New Foreigner Book!


a few hardcovers and pbs available from Closed Circle, signed. Latest: Moonlover and the Fountain of Blood, Jane Fancher short story. Chernevog, part 2 of the Rusalka trilogy co-written by CJ and Jane; and Orion's Children, a tetralogy from Lynn.



Miscon in Missoula MT in May or June, often Radcon in the Tricities of WA. Spocon in Spokane WA,
October 2015
« Sep    

Finally—wooden floors.

We bought this house back in 2007, and it underwent a bit of a transformation then—from tired drapes and green paint to something we liked a lot better. The carpet, well, short-shag brown-white. Not horrid. But I’m not a fan of carpeted floors. Bad for allergies. They collect stuff.

Well, one year about 2010 a man dropped by from about 3 blocks up the street—we’d met him on our walks. And he said he’d worked with the builder of OUR house, and had the blueprints, and would we like to have them.

That we would. And they were very interesting, the design before the remodel that had extended the kitchen and Jane’s room by about 10 feet where the old garage had been, and built a separate garage across the garden.

They also said, re the floors, ‘red oak.’ Well, I so wanted to know, but had no good way to take a look until the disaster to the carpet at Shejicon, which had the kitties pent up in my room—they’d torn the carpet at the door. And a look beneath—showed polished wood.

As best we can figure, the red oak flooring was in the living room and the 3 bedrooms, one of which is now the office. BUT only half of Jane’s room will have the original flooring. We think the carpet and the kitchen, hall and bath floors may date from the remodel, and that half her room may be slab. We cannot cannot figure what USED to be in the hall, but it is now simple quarter inch plywood, that is a tad shallower than the surrounding red oak narrow plank.

The original flooring (built in 1954) suffered a bit. WE can sand and revarnish and gt a nice finish, but it’s possible we may want to go to laminate all over (stone pattern in the kitchen, wood in the rest of the house)—but just getting that carpet out of my room is a delight, I don’t care if the floors are scarred. And we might opt just to do laminate in the missing sections. But just the rental of a floor sander and a little refinishing is not that spendy, and while we need to do something about the kitchen, all we need to do with the floor is just to get the carpet out. One roomful and half the office is now sitting on the porch, to be stuffed into the garbage can each week until it is gone, gone, gone.

I so love the bare floor in my room. The chair surprises me—every time I get up from the recliner it travels a bit backward, but the clean air is so nice. We literally found volcanic ash under the carpet, from St. Helens. It’s not certain whether it arrived in the eruption, or whether it just arrived later—in Washington St Helens’ dust is the gift that keeps on giving, every plowing season.

Tuckered out—

Turned out, in our walk today, most every eatery in Garland District, our old little shopping area, vintage about 1930—was closed. The place lives only after dark or on weekdays, apparently. To our new ‘regular’ place is a 1.5 mile round trip. It turned out food was only avaiable at The Milk Bottle, a place shaped exactly like that, vintage 1931, which is a bonafide old soda fountain/ice cream parlor/burger place. We had lunch, and tried to recover. It added half a mile to our normal route, and going 2 miles instead of 1.5 has us wheezing.
We’re keeping after it, however. That which does not kill us makes us stronger. But getting across the arterial near our house is a pita. What I most hate is when some car politely stops for you, meaning you kinda have to reward his gesture by going, but the lane just beyond him can kill you…and it’s not an unknown accident in Spokane. So I really wish people wouldn’t stop, just get out of our way so we can cross on a clear road.

Lucked out with clear skies last night…

Saw the moon rise like Mars—red and large in the sky, with the Earth’s shadow on it. And two shooting stars close in both time and origin, but in opposite directions…the Perseid meteor group.

We caught it later, white and high, with the shadow only a third of the moon’s disk.

Beauteous. And a crystal clear night. Bad as my distance eyesight as gotten, I could still make out the Milky Way.

Back into the poundage battle…

Decided to apply some exercise for our general good as well as letting us eat a little more freely.
Yesterday we hiked 3/4 mile to a local eatery for lunch, had lunch, walked back.
Today we drove the car over to a fair-sized park, hiked the circumference of same, had lunch at an adjacent cafe, maybe half a mile, then drove home.
Tomorrow we do the 3/4 mile out, 3/4 back.
The good news is, we could do it. And instead of being stove-in and gimpy, we felt like doing another round today. Split a sandwich.
It’s not a bad thing to get out and walk, even up and down one’s own block. Chance to notice the flowers, see how the trees are growing, figure out what that city truck was doing at the storm drain, etc. Even meet new neighbors.

Mostly, it’s a case of more energy.

The uu key fell off… just fell off.

I abuse keyboards for a living. I’ve never had one fold quite as completely.
So the guy should have come today—but didn’t. Didn’t call. Nada. The situation has been ‘escalated’ in the Dell shop to reach ‘management’, and I get the feeling that the Spokane repair people are going to have some ‘splaining to do re their agreement re Dell.

TOmorrouu, they say. Mmmm.

Eye exam yesterday—getting driving glasses.

It’s not just ‘which line can you read’ on the chart. It’s being able to resolve items in the far distance quickly and without thought, so that you can devote attention to the speed with which you’re closing.

Got a little trace of cataract: they’ve been telling me that for nearly 15 years. Someday it may need attention, but it’s a minor thing so far.

Managed to step on my reading glasses, but the technician managed to straighten them out, and they’re pretty good. I may get new reading glasses. Or not. I prefer glass for those, because of the precision and clarity, and I need all the light I can get. The optometrist I’ve found does grind their own glass lenses, which is a good thing. But I’ve gone with plastic on the driving glasses…I swear I may attach a chain to them so they can’t leave the car. I lose them, because I wear them into the house, realize what I’ve done, lay them down—and they become cat toys. I don’t know why the cats pick on my driving glasses. I have one missing pair wandering somewhere behind the furniture. I’d like to find them, because though the prescription sucks pond water, they’re good frames.

Next thing I get to do is pass my driving test—you pass a certain birthday and they want you to come in and show them you can read the chart. Funny thing—below that age, you renew online, and one of the questions is, Can you see ok?

They’re out there driving, friends.

Writer’s Disease: having written so many versions…

..of the same event or fact you can’t remember which one went into the final copy.

What, please, is the gender and name of Cajeiri’s mechieta?

8.3 off Chile —watch out, Hawaii, et al.


The lung ailment that followed the fires took its toll on both of us…we’re trying to recover. But the air is clearing and colder, which will help the firefighters. Even our local News station and Dish Network have suspended their contract feud to bring the news channel back on to advise people of evacuations and hazards…kudos to people using their heads and their conscience.

I’m making progress on the book—but some of it consists in sitting and staring while the brain works.

The tank is looking better and testing better, what’s more.

I need a break. But there’s no time to take it. I’d love to take a drive up to Missoula and stay the night. Maybe we could manage one to Pullman, for lunch. Jane and I need to talk over an aspect of the current plot, and a break for lengthy discussion might be good, except the Prius is in recall for a computer issue, and we don’t want to get stranded. *I* need to get my driver’s license renewed. And I stepped on my reading glasses and bent the focus all out of true, while I managed to outright lose my driving glasses…sigh. I need to go to the optometrist and get new ones anyway, because the prescription is changing.

Meh. We might risk a drive to Pullman.

I can report the new lights are installed, and look great.

Yes. They do. And being LED, they’re going to last longer than halides (every 6 months) and use a lot less electricity, so they will begin to make a difference on a lot of fronts.