Saturday, October 15, 2016

Roadtrip Day 456


Roadtrip Day 456
10/06 Thursday
Travel Corvallis to home. Home! Phew!
And with that, I’m gonna call this post the end of this trip. We are home and here for several months while I have surgery and rehab; so, this is the final post which could even possibly have a label of “Roadtrip”. It was great. Looking forward to another trip at some point.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Roadtrip Day 429 or Knee Surgery is Set


Roadtrip Day 429

9/09 Friday

In the time since my last post, I've created docs for each day but theres nothing significant to report. Just life at home.
So, Thursday evening we had a long visit with the ortho doc. He was running very late which certainly ramped up my nervousness. After a long discussion, we arrived at 11/11 for Dr. Anderson (called “Neo” - maybe “Knee-O”) to do both my knees. I now have a booklet and a list of things to do before 11/11.

Interesting tidbit. The doc said he generally likes to do both knees for people less than 65 but I’m healthy, fit, and motivated enough that I qualify. Joy.

So Ronnie and I will pop down to San Diego for the next coupla weeks, then come back home to do all the pre-op crapola before 11/11. Definitely a period for me to be religious about getting to the gym and getting my basic fitness and metabolism at the best possible level before surgery.

So it begins…

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Day 369 et sequitur Home Interlude

Today is Day 409 - 8/20. Summation of the recent past:

We met Chloe at the airport in Minneapolis and got her settled, crashing with friends. We then headed to Cherie and Steve's in Nebraska for a visit. Home from there. At home, we settled in for a short visit before loading a U-Haul trailer with Chloe's stuff to return to Minneapolis to help her get set up in the apartment she found in the interim. Hauled her stuff to Minneapolis and stayed with her in her new apartment for a few days. It's very nice. I like it a lot.





We left Chloe to her new life and headed down the freeway TRAILERLESS for a quick visit with Alex P. and saw her farm. Then fast driving back to Seattle. At home, it was an endless grunt of cleaning and deodorizing the basement rooms. Still at it but the bedroom is reclaimed and the big room ("family room" "video room") is close to being reclaimed.

We had thought we'd be unable to attend the LIFE is Good Unschooling Conference due to money and travelling but, because we're home, we decided to make it happen. So for the first weekend in September, we'll be in Portland, OR with so many friends.

Meanwhile, over the past few months my mobility has gotten progressively worse. It hurts to walk which obviously makes hiking difficult. I made an appointment with my primary doc (who is a gerontologist) and after a long discussion I took a referral to the orthopaedic surgeon. I see him on 9/8. Our plan was to housesit in San Diego for the last two weeks of September then continue being back on the road travelling. Now, it looks like I'll be scheduling knee-replacement surgery ASAP, hopefully in October. So instead of continuing back on the road, we'll housesit in San Diego then return home for surgery and the lengthy rehab period following.

I have not written anything for my second novel since being home and Ronnie has stalled on her editing pass of the first one. I'm ready to return to writing and with the enforced immobility of the rehab period, I hope to finish it by Christmas.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Roadtrip Day 368


Roadtrip Day 368

7/10 Sunday

Some pretty good rain last night but tapering off in the AM and gone by 10. We’re getting ready to take Chloe to crash with her friend until she gets her own apartment. Applications and searches in the works for that. We have late checkout in place here at the campground. We’ll get Chloe settled then come back here and pack ourselves up and get rolling by late afternoon. Chloe’s stuff now.

What a day. We’re at a Hampton Inn in Des Moines, Iowa for the night. Tomorrow we’ll cruise down the I-80 to Cherie’s.

Roadtrip Day 367


Roadtrip Day 367

7/9 Saturday

Ack! Terrible night. Ronnie and Chloe freaked out that maybe mosquitoes were getting in and stayed up forever in the middle of the night hunting them. I’m gonna need a big nap today. Sunny today without the cloudiness of yesterday. Probably gonna be hot. I need a Coke to get this day started. Coke with lemon pound cake. Yeah, that sounds like the palliative or even curative for me this particular bright morning.

Finished chapter 7 which I’ve tentatively titled “Dawn of the Living Dead” in honor of the legionaries’ nearly-alcohol-poisoned condition. It was a really fun chapter to write and I amused myself greatly. I don’t know how it’ll be received by readers but, like I said, it amused me tremendously. So there. Probably a little too “Three Stooges” in style and will mostly appeal to 12-year-old boys. But marathon puking is funny as hell, isn’t it?

The next chapter, chapter 8, is like a hands-on project for first-year Latin class – how to build a small ballista. Caveant draconi! I’ll hafta add some human interest to keep it from being simply a dull procedure of insert tab A into slot B. Well, the legionaries are pathetically hungover and the villagers are digging staked dragon pits under Flavius’ direction. Some potential for accidental carnage there.

Just took a break sitting in the screenroom having ice-cold lemonade-tea with Ronnie and Chloe. Cool and refreshing in the heat. While there, we watched a squirrel in a nearby tree (maybe 25 yards) busily going right to left and left to right, fighting or having sex or something. We eventually decided that she was moving a nest from the left to the right and picking up and carrying babies was all the extra strange motion we were seeing. Interesting.

Done with TLC:CtD for today. Gonna sit in the cool(er) screenroom and watch “The Avengers” on my laptop while Ronnie and Chloe run the streets accomplishing great things.

Avengers are done destroying New York and the shower called my name. Ahhhh! Better. Although it’s after 6 now and the day is cooling down. Some. Ronnie and Chloe are maybe on their way back or maybe going to look at Craigslist bikes if they get callbacks. I’ll see them in a while or a long while. I’m sitting contentedly damp under the trailer fan set on full power. I’m good.

Chloe came back to the trailer with a bicycle! She now has her own transpo in addition to shank’s mare. And public transit, of course. Tomorrow, we’ll drop her off to crash with a friend until she finds a lace of her own. She’s hoping for serious callback(s) Monday. And Monday she starts her new job in her new city. Pretty exciting. After we drop her, we’re hoping to make a hi-how-are-you visit to Alex Polikowsky and her gang. Never met them in real life. I’m excited to hear Alex’s accent. She’s a carioca – native of Brazil – now raising show cows in Minnesota. Go figure.

We’ll see how tomorrow goes. Bedtime now.

 

Roadtrip Day 366


Roadtrip Day 366

7/8 Friday

Good morning. Sunny and it’s gonna be hot. Gonna have some breakfast and then help Chloe get settled in her new city. W00t! 9am start after a late night. That’s businesslike.

Zipped around Minneapolis with Chloe. Saw one apartment. Seemed fine and not too far from her work. Phone tag with a coupla others. Drove around downtown sightseeing. Had lunch at Subway and got Chloe a new phone cuz her old one was broken to shit. Back at camp now for a little rest and more research and apartment paperwork filling out for Chloe. Lotta dark clouds all day but no actual rain yet. Made the temps very nice. Campground is filling up for the weekend.

Target trip for a coupla things for Chloe. Dinner now. BBQ chicken (skin-on, bone-in), mashed potatoes, and asparagus.

Oink! Chloe had a leg, Ronnie had a thigh, and I had half a breast. Chloe and I both even ate some asparagus despite the fact that they’re (shudder) green. I BBQd two of each of those things, so we have lots of leftovers. We did some damage to the mashed potatoes, however, and those green things are completely gone. (grin) Chocolate Twinkie for dessert finished me off. (Burp!) finishing up at 8:30 after a long day of apartment hunting, new phone, etc. Might be an early bedtime tonight. We talked about going to see the new “Independence Day” cuz I haven’t been to the movies in forever but bushed immobility trumped driving to the movies tonight.

Tomorrow brings day 2 of “Chloe in a new city.” What will that day bring, I wonder?

Friday, July 08, 2016

Roadtrip Day 365


Roadtrip Day 365

7/7 Thursday

Travel day and the anniversary of our departure – one year ago today. A year on the road – admittedly with a break for the Christmas holidays at home and I stayed there extra to do my kendo and iaido testing but Ronnie got right back on the road.

Breaking camp was mosquito brunch time. Damn! They feasted on us. But we finally got all our muddy, damp shit packed up and ready for the road. Cruised on down to our new digs outside of Minneapolis and set up in the HOT afternoon sun. Phew! After a little sit down in the shade, we went to the main building and put several loads of dirty clothes in the laundry. While they cooked, we hit the showers. Ahhhhh! Very nice. Refreshing. This is a well-set-up campground. With laundry done, we headed for some fast food (I hadn’t eaten anything all day and Ronnie had only had breakfast.) then a quick grocery trip. Back to the trailer and I took a pain pill and rested. Not just my knee but my whole left leg was really painful. Think I have a pinched nerve as well as basic bad knees.

 Better after a rest. Ronnie mad a hotspot and I did a quick online check – email and Facebook. And caught up on the news. If you don’t think the police are the enemy, then you’re rich and White or you’re stupid. When I tell people my procedure for reacting when stopped by the police, they scoff at how extravagantly silly I am but even as an old, apparently well-to-do White man, I don’t give those fuckers an opportunity/excuse to say I was “threatening.” Waaaaay back in the 60s, police apologists would say, “Well, if you don’t like the police, next time you’re in trouble, call a hippie.” Ya know, I suspect a hippie might at least try to help me rather than shoot me down like a rabid dog for no fucking reason. ‘nuff said on that.

Leaving to get Chloe from the airport soon! So exciting!

Got her! It’s late. A little snack, a little chat, and sleep.

Roadtrip Day 364


Roadtrip Day 364

7/6 Wednesday

The storm ended as predicted last night but it was a good one while it lasted. It’s supposed to hit 85 today. Not so bad yet at 11:30. We’re running Genny so I have power now. I ran down to nothing last night writing a morning-after hangover scene. I amused myself greatly doing that. Today is sunny and fresh and it may yet get to 85. Who knows?

Spent much of the day writing. I have amused myself mightily with the tale of the hungover legionaries trying to pull themselves together for predawn assembly. Poor bastards. Hahahaha!

Working toward evening now. I’m very happy with the “hungover legionaries” chapter. That’s a successful day of writing when you laugh at your own stuff! Time to read and relax. Moving tomorrow.

Roadtrip Day 363


Roadtrip Day 363

7/5 Tuesday

Surprisingly quiet night after the fireworks show. Pleasant greyish morning. Not hot. Yet. It was buggy (mosquitoes) when we set up so we made sure to attach the screenroom. Really nice to have that available to use and as an airlock between bugs and the interior of the trailer. We’re supposed to get some rain today so the screenroom is also nice for that. We can sit outside and enjoy the freshness even while it’s raining. If it does. Might not.

We are at the Highland Ridge Campground in the Eau Galle Recreation Area, WI and we’ll stay here until the morning of the 7th. Then, we’ll break camp and move to the campground Ronnie reserved for us near Minneapolis. We’ll pick Chloe up from the airport later that evening around midnight.

I finished reading Matt’s new (self-published) book “Quantum Lock.” It’s the first in a planned series of sf novels set in a post-dystopian world. I wish him great luck with it. I’m always happy to see new sf books.

Speaking of self-publishing, I guess I should put some time in on TLC:CtD. I can’t make progress on it if I don’t add any words to the doc. A million monkeys at typewriters to equal Shakespeare, this lone monkey at his laptop to crank out a pedestrian sword-and-sandal action novel. So this little monkey should stop jumping on the bed (metaphorically, of course) and start pounding on the keyboard.

Shaka-laka-J!

I have no idea what it means but the girls (our two little monkeys) used to say that when they’d jump on the open sofabed. It seemed to embody the qualities of satisfaction and completion and happiness, so once more unto the text-creating trenches, dear friends! And shaka-laka-J, motherfuckers!

The possibility of rain has become a severe storm warning. Well, ok, then. Constant, rumbly thunder all around. Nasty, yellow light. Drizzle has started and the camp host went around saying that the showerhouse is the official storm shelter. We’re close, if it comes to that. Drizzle is getting to be more than a drizzle now. Another exciting weather even brought to you by the latter half of our roadtrip. Big, specific thunder and hard rain now coming from a green sky. This is not the fabled green flash of a perfect tropical sunset, rather it is the ominous green of the Angle of Death from the movie “10 Commandments.” Well, ok, not quite that green but still nasty looking. Heavy rain and simultaneous lightning and thunder. Party on! Supposed to diminish/end by midnight. We’ll see.

Roadtrip Day 362


Roadtrip Day 362

7/4 Monday

Travel day. Woke early to get packed and get on the road. Did all that efficiently and made it to Madison by 11 in order to visit Jocelyn and Martin. It was so nice to see them one-on-one rather than in the hurly-burly of a conference. They took us to lunch at a delightful and delicious Vietnamese-Thai place. Yum! Hadn’t had Thai in a LONG time. After lunch we just sat at their house and had a lovely chat accompanied by a freshly-made tart. Burp! It was wonderful to visit with them and we hated to leave but we still had a lotta miles to go to get to our reserved campsite.

Bye! Thanks! Hope to do it again soon. Fabulous people.

Drifted into the campground around 7pm. Got set up. Warmed up the leftover yellow curry from lunch for a quick and easy (and tasty!) dinner. I had a long, hot shower; that was swell. Listened to what sounded like a 75mm mortar attack which was a fireworks show at the nearby dam. It stopped at a reasonable time and we crashed into a delightfully quiet night.

Roadtrip Day 361


Roadtrip Day 361

7/3 Sunday

Up before 9:00! I am soooo amazing. (grin) Pleasant morning to start with whole-milk chocolate milk and an apple Danish. Did some reading and some writing and a little Facebook surfing. Now it’s time for a nap cuz I didn’t sleep well and I’m fuzzy tired.

A little chocolate milk refreshment to wake up and start thinking about dinner. Very quiet here. Seems like everybody’s at the lake.

Time to do dinner and settle for the evening. Travelling tomorrow. Median stop in Madison, WI (yet another state that starts with “I”) to see Jocelyn and her gang. Then on to Highland Ridge Campground (still in WI) for the next three nights. Finally, on the 7th, we transition to the campground near Minneapolis and pick up Chloe at the airport near midnight that night so she can stay with us while she gets set up with crashing with friends or whatever she’ll be doing until she finds her own place.

I’m still tired from last night’s bad sleep so I’m gonna crash early. Nighty-night.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Roadtrip Day 360


Roadtrip Day 360
7/2 Saturday
Up by 8:30 today. Still a little grey but the sun is trying to dominate. Campground is pretty full for this all-American holiday. Raspberry Danish with P.G. Tips tea (lemon and sugar) to start me up.
Coupla days added to the blog and a cruise around Facebook. Bought a copy of Matt Frazier’s book for the kindle. “Quantum Lock.” Gonna read it this weekend. Getting on toward lunch now. Gonna scrounge something and start reading. Maybe sitting in the screenroom. It’s a lovely day.
Surprise socialization this afternoon. Denise, Brice, and the boys decided to come look at Laura and Rob’s property here which is for sale. So, we met here in the campground then went on over to the big resort to check out the facilities and look at the actual lot. After a while, we returned to the campground while they continued to check out the place. A while later, they stopped by to tell us that they were definitely gonna buy it and they were returning to the lake to go out on the realtor’s party barge. Who’d’a thunk it?
Amazing! Ya never know what the day will bring.
Feels like a day for BBQ chicken breasts with bones and skin. Corn on the cob and pasta to go with. Still got strawberries and angelfood cake for after. All-American food! Fuck yeah!
Yiss! Ronnie and I typically like boneless-skinless chicken breasts but were apparently on the same wavelength for this meal. I seasoned those bone-in-skin-on breasts heavily and seared both sides, then let them slow cook on the BBQ. Man! They were good. We both devoured the crispy skin. Now I’m recuperating with my bowl of delicious anglefood cake and sugared strawberries. Burp!
Sigh. The large, loud group nearby is now drunk and very loud and playing fucking country music. Ya know what’s worse than country music?
NOTHING!
Well, ok, maybe Donald Trump. Or NAZIs. NAZIs are always worse no matter what you’re talking about. And libertarians – the absolute worst! Maybe some other stuff. But not much. Not very fucking much is worse than fucking country music and loud drunks with whiny fucking penetrating voices.
And fireworks.
But it’s mostly a nice night and dinner is sitting lovingly in mah bellie. So I’m gonna get some sleep. See ya tomorrow.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Roadtrip Day 359


Roadtrip Day 359

7/1 Friday

Welcome to July. How time flies. The rainshower last night lasted a while but the morning dawned clear and sunny. Well, I assume that was the case cuz I just got up and it’s after 10. (Aside: Ronnie informs me that the morning was actually cloudy and chilly. See. Why wake up early?) Time for a little July breakfast and mental preparation for the onslaught of additional campers here. Two families arrived yesterday evening, obviously together, and took the two campsites near us. Party hearty for the Fourth. Allow me to complain a bit.

First thing was the man and woman yelling to each other to get their Class C settled. Not angry, just loud. He was merely loud but she was loud and strident. Nasty, piercing voice. Cut right through to the old brainstem. They finally got set up but she continued to talk. And talk. And talk. Still talking. Loudly and piercingly. The second thing they did was unload a half a cord of firewood. No shit. Half a cord. Maybe they’re staying for a week. Or so. And, inevitably, they built a fire right away. 80 degrees but they needed a fire. Guess which way the smoke went? A while later when their friends arrived in a large popup, there was more loud assistance to get them set up. Then continuing party mode into the rain and deep into the night under their awning(s) in the rain. At least the rain put their fire out.

Oh well, it is the Fourth. It’s a big party weekend. But even with all the people in the dual group chatting, her voice cuts through like a katana through a Buddhist monk’s kesa. Sigh. I have music and movies and headphones. And a car to go to the lake or whatever. I will Gloria Gaynor this.

And did I mention that it’s a lovely day? Now. (grin)

I wrote a good bit the last coupla days and I think I need a day of not writing. Well, I did a little writing work but it was for the “teaser” for book 3 not work directly on CtD. Time to scrounge some lunch.

And a quick grocery trip for ice and necessities, like cookies and hard lemon candies. Found some fish fillets that look ok, so I think dinner will be those pan fried in butter, with some lemon, green onion, garlic powder, and Tony’s, with rice, and steamed green beans. That sounds ok, especially since I sugared some strawberries when we got back from the grocery and those are settling, waiting to be served over angelfood cake after dinner. Having a little California cabernet we found on our grocery trip to ease into dinnertime. It’s young but reasonably tasty. And it was CHEAP! A sought-after quality in our wine selections.

Of course cabernet sauvignon goes with delicate white fish. We’re not Philistines. Not complete Philistines. Maybe kinda Philistineish. Philistine-light?

Ok, fine. Go ahead and judge me. Maybe we’ll just finish the fucking cab then have something you approve of with the fucking fish. And maybe I’ll have some of my fucking delicious port after dinner. Maybe with the fucking strawberries and angelfood cake. What are you eating, anyway? And you’re having which wine with that?

Drunk and full. Like the Kapitanlieutenant says in “Das Boot” – “I am too drunk to fuck.” Goodnight.

Roadtrip Day 358


Roadtrip Day 358

6/30 Thursday

A lovely night and another excellent day. After a decent night’s sleep, I woke at the crack of 9. Wow! What a mensch.

A quick cruise on Facebook and now I #amwriting. Don’t bother me. (grin)

Took a break after lunch and went to the lake. Sat at the beach and communed with my navel. It had nothing to tell me. Also cruised past Laura and Rob’s lot in the development. I think we saw the right one. (grin) Possibility of a rainshower tonight.

Yep, there it is. A nice-smelling rainshower. Guess we’ll sit inside and have dinner. And listen to the rain and the piercingly-loud neighbor woman camper.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Roadtrip Day 357


Roadtrip Day 357

6/29 Wednesday

Kinda caught up on my sleep last night. Feeling almost human this morning. Roused around 10 and we got the screenroom set up on the door side of the popup. Very nice addition under the awning. With that chore done, I’m sitting here with a delicious glass of cold Ovaltine and contemplating a quiet, lazy day. With electricity available, that might include movies on my laptop, some connectivity through Ronnie’s hotspot, a nap (or two)… like that. Lazy day. Cool enough last night that covers were very enjoyable and not supposed to get very hot today. Lovely.

If I feel energetic later, there are some organization chores that need to be done for the camper and the car. Maybe tomorrow, huh? Might have the energy to BBQ some ribs tonight. We bought some the other day that look pretty tasty. Mashed potatoes sound pretty good, too. Hmmm, guess I might be hungry. Let’s see what I have to go with this Ovaltine.

More later.

Ok, so I’ve been working on TLC:CtD some but only on peripheral stuff, not actually writing narrative. While doing so, I got sucked into a next-book mentality, so I switched my brain from working purely on CtD (#2) to what might come next. I think I’ve firmed up a concept for #3, although nothing on specific structure or plot. I have, however, absolutely decided to include in that one a small homage to my favorite Asian fantasy of all time – “Bridge of Birds”. I’m absolutely delighted to have stumbled onto the idea of doing that. Makes me very happy and it motivates me to work on (and FINISH) CtD. I’ve also spent some time on the “About the author” page(s) and, most significantly, the photos for that. I mean, what’s important for my novels, after all? MY EGO PAGE!

I’ve decided that I do enjoy this process overall (despite specific frustrations and intimidations), enough so that I’m motivated to continue creating new adventures for the Furies even if I never make a dime and people roundly condemn the material as unreadable crap.

And with UNLIMITED POWER (Robin Williams genie style) I’m listening to LOUD music (headphones, of course) while I novelize. Aw, yiss! Got some blues going right now. Now that is how you get motivated to write.

Dragon Huntin’ Blues

By Flavius and His Famous Furies, from their album “Lost!”

(Key of B-motherfucking-Flat, of course)

Got up before dawn.

Put my armor on.

There’s some dragons to fight.

Hope I come out alright.

Muthafuckahs are big

But I don’t give a fig.

Load ballistae with darts.

Hit them in their hearts.

CHORUS (walkin’ bass style)

            Gods, I got dem dragon-huntin’ blues.

            They chase me without fail.

            Trooper, have you paid your dues?

            Yessir, the check is in the mail.

RIDE

Got my sword from Spain.

Gonna stick ‘em in the brain.

To make sure they’re dead,

We’ll cut off the head.

My necklace gets a claw;

Make people jump back in awe.

Add to that a tooth

And they’ll know it’s the truth.

CHORUS

 

Ha! Might turn this into a finished product sometime. (grin) I’ll let ‘em use it for the movie. (wink)

Yeah, anyway… Some writing work, some napping (Ronnie is down right now.), a movie pretty soon, I think. That’s the way to have a recuperation day. Beautiful afternoon here.

Dinner was as planned. BBQ ribs, mashed potatoes, and broccoli. Made up a BBQ marinade/sauce from stuff we had on hand – EVOO, balsamic vinegar, lemon, honey, white sugar, garlic powder, Tony’s, and hot sauce. Hot, sweet, and sour. Not bad for throw-together. Tasty. All of it.

Long, hot shower and it just might be bedtime. (9:30) Still catching up on my weariness, I think. Later!

Roadtrip Day 356


Roadtrip Day 356

6/28 Tuesday

Travel day. We got up early, broke camp, and hit the road – destination undecided. Enroute, Ronnie talked to Laura Endres who offered us a possible spot at the campground of a private lake club they belong to. As the day developed, so did that plan. Laura called in a guest pass for us to use the campground if there was space available and we put on our driving faces for a long day.

Long driving day and I wasn’t feeling too fabulous to begin with. But we grunted it out and made it to Lake Summerset in Illinois so far North as to be almost in Wisconsin.

Thanks, Laura and Rob.

We minimally opened the camper, lethargically ate some tuna salad that was in the fridge and I crashed. Because this campground has electrical hookups, Ronnie stayed up, enjoying the connectivity. I dunno when she came to bed.

More alive tomorrow and several days here to rest up for our final run to Minneapolis.

Roadtrip Day 355


Roadtrip Day 355

6/27 Monday

Welcome to Monday. We were talking about moving today, either to a campsite deeper in the campground here, near the rear of it, or getting down the road farther West and/or North. For the whole weekend, the campsite across from us has contained three huge tents, and a half-dozen cars, plus one boat, of an obvious family reunion. They stayed last night and that was part of our motivation to skedaddle. However, in the early pre-dawn/peri-dawn, there was a surprise rain shower. They got up and went home. Hooray! I slept in until 10 after that and now the rain has mostly stopped, although it’s still overcast and cooler, and neither of us now feels as motivated to move. At all.

On writing. With the research I did, I was thinking I should move this story to Chengdu/Chengtu, China instead of the Indian subcontinent where I was envisioning it. That was frustrating when I thought about the rewriting I’d hafta do and all the peripheral stuff it entailed. Today, I’ve decided to leave this story on the Indian subcontinent (exact location TBD) and save Chengdu for the next one. Yes, I’m contemplating Book Three although I have no fucking idea what the relevant conundrum will be for da boyz for that one; but that problem is a long way in the future. Sticking with the Indian subcontinent will work fine. That puts them on the Southern subroute of the Silk Road which is good. I would have been unhappy and I don’t think they would have survived the “main” Northern Route. Anyway, maybe I’ll do a little more research to choose a more-precise spot for this novel and get back to writing.

Coming on toward midday and the sun is out. Now it’s possible that we might hit the predicted 90 for today. The morning grey was delightfully cool. That’s over.

Ronnie and I both loved the tuna salad we had the other day – a perfect lunch in these conditions. So we had tuna salad for lunch today. And it was good. Especially with an ice-cold Coke to wash it down. Ahhh! Now as we’re moving into the sunny afternoon, Ronnie strung the sunshower up on a tree branch in the partial shade. It’s useful that way to cool off with instead of having it heat in the sun to give us hot showers.

Moving tomorrow. Gonna get some sleep.

Roadtrip Day 354


Roadtrip Day 354

6/26 Sunday

Happy Sunday. Beautiful sunny morning. Kinda warm so I think it’s a cold Ovaltine day.

Sigh! Time for a moment of painful honesty. I spent a lotta effort and time working out my plot and structure for TLC:CtD. I was writing some of the narrative I felt pretty good about while I was working out those details; so I have a coupla chapters worth of writing done. HOWEVER, I recently used the wifi I had to do some research about some things important to the story. As a result, I think I hafta rewrite much of what I already wrote. And that’s depressing. Grump.

Yesterday and today are officially “avoiding writing” days. Maybe tomorrow, too. I need to restart that motor and I’m not in the mood to do that right now. It’s supposed to get hot today, so we might just go sit by/in the lake instead of doing anything else. A week and a half until we meet Chloe in Minneapolis. (N.B., I did not type “Milwaukee” by mistake! Maybe I’m catching on.)

We took a ride in the early afternoon heat to check out the nearby state campground. Wow Charmless, mostly treeless, parking-lot looking sites and over $20/night compared to our $5 for a pleasant, woodsy site. Ha! I love my federal, non-privatized campgrounds.

Running the genny now to charge things and to run our fan full power the whole time. Fan is good. It’s gonna be a hot one.

Speaking of hot, lemme digress here a bit for a camping confession.

I dislike fires.

I love camping, being in the woods, mountains, beach, whatever. I even used to like backpacking before my knees got to the point where carrying a 50# pack uphill for miles was simply no longer on the agenda. I love sitting around in the evening, chatting with friends as the stars come out and wheel above our flighty heads. But I don’t really like to do it around a campfire. The smoke is choking. The heat is uneven, assuming heat is a desirable thing. Often, it isn’t. It’s mid-80s here in the early afternoon and our neighbors have a big fire going. Blech. Even when it’s desirable, it’s awfully uneven. Ya gotta do the personal barbecue roll, charring one side while freezing the other.

Given that I’m not backpacking any longer, if I had to have a stand-alone heat/light source to gather around and roast marshmallows and s’mores, I’d get one of those little propane firepits. My Seattle band guys do this boys’ weekend thing in the Fall over in Eastern WA every year. One of the guys has one of those firepits and it’s delightful. Ya still gotta do the personal barbecue roll but there’s just a nice EVEN heat and consistently good marshmallow melting conditions. AND NO SMOKE. And if I wanna roast weenies or whatever, I can do it on the gas BBQ attached to the trailer and fed by the trailer’s tank.

Anyway, that’s me on campfires. I put a gaslog in our fireplace, too. (Thanks, Poppa Tom! Couldn’t have done it without you.) Quick, easy, no firewood, no smoke, no cleanup, still useable when a burning ban is on – the perfect fireplace fire. I love my gaslog.

Got a good charge on my laptop and my 2:30 report is – Yep. It’s hot. Still hot. Getting hotter.

We spent the afternoon sitting in the shade and splashing ourselves with water while brainstorming our travel possibilities to get to Minneapolis for the 7th. Never did get to a firm decision. We’ll think about it more tomorrow. Heat has faded with the lowering sun and it’s time for dinner. Sauteed green beans, steamed rice, and thin strips of top sirloin quickly seared on the gas BBQ. Buncha hot sauce on mine. (grin) And that would be Mahatma brand rice, my New Orleans childhood favorite. (another grin) But I’m cooking it steamed style rather than old New Orleans style like my momma taught me. When we’re back home, I’ll get some pickle meat delivered to me from cajungrocer.com or similar and make some genuine red beans and rice and cook the rice my momma’s way.

But dinner was good. Time to settle down and read just a bit, then bedtime. Later, gators.

 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Roadtrip Day 353


Roadtrip Day 353

6/25 Saturday

Yes! Little bit of road noise, coupla random dog barks, but generally a cool, quiet night and I slept WELL. Hooray!

Today we kinda returned to our “basic” mode: Morning hike followed by lunch. From this campground there’s a trail down to the lake. It’s about a mile and a quarter each way then there’s a loop trail around the lake. Primitive trail. Deep woods. Very pretty. Pleasant hike. Now we’re back in camp and it’s time to run Genny to get power for all the electronics and have some lunch – round two of smoked oysters and Cheetos. Mmmmm. Breakfast was a Little Debbie “Fancy Cake”, frosted, crème filled white cake squares. Another, mmmmm.

Ok, we’ll make a real grocery trip today.

In terms of writing, I used last night’s power and hotspot to do a bunch of research about several important things for TLC:CtD: theropod feathers, the Silk Road/Route in the first century B.C., opium use in ancient times, Chengdu (China) at that time, earthquake activity around there, etc. Good chunk of necessary research for some verisimilitude in my story. Did you know that the dynastic Egyptians credited Thoth with the “creation” of opium? Praise Thoth!

Milestone! Ronnie says that a year ago today was her last full day at work! Hooray!

MJ just told us that she sent in the car tab renewal for the van. Phew! Glad we’ll be back next month. I can stick those on and we’re good for another year!

 

Roadtrip Day 352


Roadtrip Day 352

6/24 Friday

Ok, that’s enough of that. We did not get the predicted T-storms coming on morning. It’s very nice… but those fucking dogs…

We’re moving today. Gonna slurp down a quick breakfast, pack up, and take Horace Greely’s advice. More when we get resettled.

Ok. A nice, sunny drive for a few hours. One little, short rainstorm but that was all for the rain. I can no longer even pretend we’re on the East coast. We have moved to that great blank spot on the map in the middle of the US that starts with “I”, specifically for us right now, Ohio. Buck Oak Cove, Wayne National Forest, near Glouster, Ohio. $5/night. Eat my shorts, privatization.

We got set up in the pleasant sunshine. Caught our breath a bit. A good bit. Finally, about 8pm we decided we needed to run to the grocery for, at least, a quick-and-dirty dinner, if not a full trip. We’d need a full trip tomorrow but neither of us had the energy to face that today. So we zoomed to a Krogers about 10 minutes down the highway from our campground figuring we’d hit their deli department and do a rotisserie chicken plus whatever. Keep on figuring, Cajun boy! No deli section at this Krogers.

Ha! Fallback to one of the first things Ronnie and I bonded over – small, canned smoked oysters and Cheetos. Mmmmmm! That’s a fine meal. And great memories. Real groceries tomorrow after we have an actual night’s sleep. I HOPE! Seems quiet here. Pleasantly cool as the sun goes down. Crossed fingers.

Parenthetical road story about food. I don’t usually eat at McDonald’s. We stop there when we need fast food, cheap fast food, while we’re rolling on the road. Because I don’t have a lotta experience there, I kinda just though that the nasty, tiny, not-very-good fish sandwich was as cheap as the little hamburgers; so when I just can’t stand a hamburger, I order the fish sandwich. Last time we stopped at McDonald’s, we actually went inside and I noticed the prices on the menu.

Fuck the whore of Babylon! That thing is, like, almost $5, not less than $2. I started to order one, then noticed the price, and changed my mind to a cheeseburger. I began complaining loudly to Ronnie. She laughed at me and asked if I truly had never noticed that the fish was more than the basic burgers.

No, I hadn’t! Honest. I argued that I could get a spicy chicken sandwich at Wendy’s for about the same amount, and that chicken sandwich is a nice piece of chicken breast and it’s tasty, quite unlike the McDonald’s fishwich which tastes like a coupla Catholic grammar school fishsticks on a bun. Ick!

That was good for a laugh and the absolute last time I’ll ever order a fucking fishwich.

Cheetos and smoked oysters, however, retain their exalted place in the firmament of tasty food pairings. Pretty cheap, too. I’m going to bed happy.

Goodnight.

 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Roadtrip Day 351


Roadtrip Day 351

6/23 Thursday

Weather report said rain after midnight. Yep, they were right. Pretty significant T-storms in the deep of the night and into the morning. Still dark and rainy this morning, although not at T-stormy level. Allow me to catalog the other negatives about this campground.

It’s not very far off the highway on a steep grade. Trucks grunt and roar uphill and lean on their compression brake downhill. All night long. That alone would be survivable but then ya add in the dogs. Somebody or somebodies down the hill has a thousand dogs (approximate estimate) and they bark randomly, but fairly constantly, all around the clock. Combine that with the trucks, the thunder and lightning, and the nearby couple screaming fuck-youish comments at each other in the middle of the night and it makes for a less-than-perfect night’s sleep.

Might be a nap day. I’m already excited to move on Sunday.

So, with unlimited power and a plot, structure, and outline to fit my characters into for TLC:CtD, I’m gonna try to put in some focused writing time today. I’m also in the mood to watch a movie. We have several old favorites with us and I haven’t seen a movie in a long time. That’d be a nice two-hour break from Roman legionaries fighting dragons (theropods) in the first century B.C.

Ok, one other benefit of shorepower is that I can play music while I write without running my laptop down before I crank out only 500 words or so. (Remember, I’m a slow writer.) Unlimited music, unlimited writing time. Excellent. I really like to listen to music while I write. It helps my flow immensely. Today (and probably for the next several days) I’m writing about the legionaries’ leisure adventures, having a night on the town after their disastrous first encounter with the dragons. They certainly already know how to enjoy sex and alcohol but they are about to be introduced to opium. Chasing the Dragon, indeed.

Wrote about 1500 words. Time for a break. Gotta choose a good movie and give my brain something else to think about for a bit. Music was good to tune out the various noises here. Movie’ll do the same.

We decided omelettes were the perfect dinner for this inelegant grey, rainy day, warm, yummy, filling, and easy. More T-storms scheduled into the night then a late night break until they recommence at 5am. Swell.

Time for that movie now. Something FUN. With no rain in it. Lemme think…

Galaxy Quest! Yeah, that’s it. Widely acknowledged as the best Star Trek movie ever made. (grin) In honor of (the new) Chekov. Ach!, Pavel, we hardly knew ye. RIP, Anton Yelchin.

Good decision, Frank. That movie is just so perfect. Ah, I’m happy now. And on that note, it’s time to brush my snags, as my mother used to say, and hit the sack. Goodnight, West Virginia. Goodnight, trucks. Goodnight, dogs. Goodnight, T-storms. Goodnight, occasional trains. Did I forget to mention the trains? Well, yeah. trains, too. I can’t really sleep with earplugs; but I’m not gonna get great sleep without ‘em. What’s a boy to do? I’m really tired from last night’s terrible lack of sleep. Maybe I’ll zonk despite all the disturbances. Maybe. I hope you have a good one, anyway.

Roadtrip Day 350


Roadtrip Day 350

6/22 Wednesday

Partly cloudy. No chance of meatballs. Or Zeros sporting “meatballs”. Or Corsairs chasing them, for that matter. WWII is long over and we toured the air museum quite a while back. Not here. After a quick breakfast, we’re gonna run down to the store so Ronnie can get online and check camping availability at a coupla places. Time to move and maybe settle in one place until it’s time to sprint for Minneapolis to pick up Chloe at the airport there and camp a few days with her as she gets ready to start her new job there.

Then we stop at Cherie’s to visit for a few days and drop the trailer there then sprint to a visit at home for a coupla weeks then get all Chloe’s stuff into a U-Haul and drag it to her in her (HOPEFULLY!) new apartment for August then back to Cherie’s to grab the trailer.

Sounds tiring. But it’ll be good. Haven’t seen Cherie in years and it’ll be wonderful to see the kids. And maybe I can play some music and do kendo and iaido at my home dojo.

Moved to the West side of this mountain range, still in West Virginia. Stuart Campground. We have electrical shorepower here and we’re reasonably close to the town of Elkin. We also have cell signal here so people can reach us if they need to and Ronnie can create a hotspot for both of us to get online. This park has showers which I haven’t tried yet but the toilet, despite being a pit toilet, was sparkling clean and did not smell. At all. Amazing. The entire campground is very well maintained. But allow me to grump.

My old-guy “passport” theoretically allows me to get into Federal areas – parks, forests, sites, etc. – for free and gets me half off for camping. HOWEVER, now that they’ve privatized the campgrounds, I found out here that my “half-off” does NOT include electricity service. So from the usual price of $30/night, my fee should mathematically have been $15. Ha! It’s $19 because “electricity is not included in the half off.”

BLOW ME!

Privatization is the scourge of the modern love affair with libertarian/Austrian economics. It’s such bullshit. Fucks up everything it touches.

Sigh! Anyway, here we are, a bit farther West. At these prices, we’ll only stay here through the weekend. Then we’ll ease even farther West in anticipation of our sprint to Minneapolis, which I continue to call Milwaukee for some unknown reason.

Spent most of the afternoon evening online. Some of it on social media but also did a lotta research for TLC:CtD. Gotta make my “dragons” somewhat realistic, after all. I absolutely love that modern paleontology had discovered that many (most? all?) theropods were feathered. OMG!, the possibilities.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Roadtrip Day 349


Roadtrip Day 349

6/21 Tuesday

Wow! Significant T-storm in the night. We started the evening with several neighbors. By morning, only 1 campsite was still inhabited; the others packed up and ran away in the dark to more weather-independent accommodations. Rain has stopped and the sun is breaking out as we pass 9:00am and run Genny so I can use this thing cuz I ran it down to nothing last night.

It was quite an amusing T-storm. It had been warmer last night than the night before and we were mostly sleeping without covers. Then there were distant rumbles. Then pattering on the hard central roof and soft tent roof over our bed. Then the intensity of the T-storm and the coolth that came with it. Poor family in the campsite opposite us had several kids in tents and they’re one of the ones who packed all that stuff and left during the pounding storm. The rednecks were mostly sleeping in hammocks, so they went the way of the dodo and the cave bear. Only the techno-pop boys remained after dawn.

I am constantly amazed by the integrity of our little dozen-year-old popup trailer. We have weathered some terrible storms with never a leak. We stay dry and cozy in our bed. There’s one line of a 3-line gratitude post. While it rages outside, I can have a cold drink from the fridge or a hot drink from the stove and sit at the dinette for a while, watching the forest revealed in lightning strobes. Then back to our cozy bed and the soft web of my dreams.

Now that I’m awake and have breakfast in me and power to this laptop, I should probably do some writing. Getting all that plotting/organizing/structure to a reasonably complete place yesterday was a big milestone and a strong step past a large stumbling block to my progress on “The Lost Century: Chasing the Dragon”. Let the wild hunt begin.

Ah, but who’s hunting whom? To paraphrase Indy - Therapods. Why did it hafta be therapods?

Honestly, pushing through all that organizational stuff yesterday was intellectually/emotionally tiring. I might make today a writing holiday, maybe just fool around with some random bits and pieces rather than trying to stream pure temporal narrative from my last stopping point. I’ll see how it goes.

Thinking about dinosaurs as I look out our windows, the forest seems Cretaceous to me. The rain reduces visibility and the middle distance fades to grey. The forest is lushly and deeply green with enough low, feathery plants that I can imagine them as members of the fern family. A fine Cretaceous forest waiting only for a normal population of dinosaurs. I see none. Guess I’ll hafta write my own. Or keep looking? The small rustlings I sometimes hear could be ornitholestes sneaking about on their nefarious business. Could be.

Real-world note: I hate “right-height” toilets. They’re only the right height for transferring from a wheelchair to the toilet seat. In all other respects they are completely unergonomic for taking a shit. Anyway, lunch break now. I’ve spent the morning reviewing what I did yesterday, added a little tweaking, and am at the point where I could actually start writing from where I left off, which would be chapter 4 - the afternoon after the legionaries’ first encounter with the therapods when they’re back in the village, licking their wounds, and trying to formulate a plan to kill the “dragons” without getting killed themselves.

Lunch first. After I finish chapter 4, I only have 19, plus an epilogue, to go. Sigh!

Well, at least I can use the hashtag #amwriting. Cranked out almost two thousand words for chapter 4. Progress. Now, I think I’m done for the day. Might be time for a shower. A hot shower in the actual shower, not just me standing out in the rain. I only do that between 30 degrees North and 30 degrees South when the rain is as warm as the air and water, a nice 85^3. That looks funny. I’ll write it out. Eighty-five degrees cubed. Better.

Ya know, I could write a campground report based on showers. The one here is one of those deals where ya gotta push a button every 15~20 seconds to get more water. That’s a pretty big PITA; but at least the water does get decently hot, after 5 or 6 initial button pushes resulting in cold water. But we’ve had some with nice tile, ordinary handles for user control of temperature and HOT water available. I was talking about stuff I missed from home recently. I do like my two showerheads, on the front and rear walls, and jetted tub. Lotsa bathing options. I love tubbie-showers.

We ran to the little store nearby. We got ice cream and ice and wifi. Ronnie used it to check for desperate messages. Maybe tomorrow, we’ll take our laptops and take advantage. No cell signal but wifi. Interesting.

Butter pecan ice cream from the store with our own caramel sauce at 6 pm was tasty. Who needs dinner?

Last time I was online, I grabbed a random police/murder novel from the berry called “Career of Evil.” It was less than mediocre. Author is Robert Galbraith. Turns out that’s a nom de plume for J. K. Rowling. Interesting. I don’t really like her writing as herself in the Hairy Potato series and I disliked her writing as Robert Galbraith. Seems like I just don’t especially like her writing style in general.

Ok, a little reading time now. After we digest our ice cream, maybe we’ll think about dinner. My new read is called “Matterhorn” a Vietnam War novel by a Marine veteran. A far cry from an unlikable British detective. I hope it’s far to the side of “readable” rather than “unreadable.”

Quick, small late supper and bedtime. Wonder what tonight will bring.

Roadtrip Day 348


Roadtrip Day 348

6/20 Monday

Lovely cool-but-not-cold night and a quiet, sunny morning. Pretty much the only sound I hear is the occasional woodpecker. Unless it’s the Predator from the eponymous movie. Could be either.

Getting warm as we approach midday. The only sound I hear now is Genny. We’ll have an hour of that, then return to natural quiet. I’ve been using my laptop charge pretty consistently, working on TLC:CtD. I’m close to having a complete outline, which is the thing that’ll really let me flow when it’s done, and I’ve written some narrative for the story itself, covering the initial action. Compared to TLC, I’ve added two “new” legionaries as Pyramid and River have both come out of their comas which they’d been in for TLC. I’ve added a caravan of traders on the Silk Route and a translator associated with them to help our legionaries actually communicate with the locals. Speaking of the locals, there’s a village full of people, of whom I’ll introduce a couple. And, of course, the antagonists – the therapod dinosaurs, aka dragons. There’ll be a coupla peripheral sauropod species, too, just for verisimilitude.

In this book, our heroes begin their story in media res confronting the dragons from the first words of the first chapter. Then a little flashback to tell how they got involved. The next several chapters will be them figuring out how to deal with a significantly aggressive, intelligent, and flat-out deadly foe. However, in genuine horror movie fashion, I’m saving the true “monster” for the third act. They haven’t seen their ultimate antagonist yet. Bwahahaha!

Our redneck neighbors were surprisingly quiet last night and this morning. Hooray for them. Wish my knees were not as worn as they are. The climbing at Seneca Rocks looks really fun. Maybe tomorrow we’ll hike up to the “base camp” and see who’s out on the rock. Looks like a pretty good hike to there from the ranger station. Lotta switchbacks shown on the trail map. When we were at the station yesterday, we could see a coupla people at the base of the rocks, getting ready for an ascent. There’s a small, fixed telescope there for viewing climbers.

Three youngish dudes have moved into the campsite on the other side of us. I guess we’re like humanity magnets. At least these guys don’t have thick accents and they’re playing techno-pop rather than country. Small mercies.

I love/need electrical power for our various devices but I sure do like the quiet when Genny shuts down. Full charge on everything now and I can work on that damned plot/structure while I have a little lunch. It’s much less easy, comfortable, intuitive than TLC’s plot/structure was to create. But I’m getting there. A bit more fiddling around and I think I’ll have a complete enough structure to look at and say yes to this, no to that, move this, etc. Once I’m there it’ll just be writing. I’m working on getting there.

YES! Huge milestone. I have finally organized TLC:CtD with a complete outline and plot. Planning to run 23 chapters plus an epilogue. Time to settle down and just write.

But first: resting now that I have that done. Laptop battery is down to “Hey, asshole! Shut me down OR ELSE!”

Ronnie was still in a pasta mood so we had spaghetti and (red) meat sauce for dinner with a small green salad. Easing into the night now. Cool and lovely. And I’m tired so goodnight.

Roadtrip Day 347


Roadtrip Day 347

6/19 Sunday

Travel day. Casual takedown after glazed donut and cold Ovaltine breakfast. Mmmmm. What an evocation of childhood. Even working casually at breaking down, we got on the road by 10. We made porkchop and cheese sandwiches on these cute little mini-pistolette rolls to have for lunch and put them in the coolerator with drinks in the car for easy obtention. Switched drivers at midday somewhere in Northeast West Virginia and ate as we drove up and down over the rolly mountains here. We were intimidated by a coupla stretches which warned of 10% grade (downhill). That’s pretty damned steep, especially towing the trailer. But they were not too bad.

Found our way to Seneca Shades but there was no camp host to check us in. Since they’ve privatized much of the camping stuff, these for-profit entities charge more money and provide less actual service…. Rant! Rant! Rant!

Anyway, check in is only with the camp host, no self check-in but there was no camp host. So we drove a coupla miles to Seneca Peaks to the ranger station. He said people had also complained Friday that nobody was on duty. Fine. We drove back, left a note and payment at the host’s trailer and set up in an open site. After that effort in the hot afternoon sun, we went to the showers. Naturally, in the middle of my shower, a voice calls, “Mr. Maier, can you come see me after your shower?”

Sure, asshole. NOW you’re here. Inevitably, there was no excuse for his absence but a complication because somebody had gotten online and reserved the site we were in for the next day. We had signed up for three days. He said he’d call them and ask them if they’d be ok in a different site.

Phew! Finally, kinda sorted out. We’re here for three days (maybe more) and settled in this spot. We were alone until not long ago when two big 4X4 diesel trucks full of beer-brand-hatted, sleveless-shirted fellas chose to move into the site right next to us. Really? Empty fucking loop except for us. The next loop was half empty. But noooooo, the dual GMC 2500 4X4s hadda barroom-baroom right next to us. Harleys are quieter. Didn’t I read recently that Detroit adds artificial extra noise to their truck exhausts to make them sound “manlier.” Dipshits.

It’s almost 6 now. We’re running Genny until 6:15 then we’re gonna have corn on the cob with angel-hair pasta done ailio y olio (sp? - garlic and olive oil) tossed with shrimp and spring onions which were sautéed in butter and Tony’s (Creole seasoning). Maybe some parmesan on mine. Ronnie likes hers straight. We’ve gotten a lotta good, fresh corn on the cob here on the Eastern loop of our trip. We both love it so we have it whenever we see a good-looking batch.

Except for the bullshit administration and the redneck neighbors, it is very lovely here. Steep hills (they call ‘em mountains) and deep woods. Nice. No cell signal at all so no possibility of hotspotting some internet time. In a coupla days when we move I’ll catch up on loading my posts onto the blog. Now, it’s just about time to shut off Genny and start boiling some water for dinner.

Maybe a bit more narrative later.

…later…

BTW, we are theoretically back in bear country. No grizzlies but theoretically there are bears. We’re being a little careful with our stuff, especially food, but not full on Yellowstone-paranoid careful. Given that we had shrimp, we took the trash straight to the garbage after dinner. Then, it was time to put away leftovers. And then, do the dishes.

And then, the oral sex.

Wait! That’s not the Monty Python and the Holy Grail quote I wanted. Well, now I can’t think of what it was that I was thinking of. I guess I’ll just leave that one here to embarrass Ronnie.

P.S. Dinner was pretty fabulous. Couldn’t have done better with a professional-sized ultra-snooty-brand-name 6 burner stove and double dual-fuel ovens. Not that I’d turn my nose up if someone offered to give me a professional-sized ultra-snooty-brand-name 6 burner stove and double dual-fuel oven setup. I lust that kinda kitchen shit. I was delighted when our old stove died a coupla years ago and we got a 5-burner with the middle burner a long one which could use an included cast iron griddle or grill and one of the burners was enhanced to zillions of BTUs [approximately] for superfast heating.

Sometimes I miss my stove. I frequently miss our fridge, replaced about the same time as the stove. First fridge we ever had with water/ice in the door. I hadda tap a saddle in the basement cold-water line and drill a hole in the kitchen floor to bring a copper waterline up to feed that fridge - Clark. Chloe named him Clark. Sounds righteous to me. I often miss our Toto Washlet. Sigh. But we’re having a totally swell time overall. Nothing is perfect and we’ve had some less-than-marvelous times; but generally… Kick-ass fun!

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads I know, the living and the dead, whatever their sexuality, who are taking care of their kids. I know a lotta single moms who do such amazing double duty. Hats off to them and to those who are not as simplistically binary-gendered as I am.

I miss my dad. When he died, I remember writing that he was the kind of guy who was tougher than a twenty-five cent steak (a quote from some 30s movie, thus the extra-surprising price) and who swallowed the blood and kept going forward when life punched him in the mouth. Cuz that what you do. That’s what he did. Always.

Love you, dad.