Third before Fourth

So, let’s see.

Steve made pancakes for breakfast; we got out the trash and the recycling; I refreshed the Hummer Bar, and the water in the bird bath; Steve cut down the swinging tire, and added it to the Stuff behind the shed.  I called the lawyer’s office; washed pots and pans, unloaded the dishwasher and started filling it back up again. Also, I read my comics and as much of the news as I could stand.

Weatherbeans are calling for a high of 91F/33C today; currently 84F-feels-like-90F (29C-feels-like-32C).  Windows are open, and all available fans are ON.  Trooper has discovered that the ceramic tile in the “entry hall” (actually it’s a little smaller than your traditional sidewalk hopscotch pattern) is cool(er), and has established a Spot between the front door and the wall.  I need to be careful not to push the door wide open and smush him I believe the other cats may be down in the basement, which is not a bad idea.

*Glances at to-do list*

I think it might be time to go to work.

When last we saw our Intrepid Heroes…

. . .they were fleeing Maine with a nor’easter nipping at their heels.

Since the Lakeshore Limited, aka Amtrak Train Number 49, leaves the Albany-Rensselaer train station at 7 pm, Steve and I decided to leave reasonably early (by which I mean, the sun was up by the time we were likewise), and take the Scenic Route.

This, we did, stopping in Keene, New Hampshire, for lunch, and wending our way gently through the warm and sunny day.  Shoppers in downtown Keene were wearing shorts and t-shirts, ignoring the predictions of Snowpocalypse for the morrow.

We arrived at the train station in time to wait two hours before boarding, and having dinner onboard (Steve had the chicken; I tried to have the butternut squash ravioli, but they were out.  Instead, they gave me (after due warning) mashed sweet potatoes formed with a melon ball and served under alfredo/spinach sauce.  It was. . .interesting.), returning to our room, and so to sleep.

Breakfast next morning was a “scrambled egg bowl,” and then we arrived at Chicago Union Station with a nine-hour layover before us, which we shall pass over lightly.

We boarded The City of New Orleans, aka Amtrak Train Number 59, at 8:30 pm, were served from the lunch menu (we each had a. . .muffaletta?), and so to our room, and sleep. . .

. . .until 6:30 am, when the car attendant woke us so that we could de-train at Memphis, where we were picked up by Sylvia Cox in her hat as Guest Liaison for MidSouthCon.

Sylvia was everything that was accommodating and good-natured, got us to an IHOP so we could grab breakfast, drove us up and down River Street, so we could observe the above-flood-stage Mississippi River at first hand, and so to the hotel, where there was no waiting to get into our room, despite it being Very Early in the Day.

We repaired to our room and unpacked, then it was time to meet Jane and Pat in the lobby.  Pat filled us in on the history of the Memphis neighborhoods Jane was driving us through, until we arrived at the Children’s Museum and!

The restored 1909 Dentzel Carousel which was for many years the centerpiece of Libertyland Amusement Park.

Here, have some carousel pictures:

 

After we finished with the carousel, we invaded the Children’s Museum, which was just. . .awesome.  So much interactive stuff — including an installation that taught you how to break into a safe; a real police car, and a FedEx jet.  Things to climb on, things to climb through, an air current raceway for balls and scarves, the ever-popular Legos, a grocery store, a discussion of the US Mint and how money is made. . .

Yeah, we spent some time there.  They ought to make these things adult-sized.

We departed the Children’s Museum, reluctantly, and — because there were flowers blooming in Memphis and Maine was by that point buried under a foot of new snow — Jane and Pat took us to a Botanical Garden to admire the pansies, the tulips and the early daffodils, as well as some flowering trees.

Eventually, we came back to rest at the Hilton, had lunch, a nap, and woke in time to get ready to share the pre-convention dinner of chicken spaghetti with con volunteers and those other Guests of Honor who had arrived.  We had a lovely chat with Ellen Datlow, Editor Guest of Honor, and a changing roster of volunteers, as people broke for supper and then went back to the important business of putting the con together.

Friday was the first day of the con.  We toured the Dealers Room, and the Art Show, talked with folks we met around and about, including Glennis of the Missing Volume, and the lady who was selling kaleidoscopes, and…and…and…

Then, it was time for our first professional obligation:  Signing on Pro Row.

At 7 pm, it was time for Opening Ceremonies.  Each of the Guests of Honor were escorted to their seats by Batman or Superman.  I was escorted by Superman, while Batman did the pretty for Steve.

Each of the Guests were introduced and given a gift box full of whimsical and useful goodies.  Mike Resnick, the Toastmaster, told us a couple stories, we heard a little history of the convention, and it was official!  MidSouthCon was On!

Next morning, first thing, was the Teddy Bear Tea.  Despite the early hour, it was well-attended by a variety of plushies, who socialized with each other while their human companions told the story of each one, and did some socializing of their own.  Steve and I enjoyed ourselves, as did Lemmy, Jingles, and Hassan the Assassin.

We then had the opportunity to talk to a ballroom full of attentive people about the history and times of the Liaden Universe®, attended the Baen Traveling Roadshow, and did a panel on characterization and social world building before it was time for the banquet and the presentation of the Darrell Awards.  All the guests were brought to the front to be re-introduced to the convention, and asked to say a few words.

After the banquet, it was the Epic Women in Epic Stories panel, ably moderated by Toni Weisskopf.

Sunday morning, we hosted a breakfast in the restaurant for eight folks who had signed up to observe us before we were caffeinated.  Topics ranged from cats, to writing, to the weather, to cats, and also — cats.

After, we read Select Portions of Agent of Change — in celebration of the Thirtieth Anniversary — to a small but appreciative audience and!

All too soon, it was Closing Ceremonies, and MidSouthCon was over for another year.  Except for the Dead Dog Party, where barbecue was had by all.

Because of how the trains run, we had most of Monday in Memphis.  We used our time wisely, playing tourist, visiting the Peabody Hotel in time to do a thorough tour before taking up a position on the mezzanine to see the ducks march out of their lobby fountain, down the red carpet and into the elevator that whisked them away to their rooftop penthouse.

After the ducks, it was a stroll down Beale Street, and a dinner, before moving on to the Memphis train station to wait for our ride.

MidSouthCon was a terrific con — everyone we met was friendly and helpful, and sincerely glad that we had come to celebrate with them.

I didn’t take any pictures at the convention, but here — have some more carousel pics:

Those of you who stayed with us this far will recall that, at the beginning of the story, we were fleeing a nor’easter.  We returned home in the aftermath of a second nor’easter, which dumped eighteen-plus inches of snow on the head of most of New England.  Happily, New England knows what to do about snow, and the roads had been plowed and cleared ahead of us.  Our own plowguy had been in to shove snow out of the driveway, and clear the steps.

Today, the snow is rolling off our new metal roof, and the plowguy came by with his front-loader to push the pile of plowed snow back, so he’ll have room to put the snow from the third March snowstorm, which is predicted for early next week.

And that?  Is all I’ve got at the moment.  Glad to have gone; glad to be home.

 

Everybody talks about the weather

Those who are not based on the East Coast of the US may be unaware that we are hosting yet another Nor’easter.  Nor’easters may carry snow, rain, or the ever-popular wintry mix, but the signature aspect of Nor’easters is wind.

Lots of wind of the steady strong variety interspersed with gusts capable of lifting tractor trailers off of the interstate and flipping them casually into the median.

Areas south of us are bearing the brunt of this Weather Event.  Barnstable, Mass reports a top wind of 93 mph.  East Bridgewater, Mass reports 5.74 inches of rain fell, yesterday; while Cobbleskill, New York saw 39.3 inches of snow.

Here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory, we are experiencing a wind storm, with intermittent snow squalls.

The wind howled us to sleep last night, and it was still howling up a storm this morning while Steve and I were drowsing under the close supervision of three coon cats.

Suddenly, there was a thump.  Like this:

THUMP

“What was that?” I asked, without, yanno, actually getting up, because I am not one of those who runs toward the scary noise.

Steve, who is, was already looking out the bedroom window in the end-wall.

“It could have been that a bunch of wires was yanked loose from the house,” he said.

Have a bunch of wires been yanked loose from the house?” I asked, still not getting up, because, really, what would be the point?

“Looks like one of the branches of the pine tree bounced, and yanked out the wires; there’s a weird tangle on the ground,” Steve said.

For those who are not fully aware of the situation of our house, we are surrounded by pine trees, as is most of the state above Portland; and the various folk invested in wires very often just cut a tunnel through the branches so that the wires can be threaded through to their destination.  Not only did the wires from the pole to our house pass through a pine tunnel, but! when the across-the-street neighbor got his power run in, CMP cut a pine tunnel through one of the trees on his property, and also through our tree that already had a pine tunnel, in order to connect him to the grid-pole at street side.

Closer inspection reveals that What Actually Happened is that one of the neighbor’s several long, tall pine trees snapped — no; shattered — under the assault of the wind.  There’s at least ten feet of tree on the ground — the pointy crown top on one end, and a wicked sharp sword of raw wood on the other.  Looking up, I could see at least four widowmakers hung up in the branches of the surrounding trees, and wires, dangling.

What appears to have happened is that the tree exploded, the down branch hitting the wire as it fell, tearing the connections out of the neighbor’s house, bouncing on the shared wire hard enough to momentarily take out the cable connection at our house.  The down wires on our property appear to be old phone cables, and they are merely stretched down to the ground by the weight of a tree limb; connection to the house has not been severed.

Not really sure what’s to be done right now.  Neighbor appears to be in good order, despite the loss of power.  Here, the cable reset itself, the power never flickered, and God She knows who we need to call about the down lines.  Clearly, they need to be removed.  On the other hand, they don’t seem to be a threat; certainly, it’s not worth calling someone out in the middle of a Nor’easter to do it today.

In Other News, I’m multitasking — doing the laundry as I’m looking over our schedule for MidSouthCon, and starting to make piles to stuff to bring with.  One of the things we’re tasked with is reading “good parts” from Liaden books, which ought to be. . .interesting.  I also need to brush up on my Epic Heroines.

I think that’s all and everything of note for the moment.  Everybody stay warm, and safe, and dry.

Notes from two weeks on sick leave

Still drifting lazily toward Total Wellness, and remaining somewhat weepy, which is annoying, since I associate that sort of thing with being Very Ill, and I was not, and certainly am not now, Very Ill.  Despite which, I can report that listening to the Simon and Garfunkel Channel on Pandora is Not Recommended.

What else?  After all my grumbling and grouching, and a marked failure to train Dragon Mobile (Dragon depends on the speaker saying the same word EXACTLY THE SAME WAY, and I never, ever say the same word the same way, speech being one of those hit-and-miss things for me at the best of times.  Poor Ophelia and I fought over Every. Word. It was dreadful; she did try, but I had to let her go.)

Having fired Ophelia, I went back to Hey Google! (which I like marginally better than OK Google.  On thinking about it, OK Google is actually hard for me to say, since I start too low on the OH part, and kind of strangle the last –gle.)  Hey Google is pretty forgiving — I can sing, I can be stern, I can be cheerful or tearful. . .I think I’ve only been misunderstood once and I’ve been using it a lot, mostly as a tea timer (best tea timer ever!), and to add things to the grocery list.  Deleting things from the grocery list is a bit more of a challenge, but we’ll get there.

Back on the topic of being ill — I lost a few pounds — all the way down to 188! — but have drifted back to the old baseline of 190, which I assume means I’m pretty much Over This Thing.  I would like to get to 184, at which point, according to the Wisdom of the BMI scales, I shall stop being “overweight.”  Mind you, I probably don’t want to lose those six pounds enough to stop eating bread and butter, or drinking my glass of wine in the evening, so the goal will very likely remain unconquered.  But it’s important, after all, to have goals; otherwise, you don’t have anything to hang on the walls.

Fifth of Five and I have reached an impasse, and I have issued the Ultimate Threat — Fine; if you don’t cooperate, I will not finish you, and the story will be frozen in place exactly where it is now!

So, we’ll see.

In the meantime, I’ve been amusing myself by putting together the tax paperwork.

It snowed and wintry-mixed on the overnight, and I went out before breakfast to cope with the deck and the stairs, and to get the car swept off and de-iced.  It occurred to me as I was clearing off the windscreen that today marks two weeks exactly since the last time I was out of the house.  Maybe I’ll plan a trip to the grocery store tomorrow, in celebration. . .

Hope everyone’s feeling healthy and hale.

Preorder Links and? We have Weather

So, after an email exchange a couple nights ago, the Nook Team magically invested me with the ability to publish books for pre-order, with the result that you — yes, you! — can now preorder the electronic edition of Degrees of Separation: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 27 from BN/Nook Books ,  from Amazon/Kindle, from Kobo, and (this is according to rumor, only) at Apple.

I made an attempt to get Amazon to help me put the paper book on pre-order, but! It turns out that it never occurred to them that someone might want to do Such An Outrageous Thing, so!  The idea is being remanded to the Team, and no paper pre-orders for this title.  I’ll do my best to make sure that it is available for sale on January 15.  Baen ebooks will have the book for sale in electronic edition on January 15, as well.

Speaking of links and Amazon. . .Several people have written, and posted here and there on-line that there Is! No! Kindle! Edition of Neogenesis available — they are variously made sad, bewildered, and angry by this, which is kind of a shame, because!

There is a Kindle edition of  Neogenesis Here’s your link. You will note that, while this page lists both the ebook and the Audible editions of the book there is no hardcover listed — but fear not!  This does not mean that there was no hardcover published, it only means that the hardcover sits in lonely splendor on its own catalog page. I hope this makes everybody happy — and, no, I don’t know why Amazon has not been able to merge both catalog pages.  ‘WAY above my pay scale.

Here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory, we are experiencing Weather,  In particular, a blizzard (or, if you prefer a bombogenesis, aka a “snow hurricane”), which is expected to dump 11 to 14 inches of snow before it decamps, early tomorrow morning.

Related to this, yesterday, I acquired back spasms as one does, especially if one had the experience of going head-first through the windshield of an automobile at the tender age of 23.  Yesterday was fairly well a waste; while I waited for it to be time to see the doctor at 4:45 pm.  Received blessed muscle relaxants and have been Taking Them As Directed since last evening.  Back still hurts, but has eased back to a 5 on the 1-10 pain scale.  For comparison, yesterday was a 12.

The plowguy — all hail the plowguy! — will be clearing our steps and porch and the so-called “front” steps, too, in addition to plowing the driveway, so that, at least, is taken care of.

I think this more or less catches us up, and it occurs to me that it might be prudent to go seek my heating pad again, though standing at my desk is a remarkably pain-free posture.

Everybody, stay happy.

Out of the blizzard, into the deep freeze

So, yesterday, Maine hosted a blizzard, our first of the season.  Here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory, we got about 11 inches of snow.  Temps didn’t get above 12F/-11C all day, so the snow was fluffy, but there were still 11 inches of it.  I managed to clear the steps and get the car dug out about 10 minutes before the plowguy showed up to clear the driveway, once again proving that Timing is Everything.

The rest of the day was fairly laid back.  Steve and I had planned to take a half-day and watch a movie, but the uncertainty introduced by the weather meant that, instead, we spent the morning baking — mince tarts, chocolate chip cookies, crab cakes (eventually) — and the afternoon working.

This morning, we slept late, in celebration of the certainty that we would not have an early visit from the plowguy, ate a leisurely breakfast, and went back to work.  I managed to trash my left hand during yesterday’s snow removal, which meant I took aspirin to get the pain down to a dull roar, which meant that I was a bit duller than I wanted to be on the manuscript correx.  On the other hand, I manged to rewrite a scene in order to, yanno, show, not tell, and fix a bunch of little this ‘n thats, so I’m not Utterly Unhappy with today’s production.

Tomorrow, I fear that one or both of us will need to Venture Out — this adventure  made somewhat parlous, as the high temperature on the day is supposed to be 10F/-12C, with a low tomorrow night of -12F/-24C, marking the start of ten days of single-digit highs in the daytime, and minus double-digits for nighttime lows.

And people ask us why we keep coon cats.

I don’t if I mentioned here that the cable company, in its infinite wisdom decided that we needed a new modem. It is easily twice as big as the modem it is replacing, and has many bright blue eyes glowing with no-doubt malicious plans to take over the world.  In any case, we decided to swap it in on Sunday evening — because what could possibly go wrong? — and were without access to the internet for 12! hours!  Steve figured out that we were one phone call short of an implementation yesterday morning, made the call and got us back online.

So, that.

Today’s mail brought us the income tax worksheets from our accountant, so when I get bored of writing, I’ll have something to keep me occupied. Accountants are thoughtful that way.

I hope everyone who celebrates had a pleasant holiday; and those who don’t celebrate had a pleasant Monday.

And now I’m going to pour myself a glass of wine, curl up on the sofa with my book and a possible coon cat or two and ignore my hand.

Here’s a picture of Sprite, being adorable.

 

Out she comes as white as snow, rings on her fingers and bells on her toes

Baen Books is holding a contest to give away paper ARCS* of Neogenesis by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.  To enter, you need to go to the Baen Books facebook page — here’s your link — and answer the question:  What is your favorite Liaden Universe® novel — and why?

It rained and snowed last night — just a bit.  Today,  we’re in the midst of another windstorm, and may expect downed trees, and power outages.  This sounds somewhat familiar, except today we’ll be doing it under a blue sky, and a high temperature of 35F/2C.  Tonight’s low will be 13F/-11C with a wind chill of -4F/-20C.

My plan for the day is to stay in and write.  OK, maybe I’ll clean the bathroom, too.

Everybody stay warm or cool, whichever is best in Your Particular Situation.

Today’s blog post title is brought to you by Gaelic Storm, “Tell Me Ma”.  Here’s your link.

*Advance Reading Copy

Friday the Thirteenth

Excellent day; sunny and crisp.

I seem to have caught a cold; or a cold has caught me, so, in celebration, I’ve ordered in a pair of Mr. Bean’s Wicked Good Slippers and a flannel jacket-shirt lined with fleece, in orange plaid.  Because orange plaid was on sale, and brought the price down from Ruinous to Merely Outrageous.

What else?  I’ve meditated for two days in a row, been to the gym, and managed to get to bed at a reasonable hour.  I did sleep in this morning, but it wasn’t my fault!  Three coon cats ganged up on me and held me under the covers.

I have been remiss in mentioning here that Pinbeam Books has committed The Tomorrow Log to paper.  Here’s your link.  I note that it is also and has since 2011 been constantly available as an ebook from all the Usual Suspects, though Amazon seems unwilling to associate the two editions in its catalog.

I’ve been slowly slipping back into Fifth of Five, which does indeed seem to be aspiring to the working title Monkey Business.  We shall see.  In the meanwhile, I’m glad Neogenesis gave me all that practice in writing in chunks, ’cause that’s how this one wants to be written, too.  Yes, yes, I said never again.  The author is always the last to know.

Today, in honor of the cold, and despite sleeping in, I have placed NAP on the to-do list, along with the other glamorous tasks that fall to a working writer, such as cleaning the cat fountain, straightening away at least some of this stuff, doing the dishes, oh, and actually working on the manuscript.

I’ll try to get back to reporting progress, though a total word count isn’t really going to be possible — see writing in chunks, above.

Yesterday, then, I added 850 new words to the WIP and cleaned up some really rugged sentences.  The manuscript, in, I hesitate to say total, weighs in at something more-or-less close to 35,000 words.  This counts. . .cohesive chunks.

Everybody confused now?  Good.  Have a snippet:

The little Healer was not a monster, though he had wielded necessity like a surgeon’s knife, terrifying in his virtue.

Errands done; and so to work

Got up early to make the trek to Skowhegan and Steve’s eye doctor.  Matters have stabilized, on that front, so — yay! stabilization!

Came home via the post office — whereby hangs a tale, which I will now tell to you.

My Formal White Tiger pen was listed as Out for Delivery by the USPS on Saturday, but did not arrive.  It is not, I will note here, Completely Unusual for the Saturday delivery-person to fail deliver packages. She simply leaves them for the regular weekday guy, because — I have no idea.  Packages hard, I guess.

So, this morning, I looked back to the site to see if indeed my pen was listed as “out for delivery” with the guy who actually does his job, but found instead a note that delivery had been attempted on Saturday, late afternoon, but nobody was home, so a note was left.

Which was…pure, unadulterated mud. First, we were home all day Saturday.  Second, we got our mail ‘way early, as we tend to do on Saturday.  Three, nobody from the post office came by the house during the late afternoon.  Four, no note was left.  Five, it wouldn’t have mattered if there was anyone at home anyway, because the package didn’t require a signature.

I called the post office and explained the situation.  As it happened, the allegation that a note had been left meant that the package was not out for delivery, but was waiting at the post office, until I called with instructions.  Which I would have never known — because no note — if I hadn’t looked at the website and discovered this, um, deceit.

So, anyway, Deirdre, who was on the desk when I called, was as helpful as one woman could possibly be.  She listened to the problem, said she would go find the package now, if I would let her put me on hold.  It took her twelve minutes to find it, but find it she did, and, at my instruction put it at the front desk so when I came to pick it up, it would be easy for whoever was then on to find.

That part went according to plan.

So!  Eye doctor, post office, grocery store, and so to home, eagerly anticipating the meal Steve had started in the slow cooker before we left home, except!

There had been a minor power outage while we were gone.  Too short for the generator to take note of and kick in, but more than long enough to reboot the slow cooker, which started a count-down-to-cooking, which meant that?

Yes — you in the back?  Yes; thank you.  Exactly that.

Dinner wasn’t ready when we got home, starving.

Today’s dinner plans were therefore amended to hot dogs on French onion rolls, and leftover macaroni/veggie salad.  We’ll have today’s dinner tomorrow.

Speaking of the weather…today at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory it is 64F and raining.  The plants I put in yesterday are significantly perkier than they were at planting, so I’d say that timing was just about right.

As I mentioned in another venue, yesterday’s writing session produced! a True Epiphany (or as a friend says, with a bow in the direction of his spellchecker — an Apostrophe).  Epiphanies often require a lot of frogging, rearranging of scenes, re-assessing motivations, and just what seems to be a whole lot of backward motion when all instincts are screaming, “I have to make words, dammit!”

Experience teaches us that True Epiphanies almost always deliver a stronger, better story, if the writer is willing to bite her tongue and do the work.  Also, if the writer decides not to do the work?  The Epiphany has a way of forcing its point, later, when the amount of necessary frogging leaps from a few pages to a hundred, and sleepless nights and alcohol abuse enter the equation.

So, I’ve got some unwriting to do today — not much, happily, because we caught this in plenty too much time.  I may even get a start on rewriting.

And the roads, they roll.

Oh, and the new pen is gorgeous.  I’m really going to enjoy having it with me at Confluence.

Here, have a picture of both fountain pens, all snug in their traveling wallet:

I think of flying down into a sea of pens and feathers

So!  My new fountain pen arrived.  It’s gorgeous, and! it writes sooooo smooth on the gritty old yellow so-called “legal pad” paper which is my preferred paper.  The pen came with a converter, which I hadn’t realized, or I would’ve bought it a nice bottle of purple ink, instead of a box of black cartridges.  Maybe later.

What’s that, you say?   Picture?  How about a link, instead?

I went shopping after doing the gym thing this morning.  Since I had been putting this off for a while, I had rather a Lengthy List and only accomplished about half.  I fear that I am no longer the Lean Mean Shopping Machine of yore. . .In any case, I’ll try to finish up on Thursday.

One of the things I’ll need is!  Bug repellent.  Bugs find me very tasty (it’s like mosquitoes somehow know I have a lousy immune system) and I have it in my mind to be out in gardens and zoos and suchlike things, so bug repellent has moved to the top of the (remainder of) my list.  Can anyone recommend a good, not-hideously-poisonous-to-all-living-things-and-or-cancer-causing bug repellent that’s easy to apply and doesn’t smell bad? (not that I want the earth, or anything)

The other things I’ll need on Thursday are replacement plants for the Cat Garden, which, under the combined efforts of the neighbor’s chickens and the lawn guy’s assistant, has mostly become a Weed Garden.  The dragon flowers are still doing well, but the bee balm was ruthlessly cut off last year by the LGA, and did not, as I had. . .kind of hoped. . .come back.  The garden is now well under the limbs of the red maple, so I’m thinking some hosta (called Jimmy here at the Cat Farm, because I can never remember what the damned thing is called, and Steve said that The Murdered Teamster sounded more like a rock band than a plant), or maybe some more bee balm, if the LGA can be educated not to cut off their heads, or some other shade-loving plants.  And there’s one REALLY sunny corner where some day lilies might profit…

You see, I think, why I decided to Put Off Until Thursday what I did not finish today.

While I was shopping today, I must’ve seen about eight displays of those little three-sided spinner things, whatever they’re called.  Not having kids, or grand-kids, either, I hadn’t until recently realized that these were A Thing.  Back when I was a kid (and dinosaurs, &c), I used to have a continuous steel-link necklace that I used to spin while I was reading and/or studying, because — though I couldn’t’ve told you that at the time — it helped me concentrate.  My mother took it away from me, of course, because back then such things were Weird and Not Normal and therefore Not Done.

What an age we live in.

I also learned, just today, that I live in a teensy-tiny-vanishingly-small-economically-unsupportable bubble with, like six other people (and Steve, and the coon cats.  And probably even Scrabble, who does not suffer fools, in case that’s ever been in doubt) who believe in the social contract, the rule of law, repairing the infrastructure, and that a female Doctor Who is not the End of Civilization as we know it.  Who knew?

Anyway, home now to find that Steve had started the laundry, and is even now putting supper together.  After the meal, it’s — time to go to work, with a promise from the local weatherbeans of thunderstorms, maybe, this evening.

And on that note — y’all have a fine afternoon, ‘k?

Oh!  And here are Counting Crows, “Rain King.”