Scientific Progress Goes Boing

This week has been fairly devoid of quality thoughts, hasn’t it? I’ll resume serious blogging next week, but this week I’m trying to get over heavy terrain fast-ish. As in, things must be planted, and things must be seeded, and flowerbeds must be assembled and established.

Meanwhile the house — after four months of being “down” in one way or another — is the filthiest it’s ever been, for any house I lived in, and must be at least perfunctorily cleaned (and unpacked. ARRGH.) And there’s books to finish and write.

So, I must be at least three people, a conundrum I’m not sure how to solve.

So far I’ve managed to fully install ONE flower bed, but no seeding yet. And I’m leaving the gardening to the evening, as I can’t find my hat, and yesterday I became seriously overheated. (Yes, I have a big ridiculous, floppy gardening hat.)

Anyway, I’ve cleaned the kitchen. I’m in a Baen podcast (for time troopers, with older son) at one. And then I REALLY need to work on Bowl of Red. REALLY. I also need to reissue Odd Magics (If you have lists of typos, send them now. I either published an old version or introduced typos when correcting it.) And clean and publish Darkship Thieves.

Meanwhile I spent the night dreaming a good friend who is not likely to do that at all was chasing me around and demanding I lose weight…. (Yeah, I need to, but I figure the government will soon help 😉 )

Anyway, this is an even sorrier excuse for a post than the previous one.

To make things worse, I also dreamed an entire fairyland Pride and Prejudice fanfic.

Make that I need to be six people, and three of them need to be making with the typety typing.


Real blogging next week. For now, go outside and get some natural sunlight or soemthing.

If you keep misbehaving, I’ll post a reading of one of my stories, and then you’ll have my accent stuck in your head forever…. 😛

178 thoughts on “Scientific Progress Goes Boing

  1. “Please say Moose and Squirrel”. [Crazy Grin]

    Take Care Sarah, we’ll survive. (But will the Diner?) 😀

      1. Yep. And traditional diner coffee (strong, black, not subtle) as well as the fancy coffee from the machine-that-no-one-had-better-mess-with-and-Jeff-is-not-kidding-this-time.

          1. blinks I’m at a loss to imagine how an omlette can be terrible. I mean, eggs, cheese, random veggie chunks, bits of sausage, some shredded potato… Or is it just that the Denver omlettes are just that good?

            For easy awesome and cheap omlettes, one egg, two slices of American cheese (Swiss if you’re feeling fancy), 1 slice diced sausage or spam at 1/4″ chunks, 1/4 cup shredded potatoes, 1 tbsp diced onion and green pepper, that’s some good stuff. Brown the sausage and shredded potatoes together, add the cheese over that, then the onion and green pepper, then the egg. Flip once the egg stops being so runny, done.

            Note: add either spam/sausage OR olives. Your omlette will be entirely too salty with both. Serve with cheese toast and orange juice for extra awesomeness.

              1. Lol. I’ve stopped trying. I just accept it’ll be loaded eggs. I need to learn more cooking…and unpack…and get groceries

            1. :Throws eggs in a bowl, looks in the spice cabinet and throws in a bunch of random stuff. Hotdogs might work. Hm. And milk. Pours milk and butter in the pan, waits for them to burn, then throws in eggs. Forgot to mix the eggs. Doesn’t look right, smelling odd. More random seasonings. Cheese makes everything better, except it doesn’t. More butter. Kindof runny. Too much milk. Let the milk cook off. Omelet. On toast.:

        1. Good. One local place, years ago, had “coffee” so wimpy you could see the bottom of the cup though it when full. What that was, it weren’t coffee!

          1. That is a criminal offense to the beverage. When I worked the concessions for the local bluegrass/old time music scene (sometime under the age of 10, I think), the coffee was dark enough you couldn’t see the white of the plastic spoon if you scooped it up. Proper black coffee, the kind that doesn’t just smell good, it bloody well tastes good, too.

            1. An excerpt from Glory Road by Robert A. Heinlein:
              “Breakfast later,” she said. “Just a cup of coffee for you now, too hot and too black–best you be bad tempered. Rufo is starting the talk with Igli.” She served it to me in a paper cup.
              I drank half a cup, burned my mouth and spat out grounds. Coffee comes in five descending stages: Coffee, Java, Jamoke, Joe, and Carbon Remover. This stuff was no better than grade four.

      2. The aardvark just cleaned it all and confirms. This millennium. So be careful to avoid the time traveling doors. He can only ensure that your return will be to your original time, plus time spent.

    1. I’d pay cash money for a ringtone that said, in Sarah’s voice “Hey, you think Moose and Squirrel got all day? Your phone is ringing! Hey! …”

        1. I second The Reader’s motion, and would like to add some encouragement for Sarah. Might be a great moneymaker.

  2. That advice on write in the morning when fresh, clean in the afternoon? Yeah, I didn’t manage to follow it either.
    Now taking ibuprofin and contemplating whether to finish moving the boxes from the storage unit that are sitting in the SUV, in the driveway, or to try to write a fight scene…

    Or perform a rearguard action by turning on Roomba Actual, which will provide cleaning but requires constant monitoring. (They should have called it the E-4 model, not the E-6. I swear, I’m going to demote it and paint a sham shield on the damn thing.)

    1. I wondered about Roomba’s. BIL swears by theirs. When he retired, their children pooled for his gift. But they have zero animals, 100% wood floors, and zero stairs. I’d have to babysit and constantly empty the older models, the self emptying one would be emptying every 5 minutes. That container have to babysat and emptied. Then there are the rollers, they’d get clogged. My long hair is bad enough. With cats in the house? Why bother? I’ll stick with the non-self propelled unit.

      1. That’s how things went with my Roomba, too. The only reason I haven’t sold mine off is because it might still be useful in whatever new place I end up getting. Then again the four cats will be coming with me so maybe I should go ahead and sell it off anyway.

        1. I have a Roomba i7+, and a Braava paired with it, which is basically a wet Swiffer model. Tile floors through most of the house. It’s one of the self-emptying ones, I don’t really care how often the thing has to return to base to unload, as I generally just start it up when I’m out of the house. If it gets stuck somewhere, I just try to tweak the layout of the room a bit to keep it from happening again. If the house goes a day or two without a full vacuum, it’s still far cleaner than if I did it myself whenever I remembered.

          1. If the house goes a day or two without a full vacuum, it’s still far cleaner than if I did it myself whenever I remembered.

            That is what I figure. Just haven’t pulled the trigger. Will look closer thanks to the testimonials. Guess I can get one for downstairs. Have carpet or rugs so the Swifter model probably won’t help. But knowing your model i7 deals with cat hair, helps.

            Someone is always home. Rarely is the house without people. Doesn’t mean someone is awake, but they are home.

      2. My Chinesium Not-A-Roomba was smarter, and smaller, than it’s replacement, Roomba Actual. Roomba-Actual is faster, and far quieter. Both of them have a gigantic advantage over other forms of vacuuming: other than checking on it, retrieving from where it got stuck, and emptying, I do not have to be present when the dust is stirred up. (I am highly allergic to both species of dust mites.) This means I can get clean floors without having to start with a leaded antihistamine, and end with lying down after hitting the inhaler and waiting for the world to suck less.

        It does handle long hair and two cats reasonably well, because I got a specifically-for-pets model. Unfortunately, it’s not unlike someone else’s small child in my house: I am mentally constantly monitoring its noises (or quickly getting up when there is a suspicious lack thereof), which makes it hard for me to get into the writing mode.

        1. When I had a “pet quality” bag model, vacuuming the house is a new bag, fill and empty. The “pet quality” Shark (Costco) version is at least 3 empty per vacuum family room (it is 20 x 60 feet), two in the living room, and and at least 2 for the hall and bedrooms (100% not recommended for those with Dust Allergies). Now granted if I actually vacuumed every single day, might not be quite that bad. One advantage the Roomba would have. I’ll have to check out the Roomba Pet version. Besides the stairs, we have one bedroom closed off 24/7 (We really need a lockable storage shed), and gate across son’s door (for cats retreat, plus Roomba in there means son actually putting away clothing … OTOH …). But then how does Roomba do with cat toys? Dog toys? Wires (okay these can be tamed by zip ties, mostly). No the 4 legged critters are not spoiled, enough. Why would anyone suggest that?

      3. With cats in the house? Why bother?

        Cats know how to deal with a roomba:

        “Wait your turn, puny machine. I’ll get to you soon enough…”

        1. Given what the cats drag around? Would not surprise me.

          Cats know how to deal with a roomba:

          Every time I see the dog with the expression on her face, I LOL … “But Mommmmm … That is my toy!” Often when said toy is almost as big as the cat.

      4. I don’t like my Roomba. The software is great; the vacuuming is not. It leaves hairballs (two cats and I have longish hair) all over the place. I got a Dyson stick vacuum and filled up the bin multiple times vacuuming right behind the Roomba. I don’t remember the version number and it doesn’t say on it. It has the “empty bin and charge” base station and rubber “brushes” without bristles. It also tends to get stuck under the couch.

    2. I’m having Ektachrome flashbacks. Arggh! It all faces to blue! 🙂

      E6 was a PITA to process, since the temps were higher than E4, and the bath I used for E4 wasn’t Gudenov for E6. TGF-digital!

      1. OMG someone else who remebers Ektachrome. Restricted latitude; the Pro stuff needed to be refridgerated during storage; and if I remember, temp. regulation of 1st dev. was absolutely critical.

        1. I always used Kodachrome 64 before switching to digital. No hassles about development issues, since home processing of Kodachrome wasn’t possible. 🙂

          1. My Dad was a semi -professional photographer. I still have a 120 (2 1/4 ” ) Kodachrome slide of the church I grew up in that he took. He took it on one of those days of the fall with clear blue skies and the leaves just turning just after dawn. The colors in that are still absolutely crisp here over 55 years since it was taken. Of course I think it was ISO 64 and taken with a TLR on a heavy tripod with a remote cable release as it was a longish (60th? 30th? of a second?) exposure and it would have been a blur if you had tried to hand hold it.

            1. We’ve been 100% digital since 2006. Or rather hubby has. He is the serious SLR photographer. But generally we’ve both, all (when kid was little) carried some sort of camera. We (recently) went through all of our photos and slides, taken since 1980, when hubby got his first SLR. Sure can tell the different quality of either print negatives and pictures, or slides. Some were as crisp and clear as when we first got them developed (therefore scan-able), others not so much, horribly degraded. We spent around $300 getting selected ones scanned. (We didn’t do anywhere near ALL of the stash, not even all the still good quality ones.)

              1. A few years ago I spent several evenings scanning quite a few slides (mostly Kodachrome 25 and 64, a few Ektachrome [80?])I took between 1967 in Vietnam and around 1990. I used a CanoScan FS2710, and the results were very good, especially from the Kodachrome. They were originally taken mostly with a Canon FT-QL, mainly with the “normal” 50mm lens, and a few with a Pentax ME-F with a variety of aftermarket lenses from 28mm to 300mm. my main cameras now are a Pentax ist-DS with a couple of different lenses and a Panasonic DMC-ZS60, usually the latter (for convenience).

                1. My Dads camera at that time was a Rolleiflex (I think 3.5c, without the light meter, not sure of the exact model, but pictures seem darned close) with a 75mm lens. That broke (and could not be easily repaired) and was replaces with a Mamiya C330. I had that for a while but it became almost impossible to get the film other than from pro shops, and similarly developing became just as hard to get. The TLR’s were a pain to use, but the SLR 2 1/4 hardware was huge and expensive. Mamiya RB67 ran about $1200 in the mid seventies, that would also get you a small car. Hasselblad was 5-6K for the body and several grand for the lens.

                  In any case the low ISO Kodachrome slide stuff is incredible in color reproduction and stability if you keep it out of direct light. The shot I talk about came about because he was driving home from his 3rd shift factory job and came by the church about 8am and saw the church lit by the sun that had just cleared the trees. He went that Sunday and weather was good again and waited for the light he wanted, I think he took a whole roll of 12 shots and that was the best.

                  1. Cool; thanks! The main reason I stayed with 35mm instead of “graduating” to large-format was cost; as you note, the equipment, especially for SLRs, was/is very pricey. 35mm has been fine for me; I’m not even a “dedicated amateur”; and certainly not a pro. As I noted above, the Panasonic, with an excellent (if small) Leica lens and a 30:1 optical zoom, does everything I need. And for the rare semi-serious work, the Pentax DSLR is there.

                    1. And the prices I was quoting were mid 1970s. Last I heard a electronic 2 1/4″ Hasselblad was like 20K dollars. The glass is good, but is it THAT good?

  3. My dad always used to ask my Dutch grandmother to say “Hooterville.” She wasn’t a Gabor sister but it was close enough to be funny. 😀

  4. My dream last night involved a young kid forcibly inducted into a werewolf boarding school by sending him there and having his roommate bite him. Think Lon Chaney style. So I got a scene of them singing the school anthem, with a very glum 11-year-old doing the transform at the appropriate point in the song…

  5. Didn’t notice any typos in Odd Magic the print version but I wasn’t reading critically, just TOTALLY enjoying it. I will do a look over.

  6. Well, the air pistol match I was going to shoot in got cancelled. So I could write a guest post. Of course, it would probably be on something like the Care and Feeding of Your Flintlock Duelling Pistols. 🙂

    1. I’ve pondered/threatened a guest post on kerosene lighting, but I keep delaying as I find things I figure I need to truly experience before going on about them. And, no, I do not (yet??) have an Aladdin lamp. (Non-pressure mantle light – pricey, very hot, and… other issues.)

      1. You have to be careful rubbing an Aladdin lamp. God only knows what will come out. [Crazy Grin]

  7. Or Why Competing in Precision Shooting Disciplines is good for you. And a much better use of land than some silly golf course.

    1. votes for this one

      I have friends who do competition shooting. Given my state of broken, I view that like competition strengthlifting: very cool that other people can do it. I’d like to hear your take!

      1. Since you asked…

        Get Your Shooting Vitamins With Precision Disciplines

        When the term “competitive shooting” is heard these days, the usual thought is of young, fit competitors running around spraying bullets at man-sized targets. At ranges of five to fifteen yards, perhaps even twenty. Run-and-gun gets the cable TV coverage and the glossy magazine articles. But there is another branch of competition, one that is much older, more suited to competitors of all ages…and will lay a rock-solid foundation of shooting skill that will serve you in whatever shooting sport you participate in.

        For a pistol shooter, all the precision disciplines have several things in common. The competitor stands still – it’s not a track event. The competitor shoots with one hand. The competitor shoots at distances that start at 25 yards as a minimum, and often go to 50 yards or even 50 meters. And the targets are unforgiving. The NRA’s Bullseye pistol target has a 10-ring that is 3 inches across, the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) precision target 10-ring is a mere 40mm in diameter. Time limits vary by event…from two hours to release 60 shots in Free Pistol, down to shooting five targets in four seconds in Rapid Fire Pistol.

        Why bother? Fundamentals! The precision disciplines, whether NRA, ISSF, or even the muzzle-loading events…all demand a mastery of fundamental shooting skills. A solid, repeatable grip. A smooth, consistent shot release that does not disturb sight alignment. And above all, a focus on sight alignment that borders on obsession. Go read books on combat shooting written in the 1970s and early 1980s – before the advent of big-money shooting schools – and they all recommended at least one year of the precision disciplines before attempting anything else. Precision shooting is the ballet of the shooting sports. Whatever direction you ultimately go, the fundamentals remain the same.

        And there’s another advantage. The precision disciplines are a lifetime sport. If you look at the competitors at an Olympic Games, the oldest athlete will be a shooter…usually in his late 50s. The oldest Olympic medalist was a rifle shooter…who was 72, IIRC. It’s a far cry from gymnasts who are washed up before they are old enough to drown their sorrows in wine legally.

        Now…how to get started? Some of this will depend on the area in which you live. But probably the most commonly available brand of competition is NRA Bullseye (or Conventional Pistol, but everybody refers to it as “bullseye”). A full Bullseye match is 270 shots, fired in three tempos with three firearms. The tempos are Slow Fire (10 shots in 10 minutes at 50 yards), Timed Fire (5 shots in 20 seconds at 25 yards), and Rapid Fire (5 shots in 10 seconds at 25 yards). The firearms are Rimfire (.22LR), Centerfire (anything from .32 to .45 caliber), and .45 Caliber. Most competitors will shoot a .45 caliber pistol for Centerfire.

        For a new shooter? Get a .22 pistol. The NRA has novice-friendly rules that will let you shoot .22 caliber for the entire match. And while the scores you shoot in the Centerfire and .45 portions won’t be compared to those of other competitors at that match, they DO get sent in for your classification. Probably the best options are a Ruger Mark II, III, or IV with a trigger upgrade, or a used High Standard Citation or Victor. If you can locate a Smith & Wesson Model 41 at a decent price, they are also good guns. You can buy a 1911-pattern gun later.

        The other commonly available path is Air Pistol. Which has several advantages – the ammunition is cheaper, you can shoot it indoors without a specially ventilated range, and it’s an Olympic event. The score you shoot at your local range compares directly to that shot by the Olympic champion.

        For either, check the NRA’s website for Shooting Sports USA. This is a magazine dedicated to the precision disciplines, it’s now published online. And it lists the matches available. The other resource is the Target Talk bulletin board. There are some very knowledgable competitors, they can guide you through the process.

        But give the precision shooting disciplines a try. Yes, they are hard…but they lay a rock-solid foundation of skills that will stand you in good stead for years to come.

        1. “Probably the best options are a Ruger Mark II, III, or IV with a trigger upgrade, ”

          If you are a novice, get a Mark IV. The Mark III is close to impossible to reassemble after cleaning; I have peersonally seen a professional gunsmith take an hour to do it. The Mark IV was re-designed specifically to address that issue, and it worked.

          1. I have a Mark I T-512, and I agree that reassembly can be a bit challenging (although more than 10 minutes indicates a certain lack of mechanical ability; my average was around 3-4, and I’m no gunsmith). But Majestic Arms has a SpeedStrip kit that makes it a breeze; I highly recommend it.

            1. Replaced a bushing on a friend’s Mark III with a kit that removed the magazine disconnect. While in the guts I polished all bearing surfaces. Took the trigger pull from 6 pounds down to 3.5. And no I did not consider removing what is arguably a safety device for careless folk and idiots a bad thing.
              Had another friend hand me a pistol built by Walther under license to Colt that externally was a dead ringer for a 1911 Gold Cup. Internally it was a fixed barrel blowback .22lr. Gun had a consistent failure to feed first three rounds from several ten round magazines. Problem was partially due to excessive pressure by the magazine spring pushing rounds against the bottom of the slide, so some polishing of rough surfaces helped somewhat, but in truth the pistol was just very particular in what brand of ammo it preferred. Problem remained with both Federal and Remington bulk rounds, but disappeared entirely with CCI.
              And disassembly of the earlier versions of Ruger Mark series of .22 pistols is a snap. It’s getting the bloody things back together properly that gets frustrating. I’ve found holding the gun upside down, and offering a small prayer to the ghost of John M. Browning while maintaining a firm grip with all three hands is quite helpful.

                1. From 6 to 3.5. I would have wept if someone could have done that to my Dad’s .357. Alas, it’s long gone, as is he.
                  But that’s amazing.

              1. The only valid reason I can see for a magazine disconnect is the ability of someone to disable a pistol that’s being snatched by hitting the mag release. IIRC this has actually been done a few times by cops in scuffles. That said, disabling any such “safety” device can be problematic if you wind up in court over an “accidental” (really, almost always “negligible”) discharge that injures or kills someone. That’s why I unpinned the grip safety on my 1911, even though I don’t use “Condition 1” carry as a general rule.

                Seriously, though. if you have a Mark I-III and have problems with reassembly you should look into the SpeedStrip kit from Majestic. They have other neat stuff for Rugers, too. 🙂

          2. Julie walked past his piles of gun cases, gear, old mail and opened deliveries still in the box, and turned left, nearly walking into the laundry room before stopping, and turning around to plop down on a stool at the kitchen bar. After a careful survey, she carefully picked two spots for her elbows out between gun parts, spelljammers, and other bits of projects. “Your place is the opposite of mine.”

            “Yours is neat and clean?” He pulled the beans out of the freezer, and cracked the seal.

            “Mirror image, I mean. Same layout, just everything is… reversed.” She blinked. “Of course. They just cloned the design for each half of the hallway. Bet the whole apartment building is like that.” She stared off into a distance, then scrubbed her eyes. “Sorry. Tired.”

            “I understand. I’m looking forward to sleep.” He pressed the grinder, blotting out conversation, and used the space to think. “I’ll make up tonight up to you. Chocolate and flowers? That’s what chicks take for apologies, right?”

            Julie laughed, at that, a high, wild sound that lifted his heart right out of the black mood and made it thump painfully against his chest. “Nah, I’m not that kind of girl. Forget it.” She waved him off. Simon turned away to get mugs. The cupboard was empty, but the dishwasher was full of clean dishes. He plunked them on the counter, and went looking for the half and half, and the bag of sugar instead of offering the sugar bowl with all its drip-hardened lumps from using a wet spoon.

            He frowned as he set up the coffee to brew, contemplating how to proceed. She’d never pried into his business, nor he into hers, but he’d have to now. If anyone on the cleaning crew had caught that she’d taken out one of the goons, she was already too entangled in dragon affairs to get free. He needed to find that crowbar. Unlike most civilians, she wasn’t running, or screaming to the authorities and the wide world; she was sitting there, half-asleep and entirely too trusting, poking at the mess on his kitchen table.

            “Is this a Mark Three? You actually took one apart to clean? You’re a brave man.” She held up the barrel to the kitchen light. “At least you’ve got the recoil spring back in. I learned from someone else’s bad experience to never leave those loose if you have a cat.”

            “Well, ah, I may have got it back together to where I won’t lose parts. But there may be a reason it’s still apart.” He said, and she laughed again. “Do you have one?”

            “I do.” She smiled. “It’s fun to play with at the range.”

            “Yeah.” He nodded, and turned to catch the coffee coming out in a mug. She was picking up the pieces, and setting them out in order. Then she started putting the barrel back on and tapping the front of it against the table twice firmly. When it was satisfactory, she put the magazine in and pulled the trigger. After looking in the back, she resorted to pointing the barrel down at the table and sticking her little finger in the rear of the barrel, nodding, taking it out, and and pulling the trigger again. Satisfied, she removed the magazine, picked up the firing pin, and got it halfway in. “That always sticks.”

            “Safety falls forward to on.” She turned the gun over, and damned if she didn’t press the safety off. The firing pin seated smooth as silk after that. He shut up, put the coffee pot back in, and leaned against the counter to watch her as she put the magazine back in, pointed it down, and pulled the trigger a few times.
            Julie poked her tiny little finger in the back again, feeling something, then looked around among the spell components, junk mail, and gun parts. Fishing a paperclip off some papers, she bent it, stuck it in the back and shoved a little. He held his breath as she picked up the main spring assembly, and lined it up. It went in with a crisp snap, and she carefully rotated the gun until the barrel was pointing straight at the ceiling. As she pressed the trigger down and folded the main spring assembly in, he muttered a curse under his breath; it folded forward without any issues yet. She ignored him, eyes half-closed in concentration as she still held the gun vertical, ejected the magazine again, and reached around to seat the assembly, and flip the lever forward.

            Returning the gun to level, she inserted the magazine again, and squinted sleepily. “Where is a safe direction here?”

            “Any wall not toward your apartment.” He gestured, and she aimed that way, and cocked it.

            It cocked cleanly, and she smiled, then pressed the trigger. “You don’t want to know how long it took me to learn that.”

            “I need you to teach me.” He plunked the mug in front of her. “Or else I’m bringing it over to you every time.”

            “Oh, no, we can’t have that. Women are supposed to sucker men into cleaning their guns, not the other way around.”

        2. I will add that if you want serious Odd credentials, try Olympic Rapid Fire. Any of the ISSF events are exotic, but RF is scarce. You shoot on a bank of 5 targets at 25 meters (reduced targets available for yards). Start from low ready, bring the pistol up, shoot each target once. Do this in 8 seconds…then 6 seconds…then 4 seconds. I’ve dabbled in it. It’s great fun…but very hard.

          The other option for serious Odd is muzzle loading arms. Which I know forward, backward, and inside-out. But I’ll hold off on that subject.

        3. After a lot of research on what several Basic Pistol instructors use, I got a Smith and Wesson M&P .22, as it will eat just about any ammo. 22 pistols tend to be finicky. I’ve yet to have a malfunction with a couple thousand rounds through mine.

      1. As a pilot, I am a great fan of these emergency landing strips you call golf courses, and rifle ranges. There should be more of them! Outdoor recreation for everybody!

          1. Off Topic, but when I see “TheReaderSittingInDarkness”, I wonder how the Reader can read while Sitting In Darkness.

            Does the Reader have a Reading Light or a Tablet that has a “light” built in? [Crazy Grin]

          2. many are not flat enough to serve as an emergency strip. Augusta National comes to mind.

            I had the same thought. Locally, Diamond Woods comes to mind. Not as flat as the picture shows. “Middle of Willamette Valley”. Well yes, kind of, if meaning north and south. Otherwise, it sits on the east side of the Coast Range foot hills. A good portion is UP. When it snows, if enough snow (which does not happen), some fairways would make good green runs (more steep than bunny slopes).

      2. Shooting and golf coexisting, eh… So, do we get extra points for shooting down golf balls in flight? Are there rules about how close you’re allowed to aim to the golfers? Oh, I almost forgot–rifles or shotguns? I’d say you’d have to be a pretty dab hand to hit a golf ball with a rifle, but a good skeet gun ought to do the trick…

        Or are you thinking of doing away with golf clubs and going for large-bore smooth guns, a sort of ballistic golf?

          1. Some madman did a Bocce-firing Coehorn mortar. His idea of hunting with it, though…

          2. The North-South Skirmish Association HAS mortar competition. Civil War mortars, at 100 yards. The target is a stake, you shoot 7 rounds. String measure is taken to the closest five balls, lowest total wins.

            They also have artillery competition…but artillery is a lifestyle. You can drop $20K on a cannon, ammunition chest, and trailer to load it onto. Then find a big pickup truck or SUV to tow it with.

        1. Blending the 2 was not what the Reader had in mind. He will also observe that hitting golf balls hit by bad golfers would be MUCH harder than shooting skeet.The Reader would be amused at watching a skeet shooter trying to hit his slice…

        2. Shooting down the golf balls might be hard; clay pigeons are supposed to be easy to break, while golf balls will act as a serviceable projectile in the right circumstances.

          I’ve seen an article on a scaled down Coehorn mortar that used golg balls for ammunition. For example: Might be a challenge to come up with something for putting, but we can leave that as an exercise for the student.

          And no, I don’t think that a carp mortar is a good idea…

        3. In HS, our archery class used the school golf course for archery golf. Holes were marked with a hula hoop laying flat. You shot up in a long arc. Was much more fun than doing it with balls and clubs.

          1. Clout shoots… Long distance archery is fun. And usually the arrows are easier to find, since they hit the ground at a reasonably near(er) vertical angle. (certainly easier than finding the ones that miss the backstop at 20-30 yards… burrowing under the grass, grumble..)

            1. Still waiting for Speed Golf, myself.

              Golfers will tee off at 60-second intervals.
              Golfers must move about the course on foot, and must carry all their equipment themselves.
              Time penalties will be assessed for losing a ball, damaging the green, etc.
              Golfers may drive and play through without notification to other golfers.
              Physical contact between golfers by touch or with a club is prohibited. However, golfers may wish to wear lightweight helmets, goggles, and/or padded jackets; see Rule 4 above.
              The golfer who accomplishes all 18 holes in the shortest time wins.

              1. Almost sounds like new “Fling Golf”. Or could.

                Easy part. Carry gear. – There is only one “club”.

                Playing through might be a problem. The inventors are trying to get it accepted to be played along with standard golf. So speed Fling Golf might be a problem.

                If I could try it. It’d be something to get me out of the house. $124 entry cost. Plus charge for playing on golf coarse. Right now it has the acceptance that early snow boarding did …

                1. I Do Not Golf, but I figure you would probably want to carry a medium driver and a separate putter.

                  1. Hubby golfs. I Do Not.

                    When I retired took lessons. Played a few holes on what hubby calls the putt putt coarse. Flat 9 hole, 3 par/per. Took me the whole 9 holes to loose most the pack of balls, but I did loose them. Most the time the hit off the tee I barely made it to the green. Nope.

                    New hobby. Pepper & I go play at Agility. I Might take her to *B-match at competitions if it is a weekend when hubby is off golfing, or summers where Saturdays are long. We’ve been at this off and on for 3 years. Pandemic, lack-of-barn-facilities, and should-I-really-be-doing-this, off and on. She is now 5. While she is excited to be there, when running she isn’t showing the Joy, and proceeding ahead, or running as fast as she might even behind me. OTOH probably be me being confusing (It is always the handler).

                    Run AFTER the real competitions or put on by Clubs for Fun and experience.

      3. Golf Trap Shooting! 😛

        Although cleaning up all the golf ball bits afterward would be a pain.

        Knockdown targets on the greens? Shoot a target to pull the flag out of the hole?

          1. It gets lost there, too.

            I can only assume the universe itself is terrified of what you and I would get up to if we were ever allowed to conspire in secret…

  8. I think we figured you were busy even if we hadn’t heard about the planting plans elsewhere so no worries from me or the kitties. Take care of yourself like always! And I’m surprised C is off napping with R right now instead of climbing all over me so he can tell you good luck too…

  9. I do understand the feeling, Hostess. In my case, it’s the need to pack for the second half of the cross-country move, while getting the house in listing condition, while dealing with the reality of why women are supposed to get pregnant before their late 30s. After almost ten years of trying, I’m so thrilled to be pregnant, but the baby’s demands for naps are not conducive to getting things done.

      1. I was out buying groceries with impending Kid still five-ish months out. Kid insisted that every day at 1 PM was Naptime, and I had no say in this. At all. I figured I could stick it out the extra fifteen minutes to go buy that night’s dinner, and I was incorrect. Caught myself seriously considering the merits of lying down on the conveyor belt – surely the cashier would UNDERSTAND?

        1. 100% understand. I was working 50% and last term full time student at 5 months (only had one class for the final 3 months, he was born 1 week to the day after last final). You know that term where there is a group project that works late into the night? Luckily, the group I was in were all off campus students. We have a very nice large, over the garage, room, that had a ping pong table. Great for computer setup. We had parking (very much key). I’d get tired, take 10 or 15 minute nap on couch. Pickup where I left off. It worked. Helped that two of the other 3 team members had young children. My last term, my one class started about 15 minutes before the kid decided it was time to play … my tummy would ripple. When he decided to do the rumba on my bladder though.

          I did have someone ask that last full term “How could I get pregnant just before graduation?” (Not one of the group members.) Like I had a choice on timing. My response? “Surprise!”

          1. I had a friend whose mother was every 1970’s-feminist dream. Powerhouse of a saleswoman, giving presentations right up till the due date. I know this because she was shilling her company’s stuff at 8 months, three weeks, to a room of men in their early 60s. Then my friend decided it was time to boogie down. After ten minutes of watching irregular stomach protrusions come and go, her audience proclaimed they would buy anything she wanted if she would just stand behind the podium PLEASE.

        2. I’ve cashiered a bunch, and if a pregnant lady decided she needed the conveyer belt? I’d give it to her.

      1. BTW, Fox, if you’re still in Iowa, we’ll actually be close enough to try to meet up. I’m moving to Plattsburg, MO. My email is my first and last name at gmail.

    1. Oh, I’m so glad it happened for you. But yes, it is exhausting. Congratulations. You are in my prayers. (I was 32 with #2 son, and boy did I get the sleeps.)

      1. The alternate version, “Garnet’s home made beer” is a hoot too. Learned it from his brother when he played locally.

  10. Well, I think I’ll promote a gardening podcast by some friends of mine:

    Upside Down Tulips

    These are two ladies from the Denver area (I know, boo, hiss…just hear me out), one of whom I went to high school with back in prehistoric times. They bill their podcast as “A fun podcast that celebrates gardening gone wrong. Every week we’ll share our most epic garden failures and our biggest garden lessons.” They’ve got 81 episodes now. At the end of each episode they read a letter or two they received from listeners and comment on them. Since I’ve know Edith since neither of us were smart enough to deny knowing the other, they’ve used a few of my letters over the weeks (don’t ask me to list which episodes, I frankly don’t remember at all). My latest one was at the end of episode 80, if y’all are interested.

  11. This sounds so much like me right now. The business has me on the busy treadmill right while my characters are all telling me stories. The house has gone to heck and the only gardening I’ve done is starting tomato and pepper plants (although that might still have been a problem without back to back conventions, because of the rain keeping the ground wet).

  12. I think Spring! may be hitting for the “it’s filthy, it’s all filthy, CLEAN OR BURN!!!!” reaction right now. With the cold weather, I’ve got full-on “go plant stuff” itus, but it’s too soggy-cold to do so.

    1. I’m about to wade into the semi-annual “rotation of the woolens.” Also known as “shopping in your own closet.” Wool gets put away, cotton gets brought to the front.

      1. We bought a carpet washer, and the vacuum started taking two to three more bags to clean ONE ROOM…… Beyond the issues with “buckets of mud from what looked like clean carpets”.

    1. Saw an item on Twitter. The men working on Notre Dame found a casket buried deep underground. The casket is closed and sealed in lead. Buried under a cathedral. Sealed in lead.
      They plan to open it. John Ringo remarked this is not likely to end well….

        1. Yeah, but “ancient” means “somewhere between the 14th to 19th century.” Apparently there are a lot of human-shaped lead sarcophagi in France, because France, I guess.

          1. The French articles say that archaeologists are pretty sure that the coffins under the cathedral crossing are mostly bishops, archbishops, and canons of the cathedral, but it’s possible that they might include some rich donors.

          2. I have read of ancient being used in English to indicate things having happened in living memory.

            1. Ancient is a relative term. To a child, grandparents are ancient. To grandparents, the Revolutionary War is ancient. To a historian, Troy is ancient. To a paleontologist, the Silurian is ancient.

              1. The particular context was a town reviving a fair with certain festivities. It was mere decades after it had been instituted in the first place.

      1. The hearts of the Hapsburg emperors were removed from their bodies and buried in separate urns next to the coffins in the Kaiser Vault in Vienna.

        I’m sure there was a perfectly good reason…

          1. The Hapsburgs had Ideas about some of them being saints, and that other cathedrals would of course want their hearts as relics.

            Well, there’s Blessed Karl, arguably. The others, not so much.

            1. Some of their spouses may well have been canonized by proxy. You know, “She’s such a saint to put up with him!” and vice versa.

  13. Natural sunlight might have to wait, but I think I dragged Son out of every rainpuddle within half a mile… ^.^;

  14. Takes a hand full of black pills

    “You know, /synthetic/ sunlight would seem to be the cure for everything wrong with the world.”

    Everyone else does the sinal salute. “Not now, Bob.”


    1. Short, high exposure artificial sun, or the mirrors-in-space that people keep saying will “end urban crime, because it will never get dark” ? (That second one, when I heard it . . . aye gevalt.)

  15. Last day at the tax office and I’m down. The last day of tax season is Monday, but we thought I was going to be out (the procedure was moved to Wed.) Long story, but they hired a full-time receptionist last year and I miss working full time.
    Have started packing the RV for summer, but…just down.

    1. I have been a so-called “cat owner” six times in four states. I had to give it up because of health reasons when I was going through cancer treatments (even though we were between cats at the time); and it makes me sad.

  16. Sent you my copy of the edits I did to Odd Magics just in case what I sent before got lost in the shuffle.
    It does still contain the duplicate story.

  17. If I tried to bring a Roomba into my apartment it would start smoking like Mr. Phelps’ tape recorder. It would lay down and refuse to work. Every coat, every sock, everything is covered in cat hair regardless of how many times I vacuum or clean.

  18. This last week was not that great for me. I had a wet cough, which after a bit of experimenting (prevacid) seems to be from aspirating in my sleep. So yea– and yea

  19. When my son was very small and I was newly divorced, I made the decision to hire someone to clean my house. I thought of it as buying us a life. It also improved my health as my #1 allergy is dust mites. Best decision ever!

    1. Several people refer to the WIBBOW Test – would I be better off writing? That applies to other things in life. “Yes, I could clean the house, but is it really a good use of my time as compared to [other task(s)]?” Sometimes hiring a professional really does save money and sanity in the long-run, and is the better investment.

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