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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.

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CONVENTION APPEARANCES

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.
September 2014
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Shejicon I hope was a success: wish everybody a safe trip…

Had a quiet good time. Thank you for the wonderful gift. I know many contributed who weren’t able to be there. I’m so happy to have it. It’s going to have a place of honor in ultimate arranging. And thank you all, those who could attend and those who couldn’t make it. We’ll do this again sometime, if interest is there.

Jane got the drapes finished….they’re really spiff.

And Seishi is feeling better. Still not asking him to eat regular food, but he’s certainly not seeming out of sorts.

Took Seishi back to the vet.

Diagnosis: tonsilitis. Why, except it’s allergy season, I have no idea. But I could tell the point at which he starts to gag on kibble is pretty well the point at which the food reaches the back of his jaw. So they x-rayed him for stray string or sewing needles—a possibility in this house—and negative on that. The tonsils, however—merited an injected antibiotic, and some painkiller I can give him via needle-less syringe every 12 hours.

He’s already feeling much better, doing his usual head-butting of my computer screen, and acting happy. Shu is hissing and spitting at him because he smells like the hospital.

My own leg got through last night’s climbing up and down the boat stairs to the top (I will eat out on the deck even when it’s raining, but the rain held off, and we had a lovely party…managed to coordinate Tim & Cheryl, Randy & Char, all of local fandom, and Patty & Mike Briggs, all on the same sailing, all made it through traffic —we squeaked in last!—and stuffed ourselves. Really good feed, and one dinner in which there’s not one single dish with onion! But I had to go upstairs and down with food and drink, and I was really stiff — didn’t sleep much because I knew I had to get Seishi in at 8:15 and I was afraid to take a pain med lest I oversleep.

And I was worried, of course, about Seishi. It was raining—at least it missed the party last night. And of course by the time I brought Seishi back, the sprinkler system was going, and soaked me—he was in his carrier.

But over all, not so bad a thing.

Doing the birthday thing today—haven’t done a lick of actual work…

…except helping Jane with the drapes. Which she’s freehanding. WHich are going to look good.

Headed out for free birthday steak at the Swinging Door.

Maybe dessert. ;)

had a kitteh scare…

Seishi had a real 24 hour bout with nausea. This being (of course) Saturday we had to hale him forthwith into the vet’s before closing (at noon) and get him checked out. They think it’s just hairballs, and just shot him full of kitteh Exlax and fluids and sent him home. We’re going to be keeping an eye on him. He’s 3 years old and has a bad habit of scarfing down anything remotely resembling string, which is a very bad kitteh habit.

I was up half the night with the poor lad. Now he’s not real happy, but the vet says he has no fever, no sign of any blockage, just, we think, a real unhappy gut.

Arrrgh.

I am in love with this garden clipper…

Hands can get quite sore coping with shears and vines and bushes.

Got this lovely little Mantis grass and shrub trimmer, qv, which powers up a battery, then handily uses a back and forth action to make good cuts on branches up to a quarter inch.

Oh, have we got work for this one!

Bardarbunga is apparently sending an outrunner of magma over to a neighbor…

The linkAnd melting the ice over it.
It comes down to ‘nobody knows what will happen.’
But it is now pretty well officially erupting.

After the rock setup, under actinics only: tank by moonlight, just after fill dust settled: fish are hiding.

This is how the tank is for an hour before main lights come on and an hour after they go off: this is actinic (blue) light, which is high-energy light that penetrates deep. The fish have headed for their nooks in the rocks.

The tank, somewhat later…

shortly after the fillshortly after the fill

Thing’s taller than I am. 105 gallons. Dream tank of a lifetime—but boy! has it been a bear to get set up! I think we are finally where we should have been last year at this time!

Why the ocean is the ocean…

The ocean’s chemistry is really pretty simple: it eats rocks. It supports organisms that, from microcellular up, eat the dissolved rock and eat light of a favored spectrum, which energizes their little cell-parts and makes the eating re-constitute into shells, tissue, skeleton. If conditions go ‘off’ it fosters areas of the food chain that ordinarily are very sparse, and other things start to grow—like cyanobacteria, which lives on sunlight as a sheet of red thick feathery slime, photosynthesizes simple sugars, and gives off oxygen bubbles.

If it weren’t for cyano, earth wouldn’t have an oxygen atmosphere, wouldn’t have recovered after the Permian Extinction, and wouldn’t have green plants—which developed incorporating an element of cyano. It’s part of earth’s balance: the atmosphere goes wonky enough to distort the solar spectrum and you get lots and lots of cyano. Piles of it.

If it happens in your tank, alas, not so good. So you have to keep your lights burning true to the sun’s spectrum…and metal halide bulbs don’t so much burn out as ‘burn down’, or yellower.

Things die, and the ocean dissolves their skeletons and new critters suck it up and build their skeletons. The precise amount of calcium ocean water can dissolve is 2 tsp a gallon, unless the ph is high. Then maybe 2.5. People put white vinegar in their tanks to force a bit more into solution, but you have to supply the calcium in the first place…and what we use is, yes, Mrs. Wages’ Pickling Lime, meant for cucumber pickles. Works like a charm, dumped into the fresh water we add as make-up for evaporation.

A marine tank is surprisingly little care, so long as you keep fresh water slipping in via a float switch (a lot like your toilet tank) and keep the water circulating and a high rate of speed and the calcium in the water sufficient—since no more than 2 tsp WILL dissolve, I don’t even measure: I dump a whole packet in and trust basic chemistry to happen. You have to change out the lights periodically. And there’s a device called a skimmer, which produces bubbles in a chamber and extrudes froth, which is amino acids the system doesn’t want: with that, pure water, a good salt mix you buy—things are remarkably stable and coral grows and fish thrive.

A lot of people get spooked off aquaria at the goldfish level—and the pure answer is—goldfish are a type of fish better off in ponds, not gallon jars. They don’t get enough exercise and eat too much: recipe for bad health; and one gallon doesn’t provide enough oxygen, either: if in the least dirty, the water carries even less oxygen. And tapwater is full of stuff they shouldn’t be breathing, even if you correctly use water conditioner to remove the chloramine. Small wonder goldfish demise. They’re NOT an easy fish in the first place.

The hobby as a whole has marvelous equipment compared to what we used to use. We’ve got one freshwater and one marine tank, the latter of which shouldn’t have been as much trouble as it’s been, except that I got some iffy rock, which has taken months to condition into honest live rock—[meaning it's got bacteria living all the way through it and it's soaked out all the phosphate it came in with]—which now serves as a very important biological filter. It’ll be great rock, now. And the coral should start to grow.

This is how the the arrival tank arrived. 800 lbs. In the street. If it hadn’t been for Mike and Patty Briggs, who drove up from the Tricities (150 miles one way) to help us, and Tim Martin who came straight from work—we’d have been in real trouble. If you’re interested, I’ll show more pix of the tank during setup.