Life has ganged up on me. Real content resumes tomorrow


Saturday Shikari:

In which our intrepid explorers break the hardware, and find something else odd.

Whrrrrrr BING!

“Oh, damn and blast it,” arose from the test pit simultaneous with “Dust and dander!” and Thorna’s resigned, “What did you break this time, Sirs?”

“I did not break it,” Micah protested, waving his hat in the air, then slapping it against his leg. “It broke itself.”

Rigi had been engaged in trying to catch an especially beautiful bird with a very long tail and white-spotted crest plumes. Martinus, attempting to be helpful, had startled it, then pestered it. He was not supposed to do that, Rigi noted. She’d have to check his programming again. He was due for a deep-maintenance and program check.

Makana emitted a deep, soulful sigh. “Mistress Rigi, do all unmated human males behave so?”

Given that Dr. De Groet was the only old bachelor of her knowledge, Rigi said, “I do not have a large population to draw from, but I am inclined to say yes. Based on limited observation.” Continue reading

Friday Fragment: Breakbone Desert

This ambushed me on Wednesday. It will be a short story about Dr. De Groet and Thorna, and just what their relationship is. It’s… not what most would assume.

Thorna gave him a sideways look, her ears tipping to the left, away from him. The breeze swirled, confusing her scent into the dry, hard, bitter sting of the desert ahead of them. Micah agreed with her. He felt a distinctive lack of enthusiasm for venturing into the Breakbone Desert. The buffer drugs should work, for both of them. If they didn’t well, he’d decided that the university and his other sponsors could go take a flying leap into the Western Sea. Some things a man did not need to suffer through more than once.

“So, based on our last stalk, how many trap lizards between us and the rocks?” He inclined his head toward the odd, black lump on the northwest horizon. He was learning not to point. Thorna had almost cured him of that. Continue reading

Estimating and Applied Math

Peter Grant had a piece about the frustrations of people who depend on computers and can’t (or won’t or don’t have time) to double-check what went into the computer and the numbers that come out. When DadRed was tutoring in the public schools, he encountered an absolute absence of the ability to estimate and round.

Now, I am not exactly innumerate, but close. Doing math in my head hurts. I do it, and do it often, but it is not easy and requires complete concentration. When that’s not possible – say, when I’m in the grocery store – I estimate. Continue reading

Haman’s Hats

Today is the feast of Purim. It’s not one of the major holy days in the Jewish calendar, and is sometimes more for children than adults. It is the one time of the year in some Jewish traditions when children are encouraged to participate in worship, making noises and hissing whenever Haman’s name is mentioned.

In some families, a three-cornered pastry called “Hamantaschen” or Haman’s Hat (literally Haman’s purse/pocket) are made. We did that for years, until it became next to impossible to find good poppy-seed filling. Solo brand changed their recipe and, well, no. Plus when I was flying, poppy seeds were off the menu. Now, at Redquarters, we make our own filling and cookies. It is a lot of work, but they are so good. Continue reading

The Pleasure of Adult Company: Or In Praise of Quiet

Those of us who are situational-induced extroverts forget how wearing it can be when we do it five or six days a week for months. Then we get a pause, and ahhhh. There’s a lot to be said for being self-entertaining, and being around other self-entertaining people who are happy to leave you to your own devices for hours on end. Continue reading