So, I’m still alive

But we had erranda (sounds so much better than errands) to run this morning, and so I haven’t been near a keyboard.

And now that I am I don’t particularly feel like blogging, so I’m going to give you one of those bizarre hodge podge posts I sometimes do.

This morning we woke up to fantasy fog.  Last year we had to drive through several of these (TO DENVER) to pick Robert up from interviews.

Fantasy fog is the sort of thick, milk-white fog where you can’t even see the sides of the road, or the bumper of the car in front of you.  On a trip to Denver, we followed the headlights of a car in front of us, without any idea if we were on a lane, two lanes, or driving on the side of the road.  We didn’t fall down the mountain and that must count as a win.  Given probabilities, in several universes we died, and Robert waited at DIA forever…

We’d have waited till the next day to pick him up, but he had a test, so…

Other than when I found myself on the road late at night, in fantasy fog, fantasy fog is a fine thing.  It sort of blurs the edges of the real and makes it seem like ANYTHING is possible.

Memorable under this heading is the day I was walking the kids to school and Kit Marlowe walked out of the fog, and past me.  Yep, Manitou is that sort of place.  The guy did have a passing resemblance to Marlowe, and he was an SCA person who favored Elizabethan wear.  He also used to walk around downtown CO springs, with sword strapped on.  Dan kept saying “There’s a time travel story in this.  I mean what better cover than “I am in the SCA?”  Because this is the way writers’ minds work.

Of course I grew up with this sort of fog, only it was black and stank.  A real peasouper.  This was because all the garbage from the city of Porto was sent to the “fertilizer factory” near us to burn.  Since the factory couldn’t accommodate it all/get permits for expansion, but the garbage still came, they would burn it in huge bonfires outside the factory.  Highly illegal, of course, but then everything was.

Since the factory was on a hill, when there was fog, it all fell down to the valley where we lived.  Which means foggy days meant being unable to breathe.  Mom has emphysema because of this.  (And genetic susceptibility.)  I wonder if it has something to do with making my immune system crazy and my airways hyper-sensitive, too.

Of course the fog here doesn’t stink, so it’s just cool and a little fantasy-like.  Provided we don’t have to drive to pick up anyone in DIA at midnight.

Other things that come to mind — I’m really trying to finish witch’s Daughter and making progress on Darkship Revenge.  I hate it when books come out together, it’s so hard to concentrate on just one.

Speaking of the song on the radio “Living like a renegade” what the heck does that mean?  Younger son sings it as “living like a darkship renegade” but unless they are Hoyt fans I have no clue what they’re talking about.  Unless of course they’re referring to the president’s secret service handle.  And anyone believe, btw. that handle was randomly bestowed?  No?  Neither do I.

Okay — having reassured you I’m alive, I’m going to go work now.

I’ll return (hopefully more coherently) on Tuesday.  Tomorrow I shall have a guest post.



70 responses to “So, I’m still alive

  1. Semi-random response to part of your semi-random post: the presidential code names are chosen by the White House Communications Agency, which is a joint-service military organization. It’s likely that, if it wasn’t chosen for completely neutral reasons, then it was probably chosen for the opposite reasons for which the media praised it when they first discovered it. 🙂

    • I don’t know about Presidential code names, but in the 2000s when the Hildebeeste went on a fact finding trip to Afghanistan, her helicopter got the callsign “Broomstick One”….

    • I suspect it is his name. I suspect the reason it’s his name is that he or Michelle found out what they’d picked first and threw a tantrum.

      • The NY Post had a book excerpt from a collection of stories about Hillary throwing things at and slapping, scratching and kicking Bill.

        This evening I watched a PBS-recorded show about Jim Henson and the Muppets (In Their Own Words: Jim Henson — quite good program) which explained the origin of Miss Piggy’s karate chops of Kermit … and i realized what Hillary’s Secret Service code name should be …

        I mean, glam up Hillary and age Miss Piggy fifty years (and slap her in a pant suit) and they could be sisters.

  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    On “Fantasy Fogs”, I point you to Larry Niven’s “For A Foggy Night”. [Very Big Grin]

  3. Given probabilities, in several universes we died, and Robert waited at DIA forever…

    If you haven’t yet, you HAVE to read Anathem.

  4. “A cubic mile of cotton” — Larry Niven, “For a Foggy Night”

  5. The only fogs I get these days are mental 😛
    Miss the ones we used to see on L.I. when I was a kid. Some of those could be pretty thick.

  6. > Kit Marlowe walked out of the fog, and past me.

    Fall of 2008, driving through DeWitt, Arkansas (pop. 3,292) at around 0200, saw a young man with an astonishing resemblance to The Doctor in his David Tennant embodiment, walking down the sidewalk; pompdour, duster, shiny shoes, and all.

  7. Oddest fog I ever encountered was a thick cloud at the height of the roof of my car. It was absolutely clear at the level of the windshield or below.

    • Ah, driving just under a cloud. The opposite is, I suppose, the ground blizzard. I recall driving in the Dakotas under a clear sky – but using the roadside reflectors for guidance as the road was not visible due to all the blowing snow at low levels.

  8. Birthday Girl

    Radiance and Rosebud are cute and appropriate. But … Renegade and Renaissance? Really? Did they dream those up while chooming? I shudder to think what I would have been named in the alt-universe where I became president … hahaha.

  9. Thanks, I need blog fodder, and this kicked up a bunch of memories. Ice fog near Mosquero and the Canadian River Canyon, terrible snow-induced fog trying to drive back across a certain mostly flat state one night and having semi’s fly past because THEY were above the pea-soup, causing fog one morning while walking on the track at school . . .)

    Today was grey, drizzly, chilly, sort of like Seattle but flat and no tourists. Autumn has arrived in full, for which I give thanks. Fall is my favorite time of the year, fall and early winter, when it is cold and crisp, but the perils of winter have not really settled in yet. (And judging by the forecast on WeatherBell, we will have perils a plenty this winter. Please, Most High, no ice, please.)

  10. Yes, I well know the experience of walking into a fog and coming out in an alternate universe. Except it’s a mental fog. But I’ve already chosen the code name for the alt-universe in which I am a well-known, well-respected, and influential genius.

  11. I think the word you wanted was errandia, taking the nominative. Erranda is the ablative case. Of course, if you intended it to be the vocative case you probably wanted errandium.

    • Wayne Blackburn

      I think she was trying to play off of “Errata”.

    • Erranda is the
      • nominative feminine singular,
      • nominative neuter plural,
      • accusative neuter plural,
      • vocative feminine singular,
      • (with long final A) ablative feminine singular
      of errandus.

      Errandium doesn’t mean anything. Nor does errandia.

      However, none of these words have anything to do with English errand. Our Hostess was making a joke, and therefore exempt from the laws of Latin grammar.

  12. sabrinachase

    Maine has wonderful sea fogs. They creep up on chilly nights at about knee level. Crystal clear above, pure white below. Murder to drive in, if you have no guideposts–but very pretty.

  13. Sigh. Know the feeling — I have book projects and chores up the whazoo … and just no time for regular blogging, or even to post a pic of the Llano County Book Festival on Facebook.
    What was terrifically good fun, since I apparently counted as one of the almost-big-name authors.
    They even had the library copies of my books on the end-cap library shelves, which was a bit of an ego boost.

  14. Christopher M. Chupik

    Ah, fantasy fog. On long road trips through the Rockies when I was younger, I would often be reading some enormous volume by Robert Jordan or Terry Brooks. Those misty forests were a great backdrop.

  15. For me, growing up, it was the fun of driving in a white-out blizzard on occasion.

    • I’ve done that following the lights of the car in front of me following the lights of the truck in front of him… and so on down the line. Never took off into it on purpose, but if you’re already on the road and the next exit is miles away, you keep going. Stopping ensures you’ll be in an accident.

  16. I’m guessing that fantasy fog is worse than that Indian fog, “a patchy”. Carp Shields up, Mr. Sulu.
    In Nort’ Dakota winters, the snow blows around until it’s worn out (or refreshed). Ya get these 2-6″ fogs of snow blowing over the roads. With some occasional thin to thinner patches.

  17. I drove home in a fog the other day and didn’t realize it wasn’t just being overly tired that was making the road look that way until I was almost home. I love the look of the fog when I don’t have to be out in it. Same with the white fluffy stuff.

  18. Not knowing the song, I looked it up. Living like we’re renegades? has the lyrics and the song… pioneers, rebels, mutineers… underdogs, new kids, outlaws… Spielbergs and Kubricks? Those are the examples of pioneers and outlaws? Huh… make a move, make amends, break the rules. Interesting parallels.

  19. I saw that out there today. It was thick and rather milky. I kept checking, and, no, still couldn’t see Pike’s Peak. Which is REALLY unusual for nearly every house in this city. I always laugh a little when a realtor says “mountain views” for a house in Colorado Springs. We used to live in an alley downtown, where we didn’t have such a view, but just about every other house in the whole county has a mountain view.

  20. The Other Sean

    The worst fog I can recall was an April morning earlier this year, in the foothills and mountains west of Denver. Maybe 30-40 foot visibility. To make it worse, we encountered it on the steep, windy road road up Lookup Mountain. From which, of course, there was little to lookout upon, because of the fog. We did get some great hiking in that morning, but the views were less than stupendous. It was after noon by the time enough fog had burned off that we had even a foggy view of Golden from the mountain.

  21. We get fogs like that out here. I can look out the window of my office down the slope of our property, and see the tops of the cedars and pecan trees poking up through the grey cotton…

    Another time I was out on the old Pride of Baltimore in Long Island sound in a pea-souper. Just enough breeze to keep the topsails drawing, but dead air on deck as we ghosted silently through a 30-foot radius circle of flat water…

  22. I have yet to encounter the tune, but on initial (mis)read, saw it as Living Like A Grenade. Doubletake time, yes.

  23. I get to work from home these days, so I’ve not been out in the WX regularly in the mroning hours the last year and half or so.

    Before that I was commuting 20 mostly stop-and-go Silicon Valley miles every morning for 7 years. During that time the worst fog was thicker and thicker the closer I got to work, and once I got there we heard that there was a big power outage just north of us along the west shore of SF Bay. I could barely drive my truck in to work, yet a local pilot decided they could handle a zero-visibility takeoff in their Baron, got all kerfuzzled in the soup, and crashed it into one of the main high tension feeder towers on their way down. The world found out about this when Facebook went offline.

    That fog was nice to walk in, scary to drive in, and I cannot image what posessed the Baron driven to try and fly in it.

    • Beechcaraft Barons are often owned by people who think their money makes them invincible. I remember hearing the old Bonanza’s referred to as “the fork-tailed doctor (lawyer) killer…”

      • I have seen a Bonanza with a ‘NO Doctors’ sign/placard in the side window.

        While not perhaps covering this case, I was also told, “Never fly with a pilot who is a doctor, a lawyer, or a preacher. The first two think they’re too important for the rules to apply to them, and the last thinks they’re going to live forever no matter what.”

        Their is a surgeon in town who flies himself and some staff to various places, supposedly doing good. But he doesn’t preflight his own plane (calls airport to have someone do that for him). He is perhaps the one pilot in town I would refuse a flight from. I do not want to be there when it catches up with him.

      • For a while we called the Malibu Mirage “the straight-tailed Lawyer killer.” Although that’s not really fair to the airplane. Like the Bonanza, it is high powered and if you point it downhill, it will pick up a great deal of speed quickly. In either case,there’s a grain of truth in the old saw about a fool and his $$ are soon flying more plane than he can handle.

      • Yeah Barons were that step up to a twin engine high performance craft. I grew up near a tiny airport in Madison Ct (Griswold, its gone now). A little over a 1/4 mile from the end of the runway was a 90-100ft water tower for the state park. About every 2-3 years on a hot summer morning some poor doctor who just gotten a new toy would take off with a full load of fuel, not taking into account the slower climb rate due to the lower air density and increased weight. Needless to say the water tower merely needed repainting, but it never ended well for the pilot and passengers.. Invariably the aircraft was a Baron or some other high performance craft in which the pilot had logged.minimal hours.

  24. Ixnay on the CASay thing, no one is supposed to suspect that the organization was started as a cover for training 200 soldiers for 9th century Germany.

  25. Patrick Chester

    …you don’t want to go on the cart?

  26. Fog reminds me of the early morning I took the wife to the hospital to pick up the oldest child, who wasn’t available until two am the next morning. It was so thick (or I was so addled) that I turned right where I should have turned left on a road I’ve driven on since I started driving during the Carter administration.

  27. I don’t think you should be following the “head”lights of a car in the fog. That can lead to all kinds of noise you don’t want to hear.

      • On most cars, the taillights follow the headlights.

        I advise against ever buying a car for which that isn’t true.

        • There is a certain highway on the coast of Oregon that is so windy that I swear I am looking at my own taillights every little while when I drive on it.

          • That’s like a certain Paul Bunyan yarn. The roads in Ontario used to be so twisted that wagon drivers would frequently come face to face with themselves. Paul harnessed Babe the Blue Ox to one end of the road system, and dragged on it until all the roads were pulled straight. In this way, Ontario got straight roads, and the excess mileage became the road systems of every state from Michigan to the Rocky Mountains.

        • TAILLIGHTS. Neither morning could I remember the word… sometimes these things evade me. I once asked my host mother if the guiding light to the oven was on. (Pilot light.) She thought I was talking about a soap opera. And when I asked her where she’d put the pan handlers (pot holders) it was fun for the whole family. I knew the expressions, but sometimes the brain hits a blank spot.