Quick Note And Links

I’m writing today, after I take a couple of hours off this morning, which might seem odd to you, but yesterday night I crashed so early and so hard not only did I forget my online responsibilities I also forgot to feed the cats.  Which is why I woke up two hours ago with Greebo biting my elbow.  Since this caused me to yell at him, he’s now hiding, but the other cats have been fed.

So I’m taking a couple of ours off, because I’m still recovering from whatever cold-from-hell was and I do not want to relapse, since I have books (plural) to finish.

Also, on unpacking my office, I came across at least ten books written long hand on notebooks, which I’ll be probably sending to indie.  On “at least” note that there are more, but some are very old, and I don’t know if, once I’m done appraising them, I’ll recover a few book or more like a quarter or half.

No, I can’t send them for transcribing because there are portions of my handwriting even I can’t read and have to guess at,  (when I was in college, I took copious notes, then ignored them and borrowed someone else’s.  The process of taking notes concentrated the mind, but they were almost impossible to read.)  which is relatively doable for me but not for anyone else.  (As for the parts written on toilet paper with pen, when the kids were little and Dan would insist I couldn’t take the (then fairly bulky and cumbersome) laptop on vacation, for that I don’t know.  Some of it started near illegible.)

So once Guardian is in (Yes, I DO know it’s late, but cold from hell) I’m going to devote evenings to transcribing those.  Depending on the speed of my fingers and the whether I manage to escape another cold this year, there might be three or four before the end of the year, as well as the Dyce book, and I would like to finish (it’s really very close) and put up Royal Blood, the second of the Vampire musketeers.

Looking through the books I’m sure are salvageable with some editing, (and typing in) and a bit of elbow grease there seem to be: space opera; space opera with magic (I was young, and I have JUSTIFICATIONS.  Anyway, no elves, as that throws me out of a space opera); high fantasy adventure; YA space opera; mystery and UF.  There is also an historical romance set in the middle ages and an historical novel set in China, the last of which will NOT be put up, unless I transfer it to space or a fantasy land, as I’m not sure my research was…  Well, lets put it this way, you guys know how I research.  But China is not amenable to someone who has only read Chinese history for a few years, and I don’t know what I was thinking.

No, this will not get in the way of the other announced books I’m working on.  It’s just a winter evening activity, when I sit downstairs with my husband.

I will also I promise finish the two novels in progress here (Rogue Magic and Dark Fate,) as well as the one at MGC (Elf Blood) which were sad victims of my moves and illness.  But it might not be this month.

For next year, there are plans for hard science fiction YA with a friend who brings the science, as it were (I’ll let him reveal himself if he should choose) and plans eventually for a world-launching novel with Les Johnson (who also brings the science.)  Mind you, I used to be a scientific multilingual translator, so I’m not exactly innocent of scientific learning, but it tended to be an inch thick and a mile wide, i.e. enough to allow me to translate everything from engineering to chemistry or finance, but not enough to allow me to understand any of it in depth. Yeah, I’ve been given a reading list, which is my plan for my leisure time this winter.  I HEAR that after 55 in CO you can audit any courses for a trifling sum, but probably not this year, since I need to get my eyes fixed and be able to drive for that, or Dan needs to have time to take those courses with me.  (The second is more likely, at least for courses at night, since I’m still night blind and there’s no cure.)


Anyway…. I’m taking two hours off and reading an incredibly silly book which nonetheless is amusing me.

My posts at PJMedia, including last week’s which might not have been linked here are:

Slavery and Freedom

Quick, to the Victim-Mobile!

The Left’s Long Post-Election Tantrum

America Has Built the Most Comfortable Civilization in the World

Do try not to wreck the place while I’m AFN (Away from Net.)  I’ll drop by on breaks to make sure it hasn’t burned down.


191 thoughts on “Quick Note And Links

    1. This morning I have confirmed that portals to elsewhere exist. They are located under engine blocks and tight places in lawn mowers. Unfortunately, they are quite small, no larger than a tap or small bolt. Dropped a screw holding the starter solenoid, and heard it drop beside it. Except, it wasn’t there. Just vanished.

      So, right now I ‘m taking a break after going to the hardware store to get a replacement. Bought two just in case. The gas for the trip cost more than the screws.

      1. Portals to elsewhen, perhaps as well. As we know that in a few days (or weeks or months) you’ll “trip over” the missing screw… just about exactly where it should have been this morning. Or else it turns up in some truly bizarre location… such as the back of the freezer.

        1. Strange magnetic anomalies exist, too. I’m sure that’s what held the short, flat prybar I accidentally left on the bumper of my dad’s truck in place as I drove the 22 miles from my house to his.

        2. Well, when you’ve got some sort of alternate universe behind the walls, it causes some issues. Then you need the help of a professional…

          1. I had forgotten about that movie. Going to have to recommend it to the girlfriend. That and the first one.

          2. The lead in to the electrician’s finding the alternate portal made the segment even better. Start pulling on the odd wire …

            I think that was the first time I saw John Ratzenberger, except for a few seconds in The Longest Day.

        3. For me, the portals typically deposit the item in question roughly 3-4 yards away. That guarantees that it *must* be portals, right? There’s no *way* that a small object could *possibly* fall three feet straight down, and then bounce three yards away in a completely random direction, right? Right!?

        1. And, when you exercise the forethought to have a container to hand for all the small parts, it gets tipped over — either by your own clumsy hand or an importunate cat. (What!? Your cats aren’t importunate?)


          1. I have a magnetic bowl for that! It greatly increases the likelihood of loosing brass, Al, and certain types of stainless Stella hardware, howerver.

            1. I’ve used magnetic drivers, fish hooks, even chewing gum before to hold on to fasteners in tight spaces. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Once even painted a screw to the driver to keep it there in a *really* tight spot (worked, thankfully). *shrug* We can but try, and it’s the unwillingness to give up that gets projects completed, I’ve found.

              Thank goodness for that stubbornness, the thing my mother bemoaned for the entirety of my childhood. Finally found a use for it! *chuckle*

      2. I have such a portal in my dryer. The gnomes use it to steal socks. I haven’t caught them yet, but sometimes I hear them laughing…

        1. That’s the loose change you left in your pants pocket. Gnome laughter sounds a lot like that.


          1. After the last several years of Hope, I never have any Change in my pockets. So, I guarantee it’s gnomes laughing.

        2. All my socks are identical. I just throw them in a drawer after washing, and pick out any two each morning. There might be an odd number in there, but I neither know nor care. When the sock supply gets low, I buy more black socks.

          1. Used to do that when I was on active duty. And didn’t have to wonder about what I should wear each day….

            1. Possibly the easiest thing about being in the Army—what to wear in the morning.

              (Bit of wisdom a Vietnam era sergeant gave to me when I enlisted: “It doesn’t rain in the Army; it rains on the Army.”)

        3. When I took a 30 year old dryer out of service, I recovered about $3.00 in change that managed to escape the drum. No socks, though. They might have ended in the refrigerator.

      3. Those aren’t portals, they are pockets.
        The screw will probably appear later – quite likely in some place there’s absolutely no way it could have been all along.

      4. Beretta trigger bar springs have a way of making their own portals if they escape. Spent an hour looking for one that apparently went through some furniture.

  1. regarding space opera with magic, I think it might be a thing. At least I really enjoyed the Black Ocean series by J.S. Morin. it’s more firefly meets Dresden files, than space opera, but it’s good. I’m excited to see yours.

    1. I think of Julian May’s Pliocene Exile/Galactic Millieu series in that vein. There’s a scientific overlay/window dressing, but the paranormal powers are pretty much magic.

      (I just skimmed the Wiki article on the GM series, and it looks much less attractive in the summary than I remember reading. OTOH, reading a bare plot summary of the Ring Cycle would make that awfully unattractive. Cue Anna Russell’s “Analysis of the Ring” comedy bit.)

    2. I was thinking of Star Of The Guardians. That’s got a bit of magic (mental powers, anyway) in it.

  2. Our cat uses different means to wake us. Standard is to make noise, as in take a disposable plastic cup, flip it upside down, and drag it across the bathroom floor. To wake me individually, he often employs the head-butt. When that fails, he gets creative. One morning I woke to a cold, wet, nose pressed against my skin. He’d went to the water bowl before jumping beside me. Another time, I caught him lightly touching one claw to the tip of my nose.

    If I’m awake, he can be insistent. A few weeks ago he parked beside my head and purred loudly until I got up.

    1. The last cat we lived with took a very dim view of the human habit of setting clocks back an hour every fall, and was not diffident about expressing this opinion.

      OTOH, he was a staunch advocate of humans moving the clock forward an hour and reckoned we ought do it every month.

      1. I had a cat that could read our digital clock. That’s the only explanation. It knew I got up at at 6 AM each morning, and if the alarm didn’t go off, because for example, it was Saturday or Sunday, it would start walking over me and meow loudly. Clock was at the head of the bed, where she slept near my head. First time we shifted clocks after we got her I resigned myself to be awakened an hour early. Nope. When the clock flipped to 6 AM, she started her routine. Oh, this was a pre-led digital clock with little cardboard numbers that flipped…

        1. Athena T. Cat discovered that my alarm clock clicks loudly two minutes before the alarm sounds. So she starts fussing and tromping on me two minutes before alarm.

          1. I use my phone so it doesn’t, but Allie was good at annoying me awake about 15 minutes before the alarm for a stretch, earlier this year.
            Lately she has seemed shocked by the alarms, and got a mild kick this morning as no alarm warned her I was getting up.

    2. I had one who did this: Put paw on face . . . did it work? no? put paw on face just below the eye and leave it there . . . no worky yet? extend claws!

      Isabeau the Clumsy is a biter. she takes little nips that pinch like she is trying to make a blood blister. This is a notification the food bowl is empty.
      Annie just makes noise, and Allie does a paw contact, whisker and eyelashes tickle, and make a tone of noise method that varies

      1. I miss my first black cat, Rhiow. She was a darling who would wake me either 6 pm or sunset, whichever one came first, when I was having my ‘I got home from school, need a nap, because I got up really early’ days. She would meow from the door, meow from the bottom of my ladder to the bed, climb up that ladder and meow from the top, and progress until she had either woken me up, or woken me with bad breath into the face. I loved her so much!

      2. Some years ago this one tried to wake me by jumping on my chest. He did so exactly once. I woke with my legs up, bent at the knees and scissored inward at though trying to hold something, my hands around the cat’s neck, and the cat’s eyes the widest I’ve ever seen. Fortunately, I was awake before I started squeezing. The cat has never tried that since.

        1. Allie has gotten me once like that, but she didn’t linger long enough to be caught.
          In Louisiana I had a shelf above the head of my bed, and Pierre, who was the one who woke me with that paw on face, extend claws etc, liked to sleep up there.
          One day (I was working night shift) he fell off onto my head.
          I got rather scratched up, one on an eyelid, and he suffered a second fall from my reactionary toss that he wasn’t quite fully awake for, and well, neither was I.
          Took him a few weeks before he slept up there again.

  3. Aren’t cats supposed to wait about two days after you die before they start to devour you? Greebo’s a little bit impatient… O_o;;

    1. I believe all the rules go out the window if you forget to feed them. I’m sure if you asked Greebo, he would say he was being remarkably restrained by just gnawing a bit on the elbow.

  4. “I’ll drop by on breaks to make sure it hasn’t burned down.”

    Some of us might try to make the Diner burn UP! 😉

      1. Search for “Things I Won’t Work With” in relation to chlorine trifluoride, prepare to expend some time, with combined laughter and cringing.

        1. I’m very wary of any the *fluor* stuff. I sat through too many safety classes for back when semiconductor fabs were not kept in far distant countries for safety to do otherwise.

          1. We make a perflourosulfonic acid (rather mild item) as a surfactant in competition to the original patent holder (it has expired so we could make it to sell legally) mainly because a customer knew we make a close proximity of it to make other stuff.
            Now the patent holder company is thinking of just having us make the stuff for them too.
            Anyhoot, it too gets used in semiconductor and other electronics stuff as well as chroming operations and I do hate working with it in summer because I need a Tyvek suit and sometimes a full face mask, though my work area is breazy enough normally just a face shield is enough.

            1. Hmm? It’s been a while, but:

              As the dot-com bubble was ending/bursting, Silicon Valley firms were shifting work offshore like mad. After the burst, a fair number shut down or got acquired; HP/Agilent Semi Products Div and National Semi both painful examples (for me and #SPOUSE, respectively). (A popular model was offshore wafer fab, assembly offshore, with test development done in the states. Production test usually ended up offshore.)

              A lot of the equipment manufacturing companies were acquired or went under. IIRC, Applied Materials is completely gone from the US. Novellus went under.

              Some RF outfits were building in the Valley, but at that time, they were startups, mostly on pilot lines.

              I got a job consulting for a European tester company that collapsed and was bought out; the bust was widespread.

              I’m thinking Micron, Intel and maybe TI are doing wafer fab in the States. Who else?

              1. Take a look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_semiconductor_fabrication_plants.

                Looks like about twenty companies with fab plants in the US. The bulk of them belong to Intel or Texas Instruments, but there are a companies with anywhere from one to a half-dozen US fab plants, though some are specialized or R&D plants. There’s far more in Asia these days, but we do have a fair number here in the US with decent dispersal. Darn few in Silicon Valley or California overall.

                1. There’s a completely understandable requirement for some military system devices, and some specialty stuff like rad hard, that the parts be fabbed in the US – for some reason the US DoD does not want the sole source for chips for their newest hardware in someone else’s country, especially when someone else’s country is contiguous with the Middle Kingdom.

                  For the bleeding edge stuff, though, that is pretty difficult, as all the latest process generation (really small geometry) wafer fabs are over in that neighborhood.

                2. If if needs water, CA is probably not the best bet. Where there’s water, the land costs too much. Where there’s cheap land, there’s no water. And then if you need a steady flow of electricity… Indiana’s pretty quiet. Tectonically stable. Moist but not waterlogged.

                  1. All good points. I was just observing about California because my understanding was that there used to be a lot more semiconductor production there in decades past. I don’t know how much of it was the factors you mention, how much was a shift to overseas production, and how much was California’s business-unfriendly policies, but in any event there’s darn little now.

                    1. not only their business-unfriendly policies but their tendency to pass environmental regulations at the drop of a hat based on some of the most hackneyed studies ever come up with (the whole thing about disposable plastic bags comes to mind) has made it very hard to do actual manufacturing in CA as opposed to just assembling parts.

                    2. I worked in Silicon Valley from 1974 to 2002, almost all in fabs or supporting one. There were a lot of companies then, and it was kind of like the Wild West. (Some of the pioneers were legendary drinkers, too. See Bob Widlar.)

                      Especially in the 70s, the environmental issues were a problem. The inorganics ranged from carcinogenic, through corrosive, to pyrophoric and occasionally explosive. (LED crystal growing expected one minor explosion per month in one site.) The organics tended to get into the ground water, largely because the tanks were underground, at the insistence of the fire authorities. Palo Alto had three superfund sites that I know of, though one belonged to the dry cleaners.

                      Forward a decade or two, and the safety and environmental issues got better. The processes shifted away from wet solvents and acids to higher tech solutions. The horrible chemicals needed to form transistors went from vials of liquid to solid pellets in an ion implant machine. All these gave better control and more safety.

                      The good news in the previous paragraph was balanced by a couple of other factors: regulation got really stiff, and electric power costs went way up. (I think of this as regulatory ratcheting; never saw one get loosened.) Electric power cost was a major issue; the new processes usually needed a whacking great amount of power (picture 50kW for a chemical reactor). A $250,000 monthly power bill wasn’t unusual.

                      The dot-com boom triggered a lot of increased production. Because of the pressures, offshore sites got most of this, either owned by the company or a third party. Looser regulations, economy of scale, and such. (Not sure how much labor costs came into play, the fab I worked with expanded its production a lot over the years, with no increase in people due to automation.)

                      When the dot-com bubble burst, companies that had California and offshore capacity made the obvious choices. By 2001, National Semi had no wafer fab in California, and other companies exited the business. HP spun semiconductors to Agilent in 2000, who sold off the business in 2003. National kept test and development in California until they sold to TI.

                      TL;DR: regulation and energy were the biggies for leaving California.

                    3. Yep; forgot to mention that. Major issue in 2000/2001. There were also some PG&E infrastructure issues where a feeder line to San Jose would get overloaded, so the rolling blackouts could be accompanied by other outages.

                      FWIW, water consumption in a wafer fab isn’t extraordinarily high. We tried to recycle the deionized water, but it wasn’t successful. That fab was closed shortly afterwards.

                    4. I worked in Silicon Valley from 1978-2009 and saw a lot of the same things that Draven recounts. Started at Four-Phase Systems (first all-LSI minicomputer, spun-off from Fairchild Semi), who had their own fab for their needs. One of the fab groups happiest memories was that they were apparently the first bunch to move a working fab facility from one place (Tantau Ave. in Cupertino) to another (new headquarters on De Anza Blvd., which eventually became Apple’s 1 Infinite Loop after Four-Phase evaporated into the ozone) and have it work from the moment they flipped the power on at the new site.

                      Don’t forget, btw, years of United Technologies’ work developing solid fuel boosters out at the end of Metcalfe Rd. outside San Jose. When they’d test one, you could feel it through the ground 15+ miles south in Gilroy.

                    5. Just to reinforce what the other industry vets have mentioned: What’s not visible to the rest of the country was how bad things were after the dot-com bust here in Silicon Valley. Before there were a fair number of fabs (though they were moving out of CA to places like Oregon), several hard disk manufacturers, and actually a fair amount of manufacturing of boards and such. But when the dot-com bubble burst, not only did pretty much all the onshore examples of those go away, the whole area was very very depressed for many years. When things finally recovered, the semiconductor business (with a few exceptions – RF stuff, some analog) had become ‘companies that manage production work performed in Asia’ – and that’s basically what’s here now.

                      And when you get rid of all those production line jobs, you fundamentally change an area. The only reason they’re not talking about a “Silicon Rust Belt” here is because of the managing-production-in-Asia white collar work that’s filled in. And that’s why a 1,200 sq ft 1960s tract house on 6K sq ft lot sells for a million dollars here.

                    6. Evil Rob works at a facility that used to be a production site and is now the retail logistics hub and phone tech support location. Which means no windows to the outside (though there are windows overlooking former warehouse floors.) It seems to have been a combination of moving the work overseas and the need to ramp it up to an incredible amount.

                  2. There are still Crucial and Micron in Idaho, but
                    they’ve been outsourcing at a very rapid rate.

        2. Search for “Things I Won’t Work With” in relation to chlorine trifluoride,

          XD. I love that series of articles. That guy certainly has a way with words.

    1. That time the vestibule burned *sideways* was… Intderesting. Let’s not do that again. Up, down, these things are at least somewhat normal.

      1. I was impressed with time you clowns started a fire and ended up with more wood, furniture and cars than you started with. HTH?”

        1. Was the time one of the submarine folks allegedly said something about “oxygen candles’ and.. then.. things.. proceeded to proceed by unprecedented procedures?

            1. Concentrated oxygen and oil get along far too well for me to be anywhere near the vicinity. Even normal oxygen levels can get troublesome, that’s why you have to keep your oily rags in a special bin.

      2. I was impressed with the time you clowns started a fire and ended up with more wood, furniture and cars than you started with. HTH?”

  5. no elves, as that throws me out of a space opera

    Have the elves be natives of the planet Clarke (or from its moon, Arfur) and elvish space opera ought be no tribble at all.

    Space opera with ents, no that would be problematic.

    1. Space opera with ents, no that would be problematic.

      Anything adapted to the classic methods of space travel could be a bit like those. :]

        1. I’ve read the Liaden series. Who are the ENTs? I’d like to read story of the ENTs before they lost the ENTwives.

    2. Space opera with ents, no that would be problematic.

      Well, not quite as flexible, and so far as I know, they didn’t talk, but the Hyperion universe has Treeships.

        1. Took me some effort to find that intro. I found the one with the main character’s first battle on their little attack ship, but I wanted one of the ones with the big fleet action.

      1. OK, I understand the drama, but have a major issue with any of the command staff waving swords around in the CIC during a combat evolution.

        Command staff: “Attack that ship over there! (swoosh)”
        Weapons station Chief: “Arrggh.” Thunk.
        CIC Talker: “Corpsman to the CIC. Man down.”

        1. They’re supposed to be some sort of communication/pointer device and not an actual sword.

          Though Admiral Spoor probably would wave a real sword around if she had one handy. Some Abh admirals are a bit… eccentric.

        2. There’s something that you’ll quickly pick up on if you watch any of the “Banner of the Stars” shows. The admirals are all (at least) slightly nuts. If you think waving a sword around is bad, then you’ll *really* go nuts when you meet the admiral who takes baths on his bridge.

    3. Poul Anderson did one where most of the monster types were space aliens. Except the eives. They were local.

      Exceedingly well adapted to nocturnal Earth, but violently allergic to iron. Their safe environment was shrinking fast, so they stole the secret of nuclear power from the vampires, and fled to the stars.

      After dealing with the other monsters, of course. They had nothing against humans–they just couldn’t share a planet with us.

  6. Excerpted from one of Sarah’s earlier handwritten manuscripts:

    “Do you like Good Men with ham?”
    “I do not like them, Usaian!”
    “Do you like how much they earn?”
    “I only like them when they burn!”

    (Clearly, Sarah’s literary influences have evolved somewhat with time.”

        1. No, I did too. THough I might have been too old for it when I saw it. But my kids hated it too because youngest assured me it was patronizing. (His favorite word between 3 and 10)

          1. I’m not sure if “patronizing” was precisely the right word, but it definitely assumed that you had an attention span of about 30 seconds. Which might be true for many in their audience, but for me, it meant I was just starting to get into the story when they would yank me away from it to sing about the letter “M” or something.

            1. I wonder if things got shorter/faster…?
              I wonder if things just got more… condescending?
              I wonder if I was over-tolerant when much younger?

              I wonder what time this train arrives in Goldport…

            2. I am not saying it was deliberate, but there are sound neuro-developmental reasons to say that if their intention had been to create generations of short attention span sufferers they would not have done much differently.

          2. *chuckle* I think it’s neat that so many of us Odds were bewildered by things that are supposed to be things one does when one is a child.

            elder cousin“Why aren’t you playing with the other kids, Sproglet?” (They were watching Sesame Street and whacking each other over the head with plastic thingamabobs)

            small me, taking apart a radio“Too childish.”

            elder cousin“They are a year or two older than you!”

            small me, wondering where the soldering iron went o“So?”

        2. Sesame Street was after my time, but I got exposed to some. It always seemed what twee adults thought children *ought* to enjoy.

        3. I didn’t like Sesame Street, and I never really had any Dr. Seuss as a child, but I found I liked at least some of the shorter stories. One of the kids’ favorites was The Foot Book, which is just kind of silly, and not really a story.

          1. The foot book we liked and read to Robert. Why? Well, at three he wore a men’s size 6. Now he wears either 15 1/2 or 17, depending on cut. We used to shout “Here come clown feet” while getting him dressed, and he giggled. You had to be there.

            1. “The Foot Book” and “Fox in Socks” were hits, but I wasn’t *truly* boggled until I found her at sitting on the sofa and declaiming “Cat in the Hat” fanfic in perfect meter. “The fish said, I don’t want to fall into the pot! Push that cat out the door…” and then she noticed me and got distracted, dammit.

        4. I loved Dr. Seuss, specifically the rhyming and repetition. The kids loved Fox in Socks and Oh, Say Can You Say. The latter had this gem:

          “Are you having trouble
          In saying this stuff?
          It’s really quite easy for me.
          I just look in the mirror
          And see what I say,
          And then I just,
          Say what I see.”

          This morning was thinking about Latin again, and how there are Dr. Seuss books in Latin.

          Now, if you want something off-the-wall, here’s The Call of Chuthlu, done in the style of Dr. Seuss:


          The rhymes are a bit clunky at times.

        5. I thought Sesame Street was boring, mostly, though there were a few things I did enjoy. Like Super Grover. And The Monster At The End Of This Book. I read a lot because it was the only thing that didn’t get me in trouble and I could hide while doing it.

          1. “It’s a bird!” “It’s a plane!” “It’s-”
            “AIIIIIIIIIIGH!!!!” *crash’n’burn*
            “-Super Grover….”

          2. I was too old for Sesame Street when it came out, but had to watch it once. It was some sort of test audience thing, and to this day I’m not sure exactly what. A teacher took me to a room where everyone that could be removed was, except for a chair and a TV. At a certain time, she turned it on, left the room, and closed the door. After it was over, I had to answer a series of questions.

            Since it was on TV, it couldn’t have been part of the test audience. Was it a state test audience to evaluate it for school use or state broadcasting? More likely, but I just don’t know. I do know that it was a regular scheduled show on state public broadcasting about a year later and probably before.

            FWIW, I also got stuck, er, asked, to do a review of E.B. White’s Stuart Little, but that may have been for a teacher’s Master course.

              1. Nor of Charlotte’s Web. But Stuart Little broke the suspension of disbelief in the first chapter, as well has a real patronizing sentence to end either the first or second chapter. Didn’t care for it at all.

        6. I kinda liked Dr. Seuss, but outgrew them quickly. I also liked Sesame Street (mostly Oscar), and the Electric Company, but 3-2-1- Contact was a lot better.

          1. I don’t really remember Dr. Seuss. But Shel Silverstein? Where the sidewalk ends was great!

            I wasn’t a fan of sesame street. Dukes of Hazzard, and Reading Rainbow, though, those were great. (And the mental disconnect of seeing Levar Burton in ST:TNG was… profound!)

            1. And then watch St:TNG… and after seasons of that, trip over the Gargoyles cartoon.. which seemed to be a place for TNG actors get into voice-acting.

              1. Yes! I remember first running into Gargoyles when I was at college: I thought someone has a TNG rerun on, until I came around the corner in the break room and realized the TV had a cartoon on. Trippy!

                1. It was too bad when their last season went all wonky. There was a dark, compelling storyline there. Definitely not your usual work from *Disney.* That’s one of the reasons I don’t watch tv anymore (aside from the rampant crazyness that nobody really needs)- orphaned storylines.

                  1. I only caught parts of the show, as it was on during a break between classes (and then my schedule changed), but I really did like it. (Hey, it gave us the TVtropes phrase “Xanatos Gambit”!)

                    From the amount of fanfic it generated, I gathered that it both had a great storyline, lots of potential, and that the other fans were rewriting the world to fix the last season and carry on…

            2. I forgive Shel Silverstein “The Giving Tree” on the strength of “The ABZ Book.”

      1. Dr. Seuss is very popular with me for one simple reason: It has perfect meter. And given the number of truly awful kids’ books out there where the writers apparently think that if it rhymes at the end of the lines, it’s poetry, and damn the number of syllables and the stresses thereon, this is not a minor thing. (Jane Yolen and Karma Wilson also understand language.)

        Of course, I also love doing the voices for things like Yertle the Turtle or for The Big Brag. (Which has the greatest snarky put-down you can imagine.)

  7. When I put a space operatic world background together, I wanted “space elves”, and the whole theme was a “rebuilding after the Long Night” background, so I had time for humans to diverge. Put them on a high gravity world that was mineral rich, add a few millenia — space dwarves. Put them on a low-metal, low gravity world with wildly diverse flora, add a few millenia — space elves. So if you like the story, not hard to recast it as hard SF space opera …..

  8. That’s not fire, it’s battle aura. And is less burned down to the ground, and more shredded as it is lifted up high, and spread.

  9. Your method of taking notes sounds much like mine. I never once looked at my notes from anything, but the act of taking them was important to learning. Processing what the teacher said, determining what was important enough to write down, and making notes about it, all kept my mind focused. The classes where I did the worst were the ones where the teacher “helpfully” provided me with a copy of the slides. The fact that I had them subconsciously said to me, “You have all you need, so it doesn’t matter if you miss something,” and I would soon find myself daydreaming.

    I’ve run into a number of “senior auditors” in Colorado, and it does seem like a good program. There’s everyone from those like my mother, who treated it essentially as if it were a history channel show (back when the channel showed actual history) to people who did all the assignments, showed up to all the office hours, and generally took it more seriously than the actual student. I suspect you will like it once you get a chance.

    I want that space opera with magic. Faster, please.

  10. The quasi-Chinese novel is fighting me. I dropped it this week to gut and re-do a major chink of the next (last) Cat novel. Then my editor sent the recommendations for the next Powers (WWI) book, just as I got the last Chinese research book done. I’m starting to wonder if the Universe has…plans…for the Chinese book and has not deigned to inform the lowly author about this.

      1. Go have another beer, Sam. And yes, I discovered a potentially terminal (to suspension-of-disbelief and to character) chink in part of the story that had to be repaired.

          1. Nah, just survivable. This IS Rada and Joschka we’re talking about, after all. They are probably the reason for the Second Law of Thermodynamics (“The Universe tends towards disorder.”)

  11. Do try not to wreck the place while I’m AFN (Away from Net.)

    Can’t promise anything. A wise muppet once said “Do, or do not. There is no try.”

  12. Lots of people already treat tech as magic. As the underlying science becomes more abstract and counterintuitive (I’m looking at you, quantum.) that percentage is only going to increase.
    Expand that to singularity, where you have AI running everything instead of error prone and irrational humans.
    Add life extension.
    Have this system last for a few generations before it begins to break down.
    And voila: space elves. (Maybe even cannibal slave elves.)

    1. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a big gun. – Maxim 24

        1. More etheric ruddier and he’ll be fine. Michael Stackpole and Aaron Alston both said so.

  13. Is it too late to get a detailed outline of how ‘wreck the place’ is defined? We have a transdimensional teleportation experiment that’s been sitting around since you got back from Remulak France.

  14. Scan the handwritten versions in, put them up somewhere, and we can have a treasure hunt! Transcribe X pages, and get your name in lights! Well, in the table of helpful busybodies, at least?

      1. “What does this say?”


        “How about this?”




        “And this?”


  15. But China is not amenable to someone who has only read Chinese history for a few years, and I don’t know what I was thinking.

    Obviously, somewhere there is a picture of your muse in a full Aesthetic phase of decidedly Oriental bent, hair bobbed in a China chop, wearing too much eyeliner and long silk robes standing by a fantastically lacquered writing desk.

  16. Regarding the comfortable civilization Americans have built, I have a list of all the American food Mark Twain missed while he was in Europe. It ranges from American butter through porterhouse steak to turnips. The best is: “Fresh American fruits of all sorts, including strawberries which are not to be doled out as if they were jewelry, but in a more liberal way.”

  17. I will also I promise finish the two novels in progress here (Rogue Magic and Dark Fate,) as well as the one at MGC (Elf Blood) which were sad victims of my moves and illness. But it might not be this month.

    Feeder-of-Cats? Big Hooman? There are only nine days left in this month. We don’t expect these this month. We don’t expect these this year.

    We do expect more pettings for the cats. And food; you definitely should not remind us of starving kittens in the streets by letting the bottom of the food bowl show!

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