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.

The windows are in—not all trimmed, but in, in one day.

Gorgeous, but there were some communication breakdowns re what they were going to do and how much time we had to do it…which meant that we expected the front of the house on one day, the back of the house on the next, which they didn’t—so we had to scramble, tired as we were, to move the Rubik’s Cube of the office, not to mention shift the cats about to safe areas without windows missing; and each window (there are 10) has 8 trim parts, from 4 inner moldings to the 4 framing pieces, the sill and the sill support. Which we had pulled to sand and paint, and which began to get mixed up. Jane wanted (with an artist’s sense) to have a fine-furniture finish to all the paint; and it meant a lot of stooping and carrying, which we’re getting too stiff to do, and then I bought oil-based primer, and used water as a brush-dip extender—that’s how exhausted I was, absolutely brain dead. So Jane then had to fix that problem with about 8 pieces atop all the rest.

We were by that time totally fried, the project leader was getting tense, but we managed to get the situation straightened out, however—we agreed that they should do the exterior work on the first non-rain day (it started raining this morning) and that we would meanwhile spackle what needs spackling around the frames, paint, and then prep those molding bits as we like, then call them and they will come out and do the final set.

We were so tired and sore that we could hardly move. Vitamin D, water, calcium, water, magnesium, water, and zinc, with water—all helped. But we agreed that the back pain was somewhere around the level of a broken bone. Or toothache. Jane also lost a filling while eating a very simple burger, so now there’s that to fix.

On the other hand, the windows are beautiful and clear and wonderful. White frames. And the leaking corner of the front window is definitively repaired and solid. We had some mold going there, now fixed, as well.

And the front window is gorgeous. I took pix. Jane will put them on her site when she gets her computers running again…everything had to be unplugged and moved about. The cats took it remarkably in stride, and are just glad to have the run of the house. Skittish Sei was fairly amenable to being caught with all the banging and machine noise going on—I think it finally penetrated his kitty skull that I was trying to protect him, so he didn’t try to run, just clung like Velcro as I shifted him from my room to Jane’s and then to the basement.

We are done with this phase of the house reno as soon as we finish the trim and do the last little bit of floor under the main window. At that point, we cry halt for a number of months.

Stuff about the Universe…and Victoriana

Been having a binge watching of How the Universe Works, and lately Secrets of the Universe, which has some new stuff—on cosmology: estimates of universe age I’ve seen range from 13.7 billion to 13.8.
But size… size is something else, because it’s all expanding. So there’s a difference between the ‘observable universe,’ that ‘13.7 billion lightyears 13.7 years ago…’—and what it is now. And theory now is that the range beyond our vision is mindbogglingly vast…and getting vaster. Quite an interesting program. There’s an awful lot of ‘out there’ out there. 😉

Another good streaming program, if you have Amazon Prime, is Hidden Killers in the Victorian and Edwardian Home. It’s a wonder our great-grandparents survived to reproduce. Being well-to-do was no defense: affluence only brought new ways to die.

Window installation—and not Win10.

Our windows (in our near 70 year old house: it’s actually built in 54, so it’s 62 or 63) need replacing. This is being done. They’re here. They’re on the truck—but one of the installers loading the big one on evidently must’ve saved the window, but hurt his back, hospital visit; so the other installer came out and showed us (because we want to refinish the painted window moldings) how to dismantle them and not have 300 lbs of window (our 8×6 doublepane) fall on our heads—they go in from the inside, and some are fastened to the frame, but the big double-pane thermal sort are just set in from the inside and held by a molding.

Which we’re stripping, sanding, puttying as needed, and refurbing, because new moldings are spendy. We have a heat gun and a scraper and finish sander, and we also pulled the drywall under the window to deal with any lingering water-leak issues. There were. I cleaned it out while Jane continued at the brutal job of molding-stripping. So Monday the installers arrive with windows, and if we have the inner moldings and sills, which will hold the windows, we can add the trim molding as we get it ready to go back up…plus painting the new drywall section to match the rest of the living room.

Color us sore, and right now most of our clothes are in the washing machine, because what we’ve gotten off is just foul, and ticks off our allergies. So—at least we’re making progress, and will have the new windows for summer.
Actually—for next week.

All this while Jane does the accounting for taxtime and tries to convert us all to streaming media.

This is going to make a healthy difference in the house: that water leak in the window, caused because glass flows like a liquid, and over a long lifetime and evidence of a fire in the house—there is this large burned spot in the middle of my bedroom floor, which is why we couldn’t use the original floor—it’s sagged on either end. The installers say in big windows this is not uncommon—sometimes it changes shape so much that the installers have no tolerance at the top to get the thing out—but all told, not having mold anywhere in the house is a good thing. I did this job, because Jane reacts to mold much more so than I do, and I will tell you, the combo of new windows, no mold, and no carpet is already making a difference in the house, which already was clean. Both of us have allergies, and we ended up prioritizing this over other things.

Audible has answered and worked a fix:

“Dear C.J.

I am very sorry for the inconvenience that this has caused you and your fans. After contacting our production team, they were made aware of the error and added the corrected file to the site. Your fans experiencing the errors can certainly remove the version they have from their device and then re-download the book from their library-free of charge of course.”

Apparently Audible has ‘dropouts’ in Visitor, including ending.

If this happened to your copy, contact them: one thing ebooks and audio can do is fix something with a new download.

Jane’s blog has details—we’re bailing from cable tv and phone…

Yep. Saving money. buh-bye, xfinity

We live on a corner. We have had a fence…

A nice fence, yes. For a year or more. Got it for a wedding gift to each other.
And yesterday, a ring of the bell and a nice lady wanted to know where we got it.
We told her, told her how much, gave her the tour…

Three some hours later, a young man rings the bell, admires our fence and wants to know where we got it…

I swore if there was another in one day, I’m loading the gun. This is getting weird.

Just back from Seattle…Tired!

Good trip, nice visits, now our own beds, and no need to get up early.

Buds are bursting forth, and it’s trying to snow.

It’s not doing very well at it, but it’s dropping granular stuff that I’m unsure whether to call hail or sleet, and it’s white coming down, but liquid when it hits dirt.

I have the feeling there’s a layer of cold air sent to us off the heights at Snoqualmie, and that in the Cascades and the Selkirks it is indeed snowing.

Last night we were surprised by a burst of thunder—it almost never thunders in Spokane—and a burst of sideways torrential Oklahoma-style rain. Then it stopped.

Spring in Spokane. I recall on Bloomsday, the first of May, first time we did the race, it was sunny starting; then it rained, and as the cross-city race hit the heights it first hailed, then snowed on us, then as we came down it rained again and I think we finished in sun.

It was Bloomsday, third running, that gave me the notion that running is far more hazardous than ice-skating—got some very unhappy injuries…then of course I went back onto the ice the next day and in sheer fatigue, thought I’d lifted my foot properly in a crossover, but didn’t set it down clear—blades locked together on a fast curve and I took the worst ice fall I’ve ever taken. Usually you can mitigate a fall. Not when your blades lock. Owie. I still feel that one on certain mornings.

On which topic, I happened on a curious fix for general pain. I watched this commercial for a product called Quell, which seems to be a patellar band with a TENS (electrical shock) unit attached that claims to relieve pain, including neuromuscular pain, that burning-all-over-body pain, sort of like plugging a generator into one socket to enliven all the sockets on that circuit. I thought—wonder if its the shock—or the band.

So I hauled out the one of mine I could find, put it on, and lo, the pain markedly diminished, really markedly. I kind of live with the kind of pain often identified as fibromyalgia, but I don’t have some of the other symptoms, so I think what I’ve got is just a highly insulted nervous system that is constantly on the alert for pain; and also what I’ve got is ankles that want to knock in (the Vionic shoes help that) and knees that try to do the same. And that may be the source of much of the pain—sort of like that generator plugin that enlivens the whole circuit—you get to hurting in a particular major nerve and kind of hurt all over as the pain-chemical production just kind of goes over-enthusiastic. I don’t know if it’s the same as the Quell people, but I’m suspecting that for me, at least, sloppy patellar tracking (ie my knee doesn’t flex accurately: the patella is supposed to aim between big toe and second toe, and mine is inward of the big toe if not corrected.) And if I have to stand for any length of time, I hurt all over. At any rate, I’m scrounging up the other of the two patellar bands I have, just to see if it helps. It would be so very nice if it did. The shoes thing ‘cured’ the sciatica. if a band just below the knee could cure that all-over burning muscle pain, I would be so happy. We will see.

Car washing…it hadda be…

Poor car’s been pent up with the laminate sawing and run through de-icer. So my contribution to spring was a trip to the carwash, 2 dollars worth of vacuum-time, and an Armorall kit to get the dash and such.

Toyota’s made a pretty good job of designing a car that stays pretty clean, but hemlock needles are a pest. They stick to your feet and get into the carpet, and there you are. Lots and lots of hemlock needles.

Managed the job without a coat. It’s warming up out there.