15 March 2020

Ides of March

Happy Birthday, Alex!

What’s new?

The good news is that we already practice social distancing a lot. Hope y’all can manage that, too! Wash your hands a lot, keep the people around you healthy by keeping yourself as isolated as is reasonable and possible.

We’re both healthy at this time, and we’ll do our best to keep it that way!

I did get the shopping done today, which took a while, since there were lines. I also roasted coffee.

Lexi

Relaxing:

Lexi the mutt relaxing on her back, on the sofa.
Lexi relaxing…

Winding Down

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

  • Gunnery Sgt. Diego D. Pongo, 34, of Simi Valley, California died on March 8, 2020 while supporting Iraqi Security Forces in north central Iraq.
  • Capt. Moises A. Navas, 34, of Germantown, Maryland died on March 8, 2020 while supporting Iraqi Security Forces in north central Iraq.
  • Army Spc. Juan Miguel Mendez Covarrubias, 27, of Hanford, California died March 11, 2020, when his unit was engaged by enemy indirect fire at Camp Taji, Iraq.
  • Air Force Staff Sgt. Marshal D. Roberts, 28, of Owasso, Oklahoma, when his unit was engaged by enemy indirect fire at Camp Taji, Iraq.

3 March 2020

Super Tuesday

Enough said.

Eyeballs

Marcia’s cataract surgery went off without a hitch, and she is really happy with both her current improved vision and the progress she’s making. It’s frustrating that she has to sleep with a pirate patch each night, and endure a month of eyedrops, but all realize that compared to progressively worsening functional blindness in one eye, she’s a winner.

Entertainment

We got out and about this weekend, heading over to Ram’s Head On Stage, over in Annapolis, for a lovely matinee show with Zoë Keating.

Zoë Keating playing her cello at Ram’s Head

Zoë’s music is a joy! We saw her last at the same venue a few years ago. She’s had a rough road dealing with the illness and death of her husband in the interim. Her fans (Marcia and I among them) supported her as best we could, as Zoë would allow. I’m selfishly glad she’s back to composing and performing her own music.

Zoë did note and “appreciate” the “Vermont spring weather” that greeted her – it had only climbed up to freezing by noon on Saturday!

Dog

Lexi, being weird

Winding Down

No other significant news to report from this end of the world. After the weekend chill, we’re back to unseasonably warm weather. Did I mention daffodils? Yeah, in bloom for a week or more already. Sigh.

23 February 2020

A Lovely Spring Day

And it was – nearly 60F today. Stuff is blooming and budding and … I have yard work to do. Oh, wait … IT’S STILL WINTER!!! I did none of that this weekend, however. We relaxed in advance of Marcia’s cataract surgery this coming week. We hope that goes well for all the usual reasons, and at least one unusual one – we’re going to see Zoe Keating next weekend! Huzzah!

On the professional side of things, I’m working on refreshing my Red Hat training in advance of re-certifying for my RHCE, sooner than later. Frankly, not a lot of stuff has changed, and I think that their certification cycle is a bit rapacious. But that’s probably just me.

Winding Down

There’s naught else to report. Lexi barked at the pizza man, but that’s unremarkable. Have a good week, y’all!

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.