Wotcher, World

Well, I *intended* to put up at least a brief post last night, but the world conspired against me. Or Jack Frost did. Hard to tell, really.

Marcia is doing well. Her surgery last Monday went off without a hitch, and she’s plowing through her Physical Therapy goals without hardly blinking an eye. Of course, when she plows through those goals, she reaches points of real pain pretty quickly. That’s what the pain meds are for – to control things while she does the necessary work.

Speaking of work, other than a couple of hours worth of email, I haven’t done any remunerative work to speak of since the second day of this year. So this morning I was up at my usual time, got Marcia rolling, then settled and fed, and started working (from home) myself. This is now possible because our routine is stable enough, and Marcia’s recovered enough, that I can get an hour or more of continuous time in. There’s not much point if I can’t get at least a clear half hour, since the productivity ramp-up from interruptions is a killer.

More when there’s more to tell.

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DoD reported no new casualties in the last week. Militant Islam continues to be a global problem, though.

Travels done

And we’re back!

Nine days in California and in the air are done: We flew out to SFO on the 22nd, and flew back through DFW on the 30th. We visited with my folks for about three days, then headed over to SF and stayed there while I attended VMworld 2013. I attended three general sessions and 19 technical sessions in four and one-half days … my brain nearly exploded. I watched countless demos, met many wonderful and smart people, and acquired enough t-shirts to last me until the next millennium. The weather was lovely, and Marcia split her time between the City and learning some design software.

While in the air, I was reading a couple of Liaden Universe novels by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Agent of Change and Fledgling are both available for free at both the Baen Free Library and on Kindle for the time being. You can consider those to works to be a gateway drug, since the writing is wonderful. You’ll spend some more of your time and money on their books, because you should. Learn more at http://korval.com/.

I’m not sure, but I’d guess that the authors get more of your money if you purchase through Baen … you can always ask them. It’s certainly worth encouraging the Baen Free Library when you buy from Baen, too.

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

  • 1st Lt. Jason Togi, 24, of Pago Pago, American Samoa, died Aug. 26, in Hasan Karez, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device.
  • Sgt. 1st Class Ricardo D. Young, 34, of Rosston, Arkansas, died Aug. 28, in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.
  • Staff Sgt. Michael H. Ollis, 24, of Staten Island, New York, died Aug. 28, in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device, small arms and indirect fire.
  • Staff Sgt. Joshua J. Bowden, 28, of Villa Rica, Georgia, died Aug. 31, in Ghazni, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire while on dismounted patrol.

1400 miles later …

Saturday last we departed for the big vacation of the summer, and spent a week in Saugatuck, Michigan, with family from Marcia’s side of the tree. Good times, picnic with grand-nieces and -nephews, etc. Oh, yeah, and three days of fishing. We did some shore fishing on Kalamazoo Lake, and managed a couple of dozen fish between us – all catch and release. Here’s one of the carp that Marcia reeled in:

Marcia's carp

Marcia’s carp

The drive was 700 miles each way, taking about 10 hours and change on each of the Saturdays. Overall, we got 34.8 MPG out of the 328i for this trip, which isn’t too shabby.

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Back due to popular request, the back yard rain gauge stands at 37.50″ fallen since just before Sandy came ashore last fall.

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Our condolences to the family, friends, and unit of Specialist Welch:

  • Spc. Nickolas S. Welch, 26, of Mill City, Oregon, died Aug. 6, in Bethesda, Md., of injuries sustained July 23, when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device in Soltan Kheyl, Wardak Province, Afghanistan.

Counting down…

Twelve weeks of instruction left to my collegiate days. Sunday evening was full of final composition and review for a couple of things due … and I flat forgot my duty. But here I am!

Before I proceed, however, I’d like to point you in the direction of Marcia’s new (old) site: Marcia’s Makings. She’s been making lots of wonderful things, and just knows that you need to buy them for holiday gifts, or to keep yourself warm as Fall arrives… So visit

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

  • Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jose L. Montenegro Jr., 31, of Houston, Texas, died Sept. 5, in Logar Province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when his aircraft crashed.
  • Chief Warrant Officer 2 Thalia S. Ramirez, 28, of San Antonio, Texas, died Sept. 5, in Logar Province, Afghanistan, of injuries suffered when his aircraft crashed.
  • Sgt. Kyle B. Osborn, 26, of Lafayette, Indiana, died Sept. 13 in Muqer, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms and rocket propelled grenade fire.
  • Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible, 40, of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, died Sept. 15, while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Sgt. Bradley W. Atwell, 27, of Kokomo, Indiana, died Sept. 15, while supporting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Happy Thanksgiving

For those that celebrated the holiday, or for those that just like to give thanks, and belatedly, Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a quiet week at home. We were both off work for the whole week. I gave a fair bit of time to school work, and a few hours to Skyrim. Marcia quilted and ripped and quilted. We did a big bird for the day itself: 23 pounds. We’ve now got a pot full of yummy turkey soup, a week’s worth of turkey tetrazzini, and more meat left. So, a good week overall. We hope that everyone else enjoyed theirs, as well.

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We’re also thankful for the sacrifices that our men and women in uniform make on our behalf. Our condolences to the families, friends, and units of these fallen warriors:

  • Lance Cpl. Joshua D. Corral, 19, of Danville, California, died Nov. 18 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.
  • Pvt. Jackie L. Diener II, 20, of Boyne City, Michigan, died Nov. 21 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.
  • Cpl. Zachary C. Reiff, 22, of Preston, Iowa, died Nov. 21 of wounds suffered Nov. 18 while conducting combat operations in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

Triskaidekaphobia

Not really. But it is our thirteenth wedding anniversary. Marcia and I were married in Sunnyvale back in ’98, and we’re pleased to have surprised almost everyone with the longevity of our second date, errr, marriage. My present to her this year was to wake her up and tell her that she could go ahead and get the Handi Quilter HQ24 Fusion system with something called ProStitcher (which means that Marcia hands the computer a design, the computer stitches the quilt). It doesn’t even sparkle and I got her to cry. Yeah, it’s a few years earlier than we originally planned, but with her car paid off, we can afford  to do this now, so that she can start getting the experience with this that she needs to make money with it down the road. Me, I got a quilt – a wall hanging that Marcia made for me. Turns out my gift to her is super-appropriate for the occasion: the thirteenth anniversary is traditionally to be celebrated with Lace, Textiles, or Furs. Well, she can work on that middle thing with my gift, so I’m in the groove. And I guess I’m glad she didn’t get me something made of lace … I might be required to wear it.