Submission Transmitted

Just sent a short story for consideration for this anthology.

Dang Feminists

I was grumpy when I made this little guy.

So, I guess I felt it necessary to make him suffer.

I went west for the holiday weekend and it was lovely. I spent a day kayaking on Lake Mendocino, where my Army Corps of Engineers annual pass saved me a whopping $3. (Lake Englebright is a Corps lake, and the $30 pass is well worth it.)

On the second day, I wandered up and down the coast, enjoying different beaches and parks. I've now been on every single mile of California 20.

The beach access in Mendocino County from Fort Bragg and south is great. And everywhere I stopped was free. But then I crossed into Sonoma County and they wanted $7, which seemed like a lot since there was only an hour or two left before the park closed at sunset.

But it really didn't matter. Who can stay mad with the beautiful sound of the crashing Pacific waves?

Submission Rejected

Related to this post.

Affidavit of Lyman A. Cutlar Regarding Pig Shooting, September 7, 1859,Page 1 of 5

This affidavit is in the US National Archives, people.

"That on or about the 15th of last June he shot a hog belonging to the Hudson Bay Company…it was done in a moment of irritation the animal having been at several times a great annoyance…"

I feel I could have read this in the Nevada City Police Blotter.

(If you read the whole thing, you'll find it's actually about the border dispute with Canada.)


Hammer time.

Quiet (Susan Cain)

Subtitled: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

Montgomery, Alabama. December 1, 1955. Early evening. A public bus pulls to a stop and a sensibly dressed woman in her forties gets on.

This book made me angry. I need to process a bit before I can say exactly why.

Sailing to Sarantium (Guy Gavriel Kay)

First Words:

Thunderstorms were common in Sarantium on midsummer nights, sufficiently so to make plausible the oft-repeated-tale that the Emperor Apius passed to the god in the midst of a towering storm, with lightning flashing and rolls of thunder besieging the Holy City.

This is the first of a series. It has mild fantasy elements to it, but I think it would appeal to those who liked The Pillars of the Earth. It felt very similar to me. This book isn't as outright amazing as Under Heaven, but I'll be getting the next one.

There are multiple titular lines in this one. They jumped out a bit because I was watching the '70s series I, Claudius, during the same period in which I was reading this book. A character in that show noted that "Sailing to Rome" had become a euphemism for having an appointment with death.


Well, it seems that both my banana plant and my bristlecone pine tree have been growing failures.

So the obvious thing to do is try to grow something else. This was a gift for Christmas:

It says it's "Fun for Kids!" so I might not enjoy this. There's a bag of dirt and spores (I assume).

I've initiated the first step: soak the bag for 12 hours.

Wish me luck, Pappa Smurf!

Another Attempt at Lake Baltimore

You might remember that I tried to get to Lake Baltimore last November and got stuck in the snow.

It was near 80°F yesterday in Nevada City, so I thought it would be a good time to try again.

I was wrong. It's all very well to have a four-wheel-drive vehicle, but it doesn't do you much good without clearance. I jammed the car up there so good that one of the tires wasn't even touching the ground. I spent an hour or so trying to dig out with a stick.

Digging with a stick is kinda useless, too. Then I had a bright idea. If the problem was that the snow was too high in the middle...

Yes, I know this was a stupid idea and I could have gotten hurt. But I spent another two hours jacking the car up and putting big stones under the tires.

It was not enough. So, after three hours of trying to do this on my own, I had to throw in the towel. The mosquitoes were bad. That was frustrating! I'm stuck having to dig through the snow with my bare hands, you'd think I wouldn't have to also battle mosquitoes.

This road is Lake Meadows Road. It's a gravel road in the middle of the Tahoe National Forest in Sierra County. There is no mobile reception. So my next bright idea was to walk back to the paved road and then toward State Route 89. I wouldn't be able to walk the 13 miles to 89, but I would surely come upon some cell coverage?

Nope. I learned later that there isn't cell coverage until almost all the way back to Truckee. But luckily, about three miles down the road, I came upon a house (the Tahoe National Forest is interesting, because it isn't one continuous forest; it's a checkerboard of one mile squares alternating public & private lands). They didn't have a phone, but they were willing to get their Jeep out and winch my car off the snow bank, which was very kind. Thanks Track Man and Mike!

You'd think I didn't grow up in the mountains and know better.