Cats and Kings, Wax Seals and Rings

Hopefully there will be time tomorrow to talk of cats and kings, wax seals and rings.  Actually what I wanted to address is semantic confusion fueling moral panics on the left (the right too, but our moral panics are in general less panicky, because to get a good panic on you need a stampede and the American right’s (anyone to the right of Lenin, really) motto is “you’re not the BOSS of me!” even when the person is.  So the individualists fail to stampede.  We also fail to organize. You got to take the bitter with the sweet.)

However it’s just gone seven O’clock and we’re running half an hour late to hit the road and head back to Colorado.

And I’m telling my body it can’t get this lovely con crud it’s trying to hatch till AFTER Liberty con.

Fyrecon is one of the most serious TEACHING cons (for writers artists and creators) that I’ve ever attended.  I’m just sorry I missed the class on making your own patterns for plushies.  I mean, I can do it, but it might have taken me to the next level. Also, stop judging my hobbies.

On the writing side, even the “kids” listened closely and asked a lot of questions, and they were pertinent. (Kids take to mean high school and college.)

I like teaching, and it helped me figure out a few things to offer classes in.

Also we got to see friends.  And of course, like the Derp Canoe I often am, I carried the book plates all the way to Utah, then forgot to ask Larry to sign them, so I could bring double-signed ones to Liberty con. I’m sorry.

So… heading back the fastest (not the scenic, this time) route.  I have three short stories and a cover to deliver before Wednesday.  And I’ll write a real post tomorrow.

See you on the other side.










82 thoughts on “Cats and Kings, Wax Seals and Rings

  1. *Glances nervously at the 3D Printer, piles of plastic sprues, painted, unpainted, and half painted miniatures, and horde of paints that crowds his desk*

    I ain’t gonna judge your hobby.

  2. Dearie, you’re a writer. People judge you on your profession. They expect your hobbies to be wyrde wierd peculiar.

      1. For certain values of interesting, yes. (Not valid in all jurisdictions.)

        It is just that some are (lean in for a closer inspection) “That’s interesting” and others are (back slowly away while groping for the door) “That’s … interesting.”

  3. Sheesh! You say “wax seals” and my brain flashes the yellow alert for (expensive) plumbing issues.

    1. It took me a few missteps and retries to realize that if I took the #$%^ tank off the toilet, the stool was (just) light enough to set properly without destroying the seal.

      I installed a Kohler one-piece toilet, Once Twice. (removed it from the bathroom during a nuke-the-floor renovation, and installed it in the Water Closet Room (literally, no other plumbing in it) in the Depression Era Bonus room. It was painfully heavy, but the penalty for screwing up the second install was low–utility grade roomlet and concrete floor.)

    2. Yeah “wax seals and rings” made me immediately think she had … seepage issues.

      Glad to know that’s not the case!

    3. *eyebrows rise*
      Eh? What?

      We replaced a wax seal on our old houses’ toilet, it was obnoxious, but…..

      Oh. Didn’t catch the leak in time? Or had to hire someone to do it?

      1. Leak in time.

        The house had the upstairs bathroom directly above the one on the first floor. We noticed the ceiling in the downstairs was bowing slightly; I stood up on the toilet to touch a finger to the plaster.


        Trust me: “Fooomph” is never a noise you want to hear in your house.

        1. I lived in a rooming house one semester in college. One morning the hallway ceiling (off the kitchen/eating space) came down from leakage in the upstairs shower. It made for a rather exciting morning.

  4. Ain’t it funny how our definitions of “kids” morphs as we age?

    Through a certain age it refers to our social group: “I’m meeting the kids and playing ball after school.”

    At another age it refers to the next generation: “I’ve got to go pick up the kids and haul them around for their lessons, sports, and school activities.”

    And eventually it covers pretty much all generations subsequent to our own: “It seems like we never hear from the kids anymore; they’re too busy with their work, the internet, their schools or their potty-training.”

    Are there any other words which redefine according t the user’s age?

    1. I usually use it to refer to today’s Sailors, back when I was the one watching them work and now when I hear reports from those I assign to watch them work. Usually preceded by a colorful adjective and followed by “these days.”

      1. I know I can’t throw the first stone. I spent quite some time trying to learn how to draft a pattern for a pair of pants that would fit me right (how’s that for a hobby for a straight, middle-aged male). Plushies patterns? I agree, that would be awesome! According to CCO (below) there are videos online… must… resist… urge…

        I never did manage a pair of pants that I could wear in public, BUT, I did finally end up with a pattern for a pair of shorts that, made with the right material, turned out to be the most comfortable boxers I’ve ever worn. I was planning to work up from there (add fly, pockets, full length legs, etc.), but then I lost my sewing room to one of my kiddos who really needed her own room (rather than share with her sister). Oh well, will go again as soon as I get the house re-organized. There is a spare room that will make for a good sewing room as soon as I have the time, money, and energy to remodel.

        1. My husband knows more about sewing with a machine than I do, because he did it at work for a bit. He was going to teach me, but we never had the time – weekends were ‘catch up on the stuff we didn’t get to do on the weekdays, like restock shopping.’

          The most I do is hand-sew pillows and pillowcases. Little ones, the size of a baby’s head. Very flat and firm.

    1. Would it help if I said there’s lots of videos on that?

      My wife sews well enough that she alters prom dresses and she looks up lots of how-to videos.

        1. Oh, yeah, forgot. We’re at the early boyfriend stage here. My sister said for the next four years to just “Let It Go.”

  5. Sarah, I spend my weekends dressing up in plastic armor (okay, right now it’s just a black canvas flight suit. Still saving up for an outfit that uses armor proper) and hanging out in public places. No way in the Nine Corellian Hells do I have room to judge your hobbies.

    1. My motorcycle jacket has hard armor plates in it. I was once at a venue fancy enough to have a coat check counter; the woman at the counter was… disturbed… when the jacket made clacking sounds when I laid it on the counter.

    1. A critical point: it isn’t that you make plushies, it is the plushies that you make.

      After all, it isn’t as if you were posing your plushies in ACW reenactment dioramas.

    2. One of my goals in life is to lose enough weight to once again fit my Fifth Doctor costume with the enormous Edwardian hat festooned with felt celery (and miniature Cybermen, Daleks, and cricket bats) so I can go to Sphinxcon and get pictures of plushie treecats attacking my hat.

      1. I wonder if I can convince $HOUSEMATE that Very Low Carb is a Good Idea and that ketosis* (at least for me) is not to be feared. Ketosis is not ketoacidosis**, after all.

        * Generally, a Good Thing

        ** A Very Bad Thing

        1. There is a company producing a frozen pizza employing chicken breast as the crust.

          Based on the one I tried, I do not recommend it.

          1. The cauliflower crust pizza we tried was all right, but…
            If you’re going to eat a pizza, eat a real pizza. Even if you like it with pineapple and pepperoni, or even anchovies. I believe this was was one of Fuzzy Pink Niven’s Laws- “Never Waste Calories”. Don’t eat soggy potato chips, if you want ice cream, don’t settle for ice milk or frozen yogurt. Eat stuff that’s good.

            1. I’m now sensitive enough to gluten that the pizzeria offering a gluten-free pizza is still a red-flag zone. ($SPOUSE hit that point a dozen years ago–the smell of bread makes it hard for her to breathe.) As a result, we make our own pizza from non-wheat ingredients. It’s quite a good thin-crust pizza.

              I’m fond of pan pizza, and the Hagman book has a pizza dough recipe for such (almost identical to the yeast/rice flour bread). I’ve made it a few times, but it’s a boatload of work. OTOH, it’s really good. Decidedly not low carb, however.

              I’ve had frozen gluten-free pizza. No, nope, noway.

          2. Given that Chicken Parmigiana is fairly close to cheese pizza with a chicken crust, I should think that idea could be made to work. Too bad they didn’t succeed.

  6. My problem with the Left at this point is that while I don’t personally want to go all Conan the Barbarian on the Left, I kind of wish someone else would so I could cheer them on.

    1. The way they are “eating” their own. All we need is the popcorn to watch. Look at Berney and Joe … Their fellow travelers are doing everything in their power to ensure their leads are destroyed by destroying the two, with truth (for a change), however exaggerated, not by advancing their own qualities …

      1. Look at Berney and Joe

        Indeed, look at them.

        Joe Biden Compares Trump’s Election to the Assassinations of MLK, Bobby Kennedy
        On Saturday, former Vice President Joe Biden compared President Donald Trump’s election in 2016 to the assassinations of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. Biden said that Trump’s victory was shocking enough to “reawaken” liberals in politics, just like those horrific deaths.

        “I think what’s happening now is, I think that Donald Trump may have reawakened sensibilities in this country to say ‘Whoa, maybe we can do this now, just like our generation was awakened when Dr. King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated,’” Biden told Rev. Al Sharpton on MSNBC Saturday, The Washington Examiner reported.

        After those assassinations, Biden suggested, “Our whole generation said, ‘I’m back in, man.'” Similarly, he described Trump’s election as the catalyst to millennial political engagement. “These millennials — they get it, Rev. And now they want to get engaged.”

        While the former vice president is correct that Trump’s victory energized liberal activists, his decision to compare that election to these horrific assassinations should raise more than a couple eyebrows. …

        Apparently that Liberal Awakening Joe referred to was inadequate to deliver electoral success, as Nixon won in ’68* and again in ’72**.

        We can but hope there is another such “Liberal Awakening” — and this suggests another reason they are so avidly trying to Watergate Trump.

        *Nixon claimed 301 electoral votes to 191 for Humphrey and 46 for George Wallace. 43.4% of the Popular Vote went to Nixon, 42.7% to Humphrey and 13.5% to Wallace, a portion arguably more inclined to vote for Nixon than Hubert.

        **Nixon carried 42 electoral votes to McGovern’s 17, and 60.7% of the popular vote while McGovern carried 37.5% — meaning there were three Nixon voters for every two voting McGovern.

        1. Google is putting their finger on the scales in favor of the Democrats.
          Project VERITAS has the video and emails.
          No need to fear the “Russians” in 2020.

        1. True.

          At this point I’ll take “gets President Trump a second term.” On the fence for a term for VP Pence after that.

  7. Re: low carb: Saw a cauliflower frozen pizza crust for sale today. Did not buy…

  8. Speaking of scenic routes, back when you lived in Charlotte, did you ever take NC 49 to Asheboro to go to the zoo or the back way to Raleigh?

    (And speaking of crud, the [physician extender] I usually see told me my back hurts because of summer flu—-mild fever and back pain are all I have.)

      1. Pre-internet—-but the zoo was probably on the back of the state travel map. (I’m a map fiend.) I have no idea what museums were in Charlotte back then or now really. I never went there much (Carowinds once) until I passed through going to points southwest in the ‘90s. And my niece had heart surgery there at ten weeks; she’ll be 24 this fall. (hallujah!)

  9. The talk of cons and cruds…worries me. I recently got back from a trip to France. Reading material for that was Niven & Pournelle. “The Mote in God’s Eye”. A re-read of an old favorite.

    And I’d rather forgotten just HOW incredibly brilliant that book really is.

  10. We were watching the last episode of Elementary, complete with the virtue-signaling bit of funding a gun-buyback program. Not sure how it played out; the high-tension line that handles our region crapped out again.

    Pacific Power is crazy. I called it in, got the (United States resident) support person to check the usual town, and figured it was a transmission line issue. She offered to have the automagic callback system give me an update. I asked not to. (Power went out at 8:45 PM or so.) OK.

    So, 9:15 PM: As we’re getting ready for bed–it’s already been a long day, a robocall: “We expect power to be restored by 11PM. We’ll call you before 11PM if power is back.” Arggh.

    9:30 PM: To bed, with an anxious border collies. She *hates* the telephone.

    9:55 PM: Power comes back on. I disconnect the CPAP from the magic backup and go back to bed.

    10:05 PM: Phone rings: My greeting: “Sod Off”. Robocall again: “We expect power to be restored by 11PM. We’ll call you before 11PM if power is back.”
    Double Arggh. Dimwits don’t even realize the thing is fixed.

    10:40 PM: Phone rings again. This time, it’s “Bugger Off”. Robocall triumphantly tells me power is back, and that it was a “transmission line problem”. No shit Sherlock.

    I’m not sure what I would have gotten if I actually agreed to get the phone calls. I suspect the same. Whyinhell do they bother to ask? Every damn time, I tell them not to call, but they still do.

    Ah, that rant feels good. Warren Buffett delenda est.

    1. They’ve bought the technology, they’ve got use it to justify the investment purchase.

      1. Actually, I suspect there might be three settings on the call-back system.
        1) the usual case; a call saying power is back on.
        2) what I got, not so helpful encouragement every 30 to 45 minutes before power is restored.
        3) totally hypothetical, but a STFU button. Probably buried under 12 pages of disclaimers.

        Service person told me I could use the website. With satellite internet, I’d need mains power to get the receiver and router running, and the backup system priority is for CPAP and refrigeration. I’m reluctant to have Pac Power know more about us than they already do, so no online billing, and no online account.

        Pacific Power: “We’re not as bad as PG&E, but give us time!”

        This is the first power outage since the pumphouse solar system was finished. It’s a nice feeling to know that dark house or not, the faucets and toilets are going to work. Obvious gag line redacted.

        1. “Pacific Power: “We’re not as bad as PG&E, but give us time!””

          EWEB/EPUD/SPUD (Eugene & Springfield): “Pacific Power, don’t leave us behind.” — We have to deal with them for both power and water.

          1. We set our WiFi SSID to “Thistle Dog Ranch”, in honor of our noxious weed collection and the pets. “Ranch” is a stretch, but it’s enough acres to warrant a brush-hog. I’ve been tempted to get/make plaques for the two larger solar systems: TDRP&W Unit [n]

            We’re at a spot on the power distribution system that’s less of a grid than a branch & twig system. The 100 mile long transmission line from Lakeview to Chiloquin goes down too often, especially during thunderstorms. Sunday’s event took us by surprise–weather had been good. OTOH, one of the reasons why TDRP&W exists is because that transmission line is so damned fragile.

  11. So apropos of nothing except LibertyCon (first time at a book con. First time at ANY non-local con. Halp?), the Kid and I are packing for the con. Anything I should know/do/eat/flee screaming in terror from?

      1. Well, I don’t have anything to range *with*, at least not that I’m willing to travel with. Kid wants to go to the Pern RP, I want to go to the Baen stuff, and everything else is up for grabs. 🙂

          1. It has been my experience that Range Groups are second only to dopers in their willingness to provide samples and encouragement. In the current political climate I expect they would be entirely understanding of you not wanting to travel with the sorts of things you would hate to fall out of the boat.

            1. ehh, travelling from VA to TN with them would be no big deal, esp not after carrying several of them cross country

              1. I think that was for SheSellsSeashells… OTOH, there are a few states to be wary of for transporting firearms, with records ranging from unfriendly to serious harassment. (I don’t think it’s gone to entrapment, but there have been some serious overcharges.) No surprise, generally blue states/areas.

                I put CA and IL in the “do not travel with firearms” category long ago, though now it’s “don’t go there”, at least if possible to avoid it. Oregon state gummint tries to hit that category occasionally; they’re encouraging the State of Jefferson activists over that and several other issues.

    1. Hmmm. . . .

      Presuming the local con taught you that you dress for all the hot air — actually summer cons are more likely to be too cold than winter ones — and scheduling in time to eat, and what sort of attire fits in. . . .

      Find out where the stairs are. When staying at the hotel, this is always wise of course but cons tend to have people going up to their rooms in concentrated bursts.

      1. Side note on stairs. The hotel I stay at for eye-doctor’s appointments has one staircase with an error. One step is 1-2″ higher than all the others; damn near killed myself the first time I went down that stairway. Rather nice hotel, too, but mistakes happen. (The error wasn’t replicated in the other wing’s staircase, but I get reminded of this every time.)

        Best to try a route before you are tired/in a rush to look for gotcha items.

  12. Heard you got a bit of white stuff on the ground. Hope the drive back wasn’t too bad.

    Would you consider me a bit disturbed if I asked if you made plushies of all the socialist and progressive (but I repeat myself) congress critters suitable for sticking needles into them? I have this strange urge to take up the practice of real voodoo to counter their voodoo economics.

  13. What you have to understand about the Plushie pattern making class is that the teacher is next level. She took a 3d model of the dragon from Skyrim, build a secondary model on that and created a 1000 piece pattern for her Skyrim dragon Plushie.

  14. You could also make some wax figurines, ala Madame Tussaud’s. Set an empty tuna can in an inch of water in a shallow pan. Pick a figure at random, set it in the can, turn the heat on low. Then talk reality at it and watch in glee as it has a total melt-down!

    Sorry, that image just flashed into my mind when I read this comment. 😉

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