Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Deeply Deeply Skeptical

"Americans should be deeply deeply skeptical of government power. You
cannot trust people in power. The founders knew that."

James Comey
FBI Director
October 12, 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Crowns

Got six crowns installed today. These were the permanent ones, and a lot less trouble than the temporaries were. Although my whole upper lip and nose were entirely numb, and it turns out that it's very nearly impossible to sip tea (or anything else, but what I had was tea) when you can't feel your upper lip.

If I have any more crowns, I will qualify to be an emperor.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

NaNoWriMo

I'd been floundering around for the first few days of this year's NaNoWriMo. I had the general idea for the plot, based on a slightly fantasy version of the Vicksburg Campaign, and I had some idea of the characters, and I had my Scene Planner cards all ready, but it just wasn't coming together. A thousand words one day, 500 words the next, and one section that wandered off into a different universe entirely. Last night I was quite discouraged, thinking "This Is Not For Me". This morning I said "You know, this story could be Star Wars: 1862 Edition", and from that I was able to write a 2500 word plot outline in which pretty much everything fell into place. Still a few plot questions to answer, here and there--"What does Ming Duo do during the climactic battle", for example--but I have enough that I can get started actually putting together a narrative. Huzzah!

Yes, there will be a fair amount of Find & Replace on the names before all is done. "We can fix that in Post."

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Why did the Chicken Cross the Road?

So it could be poultry in motion.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Kenyans

At church a few weeks ago, we met a couple of Regent grad students from Kenya, and eventually got arround to inviting them over for dinner. Brian is from Nairobi, and Victor from Malindi, on the coast a bit north of Mombasa; they're studying business, with the intent of forming a full service travel agency so that you know exactly what to expect. They have at least some idea of the cultural differences; for example, in Kenya, a good might have someone armed and in camouflage on each floor; those are police, not soldiers, and they're there so you know there's good security and you don't have to worry. The tourist, however, is likely to say to himself, "They feel a need to station a soldier on every floor; it must be dangerous!" I'm not sure to what extent it's possible to say "This hotel is rated as a 5 but it's really a 4, so expect that", across all the different hotels and restaurants and safari tours and such that a tourist might want, and further to what extent they will be able to anticipate that sort of cultural difference. But that's what they're trying for. Very respectful, and willing to ask questions and accept the advice, so quite different from Americans...or at least "Americans who haven't tried every other possibility first."

Eagles

We saw TWO bald eagles around 1pm today, over the river behind our deck. One flew off north, the other one disappeared into the marsh grass. I thought that one might have been injured, so I put out the kayak and went around the island. Turns out the "north" eagle had stopped at the platform for osprey nests; as I drifted down towards him, he grumbled and took to the air again, and that brought the second one up. They flew back and forth over the river for a few minutes, then one disappeared south and the other headed west.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Heat Pump

Well, we'd had a problem with it last year, and the tech had told us then that we'd need to get a new one sooner or later. Fortunately this is the slow season for HVAC and I got a hefty discount, which made it merely "painfully expensive". So now we have a new heat pump, air handler, and thermostat. Hurrah.