Friday, July 31, 2015

Flowers That Fly?

     Butterflies are one of the happier things to see.  This great big yellow one landed in the back yard as I walked from the garage to the house.
     Took flight when I tried to sneak up closer, and wandered over to the neighbors.

0444 And Feeling Guilty

     I just polished off the last of the bacon.  There were only three slices left, which is probably one more than I should have had, but who bothers with one slice of bacon?  I could have cooked it and left it for Tam, but by the time she awoke, that lone slice -- or maybe a slice and a half, to split the remainder equally -- would have been keeping warm over the pilot light in the oven for an hour and a half, and would not be all that great.

     Anyway, that's how I justified it when I added the last slice of bacon to my bacon-and-egg-on-toast this morning.  I'll have to put a ten in the Bacon Fund.  The corner market is just a bike ride away, after all--

     But I'm still feeling guilty about eating that last slice of bacon.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Another Early Day

     And I'm for the shower!  One nice thing, it's been cooling off better overnight.  It will still be very hot and humid by afternoon but I get more of the more-comfortable weather.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Up Early

     There's a project getting underway at the North Campus of the Skunk Workings and it involves actual skilled trades other than my own.  Most of those folks like to start before the sun gets too high and I'd just as soon they weren't yawning and/or griping on some oddball shift: we've got electrical work to do, some of it on panels that can't be shut off and when I say "we," I do not mean me.

     That leaves me with the "yawning and griping" department, a job I'm sure I can manage.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


     For those of us who grew up with parents and teachers who had vivid memories of WW II (and lots of newsreel footage to back it up), those of you who are going around in the wake of the Iran nuke deal griping about how Israel is just trying to monger war and get the U.S. to fight it for them sound scarily like the speakers at a late-1930s Bund meeting. --And if you don't know what a "Bund" was in this context, you're part of the problem.

I Keep Putting Off...

      I have a couple of "aloft" projects, one on a huge, flat roof at work where the only drawbacks are A) heat, B) I'm going to need wall-socket juice for a heavy-duty heat-shrink gun and that will mean hauling a hundred-fifty foot (or more) extension cord more up a fifteen-foot ladder and C) heat.

     The other one is here at home, periodic replacement of the farm-type outdoor light that illuminates the back yard -- when it works.  It's all ladder-type work, twelve feet up, and I'll have to shut off breaker number one, which protects one of the four original circuits in the house and includes about three-quarters of the overhead lights.  No real excuse for this one, other than I don't want to do it when I'm tired or dizzy, or it's raining or beastly hot.

     Gonna have to, though, before too long.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Sunday: Range, Public Greens, Fast Asleep By Four

     It was a fun day and it went all too fast (my doctor may be onto something with her theory that I have a sinus infection and haven't noticed).

     Tam and I decided to go over to Eagle Creek Pistol Range -- shotguns are okay there, too, and Tam brought hers...
     ...But only after Rannie checked the shotgun case for fit and comfort.

     I had my .22 Short H&R "Trapper" and 9-shot High-Standard Sentinel (.22 LR and down), plus an old Colt .32-20 that needed to have a couple of cylinders run through it.
  I'm rusty as can be, and wasn't shooting well enough to suit me, two or three outside the 3" center for every ten shots at seven yards.  I had a box of really badly-primed Remington -- three tries in two different spots ought to fire a .22 cartridge -- and did better after I dug into some Federal.  The CCI shorties for the Trapper were reliable as can be, so I can't blame fliers on them.

     But I can take artsy pictures!

    Eagle Creek airport was busy too, and one of the approaches takes airplanes right next to the range -- out from under the roof, you can look westward and see the little planes zooming by as they come in to land.  (Worrywarts can look the geometry of this up on Google Maps -- the planes are quite safe from the partially-roofed range.)

     After our range time, we washed up and headed for the delightful Public Greens, Tam's concession to my limited dining-out time (she was hungry for a charcuterie plate, and who could blame her?)  Instead, she went with chicken fingers and fried green tomatoes, a treat they do as well as I have ever had this side of the Mason-Dixon line (other than at home as child).  I begged a small one from her, which added to a huge sandwich and mixed-greens salad:
     That's yet another take on pork bahn mi, and remarkably flavorful.  It helps that Public Greens grows a lot of their own vegetables right next to the restaurant and what you eat was rooted in the earth not an hour or two before arriving at your plate -- and it helps even more that they have simply outstanding talent in the kitchen.

     I didn't think I could eat all of it but each bite was better than the one before and in what seemed like no time at all, I was looking at an empty plate and wondering what happened.

     We went home, unpacked and were greeted by The King Of The House.
     I decided to lay down for just a minute and the next time I opened my eyes, it was ten p.m.  I went back to sleep for eight more hours and here I am.

Sunday, July 26, 2015


     You'd think anything this spectacular would make a sound--
     It crept up quiet as ever.

     Some things do make a sound: I got my motorscooter running day before yesterday; once I filled up the gas, it started almost immediately, which is very pleasant considering it'd been stored since late last Fall.  I always add the storage treatment to the the gas at the end of the year but the tank was almost empty.  I was worried there was going to be a great deal to do.  I still have to clean the air filter and change the oil.  It's starting to be time to think about new tires, too.  And I'm going to have to scrub down the cargo racks with something very mild and then wax them: the Indian chrome-plating has thin spots and the thin spots are just beginning to show a haze of red.

     But, once started and running smoothly, the first thing to do was take a few loops around the block and then and a nice long check ride yesterday.  I burbled up back street to to the Indianapolis Art Center (where the Indiana Writer's Center hangs their mills) and return...

     ...With a stop at the incomparable Rene's Bakery along the way!
Rene's always reminds me of the galley on a submarine.  There's a whole lot of bakery in a very small space -- and room for four customers, if three of them are family or very close friends.
     What's in the case?  Deliciousness!
      I brought back an almond croissant and some banana-walnut bread.  I bought a chocolate brownie, too, but I devoured it while reading at the Art Center's park.

Saturday, July 25, 2015


     Did you hear the one about somebody making a film out of Robert A. Heinlein's All You Zombies--?

     I kind of had, and dismissed it: I remember Starship Troopers.  Besides, the short story is a stunt, a joke, not the kind of thing filmmakers could do without getting creepy -- or creepily over-sincere.

     I was wrong.  Way wrong.  Predestination is an excellent movie.  It's not a thriller like a Bond film or the excellent Kingsman;* it's not exactly a time-travel Jenga like the clever, quiet I'll Follow You Down.*  What it is, at the core, is the Heinlein tale, the main narrative quite unapologetically as originally told (barring a little rearrangement in one linear stretch of Jane's timeline), including the setting.  This is then wrapped in even more time-travel complexity that in no wise detracts from the film.

     In terms of pace, soundtrack and photography, it reminds me of Gattaca.  If H. L. Gold's Galaxy magazine had spawned a film division, these are the kinds of movies they'd make.

     See this film.  It's an hour and thirty-eight minutes your won't regret.

     Side note: I picked up an Amazon Fire HDMI dongle for my bedroom TV.  Works great!  There are several similar devices on the market -- Roku was the first and still probably the most common; I have one on the living room TV.  For my viewing habits, they are much better than cable.  With a decent antenna for the local stations, I have more TV than ever and I'm not paying for goofball channels I never watch, nor am I trapped by a schedule. YMMV, especially if you follow sports.
* I recommend both of these.  Kingsman is pure, uncut Fleming-grade fun, with just a little directorial over-indulgence in one sequence; check your bran at the door and fasten your seat belt!  Conversely, I'll Follow You Down is understated puzzle-SF devoid of glitz and glitter and if you'll grant it one McGuffin, it will repay you handsomely.

Friday Lunch

     Corn chowder and a pork bahn mi  sandwich.  Delicious!
     Spent Friday morning at the doctor, after a bad flare-up in my whatever-the-heck-it-is-itis that makes the left side of my face hurt.  Along with the usual howl-at-the-moon headache, spot on my upper left gum (where there used to be a tooth) got real tender and inflamed-feeling, which has happened before and is part of what keeps it from being plain old Trigeminal Neuralgia.  So, new prescriptions and they're going to do some more imaging.  I don't expect anything to result from this -- had my hopes up and dashed too many times.  I'm just a little bit broken and there's no fix.  It happens. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Happy Baby

     I read other people's accounts of happy, idyllic childhoods and I don't believe them.  Often, I can't read much of it: I find the narrative implausible, a collection of braggart confabulations like the kid on my grade-school bus route who claimed his (unprepossessing, middle-class) family home had an indoor pool and an elevator.  I read that kind of thing and I want to call BS on it.

     In my experience, children are small, weak and powerless, of no great worth; you didn't know the rules and nobody would tell you what they were.  You went where you were told, when you were told and if you offered up any of your own thoughts, you got ignored or belittled.  Siblings were't allies and pals; at best, they were untrustworthy neutral inhabitants of the same house.  Parents?  "Do as we say, or we won't love you."  I tried real hard not to care about that.  Happiness?  "You're not here to be happy."

     I hid in books, in reading. Books were nominally okay, though the kind of books I liked best (science fiction) were held in low regard.  I still have scars on my forearms from reading under the covers with a hot little desk lamp after all my flashlights had been confiscated.

     When I got older, I told my parents I wanted to be a writer.  Oh, no, that was an unacceptable choice.  Didn't I understand how few writers ever succeeded?  I need to go into something practical, something better than my parent's jobs.  That's probably why I wasn't discouraged from tech-y interests: at least they were down-to-earth. 

     I loathed my childhood.  I wanted out as quickly as possible.  Eventually I had my chance and took it, just moved out one day, fearing it was somehow illegal to do so without permission.  I was 19 at the time.

     Sadly, you can physically move away but you take the inside of your head with you.  You carry your history. Or maybe you don't.  I do.  I wonder sometimes just how much of my career path has been driven by old history, by being told over and over that my dreams were wrong, by rebelling no further than I dared.

     Darned if I know.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Ouch, Again

     On second thought, forget it.  Shouldn't you be out playing in traffic or something?