About bilborg

I am who I am, there's plenty of data on this site to tell you more. Briefly, I'm a husband, computer geek, avid reader, gardener, and builder of furniture.

17 February 2020

Catching Up

We had a lovely 3 day weekend hereabouts. We started a bit early with a pleasant evening at home for Valentine’s Day. This was followed by Marcia’s birthday. We relaxed, watched shows as she wanted, played a few games, and I “cooked” dinner, using some of the meatballs she’d made up earlier in the week. Then shopping and some chores on Sunday, and more relaxation today for the holiday. Tomorrow, back to work.

Not much else to report but for the seasonally inappropriate weather – it’s too damn warm. I’m going to have to start doing yardwork really soon unless we get back to some correctly freezing weather.

Winding Down

Our condolences to the families and friends of these fallen warriors:

  • Sgt. 1st Class Javier Jaguar Gutierrez, 28, of San Antonio, Texas, died on February 8, 2020 in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, as a result of wounds sustained while engaged in combat operations.
  • Sgt. 1st Class* Antonio Rey Rodriguez, 28, of Las Cruces, New Mexico, died on February 8, 2020 in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, as a result of wounds sustained while engaged in combat operations.
  • Spc. Branden Tyme Kimball, 21, from Central Point, Oregon, died on Feb. 12, 2020, at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, from a non-combat related incident.
  • Pfc. Walter Lewark, 26, from Mountainair, New Mexico, died on Feb. 13, 2020, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, from a non-combat related incident.

5 February 2020

Winding Up

So, we’ve had a week that was somewhere between t-shirt and sweatshirt weather. Very weird for late January into early February. This is normally the core of snow season here just south of the Mason-Dixon line. But we’ve only been graced with a pittance of the white fluffy stuff so far this year. Upside – no shoveling yet. Downside – I might have to start doing outside spring work much, much earlier than I expected.

Entertainment

I’ve been reading … mostly Clarkesworld Magazine, and Neil’s related project, Forever Magazine. (Yes, yes … not HTTPS, I have to get on Neil’s case about that.) I changed how I support these projects by dropping the AMZN subs, and picking them up on Patreon. The wonderful original works in Clarkesworld are a joy. I’ve especially appreciated my broadened horizons, courtesy of the big push into translated speculative fiction that the magazine has made over the last couple of years.

On the visual side, we’ve added the CBS All Access streaming service to our repertoire for a while. And while we let a few of those tasty new Picard episodes pile up, we binged out the first season of Star Trek: Discovery. It’s awesome!

Lick-spittles and Cockroaches

It’s been a ▋▋▋▋▋▋▋▋ ▋▋▋▋▋▋ and ▋▋▋▋▋ with ▋▋▋ ▋▋▋▋▋▋▋ ▋▋ ▋▋▋▋▋ in the Senate! If only those ▋▋▋▋▋▋▋▋▋▋ ▋▋ ▋▋▋▋▋▋ ▋▋▋▋ ▋▋▋▋▋ while ▋▋▋▋ ▋▋▋▋▋▋ ▋▋▋▋▋▋ ▋▋▋▋▋▋▋▋▋▋▋ ▋▋▋▋ in the eyesockets. Furthermore, ▋▋▋▋▋▋▋▋▋▋ ▋▋▋▋ ▋▋▋▋▋ ▋ ▋▋▋▋ ▋▋▋▋▋▋▋▋▋▋▋▋▋▋. You get my drift.

Winding Down

Our condolences to the families and friends of these fallen warriors:

  • Spc. Antonio I. Moore, 22, from Wilmington, N.C., died on January 24, 2020 in Deir ez Zor Province, Syria, during a rollover accident while conducting route clearing operations.
  • Lt. Col. Paul K. Voss, 46, of Yigo, Guam, died on January 27 in the crash of a Bombardier E-11A aircraft in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan.
  • Capt. Ryan S. Phaneuf, 30, of Hudson, New Hampshire, died on January 27 in the crash of a Bombardier E-11A aircraft in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan.

27 January 2020

Tick Tock

Yes, yes, yes. It’s been many days since Friday the Thirteenth fell on a Monday this month. I’ve been busy, but that’s all, just busy. All is otherwise well. Roasting coffee. Chores. Dinner guests. Work. Sleep. And the clock, it keeps ticking. So, thank you for your patience. Your reward is a winterized Lexi photo:

Lexi in Winter Relaxation mode

Not much else to report. Be well.

13 Jan 2020

Friday the Thirteenth

It falls on a Monday this month. I can tell. All in, though, it was a good weekend, and today: a productive start to the week. The downside is, there are so many things I’d like to accomplish and not enough time for them all, much less relaxing. So I’m doing more relaxing and less of the things. For now, that’s okay. There’s not much else going on for us. Watching the brinksmanship and idiocy going on in the upper reaches is something else again.

Reading

I finished up nearly all of the novels in the Liaden Universe series. I’ve not yet gotten Accepting the Lance, which is the latest release. It’s time for a break. I will tell you that those books are so, so good! And for me, starting from the “beginning” and reading through in roughly linear story-line order made everything that I’d read previously (out of order) make a lot more sense! Not so surprising, eh?

So I read William Gibson’s The Peripheral next. For me, this was a slow-starter. I had trouble getting grounded in the story (stories) because of the world-line jumping. But I stuck with it, caught up with the context, and loved the heck out of this novel. To be clear, I want more of it, but I didn’t see how that would work – this story is complete, and may only emit short stories … So of course I’m wrong, and the “prequel/sequel”, Agency, is due out next week. Ah hah! That also explains the deep discount on The Peripheral next month. Those darn marketing people!

Winding Down

Our condolences to the families and friends of these fallen warriors:

  • Spc. Henry J. Mayfield Jr., 23, from Evergreen Park, Illinois, was killed Jan. 5, 2020, during an attack in Manda Bay, Kenya.
  • Staff Sgt. Ian P. McLaughlin, 29, of Newport News, Virginia, was killed in action on January 11, when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.
  • Pfc. Miguel A. Villalon, 21, of Joliet, Illinois, was killed in action on January 11, when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED) in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan.

1 January 2020

The News

New year. New Decade. What to do this year?

Check your voter registration starting at the National Association of Secretaries of State website. Check regularly, to ensure your registration is valid as we approach caucuses, primaries, and and general elections.

If you need to register, you can, starting at Vote.gov. Get registered, then see step one. Check your registration to ensure that it is current and valid, when you need it most!

When you can vote, at the local, state, and national levels, GO VOTE! It’s important. It’s your democracy, so VOTE.

This is the most important post of the year. See you soon.

22 December 2019

Beginnings and Endings

We find ourselves a day into Winter, thus Beginnings. We’ve had mornings in the teens (Fahrenheit) fairly often for the last couple of weeks, so sliding formally into Winter seems the merest formality. More fun, we had guests up from Atlanta, and, well, it’s properly cold here, for them. But they’re driving further north, more power to them. It was a joy to have some time with Jen and Chris, though. And Lexi got lots of attention from them, too. Linda was over for supper, too. We enjoyed a properly garlic-y chicken supper, a holiday film from Mel Brooks, and some pressies were exchanged to much fun and excitement.

On the other side of the scale, the decade is about done. Sometimes Endings are good. I’ve always said that the problem is politicians, of whatever stripe. But I think we’ve had a properly shitty few years, and maybe it’s because the root cause isn’t really a politician, after all (not this time). One hopes for hope in the coming year, we’ll see how that works out. Personally, as awful as some things have been, we’ve had a pretty decent 10 years. It’ll be interesting to see how things pan out, going forward.

Work has been work, and I’ve been really, really busy. Tired, frankly, and that’s not looking to end, as a trend, for the next short while, but we have plans to remediate that soon. Marcia finished up a collection of memorial quilts which have made their way out into the world, so she’s looking forward to doing some of her own quilt projects that have gotten backed up.

Winding Down

DoD announced no new casualties in the last couple of weeks. That’s good.

Be good to each other, enjoy your families and your holidays, however you celebrate. Merry Whatever!

8 December 2019

Holiday Season

The holiday season is well upon us. No post last weekend because of food coma, caused primarily by the small, 14 pound bird we roasted for the two of us … Lexi got only little bits. We just finished eating off of that bird today, with the last two servings of soup. We had a few days of straight leftovers, a pot of soup, and an abundance of turkey tetrazzini (extra turkey, no ‘shrooms or almonds).

We *did* manage to get the tree up and decorated, and topped in a fitting Doctor Who style:

Weeping Angel tree topper

Yup, who doesn’t love a Weeping Angel to send you back to the good old days? Seasonally appropriate, especially these days. The trick is, keep the tree lit!

Reading

I’ve been reading the Liaden Universe series from the fertile minds of Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, via Baen Books. I’d read some of the books, out of any reasonable order, years ago. Recently I re-read Agent of Change, and found myself wondering why I’d never just sought out all of the books, and read them through in some reasonable order.

Some reasonable order, for me, turns out to correspond well to the timeline chart found on the version of the Wikipedia page for the series. That is, I read in this order:

  • Crystal Soldier
  • Crystal Dragon
  • Balance of Trade
  • Trade Secret
  • Local Custom
  • Scout’s Progress
  • Mouse & Dragon
  • Conflict of Honors
  • Agent of Change
  • Carpe Diem
  • Plan B
  • I Dare
  • Fledgling
  • Saltation <<— I’m reading this, now.
  • Ghost Ship
  • Necessity’s Child
  • Dragon Ship
  • Dragon in Exile
  • Alliance of Equals
  • The Gathering Edge
  • Neogenesis
  • Accepting the Lance (New release, 12/03/2019)

There are also several collections of short stories, the Constellations, then there are the Adventures books. There’s certain to be overlap between those, and the stories, some of them may have made their way into the novels. I’m not sure yet. But there’s plenty yet to read. I like the characters, the plotting, the writing … I like it all. Highly recommended.

Winding Down

DoD announced no new casualties in the last two weeks. That’s good. Many other things happening in this world: Not Good. We seek balance.

24 November 2019

Pizza Night

After shopping and cleaning house today, we had wonderful home-made pizza AND watched Chicken Run. Now, instead of being able to concentrate on the world-shaking revelations that were to appear in this space, all I can do is type sentences that run on and on without any appearance of termination in sight, if indeed such sentences as typed could be said to have visual acuity of any sort at all.

Disturbing

Nearly every damn political story I read. Disturbing. Politest word I can think of in the circumstances. I’ve got nothing else to say on the subject at this time.

2020 Race

Warren.

A Cute Dog

This is the cute Lexi dog we all need right now:

Lexi the chipuggle mutt, lap adjacent, getting belly scritches.
Lexi getting belly scritches

Winding Down

Our condolences to the families and friends of these fallen warriors:

  • Chief Warrant Officer 2 David C. Knadle, 33, from Tarrant, Texas.
  • Chief Warrant Officer 2 Kirk T. Fuchigami Jr., 25, from Keaau, Hawaii.

Both soldiers died on Nov. 20, 2019, in Logar Province, Afghanistan, when their helicopter crashed while providing security for troops on the ground.

17 November 2019

Paperwork

As we wind our way through open enrollment season and clarifying what things are still eligible for reimbursement, I’m have such fun with sorting through the paperwork and ensuring that we’re getting back all the pennies on the dollar that we have coming. It’s one of those things I should do with more regularity, but since interest rates suck so hard, it really doesn’t make sense to do the dance too often. Anyway, I’m almost done, having figured out we should spend a bit more on vision care in the next two weeks, to maximize our return.

Woodworking Prep

In advance of the planned kitchen cabinet work, I’ve done some more cleanup and prep in the wood shop, cleaning up so that I can make a whole new mess. But there’s nothing else done there yet, other than a couple of sketches for materials planning. Soon, though, bunches of plywood and vast lengths of 1×4 poplar will be making their way into my cottage industry cabinetry empire. Soon.

Weather

If it matters to y’all how cold we are, you can start giggling now. We have not had any accumulating snow yet, although slow rain was observed falling a couple of times in the last week. In general, we’re dropping a bit below 32°F each night, and went down to 17 or so once. That’s pretty low for an early November night.

Winding Down

DoD announced no new casualties in the last week. Nothing else to report.

11 November 2019

Honor to Our Veterans

The women and men who put themselves in harm’s way on our behalf get precious little of the respect and care that we should give them each day. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.

Change Is

Some things change slowly, some so fast one hardly notices the thing itself as the blur as it goes by. A person I work with is moving on, after a lunatic number of years (by today’s standards), and I’m going to miss them a lot. No blur here, but a lot of individual moments that together are a big part of the most recent third of my working life.

Lexi Fix

Lexi the mutt managed to wind herself into Marcia's sweatshirt on the bed, and I'm getting a look when I catch her at it with the camera.
Lexi in a sweatshirt cave

In case you’d forgotten that we share our lives with this funny little rescue mutt, here’s another of her cold days tricks – climbing under a sweatshirt on the bed.

Winding Down

DoD reported no casualties in the last week, in a rare spot of good news these days.