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. Plus, coming soon: e-books: Yvgenie, and books from Jane.



At Miscon 2013, around Memorial Day, Missoula MT, At SoonerCon, in OKC, around June 15, also Spokon in Spokane, in July/August, Beyond that, we aren't sure.
December 2014
« Nov    

The new glasses are ready… I’ll pick them up tomorrow.

Jane has a shopping trip to do. Tomorrow is MY day to shop. And I’ll get my glasses.

We’re not doing that much for Christmas—but we do have to shop. I can’t believe I’ve asked for socks. That was the dreadfulest gift when I was a kid, well, except when my feet were growing and I kept having holes in the toes—then it was darn ‘em or replace them. Now, well, I need a few socks.

Ever learn how to darn socks and sheets? It involves a stone egg or a lightbulb, and a lot of patience; I even know how to do inweaving on some amendable fabrics, like wool. You pick a spot nobody will see, like inside a lining, take apart an area to get wool thread, then weave it into the damaged spot, sometimes (if it’s scarce) even using thread to tie on like a messenger cable, and tow the thicker wool thread into place where it needs to be for a patch that’s not too obvious. We used to have to do that. We throw out so much nowadays that could be mended. And I’ve stopped giving to some charities, including Goodwill, that don’t treat their employees well, but I do give to the teen outreach place down the road. They don’t have middlemen or a CEO living in a mansion.

Jane and I have decided we want a toaster/convection oven, because I could make good things better…without oil. And we’ve picked one out.

I need to get her something and heck if I know what. She hasn’t given me a hint, but I think I’ll find something tomorrow.

Lost my glasses. Quel pain!

I can get by most places with store-boughts; but for editing and computer work—I need something better; and plastic lenses weren’t cutting it anyway.

Plus I’m not that happy with the prescription. So..I changed optometrists and went to Costco’s doc—there’s more to it than that, like a stray 16.00 bill hanging over from the last company my optometrist worked for, that the optometrist wanted me to pay. She billed me right around the date of the wedding. I lost the darn bill. I’ve been to her shop since then for, oh, at least 3-4 times, paid a quite large bill for exam and two pair of glasses, one driving, one reading—quite a few hundred dollars…and now I get a notice, atop the bad prescription and the fact they only offer plastic lenses—that they’re sending the 16.00 to collection. I rather hit the ceiling, dashed off a check with the note—‘y’know, you could have billed me for this any of the three recent trips I’ve made to your office’—and decided on a new optometrist anyway.

So, well, I’m pretty satisfied with the new guy. And Costco recommended a local company that does glass, right over from my house. They grind their own lenses. So I have hopes. Meanwhile I’m still looking for the darn glasses, which are very hard to find—being titanium wire no-frame, mostly lens. I’ve looked under furniture. I’m now thinking cat toy.

Rearranging the furniture…Rubik’s Cube.

You’d be surprised at the dustbunnies you find…

I thought there was only one way to arrange this room. Then I had a bit of an inspiration—at least to get a way to get to the upper left corner without edging sideways. And it went pretty easily. The bed is one of those Sleep Number sorts, which is real light, except the grippy bottom of the platform which requires the mattress to be moved off before it will scoot on carpet. But it did move. Two small wicker chests are now on either side. Two pieces are moved out, and I hate to get rid of them, but thus far, no way to use them. I’ll think about that.

Shu is concerned. He has his pathway he likes to walk. My own Sei is not that acrobatic, the silly lad. But I’m sure they will both explore.

I can tell the air is free of dust. That’s a good thing. And room to move without crawling over furniture—that’s good, too.

Our place is not real large. And that’s a good thing. A big house means you have whole rooms you don’t visit often. I assure you we visit ALL the rooms. Many times. But it also means what has a place had better be in it…and if it doesn’t have a place it needs to move. We still have some things to sort from 3 moves inside 7 years—you get stuff for a place, that fits that place, and then you go someplace where you need something else and that stuff doesn’t fit, and then you do it a third time—not to mention the business records, the library, the extra books, and the hobbies and “I can fix that’s” But now I have to put this room in good order, because, well, it’s that ‘place for everything’ idea…

Temporal Lobe Epilepsy…as the cause of Tut’s demise.

Explaining his grandfather’s vision of the sphinx telling him he would be pharoah…his father’s vision of the new Sun god Aton, Tut’s conversion back to the old religion, his wider-than-normal hip structure, his early death, and leg fracture…and his body type, and early death: all these are, according to a new Smithsonian production, and a doctor familiar with genetic problems, indicative of this disorder, which without treatment can present this constellation of evidence. The disorder is inherited, affects hormonal shifts including the body shape, causes hallucinations particularly responsive to religion, can cause falls, etc. His parents (they analysed DNA) were as close as brother and sister [his father was Ankhenaton] and this gave him a double dose of the family genetics.

Fascinating program: Tutankhamun: The Truth Uncovered. Catch it when you get a chance. I’ve seen a lot of theories come down the pike, but I find this one fairly well convincing.

Reign. Silliness on the half-shell. Actually kind of entertaining…

Finally got around to watching this on Netflix. The elder queen is wonderful; so is King Henri. If it weren’t for her–and him—the whole thing would collapse. The younger gen shouldn’t have been given sharp dinner utensils.

As for historical accuracy—the ONE excuse for Nostradamus, the prophecy that made his fortune—is edited out. The Duc de Guise ain’t bad. But the fashion show is a hoot. The women are in fantasy drag and the men’s pants have belt-loops. This would seem a small thing, until you recall Sir Francis Drake (of the same era) and the striped poofy bloomers that were male fashion of the day. I’m sure we have not only belt-loops, but zippers. It’s as if they blew the budget on the brocades and embroidery for the women and got the men’s costumes off the rack at Walmart.

If you just give up totally on any sort of accuracy—Bash? Are you kidding? Maybe he spells it Baische…and a pagan kid named Pascal (Easter?) Twice, are you kidding? —–it’s a nice fantasy number. If they’d just called it a fantasy they’d have been less silly. Then we could have just declared we have belt-loops.

Damselfish and clownfish—different suits, same fish.

I set up my 102 gallon as a damsel tank: I love their color and fast movement. I traded off most of my corals during the change from my 54 gallon (which is now a freshwater) to the 102—and I’m trying to get the corals built back up.

Now, corals once happy can grow like bandits, even the stony ones. They want water with calcium in it, at a certain ph, and they want light, and food, and to be steady. Stable. Fixed as a rock.

But…certain damsels have this THING about Their Space. They want to decorate it (or not) a certain way.

Had this one piece of coral (we call it a frag) that kept falling down. No matter where I put it, it’d land on the sand.

Then I remembered: you know where in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ they say—‘Pi-rate.’ ” Well. I’m picking up this frag for the umpteenth time, trying to keep it alive, and I see this fat little 3-stripe damsel (vertical slanting black and white stripes) unafraid of God or devil and hovering. And I think: “Oh, yeah. Dam-sel.”

Yep. An hour later that carefully wedged-in frag was on the bottom again. Put it back. DOwn again within the hour.

At this point I get in, soaked to the shoulder, retrieve the frag, and get some ‘reef putty’, that green white-cored stinky stuff well-known to plumbers. YOu knead it til it’s white, and you put the frag’s little butt in it, and you shove it in a hole in the rock. It shapes to the rock, dries hard, and that frag is stuck.

Little so-and-so struck at my hand when I put that frag back in. I persisted and pasted it to the rockwork.

So far, so good. The poor battered frag is starting to bloom again. The damsel is annoyed, but thus far it hasn’t taken it down.

The popularity of Ancestry…

, attracting a raft of naive folk, love ‘em, but…

Columbus sailed the ocean blue
In fourteen hundred ninety-two.

Therefore the presence of a European in a place called Illinois in 1300 is quite remarkable. And the likelihood that he is a citizen of the United States is vanishingly low. The fact that his name is Sir Knight Walter Giffard is bizarre. And why do they insert ‘knight,’ as if ‘sir’ was not enough in a space-limited blank…..

Some even enter USA 10 and more times into the record, as if this helps.

Then there’s the school of thought that fills in ‘Mrs Bloody Sven’ in the spousal blank, though his actual wife may not be known. This means the rest of us have to erase it. And every spouse where the real answer is FNU LNU (first name unknown last name unknown) or just —heaven save us—leave it blank. In case someone has the real answer. I am, however, left with the image of a white-haired, apron-wearing Nordic lady with a spoon…Mrs. Bloody Sven.

Then there is the latest minimalist trend. “Let’s just toss ALL the things we don’t understand.” This leaves us with plain old Maude Pitres. The fact that she is a titled lady whose real name (to distinguish her from all the other de Pitreses) was Maud Fitz Walter de Pitres, which is short for Matilda daughter of the Walter who administered or was born inor whose near ancestor administered or was born in the town of Pitres. Which happens to be in France. Maude Pitres. Facepalm. Facepalm. Facepalm.

Found an interesting little tidbit today, a little ditty to the effect that the Crocker family, the Crewe family and the Coppelstone family (3 Devon families) were standing on their property to meet William the Conqueror. A couple of the Devon lines go back to personal names like Wiganus, etc, which I’m moved to ask—could these be Saxon landholders, still in place a couple of hundred years later. In-trust-in’, as Jane is wont to say.

Meanwhile I struggle through not just Maude Pitres, but a shocking lot of other alterations.

New customers for the service. More names entered. More records put in. All to the good. But oh, my, you just have this image of a couple of people who’ve never motored beyond their county line trying to figure out the way to fill in those blanks, and who add USA because that’s where they are!

Real excitement in genealogy is losing a 300 year time frame….

Pushed a button I should’na pushed.
Me mum’s entire line from great-great gran went blooie. Vanished. Especially nuisanceful is losing the line in your DNA record…and this one carries my MtDNA.

One of the good things about Family Tree software ( is that gone is not gone, if you can find the thread.
Thirty minutes of searching (the descendants of Eliphalet Maxwell are occasionally confused) turned up the critical Eliphalet (you would not believe there was more than one person in Massachusetts named Eliphalet, but there was, and one ancestress may have been married to two of them…still have to straighten that out!) —and I got it. Blink! There they are all back again.

I hate it when that happens. Family Tree is good at finding duplicate ancestors, ie people you’re related to more than once, or three or four times,—which can save you a LOT of copying (x-great-grandfather Thomas Wilson appears twice, with ALL his predecessors, and the same wife with all of hers) but if you run that utility and merge two people who shouldn’t be merged, because (thanks to the Julian/Gregorian calendar mess) you frequently have a person being born in 1722 and 1723. And the fact that parish records often take April as the first month of the new year just makes everything lovelier still, in terms of Are these two people the same person? So when the program asks if Eliphalet born in x year is the same Eliphalet born in x plus or minus a year—and you say ‘yes’, you can end up copying one record over another and just making a mess.

Caution, Will Robinson.

And don’t panic. Nothing gets erased—just…disconnected. And you have to find the button and buttonhole.

Jane and I have resurrected an old practice in our writing…

Reading. Simple as it sounds, reading the week’s progress to each other.

It’s a case of…when you know there’s a deadline…

Funny thing. You work.

Rain, rain, rain and a dash to the supermarket.

Laying in supplies. And a couple of pies. We start our Christmas decorating on Thanksgiving Day, so I’m not cooking. Bought the pies, boxed stuffing, etc, and we’ll just get along ok.

Christmas, now, we’ll unbend and maybe actually cook. Granted we get some of the stuff done to clear the decks that we want to get done.