The Dragon in Exile


Eagles Over the Kennebec

Entries by tag: technology threat or menace?

Calvin & Hobbes happy dance

Celebrations and Appearances is back up.  Thank you for your patience while Steve -- who is a Hero of the Revolution -- got this sorted out.  It was Rather Ridiculously Complicated to untangle, involving as it did intelligence, counterintelligence, the missing persons bureaus of several large metropolitan police departments, and a bevy of hedgehogs.  In the end, however, Steve prevailed, and we are once again live.

If you sent email to either of us at a address, and got a bounce message, please do send it again, if it is still relevant.  Thank you.

So -- that's one reason to celebrate.

The other reason to celebrate is that the release date for Christie Meierz' new book, The Fall, third in her Tolari Space series, is March 2, and she's throwing a party on Facebook, from 8-10 p.m. EST.

This link for the party is:

The last time Steve and I attended an online party was in Second Life, a few years ago, so this will be a new experience for us, but we'll be there, with a bunch of other authors and readers, to send The Fall out into the world, and wish it well.

Fellow celebrants are:  Corrina Lawson, Cat Rambo, Jael Wye, Heather Massey, Laurie A. Green, and Veronica Scott.  And?  There will be giveaways!  You don't want to miss this chance to meet and mingle, so mark your calendars now -- and we'll see you there!

And I think that's all the news that's fit to print from the Cat Farm, where Sprite is staring out the side window of my office, Trooper is snoring in the co-pilot's chair, and Scrabble, in Steve's office, sleeps with the heffalumps.

baby dragon from rainbowgraphics


We picked up Mozart's ashes today.

Then, we went for a ride.  Not a long ride; only to Augusta.  We walked around Lowe's and did our bit for morale by asking a passing Lowe-worker where the roof-rakes might be found.  Not one to be had in the store, we were told, in-between gasps of laughter.  Possibly not one to be had in greater New England.

After we had sowed our seeds of merriment, we went to Best Buy, where I finally succumbed and purchased the Shiny, the Canon PowerShot SX700HS 30X with the Bundled Goodies.  It's about half as thick as my venerable PowerShot 120IS 10X, and weighs just about the same.  The challenge here is going to be remembering not to just stick it into a pocket and forget it's there.

In theory, it does all kinds of sweet things, none of which I've figured out, yet, including sending pictures via wifi.  What an age we live in.

Stopped at the grocery on the way home, because we are once again about to go under a -- wait for it! -- Winter Storm Watch.  The theory is that we may received from 5-11 inches of snow from Wednesday afternoon until Thursday afternoon.

After that, we won't have to deal with any more snow until Saturday night into Sunday.

My plan for the rest of the week is to take the laptop, and retire with it and Alliance of Equals to the couch and do nothing else -- except shovel snow, of course  (and tomorrow's my turn to make dinner, but that'll be meatballs (already made) and rotinis, with gravy.  Easy-peasy.).  The Kid Coons aren't entirely sure that they Approve of the laptop, which takes up precious lap-space that could more fruitfully be occupied by a coon cat.  Sprite, in particular, believes that she can too fit in the space between me and the keyboard.

Just for the record?

She can't.

For those who were breathlessly awaiting my impression of Jupiter Ascending -- I had a good time with it.  Mind you, I don't get to see many movies, so that probably pre-disposes me to being amused and pleased by those I do see, but to my way of thinking, I had three winners in a row:  Guardians of the Galaxy, Big Hero6, and Jupiter Ascending.

What did you do today that was exciting?

Caution: Writing Ahead

Notice of Technical Glitch

Alert Walkers Along the Internets will perhaps have noticed that has vanished from the ether.  You may also have gotten a Notice of Permanent Failure on mail sent to a eddress.

This is the result of an oversight during the Crazy Times immediately following Steve's heart operation and the subsequent closing down of SRM Publisher.  One of us somehow forgot to properly notify a registrar of an address change for the site.

Steve is working on fixing this.  In the meantime, we ask for your patience.

moon & mountains

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees

Most important news first!  The keys have been found!  Why they were in my gym bag, when I never take Steve's car to gym. . .

Secondly, in reference to the title of today's blog post -- we here in Central Maine are in the midst of a wind storm.  The West Wind is smacking us pretty steadily with winds around 35 miles per hour, with the occasional 55 mph gust, just to confuse the power lines.  I will note that today is bright and sunny and blue, which is NOT the kind of weather we've been used to seeing around here.

We continue to improve, health-wise.  I've done the upfront for the taxes; now I need to wait for paperwork, and fill out the accountant's form.  Which has changed since last year, to the point where I may need a tutorial.  But -- the taxes, at least, are mostly under control.

Not so, the rest of the to-do list.  I gotta tell you, I look at the to-do list and despair.  I have an interview to do; I have files to continue to pull together for distribution to either an archive or a dumpster; I have at least two short stories to write -- it might be three.  Or four.  I have notes  here. . .somewhere -- and I have, yes, a book to write.  Now on extended deadline, sigh.

Tomorrow!  Ah, tomorrow! is the Official Book Day for Carousel Seas -- which has already had an eArc Day and a eBook Day, so you wouldn't think I'd be excited about Paper Book Day, but. . .I am.  I feel like I ought to at least bake Kate a cake, and, yanno, make a Big Noise.  But neither of those is really very likely to happen.

Today, I started the laundry.  I may, honestly, have to rethink that, considering that the wind has knocked the power out, briefly, twice, now.

And, Canon keeps sending me these notices, tempting me with the New Powershot -- the newest with a 50x zoom, and. . .I really don't need 50x zoom to take pictures of the cats.  I mean, I know that.  But -- shiny.

In health news, I continue to feel better.  Honestly, there's got to be an upper limit to this, doesn't there?  How sick do I have to have been that I'm continuing to feel better?

Well.  The to-do list isn't going to do itself.  I'll concentrate on the interview this afternoon.

Hope your afternoon is decisive and profitable.

Today's blog post is from "The Highwayman," a poem by Alfred Noyes, set to music by Loreena McKennit.  Here's your link.

Carousel Seas


Thanks to all you waves and wavers.

Just had an avalanche of downloads and updates when I turned on Cygnus the Samsung Galaxy Tab, in order to see if it was fit to travel.

I guess this kind of thing wouldn't happen, if I played with my toys more often...

Carousel Seas

You can take all the tea in China; put it in a big brown bag for me

Today was a definite improvement over yesterday.

I have deleted GoogleTalk from my desktop, leaving Hangouts in sole possession of the field.  While I don't necessarily think this is an improvement, at least I only get one message every time Steve sends a chat.

Also, when I went into town to gym this morning, I looked at my phone, and?

Chrome was installed, and it was working properly!

Fist pump!

I have not yet excised the non-updating, cephalopod version of Chrome on my desktop.  Perhaps I never shall. That's probably safest.

In other news, I formatted our GOH speech, entered the changes we made last night during our first read-through, and did some writing.

I should probably do some more writing, but I'm beat.  Among the adventures of the day being an early -- and noisy -- visit from our lawn-guy, who took away the remains of the cedar tree, and sucked up all the leaves from the front lawn.  I believe I shall retire early to my couch and try again tomorrow.  This seems the course of reason, if not precisely valor.  Tomorrow's work requires All New Words to be written, whereas today's work was editing a chapter that had been excised from Dragon in Exile -- just patting it into the shape of the new book, really.

And that?  Is all I got.


Today's blog post title brought to you by Mr. Van Morrison:  Tupelo Honey

* * *

Progress on Alliance of Equals
27,664/100,000 OR 27.66% COMPLETE

"One naturally wishes one's heir to accumulate accolades, but 'least willing student in the history of the dance' is not quite in the line of one's fondest hopes."

Flying Monkey!

In which Monday happens on Tuesday

So, today kind of sucked, in the arena of tech.  The tech definitely won this round, but, if I'm not to be made looney by certain of the Unintended Consequences of today's defeat, I'm going to have to go in again.

Possibly not until tomorrow.  Or the next day.

The thing seemed simple enough.  Google has been nagging me for months to stop using Google Talk, which I happen to like very much, and get with Hangouts.  I'd been resisting because Talk still worked and Steve and I use it to chat back and forth while we're at work -- him in his office, and me in mine.  Saves a lot of shouting back and forth, and doesn't interrupt the flow of writing.

But!  We were wanting to practice our speech for PhilCon and Steve thought it would work out fine to do it via Hangouts video, so he asked me to install Hangouts.

Remember this:  The Goal was to install Hangouts.

Now, asyouknowbob, Hangouts is an add-on to Chrome.  Which I use as a backup browser, since I prefer Firefox for daily running around the net.

Well, it turns out that the Chrome on my machine was very old (33.0.Something), it would not accept the Hangouts add-on, and not only that, it wouldn't update itself.  Also?  I couldn't delete it from the control panel.  After much banging my head against the wall, which included removing Chrome from my tablet and my phone, in case there was a sync tether or something holding Chrome to the desktop, I just gave up and downloaded a new version of Chrome (version 38.Whatever) to the desktop, shoved 33.0.Something into a closet, and opened the new Chrome, which seems to work (knock wood) fine.  Then, I reinstalled Chrome on my tablet and phone.


I reinstalled Chrome on my tablet.  The phone will accept the download and installation, but all Chrome does when invoked is send out little error messages -- Unfortunately Chrome has stopped -- every six seconds FOREVER, and is completely unusable.  So.  No Chrome on the phone.  Which is a shame, because I really did use it on the phone.

Oh, well.  I guess I'll have to hope that Firefox for Android has its act together.

At least, I have Hangouts now, right?


Except that I can't seem to uninstall Google Talk.  Which means that every time Steve sends me a chat message, I get TWO -- one in Talk and one in Hangouts, a situation guaranteed to drive me 'round the twist in very short order.

So, I'll have to go back in.  But, like I say, not today.

Today, in addition to Warring with Technology, I finished an essay, and finished up the last few hundred words on Chapter Seven.  In a moment, I'll be leaving y'all to your own devices so I can do the dishes and then Steve and I will practice our speech the Old Fashioned Way.

I do hope that all of you have had a. . .less fraught Tuesday.

* * *

Progress on Alliance of Equals
23,458/100,000 OR 23.46% Complete

". . .and anyone who thinks that Master Trader yos'Galan will permit error or sloth from his heir, his apprentice, or anyone who is under his hand, must. . .must not know him very well!"

So There

I like to think I've earned my reputation of rushing in where angels fear to tread

So, I've been reading the owner's manual for the new car, trying to figure out what some of these, um, improvements are.  Honestly, some of the differences between the little green Subaru and Kineo couldn't be vaster if Kineo did, indeed, fly.

For instance. . . The little green Subaru had a PRNDL stick  (Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive, Low); the new car has a PRNDM stick (Park, Reverse, Neutral, Drive, MANUAL), and two paddles on the steering wheel from which I am to manage my manual driving.

Can someone please explain the point of this to me?  I mean, I have what's supposed to be a Perfectly Good automatic transmissioned vehicle.  Why would I want to put it into "Manual" and then shift it like a motorcycle?  It seems like a really good way to screw up the transmission, in my view, besides being utterly useless, but I'm willing to learn better.

In other news, I have finished my final pass through the DetCon programming survey, and the coffee is gone.  In a few moments, I'm off to the sofa, with a red pen, a blue pen, a yellow pad and the printout of the Epiphany.  I expect, at some point, to acquire Feline Assistance.  And coffee.  Definitely coffee.

Today's blog post title comes to you courtesy of Warren Zevon.  Here's your link.

Flying Monkey!

Progress and not-so report

So, Illisidi is not yet perfect, but hopefully workable.  The one biggest concern remains an outflowing of error messages the first time I open any file in LibreOffice.  Once past the error messages, though, I can open files with impunity, and they seem not to be changing into oak leaves in the morning, so I guess I'm going to have to put up with what I can't fix.  Certainly, I'm very tired, at this point, of uninstalling and reinstalling LibreOffice, and a writer must write with something.

Fans of Mozart will wish to hear that he has good days and bad days.  He's a fan, currently, of Friskies gravy lovers with a liberal handful of Fancy Feast dry food on top, like jimmies.  He eats the crunchies and licks up the gravy.  If  I could figure out a way to just put gravy over crunchies, I'd do that, but I'm afraid of feeding him the salt bomb that is canned gravy meant for consumption by Thumbs.

Fans of Sprite will wish to know that, for all her giddy ways, she takes her royal duties seriously.  The other day, Mozart suddenly gave out with the Kitty in Trouble yell, from the living room.  I got up to see what the problem was, to find that Sprite had arrived ahead of me and was vigorously washing his ears (See there, Grandpa? Everybody feels better when they have clean ears.), which really did seem to solve the problem/break the cycle of distress.

In other news, today is Monday, which, being as I'm a freelance, shouldn't matter, but somehow does.  Perhaps because I was woken up by a nightmare, and took some time to settle again.  Perhaps because it's a greyish morning, and we're under threat of Snowpocalypse.  Again.


In a few minutes, I'll head out to town, errands, and the gym, and this afternoon, it's back to work.

How's the start of your week going?


In which the Aiji-Dowager arrives

So, the Win7 machine is up and running.  I still haven't solved the HDMI conundrum; but I have all of my files, and, after a little bit of noodling 'round the web, all of my programs, including my Firefox bookmarks.  Ten years' of old wires have been (by Steve's good offices) cleaned out from beneath my desk and the old Oki printer has been cleared off the top of my desk, thereby opening Vistas Untold.

So, yanno; It's All Good.

Advertent readers will have noticed that the new computer's name is Illisidi; in part due to the fact that she is smaller, lighter, and much more powerful than Jack the Giant Killer.  And if you have No Clue who Illisidi, the Aiji-Dowager is, start here and go through to here.  You can thank me later.

Next up, is the re-ordering of my office, which had to be Completely Torn Apart in order to swap out the computers, and do all the rest of the things that needed doing.  After that, it's date night, and a fitting end of a week that was, um, more vigorous than predicted.

Hope everybody is having a lovely Saturday.