On The Road Again

On day two of the road trip. Not driving because my glasses weren’t done in time, so I’m in the back seat, editing. The cursed book WILL be done by the end of the weekend, rain or shine.

And it’s all gone myffic. Husband and son, for reasons unknown to me, decided the Roman gods lived in the small town where we overnighted. This is why I drink. No, wait, when I drink I do it because I like it, but I actually haven’t drank much. I’m fairly sure in the middle of editing I misunderstood something, because I told them that it was okay, since we weren’t near the trailer park, and they looked puzzled. However, it diverted the discussion into fun things Zeus could turn into.

Weirdly, I slept very well for the first time in months. Also longer than 5 hours which is a miracle, because I haven’t achieved this in months, as well. Being fully awake is kind of weird.

Now they appear to be discussing unicorns. Gosh, I hope it’s a game son is playing on phone? Or that my hearing has gone worse. Or something. They’re talking about hooves going clop clop clop.

Considering how bad my hearing is, and being in the backseat with the road noise all around, it’s a bit hallucinatory. I’ll — probably — survive this, but it’s going to be a long psychadelic day.

Well, at least I’m not driving, so no rain of frogs.

Got an alarming email from Jerry Boyd, who says his books are being systematically pulled off Amazon and he doesn’t know why. This is why I started a newsletter. But we really need alternatives, y’all.

So if any of you have ideas, or can help, reach out to him.

I haven’t read the news, and I probably won’t till tonight at the other hotel, so ya’ll carry on!

Have fun. don’t set fire to the blog, okay?

134 thoughts on “On The Road Again

  1. Have fun. don’t set fire to the blog, okay?

    Make up your mind — which is it? 😛

    Although with this bunch, I’d be as concerned about explosives as incendiaries. Or both. Fireworks, anybody?
    “You’ve got two ‘alves of a coconut and you’re bangin’ ’em together!”

      1. Fish can be used for all sorts of things.

        “And after you bring us a shrubbery, you must chop down the mightiest tree in the forest with…a herring!”

      2. I’ve heard dried carp is good for tinder. You just have to find big logs for on top.

      3. Carp can turn into dragons, per Chinese myth.

        Per other story, dragons can set just about anything on fire.

        1. We already have Fluffy.

          Then, we have the sea serpent in the minion pool who can be counted on to flood any rambunctious fire.

    1. I thought the rule was no fire damage to the blog.


      Now I’m going to have to figure out how to put out the burning bush thingee over here next to the bar.

      1. >> “our work here is done!”

        [crosses arms]

        Bullshit. We haven’t summoned an eldritch abomination yet.

        1. Yes, you did. Then the green penguins followed.

          As the aardvark wishes to remind you, merely because you never remember does not mean that you WANT to do that.

  2. I checked Jerry’s FB page, and he says they’re telling him it’s a site-wide issue. But, yes, his Bob and Nikki 1-9 books aren’t showing when I go look.

    1. I noticed that some of Chris Nuttall’s books were missing from Amazon. 😦

      1. There was a bit of weirdness yesterday when I saw that TXRed released “Wolf of the World”. The link she posted worked fine through the computer, but searching for the title in the Kindle drew a blank. Going through the list of her works, nada. So, went to the desktop and had it sent to the Kindle. That worked. Odd.

        OTOH, it shows up today in the Kindle.

        On the gripping hand, it’s a great story!

      1. Nod.

        Some of Chris Nuttall’s Schooled In Magic books are missing from a search using his name but are available in the Series List of Schooled In Magic.

        Oh, I let Chris know about the problem as I discovered the problem while looking to see if “Void’s Tale” was available. (It’s not).

      2. Whoops. If you go to Amazon, this URL will find you the Bob and Nikki series:

        https: // www . amazon . com/dp/B0818Y23KK

  3. Have fun. don’t set fire to the blog, okay?

    What about flooding the blog? 😈

      1. Silly boy, flooding the blog with liquid fire would set fire to the blog. 😀

        1. Not necessarily. I’ve got a jug of Liquid Fire out in the tool shed. It’s a sulfuric acid based drain cleaner that will clear ANYTHING out of the pipes.

          And now for something completely different — I see you had a run-in with ‘The E’ over on the Weber Forums. Don’t bother trying to talk sense into that one; he’s either impervious, or living in a different dimension.

          I’m not a masochist! I just look in there once in a while to see if the stupid has receded. So far, not noticeably.

    1. Firebelly chili still okay? The veggies just soak up the capsaicin, so you know they’re not safe at all to most humans.

      1. Do you know how to make jalapeño carrots, like they do at the Mexican restaurants for anti pasti? Those beasts are deadly. And wonderful.

        1. Never tried, but it doesn’t look too hard. Sweet carrots would eat up the spice right quick. You can make some wicked hot french fries that way, soaking the potatoes beforehand in pepper sauce, then frying. Just add salt. Wicked good, but I tend to favor my chili just a touch more.

          1. Let’s put a chili cook off in the future, when we meet to toast the Republic.

      2. We use habaneros or a jar of habarnero salsa in our chilis. Let the various spices and the crushed tomato based stock simmer on low for a couple of hours before adding any veggies and then the meat, then slow cook to firey hot perfection.

        1. Firebelly chili is canned tomato base, beef stock, garlic, sweet corn, potatoes, carrots, onions, several different kinds of peppers, and local honey. Heat ranges from sweet-hot (palatable to most) to Twice Burnt, going in and coming out! Serve with bacon cornbread (basically coat the bottom of the pan with bacon and cook cornbread on top. It works) and beans ‘n rice. Most enjoy a cold glass of milk along with, for obvious reasons.

          Fall and early spring are the seasons for firebelly chili. A thermos full will keep you warm on a cold day, easy enough.

          1. I was referencing just what goes into a general chili, not specifically ingredients for a firebelly chilly. Although what you describe sounds delicious and suitably spicy.

  4. My savage teenage granddaughter is getting ready for a roadless trip; flying down to Seattle to help crew a 46 foot sailboat back up here to Alaska.

  5. Eh, Shattered Under Midnight was gone when I checked, but the other two and the anthology are still there. So it’s random, not systematic, I’ll bet. *sinal salute* Peter’s sending in an email to Amazon.

    1. It might be that random technical issues could occur as the early stages of trying to implement the framework for a massive censorship scheme.

      Alternatively, the big tech companies could be well beyond the complexity limit for software development that they can competently manage, pushing, and it is all becoming obvious now for some reason.

      Some months ago, I was a little concerned about the “What’s inside” preview not being available for some then recently uploaded light novels. It turned out to be the new “What’s inside” preview code. It wasn’t available, because of the switch. It may have actually been switched quickly, just that I was looking once over a period of months.

      Comes to mind that Shattered Under Midnight had those “spontaneous” riots, and that Rim and Ballistic were less potentially likely to alert the unprepared. But that requires that someone on the planning side have briefed Amazon censors, and that the Amazon censors have the tech or manpower to cast so fine a net. I can’t prove that this is impossible to do with AI, or that it would be organizationally prohibitive even if it were technically possible. I’m not persuaded that the opposition has that level of competence. If they did, there were some other mistakes made that might not have been made.

      I also doubt that there are very many unprepared who both read widely and heavily, and can be persuaded to do the rest of the thinking by a single book.

      1. “Alternatively, the big tech companies could be well beyond the complexity limit for software development that they can competently manage, pushing, and it is all becoming obvious now for some reason.”

        Yes. Straws, camels, Kamalas…..

  6. Nice, How bout Zues and Unicorns. Embrace the power of AND.

    Also Instapundit spousal unit started a market page called Helens Page. Worth looking at as an alt to the big smile.

    1. Given what we know about unicorns and what attracts them, I suspect that they stay FAR away from Zeus.

  7. Y’all’s either goin’ a Long Way, or drivin’ Real Slow… (says the person who thinks 800 miles is an easy day’s jaunt).

    1. Hey, for people who’ve been locked under the mass house arrest of the nation for the last year, just leaving the limits of their assigned homeland, comrade, is a long way. Sometimes you have to ease back into freedom, taking your time to acclimatize.

      1. Did a trip to Costco today.

        Got light headed and twitchy, expecting confrontation– just got a lot of shy smiles, and the folks who were scowling when they looked at me were scowling before they looked at me.

        Walmart still had the big “mask or no entry” signs.

        1. KC just ended the emergency orders yesterday. It was so nice being able to go to QT without something on my face. And the cashier talked about how glad she was to be able to see people’s faces again.

          My son insisted on wearing a mask, though. I’m not going to argue with him about it. He’s bigger than me.

          And about half or maybe a quarter of the people at Sam’s Club were maskless.

    2. 800 miles a day’s jaunt seems a bit much, although it wasn’t uncommon for us to drive down to Healy for Sunday brunch, around 250 miles, round trip and the commute to my last job, North Pole to Deadhorse, Alaska was around 375 miles one way. I averaged 157 mph from the door of my house to the door of my office.

      OK my commute to work did include some time above 30,000 feet; drive to Fairbanks airport, fly to Deadhorse, bused from Deadhorse airport to BP’s facilities on the oil patch.

      1. Driving up to Deadhorse would involve a lengthy trek on the Dalton, would it not?

    3. 500 miles to Grandma’s house is about the best length for me & mine. (10 hours door to door, but that includes rest stops and at least one meal.) We did Sacramento to Denver in 24 hours once, though that included a breakdown and stop at a repair shop.

        1. Did a number of trips up IH-15 between Northern San Diego and Ogden. Basically, two days – when I wised up, I spent the overnight in Mesquite, just at the Nevada-Utah border. Nice little casino complex, with a retro 1950s hamburger joint around in back. We loved stopping there, and splitting one of their burger meals.

          1. Eighteen hours and change one way. Smidge over half the width of the continental US. Two stops for gas, an audiobook and a few chapters. Little town in Tennessee called Bucksnort always had the cheap gas, and the Texarkana stop was always a nice change of pace from, well, Arkansas drivers. Best food ever from little taco trucks outside San Antonio near Boerne. Passed over that I-40 bridge people are complaining about these days, back and forth. The Mississippi is a sight every American should see, and appreciate, at least once. Last time was in the rain. Big Muddy grew a bit that day.

            Drove through a riot in Austin the oncet. Cops on the bridge, looking down at the looters below. Eighteen wheelers backed up for hours (easier to mark distance by time out that ways). Through a swarm of locusts or something in Mississippi, bugs smashing into the truck sounded a bit like small caliber gunfire. Sunrise in Canyon Lake up in the hills is a treat. Back East there’s a little barbecue joint near the NC border that’s the best in the East, and well worth a short trip up 81 to get there.

            Long trips used to be a more chancy thing. We’re end users of vehicles, so my childhood is full of breakdown adventures, and lessons learned thereof. I don’t miss those, really. But they’re unlike most anything you’d see today, outside of say, a migrant caravan. We used to go to trader festivals and musical get-togethers all over the Southeast. Slept in an old school Winnebago many a time. And under the stars when it was warm and dry out. On the beach sometimes.

            Travelling is interesting. I just wouldn’t want to give up my home for it. I really, really like the quietude and peace of that place.

          2. I do the Seattle to San Diego run every couple of years for work. I’m finishing up a trip to Norfolk right now, so I’ll be driving back across the continent in a couple of weeks. It should go better than the trip out in mid-February. Driving through a winter storm is less than pleasant, especially when it turns to freezing rain and your windshield washers have been frozen since western Wyoming.

            1. I used to do the Left Coast to Chicagoland trip every few years. Eastbound took three overnight stays (usually–IIRC, the first time, I did Salt Lake City to Omaha, back when 55 was required and largely enforced–and made the final destination the next afternoon). Westbound usually takes two nights.

              My body doesn’t like long trips now (I *need* breaks every hour or the pain is too much), and my eyes aren’t that great at night driving, so now a road trip entails going over the Cascades for medical/shopping trips every so often. We used to do the Costco run (210 miles round trip) in a day, but now, I’ll stay overnight. Helps with the cooked chickens, too. The extra couple hours in a hot bag meant the birds would fall apart. Now, I can buy on the first day and refrigerate them at the suites place. (It also helps if there’s a 1 item/day restriction on anything. Our last Costco trip was early December, so we need a thorough restock.)

              In December, a Costco Karen (staffer) told me to cover my nose with the face diaper. The next day, I wore the shield with no issues. (Tilted up for ram air when walking…) Go figure.

  8. Hank Shaw just released his new cookbook, Hook, Line, and Supper. And it includes a recipe for making fried cod balls out of bacalhau. After all the remarks about tossing carp and salted cod upon this blog, I think I’m going to have to find some and make it just to see… And if it’s good eats, serve it to Our Gracious Hostess the next time I see her.

    (Also, the joy of self-publishing: he made it the beautiful, picture-heavy hardcover he wanted… and it includes a recipe for Maine Clam Chowder with a picture of his mother’s recipe card. James Beard award-winning chef or no, that recipe was exactly the way his mom made it, right down to the can of evaporated milk. I giggled so hard when I saw that!)

    1. So you’re saying we may be able to compliment the carpapult with carpcannon?

      1. I don’t know if they’d have the structural integrity to survive a powder charge. Might just be… well, a carpapult the size of your standard meatball can fling said load more than twice the length of a standard dinner table, so perhaps if multiples of us were at a restaurant, they’d be a more polite and less damaging version that flinging entire wedges of salted cod around.

        1. “I don’t know if they’d have the structural integrity to survive a powder charge.”

          So you’ll get bombarded with raw gefilte fish? 😎

        2. Sabot and frozen carp experiment? MIRV/ howitzer launched projectiles? Smoothebore cannon? Carp-core boolits? Air dropped with little plastic fins for precision impact (Carp-et bombs)? Old school trebuchet launched carp?

          This calls for experimentation!

          1. Sabot was my first thought – lightweight aluminum. Do it with a steam-driven launcher and you’ve got something arena sports might find interesting.

            Beats t-shirt launchers.

            1. Use an ice sabot. Freeze your Carp into a shell made out of ice and fire away!

  9. If we’re doing gods and hooves, it’s probably just Loki.

    Hmm. If Loki and Zeus had a kid . . .

        1. You know, I got told that, but when I looked at it while wearing my Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses, I never saw it.

        2. Well, Pan appears in Holly Chism’s Modern Gods series but is insane.

          I wonder if drinking too much Galactic Gargle-Blaster caused him to go insane. 😉

  10. We need to make sure Jerry’s books are available somewhere, even if not on Amazon. I’m always waiting for the next Bob and Nikki fix…

  11. I take full responsibility for the trailer park remark and apologize for the awful title *giggle*

    Although….hmm… dammit, Sarah. I can’t get to it for another year but you’re getting the first pages of this one, too

      1. Bwahahahaha You plant the seed, you get the results. And you ASKED for the trailer park one. And you LIKED it so there 😛

          1. One of my alternate personalities is writing a story that’s set in a future version of a trailer park. She offered to read it while they were driving and give me notes. So if she plants a see like, hmm, modern gods of the trailer park, she gets to live with the consequences when I write it and she giggles all the way through it.

  12. Romqan Gods in a small town. Oddly (how else…) I’ve been…witnessing… a comic about a few Egyptian Gods that turn up in modern times and make life interesting for the fellow who encounters them. It’s done a bit oddly, as it’s sort of second-person. Or perhaps think of the fellow encountering the Gods as “Your character here.”

    1. Seek ye out the kiwi teevee series “The Almighty Johnsons” in three seasons. It ended a bit abruptly, and some of the twists were a bit forced, but I quite enjoyed it.

  13. Worst driving hallucination I ever had: I was living in Tacoma but car commuting to Seattle, during a period when for extraneous reasons I was chronically intensely sleep deprived. I was driving home in full-freeway-capacity traffic (caffeinated to the gills as I always was), and I briefly hallucinated that all the other cars on the road were four-horse stagecoaches galloping along at highway speed.

    I don’t understand why people look at me with horror when I tell them this story. I wasn’t asleep at the wheel, so I wasn’t risking crashing into any of the stagecoaches and hurting the horses. What’s their problem?

    1. I thought Sarah’s description sounded like the seed of a wonderfully atmospheric story, something Neil Gaiman might write, but I think four-horse stagecoaches galloping along at highway speed is an even better one.

      1. Indeed. What if the various pantheons were living as “ordinary” people scattered in small towns across the U.S.? What if Zeus and Jupiter, Pluto and Hades, Poseidon and Neptune were completely different people?

    2. I like your hallucination better than my screwed up sleep-dream of yesterday. Think of the largest healthy housecat you’ve seen. Make it 150% that size. Now, keeping that size, change it from cat to spider. Add a cat back in. The *cat* is putting stuff up on a table or bed or such.,.,. so cat & spider can both play ‘knock it down again’.

      I’m not sure if that was worse or better than the dream where the full moon was rising, but the crescent moon was setting, and the sun was high in the sky at about 12:10 AM.

      1. “The sun was shining on the sea,
        Shining with all his might:
        He did his very best to make
        The billows smooth and bright—
        And this was odd, because it was
        The middle of the night.

        The moon was shining sulkily,
        Because she thought the sun
        Had got no business to be there
        After the day was done—
        ‘It’s very rude of him,’ she said,
        ‘To come and spoil the fun!'”

      2. I was coming out from a mall and there were only a few cars because part had been taped off and all the cars towed, and as we were walking somewhere the soles of my feet started to delaminate — like a sneaker’s soles, not like real feet, to be sure.

  14. The question I have is do the various pantheons hang out together? Like, Mars, Ares, Tyr and Montu walk into a bar?

    1. They hang out at the Godshead. (Of course, Mars & Ares are the same deity).

        1. Well, in Holly’s story universe they’re the same “god” but prior to Rome “merging” their gods with Greek gods, Mars was an entirely different being.

          Basically Mars wasn’t originally seen as a War God. There were elements of him being an agricultural god but Romans could be seen as farmers who learned to fight. 😉


          1. Prior to the Marian reforms you had to own land in order to be part of the legion, and at the time most landowners worked their land.

          1. Or the Moon-shine so strong that it got Loki drunk. 😀

    2. >> “Like, Mars, Ares, Tyr and Montu walk into a bar?”

      Aren’t most of those gods of war? Sounds like one Hell of a barroom brawl in the making…

  15. I checked with Amazon Customer service and they did not answer why the books ate not searchable by name and series, but they did provide the link that drloss provided above.
    I asked if they were being deliberately disfavored and got no answer.
    John in Indy

    1. Well, Baen’s May new releases aren’t showing up and while Baen isn’t Politically Correct, Baen has the money to make things nasty.

  16. From reports elsewhere, I deduce that 1) some nullwit at Google tried to flag some blog and accidentally flagged all of Blogspot instead, and 2) Amazon may have had a database meltdown.

    1. Yes, I heard that various lefty bloggers were in full meltdown being lumped in the the Deplorables.

      I don’t use Google to get to blogs, and Pale Moon doesn’t use Goog’s lists, so haven’t had any trouble.

  17. Another meaning for ‘unicorn’ that I’ve been encountering lately: a startup worth more than 1 billion. I’ve worked for two of these. Though it’s a bit unclear to me how long a company can call itself a startup.

  18. Made a search on Amazon for a few items (not books), got back some incomplete results.
    I think they’re having a database problem.
    Just my two cents.

      1. And for all its screwiness (when working right) it is still perhaps the best out there, or at least one of the best. So many other places… seems like take search terms and go “Show a bit of this, but mix in 90% or stuff that does not even remotely apply.”

        1. Perhaps Amazon hates me specifically, but their search function is essentially random when I try it. I can search on “8mb DDR3 RAM” and the first result page will show *one* result for RAM, at a not-very-good price, and the rest will be diapers, handbags, movies, and generic “stuff.” Selecting “sort by price” goes entirely random; it might be five pages down before I’ll get the first hit on RAM… and then it’ll be weird laptop RAM or something.

          The only practical way for me to search on Amazon seems to be to use Google.

  19. I’m the happiest when I’m mythic. Glad you are getting sleep. I had to start taking melatonin again because I wasn’t sleeping more than three hours at a time. It’s been f-cking with me. I hope you find your castle.

  20. >> “Now they appear to be discussing unicorns. Gosh, I hope it’s a game son is playing on phone?”

    It’s entirely possible:

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