Little Changes

I first went to Germany in the early 1990s. I’d been to Switzerland with a history tour group, but this was my first time more or less on my own in a foreign country. It is amazing how quickly your language skills improve when you are trying to sort out if the meat-in-a-can is something like stew or hash, or if it is a version of Alpo dog food. You also learn which bakeries are open when, and which ones have the really, really good stuff. Continue reading


Yes, It’s Hot…

not as bad as down-state, but we hit 105 yesterday and are on track to hit 105 again for the next few days. But it’s a dry heat. Seriously. Our lows are 70, as compared to 80s down-state.

Speaking of which… I will be down in the Metroplex next week doing some continuing education, so I will be slow clearing comments in moderation and answering questions.

Competent Gentlemen

“Why do you hang out with these guys?” The question was asked in jest as I was lurking in the smokers’ corner at LibertyCon.

“Because I like being around gentlemen.”

Laughter and, “These are not gentlemen.”

I beg to differ. They were not necessarily all gentle men. But they were gentlemen. Competent, polite, mature, gentlemen who treat ladies like ladies. You just do not want to get on their bad side, individually or collectively. I like that. Continue reading

Ode to the Card Catalog

Those of you ripe enough in years and wisdom to have used a card catalog, a real one, raise your hands, please. That’s what I thought. Those of you too young to have had the pleasure – I’m not being sarcastic – of the original card catalog won’t miss the institution, but some of us feel the loss rather keenly. There are some things the card system did better than all the electronic cataloguing software packages I’ve worked with thus far.

Olde School search system. From an article entitled “The Card Catalog is officially dead.”

Continue reading

LibertyCon AAR 2018

So there I was, driving to Chattanooga with Peter and Dorothy Grant, when the skies turned as dark as the Earl of Hell’s riding boots, and frog-strangling rain cut loose. Not exactly an auspicious start to the weekend, although I don’t object to rain. I do object to rain so heavy the wipers can’t keep the windscreen clear, however. Turns out we managed to arrive with the worst weather of the day, and it moved through relatively quickly. By the time I could check into my hotel, it was just cool and damp. Cool is good in the south in late June. Continue reading

Once More Onto the Road

So, I’m on my way to Chattanooga via a few other intermediate stops. I will be at LibertyCon along with a bunch of the other Unusual Suspects. I’m not presenting or on a panel *taps wood*, just hanging out and learning stuff. And trying to convince Sarah Hoyt that I’m not really an American Exotic Shorthair cat. She’s seen me in purrson before but is still not convinced. *flicks tail*

I don’t think this will be on the menu during the trip, alas (it wasn’t my dinner. I had eggplant.)

The Poseidon Plate at a Greek place in Bacharach. There really are jumbo shrimp.

Once upon a time, there was a gate in a wall… (Goslar, Germany)

Three (Orderly) Cheers for Protocol

There’s a lot to be said for formal manners and expectations of how you respond in a social situation. For one thing, everyone knows what the script is and doesn’t have to think so hard. For a second thing, those of us who are, ahem, not so adept at reading people have a basic idea of who we greet, how to introduce this person to that one, and what the proper answers to questions are. Protocol and manners are breathing space and wonderful supports for the socially-challenged. Continue reading