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I have long thought there was a barometric component to my gut troubles. Last night was a good example. I had some Captain D's fried fish for supper and had no problems. Three hours later my gut was just starting to grumble; so were the heavens, with distant thunder. I actually had heartburn bad enough I took some bicarbonate of soda. That greatly helped with the heartburn, but my gut was still upset. I had a milkshake, which usually solves the problem. It only helped some this time. A couple of hours after that I had some green tea and crackers.That didn't seem to help or hurt. The TV was giving repeated warnings about the approaching storms. 
Not long after I went to bed I had to get up and start taking different things. This included a probiotic and some generic Bentyl. I was up and down all night. 
Several storms passed through, and in the quiet between those my cats (at least one of them) kept fussing. I finally got up at 8 - after all the storms were through - fed them, opened the cat flap and went back to bed. Got up for good a little before 10. Still having problems. (I'm not the only one. Michael, the 12 year old who has to be given thyroid medicine, is off his feed today and only got a partial dose.)
Managed to eat lunch but even with more probiotics and Bentyl my gut is crunching. Probably won't be going to gaming tonight. 
stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)

The Saturday night gaming group I'm in is currently playing an RPG set starting in 1920 (now a few months into 1921) which involves the player characters and some other folks gaining powers. My guy was a veteran of the Great War. He was badly injured in an artillery barrage, and probably had both PTSD and TBM. He was working with Catholic Relief Services helping people - including veterans - when his powers kicked in.

He is writing essays trying to present rational, reasonable support for moral behavior without resorting to religion as a justification. He has also written a hymn, titled  "A Praise of Bravery; A Prayer for Peace". I was working with the GM over several sessions on these items, when one night I literally dreamed the following:
I dream of flying. 
I dream of soaring over the battlefields.
I dream of bravery and fear,
Of struggle and pain,
Of victory and death.
Of lives and bodies spent
To gain yards.
Or nothing.
I dream of the rulers.
Of how they waste their soldiers,
Their civilians, entire nations,
Without care.
As if playing some child's game writ large,
And in blood.
Their only goal to move pins on maps.
I dream I cry out to God:
We are so weak and small, 
And the world is so horrible
How do we make it better?
God replies:
You are greater than you know.
Raise your voices, raise your fists.
Show those you fear your true strength,
And they will fear you and listen,
And the world will be better.
I dream of a world of peace and plenty.
Where those few who wish violence
Are caught and taught
A better way.
I dream of flying.

It's not coincidental that his powers came with an angelic alternate form. I just he doesn't wind up becoming this world's Edith Keeler.
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The title of this video is "Failed Gun Yoga" and you can see why in the introductory still image: ;
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From the background notes of a fantasy novel I am this >< close to completing.  

CS 1323 Horace II crowned King of the Compact.


Horace is a quiet, patient man, which leads some to underestimate him. However, when his patience runs out he can take dramatic, decisive action. One of the more notable examples of this happened when he finally had enough of two nobles who were squabbling over a parcel of land. 

After more than a decade of each man refusing any agreement offered which did not completely cater to his full demands they finally came before King Horace. After listening to them argue and shout and scream at each other for nearly two hours Horace came to the conclusion that they weren't actually interested in the land, they just wanted to argue. He ordered his guards to dunk them in the palace pond then make them stand on the bank in their wet clothes on a cold, windy Winter evening until they reached an agreement. 


Interestingly, both the dunked nobles become firm allies of Horace for the rest of their lives.

stickmaker: (Bust image of Runner)
Once AIs are accepted as people there will still be a steep learning curve:



Apr. 17th, 2017 08:35 am
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I just discovered that I was not actually subscribed to a large number of accounts I thought I was already subscribed to. No wonder it's been so quiet... 
stickmaker: (Default)

From a fantasy novel in progress, currently at 92,800 words:


"It's solid, my Lord," said the soldier, turning from the heavy double doors to his master.

"Well, let's try the easy way first," said Lord Bormton. 

He pulled something from a pocket and whispered to it. Those around him shied back as a misty form rose from the unseen object. 

"Go in there. Drive them out. Do not kill or seriously injure them."

"Yes, Lord Bormton," said the thing, in a voice as insubstantial as its appearance. 

The mist lost its definition and flowed to the doors, then through the tiny gap between them. 

There was a pause. Then they heard, distinctly, "Oh, balls!" in the demon's voice, followed immediately by an unholy shriek. 

Then all was silent again. 

"Well, it appears we need to try something more difficult," said Lord Bormton, dissembling. 

He was nonplussed, and distressed over losing that bound servant, but managed to give the impression the setback was minor and unsurprising. 


* * *


"I think that's the fastest I've ever seen a demon driven off," said Bergen, smirking. 

"It was a minor Aerial, the sort of thing normally used for spying or poisoning," said Llewellyn, keeping an eye on the door while his familiar, Grey, watched the stove pipe. "They're good at getting through wards and passing unnoticed, but not very formidable otherwise. Whoever sent it was powerful, though, to have it ready to hand like that. We must be on our guard."

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Here are the photos I took at the 2017 Conglomeration on Friday:

Unfortunately, I woke up Saturday with a full-blown cold and missed the rest of the con. 


Apr. 9th, 2017 05:20 pm
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I record Svengoolie on Saturday nights. Today, at home sick, I watched last night's program, which was _Rodan_ from 1956. (I kept expecting people to yell "It's as big as a battleship!" but _The Giant Claw_ came out in 1957.)

Most of the voices for the English dub were done by Paul Frees and Key Luke, with help from several others, including George Takei.

I like the way they manage to keep the tension while also not revealing the main monster until well into the movie. I admit to not being fond of the ending. I haven't seen the original (as I have with the original _Gojira_) so I don't know how much of the plot in this is true to it. It is a very different movie from _Godzilla_ (or even _Gojira_), actually taking a lot of the feel and some of the plot from _Them!_. 
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In retrospect, I'm not surprised I got sick Friday evening.

I spent a large part of Tuesday morning kneeling or sitting on cold, wet ground planting a couple of chestnut crabapple saplings. This was a day when the wind blew cold, but without it the hot sun made me sweat. There was no happy medium. 

Wednesday I spent a large part of the afternoon getting my flower bed ready. The temperature was much warmer, and by the time I finished (read: gave up from exhaustion) I was spent. 

Thursday I had lunch with some friends, bought some groceries, then spent the afternoon and evening making cookies and baking bread.

So, yeah, by Friday I was tired. I thought the sneezing, coughing and nose-eye irritation which started late that afternoon was just allergies - and it's possible some of it was. By early Saturday morning, though, I had some sort of bug. 

I'm better today (Sunday). In that I feel fine unless I exert myself. *Exert* in this case including standing. 
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I slept almost ten hours last night. In terms of overall health I am feeling much better. However, my back and right hip are very stiff and sore. 
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I enjoyed going to Conglomeration yesterday (Friday), and was looking forward to returning today; especially for the masquerade. However, it seems the "allergy attack" which caused me to leave a little early is turning into a cold. I have reluctantly decided to stay home today. 

Even if I manage to get back there tomorrow I'll miss the masquerade tonight. :-(
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Excerpt from an SF novel in progress:


Keelo chose to enter the system from a direction which put them in a position for a dramatic view. They came out of drive with the star ahead of them - which was, of course, normal. Beyond it was a thin, shining ring, fully illuminated by its star. 

Take a narrow tube. Rotate it around its long axis to simulate gravity on the inner surface, after the fashion of an O'Neill colony. Give it a slight curve and extend it until the ends join to make a vast circle. Partitioning this into world-sized chunks so one hole doesn't leak all the air. The radius of curvature of the ring as a whole would be so great with respect to the tube's diameter that the flexing from rotation would be trivial, especially with the sorts of materials the Pertarn had. Orient the ring so that the large axis of rotation points through the parent star. Allow the portions above and below the ecliptic to curve away from the star through orbital dynamics. This last to give seasons as the ring rotated, two "years" per full turn. 

Several such habitats were known, most of them created by the Pertarn. This was the most nearly intact of them, and also the most nearly intact of all known surviving large Pertarn constructs, which involved far more classes of objects than just habitats. This object had nearly a quarter of the sections open to space or otherwise no longer habitable. Even so, it had vastly more viable land surface remaining than any habitable planet. Various cultures had made use of - and even repairs to - the structure since the fall of the Pertarn. Something which would have given those xenophobic former masters of the Local Great Cluster fits. Currently, the habitat contained a mix of ecosystems, with little of the original life remaining. Some of that change was due to simple evolution. Which would also have upset the inflexible Pertarn.

The primary was an elderly K3 star, unremarkable except for the habitat and associated facilities. 

"Just think," said Gail, wistfully, "only a little over a billion years before it starts going red giant. I wonder if anyone will bother to save the habitat."

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Conglomeration starts this coming Friday (April 7). I will attend but have decided not to stay in the hotel this year. I live just a fifty minute drive away, and I have a cat who needs to be given a pill once a day. 
I hope to make cookies and bread to bring, as usual.


Mar. 31st, 2017 01:51 pm
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Online comic strip, worksafe, pun alert. Setup:

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Giant Sequoias are fertilized by dust which blows in from the Gobi Desert:
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World's largest aircraft crashes during second flight:
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Troops drank a *lot* in the First World War:
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I've felt bad since I got out of bed this morning. Gut upset, throat irritated, general malaise. I called my mother to let her know I likely would not be stopping by to fix the guest bathroom sink today. Got her answering machine. Left a message, then laid down in my heated recliner and pulled the old sleeping bag I keep on the foot rest over me. I was just dozing off when the phone rang.

Nope. it was a telemarketer.

So, wide awake, feeling no better. Will have a nice, hot bowl of soup for lunch then try again. 
stickmaker: (Default)
Fascinating. Some engineers at NASA are working on a purely mechanical probe for Venus. Like an old-fashioned music box it would perform weeks of tests. The data would be physically encoded onto LP-like metal disks, which would be lifted by balloon for retrieval by a drone. 

Power would come from a windmill on the lander winding a spring. 

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