Too Tired…

Sorry. Day Job and edits on Shikhari 3 ate my blog. And a major weather change has afflicted me with sinus pain.

Regularly scheduled blogging will resume tomorrow.

A strange beast in Quedlinburg.


So, Who Should Open the Door to the Building?

Short version: the person who does not have their hands full, no matter what sex they happen to be. The younger of the two people, no matter what sex they happen to be. After that it gets messy.

I suppose it is a sign of just how prosperous the western world is, and how few real problems we have, that “Who should open the door to the building” generates so much fuss on the internet. The most simple answer is to look at who has their arms full of packages or is trying to wrangle multiple small children, and open the door for them. Can the other individual physically open the door without help? No? Then you open it for them (provided you won’t drop what you are holding.)

The younger, more able individual opens it for the older or less able person. This is just good manners and being polite, as is the above. Do unto others, et cetera. Continue reading

Soundtrack Review: The Music of Skyrim

Jeremy Soule The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Edited: Confusing sentence has been removed. I apologize for not thinking more clearly about the reference.

Over the past five-8 years, who hasn’t seen some of the screen caps from the game, showing the excellent graphics? Even I’m familiar with the game, although I’ve never played it and don’t intend to. However, I had also heard good things about the music, both soundtrack style and the incidental music in the game. What pushed me into buying it was a review on Grim’s Hall.

Continue reading

On Not Opening Doors

“Mom, mom, can we please get the Ouija board set, please?” I could hear the child’s voice from two rows of books away.

“I’ll think about it.” The tone suggested that the answer would be no. I hope it was no. Not to begrudge the store the income, but I do not like Ouija boards, tarot card sets, rune tile sets, and other things as gifts, especially not for children. Although perhaps they might be safer there, because the kids are not looking for answers or trying to open doors. Continue reading

America, the Beautiful

Gerard Vanderleun is in California. This is an excerpt of what he sees:

“Near closing time in the men’s Clothing Clearance Corner on the first floor of Penney’s at the Chico Mall, a young girl is replacing the piles of tossed clothing left by the numbed shoppers from Paradise frantic for cheap basic clothing. Some of them are camped in tents somewhere close by the mall; for how long nobody knows. But this young, quietly lovely girl is putting the Clothing Clearance Corner back in apple pie order as the store’s dismal day closes. I take my few finds from the Clothing Clearance Corner and, leaving, say, “That seems like a thankless task.”

“Not at all,” she replies. “Not at all.”

“Really? Why the hell not?”

“Hey, I do this job every day in this store. It’s my assigned task and usually its okay but I only do it for the money because it gets really monotonous, meaningless.”

She’s a student, I perceive.

“But today those people really needed these clothes in this corner because of the price. And tomorrow more people like that will really need them too. And so I want to make this the best I can for them. So I’m going to put it all back on hangers and arrange them by size. It will be right by the morning. You better go. We’re closing. Thank you for coming in.”

Just a young girl working late in the Clothing Clearance Corner. Doing one of those little jobs; one of those jobs that actually make the world turn. She was leaving it all on the field.”

Let us give thanks for a country where people still care for each other, not because the government or anyone else orders us to, but because we know it’s the right thing to do.

May you have a blessed Thanksgiving wherever you are, in whatever situation you find yourself. Raise the song of Harvest Home and please remember those who make our feasts possible.

Harvest Home?

“All is safely gathered in/ Ere the winter storms begin…Raise the song of Harvest Home.” This text is from one of my favorite Thanksgiving hymns, “Come Ye Thankful People, Come.” It combines the timely images of harvest and sorting the good grain from the weeds, and from the end of the Christian calendar and the winnowing of peoples described in the Bible.

What I suspect most of us who sing the hymn tend to forget is that a Harvest Home was a specific celebration in England. Harvest Home is the proper name and refers to the large feast and the rituals associated with bringing the last sheaf of grain in at the end of the harvest, bring the harvest home to the farm. Continue reading

A Difference in Perspective…

I just finished a chapter in Miners and Empire where the protagonist, Aedelbert, takes work in one of the mines during winter. He and his partner can’t do the work they contracted to do because of the weather, but they still need to eat, so Caedda hired on with the masons rebuilding the city wall. Aedelbert has reasons not to be seen working stone, and so goes into the mine. Not to mine, however, but to open a dedicated gallery (I’m [mis]using the term adit in the book) linking two shafts for better air flow. This he has no difficulty with.

Those who have read “The Scavenger’s Gift,” about a merchant named Osbert and his visit to the mine called Scavenger’s Gift are probably shivering a little and contemplating moving to a larger, airyer room, or even outdoors. Continue reading

That Time of Year

So there I was, strolling into Day Job, and motion caught my eye. A huge mound of… shrubbery approached from eight o’clock low. Truly enormous heap of greenth. I could hear wheels on pavement, so I was not too worried about this being an attack by killer tomatoes (zombie killer tomatoes if they were still moving after the other night’s freeze), but rolling bushes are not exactly common out here unless they are dried and the wind is blowing.

Then the heap-o-greens pivoted and I realized it was the chief of maintenance moving the Christmas tree from the garage into the rotunda so the Student Council could lead the decorating. Continue reading