State of the Author:

Drained.

I apologize for the intermittent posting recently. My day job got very busy, I had to go out of town for a 16 hr FAA flight-instructor refresher course, I’m waiting on biopsy results (funny-looking-thing on arm), and I’m also trying to get the insurance matters sorted out with my pick-up. Things appear to be resolving, at least for the moment, so I should be able to resume non-day-job work shortly.

Yes, the next Alexi story will be out in December, and I’ve started revising the next Cat novel.

Forty Years Ago . . .

last week, November 10, the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a storm on Lake Superior.

I grew up in the Great Plains, so big boat meant a bass boat with a half-enclosed frontĀ  steering area. But one of the first songs I really remember hearing and learning the words to was Gordon Lightfoot’s Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. That song, and Ian Tyson’s ballad about Claude Dallas, have the coldest, most effective pedal steel guitar that I think I’ve ever heard. It really does raise the hair on the back of the neck, it sounds so cold and driving. Continue reading

Great Balls of Fire!

So there I was two weeks ago, during the Taurid meteor shower. I’d stepped out for an evening stroll around 2000 Hrs central Standard Time, headed northbound. For reasons of security (family friend had a spook) and stability (bum knee was being a bum), I had a walking stick with me. This is important, because when I use a walking stick, I tend to stand straighter and look up and ahead more than down. Continue reading

A what is a what?

So, when is a minotaur a form of centaur? Or more specifically, the Minotaur, the one from the labyrinth at Minos on Crete. Think about that for a second or two.

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Administrative Note

I’ll be without internet access from Friday afternoon through to late Monday morning. I’m leaving comments open, and I apologize in advance to anyone who gets caught in moderation.

Enjoy the archives, and please don’t break anything expensive while I’m gone.

What Makes a Classic?

A Classic what? A classic anything. Music, car, book, garment design . . . What characteristics determine if something will last from generation to generation, either the object itself, or the contents and design? It appears in a textbook? Is remembered for generations (in which case the Tacoma Narrows Bridge is a true classic, because every civil engineering class and text I’ve been through includes it.)

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Veterans’ Day/Remembrance Day/Armistice Day

To readers in the United States, today is Veterans’ Day, when we honor those who served in the nation’s military. It is supposed to be about recognizing living former and current members of the armed services. Memorial Day/ Decoration Day is to honor the dead. That distinction is being lost, although I feel it should be retained. Perhaps the leakage is coming from the Commonwealth and UK. Because heaven knows there are enough things I blame the US media and marketing industry for already. (Psssst. Guys. No Christmas trees until after November 1, please? November 21 would be even better.) Where was I? Continue reading

Happy Birthday

to all of Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children! (aka the US Marine Corps)

Founded on this day in 1775 by an act of Congress, the Continental (now United States) Marines began recruiting in likely spots around the capital, then Philadelphia. Tun’s Tavern served as the first recruiting office, appropriate for Naval infantry, and thus the legend began. Continue reading

The Four Rules: Sharp Things Edition*

  1. The edge of the knife/sword/arrowhead/saw/chisel is always sharp.
  2. If you need/want to test a blade’s sharpness, see rule number 1 and proceed accordingly.
  3. Never test the blade against something you are not willing to cut. Because #1.
  4. Always be aware of what is under/behind the item you intend to cut or are testing the blade on. Because #1

Yes, I have a large flap of skin missing from the tip of one thumb. I was mucking around with the tiny little useless-for-anything blade inside a teeny little Leatherman (TM) Micra (R) Thursday evening. That teeny little smooth blade is quite sharp. I did not realize I’d skimmed off my hide until the blade touched the thumbnail. Yes, I was stupid, yes, I know better, no, I will not repeat the experiment.

At least not with that particular sharp pokey-slicey thing.

*With profound apologies to Col. Jeff Cooper.

Slow Posting this week

In case this turns out to be a slow-posting week:

I was in a car wreck Saturday AM. I got bruised and shaken around, but no one was hurt. It’s put me off my stride a little, so if the content is a tad light, that’s why. I’m also getting ready for an FAA license re-newel weekend (18 hours of drinking from a fire-hose. Whee!). And school stuff.

Thank you for your patience.