Hey Genius!

You forgot to wear pants!
Ha ha! Made you look!

June 30, 2005

Things I can do in my basement

6/30/2005 09:58:00 PM

  • Sprinkle rice seeds and develop a paddy
  • Set up a mosquito farm
  • Set up a dragonfly farm
  • Get some wee, twee waterskis, one of those tin-toy boats that run on baking soda and vinegar, and lay out a little waterski course for small insects (I could even put little Herb/Fishy/Gaspode, the betta fish, into the water as a shark hazard, and re-create the Jump the Shark moment from Happy Days)
  • Sigh, put on the rubber boots, and swish some more water into my sump pump hole

Yep, ladies and germs, I've got water in the basement. Ground's freakin' saturated around here, and so it's got nowhere to go. And then yesterday it rained. All day, all night, somewhere about 50 mm (2 inches to you Yanks). Better than the 150 mm they were threatening, but still.

So we've been in the basement a lot these past few days. Not thrilled. But then I turn on the TV, and see the folks in Alberta and Saskatchewan with sandbags around their houses, and water so deep in the basement that hipwaders won't help, and I think, It could be worse.

But it could be better, too.

Oh well. These things happen. Someday I'll look back and laugh.

Not today, though, and probably not tomorrow.

So. How's everyone's day been?

June 25, 2005

My wife's been calling me "Lex" lately.

6/25/2005 12:09:00 PM

Not quite sure why.

Any guesses? Anyone?

June 18, 2005

The latest from Earth Fleet

6/18/2005 07:33:00 PM

From my NiP, hot off the presses*:
Verne's death wasn't over yet. It would be days before all his systems failed, and even then the derelict would remain, kilotonnes of metal and plastic and vacuum-formed ceramic, hull plating and observation windows, sensory apparati and hundreds of kilometers of wire. Tanks full of silvery sand, short-range lasers, all of it gravitationally enslaved by RCS4481, his orbit an ellipse calculated automatically by the MIs, since that was something that they just did, and available on request.

Sullivan didn't request it. He didn't want to know.

If someone had come into his suite, that night, just sat there in one of the unoccupied chairs and watched him for a while, they would have thought he was asleep with his eyes open. He slouched in a plastic sling chair, transparent nylon webbing looped through dull steel tubing, and stared at the still holo above the table. Verne's gutted bulk floated at the center of the image, captured by a troika of still-functioning cameras from his near-space sensor cloud. Tiny figures floated in slow orbits around the dying ship, as captive to his gravity as he was to the yellow dwarf's. Occasional flashes of light pinpointed circuit failures or small fires still burning, fueled even in vacuum by air pumps that hadn't yet failed.

Two-thirds of the way back, Verne's shape had changed. Metal and ceramic had flowed like water, altering the profile of the starship. Sullivan thought he knew what was going on.

At the heart of the jump drive and its interdependent ecology of support systems lay a singularity, a tiny black hole. Through some process Sullivan didn't pretend to understand, energy was derived from this hole by firing molecules of hydrogen at a spot just above its event horizon. Fantastic energies were unleashed, most of which were reabsorbed into the systems that held the singularity in place.

Those systems, aboard the hulk of Verne, were failing, or had failed. The captive black hole was free. Verne was being eaten from within.

I'm hoping to soon have something set up where you can read the whole novel so far online. More on that as things progress on that front.

* Or piping hot fresh from the kbd, maybe.

June 12, 2005

That's a weight off

6/12/2005 12:58:00 AM

Well, I finished the first draft of a long short story / short novella I've been working on for about five years, if not longer. It's probably the darkest thing I've written, and it clocks in at about 9,000 words.

It's about the nature of resurrection, dog breeding, and some off-screen kinky-ass sex.

Anyone that's interested in reading it, leave me a note.

June 08, 2005

Submission [Fimbulvetr–>Strange Horizons]

6/08/2005 10:18:00 PM

Sent "Fimbulvetr" off to Strange Horizons today. Here's hoping (but not holding my breath)...

Wish me luck!

June 02, 2005

Weather

6/02/2005 10:50:00 PM

Ahem. Take a letter, please, Miss Maple.

"Dear Saskatchewan and North Dakota:

Please keep your freakin' thunderstorms and hailstones to yourselves.

Your friend,

Pat"




And now for something completely different.

Sample from today's writing:

They set up the projector in one of the chairs in the small conference room, balanced on the black leather seat. Antoni turned away while Cabrell punched his auth code into the little keypad on the projector's flank. One of the green lights turned yellow as it read in his office key, then red as it enabled full crypto.

"All right," said Antoni, settling into one of the remaining chairs, "any minute now."

Cabrell glanced at the wall clock, synched to flotilla time. 8h59. "Any second now," he said, and the projector chirped.

"Go," he said, taking his seat, and Grzgy appeared.

A shaggy mountain, he overfilled the chair, his image obliterating the arms. He'd chosen an ursine corpus, a shambling display of raw power, and Cabrell had to admit that it was intimidating. He nodded to them, and his sharp ivory canines flashed as he said, "Boss Antoni, Mayor Cabrell." His voice was thick, drawn up from that massive chest.

Cabrell felt his anger rise up in him, now that he was looking at its focus. He nodded, jaw clamped shut. Antoni said, "Chief Grzgy," speaking, it seemed, for both of them.

"Now," said Grzgy, "I have some items. Boss Antoni, I would like you to assign an engineering gang to check on that forward vent. It's leaking heat again."

"I thought that it was fixed," said Antoni.

"It appears to have come unfixed."

"There's no indication of it in the maintenance system."

"Then I suggest you have an engineer audit your software, too," said Grzgy. "We don't want unforeseen troubles." His clawed fingertips drummed against the ebony-veneer table in perfect silence.

"Of course," said Antoni.

"Also, I'm forwarding instructions to the city engineers to--"

All right, that was it. Cabrell said, cutting the old bear off, "Look, Mr. Grzgy." The chief bristled, powerful muscle shifting under sleek dark fur. Cabrell knew that he preferred the military forms of address, that he was in fact insulting the chief by calling him "mister" instead of "chief" or at least "boss", but right now he didn't really give a damn. "All I want to know is, when will the pressgang order be lifted? I mean, after all, you've already cracked the Queendom crypto scheme, the fake keys have been built, and the, uh," trying to recall one of the military summaries from almost two weeks ago, "the fooler software has been, in your words or the words of your subordinates, 'written, tested, and deployed'. All before we crossed the orbit of Saturn, as I recall. So when will you release my people?"

Antoni was staring at him, open-mouthed. He couldn't read Grzgy's eyes, but whether that was inscrutability or lossy holographic image compression he wasn't sure. He could guess, though, that the old bear was probably no longer in as good a mood as he'd started this meeting.

Good, he thought. Why should I be the only one pissed off?

"Mr. Mayor," said Grzgy, "sit down." Cabrell realized only then that he'd come half out of his chair during his little tirade, leaning on the table. He sat back, and now the holo of the chief stood up, thick sinew rippling. He started to pace, his range limited by the holo projector so that his steps became an odd, jittery half-skip. "May I remind you, Mr. Mayor, that as leader of the civilian part of this mission"--he didn't quite snarl on civilian, but Cabrell could sense his displeasure--"you are largely a figurehead, most certainly devoid of any real power when it comes to military operations, and as such you are in no position to demand anything of me."

Mmmm, first draft-a-licious...