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.


Link I Link II

The geology of this place…is kind of interesting.

This is what I live on:

400,000,000 years ago, there had been a considerable mountain range in Eastern Washington. Steptoe Butte was the tallest of that range. So there was some elevation that didn’t eventually get submerged in lava.

But 17,000,000 years ago, the Yellowstone Hot Spot was closer to us. And we had already had some action from the volcanoes of the sequence of subduction zones of the Pacific coast—volcanoes tend to form 80 miles inward of a coast where subduction is taking place, as wet rock gives up its water and it helps the formation of magma. A succession of islands had rammed the Washington coast, creating Washington in the process. The Steptoe area was probably an uplift not unrelated to that action.
But 17,000,000 years ago we had Yellowstone much closer to us, and our own flood basalt Columbia River Basalt Group, specifically the Grand Ronde basalts, laid down some 17,000,000 years ago. Probably this whole region at that time looked like a smoking parking lot, without the stripes, of course; and there was no Columbia river….just black rubble.

Then, 13,000 years ago, the ice age gave way to warming and melting of an ice dam on Lake Missoula, (Montana) sent flood after flood in our direction, giving us Dry Falls, the Columbia River, and the Channeled Scablands—before massive dustbowl conditions swept a lot of Nebraska toward us, creating Palouse hills to the south of us, burying Steptoe, once a very respectable mountain, up to its neck in loess.

We live on a ridge the Missoula floods missed. If you dig down too far in our lawn—you hit 17,000,000 year-old basalt, which exists in huge fractures. I can say we had one 4.5 earthquake here, and this place (we weren’t here at the time) acquired no cracks, but our apartment floor over on Latah Creek split right across, under the carpet and across the entry tiles. It moved as two pieces during the shaking. I was standing on one side and Jane on the other. This house is only one floor, brick and shiplap wood, pretty sturdily built, though our chimney might be at risk from another one.

Love the geology around here. Drive down the Columbia and you get a cross-section view of a huge basalt formation.

Thursday…at least waking without eye pain.

My new glasses are ready. I might go pick them up, if the eye stays as quiet as it is, but I can still tell it’s not happy, so it may not stay quiet all day. I’ve had compresses on the eyes every hour or so all day yesterday, and it’s helping—which is a good thing. Jane says the swelling is going down.

I was at least able to do a little work yesterday, and catch up on some sleep, which this has affected. Quel pain! I’ve never had this problem in my life—but as aforementioned, I think, an online opthamologist friend says this does happen with cataract surgery, as a consequence of the surgery itself, and though the left eye is the stronger, visually, the accident in childhood with the ether just left it the more vulnerable. The problem is pretty well just above where the worst scarring on the eye itself is. So not unrelated, I think.

Still, of all things that could remotely go wrong, this one is fixable with a heated compress, and it’s getting there, so all’s well. Hopefully it’ll be all good by next week.

Better today. Not totally, but on the mend.

Still occasionally feels like a contact lens stuck where it shouldn’t be, but the heat compresses are really helping. Seems dry eye and this sort of thing are not an unknown result of the cataract surgery—I have this from a friend online who is an opthamologist—and all I can do is just keep at the compresses.

Jane has dry eyes also, and says the compresses (we got her one, too) are the best thing since sliced bread.

I’ll try to fix that over-run glitch in the left column — may take me a couple of days. I’m not focussing mentally real well past this discomfort. But I’ll get it.

BTW, sort of heads-up tomorrow re news on gravitational waves, and possibly a proof or disproof of General Relativity. There is a competing theory.

Well, as to jury duty…

I don’t know whether its psychosomatic or what, but waked at 4:30 with the left eye puffy and painful…called the surgeon, which has been a process: took me from 7 am till about 11 to get hold of just the desk at the surgery center; and they’re going to have a look at it tomorrow morning early. Meanwhile eyedrops and compresses. It delivers a stabbing pain now and again sort of like having a contact lens stuck where it doesn’t belong, up under the lid. The optometrist saw it Friday, and said the pressure was good and all that, and couldn’t figure why it would hurt ever so often…

So, well, about 4:30 this morning it hurt worse—waked me up; and wouldn’t quit. Since I’ve gotten up and moved about (and blinked a lot) it’s backed off a bit. But this eye has had a nagging pain now and again ever since the surgery. And since 4:30 this morning it cuts in about every half hour for a few minutes, then quits.

So I went down to the courthouse and told the very reasonable people I have to beg off, so I am off. Since I am off and it is still hurting quite distractingly, I tend not to think it was psychosomatic…but I’ll be happier if the doc tomorrow can find something specific and get rid of the pain. It feels for all the world like an object lodged up somewhere in that nasty little hollow in the upper lid. I wonder if there’s something from the surgery that wandered where it shouldn’t have.

I did stop the meds last Wednesday, as completed, and if anything is going to get infected it now has a chance to be, so I figure I do need to have this looked at asap. If it’s just a nerve that got dinged that will eventually heal, all good: I’ll survive. But I do hope they can figure this out. My eyes are, like, majorly important.

USB-C, new, and possibly more power than your laptop can deal with. Caution. hazard

Well, tomorrow I have to report for ‘jury orientation’ tomorrow…

We’ll see how that goes.
Jane has to call noonish to see if she’s needed again.

So Jane and I, after 3 months of procrastination and disasters, get to Costco.

On a Friday afternoon.

Before Superbowl Sunday.


We were going out to eat.

We decided after several quarter sandwiches, sausage bits and pizza pieces, plus 2 chicken wings and some cinnamon dessert loaf, we could—ah—skip supper.

Final eye exam from the two surgeries today, and all ok.

Because I didn’t opt to have the fancier lens implants, I just have good lenses, but need reading glasses with an astigmatism correction. Which are now on order. Glass lenses. Extra weight, yes, but they clean up so nice. My optometrist is the only place in town that grinds their own lenses, so they can do glass, and have it within a week.

We tried one of those TENS units that uses electric pads to make muscle contract as a treatment for sciatic pain—I read all the ads and reviews for various pills and nostrums and then read WebMD, which said that TENS devices work, not so much the other things. Well, we got one, and it does help. Unfortunately, it refused to recharge. So back it goes to Amazon and we ordered another one.

I am also—gasp—ordering a bedspread set, inspired by the fact the room now has a very nice floor.

If we can just get through the next week or so with jury duty, we are going to get the living room floor to match and quit living on plywood among boxes, of evenings.

I get Jane back today.

I also get the details of the case they’re deliberating. 😉 Curiosity is killing me. But I have ventured no opinions. She’s been having a good time with fellow jurors, in all due solemnity, of course. Jane likes people, and wore her ‘Ignorance Killed the Cat. Curiosity Was Framed…” shirt. (That’s a quote from yrs truly. Tripoint.)

Jury duty.

Jane’s. Sigh.
Mine next week.
I know. Civic duty. When the jury system has a guilty or innocent person with a law that fits, cool. If it’s one of our problematic laws that doesn’t fit or shouldn’t apply, not so cool. If I happen to get a case where I can’t justify the law itself, I can’t vote guilty, no matter what.