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.

7.25 minutes on the swinging machine…

I laid out because of the dental work, but I’ll tell you, I had a moment in the garden that machine pretty well paid for itself. One of those nasty things that happens to you as you get older is that where YOU think you’ve lifted your feet to is not where you’ve REALLY lifted your feet to…meaning you can misstep or trip much more easily, particularly if you’re out of shape.

Well, there’s this rock—must be somebody’s escaped pet rock, because it almost daily turns up on the garden path, and this time it was complicated by a looped back garden hose and a prone but branchless extracted oak sapling we decided to replace with a dogwood.

I hit the damn rock, lost my balance, and as you may recall, our garden paths have basalt chunks as edges, so if you’ve run out of gravel walkway, you have to step over that and hope not to put your foot in a hole under the juniper branches…I lost my balance and did a zig-zag dance over obstacles vaguely like NFL trainees over a course of tires. Unscathed.

Exercise may cause pain—but it can save you from it. Couldn’t have done that a week ago, and those basalt chunks are sharp, nasty things to hit on landing. I am happily continuing on the exercise thingie.

A day after….doing well.

I’ve gotten by on Advil, no problems. I can have hot coffee today, and I can help Jane shove furniture around (prep for the garage sale.)

The next appointment is in 3 weeks, to get the stitches out. Then close upon that, a deep cleaning (scaling) on 1/4 of my mouth, to be followed by other such. 3 to 6 months on, given the bone graft was successful, I get an implant to replace the problem tooth. They were able to save 1/3 of the bridge, which is now a crown. So we’re good on that.

Had smoke the last two days, a fire near Spangle, which is downslope from us, so we got it at ground level. Skies are blue today and we hope they got the fire out.

Making progress on the book today, after all the disruption. I don’t think I should go back on the exercise machine for a couple of days.

All’s well, at least. Writing is moving, despite all the interruptions. During this book I’ve had cataract so bad it interfered with focus, many eye exams, two eye surgeries, a trip to Chicago, two root canals, and now this latest, and I can now see what I’m doing and be somewhat confident I have a dentist I can trust, so—all better! But I need to get this book done.

Dental work accomplished..,

Extraction and bone graft…3 stitches. The pain was minimal, really. The cuff for the blood pressure monitor hurt worse than the extraction. Bone graft (they pour bone powder in and stitch it up) no pain.

Waiting at the pharmacy while a driver with no driver’s license for id wants narcotics—well, annoying. Waiting through this while the numbing agent wears off, less fun.

I am home now with 3 Advil and a Tylenol, and a bottle of codeine if I need it, and it’s just short of noon, from a 9:10 appointment. [25 min of which was waiting for the doc to finish explaining something to a particularly chatty patient.)

All is well. Not ow, yet, but probably soon. For two days I dine on yogurt and ice cream and only iced coffee and oj. Life could be worse. I had an extraction 50 years ago, and that one, yes, was nasty. This was just real smooth, and more uncomfortable than painful.

New ‘toy’…

Some of you who were at Shejicon may have remarked that I was moving a little slowly, a little uncertainly—in point of fact the years of sitting at a keyboard have taken a heavy toll since we gave up figure skating: just years and years of not-walking, not-doing, sitting moving only my fingers.

I’d gotten to the point where stairs were a worry, little 3-step stairs without a hand-rail. One bad fall and I could be in a world of limitation, which would make it even worse.

I don’t have time or energy to run off to the gym; we tried that. Weather, parking, just the daily disruption…so that fell by the wayside.

We do try to walk—but hot weather, rain, snow, ice, what-not, again back to immobility.

Jane is experiencing the same thing: pain that limits mobility.

Mom had had an exerciser she never used: she was just never inclined. She’d always say, “I get enough exercise doing housework.” But time catches up with that. And I don’t want that to happen. I like moving. I like climbing things and doing things.

So I started reading reviews on this thing, a Gazelle Edge. As machines go, it’s not that expensive. It’s no-impact. It’s about the size of a coffee table. It increases stride and balance and restores your walking rhythm. Zing! yes. Two areas needing help. It’s from Amazon. Returnable if not doable.

So I did. Assembling this mass of pipe and airline cable is rather like wrestling with a praying mantis, but we did it. We tried it.

I could only go one minute when I started. One minute, and the arms burn, the shoulders burn, the legs get tired. You never take a step—you swing your legs, while standing, sort of like scuffing through snow, and the path of swing corrects tendencies of knees to knock in or ankles to veer off straight—in other words, it puts you into good alignment, the way skating does. You can bend your knees, or not. It has much the benefit of swimming, but requires less effort, while you still get the burn. It’s also dead silent and non-bouncy, so you can watch telly—and walk. Fast. I resolved to work one minute longer every day, and I’m, with a couple of days off for various reasons, up to six minutes. My target is an hour. Daily.

I’m now able to go up and down stairs without worry; Jane’s hip problem is improving. Tendons that were sore and losing elasticity are recovering. I’m walking with real steps. In a handful of days.

I think this machine is a definite winner. If I work it up even to half an hour a day, it’ll be a real, real help. Did I mention that exercise increases blood flow to the brain and you wake up and get back to work with more energy? Yep. Writing faster.

Today’s preferences: favorite ‘I need comfort food’ dinner…

Mine, currently: spaghetti and meatballs, and I’m really particular about the meatballs. But buy them frozen from Costco…being lazy. I often use Classico tomato sauce—again, since cooking is what I do in 20 minutes after work…from a jar. However, Jane had something at Tomato Street which she really liked, and she says I do better: pour olive oil in a small saucepan, add basil, oregano, black pepper or red chili flake, and a heaping teaspoon of chopped garlic (I get Safeway’s, in oil: Jane and I can tolerate this one member of the lily family if fresh or ‘real’, as in, it was never dried —ironically, there’s a preservative we’re allergic to that they particularly use on garlic)—any, cook the meatballs in that, spoon over spaghetti, add a little parmesan, lovely.

Jane’s: chili with beans over spaghetti, topped with melted cheese, jalapenos and a dollop of very good natural sour cream. But she’s coming to really like the meatballs, too. SHe has trouble with tomatoes.

Eggs. Recipes.

Nuff disasters. How do you like your eggs? Let’s have some silliness.
Mine…if scrambled, I want them whisked once around a hot pan and served. I hate hotel eggs.
If fried, over very easy, or an institution from my childhood, ‘basted.’ This is where eggs aren’t flipped, but the cook uses the spatula to kick hot grease up onto the yolk, which coats it white and cooks the upper surface, while the hot pan cooks the lower. Serve on toast or toasted English muffin—which for the English is sort of a twosided crumpet that comes split to open like a book. Cholesterol on the half shell. Served with thick-sliced peppered bacon. Or hickory smoked bacon. And maybe another muffin with marmelade and real butter. One can hear one’s arteries hardening.

I am very glad it’s not yesterday. Yesterday sucked pondwater.

Jane wasn’t feeling well, think she picked up a bug. And…she went to close down her 50% complete novel file (as I think: I hesitate to ask) and the program simply showed asterisks as a file name. Three months of delicate edits…and gone. Whole file, blank. And saved down. No backup, as it is supposed to make. The program had flat glitched. And it had been way too long, too many delicate edits ago, since the last completely external backup. One of the problems writer folk have, and I have it too, —is the two brain problem. When the right brain is in charge and creation is going on, the leftside brain which is the side that remembers to back up, is not in charge. Is not in the building. The right brain, happy as can be, is not on this planet. It happens to us just way too often. And having the left side take over for a moment is creatively disruptive, to the point where you can’t remember your own character’s name, so it is not often invited to take over at all. This is how we discuss who is driving the car today. WHo is ‘in a scene’ and what kind of scene is it. The one who can safely summon the left brain—drives. The other sits and stares into, well, some other universe. No, there WAS no backup of the delicate part. But thank goodness, computers, like elephants, never forget, even if traumatized.

Well, so, back to yesterday, when Jane arrived at my door with a face gone white and said the computer had lost her file…and the routine backup was lost along with it.

Well, we start to do what used to be a simple file recovery, 1) don’t write to the affected disc any more than necessary 2) get a text-file recovery software, usually Norton 3) find the affected mess 4) give it a new name 5) fix whatever was corrupted, if anything.

Unfortunately, that ability now rests in software-for-pay that is specialty stuff, some of it available to law enforcement only, some of it—well, after several ‘free’ downloads of what turns out either to look ONLY for corrupt Word files (which seems a cottage industry) or to ONLY recover erased files (any boy scout can figure how to restore the first letter of a file name, which is the typical computer erasure..) Oh, no, Norton doesn’t do what Norton used to do, which is to give you access right down to the sectors…and we have reassembled novels out of that schizophrenic chaos….No. We have to find other ways.

Well, Abbey does this sort of thing now and again, helping somebody fish a file out of the digital lake, and she had a program, which FINALLY—after a very upsetting evening—got the file back.

Both of us are frazzled and didn’t get much sleep, after THAT adrenalized day…but we have it.
Win 10 does NOT play nicely with WordPerfect X4. It does have versions that do.

Sigh. Again. Dental troubles.

Today they sealed the work just done. But I feared a full set of x-rays would find more problems, and they have.
Another bridge, this one needing the anchor tooth extracted next Tuesday, with a bone graft, three month wait for that to heal and ultimately an implant, as they try to rework the bridge to be a cap for the other anchor tooth. Maybe two implants.

Plus antibiotics, which make me feel ‘off’, with no holidays possible: got to get this book in and get started on the other.

I do not look forward to this. At all. It’s just so tiresome, dental pain, sore spots, and more and more and more meds.

I’m not feeling too good. Frustrated. Headache from the morning’s procedure. And a bigger headache in terms of just hauling myself up and getting back on even keel.

The chimney is being fixed even as we speak…

It’s not, in my opinion, necessary, but it is over the long haul—a chimney starting to have loose bricks at the top is going to admit water, which in our climate means ice, which expands joints, etc.

So the scaffolding will stay up until Tuesday, giving the mortar time to cure, and then they will finish up and we will have a nice newer chimney than anybody on the block.

Monday, I have yet one more dental appointment, this one with the regular dentist, who will remove the temporary filler on the bridge and replace it with new filler. I don’t see any reason to replace this comfortable bridge at this point. We will discuss that issue.

Meanwhile—we got ourselves a nice new exercise machine that I have some hope for, Gazelle Edge, which is no-impact joint and muscle exercise. It sits in a box in the living room until I clear some space in my room, which involves the garage sale we are finally going to have. We have 3 recliners and a chair to move out, not to mention knick-knacks and unused bric-a-brac and sitabouts. And books. Boxes of books, including old Time-Life sets that we just don’t need. I hope we have a lot of bibliophiles come through.

Mmm, back on antibiotics….after root canal…

Just makes you full of energy. No.

OTOH, it seems it’s a good thing to count your pills. I counted mine, seeing the vial looked less than full, and I’d also lost track of my doses, so I counted and subtracted. Walgreen Drug shorted me 5 pills. Doesn’t show that way in their record, but a 28 and 23 look similar to someone filling the prescription, and I know what I have left. They were nice: they’re going to fork over the 5 pills. The really big issue is that you don’t want to stop a prescription short of full time…