A Bagful of Things

It’s one of those days I can’t think of a coherent topic, so I’ll do an update of sorts.  Depending on how the writing day goes there might be Dark Fate in the evening.

My first reflection — mark me well — is that it’s a bad idea to sleep with two hot-water-cats, unless it’s really cold in your house.  Husband was covered up to the nose, and I threw back all my covers, but with Havey on my stomach and Euclid on my legs, I was still burning.

They’re disturbed by the loss of boss-cat and have been unusually clingy.  (Normally they just sleep on my feet or Dan’s or both.)

The funny thing is no new boss cat seems to have emerged.  Instead, they just ignore each other, and randomly, sometimes, Havey and Euclid cuddle, but not a lot.

Second, I think I figured out why, though I’m much better, thyroid-wise, the writing still isn’t working.  I’ve been taking an anti-histamine for the itching and eczema.  While I’ve had this with other anti-histamines before, (I can write non-fiction but not fiction while on them) this thing is new, and I didn’t realize it also affected it until I correlated my stoppages in writing with my flare ups of eczema.  I am on the downslope (though not out of the woods) on eczema, so I’m going to try to brave it with only topical help.  Because I have to finish Revenge, get going on Guardian and the other collaboration, and yes, feed you guys Dark Fate.

In the times I could work, but not write fiction, I’ve made covers and typesetted Dan’s books, Robert’s, and some of mine that don’t have it.

I will be putting them up when I have the time, now and then.

Meanwhile, for those not wading through the comments, Through Fire is a finalist for the Prometheus.  I don’t expect to win, but it’s an honor to be nominated.

And meanwhile offly (what, it’s better than biggly) and itchilly to write.

 

189 responses to “A Bagful of Things

  1. BobtheRegisterredFool

    Posner is a moron.

  2. Professor Badness

    It’s amazing, the things that get in the way of writing.
    I’ve found that I can force myself into the mood/mindset to write, but my output is 1/10th or less of when I am in the groove.

    • yes, exactly, only in my case more like 1/100th since I’m also adapting to kids-less house. It’s so fargin QUIET.

      • richardmcenroe

        Music. Find some writing music. Since you qualify as an official Person of Hate, I recommend Sousa, Skynnyrd, Sadler, Daniels and Colt Ford.

        • I have found our cable provider has a musical channel — “Light Classical” — which offers a pleasant variety of background noise which facilitates concentration without being particularly distracting or annoying.

          “Public” radio used to offer the same thing, but has grown too committed to “news” intended to instill proper attitudes toward events.

          • Amazon Prime has plenty even before you get the musical KU they’re starting to offer.

          • Be aware that the podcast beguilingly labeled “Western Australia Country Hour” is actually an hour-long talk show about news about Western Australian Country — the place, not the music. While I was fascinated to learn about the fellow buying cattle and similar topics (all in a nice Aussie accent), it wasn’t quite what I expected when I downloaded it.

            • Sounds like the Ag Country Hour around here, that might be interesting

              • If you’re interested in what the farm country folks want to know about, it’s perfect. It reminded me of similar news broadcasts I’ve tuned into while driving through farm country in the US, actually. But they never played any country music, which is what I was looking for!

                • Mostly it’s just nostalgia. A distant cousin spent decades as THE farm reporter up here. I have some friends and family that are farmers still, but most of them have gotten out.

        • I like movie soundtracks, the ones with a more classical bent, especially sf&f stuff (though I had to stop the Lord of the Rings soundtrack, because my parakeet kept getting depressed, which is hard to do for a parakeet).

      • I suggest local Catholic radio on TuneIn. Sacred Heart has this show called “Sound Insight.” I know the guy often has some good points, but…oh, holy mother, he I so dull to focus on listening to. I use it to get to sleep. 😀

        All their talkie stuff is pretty good background, although the ones with Father Mitch run a risk of dragging you in by being interesting, they don’t last more than an hour.

        Or there’s Gregorian chant, for that “someone elsewhere is having an intense conversation” simulation.

    • I can virtually always write. What I can’t do when agitated or stressed or something is stick to one story from one day to the next.

      At least I can generally circle around.

  3. Because I have to finish Revenge, get going on Guardian and the other collaboration, and yes, feed you guys Dark Fate.

    You have contract obligations on some items, and, so, yes you have to do them. You don’t have to feed us anything. We keep telling you that.

    Just give us a couple paragraphs. Even if they are paragraphs about how you don’t have anything to say today. Then watch us go with that.

    Anyway, I hope that the effects eczema continues to dissipate without the use of fiction numbing medications, that soon all will be well and you will once again be writing enough to keep you happy with your out put.

  4. It’s one of those days I can’t think of a coherent topic,

    A day ending in “y,” then?

    Even on days when I can think of a coherent topic it takes two days to produce 1500 coherent words on it, so I think we need to take out that wall over there to bring in the AI mainframe for the lair environmental controls as well as its killdozer transport mechanism for fire suppression services.

    BTW: did you hear what Judge Posner said? What a moron!

  5. Meanwhile, for those not wading through the comments, Through Fire is a finalist for the Prometheus. I don’t expect to win, but it’s an honor to be nominated.

    Who are the other nominees?

    (Reports that we are planning to hie off to Amazon and post two-star reviews of them are scurrilous, unfounded and as false as a Hillary campaign promise! We do not plan.)

  6. Question to our esteemed hostess do we need to plan an oatmeal spa with optional eucalyptus vapors in your private residence in the secret lair?

    I am sure that among us, if we put our heads together, we can even figure out a way to install one with a fully functional working writing station, treadmill and coffee bar.

    • I think rather than a treadmill in the oatmeal bath we would be better served using a pedal generator to power the jacuzzi-style jets.

      As for the writing station … oatmeal splatter can wreak havoc on keyboards. How about a tame cthulupod trained to take dictation?

    • An IV drip would be far, far MO BETTAH!

      • Some of us like the flavor of coffee, and tea, as well. I forgot about that. So we need to install a set up to brew coffee and one for tea.

        IVs are useful, but they aren’t all that convenient to dress around or to have to haul around with you.

    • probably.
      The treadmill desk is great, btw.

      • I am glad to hear that the treadmill desk is working out for you.

        Oh, yes, dear me. You are the one who is working out… 😉

    • Professor Badness

      You know an oatmeal spa would wind up getting retrofitted for providing copious amount of stew/chili/barbecue sauce the moment she was gone for a few days.
      I’m not saying its a bad idea. You’ll just need a really good filtration and sanitizing system.

  7. > anti-histamines before, (I can write
    > non-fiction but not fiction while on them)

    I know I’ve mentioned it here before, but antihistamines can cause depression with some people. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were other, more subtle reactions.

  8. Any ideas for replacing the Lair’s drapes? Call me a pessimist, but I just don’t have confidence in those lace blast curtains. I know what the vendor said, but …

    • Those aren’t the curtains he sold us.

      A group of us got together and wove them from yarn spun by a handy machine we found one morning which not only spins but sings. (I do love Saint James Infirmary Blues but it does get tiresome after a while.) We then embroidered the lace pattern with hand spun and died spider web floss.

      • Please to not be confusing with the ablative lace curtains made with triple-ought-gauge detcord. Those go in the portcullis windows.

    • Are you sure those were blast curtains? I know the radar-defeating stealth camo curtains can look a lot like lace (especially if you squint a bit).

      • Professor Badness

        With the fumes we get in here sometimes, I can’t help but squint.
        Hence, why I wear goggles.

        • We find that regular application of the built-in incinerators (what, you thought those were fire suppression spray heads on the ceilings?) keeps the fuming levels down to tolerability. Well, the chemical fuming levels. The emotional fuming tends to build up until there’s a physical release. And then you have to hold new minion try-outs and hiring interviews. I hate that. Maybe it’d just be better to use the incinerators in the minion barracks more regularly…

        • Everyone please check the appropriate MSDS* for the necessary mask, respirator (and filter type), or self-contained breathing apparatus.

          (*The material data safety sheets are in the binder by door to each room or cavern, right? We don’t want to bring OSHA down on us, right?)

    • We really need a nice rug to tie things together.

      PS: for those Hoydens on the market for a well made, retro sweater, Pendleton has given in to pleading, er, marketing ideas and now makes a ladies version of the (in)famous sweater from the Big Lebowski.

  9. A day ending in “y,”

    I know that joke doesn’t work in German (Mittwoch vs …tag) but what other languages does (or doesn’t) it work in?

    • Should’ve been a reply to RES.

      • It certainly should have!

        As any parent/supervisor/service attendant of a small child knows, all days not only end in but begin with “Why?”

        • I’ve prevented that habit from showing up by insisting that questions be good enough to get a useful answer.

          • I have never felt so inadequate as the week one son kept asking me about people I didn’t know: “what’s he doing?” “why is he looking at/carrying/throwing away that thing?” “What is that thing?” “Why is he there?” “Who is he and do you know his name?” I had no answers.

    • It almost works in French (for days ending in “I”): Lundi, mardi, mercredi, jeudi, vendredi, samedi, dimanche.

      • It ‘almost’ works in German, too.

        But as I put it to a fellow at work, if you think almost is good enough, think of that when you almost get laid.

      • I have been under the impression that Samedi was a baron and that Lundi a librarian?

      • In Portuguese it would be “all days that work in feira” Feira=fair. Honestly, other than Sabado and Domingo, Portuguese seems to be the only language that shed the named-after-gods thing. Portuguese days are Segunda feira – monday (second fair) all the way to Seista Feira (sixth fair) Friday. Sabado and domingo need no explanation, though the popularity of the name Domingos (Yes, I know it means “Of the Lord, but I keep hearing it as Sundays” for a male disturbs me.)

    • The Romance, Celtic, Germanic, Indian and East Asian languages — all no.

      (Why should I get all the fun, see: Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_the_days_of_the_week)

    • Spanish – Martes, Lunes, Miercoles, Jueves, Viernes, Sabado [Gigante!], Domingo – so you can’t even do “days ending in -es.”

    • In Japanese, all day of the week names end in youbi (kanji 曜日 hiragana ようび which stands for day of the week) so it works quite well, as long as you make it a day ending in youbi. Now, do you want me to teach you the names of the days of the week? Sun, Moon, Fire, Water, Wood, Gold, Dirt.

      • Now, do you want me to teach you the names of the days of the week?

        When I first saw that I read ‘How do you want me to teach you the names of the days of the week?’ and I thought, ‘In romanji, thank you.’

  10. We were worried that Girl Named Hamlet, the black office cat, was missing. She had not come for pets etc. Just now, after eleven, Andrew pointed out she had picked a new nap place and was watching us looking for her.

  11. richardmcenroe

    Allergies shouldn’t prevent you from at least turning out a scratch draft…

  12. Vitamin D3…winter is coming in Colorado.

    • …and in fact coming to pretty much half of Earthly coordinates as well.

      Though what’s coming to Hawaii is notably different than to Novosibirsk, of course.

      And the winter that is coming to Washington DC is notable indeed…

      • Unfortunately, government buildings still have climate control (that’s where they got the idea!) so they winter is likely to be salutary than hoped.

  13. Through Fire is a finalist for the Prometheus.

    Because Geeks Love Puns.

  14. Presented without comment other than to observe this seems contrary to all conventional wisdom:

    Scott Adams has “put Trump’s odds of winning in a landslide back to 98%.”
    http://blog.dilbert.com/post/152293480726/the-bully-party

    • Because the Magic 8 ball said so?

      • Because the high priest of persuasion says so! He’s an interesting read on the topic of Trump. I don’t buy it. But it’s an interesting filter he uses to view the world.

        • Exactly — Adams offers a different perspective and analysis on these events, one outside of the box of conventional political reporting. I read him with the same interest I had when reading Bill James’ musings on Sabremetrics back in the Eighties, back before they had been applied to “Moneyball.”

          At this point there is no way to judge whether this analysis will be more Velikovsky than James, but it is out of the usual pattern and reveals different angles of view.

          For a number of years now I’ve had the impression that much Political Science was out-moded, with most campaign spending wasted. (Yard signs? Does ANYone vote according to yard signs? Or freaking bumper stickers?) With the advent of DVRs and streaming vids the only people who watch campaign ads these days are probably those of us who slow them down to see what strings they’re attempting to pull, what buttons they are pressing … IOW, the non-persuadables.

          Obama’s campaign proved that Big Data could work (especially combined with GOTV drives in cemeteries and inner-city neighborhoods.) Trump proved in the primaries that many of the usual conventions don’t fly, and careful observation of present coverage reveals that much of it is dishonest at its heart, based on premises that are as unstated as they are undemonstrable. So maybe this is the year we learn the truth about that man behind the curtain and Scott Adams is the little dog pulling it back, and maybe Adams is selling moonshine in a jar. But then, I know what the MSM is selling isn’t what the label proclaims.

          We’ll know soon enough.

          • BobtheRegisterredFool

            Only two more weeks to see if I’m full of shit.

            • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

              If you’re “full of shit”, eat more prunes. 👿

            • Shucks, BobtRF, we’ve long since seen the answer to that question.

              • BobtheRegisterredFool

                Looks like the ‘throw a hissy fit and quit before the election, and after it is too late to change’ model has some more support. May still be wrong.

                http://www.redstate.com/sweetie15/2016/10/25/trump-financially-abandons-gop-fend/

                • I don’t think for Trump to quit is a possibility – I think that he is making a reasonable (for certain values of reasonable) response to the GOPe speaking and acting as though they would rather have Hillary than Trump, and that Trump is actually their primary foe.
                  Quote on RedState site “because they have a nominee who chooses to label them the enemy and tells his supporters that Paul Ryan and the rest of the GOP are against him”
                  Well, they DO speak and act as if they are against him.
                  What Trump has done is not stopped fundraising. He is obligated to give the National GOP appx 20% of the money raised from his own direct fundraisers, while from the GOP sponsored fundraisers he attends, he must give them 70%+ of the money raised.
                  Seems to me that if someone is going to beat you over the head, don’t pay to give them a bigger club.
                  Not loving Trump, but HATING Hillary, and having done so for many years / decades.
                  YMMV. JPDev

                  • BobtheRegisterredFool

                    One of the apparent lessons of 2008 and 2012 is that GOTV is critically important.

                    Trump has been seemingly betting it isn’t, as his strategy has always shown few signs of making it a high priority.

                    The fund raising he has stopped would have gone to general GOTV efforts. What he has continued goes to TV ads.

                    If he is going to take exception to things now, he did not prepare himself to endure predictable events, and hence was never really serious about winning. In which case, he is a grandstanding windbag who is most responsible for the loss to Hillary. Preparing to only go 98% of the way hands the finish to the other runner.

                    Cutting GOTV because the rest of the GOP wants to distance themselves from the Oppo that everyone knew would drop is not a sign he is trying to go the distance. If he is not willing to go the distance, and wants Hillary to lose, he would quit and endorse a replacement.

                    GOPe dolchstoss explanation sounds like a desperate attempt to pretend that supporting Trump isn’t objectively pro Hillary.

                    Cynically, it is more likely that he either has raked off enough money to launder, or is afraid of being shamed by a strong down ticket showing by Republicans.

          • Fair point. I want both Clinton and Trump to lose.

          • We’ve had at least one crooked voting machine, er misprogrammed voting machine reported in Amarillo. Lady pushed “straight Republican ticket” checked off the other things she did or did not want (bond election), went to the “check and see if this is right” and lo and behold, H. Clinton is now a Republican. It took three tries before someone could get the machine to remove H.C. and put D. T. in as the (R) candidate.

            • They’re cropping up all over Texas. If you click Straight Republican Ticket, it switches to Clinton/Kaine for the Presidential check box.

              • *sad* It’s stuff like this… I heard rumors about such months ago; and I’m honestly unhappy that this isn’t in the news. But it is also why I think it wouldn’t matter if all of you – even the ones who don’t like Trump – voted Trump, or, for the matter, any other candidate. Hillary will win, because ‘that’s what the votes say.’ In fact, I don’t think that witholding your vote would matter because I think that’s how huge the rot is; that even if you could prove beyond any doubt that you stayed home, they’ll have a ballot showing y’all voted Hillary.

                I want to be very wrong on this one, but every time I think about it, I get chilled. And I want to be proven wrong, desperately.

                • We need a Carrington Event the Monday before the election to knock out the misvoting machines. If the media take it in the shorts, bonus. Alas, some other stuff – good stuff – would also get mangled.

                  • Alas, while the rather large coronal hole currently facing our way on the Suns surface is causing some interesting space weather, a big honking CME is to my understanding not likely.

          • Yard signs? Does ANYone vote according to yard signs? Or freaking bumper stickers?)
            ———————-

            The point of yard signs (and bumper stickers) is to –

            1.) Let other supporters of said candidate know that they’re not alone in supporting said candidate.
            2.) Attempt to convince others that the candidate in question is a winning candidate (because he or she has actual real supporters), and therefore worthy of consideration.
            3.) Convince supporters of opposing candidates that the tide has hopelessly turned against them, and they ought to not bother wasting their time at the voting booth on election day.

            It’s more peer pressure than anything else.

            • I saw the first Hillary yard sign a few evenings ago, tucked away behind a gate in the yard of a set of duplexes. And then there’s the ever-faithful Bernie! sign that everyone just sort of smiles at and goes on by.

              • Driving on US 58 across between South Hill and Virginia Beach, Virginia to and from convention business meetings held earlier this month, I noticed that there were very few political signs up. Those that were there were almost entirely for local races. I realized that the last few times up there had been no signs. This was very unusual for this road, which in prior elections has been lined with signs of all kinds as soon as the candidates were known.

              • yeah there’s apparently a huge discussion among True Progressives that they should write in Bernie. I hope they do. I hope lots of them do. Millions of them, even.

          • I use bumper stickers to gauge whether I need to put more distance between my vehicle and theirs. They are also good for laughs on a boring day.

      • BobtheRegisterredFool

        Adams isn’t fit to shine the shoes of the eight-ball kooks. As for me, I read only the finest of artisinal organically sourced entrails. Note that I do not say cruelty free.

        Our latest internals show, with 95% confidence, that Zombie Literal Hitler is going to get 34% in three states, netting him 26 EVs.

        No one in this industry has the guts to tell us we are wrong. Vote *consults look up table by hints to RL location* Q. LeRoy Havensforth. Havensforth is by far the best baby boomer who could possibly serve as President.

        Havenforth’s positive qualities:
        1. Only one ex-wife beaten to death.
        2. Does not believe the CIA invented AIDs to hurt minorities.
        3. Not Trump. Not Clinton.
        4. Actuaries with complete information put him at only 62% chance of dying before 2021.

        • I’m not sure which group Adams is ‘playing’. For all I know, he’s getting a kick out of the lurching of his critics is all. So far he’s “endorsed” Clinton, Trump, Johnson – that I know about. Did he endorse Stein for a day and I missed it? It would not surprise me.

  15. Interesting — perhaps BIG events like the NBA All-Star Game or political conventions do not have the economic impact advocates would have us think, possibly because attendant costs (e.g., increased policing to preserve public order, manage traffic, etc.) offset the gains (and perhaps the gains are not as great as they seem; taking hotel rooms from 85% to 100% occupancy for three or four days, filling restaurants with visitors while local customers stay at home, and slipping dollar bills into g-strings might not constitute an actual boost of the economy?)

    N.C. Commerce chief: No economic impact from HB 2
    Associated Press | MATTHEWS — North Carolina’s top business official says there’s been no negative impact on the economy from passage of a law requiring people to use the bathroom that matches the gender on their birth certificates.

    Commerce Secretary John Skvarla told The Charlotte Observer Monday that the measure has had no significant business impact in North Carolina.

    Major sporting events like the NBA All-Star Game have pulled out of North Carolina because of House Bill 2. Prominent business leaders have criticized the bill for damaging the state’s economy.

    Skvarla says that’s not true.

    He says the state is in the “best position” it’s ever been financially and operationally.

    Skvarla said still has “hundreds of active projects” for business moves in its pipeline. He says North Carolina has the world’s 23rd largest economy.
    — — —
    From NC Dept of Commerce site:

    About John Skvarla:
    Governor Pat McCrory named John E. Skvarla, III Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Commerce in Dec. 2014, and he assumed those responsibilities on January 5, 2015.

    Mr. Skvarla comes to Commerce after serving as Governor McCrory’s Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources for the two previous years.

    Prior to his government service, Mr. Skvarla enjoyed a successful business career, most recently serving as chief executive officer for Restoration Systems, an environmental mitigation firm based in Raleigh that helps improve and restore wetlands and waterways. He also led Wilkinson Hi-Rise, a manufacturer of waste management and automated recycling systems. Mr. Skvarla previously served as chief executive officer for Proactive Therapy, one of the largest physical therapy providers in the Southeastern United States. He also was chief operating officer of The Aviation Group, Inc., a company that emerged as the world’s largest all-cargo airline during his tenure.

    An attorney, Skvarla in 1978 founded and served as senior partner to the Raleigh-based Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton law firm, where he specialized in corporate and tax matters, as well as public and private capital formations.
    — — —

    A Republican appointee he might be expected to toe the party’s line, but if this is true it undercuts a major political argument for the state Democrat Party and its candidates.

    The argument that we should abandon principle for jobs is a curious one, as I am sure they did not make that when calling for a boycott of various targets of Liberal snits, from Chik-fil-A to Apartheid South Africa. Nor does it seem likely they would make that argument if the state were losing jobs for not protecting bathroom privacy according to actual plumbing of pissers.

    • Nitpick: as I understand it, it’s not completely about “actual plumbing”, because those so inclined can, with only reasonable effort, get the gender on their birth certificates changed under the same NC law.
      It just reduces the likelihood of un-serious & opportunistic ad-hoc self-reassignments.

      • Also worth noting that people are only likely to complain when it’s obvious that the person in the restroom is of a different gender. If someone with a ‘Y’ chromosome actually goes to the trouble to try and pass as someone who does not have a ‘Y’ chromosome, then anyone that they run into probably won’t be the wiser.

        It’s not as if cops are going to be stationed outside of every restroom checking the birth certificates of the people who try and enter.

        • Yeah. The real point is to have some way to arrest the guy who goes in to oogle the six-year-old girls.

          • Somehow I don’t think they prefer the old-fashioned, traditional way of addressing that kind of behaviour.

  16. Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but the Prometheus committee is just starting to read nominees. There won’t be a list of finalists until March or April judging from past LFS press releases (http://lfs.org/releases.shtml scroll to the bottom). We don’t release lists of candidates before the finalists are selected. What probably happened was that the publisher was asked for review copies.

    (I’m the LFS treasurer, and send out the press releases.)

  17. Allergies, be they skin, eye, nose, lung may respond to twice a day quercetin, a mast cell inhibitor. If you have food allergies, make sure the origin of the quercetin is not from the food you are allergic to. No side effects, no medicine interactions. I was skeptic but tried it on staff and patients with about a 50% response rate. That’s more than placebo.

    • It’s auto-immune. Very, very (VERY) bad auto-immune. What set it off is all the stress since June, from moving to the various other things that have been hitting on average every two weeks..
      Life does seem to be calming down. Mostly.
      I think it was quercetin I tried and it made me deathly ill? Or it was just counter indicated for people with hypothyroidism, which at the time I had, even if I couldn’t get anyone to diagnose it (finally did, yes. My body was busy producing RT3.)
      I should still have it somewhere, if it was quercetin. I can experiment again.

      • Quercetin has been highly touted by the Instapundit for a couple of years now. My household employs it with varying effect.

        Beloved Spouse, since using quercetin has, for the first time in living memory, been free from sinus infection for a prolonged period of time. I, who have long had compelling evidence that G-D does not wish me to breath through my nose, have noticed only imperceptible benefit. In my case it is possible other factors offset the benefit of quercetin, or that it helps but at a spitting in the ocean level, or that my lack of hope of ever breathing freely produces a reverse placebo effect.

  18. And YES, antihistamines can aggravate mood disorders.

    • but why they shut off writing, or should I say imagination, I don’t know. I can write non fic. I can do sewing or cover design. Art and novels become impossible, though.

      • A friend, a writer, found that in have severe depression treated she lost the stories that continually flowed from her head. She began to knit, very beautiful things of all sorts come off her needles. She has suggested that somehow her creativity’s resonance shifted and now it comes in out in textures and colors instead of words.

        • My mother came back to writing after getting her depression treated. It just took her a while to realize the stories were there, she just had to approach them differently. (Went from an extreme pantser to the other extreme.) She discovered she had to approach her stories very deliberately. They were still there, but she had to train herself to write differently than she always had.