rolanni: (Default)

So, it's been an odd couple of days, with all the simple things going awry, but, thank goodness, none of the big things.

This morning, we got to Charlie's Subaru before the crew did -- 15 minutes early for a 7:30 am appointment. Skylark, which has 4,600 miles on it, got his 6,000 miles/6 month oil change, tire rotation and systems checks.  All good, which was a relief, if not particularly a surprise, and we're on for driving to Pittsburgh, Niagara Falls, Binghamton, and points wherever else in a couple weeks' time.

After Charlie's got done with us, we went crosstown for breakfast at Lisa's, and then, reasoning that the coast was going to be a Total Zoo, set off up-country (which would be north, to you) on the Big Road, so as to (1) get me some practice driving the Big Roads (my default is the mid-road, if there is one), and (2) not go home immediately.  We stopped at the overlook and tried to say hello to Mount Katahdin, but it was being shy today, hiding under a mantle of clouds.

We continued north and got off at Benedicta (town motto, To Work is to Pray; population 314), drove through town to Sherman, where we found the ramp to the expressway going south, and took advantage of it.

A stop for lunch and home again, to wage war on the ants, and also to dust and vacuum the inside of the car.  Car wash is on the list, and we need more bug juice for the windshield cleaner.

While we were on the road the blue striped Russian sailor shirt arrived from Peterman, and it's gorgeous.  I'm torn between being sorry I waited so very long to buy it, and being delighted that, when I did buy it, it did prove to be splendid.

Speaking of clothes, I found my red hat, which was covered in cat fur (strange).  I have brushed it off, and it, too, is ready for a road trip.

I was going to work this evening, but that kind of got kicked sideways, so tomorrow is a no-internet, all work, all day, sorta day.

And I think that catches us up. Everybody have a terrific weekend.

Today's blog post brought to you by Bruce Springsteen, "4th of July, Asbury Park".  Here's your link.


Well, I'm baffled

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 09:59 pm
rolanni: (the captain will see you now)

We here at the Confusion Factory are either going to receive, on the overnight, 1 inch of snow, or in excess of 6.  Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, someone has gone to the trouble of identifying the 10 "most dangerous" cities in Maine.  Always understanding that "dangerous" is relative.  Interestingly, or not, we have lived in Skowhegan, which takes the top spot in overall crime per capita, and holds the cherished position of fifth most dangerous metropolis in Maine; and also in Waterville, which has the fourth highest overall crime rate.  We aspire to improve ourselves, however, and shift south to Lucky Number Seven.

Here's your link to the article.

We came first to Skowhegan, when we settled in Maine, and, since we needed to earn money, as one does, I applied for the advertised position of bartender at what was then the Kennebec Valley Inn.  I'll mention here that I've always been plagued by an innocent-seeming demeanor, and people constantly mistake me for a lady.  The owner took one look at me and said, "Nope, oh no, no way. You can't work here.  It's too rough."

Mind you, I had just moved from Baltimore (second only to. . .Elkton?. . .in danger of the much more dangerous Maryland variety.  Here's the link.), where we had maintained a storage facility, where I had very nearly crushed a man's hand with a pipe to stop him from dragging me across the counter by the front of my shirt -- and I said to him, "Oh, c'mon, how rough can it be?"

"You have no idea," he told me, fervently.

And I didn't get the job.  And after a few weeks of taking the local paper and perusing the police blotter, I was glad I hadn't gotten the job.  I'd've never kept my nail polish from chipping.

And that?  Is all I've got.

* * *

Progress on Alliance of Equals
45,943/100,000 OR 45.9% COMPLETE

Perhaps he could simply suggest to the breeze that he was a sack of potatoes, and thus be safely ignored.


Thursday, August 21st, 2014 10:45 am
rolanni: (Caution: Writing Ahead)

So, this morning, Steve and I were sitting at the kitchen table over our second cups of coffee, talking over the tasks unto the day and enjoying the company of sleepy cats in the sun, when there came a SHRIEK! from outside.  All the birds at the bird feeder flew into the air with a great crashing of wings and the SHRIEK! came again, followed by outraged clucking, and we got out on the deck in time to see three turkeys -- one standing his ground, one in the air and flying for the apple tree on our neighbor's land, and the third running through the briars and the brambles for the safety of the back woods.

One of the three lost a feather in the altercation, about 14 inches/37centimeters in length.  Here's a picture:

Turkey featherTurkey feather August 21, 2014
Photo by Sharon Lee

The guy who had not run or flown off, spent some time walking up and down the road, clucking and calling.  My theory is that he lost track of his lady-friend, who was, as far as I know, still in the apple tree.  Here's a picture of the victor, taken from the safety of our deck.  You can also see a fallen apple.  The apples are the reason the turkey's particularly like our little piece of Maine.  The gore on which our house (and our neighbors' houses) are situated used to be an apple orchard, and there are old apple trees everywhere.

Turkey bereft. August 21, 2014Turkey bereft August 21, 2014
Photo by Sharon Lee

In other news, Dragon in Exile (the penultimate draft) cracked 90,000 words yesterday.  This morning before I start work, the Official Word Count is 91,995.  I had a brief moment of frenzy in which I declared I would be free in only 10,000 more words, but I think that's. . .optimistic.  However, the end is in sight.

* * *

Progress on Dragon in Exile: GOOD/Author Satisfied

"Certainly, the philosophical aspects of our situation are piquant," she said seriously. "We must, the two of us, sit down and discuss them thoroughly, some day soon."

Eagle Over the Kennebec

Thursday, May 10th, 2012 07:17 pm
rolanni: (Default)
A bald eagle was released back into the wild last Wednesday after being rehabbed by the Maine Warden Service.

Read the rest here.

rolanni: (booksflying1.1)

Tonight, Steve and I are going to see “The King’s Speech,” possibly the last people on the planet to do so.  We will, I believe, be home before the snow — I believe it’s to start as snow — begins, around midnight, heralding the arrival of what I make to be three solid days of various sorts of precipitation.  This?  Will be fun, considering that the driveway is already a quagmire.

The first year we were in this house, we had a sudden and exceptionally sodden Mud Season.  In fact, we lost a UPS truck in the driveway, when the driver inadvertently backed onto the supersaturated service.  He was able to leap to the safety of the tarmac, but there was no saving the truck.  It’s still under there; occasionally a mud-smeared box or plastic envelope will rise to the surface.  And I must say that the driveway is much more stable in that section.

While I’m here, I want to remind the procrastinators among us — you know who you are — that there’s still time to vote in the Locus Poll for your favorite work of science fiction and fantasy from 2010.  Drop-down boxes helpfully give the titles of those works which appear on the Locus Recommended Reading List; write-in spaces are also provided.

The Locus Poll is a reader poll. Anyone can vote. Please only vote once. Mr. Kelly takes a dim, dim view of “ballot box stuffing.” As he should. If you participate, please also be truthful about your gender. Mr. Kelly has in the past had a difficult time believing that women read SF in numbers.



Originally published at Sharon Lee, Writer. You can comment here or there.
rolanni: (snowbirch from furriboots)
There were four Very Large white-tailed deer under the neighbor's apple tree this morning, chowing down on the falls. Mmmm, apple slushy. Anyhow, they all four looked up when I came, quietly, out onto our deck, then looked at each other, like, "Well? Who knows what to do next?" The smallest -- I use the word advisedly -- at that point turned tail and headed briskly back into the trees, the other three following.

Happily for me, there was not eight inches of snow with an ice-hardened surface awaiting my attentions, but only about two inches and the ice wasn't that thick. It was also warming up nicely, so things were already melting. I did have to move some snow -- it was like shoveling water, it was so wet, and the ice-ing cohesive enough that I could watch the snow flow beneath it before it broke.

Later in the morning, Steve called out a turkey report. Under the same apple tree were thirteen birds, with the fourteenth in the branches, knocking apples down for the folks at home.

My pass through "Skyblaze" is done and it has returned to Steve. I wrote a couple thousand words today, but then I cut about the same amount, so, yanno, it's all good.

At this moment, just by the way, it's snowing.

Still going with the plan to return to the day-job tomorrow morning, Mr. Spielberg and Mr. Jackson having both failed to call, to say nothing of SyFy. How disappointing.

So, how was your day?
rolanni: (blackcatmoon)

Only fourteen more workdays until Winter Break.

I can do this.

Cool Things I Forgot to Mention:

Wednesday, I missed my turn when taking the Second Alternate Route to work, and took thereby the Third, which involves going first to China, and then coming back in several miles to Waterville.  Not optimum, though a pretty drive of itself, and a pretty day for it.

While I was mooching along the wrong road, heading in A Direction Oblique to Where I Needed to Be by Eight O’Clock, thinking about George, and being Not Nearly as Panicked As Was Proper, a pileated woodpecker flew across the road at windshield-on-a-Legacy-height barely two feet ahead of me, and attached itself to a big old maple tree.  I adore pileated woodpeckers — the battle cruisers of the woodpecker world — so that made the morning right there.

* * *


Today, there were only six applications to input, which made my hands grateful.  Due to having stayed caught up, though, I did have a period of a couple hours where I had no work to do — I had emails and calls out to people, but could not go forward until I heard back from them.  So, I read a book.  The trouble is, I’m getting paranoid about reading when I ‘m in Wait Mode, since this apparently feeds into the perception that Rolanni Never Has Any Work To Do.

Sigh.  Maybe I should play chess on the internet; at least then I’d look busy.

* * *

Fans of Hexapuma:

Yep, we have a cat fountain, and Hex is its biggest fan.  We’re going to try the wet food and vitamins, and have another vet visit on the 13th to see how that’s working for him.  Giving subcutaneous fluids was mentioned as a therapy — I’d need a refresher in how to administer, but Patia required that intervention in her later years, and we handled it.  I’ll have to look into the kidney function cat food.  The problem, of course, being that we have two other cats and all of them are used to browsing.

I’m am sad because it looks pretty certain that Hex isn’t going to be with us for the years and years we had supposed that he would be (we tend to keep our cats around for a long time, here at the Cat Farm), but I’m trying to focus on the fact that we have him with us now.

* * *

Carousel Tides

There’s a review of Carousel Tides at SFRevu

Someone had mentioned the Open Promotion Thread at Whatever today — yes, I did participate.

For those who did not know about this — go here.  Lots and lots of good readin’ being recommended.

* * *

Couple Hours of Fame:

Don’t forget!  Lee and Miller will be signing atthe Barnes and Noble in the Augusta Marketplace tomorrow, Saturday, December 4, starting at 1 p.m.  Be there, or be somewhere else!

* * *


Lots of thinking, but no actual Words on the Page for George today — which is just about right for this stage in the proceedings.

* * *

Cat Porn:

Mozart is asleep in my the his rocking chair.

He’s snoring.

* * *


Originally published at Sharon Lee, Writer. You can comment here or there.
rolanni: (Caffeine molecule)
Death-march weekend. We can do this.

Yesterday, we had the rag and tag of the tropical storm through. Blew and rained like a sonofagun. I left for work on streets paved with the gold of downed pine needles, and stopped at the top of the hill to let the turkeys cross. About eighteen turkeys, going slow and orderly, like a class of third graders, a guard-turkey at the top of the line, off the side of the road to my right, and a rear-guard-turkey at the back of the line, off the side of the road to my left.

There were only four or five more left to cross, when one of the turkeys saw me, turned and bolted back the way they had come. And every other turkey, including the ones that were safely on the right-hand side of road, also ran back the way they had come, including the guard-turkey, last, as honor dictates.

Progress on Ghost Ship:

94219 / 100000 (94.22%)

Edited to add: Progress on Ghost Ship:
95022 / 100000 (95.02%)

That includes about 2500 words of new material. Haven't quite gotten all the red-pen changes entered, since two chapters are with Steve, being reworked.

Stopping because the words on the screen are too blurry to read. Tomorrow, I've got some writing to do, and the rest of the red-pens to enter.

Guess I'd better get up early.
rolanni: (Sorceress detail)
The crows have started their holiday partying early. From the sound and level of threats and name-calling going in the back woodlot, I'd say that they're already well into the third six-pack. Gonna be some serious hurtin' in the blue collar crow community, come Thursday.

Across the road, the chickens are in an uproar. Possibly, they don't approve of beer. Or crows. In any case, there's a serious amount of buck-Buck-BUCKING going on, interwoven with the catcalls and Indian yells out of the trees. Ziggy, the Basic Brown Dog employed to Watch the chickens has added his voice to the choir, so now we have something like: YOW-buckBuck-AHroooo-BUCK-YOW!

Might be able to do something with that...

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