Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 End of Year

My goals from the beginning of the year--I've bolded the ones I accomplished:

  • Climb Mt Rogers and Buffalo Mountain
  • Take yoga/aikido/tai chi/something class--had a physical training class and I've signed up for a tai chi class starting in January
  • Revisit Costa Rica
  • Try new foods--things like pummelo, chayote, cherimoya: chayote, horned melon, oysters Rockfeller, gin, some Indian food, kubideh, doogh, 
  • Attend LibertyCon, Historicon, SLC ComicCon, GZGECC and others
  • Visit Mesa Verde, Shiprock, Monument Valley
  • Reconnect with the Charlottesvillains 
  • Study investing
  • Write 120,000 words of fiction
  • Visit Virginia ACW battlefields

Events from the year:
  • January: so cold the pipes froze; announced retirement
  • February: retired, went to Costa Rica; sold Mum's house in Montreal (and got a batch of furniture from it); and went to GZG ECC 17 in New York.
  • March: new carpet
  • April: visited Knotts Island; a 750ft ship dragged its anchors and went aground at Chick's Beach; and I went to RavenCon, where I met Michael Z Williamson and Sarah Hoyt, among others,
  • May: quiet 
  • June: visited some ACW battlefields around Richmond; hada visit from Greg Rees and his partner Julie; saw a bear near Willis; visited Jon and family in Nashville; the Huntsville Space Center; LibertyCon, at which I met Miriam Ringo, Dorothy and Peter Grant, Bill Fawcett, and Toni Weisskopf.
  • July: Gwen's brother Chris visited; a tornado touched down about 2.5 miles away; celebrated Independence Day in Williamsburg; camera class
  • August: helped Josh move from Blacksburg to Christiansburg; replaced a panel for the upstairs glass door.
  • September: attended Salt Lake City ComicCon; joined Diana for a tour of New Mexico (and bits of Colorado and Arizona)--Santa Fe, Taos and Taos Pueblo, Tierra Amarilla, Farmington, Chaco Canyon, Mesa Verde, Four Corners, Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly, Albuquerque.
  • October: visited James and family and stayed at the Homestead, which included a trip to the shotgun range and the falconry mews; replaced the heat pump; saw two bald eagles together over the Lynnhaven.
  • .November: NaNoWriMo, at which I did better at teaching than doing; six crowns installed on front teeth; went to the Farm for Thanksgiving, and it snowed.
  • December: installed a new faucet on the kitchen sink; Josh and Gwen came here for Christmas, then they headed out to Philly, NYC, and Boston.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve

Temperature is 70°, and strawberries are still growing in the garden boxes on the deck. Pretty nice weather for Christmas Eve. Josh and Gwen and Diana and I are going to the 11pm candlelight service, then coming home and opening one package each.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Close Action

Josh and Gwen drove down from Blacksburg last night, and then this morning Josh and I drove up to DC for a Close Action battle with Mark Campbell (with the battle report onthe Battle Honors blog).

It's fun traveling with Josh. We had a variety of "You May Be A Redneck Space Marine" jokes:

  • "Them critters was tyrannids? Ah thought they was revenooers. Well, reckon it's all the same."
  • "You may be a redneck space marine if all your tanks are painted orange, they're all numberd 01, and they all play Dixie"
  • "We wuz so poor, our chapter paint scheme was black and white. And we didn't have no black paint either."
  • "You may be a redneck space marine if your Chapter Librarian is illiterate."
  • "When I was growing up, we walked to school, barefoot, through waves of tyrannids that was chin deep..." 
We talked about D&D and other RPG campaigns he wanted to run, and monsters he'd designed for them. His monsters for the most recent campaign were designed to function together, with would have been nasty to go up against them. We want to do a Monster Hunters International campaign, and a Dark Heresy campaign, and a D&D or Fantasy Hero campaign, and....

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Box of Money

Josh and Gwen arrived from Blacksburg tonight, so his main birthday present was somewhat delayed, but he seemed to like it: a box of cash. I'd gotten 260 bills (denomination unspecified) and broken up the bundles so what he saw was not "a couple of small neat stacks", but more "one big pile". He chuckled, he threw handfuls on the floor, he chortled, he rolled around in it, waving handfuls and laughing maniacally. We were all tickled. :-)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Writing Influences

"My writing has been influenced by HP Lovecraft, because if you don’t like giant sky squids, there is something fundamentally wrong with you." -- Larry Correia

Monday, December 8, 2014

Kitchen Sink

I have wrestled with the Forces of Darkness (it's dark under the kitchen sink) and emerged (some hours later) triumphant, having installed a new faucet. Tools used: flat screwdriver, phillips screwdriver, box cutter, carpet knife, allen wrench, WD40, bread knife, drill, socket wrench.

The one indispensable tool for installing a faucet (which you, Gentle Reader, doubtless already know is a Basin Wrench), was of no help at all; the existing Kohler needed a socket wrench to remove, and the new Delta specified "hand tight, Hand Tight, I SAID HAND TIGHT STOP STOP STOP!" according to page 4 (loosely translated).

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Every year, Diana prepares paperwhite flowers as Christmas gifts.

Every year, I hear it as "paper wights."