Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Trying something new tonight...

I have discovered that my bottle of General Tso's sauce is going to have to go to one of my friends.  I can't use it.  It has wheat ingredients.  Damn it.

I wanted to do something sweet and spicy with some pork chops I had pulled out of the freezer to thaw.  I'd planned on using the General Tso's sauce, but...yeah.  That has been ruled out. 

I've mixed up about a half cup (or perhaps 2/3 c) of honey with about 2Tbsp of sriracha sauce.  I think that will work fairly well, when I use garlic powder and salt on the pork. 

Speaking of the pork, I'm using thick cut pork loin chops--about an inch thick--and I've sliced it thin across the grain.  I'll fry that fair quick, then add a few veggies and the sauce, then leave the skillet simmering for a bit while the rice cooks.  I think it'll be pretty good...at least, I hope it will. 

No, the kids aren't going to be eating it.  The pixie is really not fond of anything even mildly spicy.  The imp is deeply suspicious of new foods, and I don't think he'd like this at all anyway, since he doesn't have a sweet tooth.  This is grown up food.  And, as soon as the kids' episode of Scooby Doo is over, they're gonna eat while I cook for my husband and myself. 

I'm just hoping that the experimentation turns out as good as it sounds.

Monday, June 29, 2015

We need to re-think things, as a nation of Christians.

There's a lot of panic going around, over how the SCOTUS's recent legislation will affect churches who do not want to officiate over gay wedding ceremonies.  Churches are terrified that refusing will lose them their tax exempt status. 

I say: so what?  That tax exempt status is preventing the churches from doing a lot of good--it's a chain, a muzzle, a gag.  Any pastor that says anything outright political that TPTB don't like gets threatened with the church's tax exempt status getting yanked.  That includes castigating parishioners that follow the feelz and have an abortion/fuck around outside of marriage/act on their urges to fuck around despite being married, or any other things that are frowned upon by the whole bible, not just the laws that were fulfilled by the coming of Christ. 

Instead, what we have is this watered-down, passive version of Christianity.  No Jonathan Edwards for us, no sir.  Why, that man was a fire-breathing, politically active pastor that said we were all going to hell!

Well, looking around at the things going on--God being forced out of public schools, while pornography is brought in; girls being snuck out by their school counselors for abortions, without even bothering to tell their parents they were even  pregnant; children being stolen from their families by the state teaching them that anything goes, and their parents are wackos for believing in an Imaginary Friend in the Sky--maybe we, as a nation, are headed in that very direction. 

The results--the mass shootings, the kids looking for direction joining radical Islam because they're not getting it at home or in church, the rising number of unwed mothers and/or abortions in certain demographics, the violence in the streets, the sheer, selfish, thoughtless lack of consideration for one's neighbor--sort of speak for themselves. 

So, yes.  Let that tax exempt status fall by the wayside.  Let the pastors actually start guiding their flocks again.  I will bet you anything that the true Christians will stand up and make damn sure their church is blessed by the removal of the chains and gag. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

random ramblings

I need to start getting to bed earlier.  Especially since I need to cut back on the caffeine while I'm trying to stave off getting a UTI. 

It's gonna be a really, really pretty day.  I'm thinking about taking the kids to the back yard for a while.  I'd just kick them out, but because of neighbor complaints, we no longer have a yappy little dog that gives an alarm if someone approaches that she doesn't know, and we live in town. 

It really sucks.  I dimly remember having unsupervised outside time at their ages.  I wish I could give them the same in their own fucking yard, but it really is a different world of dangers: if it's not the dangers of stranger kidnapping (which actually does happen, no matter what people who quote statistics would say--and has happened near here within the last two years), it's the dangers of some shithead bully calling the cops for what they consider neglect.

And, given the whole issue with somebody calling the cops on the dog, I'm not willing to risk my kids.

We'll be taking the kids and going to PetSmart for some cat food within the next hour, hour and a half.  They'll have their pet adoption days going (i.e., kennel cages with dogs and sometimes cats) set up where the kids can coo over and pet the dogs), and the pixie loves watching the small rodents.  The imp loves the lizards (which seem to love him, too). 

We'd recently gotten the cats some catnip mice, and Cricket loves them.  She carries them around in her mouth, yowling with her mouth full of toy, then jumps up to play with them around the arm of the couch.  I don't mind so much with the toys.  It's when she does it with a real one that I get miffed.

Shadow doesn't care so much for the toy mice.  She'll play with them when she's bored, but she prefers these furry little craft fuzzballs that the pixie brought home after an art project.  They're like pom-poms, but...well, they've got a semi-solid center, and sparklies worked into the fibers sticking out in all directions.  She found one, day before yesterday, and...yeah.  Chaos in the kitchen.  She'd found it at lunchtime for the kids, and it was difficult and took several minutes to get them to stop squealing and giggling over the cat and back to eating their lunches. 

I've got the nibs, feeds, and sections cleaned up on the Parker VS, the Sheaffer White Dot lever fill, and have started on the Sheaffer Touchdown.  I'll need a small clamp before I can put new ink sacs in them--it's probably a bad idea to use my teeth to hold the sections while I stretch the sacs over the section nipples.  Other than that, I've got one more pen (a Sheaffer Fineline lever fill pen--one of their student pens) to fix.  To be honest, I'd kind of forgotten about that one. 

I have two pens I need to do writing samples for, six to take pictures of, and then three to write out of ink and clean up.  Then I'll have six more pens to post on my Etsy page.  After that?  There's the three more I'm going to go ahead and sell to finish fixing, test, write out a sample for, take pictures of, and post. 

Last month, I had someone from Taiwan buy three of my pens.  It came out to around $102 brought in, and I'm beginning to wonder if I really can turn this into a business.  It's kinda going to depend on my time, and how much I can find the pens for, vs. how much I can sell them for. 

Writing...I've hit another block.  I'm up to just almost the halfway point (and up to 21K words in part 1), and I'm wondering if I'm going to have to skip ahead and come back to write the filler up to the good part later.  It's a bit of a slog, and I'm thinking it has less to do with the actually writing, and needing more sleep.

Which takes us back to square one: I need to start getting to bed earlier.

Friday, June 26, 2015


Today, the Supreme Court legislated from the bench, yet again, giving the federal government a firmer foothold into things they have no Constitutional right sticking noses, much less toes, into. 

No, I don't think gay marriage will make marriage a joke.  Radical feminsim did that well enough on its own with the no-fault divorce laws.  Yeah, it's given us a good hard shove down the slippery slope, but the SCOTUS has not made marriage a joke.

No, I don't see it as righting a wrong.  I see today's ruling as committing a wrong.  Not a sin (that's left to the individuals), but a wrong. 

It doesn't fall under the commerce clause (though I'd be willing to bet that's one of the reasons that this was passed--more people filing for licences and paying fees...they think).  It doesn't fall under the non-discrimination amendments, in my opinion, because they had equal right to marry the opposite sex.  Or not to marry, as the case may be. 

No, the SCOTUS decided, unilaterally, to force this onto every state all at once. 

I don't find it as morally repugnant as many will--certainly not on the level of Roe v. Wade--but I do find it repugnant on a legal level. 

Laws are passed by legislatures.  NOT by the judiciary. 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Still need to replace batteries...

...in the camera, you perverts!  ;)

Really, though, I found the camera, I found the batteries, I've got writing samples of four of the six pens I need to take pictures of and sell done...I need to get to it. 

Don't wanna, right now. 

Still need to go work on clearing out clutter on my side of the bed, and clutter off the nightstands. 

Again, don't wanna.

I'd work on my pens, but one has the nib, feed, and section soaking, and the other* has those bits drying. 

Suppose I'll go find a book for the time being, until I feel less tired, and more motivated.  Maybe tomorrow. 

*The Parker VS is a rare bird--it's one of the few manufactured in 1947 with a clear feed, which Parker quit making early in the year. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015


New pens are here!  Two of them do not need repairs, and the other two will have to be relegated to parts pens, since one is a cartridge pen with a cap that doesn't fit, and the other one has a cap that doesn't fit. 

The Parkette seems to be in perfect working order, even though there's some ink residue in the pen.  I'm in the process of soaking it clean. 

The other one that's working doesn't seem to have a brand name.  It's a maroon pen with a gold cap (with a bit of pitting and tarnish on one side of the cap), a hooded nib, a monogram in gold foil, and a triangular shaped grip section.  Much like two other pens I've had come into my possession.  The nib looks to be in better shape than the fixable one of the others like it. I shall find out for sure when I ink it up and try it out.

I'm thinking I need to order some different inks.  I love, love, LOVE the Noodler's inks--especially the burgundy--but I only have one pen that doesn't lay down so much that the ink doesn't show or bleed through most paper. 

That's for later, though.  I have a bottle of Parker's black Quink, a bottle of green and a bottle of red Waterman.  Those will do for now.  And maybe I can figure a burgundy from mixing a little bit of red and a little bit of black. 

Happy, happy!

I have four more pens I won from Ebay for $9.95.  One of them is a Parkette (one of the Parker brand pens that were the "cheap" pens they made, but was fairly high quality), and is the reason I bid at all.  Research says that the model I got tends to go for around $50 or so on Ebay, unrestored.  They go for a bit more once they've been fixed, and it's a simple, simple fix.

So.  When I get the bedroom clean enough I can get to my pen repair corner, I'll have seven pens to refurb. 

Before the bedroom got a clutter build up, I did get a good look at the Parker VS, and noted a neat feature: the feed is transparent.  It's going to be really pretty with a bright, bold ink flowing through under the gold nib.  

The other reason I'm fairly happy is that I found both the camera and the batteries yesterday before my get-up-and-go got up and went.*  I've got four pens to take pictures of tonight after the kids go to bed, and one to use the little bit of ink from before I clean it back up.**  I don't really enjoy taking the pictures of the pens, mostly because with the little camera I've got, it's a little hard to get good close-up photos to show details (like brand and type stamps).  But it will be good to get those five pens listed.

The third reason for my current happiness is that my son is reading to my daughter as they're taking a break from cleaning their rooms (and yes, it is just as cute as it sounds). 

Monday, June 22, 2015

'Nother catch-up day

The kids could not be left unsupervised, today.  No, they weren't fighting (much), but they were rough-housing and hurting one another.  Often.  The upside is that they both took right around two hours of solid sleep naps.* 


By that time, I was a little too tired from chasing after them and scolding them to get a whole lot done. 

I'm proud that I haven't run away screaming.  After today, that feels like an accomplishment.  And tomorrow, the kids are going up to my mom's for the day, so that I can get caught up.

*The pixie took her nap today quietly, sadly, voluntarily, and with an ice-pack.  Her brother had slammed his bedroom door without realizing that she was right behind her, and got her just beneath the left eye with his doorknob.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

random ramblings

Last week was fairly quiet.  My imp spent two nights with Grandma and Grandpa, and then they both went up to my mom's yesterday. 

Yesterday...yeah, I had big, fun plans for yesterday, since I'd gotten so much done last week (enough that I can't really do a whole lot more until either just before or just after the trash pickup on Tuesday).  I'd planned, since my shoulder had recovered from being strained doing laundry on Wednesday, to take advantage of the weather causing our local range to be deserted, and go play with my rifles, as a reward to myself.  That didn't happen; rather, I woke up really sick.  As in: I didn't know from moment to moment whether or not I was going to throw up.  It didn't ease until nearly 11:00 am. 

The kids have been really sad since we got the blu-ray player.  The thing hooks to the TV through a HDMI cable, with no options for any other type of hookup.  The ROKU box also hooks in through an HDMI cable, with an option for a single-plug A/V out (I not only don't have one, I haven't been able to find one).  The TV has only one HDMI port.  Therefore, the option for TV (only available through Amazon Prime on the Roku box) rather than DVDs has been worse than usual. 

I tried an adapter--HDMI on one end, A/V on the other--but it didn't work.  Finally, I stumbled over a solution: a HDMI hub that takes three devices hooked in through it, and switches around with the push of a button.  It automatically defaults to the Roku, since that's always on, but will switch automatically to the blu-ray player when that gets turned on. 

This morning, the kids are watching their beloved Wild Kratts while I'm drinking my coffee.  Why, yes, it drives me crazy--but I'm wearing headphones, so it's tolerable. 

The microwave has been less reliable than usual: night before last, I tried to make chicken nuggets for the kids for dinner.  It worked fine for the pixie's, but the number pad ceased working right about the time the imp needed to make his own.  Temporarily.  It was working again by the time I'd fixed his supper and mine. 

Yeah, we're going to replace that SOB today.  We went shopping around for one yesterday.  The one I want is at Home Depot.

The cats have been absolutely silly, this past week.  I'm not sure if it's because their world was rearranged yet again, or if it was the weather, or something else entirely unrelated, but both have been as easily spooked as hell--even Shadow, who's usually the one doing the spooking. 

Saw my dog, yesterday.  She is the funniest little creature--really.  I opened Mom's back door to let her in, and called for her.  She came bouncing--not running, bouncing, like Pepe Le Pew--around the corner, dashed through the door, and flung herself onto the floor on her back between my feet.  Wagging.  So, of course, she got a belly scratch.  Then, she spasmed, reappeared on her feet about three feet from me, licked the imp on the face, and ran into the living room to kiss the pixie. 

I think she was happy to see us.  Maybe I'll get to bring my dog home when we get outside of city limits after all. 

Over the course of the week, I got another 2K words done on The Shrodinger Paradox.  I'm still working, as we speak.  Between straining my shoulder and back badly enough Wednesday as to be mostly non-functional on Thursday, and only having gotten over my writer's block for what I wanted done on Tuesday night (with the draft book), I'm counting that as not too bad.  Word count is up to about where I got stuck/lost interest on DetritusParadox is sitting at 19K words on part 1, with only about a third to half of it done.  I've got 2.5K on part 2 typed, with probably another 500 words in a different draft book.  I think there's maybe 5% done on that part.  Part 3 is mapped out, and I'm pretty sure there will be a part 4, now.  I'm projecting this one at somewhere around 95K-120K words.  I'm thinking I'll probably submit it to Baen's slush pile, then forget it for a year. 

My goal for tonight is to finish the chapter I'm working on, and get the next one written.  The end of the next one will mark the halfway point of part 1.  I think.

My goal for tomorrow?  To start mapping out the other half of part 1. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

I've come to a conclusion.

It doesn't matter which political party mass-murderers ascribe to.  One side will use any mass shooting event to try to ban guns, and the other side will go ape-shit saying that the other side is trying to use it to ban guns. 

Can we all agree that the shooter was a hate-filled asshole?  Yeah?  How about can we all agree that what he did was flat wrong?  Can we go a step farther and agree that it doesn't matter whether those murdered were Christian or not, nor whether they were black or white?  That it doesn't matter what his proposed motivation was, that the act was still heinous evil?  Can we agree that it doesn't matter if he was sober or drugged, that it was still evil?  Can we agree that the only fault lies with the perpetrator who chose to shoot up a group of people who were praying?  And then, can we agree to pray for/hold good thoughts for/whatever we believe in as individuals for the survivors, and for the church that was shot up, no matter what our personal political beliefs happen to be, and stop talking about the asshole?

If we can't all agree on that, then there's something wrong with the people who don't agree. 

And the world is fucked up.

I am not wearing a damn burkah.

So.  There's a "modesty" movement out there amongst nominal Christians that don't comprehend their own faith. 

I don't really mind most modesty rules.*  I really don't.  I want girls to wear more than just barely enough to cover their underwear (and sometimes, not even that). 

This, though.  This is taking it too far.  To wit:

Almost every time a woman’s cleavage is left exposed before a man’s eyes, the man will mentally acknowledge that part of the woman’s anatomy, and be tempted to sin.

That is not my problem, or my responsibility.  It is not on me to help some witless wonder avoid temptation.  It's all on them

Want to know why?  Because of the way God made me, I have curves.  More of them than I really want, to tell the truth.  Clothes that fit most people do not work on me, because when I find something that fits through the shoulders and sleeves, it's tight across the chest.  Because of the way I'm made, I cannot wear nice, button-down blouses.  They simply don't work--buttons strain, and the shirt gapes between them, even when they fit. Tee-shirts that fit most just fine show cleavage on me.

If said wanna-be Christian who doesn't have enough self-control to refuse to yield to temptation, and instead expects me to help him avoid it, expects me to wear something that doesn't tempt him, I would have to wear a turtleneck that's four sizes too big, and slacks that are so big around the waist that I'd look like one of those little twits that think exposing their shorts makes them look manly instead of like a jail-faggot that's advertising that he catches. 

Or I'd have to wear a fucking tent.

Yeah, no.  I'm not a feminazi, but I am also a married woman of 36 years that dresses for my age and body type, and doesn't deliberately dress provocatively when I'm not at home, but my body takes my modest clothes and makes them...less so.

I refuse to wear a tent.  Or dress in things that do not fit me.  Should I be approached about this, the individual doing the approaching will get a loud, verbal beat-down, including bible verses pointing out that it's a sad, weak-willed individual that expects to face no temptation in their lives, and that it's facing and refusing temptation that makes the Christian a Christian hero. 

Maybe these so-called Christians need to either work on their own self-control issues, or move to the fucking sandbox and convert to Islam. 

*The kids' school requires that shoulders and backs are covered, necklines are modest, and nothing can be shorter than an inch above the knees.  Girls are not allowed to wear button-down shirts at all.  They can wear polo shirts when they're not wearing dresses, or parents can purchase tees and sweatshirts from the school.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Working though things...

No, there's nothing wrong with my marriage.  Nor the kids. 

The house is fighting me, though. 

I wound up getting most of the pantry end of our bonus room (9' x 14.75', running along the back of the house) mostly cleaned out.  Three torn up boxes of clutter and trash are sitting in the dumpster* outside. 

Got a bookcase moved in the kitchen, too--drug it out of its corner, and set up a new set of wire shelves (something like this, only not so pricey).  Fewer places for the bugs to hide.  We will be getting at least one more set.  Possibly two. 

The kitchen looks a lot better, changed around like it's currently configured.  Less cluttered.  I like it, the spouse likes it, and the pixie likes it.  The imp's at the grandparents' until tomorrow morning.

I was happy, despite the increased mess in the kitchen...but then I found another of the bugs' favored hidey-holes.  Yes, it's cleared out and cleaned up.  Yes, I'm still slightly skeeved out.

I've spent several days with the kids out from underfoot decluttering and cleaning the kitchen.  In the process, I lost almost all of the batteries.  And Sunday, the batteries in the camera died.  I still haven't found the extended life Lithium batteries.  I still haven't found even the plain AA batteries.  Pictures of pens will have to wait.  

Guess what's going to be on my priorities list for the next day my mom watches the kids (i.e., Friday)? 

And...I nearly went into the washer on my head again, hauling clean clothes out to put in the dryer.  This time, I strained my back a little bit catching myself, and then exacerbated the problem by re-loading (but not starting) the washer. 

I'll just have to see what I'm capable of tomorrow.  For tonight?  Tonight, I had a nice, big double of Buffalo Trace bourbon.  Medicinal purposes, y'know.  ;)

*Trash pickup was yesterday.  It didn't get dragged back and the lid flipped closed until this afternoon.  It started raining yesterday about 9:00 pm or so, and by the time I got it dragged around at about 2:30 pm, there were about three or four inches of standing water in the bottom, from the rain last night and today.  And we'll be getting more tonight and tomorrow. 

Fucking morons

This.  To summarize: some lesbian frustrated by the fact that the really girly feminist she wants to fuck is straight, has posited that ALL heterosexual sex is rape, because men always hold all the power, and women cannot give consent--even enthusiastic consent with even more enthusiastic participation--without being crazy, so cannot give consent to heterosexual sex, so all heterosexual sex is rape. 

If women cannot give consent, then all sex is rape.  Because power in a relationship is never completely and totally equal, and that bitch would probably be a controlling, abusive top.  Ergo...she is what she is accusing all men of being

If it's supposed to work one way, it works both. 

Somebody needs to turn that around on her like that, and see how she likes being called a rapist.  Maybe with a few blows to the head from the ol' clue bat thrown in.

At least she won't be breeding and passing the crazy genes on.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Already sick of it all.

I wish there were a way to limit congress to meeting only three months of the year.  I wouldn't mind paying them so much if they weren't constantly busy fucking my country up by the numbers.  Take, for instance, Paul Ryan's insistence that we must pass King Putt's new trade agreement.  Why?  I haven't read it, nor anything it references, and King Putt has no authority to create one in the first place.  Anything they "don't have time" to read should be voted against.  Not reading the shit-tastic stacks of paper is one of the main reasons we got Obamacare shoved up our asses.

I wish there were safeguards in place to prevent political dynasties.  We don't need the Bushes or Clintons to take the White House again.  In point of fact, I believe that they've proven themselves shitty enough at following the will of their bosses--i.e., we, the people--that they need to be flat out fired altogether. 

I am already out of fucks to give for this next Presidential election, and it's still almost a year and a half away. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Well, shit.

I'm going to have to find new batteries for the camera before I take pictures of my pens.  I started to take photos so that I could post the pens last night, but...yeah.  As soon as I got the Parker Thrift Time done, the camera turned itself off.

I woke up with a sound-sensitive headache.  Unfortunately, the kids' voices are on a frequency that shoots pain through my head.  Coca-Cola helps, but Coke makes me gag (unless there are other flavors added, like cherry).

This week, I'm going to work on cleaning up and decluttering the pantry/utility room.  We desperately need to do a yard sale to clear unneeded clutter out of our storage building, and it's nigh-impossible to figure out what needs to go when there's no place to go through and store yard sale items except for said storage building.  It's going to be kind of a big job, and I'm absolutely dreading it. 

We've contacted two different exterminators, and we're 0 for 2 in responses from said exterminators.  I'll be trying a third one this week, and I'm going to go for a fucking national chain instead of one of the local guys--they're the ones that have blown us off. 

The cats seem to absolutely love our new table.  Every time I turn around, one or both of them happen to be sleeping on top of it.  They never did that with the old table.   At least the kids are happy to go move the cats off of the table for me. 

Laundry.  Fucking laundry.  I don't mind washing it, but I hate, hate, hate putting it away.  And I have several baskets-full to sort and put away.  I will be damned if I put the kids' laundry away, though--they're old enough to do it themselves, and they need to learn to. 

There's nothing really big on the frustration meter, here, but the little things add up to simply wanting to go bury my head in my pillows and sleep until it all goes away. 

Even though I know that doesn't work for anything except perhaps the headache.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

random ramblings

The pixie had a fun weekend, last weekend.  Grandma took her to a princess party.  The pixie wore her bridesmaid dress from a friend's wedding last November, which we gave her to play dress-up in after she wore it at Easter. 

Instead of coming to her ankles like it did in November, it's about three-quarters of the way down her calves. 

She's growing so freakin' fast. 

The imp had a good weekend last weekend, too.  To keep him from feeling let down because it wasn't him spending the night, we watched Captain America with him.  He enjoyed it immensely.  I am considering Avengers for the next time the pixie goes to spend the night with Grandma and Grandpa. 

So, yesterday, we got a reminder of just how insane Midwest weather is.  When I got up, it was a lovely, sunny day.  We made plans with a friend to meet at the park and have lunch so the adults could talk while the kids played. 

And, just as we stepped out the door to leave, it started pouring. 

Yeah, we went anyway.  It quit for a little while, after we got to the park, fed the kids a car picnic, and our friend arrived with her three youngest, and two extras.  And then, it started again.  The kids didn't care much--they actually enjoyed that the rain on the slides made the slides go faster--until they got cold.

We got our table and bench put together yesterday, while the kids were napping.  We had gotten folding chairs that would have matched perfectly, but...the first time Odysseus sat down on one, the wood on one of the back legs split at the henge.  The table and bench, however, are absolutely lovely, and fit the kitchen much, much better than the heirloom dining room set we had. 

As I said, I got my pens earlier this week--a Parker VS that needs cleaned up and a new ink sac (worth around $130), a Sheaffer lever fill pen that needs the same (worth around $90-$120), and a Sheaffer Touchdown.  I may keep the Touchdown, since it wouldn't bring more than around $40-$60.  It's a neat filling system that I don't have an exemplar of in my collection.  If I get as much done over the next week as I'd like to (including re-finding the camera and taking pictures of the pens I have fixed and ready for sale so that I can, y'know, sell them), I'll permit myself to fix them.

The cats have been a bit of a problem.  Neither cat had been inclined to sleep on top of the old table; both cats are inclined to sleep on top of the new table.  I don't mind them sleeping on the chairs or benches.  However.  I do not want their fat, fuzzy little bodies on top of the table. 

I didn't get a whole lot of writing done this week.  I've been a little busy with housework; however, I have gotten some done.  I had to write last night to get my brain to slow down so that I could sleep, and put in about a thousand words on The Schrodinger Paradox.  It's currently sitting right at 17K words (in part 1--what I've got done of part 2 brings it up to 19.5K--almost as much as I have written on Detritus, done in a far shorter amount of time, and 5K less than I've got done on the Normalcy Bias short story collection).  The djinn story is sitting around 1200 words, between what I have typed, and what I've got handwritten that needs transcribed, and it's not finished, yet.  That's the first draft.  The draft that goes into the collection will likely be between 5K and 8K words, since I expand quite a lot while I'm typing it in.  I tend to summarize a lot of what I have in my head while I'm writing long hand, and develop the summarized parts when I type it up.

Well, that was my week.  I've got plans for next week, but we'll have to see how that goes.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Well, now.

If this doesn't go over like a shit-filled lead balloon, I don't know what will.  People who care about their families enough to bust their asses to move to the suburbs do so because they want to get away from inner-city dwellers.  It isn't a race thing--I had a black student last semester that desperately wanted to move their mama and younger brother out of Chicago, who had more of what it takes to get  and stay out than some of my lower/middle class white kids.  It isn't race, nor is it racism that makes people leave the cities. 

I grew up around poverty.  And it's a whole different mindset than middle to upper class.  One of the biggest differences is courtesy, and the ability to defer gratification. 

When I say courtesy, I don't mean fancy manners, nor yet the whole treating others well.  I'm talking about knowing what not to overshare.  No, people don't want to hear about your poop problems in public.  No, we don't want to hear about your ingrown pubic hair problems.  Nor yet your toenails, kidney stones, or any of your other various nasty health complaints.  Yuck. 

My mother does not have any sense of when this is and isn't appropriate, nor for who she can/should discuss this with. 

I think I've already discussed the inability to delay gratification and plan for the future being a strong predictor of a person's socioeconomic standing; however, this isn't limited to financial choices.  It's the choice to gang up and bully someone because they're the wrong color in the wrong neighborhood.  It's the choice to vandalize someone else's property.  It's the choice to get pregnant because there wasn't birth control available when somebody wanted some (and yes, that is a choice: even as a teen, I was entirely capable of choosing to do something else when life-altering consequences were possible).  It's choosing to disrupt class because somebody passed someone into a grade they weren't ready for, and can't keep up with, several times in the name of "social promotion" and "self-esteem," because they can't stand that other students want to learn. 

"Rich" families in "rich" neighborhoods (that aren't "rich" enough to pay the shake-down money that this will likely attempt to gather) left the inner cities to get their kids away from behavior like this.  I do not think they'll be happy when King Putt insists on bringing the inner city to their neighborhoods, and infecting their culture with the same rot.

And they sure as hell don't want it in their schools that they paid through the noses with property tax to get their kids into.  Schools are bad enough without disruptive influences that cannot be punished because "racism."

Thursday, June 11, 2015


I got my new/old pens yesterday, while we were out to lunch (the kitchen was unusable, due to me moving stuff around to get the family heirloom dining table that would require its own room taken out to storage).  The Sheaffer lever fill--a pretty thing with vertical brown-gold and black stripes--needs a new sac, as does the Parker pen (a VS, from 1946 or 1947).

The other Sheaffer pen, though...it's a touchdown.  Rather an interesting filling system, but not particularly valuable (though it's valuable enough that it would recoup the entire cost of the order...we shall see if I like the pen enough to ignore that).  The filling system, when worked, produces a noticeable vacuum.  It may work, and only need cleaned.  I'll try it out when the kids are down for their naps.

Right now, though, working on the pens will be a reward to myself for getting my kitchen back in working order.  I got most of what I'd planned yesterday done, but not all--the table and bench haven't been assembled and put in place. 

Update:  My Sheaffer Touchdown is not workable, but won't be any more complicated to fix than a lever or button fill pen.  I'll just have to find the right size of sac, cut it to the right length, and glue it into place.  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Kids are up to granny's today...

Time to bust my ass cleaning house, again.  Once I get a priority list put together, at least. 

One of the things I absolutely want done today is to get the heirloom dining table (65" long, about 55-60" wide with both leaves up, 24" with the leaves down) taken to storage, and our new table and bench put together and in place. 

We shall see if that actually does get accomplished, or if I'll have the boxes leaning in places as out of the way as I can get them for another week.

Monday, June 8, 2015


I've worked with a few fountain pen inks.  I've used Sheaffer's (cartridges), Parker's (cartridges and bottled), Waterman (bottled, since I don't have one of their pens), and Noodler's (bottled only--I don't think they do cartridges).

Sheaffer's cartridges are simple cylinders with a circle etched at one end that you have to punch the fang of the feed through.  The ink is...not bad.  You can get several different colors, since most hobby shops carry the Sheaffer calligraphy pens, and calligraphers tend to like different colors of ink to play with.  My Sheaffer calligraphy pen is one of their older, semi-transparent plastic No Nonsense pens, with a fine calligraphy nib.  I've currently got it loaded with the red cartridge because I was working on a calligraphy project, and thought the red against the sort of cream-yellow parchment worked best for it: Roy Batty's death monologue. 

The Sheaffer Scrip ink is...satisfactory.  The color is rich, and the flow is smooth and instant, even though I haven't picked up that particular pen for about three months.  Even though the pen is using a calligraphy nib (comparable to a broad fountain pen nib in how much ink is laid down), there's no show through, much less bleed through.

If you want to use Sheaffer ink, it does come bottled.  Prices range from about $9.27/50 mL (about 1.5 fl. oz) bottle (in the three packs) to about $14.50 or a bit more.  Yes, it comes in several different colors.  Skimming over Amazon, I saw most of my favorite ink colors: purple, blue, turquoise, green...only burgundy was missing.

Next up: Parker Quink.  I've used their cartridges (my first fountain pen was a red Parker Vector with a fine nib in red, which I'd still be using if it wasn't so skinny) for years, usually in their washable blue Quink. That never shows through, which permitted me to take copious notes on both sides of any notebook paper I used.  I still have about five or six cartridges (which are HUGE by cartridge standards--I could use the same one for a week of grad school note taking and fiction writing).  They are proprietary--they will only work in Parker pens.  However, Parker does make bottled Quink.  I have one in black "permanent" (which only means it takes a bit more than just water to get off).

The bottled ink is also quite well behaved.  I've used it in several different pens, with no show-through or bleed through, no matter what nib size, or how generous the pen is with the ink.  The main downside of Parker Quink is that it only comes in four colors: black, blue-black, blue, and red.  That's it.  No fun colors.  Just sensible business/grading colors.  If that's all you need, their bottled ink comes in 2 oz bottles, and ranges from $8-$12 on Amazon, depending on from whom you order it, and what color you order. 

Waterman bottled ink also behaves fairly well.  I've used their turquoise (Serenity Blue), their blue, their red, and their green.  I really like their green, and currently have it loaded in one of my Jinhao 250s.  It has never bled or showed through, and neither has their other colors I've used.  Their blue, though, is a little blah.  They also make their ink in brown, purple, blue-black, and black.  When I first ordered ink, though, Amazon didn't have a line on their purple, and I really wanted purple.  So...

Noodler's ink.  These inks are beautiful, and come in all colors.  I have their purple, burgundy, Bernanke Blue (very fast drying blue), Ottoman Azure (shades from deep blue up through turquoise, depending on line thickness and amount of ink laid down), Bulletproof Black, and Bad Belted Kingfisher (a navy blue, or blue-black, if you prefer).  Their colors are true, rich, deep colors...that tend to feather and show through on cheap paper like mad, when they're not bleeding through and spotting the page beneath.  I do love this ink.  I love it enough that I've gone looking for paper I can use it with--successfully.  Decent journal paper (which I use for fiction writing) works, as do the Sam's Club brand legal pads.  There are a few notebook brands that have good enough paper, but not very many.  And no, the specific nibs on the pens don't save your paper: I've got several different Noodler's inks in everything from a medium to a fine to an extra fine nib, and there's at least a little show through with all of those nibs.  It's normal with super-saturated inks.

Noodler's has more ink colors than any other manufacturer I've run across--I've seen ink in every color and hue of the rainbow.  Gorgeous stuff.

Another thing about Noodler's inks that is pretty special: they have several colors of ink they term "bulletproof": the inks are resistant to most forger's techniques, and are, therefore, safe to use on contracts and checks.  The inks themselves bond with the cellulose in the paper, and are mostly to fully waterproof, won't come off with acetone, acid, UV light, or any of the other commonly used tools.  I've got their Bulletproof Black--which is fully waterproof, once it's dry--and Bad Belted Kingfisher, which runs, but is still legible.  Both take for-bloody-ever to dry, especially on smooth checkbook paper, so you'll need a non-lotioned tissue paper to use to blot.   I have one pen loaded with the Bulletproof Black (which is a softer shade of black, not hard and sharp like some), and one loaded with Bad Belted Kingfisher.  Yes, I use them both for legal purposes, and honestly, I prefer using the blue on contracts over the black to make clear the difference between an original and a copy.

There you have it: my non-professional walk through of all four ink brands I've used.  I can't recommend any over any of the others--they all have their pros and cons.  I suppose it depends on what you want: standard colors that won't bleed through?  Gorgeous colors that will?  Washable or permanent?  The ink I would recommend depends on what you want to use it for, whether you want to use cartridges (in which case, if you've got a pen that takes proprietary cartridges, like Parker, Pilot, Lamy, or Waterman, you've got little choice), or whether you want to use a converter, or use a syringe to refill old cartridges with bottled ink, or whether you are using an antique pen (or replica) with a dedicated filling system and have no choice but to use bottled ink. 

I only wish I could afford to try some of the different inks I haven't tried yet.  ;)

Eager anticipation...

I ordered three more pens to fix.  They should be getting here sometime this week.  Two older Sheaffers (one lever, one I don't know how it inks), and one Parker.

From the pictures, it looks like the Parker is a Parker VS--a pen made between 1947 and 1949.  They look a lot like the Parker 51s, but have an exposed instead of a hooded nib.  They didn't sell well, because everyone at the time wanted the trendy (and slightly less messy) hooded nib.  A shame, really, because everything I've read about them says they're a joy to write with.

I shall find out what kind of shape it's in when it gets here.   And I shall have a lot of fun repairing it (should it need repairs), and getting it running again.

The lever filled Sheaffer should be a fairly straightforward fix.  And will need it, because I think Sheaffer quit making lever fills fairly early, because they kept playing with new and improved filling systems, then went to cartridge filled.  I think this pen is an early 20's model.

Then...there's the other Sheaffer.  It may be beyond my capabilities to repair, but then again, if it's a specific one of their filling methods, it may not need fixed, just cleaned and inked.  I will find out. 

I spent $60 to buy these pens.  They may well sell for double that apiece.

However.  The biggest draw for me is taking older pens and making them work again, and seeing different styles of ink filling systems.

I will post pictures, should anyone be interested.

Sunday, June 7, 2015


My table is loaded down again.  This time, though, most of it is a pair of twin-sized comforters that need folded and put up on the shelves in the master bedroom (I'd call it the suite, but that's being pretentious: is it a suite if the master bedroom has a bathroom but no working closet?). 

When I sprayed for fleas in the kids' rooms, I forgot to spray their stuffed animals (most of which can't go through the laundry).  So they're still infesting the kids' rooms.

When we flea sprayed the living room, I missed that there were several random pieces of fabric and paper on the floor, and didn't get behind my chair in the living room.  So there are still fleas in the living room, too.

The master bedroom doesn't even bear considering, considering the mess it's in.  It's always the lowest on my priorities list for cleaning, since it's off limits to all.

The utility room also is infested, because that's where I've put the flea ridden clothing, and where the cats (the source of the majority of the problem) sleep.

Honestly, I wondered, at first, where all the fleas came from.  But, when prompted, I remembered that we do have mice.  Cricket proved that about a month ago by playing one to death on the end of the couch.

The fleas aren't the only problem.  And I'm just about ready to call an exterminator, board the cats, take the kids and the spouse, and go stay in a fucking hotel for a few days.  We get a lull in the waves of roaches, and I think our efforts to get rid of them are working and feel a little hope...then BAM.  There's another wave of nasty.  I've got one more idea to try, and if that doesn't work...time for the poison, then the thorough housecleaning with every damn thing cleaned.  Twice.  And long-term food not stored in sealed containers will need thrown out, after that.  Because I don't know what would and wouldn't be infested to the point that it doesn't make sense to try to save it by removing it from the house.

There's so much mounting up that I feel beyond overwhelmed.  I'm still fighting the incursions from the nasty neighbors from going on two years ago, but I feel like I'm losing.  Badly.

Lucy needs to stop moving the fucking football.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

random ramblings

I think the kids learned a lesson, yesterday.  I gave each of them a big, pink eraser, and set them at erasing the scribbles from the pixie's walls.  They worked at it for about three and a half hours--from 10:00 to 11:30, then from 12:00-1:00 (nap time), then for about half an hour after their naps.  After that, we went to Wal-Mart for a few things, got back and preheated the oven for pizza night, and I broke out the Magic Erasers.    Those really are magic, y'know.  Using them meant that the kids got almost every trace off the walls within the thirty or so minutes between getting home, and the pizza coming out of the oven, after having made little progress with the pink erasers. 

They've learned that cleaning up a mess inevitably takes longer, and is much less fun, than making it; and that Mom and Dad will make them clean it up. 

I love the kids.  But there are definitely times that I wish I could just tape them to a wall so I could do a little bit of housework without having them underfoot, "helping," and making things take four times as long, or having them out of sight either fighting with one another, or cooperating to do things like that.

At least I won't be outnumbered this weekend--Odysseus is taking the pixie to Grandma and Grandpa's for an overnight visit.  And the imp is a LOT more help than the pixie is.

One of the things we learned with the kids using the magic erasers in the pixie's room was that part of what they drew on was only primed and not actually painted.  It came off.  So, the pixie now has an accent wall. Thyme flower--sort of half way between pink and lavender.  She is so going to squee when she sees it tomorrow.

I cleaned the toilet in the master bath, this morning.  I was most of the way done (still hadn't put the seat and lid back down, but otherwise finished) when I heard a crash in the bedroom.  Hurried out, thinking I needed to yell at the imp for being somewhere off-limits, and found a fat little black cat in one of the bookcases, staring at a pile of books she'd knocked down in surprise. 

I never remembered to get that toilet seat down.  And Odysseus figured that out in a reversal of the normal female complaint (which is ironic, because Odysseus always puts the seat back down). 

No, the fat little black cat (Shadow really is a chunk--about 12 pounds of cat on a 10 pound frame, where Cricket is 10 pounds of cat on a 12 pound frame) didn't care.  Still doesn't.  She's currently sleeping in a basket of clean clothes in the kitchen.

Cricket, on the other hand, has been mostly a good kitty today, other than flipping one of her toy mice up into the basket of sorted clean clothes, and slapping my hand by accident trying to get it back out.  No, the claws didn't actually penetrate skin.  And no, I didn't rap a knuckle on a kitty skull--I just pulled the mouse out, and skipped it across the floor for her. 

I got a bit stuck on the book.  I think I'm going to have to summarize some time, and get back into the meat to progress the story, at least in this first draft.  Tentative title is The Schrodinger Paradox.  Current word count is 18K words--15.5K in part 1, and 2.5K in part 2, with part 3 only roughly sketched out, and a potential part 4 under debate. 

I also have another short story in the works, this one third person limited omniscient, watching over the shoulder (and thoughts) of a djinn who'd been bound in a cave by a sorcerer king before the rise of Islam, who was freed by American artillery, and attached himself to a special forces unit...I've got about a third to half of the first draft written, and I know where it's going.  It's going in the Normalcy Bias collection of stories (currently sitting at 5 stories and 25K words, and growing, since I have two or three more stories planned/outlined).  I work on the stories when I get stuck on the novel. 

Last, but not least, I got a bit of a chance to read (i.e., made some time to do something I wanted to do), and finished off The Gray Man: Vignettes.  I'm digesting, and planning to write a book review.  Because despite the (few) flaws, it's good.  And huge fun to read.  I'm already planning for a solid four hour block of time for next week to devour as much of the next book as I can in one sitting. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

Still a bit miffed

For a while, my day was really good, yesterday.  I felt like rewarding myself for getting the table totally cleared in preparation for putting it in storage, so I picked up a book I'd been intending to read, rather than getting stuck into my writing.  I greatly enjoyed it, and read long enough to find out that the Kindle Fire and I do not get along.

That...was the best part of the day: giving myself a headache reading for fun.

Then, things went downhill.

So.  While Odysseus was laying down in the bedroom with his feet up, and I was getting started fixing dinner, the children went to go play in the pixie's room.  They were getting along well, and there was a lot of laughter and noise involved, so I wasn't concerned. 

I should have been.

One or both of them snuck one or more pencils into the room and they were drawing on the walls.  I did not know this because I was making supper.  I did not really look at the walls when I went to tell them it was time for supper. 

I should have. 

The pixie told me, after supper, when I was laying down on the couch with a nasty headache caused by reading the Kindle for too long, that her brother the imp had drawn her some wonderful pictures on her wall.  I admit it took a few moments for that to register. 

I got up to go look, and yes...the walls all had stick figures and small-child sketches on them. 

Today, the kids each have a big pink eraser that they're using on the "artwork" on the walls.  The scribbles, because neither of my children are overburdened with artistic talent. 

And I'm miffed, partially because of that, partially because the table is loaded down (again) to the point where I might as well have done nothing about it yesterday, partially because the headache is still present, and partially because I have a book I've half finished, and don't dare pick back up until the headache is totally gone. 

I'm going to have to see if that website that converts from Kindle to Nook that I have linked actually works...

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


I got my last two fillings, yesterday.  I am done with getting fillings, and done with the dentist until December, at the earliest, next May at the latest.  I do not want to end up losing my teeth like my mom did, and like my sister's at risk of doing.

I need to get the kids in, soon, too.  I'd been hesitant, mostly because the imp (as a preemie) had a strong oral aversion.  It took a while before he was even willing to eat with a spoon or fork that he controlled, and even longer before he was willing to brush his teeth.  I did not want to make it worse. 

He's been brushing (and flossing) now for about a year, so I think he's over everything but his aversion to food that he's never tried. 

The pixie?  Honestly, it's because she's over-sensitive, has a stupid-low pain threshold, and I can hardly stand to see her cry.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Fucking fleas...

Somehow, our indoor-only kitties wound up with them.  Which means that the kids' bedroom carpets ended up with fleas, as did our bedroom, the living room, and the bathroom bath mats. 

The bath mats and our bedding and the kids' bedding has all been washed.  Our bedrooms have been cleaned (the pixie's twice--once by her, and once by me to get the hoarded clothing out to be washed), and the carpets and wingback chairs in the kids' rooms have been sprayed with Hartz flea spray for carpets and furniture. 

The upside?  The stuff smells good. 

The downside?  I'm exhausted, and a little achy. 

See y'all on the flip-side.  Pray with me that the kids sleep in tomorrow after their big day with Granny, today.

Finally awake...

Time to get up and start busting my ass.  I've got a long list of chores for the day, since we're only just now getting around to spring cleaning.