Blog Without A Name

Books read in 2017

48. Where the Dead Lie, C.S. Harris
47. Going Postal, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
46. Just One Damned Thing After Another, Jodi Taylor (e)
45. Wildfire, Ilona Andrews (e)
44. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle (e) (re-read)
43. The Rose and the Dagger, Renée Ahdieh
42. Blaze of Memory, Nalini Singh (read aloud w/Steve)
41. The Wrath and the Dawn, Renée Ahdieh
40. Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So: A Memoir, Mark Vonnegut MD (e)
39. The Rule of Luck, Catherine Cerveny (e) (arc)
38. The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
37. The Girl with Ghost Eyes, M.H. Boroson (e)
36. Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
35. White Hot, Ilona Andrews (e)
34.  The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life, Tom Reiss (e)
33. Mouse and Dragon, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e)
32. Caszandra, Andrea K. Host (e)
31. Lab Rat One, Andrea K. Host (e)
30. Stray, Andrea K. Host (e)
29. The Cat Who Turned On and Off, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
28. Apprentice in Death, J.D. Robb (e/l)
27. The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
26. The Face in the Frost, John Bellairs (e)
25. Hanged for a Sheep, Frances and Richard Lockridge (e)
24. Xamnesia, Lizzie Harwood (e)
23. Convergence, C. J. Cherryh, (read aloud with Steve)
22. Rock Addiction, Nalini Singh (e)
21. The Stranger in the Woods, Michael Finkel
20. Etched in Bone, Anne Bishop (e)
19. Rider at the Gate, CJ Cherryh (re-read)
18. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
17. Silence Fallen, Patricia Briggs (e)
16. The Cold Eye, Laura Anne Gilman
15. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
14. Memory, Linda Nagata (e)
13.  Bonita Faye, Margaret Moseley (e)
12.  Burn for Me, Ilona Andrews (e)
11. Snuff, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
10. A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (e)
9.  Some Danger Involved, Will Thomas
8.  Thud!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
7.  White Tiger, Kylie Chan
6.  The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch
5.  Trading in Danger, Elizabeth Moon (e)
4.  The Wolf in the Attic, Paul Kearney (e)
3.  The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
2.  Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, Jayme Lynn Blaschke (e)
1. Sand of Bone, Blair MacGregor (e)

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Oh, baby you’re the only thing in this whole world that’s pure and good and right

So, last night, just as we were going to bed, we had a bat invasion.  Followed a fun-filled 45 minutes while we convinced the coon cats that it was not their bat, but our bat; got Scrabble back from the Big Dark Outside, when she strolled while we were holding the door open for the bat to exit; and last but not least, I executed a net-throw that would have won applause in any gladiatorial display, and brought the bat down mid-flight, into the shopping bag that Steve was holding ready.

Yes, sometimes we really are that good.  The “net” by the way, was a mosquito net meant to be worn over a hat.  Here’s a picture.

The bat was taken outside and released, whereupon we went to bed, but the coon cats did not, choosing instead to prowl the house, looking for their bat.

Well.

As of this morning, Sleeping with the Enemy: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 22, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller is available in paper from Amazon only.  Here’s your link.

I will be converting the rest of the chapbooks as I have time and energy.  Nothing like a firm schedule, am I right?

As of this writing, in addition to Sleeping. . .  Change Management: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 23and Due Diligence: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 24 are also available in digital and paper editions.

And, now, having goofed off much of the morning; it’s time to go to work.

See you on the flip-side.

Today’s blog post title brought to you by — of course! — Meatloaf, “Bat out of Hell.”  Here’s your link.

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Books read in 2017

47. Going Postal, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
46. Just One Damned Thing After Another, Jodi Taylor (e)
45. Wildfire, Ilona Andrews (e)
44. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle (e) (re-read)
43. The Rose and the Dagger, Renée Ahdieh
42. Blaze of Memory, Nalini Singh (read aloud w/Steve)
41. The Wrath and the Dawn, Renée Ahdieh
40. Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So: A Memoir, Mark Vonnegut MD (e)
39. The Rule of Luck, Catherine Cerveny (e) (arc)
38. The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
37. The Girl with Ghost Eyes, M.H. Boroson (e)
36. Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
35. White Hot, Ilona Andrews (e)
34.  The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life, Tom Reiss (e)
33. Mouse and Dragon, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e)
32. Caszandra, Andrea K. Host (e)
31. Lab Rat One, Andrea K. Host (e)
30. Stray, Andrea K. Host (e)
29. The Cat Who Turned On and Off, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
28. Apprentice in Death, J.D. Robb (e/l)
27. The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
26. The Face in the Frost, John Bellairs (e)
25. Hanged for a Sheep, Frances and Richard Lockridge (e)
24. Xamnesia, Lizzie Harwood (e)
23. Convergence, C. J. Cherryh, (read aloud with Steve)
22. Rock Addiction, Nalini Singh (e)
21. The Stranger in the Woods, Michael Finkel
20. Etched in Bone, Anne Bishop (e)
19. Rider at the Gate, CJ Cherryh (re-read)
18. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
17. Silence Fallen, Patricia Briggs (e)
16. The Cold Eye, Laura Anne Gilman
15. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
14. Memory, Linda Nagata (e)
13.  Bonita Faye, Margaret Moseley (e)
12.  Burn for Me, Ilona Andrews (e)
11. Snuff, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
10. A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (e)
9.  Some Danger Involved, Will Thomas
8.  Thud!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
7.  White Tiger, Kylie Chan
6.  The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch
5.  Trading in Danger, Elizabeth Moon (e)
4.  The Wolf in the Attic, Paul Kearney (e)
3.  The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
2.  Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, Jayme Lynn Blaschke (e)
1. Sand of Bone, Blair MacGregor (e)

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The Power of Purr

Today, with the exception of needing to go to the doctor for a follow-up exam this afternoon, is a Work Day, and I will be shutting down the internets very soon.
 
I do want to mention, for the people who are here for the cats…the marvelous healing power of purrs.
 
At the ER Monday night, I was given a shot of high-test ibuprofen, and given a muscle-relaxant in pill form to take before I went to bed. In theory, this was to help me sleep through the night.
 
In fact, it helped me sleep for about four hours, when the pain woke me again and I lay in bed counting the hours until CVS opened and I — well, actually, Steve — could go into town and get the prescriptions filled. I twisted and turned and couldn’t find any position that provided relief — for an hour or so by the clock on the ceiling.
 
About 4 am, I decided that, if I started walking, I could be in Waterville when CVS opened, Belle jumped up to the foot of the bed, STOMPED up until she was next to me, sat down and HUFFED. It really was very clearly, “What on earth is the matter with you, stupid kitten?” — and she started to purr.
 
“It won’t work,” I told her. Whereupon she blinked at me, threw herself against my chest (I was laying on my side) and brought up the Big, Deep, Rough purrs from ‘way down at the bottom of the Purr Box. I closed my eyes, still convinced that it wasn’t going to work. . .
 
And woke up at 9 am with my back hurting, but somewhat less.
 
The rest of Tuesday was spent with heating pad on/heating pad off, listening to Pandora and dozing. Trooper took day-shift, with Sprite filling in for necessary breaks. Yesterday, all was very nearly back to normal, though Trooper and Belle still hung close, and today, as previously suggested is a work day.
 
As I type, Belle is in the wooden basket on my desk, and Trooper is sitting next to the keyboard, purring and aiming head-butts at my chin.
 
Everybody have a good day.
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Trip Report: Condensed Version

Early in the morning of Wednesday, August 2, Steve and I turned the keys and the cats over to the house-sitter, and took the show on the road.  Our first goal was Coraoplis, in Moon Township, PA, where we were scheduled to be Writer Guests of Honor at Confluence, from Friday, August 4 through Sunday, August 6.

This was my first Confluence (I had, way back in the Dark Ages, attended a Phlange in Pittsburgh, which was the convention preceding Confluence) and I had a blast.  Everyone was very kind, interested, and interesting, too.  Confluence is a small con, but I swear to you that the Entire Membership attends all of the panels.  All of my panels were packed, as was my reading (I read “Emancipated Child” — an Archers Beach story — and Steve read “Intelligent Design” — a Liaden short story), and my rant.  The Guest of Honor speech was very well-attended, and, well — did I say we had a blast?

Moon Township being a far more cosmopolitan area than, oh, Kennebec County, Steve was pleased to find — and consume — pierogies, a Food of His People which he had not had for years.  And we were amazed to discover, at the end of con dinner, the existence of Burgatory.

Our after-con first goal was North Tonawanda and the Herschell Carousel Factory.

If you’re ever in North Tonawanda New York, you must go to the Herschell Carousel Museum; it’s that awesome.  And? There is a fully restored Herschell Carousel on the premises — one ride is included in the cost of admission; rides thereafter fifty cents each — more than a bargain!

The surprise takeaway from the museum was that the Herschell Company saw carousels as a way to sell the motors that provide the motivating force.  There were, in the museum, advertisements from the papers of the day, soliciting entrepreneurs to sign into the carousel franchise.

Talk about skewing your worldview.

We spent so much time at the carousel museum that we missed lunch and had a quick, catch-up meal at Pane’s restaurant, which is the sort of place that makes you want to move to wherever it is so that it can be your neighborhood restaurant.

After our belated meal, we got back on the road to our second post-con goal of. . .

Niagara Falls, New York (no, we didn’t go to the Canada side; yes, we had a good time, anyway), where we claimed our suite at the Red Coach Inn (which was surely an extravagance, but, oh, my goodness, I did love that suite, with its canopied bed, and the gas fireplace — the fainting couch! — and the brocade curtains, all of which overlooked the rose garden, and the sidewalk, and just right over there, the flashing, roaring river.

On Tuesday, we walked over Goat Island to pay our respects to Tesla, and also to take at least a gazillion pictures.  We circumnavigated the island, then walked across the Three Sisters Islands, and in general had a very pleasant morning.  After lunch and a nap, we took another walk, down through the gardens to the various landings and overlooks, finishing up the evening with a nice dinner at the Red Coach Inn, and a viewing of the fireworks!

Wednesday, I took a ride on the Maid of the Mist, and got well and truly soaked.  I can report that my quick-drying cargo pants are, indeed, quick drying.  Not so much the red sunhat.

Thursday, we left town, bound for Binghamton, New York, and the carousel circuit — which is a post in itself.  The short form is that, on Friday, we located and rode all five (number six, which is located in the zoo, is down for maintenance this summer), and won for ourselves the coveted Carousel Circuit rider pins.  Here’s mine:

On Saturday, we left Binghamton, over-nighted at World Famous Quechee Gorge, and so to home on Sunday.

And that’s the quick version.  I do intend to write a blog post about the Binghamton carousels, so — watch the skies.  In the meantime, I need to get back to work.

 

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Books read in 2017

46. Just One Damned Thing After Another, Jodi Taylor (e)
45. Wildfire, Ilona Andrews (e)
44. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle (e) (re-read)
43. The Rose and the Dagger, Renée Ahdieh
42. Blaze of Memory, Nalini Singh (read aloud w/Steve)
41. The Wrath and the Dawn, Renée Ahdieh
40. Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So: A Memoir, Mark Vonnegut MD (e)
39. The Rule of Luck, Catherine Cerveny (e) (arc)
38. The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
37. The Girl with Ghost Eyes, M.H. Boroson (e)
36. Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
35. White Hot, Ilona Andrews (e)
34.  The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life, Tom Reiss (e)
33. Mouse and Dragon, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e)
32. Caszandra, Andrea K. Host (e)
31. Lab Rat One, Andrea K. Host (e)
30. Stray, Andrea K. Host (e)
29. The Cat Who Turned On and Off, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
28. Apprentice in Death, J.D. Robb (e/l)
27. The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
26. The Face in the Frost, John Bellairs (e)
25. Hanged for a Sheep, Frances and Richard Lockridge (e)
24. Xamnesia, Lizzie Harwood (e)
23. Convergence, C. J. Cherryh, (read aloud with Steve)
22. Rock Addiction, Nalini Singh (e)
21. The Stranger in the Woods, Michael Finkel
20. Etched in Bone, Anne Bishop (e)
19. Rider at the Gate, CJ Cherryh (re-read)
18. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
17. Silence Fallen, Patricia Briggs (e)
16. The Cold Eye, Laura Anne Gilman
15. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
14. Memory, Linda Nagata (e)
13.  Bonita Faye, Margaret Moseley (e)
12.  Burn for Me, Ilona Andrews (e)
11. Snuff, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
10. A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (e)
9.  Some Danger Involved, Will Thomas
8.  Thud!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
7.  White Tiger, Kylie Chan
6.  The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch
5.  Trading in Danger, Elizabeth Moon (e)
4.  The Wolf in the Attic, Paul Kearney (e)
3.  The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
2.  Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, Jayme Lynn Blaschke (e)
1. Sand of Bone, Blair MacGregor (e)

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In other news, pain hurts

So, yesterday, being our first day back home in Quite A While, We had Stuff to do, including laundry, which Steve took on while I settled accounts and various whatnot.  My back had ached a bit when I got up, but since that’s more or less the nature of the beast, I ignored it, which works 99 percent of the time.

. . .only not yesterday.

The pain got worse during the day (I say this, who has a very high tolerance for the stuff), and by about 7 o’clock I called Uncle, who directed me to the Emergency Room.  There, I received an exam and a diagnosis —  muscle spasms and! you’re not 25 anymore, Woman — a shot of what turns out to be high-strength, liquid ibuprofen, a prescription for muscle relaxants in addition to one to see me through last night, and Strong Advice to acquire and use a standing desk.

Today, I am bouncing back and forth between heating pad and desk, and trying to settle the correct dose of ibuprofen.  Normal service may resume tomorrow, but I’m thinking Thursday is more likely.

Everybody stay well.

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Monday…

Today is Steve’s birthday, the celebrating of which we are deferring to the trip to Niagara/Binghamton.  The trip is also my birthday celebration, and! last year’s anniversary-of-the-legal-marriage and this year’s anniversary-of-the-legal-marriage.

Today, there is vacuuming and vacation packing.  This is a Trip in Three Parts, so packing is. . .interesting in its way.  Usually, we throw the things we’ll need at the convention in suitcases, pack a train case, hand over the suitcases to the nice baggage experts at Amtrak and worry no more.

Since we’ll be driving to Pittsburgh and overnighting on the road, I have packed an overnight bag, and will today be packing the purple duffle with the items that will be required on the vacation and homecoming leg of the trip.

Tomorrow, I will pack con clothes, since they are more susceptible to wrinkles than cargo pants, polo and denim shirts.

And so it goes.

I need to check my tablet to make sure that I’ll have enough to read.  Fifty books on the to-be-read shelf.  Is that enough?  Maybe I should take a couple paper books to be sure I don’t run out?  No, wait!  We’ll be at a convention.  If I need books, I’ll be able to stock up there.  Phew.

I’m really looking forward to this trip:  the convention, of course, and then the meandering road home.  I’m especially pleased to be approaching this whole segment in a state of not being depressed.

On that front, I have backed out of the last application of antidepressants, and am continuing with meditation, which has been helping decrease the noise in my head, even though I’m probably the world’s worst meditator.  I’m using the guided meditation at Headspace, which I like very much, even though the occasional assertion that “thoughts are just thoughts” baffles me.  I mean, yes, thoughts are just thoughts, but I’m in the business of turning thoughts into stories, so I’m accustomed to giving thought some weight, so to speak, in my life.

I’m continuing to cut down my exposure to toxic persons, which is, sadly, an on-going task. I’ve cut back my presence on Facebook and on Twitter, which also helps decrease the noise in my head. . .which is not nearly as frightening as I thought it would be, having lived my whole life with a noisy head.  Maybe that’s what’s meant by “thoughts are just thoughts.”

So, that.

For those who missed the initial announcement — there is a new patron-only podcast up on the Lee-and-Miller Patreon page — here’s your link.

Also!  Steve and I have unlocked three earlier podcasts so that they can now be enjoyed by everyone.  Go to this link, and scroll down.

And that, I think, catches us all up.  Time to get out the vacuum cleaner and wake up all the cats.

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Books read in 2017

45. Wildfire, Ilona Andrews (e)
44. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle (e) (re-read)
43. The Rose and the Dagger, Renée Ahdieh
42. Blaze of Memory, Nalini Singh (read aloud w/Steve)
41. The Wrath and the Dawn, Renée Ahdieh
40. Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So: A Memoir, Mark Vonnegut MD (e)
39. The Rule of Luck, Catherine Cerveny (e) (arc)
38. The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
37. The Girl with Ghost Eyes, M.H. Boroson (e)
36. Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
35. White Hot, Ilona Andrews (e)
34.  The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life, Tom Reiss (e)
33. Mouse and Dragon, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e)
32. Caszandra, Andrea K. Host (e)
31. Lab Rat One, Andrea K. Host (e)
30. Stray, Andrea K. Host (e)
29. The Cat Who Turned On and Off, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
28. Apprentice in Death, J.D. Robb (e/l)
27. The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
26. The Face in the Frost, John Bellairs (e)
25. Hanged for a Sheep, Frances and Richard Lockridge (e)
24. Xamnesia, Lizzie Harwood (e)
23. Convergence, C. J. Cherryh, (read aloud with Steve)
22. Rock Addiction, Nalini Singh (e)
21. The Stranger in the Woods, Michael Finkel
20. Etched in Bone, Anne Bishop (e)
19. Rider at the Gate, CJ Cherryh (re-read)
18. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
17. Silence Fallen, Patricia Briggs (e)
16. The Cold Eye, Laura Anne Gilman
15. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
14. Memory, Linda Nagata (e)
13.  Bonita Faye, Margaret Moseley (e)
12.  Burn for Me, Ilona Andrews (e)
11. Snuff, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
10. A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (e)
9.  Some Danger Involved, Will Thomas
8.  Thud!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
7.  White Tiger, Kylie Chan
6.  The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch
5.  Trading in Danger, Elizabeth Moon (e)
4.  The Wolf in the Attic, Paul Kearney (e)
3.  The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
2.  Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, Jayme Lynn Blaschke (e)
1. Sand of Bone, Blair MacGregor (e)

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Patreon news

There is a new podcast up on Patreon.  Here’s your link.

Note that the new podcast is locked to Lee and Miller patrons only.   We have, however, unlocked several previous podcasts, so that anyone may listen.  Those podcasts are:

Sharon reads “The Gift of Music,” by Sharon Lee.  Here’s the link.

Steve reads “Charioteer,” by Steve Miller.  Here’s the link.

Sharon reads “The Beggar King,” by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.  Here’s the link.

Enjoy!

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