings, Ellen Kushner and Delia Sherman (e)
34.  Play of Passion, Nalini Singh (read aloud with Steve)
33.  Privilege of the Sword, Ellen Kushner (re-re-&c-read) (e)
32.  Swordspoint, Ellen Kushner (re-re-&c-read) (e)
31.  Incarnate, Jodi Meadows (e)
30.  Discount Armageddon, Seanan McGuire (e)
29.  Tiger Eye, Majorie M. Liu (e)
28.  Visitor, C. J. Cherryh (read aloud with Steve)
27.  To Have and to Hold, Nalini Singh (e)
26.  The House of Shattered Wings, Aliette de Bodard
25.  Bride of the Rat God, Barbara Hambly (e)
24.  Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (e)
23.  Maximum Ice, Kay Kenyon (e)
22.  War for the Oaks, Emma Bull (re-re-re-re-read)
21. Wheel of the Infinite, Martha Wells (e)
20.  Algonquin Cat, Val Schaffner, illustrated by Hilary Knight
19.  Karen Memory, Elizabeth Bear
18.  Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie
17. When Falcons Fall, C.S. Harris
16.  Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Winifred Watson (re-re-re-&c-read)
15.  Uprooted, Naomi Novik
14.  Strong Poison, Dorothy L. Sayers (re-re-re-read)
13.  Written in Red, Anne Bishop
12.  Andy & Don, Daniel de Visé
11.  The Thief of Time, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
10.  Foxglove Summer, Ben Aaronovitch
9.   Broken Homes, Ben Aaronovitch
8.   Soul Music, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
7.   Whispers Underground, Ben Aaronovitch
6.   Moon Over Soho, Ben Aaronovitch
5.   Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
4.   Conflict of Honors, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e) (re-read)
3.   Mort, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
2.   The Sculptor, Scott McCloud
1.   A Short History of a Small Place, T.R. Pearson

Sep. 14th, 2016

kitty!

Into the Light

Today's theme has been light.

This morning, we -- by which I of course mean, Steve -- strung new twinkle lights around the kitchen, and there was much rejoicing.

We also purchased new lights:  An LED arc floor lamp for the living room, which is severely underlit;  a LED desk lamp with a charging port, and three lighting modes and God She knows whatall else, for Steve's office, this wonder replacing the WWII era dual fluorescent desk lamp he's been using since Forever; and an LED so-called full spectrum floor lamp for my office, replacing the three-way table lamp which has been my reading lamp since also Forever, and which does not accommodate the New Light Bulbs.  These delights should all reach us by next Tuesday, just in time for Autumn.

In other news, we're playing catch-up with all the things -- personal, and professional -- that were left hanging, while we were down south, and doing some serious recharging.  It's curiously draining, sitting vigil on a death, even if there are plenty of family in place to help. Tomorrow may include a visit to the ocean, and after that, it's back to work.

Today, I have some pr stuff to do; then I think I'm for the chair and a book, again.  Maybe I can work in a nap, too.

trooper-has-the-floor-aug-31-2016

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Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl

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