Casting votes

Time is nearly up for casting your Campbell votes for best new SF writer. As I said to Vox, just being on the ballot is kind of funny, and while I think winning would be pretty cool, I’ll be the first to admit I’m a loooooonnnnnggggg shot. Anything above “No Award” would be fantastic, but below that is quite a conversation piece, too.

“So, how did you manage to come in 6th of two when five were nominated?”
“Well, it’s like this, you see….”

And good times were had by all. If you vote for me at Sasquan, thanks, I’m honored, I truly do appreciate it, and it’s good to know my work was not for nothing. If you didn’t, as long as you voted honestly and not politically or “strategically,” then thanks for your consideration.  I hope to see a few of you in Spokane – I plan on being there.

Speaking of, being the unemployed sort that I am – anyone living in/near Spokane have a couch or spare bed I could crash on for a few nights in mid/late August, so I can avoid the hotel expense if possible?

BBQ cupcakes

That was different.

It’s been hot and dry here. Maybe not the near-biblical hot and dry of a Texas drought, but pretty darn close for the PNW. As my neighbor said, looking at the wast-high brown on the unmowed part of the lawn, “that’s late August grass, not early July grass.” So cooking inside seems like a bad idea. My daughter, though, wanted to bake something. Turning on the stove wasn’t an option. Indoor heat generators are a Bad Thing when the AC already can’t keep up. So she asked if we could cook them outside on the grill. Well, we’re already planning of grilling steak for dinner. Hmmmm… Maybe…. Continue reading BBQ cupcakes

Happy 4th of July!

Yeah, we may be a republic in decline, but we’re still one of the greatest places in the world to be. Don’t believe me? What nations have a higher immigration numbers than us? No, that’s not the only metric, and yes, there are lots of ways to slice those numbers, but the fact that it’s still one of the most attractive places in the world to go to is testament to its qualities.

We are a nation founded in revolution – revolutionary ideas, revolutionary war, and revolutionary ways of doing things. Imperfect, but willing to admit our flaws (unlike so many other nations in the world) and doing our best, however indirect a course we may take, to improve.

I hope all is well with you and yours, you stay safe, and here’s to another year with banner sales, accomplishments, and a record year of prosecutions of government employees.

Any sailors out there?

Looking for anyone with experience building and sailing smallish sailboats. I’ve done a little bit, but it’s not been my main thing. I’d like to run the plans of a possible scenario by someone with more experience. I’m pretty sure they are not absurdly stupid, but I want to make sure they are better than the “Hollywood-smart” sort of things would only work on McGyver’s 17th take.

Short version – as a “graduation test” kids dropped with the basic supplies (like food and hand tools) and a tight schedule need to make a boat largely with local materials. Is a small gaff-rig (using tent canvas) trimaran a stupid way to go?

Loopholes….

Now this is hysterical. Some days you just can help but admire the creativity of people who are tired of getting denigrated. Agree of disagree on the meaning or use of the confederate flag, such displays of independent thought are impressive.

Shamelessly stolen from Michael Z Williamson, we have “Some fights you’ll never win“, which as a result of the kerfuffle over the confederate flag brings us pictures like this:

A lot more at the link, starting with this and gradually getting much, much more entertaining.

The law is dead

The Supreme Court of the US just upheld the ObamaCare subsidies in direct violation of what the clear letters of the law said, in spite of what Johnathan Gruber, the architect of the law, said about it and the intentions. Chief Justice Roberts will go down in  history as one of the worst, most destructive justices ever on the SC. With this decision, political expediency will now trump the constitution, and the actual letter of the law as written, every time. No longer can a person who reads the law know the law, because it quite literally means whatever the guys at the top want it to mean at that time. And that’s bad, because wise, limited government sorts are never the ones that rise to the top of the heap.

Time for impeachment… But who am I kidding? None of those idiots in Congress have the balls or the brains, because they see too much personal profit in it for themselves.

Casting

Anyone out there personally familiar with home casting metal, either or both bronze / iron / steel ? I’m working on a scene in another book and want to get some of the details right on how a couple of guys doing semi-primitive casting of those metals might work, and problems they have to deal with (no electricity or gas – wood / charcoal and bellows for heat). I have a rough idea, but I’m sure there are tidbits I’m missing that would add authenticity.

Oddly, right now I’ve got two and two/halves of books in editing / awaiting cover art, and one getting illustrated, while I work on another. Eh, just the way things have worked out, I guess.  Once the art-flow picks up life will be better.

Happy Solstice and Father’s day 2015

The longest day of the year for those of us in the northern hemisphere. The sun is as far north in the sky as it will go, ~23.5 degrees north of the equator. The warmest days are ahead, but only ever-shortening days. A fascinating day for all of recorded  human history, as for most of it we’ve not really understood why the length of day or seasons changed. It was THE GODS!, they declared, and worshiped accordingly. Studying / developing spherical geometry to try to understand the motions of the stars, planets, and sun, some early people like the Babylonians counted in base 60, which stays with us today in seconds and minutes.

Of course, for most healthy adult males, becoming a father is comparatively trivial (and many do that likely shouldn’t, and some don’t that likely should). It’s being a dad that really counts. That’s where the difficult, persistent, consistent, thankless work is. To the scum that managed to spawn and then run away to let others raise them, this day is NOT for you, even if you technically qualify. This is for those that stay involved with the mother of their children, and their children’s activities, giving them as good a role model as they are able, supporting and guiding them. It doesn’t mean being their slave – far from it, but doing what is best for them in the long run.  Moms are necessary for optimal family health… but so are dads.  The family is a unit, that works best when intact. So, for the dads out there, doing their best with what they have to work with (internally and elsewhere), Salute!