Why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings

Yesterday, the weather was. . .amazingly beautiful, and, as my right hand was more or less useless (I had a migraine in my wrist; my fingers were stiff — but not to worry, it’s all good now), and otherwise my day would have consisted of Sulking Around the House, I asked Steve to take me for a ride.  Which he willingly did.

Realizing that it was, after all, the Saturday of a three-day weekend, and a particularly raucous three-day-weekend at that, we drove in the direction opposite the ocean, toward Fairfield, Skowhegan by way of the Eaton Mountain Road, which I, personally, haven’t been on since we moved away from Skowhegan, and boy, couldn’t you see just forever.  Athens, Canaan, the Ridge Road to Madison to look at the mountains (stop laughing; we call them mountains) Anson, Starks (where Steve stopped to take a picture of Chicken Street for some friends), Industry, Farmington, Farmington Falls, New Sharon, Mercer, Norridgewock, back to Skowhegan, and thence home.  Pretty day, pretty ride with windows down and the wind in our hair.   Aaaaah.

Access was sort-of yesterday’s theme.  Early in the day, my Plan had been to re-read Swordspoint, by Ellen Kushner (which, if you haven’t read it, go now and do so.  Yes, now.  I’ll be here when you get back), and while you’re at it, get The Privilege of the Sword, same author.  There’s a third to make the set — The Fall of Kings, which I haven’t read, myself — but I’m getting ahead of my story.

So, the Plan — to re-read Swordspoint, followed by Privilege, as I realized that I’d never read them back-to-back, though I’ve read each many times — and I really needed to read something that was well-written, well-plotted, and characterized to an inch.

I therefore dug out my 1989 Tor paperback of Swordspoint, opened it up. . .

. . .and couldn’t read the type.  No, not even with my glasses off, my preferred mode of reading, since I’ve been nearsighted all my life.

That was a shock, to say the least.  Never mind that my copy is over-inked 8-pt type on yellowing paperback paper.  I’d read this damn’ book — this exact damn’ book. . .often.

But apparently, I wasn’t going to read it again.

Well, long story short, I had credit at BN, and was very soon in possession of electronic copies of Swordspoint, Privilege, and Fall, which simultaneously killed the credit, and made me very happy.

My search for a device to help me turn pages has so far not been as successful as locating readable copies of favorite books.  (I have lots of paper logs to flip through at the volunteer gig, and my fingers aren’t so fine-tuned anymore, so it sometimes takes me A While, and people are in a hurry, and well…)  I was thinking on the order of a stick (as in, Give A Monkey A…) with a slightly grabby tip, but I’m not finding anything like, so I may have hallucinated this particular  device.  However!  Rubber fingers still exist and will do the job just fine.  (Note to self:  buy rubber fingers next time at Staples.)

The search for the hallucinated device, however, did turn up this lovely article about the difference between paper knives and letter openers.

Because — hands, headache, see above — I did very little writing last night, though I did sit with the manuscript for an hour, and layered in some details in the scene I wrote on Friday.

Today, We Do Plotting (yes,  yes, it is About Time; do I tell you how to write?), around the laundry (Steve has already seen to cleaning the rugs).  It’s another gorgeous day, so I will conspire with Trooper to sit in a open window, and we will take in the sun and the breeze while Work goes forth.

We hear, by the way, Through the Grapevine, that Amazon is shipping Alliance of Equals, as of yesterday. Also, several BNs across the country have the book available for in-store pickup.

Today’s breakfast was leftover risotto-and-carrots; lunch will be quiche and salad.  Dinner — prolly a late-night sammich.  Yes, it’s Wild and Crazy; but it’s July 4th, all weekend long!  If you can’t cut loose and boogie now, when can you?

I hope everyone’s having a delightful weekend, with or without a holiday.

Progress on Book the Next
38,671/100,000 OR 38.7% complete

“That,” he said austerely, “is between brothers.”

Midday at the Oasis Trooper May 23 2016

Today’s blog title is brought to you by Lewis Carroll, “The Walrus and the Carpenter.”  Here’s your link.

12 thoughts on “Why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings”

  1. Page turners do still exist although I haven’t seen the simple wooden stick with a rubber tip for some time ( I recall one being used for the OED when it was on a wooden stand – shows my age!).

    One modern version can be found here: http://www.pattersonmedical.com/app.aspx?cmd=getProductDetail&key=070_921012157

    It might be worth wandering down to the O.T. department of the hospital (assuming they have such) and asking if they have something that would serve.

  2. That’s where I remember it from! Those silly, might-as-well-be-rice-paper pages. Everybody needed an assist turning them.

    Well, at least, I’m not at the hallucination stage, yet.

    Thanks for the link, and the suggestion.

  3. Okay, I bought Swordspoint a year ago from Amazon, but haven’t read it yet. I will do so as soon as I finish the Donna Leon book I just started.

    And laundry awaits…

    But tomorrow evening we will spend at a friend’s house on Middle River watching all her neighbors set off impressive not-quite-legal fireworks and eating a fine pot-luck dinner.

  4. I am delighted to find another person of my vintage who prefers to read without glasses. I , also am Very Nearsighted and bifocals drive me buggy! Enjoy your books when you get to them!

  5. Oh yes, Alliance of Equals is out at our local B&N! I bought a copy Friday evening. Thank you for the recommendation of Swordspoint. I’m always looking for something new to read. (don’t look at the pile of random unread library books in the closet, please. I’ll get to them, I promise)

  6. I’ve discovered that using latex or vinyl gloves (very easily obtainable at hospitals) are very useful for handling paper.

  7. I’ve worn glasses since the summer before 5th grade. About 5 years ago I had to get two pairs of glasses – distance ones for driving, short-range for computer. But something in the adjustment came out well; whereas most of my life the point at which something was too close to focus on and the point where it was close enough for me to see without glasses pretty much coincided, now I have a good 3-4 inch range where I can see (reasonably) clearly without glasses, and I do read (and cross-stitch) within that range. I have gone to multifocals, as of last year – but it’s the same two prescriptions, useful for looking at paper on the table in front of me and people out in the room beyond the table without constantly switching glasses. I don’t use them (or the pure short-range ones) for reading etc.
    But yes, electronic versions are Very Helpful in terms of adjusting font size…

  8. Someone else suggested that; it could work, if I can find a pencil that has a rubber(y) tip rather than the red stuff that slides. For a touch of comedy, this actually translates into finding a pencil. I don’t recall any at the storeroom at work, and I don’t think I own a pencil, outside of colored pencils.

  9. I find those pencils with new erasers easier to use after I’ve erased a few things. Roughing up the surface takes the shine off of ’em and makes ’em more ‘grabby’.

  10. The rubber tipped stylus for tablets should work – cheap on eBay, and available wherever electronics and such are sold. I have two – one of them is about 4 inches long, while the second is shorter at about 3 inches.

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