Sunday, May 31, 2015


My biscuit cutter broke.  The plastic handle snapped when I pressed down the last time I made biscuits.

Odysseus and I looked at a kitchen and restaurant supply store.  We looked at Walmart.  We looked at our local Big Lots. 

We didn't find one anywhere. 

Does no one make their own biscuits anymore? 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

random ramblings

I have survived the first week of the kids' summer break.  We had the imp write a letter to his paternal grandparents and he's been reading quietly to himself on the couch every so often. 

Interestingly enough, I've started making him take a nap when the pixie does, and he no longer minds.  He's realized that he feels better afterwards. 

We took them to PetSmart, today.  The local one hosts "adoption days" every Saturday, where local humane societies bring in dogs and cats for people who won't bother to go to the actual buildings.  Today, there was a female boxer, seven months old.  Cute as a button and very, very friendly.  Her tongue went faster than her tail, and my kids each got a hand washing (and the pixie almost got her face washed).  There was a little dog with a stub tail, square head, short muzzle (like a boxer, sort of), and prick ears that was absolutely adorable.  The lady said he used to have a long, whippy tail, but he had a habit of chasing it...and then, he caught it.  And then it had to be amputated.

No, we didn't come home with a dog.  We'd have sooner come home with one of the utterly charming Chinese Water Dragon lizards.  There was one that kept jumping off of the lounging perch and flinging itself toward the glass when we stopped to look at them. 

The pixie wanted one of the cute little "fuzz-balls": a dwarf hamster.  I had to tell her that the kitties would want to eat it, the rat, the gerbil, and/or any guinea pigs, so we couldn't have one.

Shadow got herself tossed into the back room, yesterday.  She decided to scratch at the imp's bedroom door and yowl to be let in to walk all over him and poke him until he woke up to pet her, so she could curl up on his legs and go to sleep. 

Cricket has taken to waiting on the arm or back of the couch for me to walk past, then standing on her hind legs and wrapping the front paws around my arm and laying her head against me.

Yes, my cat has been giving me hugs.  And this is the dumb one, too.

I am back to working a bit more steadily on my current project--we now have a functioning printer.  I highly recommend Brother printers: the company has customer support throughout the life of the machine, and a one-year replacement warranty from purchase.  We got a refurbished model of the last printer that died (refurbished rather than new because this printer is no longer manufactured).  Our next printer, probably purchased ten or fifteen years from now, will also be a Brother. 

So, since getting the printer replaced on Tuesday and printing what I had written, and with not getting enough sleep (through my own fault), I've only added another 2K words to the current project.  I will be adding to that tonight, though.  And I do know where it's going, and how it's going to get there.  I am actually enjoying the crafting process quite a bit.  It's pretty different from my previous work--it's hard science sci fi (as well as a bit of sociology in parts of it). 

Friday, May 29, 2015

Suck it up, buttercup.

Okay.  It's sad that schools have to send out letters reminding graduating seniors that graduation is a formal occasion, and as such, different rules apply. 

This letter was brilliantly stated:

No bellies showing, keep "the girls" covered and supported, and make sure that nothing is so small that all your bits and pieces are hanging out.

Please remember as you select an outfit for the awards assembly that we don't want to be looking at 'sausage rolls' as Mrs. Elliot calls them. As you get dressed remember that you can't put 10 pounds of mud in a five-pound sack.
Of course, somebody who would have otherwise chosen to wear something that a) didn't fit, and b) was slutwear, took offense.   And wrote letters. 

The thing that gets me was the last thing in the article: "As 18-year-olds we’re all insecure and impressionable." 

Really.  Really? 

Oh, sweetheart, if you're still "insecure and impressionable" at eighteen, let me impress you with something.  You fail.  You fail at life.  You will fail at everything you do, because the real world doesn't fucking care about your feelings.  

Let me impress something else upon you: don't vote.  Ever.  Because you, and speshul snowflakes like you, are the ones destroying my country by insisting that anything that personally offends you needs to be banned, Constitution and Bill of Rights be damned.

Last, but not least...if you don't like how someone sees you, change something.  Either change yourself (style of dress, eating habits, exercise habits), or change that people see you by hiding in your room with a massive bag of Cheetos and never come out again.

'Cause honey?  NOBODY wants to see ten pounds of mud stuffed into a five pound sack. 

FFOT: early mornings

Early mornings.  Every fucking morning.  No later than six fucking thirty.  Weekdays, weekends, it doesn't fucking matter.  The kids are awake, and often fighting.  (which can, by the way, also fuck off--I am tired of the constant fighting)

I wish we lived where the kids could wake up, and go outside to play without having to wake us up. 

Early mornings can fuck the fuck off.  

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Going to bed early tonight.

Yesterday was rough.  The kids were having issues behaving--I think because of allergies, but that didn't do me a whole lot of good--so I ended up spending too much time staying up.  Until midnight.  And I was up at 6:30 this morning.  The kids have showed themselves unwilling to behave with a DVD without parental supervision of a morning. 

So.  I'm going to bed early tonight. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Supper tonight

1 bag frozen hash browns (or about four cups of leftover tater tots)
1 can Spam, cubed, or 1 lb chopped smoked sausage, or 1 lb bulk sausage, cooked.
1 green bell pepper (optional)
1 small onion, chopped

Brown the meat.  Then toss in the onion, and saute a bit.  Add the potatoes, and give it a good stir around.  Then add the bell pepper (you don't want to overcook it).  Stir constantly until it's all heated through, and as done toward crunchy as you want it, then season to taste (I used Tone's Six Pepper Blend tonight; last time it was Slap Yo' Mama Cajun seasoning). 

Serve hot, with hot sauce or salsa (if you want) or whatever you like, then top with shredded cheese.  Serves at least four.  More if you want to scramble eggs in it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Busy weekend

The imp spent Saturday and Sunday nights with Grandma and Grandpa.  I wound up screwing my courage to the sticking place and trying a batch of cookies with my gluten free flour. 

They turned out...good.  A little gritty (not quite the right word, but the closest that fits) in texture, but good.  Got some shopping done for the family on Sunday, and got a large load of peppers--jalapenos and chilis--into the dehydrator. 

Yesterday, we wound up visiting my in-laws for a few hours (and finding out that they'd still been sick when they asked for an imp visit). 

I'm exhausted from the holiday weekend, and I'm taking the kids up to my mother's today, weather and roads permitting. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

And last two...

Unless I think of more...

This one is the imp's favorite video:

This is one of the pixie's many favorites:

More Muppets


Random ramblings

The kids had their last day of school, yesterday.  I think it starts back up a couple days before the fall semester starts for the university--or, at least, that's what they did last year. 

The imp earned a certificate for having the absolute best manners in the kindergarten class.  Considering that that's what I'd been hearing from all of the teachers and staff working with him all year, as well as all of the other kindergarten parents, I believe it.  I even see it, sometimes.  But it still strikes me as the "reward absolutely everybody so that nobody feels like a loser" mentality.  Granted, this is kindergarten, and the imp did show, according to his teacher, some of the most impressive improvement over the course of the year,* but still. 

The pixie brought home a huge packet of practice sheets for making sure she remembers what she learned in preschool, this year.  I'll probably do a few with her each week she's out, but I'm also going to work with the handwriting worksheet practice I found online last year...once we get the printer replaced.

Yeah, thank God that was still in warranty.  And we need to get a new surge protector for the one coming in.

I've got plans for both of them over the summer.  We're going to drill with the imp over math stuff, and see if we can't get him to doing better.  We're also going to work with both of them over being able to do stuff independently.  And I'm going to teach the imp to make his own peanut butter sandwiches.

I'm also planning on taking them up to my mother's one day per week and leaving them there for the day--sort of a parental hookey day.  My mother has been begging for such for a while.  It'll start when my mom and sister have recovered from whatever nasty virus laid them out for the past three weeks.

So, yesterday, the imp spiked a fever after school.  Don't know what was wrong.  He's done it before, and been over it the next was the case this morning.  But last night?  Yeah, he was miserable.  And then happy, because he had Shadow curled up on one side of him, and Cricket sprawled on her back (and showing her little white belly) on the other.  The cats love the imp very much, and it's only when he's not feeling his best that he's still enough to cuddle with.

I didn't get much writing done last week.  Only another 2K words.  I've been too busy.  I'll try to do better this week (total is 14.5K words).

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Look.  I understand, somewhat.  She's got a sickly kid and no money to run him to the doctor every time he comes down with something, her kid misses school, and it's "unexcused." 

I get that.  I got no problem with it. 

What I have a problem with it that public schools are so much more concerned about asses in seats to get them those precious government dollars that they say that kids must be in school, no matter what, if there isn't a doctor involved. 

Where my sympathy for the mother getting arrested for what amounts to three "unexcused absences"  fails is here: she's a substitute teacher, which means she understands just what bullshit the district is likely to get up to.  She sees, first-hand, the narrow-minded bureaucracy in action.  She should understand why sixty percent of teachers don't leave their own kids in public school, and should understand that public school = child abuse.

Why the fuck doesn't she homeschool?

Think the lesson sank in?

So.  A 21 year old twit took provocative selfies, posted them to a public forum (Facebook), then was shocked when an escort service copied her pics and used them to advertise their services.  Said twit was dressed like a hooker, and posed like a hooker, and was absolutely shocked  when men started calling her and offering to take the contract she looked like she was offering (accepting pay to leave after sex).

I tell my students every semester that everything they post on any social media site, even one with privacy protocols engaged, is public.  I have never posted naked pictures of my kids, have never posted provocative pictures of myself, and will not do either

Hell, where that's concerned, I don't even post pictures of my kids on my FB account, and don't post them here anymore, now that they're no longer kinda generic baby looking.

Any picture posted online is public.  Anything posted online is public

Sadly, that seems to be knowledge that many just do not possess. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Apparently, I have a nerve invading one of the teeth I had filled this morning that isn't usually in a tooth.  I looked it up--usually, it runs through the jaw below the roots of the teeth.  Not many have it actually invading the lower teeth. 

The dentist doesn't numb that one before he starts work.  He numbed it tout suite as soon as I flinched--he's awesome. 

But yeah, a few extra complications in filling two of my teeth drove the price for getting six fillings (all on the left) up a bit, and made it longer before the numb wore off enough to be able to eat more than yogurt to get the naproxin to not eat my stomach.   

I'm certainly feeling it, now.  Or, I was.  I had a solid shot and a half of fairly decent, high-proof bourbon (bit of a comfort drink). 

I only have two more fillings to go on the bottom right.  That will be done in a bit under two weeks. 

But I am not up to deep thinking tonight. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

International law

"International law is that thing which the evil ignore and the righteous refuse to enforce." Barack Ben Canan, Exodus

When I was in eighth grade, my school had us spending one semester in shop and the other in home ec Consumer Sciences.  The latter was up in the high school, so glory of glories, I actually had access to books on my reading level for one semester of middle school, outside of the county library.  And the librarian (who'd been sneaking me a book from the high school, every now and then, when the idiot in my class reading Seuss books at fifth, sixth, and seventh grade wasn't there to be offended by someone who could read) didn't see a reason to ban me from checking out a new book every day.  I read, that year, The Thorn Birds, Dune, Wuthering Heights, and Exodus, among others. 

Leon Uris's Exodus has been one of my favorite books since then.  I re-read it often enough that my paperback started shedding pages like my cats do cat hair. 

I recently found a replacement at a used book store (in hardback!), and have been pecking at it again.  Exodus tells the story of the rebirth of Israel--and of the way the world treats the nation of Israel as the redheaded stepchild scapegoat that nobody likes. 

And shows how the application of international law is uneven, and always has been.

The uneven application of law is no law at all.  It is no more than just another stick with which those in power use to oppress those who aren't. 

Somehow, the Islamic nations are never slapped down for their blatant flouting of international law; somehow, Israel is constantly slapped down with it even when they don't break it.  Somehow, nations who never signed to nor abide by the Geneva conventions are given a pass, while civilized nations are crucified for harsh interrogation techniques that abide by the conventions.  

International law is bullshit.  The UN is not bullshit, but a clubhouse full of petty tyrants. 

I'm beginning to think, depending on the nation, the rule of law is bullshit, too, and that most nations are ruled by the same petty tyrants that infest the UN.

Saturday, May 16, 2015


I just sold three pens!!!  I'm a little sorry to see one of them go, but...I'm hoping that the person (in TAIWAN!!!) who bought the little green Arnold pen loves it as much as I do. 

I have almost broken even on my pens.  The other two listed would have me breaking even.  And I have three more to take pictures of, one to clean the paint off of the cap for, and then I will be turning a profit.

random ramblings

We're down to the last week of the kids' school, next week...and the first week of summer semester for Odysseus.  I think the class he's taking is advanced cost accounting. 

Next week, though...Monday, the imp will be participating in a kindergarten spelling bee on Monday, a track and field day on Tuesday, and a field trip to a skating rink on Wednesday.  I'm not sure what, if anything, is planned for Thursday; Friday, the last day, lets out at 11:00. 

I'm honestly not sure what-all the preschool is doing next week. 

The imp will be repeating kindergarten, though, next year.  Were he in a public school, he'd probably be ready for second grade; however, the curriculum is incredibly advanced, and I don't want him set up for failure by being passed with his classmates before he's ready.  And he's just not ready.  It's mostly a maturity thing, but not totally.  He just doesn't grasp a few of the concepts, and doesn't see the point in focusing and not half-assing the things he finds easy. 

I have a lot of work to do with him this summer, teaching him to focus on everything, not just what he finds interesting. 

I also have a lot of work to do with the pixie.  She has, for some reason, started putting everything into her mouth again.  I had to flip her mouth this morning because when I got up, she had a penny in her mouth.  I'm beginning to wonder if I'm gonna have to tape her mouth shut except for meals when I can't watch her every second. 

She's been cute recently, too--she's taken to picking up a kitty and wandering somewhere to sit down with them and snuggle them.  Cricket won't stay on her lap, but will walk all over her and shoulder rub and purr.  Shadow...half the time, Shadow flops over onto her side on the pixie's lap and luxuriates in the attention.  Another quarter of the time, she'll flop next to the pixie and luxuriate in the attention.  The rest of the time?  She hauls ass into the window to quiver as she watches the birdies.  

I've gotten another 5K words written on my current project, bringing total word count up to 12K words.  I have it all planned out--it's going to be in three, possibly four parts.  I started out writing on the second part (2.5K words), and then realized that I needed to back up and work on the first part (10K words).  I've been working fairly steadily, and I have about the first quarter to third done for part 1.  Part 2?  Maybe the first tenth.  Or so. 

If you're curious about the inspirational music, you can hear it on Amazon Prime, or you can hear it here.  

I'm fairly happy with the current state of the housework, nothing that needs the kids out from under foot/elbow to get done without the delays of "helping," so I'll probably spend the last three days I'll have three or four hours with no children around writing.  See if I can't double or triple my current word count (and maybe finish part 1).

One of the things slowing me down a bit is the lack of ability to print.  Yes, you read that right: our printer--the one we got less than a year ago to replace the one we bought less than a year before that--has died.  Again.  Doesn't even register that it's plugged in.  I've found a couple of possible repair places in the next big town over, so I'll call and find out if they can fix the printer(s).  I like printing to edit when I get stuck.  I can't print to edit.  And so, when I get stuck, I have to stop until I get enough sketched out in my draft book to really kick-start things again.

Not that I truly mind drafting out longhand.  I've got pens that I dearly love that I can use.  :)

Friday, May 15, 2015

I love my family.

My mom and sister, after having heard how I'm doing with wheat cut out of my diet (i.e., far fewer digestive problems, fewer problems losing weight and keeping it off, fewer headaches, and less brain fog), have done the same. 

It's working for them.  At least, it is right now.  I'm sure this won't last long. 

Because they're convinced it's not the wheat that's the problem.  They're convinced it's the eeevil GMOs.

My God, I wish it were possible to slap sense into them.

I have explained and explained and explained to them that humans have been genetically modifying their food sources for millennia.  The original wheat?  Had four grains that dropped off as soon as it was ripe.  Same with the original strain of corn.  And now, look at the grains we have: huge, fat, heavily bearing heads/ears.  Because we genetically modified it

Modern GMOs are little different, except in scale and time: instead of taking multiple thousands of generations to fix a trait, it can be inserted into the genetics of a plant, either by irradiating a seed, or by using a virus (sometimes both).  GMOs are not dangerous. 

What is dangerous is the junk science surrounding them.  What is dangerous is the overspraying of chemicals on fields of grains that have been modified to withstand the chemicals (seeps into the water tables and contaminates drinking water, which anyone would agree is incredibly bad).  What is dangerous is the pig-ignorance--the willful ignorance--cultivated by the twatwaffles that want the human race to die off and leave the bountiful earth all to herself.

Seriously.  The anti-GMO crowd is about as well-grounded in real, actual scientific understanding as the anti-vaccine crowd. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

DTFO, and go get some serious help.

I am a survivor of rape (during my childhood).  I do know that it can, and does, leave lasting psychological and spiritual damage.  I can empathize, to a certain point.

That point was pole-vaulted over when this whiny little speshul snowflake insisted that classical mythology is no longer suitable to be taught in a fucking literary humanities class because it hurt her little feelings

I read the myths in question.  I read them when I was about eight or nine years old, just a year or two past the point of the worst of the abuse, and before it had totally halted.  They never triggered any flashbacks.  There were things that did (like the idiot psychologists, forced visits over weekends with my abuser, running into my abuser unexpectedly in the town where we lived, etc.), but instead of whining about it, I pushed past it and dealt with it as best I could. 

Some people don't understand that these works of art have been a part of the curriculum for longer than their grandparents have been alive, and should not be removed due to the oversensitive sensibilities of one fucking person who does not have the right to never be offended by anything. 

Some people should drop out of college, go wrap themselves in cotton batting so tightly they can't move, see, or hear anything that might "trigger" them, and go live in their parents' closets. 

I'd even be willing to pay them to remove themselves from society, and from the gene pool.


I have a friend who used to have a Pitt Bull/Boxer mix.  She was the least aggressive and sweetest dog I have ever long as you weren't trying to get onto her property while her people weren't there, and even then, if she could restrain you without hurting you, she would.  Absolutely lovely dog. 

My aunts have a little dog, a Pomeranian mix.  That dog is the most hateful, spoiled rotten piece of shit I have ever met.  He's very pretty, and they say he's sweet most of the time, but I haven't seen it.  He goes out of his way to attempt to attack my kids.  Because, they say, he'd been abused by kids before they got him. 

I hate that little dog, and my hand is never far from my gun around him when we're outside, and if he's outside when we get there, I carry my kids into my mother's house, one at a time. 

People are fucking retarded when it comes to Pitt Bulls.  Most cannot distinguish large dog breeds, and anything they're scared of is a "pit bull"--whether it is, or whether it's a Lab or Retriever that's upset with them. 

The problem isn't with the breed.  The problem is with people: either the fuckwits who don't understand what dogs are saying with their body language, or with the fuckwits who take a lovely dog and turn it into a monster, either for illegal dog fighting or because they're felons and not allowed to own a gun, but want something big and threatening to try to hurt people or keep cops away from their home. 

Personally, I love the bigger dogs.  They usually naturally have a sweet temperament.  It's the little yappy ankle biters that are the nasty ones. 

That's why I love seeing stories like this one.  And there was a bit in it that I think should apply to all dogs living in town, not just a specific breed that has been wrongly demonized: "they have to go through behavioral assessment to determine whether or not they’re dangerous, they have to have insurance, and owners have to have a fence."  I would add that, should the dogs escape the fence, the owners get fined for each instance, with fines increasing with each time the dog gets out and becomes a nuisance. 

I like big dogs.  Or dogs that think like big dogs (like my Scotty dog).  I detest the nervous little rat dogs that bite with little to no provocation.  If any dog should be banned, it's dogs like that.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Two grand.

Eight cavities.  Some small, some are old ones that need fillings replaced.  Apparently, mine aren't doing what my younger sister's did, and spreading and threatening to split her teeth.  So, there's that, at least.

It's gonna be 'spensive.  And that's with a cash discount.  I can swing it, but it's gonna mean no new carry piece this year.  Or next. 

The work starts next Wednesday, so at the very least only my gums are sore today (cleaning), and I didn't have to worry about what to eat with my face numb.  I think we're going to get some ice cream, frozen mango chunks and orange juice for smoothies for next week. 

I did get some writing done, though, while I was waiting for the torture cleaning and x-rays session.  Now, I just need to transcribe it, and expand it as I do.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Ow, ow, ow...

I managed to bend my left middle fingernail backwards, about an eighth of an inch behind where it attaches to flesh, trying to unload the washer into the dryer.  I have a load dry, now, but every time I bump my finger wrong, it hurts bad enough to make me piss myself. 

So, I'm writing.  In the last hour, I've gotten 1,500 words written.  But my arms and wrists are hurting, since I sketched it out long hand (that hurts less bad with my painful fingernail) before I typed it up.  I am pretty sure I'm going to make my goal of getting around 10K-15K words written this week, since I got 3,000 words written between yesterday and today.  I may even manage to surpass my goal.  Who knows. 

I'm going to probably work on getting more done tonight--I doubt I'll feel like writing after the dentist's appointment I've got tomorrow.  I'd been working on getting teeth fixed a year and a half ago, and abruptly ran out of the money to do something like half of what needed done.  I've got the capability, now--I just need to get it done. 

Needless to say, I am not looking forward to this.  I need about two more old amalgam fillings replaced, since they're just about to fall out anyway.  The dentist says he's actually surprised that they've held on for as long as they have (20 years for some of them, a little longer for others--my newest one is 15 years old). 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Because one is none...

When I started teaching, I graded everything by hand.  Printed papers emailed to me, and wrote comments in the margins.  Well, I've slowly quit doing that.  Mostly for the same reason I quit using my Parker Vector: in the wintertime especially, using a slender writing utensil hurts

Last weekend, I spotted and ordered this.  There were three lead size options--.5mm, .7mm, and .9mm.  I ordered the .7mm pencil because I have a bit of .7mm lead.  (Honestly would have preferred the color of the .5mm pencil because blue.  Favorite color.)  I tried it out, and found that I liked it.  It has a very fat, padded, shaped grip. 

I let my son try it out this evening, and immediately ordered a second one.  Because my son absolutely loves it, and because it improves his control and his handwriting.  And I would no longer have one, because my son has already claimed it for my plans to have him writing letters to his grandparents this summer.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Random ramblings

The boy managed to get himself banned from watching TV.  For the whole weekend.  He tried lying to us about what he did to get an yellow day yesterday.  Lying got the punishment changed from simply being sent to his room to play, to having it treated the same as a red day. 

And then some.

I get the impression that this will be an ongoing thing until he realizes that this will get him absolutely nowhere.  Except sent to the corner between the cabinet and the fridge, facing the wall.  For the whole day.

I will not have my son grow up a liar.

Last week, the pixie threw a tantrum at school.  She got banned from TV for that day.  It isn't just the imp with the really bad behavior.  It's just that girls are naturally better at school, with the way it's set up, and she usually waits 'til she gets home to get in trouble. 

I love my kids too much to tolerate bad, self-centered, entitled behavior. 

The cats...have been absolutely nuts for this past week, and yesterday, I figured out why.  They have fleas.  So, part of the work for today is to put topical flea stuff on the cats. 

They're going to love that.  I'm really glad neither cat bites out of anger* or really scratches.  And that the utility room has a concrete floor for the fleas to be unable to hide out in. 

Odysseus is going to have a busy start to the week, next week: he's got a second interview with a bank on Monday, and a first interview with an accounting firm on Tuesday.   And he's probably going to need to mow the yard on Tuesday or Wednesday, after things have dried out a bit more so as not to kill our ten-year-old push mower.

This week was finals week.  I collected and graded revisions, and turned in my grades, and now I'm done until August.  

Which leaves housework (which I really need to get dressed and get on, since we're having lunch guests), and writing. 

Speaking of writing...I have something close to seven thousand words written in stolen moments over the course of a week.  Compared to Detritus (which is still sitting around 21K words in the six months I've been working on it), this is lightning.  I may have it finished before semester starts back up.  I honestly feel better, mentally and emotionally, when I can write.  I'm less scattered, and have an easier time remembering what it is I'm supposed to be doing. 

Except...instead of doing what I'm supposed to be doing, I catch myself picking up paper and pen, or pulling up the document I'm writing in, and doing that. 

Like right now. 

*Cricket gives very gentle love bites.  Which leads the kids to hug the cat instead of screaming, because they've finally realized that Cricket's "love-you bites" are like kisses.  Little sharp kisses.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Okay...deep breath

I can't take pictures of one of the pens I rescued but refused to sell (the body of the pen was bent just below the lever box), because I gave it to a friend.  I can, however, take pictures of the pen I turned into an eyedropper filled pen...and a few others I've rescued.  A darling little ladies' checkbook pen, a beautiful bright blue pen with a generous, smooth writing medium nib, and a Parker Depression Time pen (once I get the cap cleaned up). 

The most recent lot of pens I bought included a bunch of six vintage ballpoint pens, three fountain pens, and one mechanical pencil. 

Two of the ballpoints are little Stratford pens about as long, capped, as my hand is wide.  They're downright cute.  There is nother, similar pen of a different brand, which I can't remember off the top of my head, and two more without easily distinguishing characteristics. 

With that lot, I got a Wearever Deluxe 100 (sadly, with a cracked section), a cartridge-fed Wearever (the cartridge still fits tight, so I just washed it out and refilled it with a syringe), and an Esterbrook that needs a new cap and a new nib. 

Sadly, though, until I get some of my vintage pens sold, that's gonna be all, folks.  Probably eight to ten pens up for sale, out of a bit more than two dozen bought. 

Because those ballpoints?  Yeah.  Non-functional, one and all. 

Although, the mechanical pencil just might work with the right size of lead.  I think it'll be .9mm or perhaps a bit bigger. 

I've got to stay off ebay...I cannot buy more pens until I sell some of the ones I have.  And I've fallen a little bit in love with the Wearever brand of pens.  Despite being cheap, mass-produced, third-tier pens, they have incredibly nice nibs, especially for stainless steel. 

And tomorrow's going to be too busy for me to fix the last pen I have that needs a sac, or test the last one I had put a new sac on.  We've got friends coming for lunch (which is in the crock pot now).


I did enough bending about sorting laundry and clearing the way for it to be put away (by moving the tubs of winter clothes out of the way) that by bedtime, I hurt.  Bad.  As in: I bent to get the ice cream out of the freezer,* and my back seized up and wouldn't let me stand up.

It's better today, but the kids are still putting their own damn clothes away.

Hopefully, the imp won't have another orange day.**  He was a miserable little imp last night after a tantrum on the playground got him clipped from green down to orange, and got him sat in the corner in the kitchen facing the wall all evening.

I ordered a Mother's Day pressie for my mom through Amazon, and we bought one for Odysseus's mom at Home Depot, today, while the kids were in class.  I'm pretty sure she'll like it because our tastes are similar, and I like it.

Gotta go.  Got a cat on my arms.

*Freezer is under the fridge.

**Remember: Rainbow backwards--pink is best, followed by purple, blue, and green (which is minimum acceptable behavior), then yellow, orange, and red for bad behavior.  

Thursday, May 7, 2015


Yesterday was a little bit busy.  Since I felt fairly good, I got up once the other half and the kids were out the door, and started work on the living room.  I actually got it mostly clean.  And Odysseus vacuumed the high traffic areas (and the vacuum ate a lot of hidden crayon pieces) after he got home with the pixie.

I've still got kitchen cleaning, as well as some in the living room, but today's focus is going to be...laundry.

I hate laundry.  I hate sorting it and folding it (which I mostly don't), and putting it away.  I don't mind washing laundry, but I purely hate the rest.

Right now, though, I'm waiting for my energy levels to climb a bit.  I felt good yesterday, and had more energy than I usually do; however, today, that is not the case.  I've taken my thyroid meds, had breakfast (a nut and chocolate bar that I actually liked, and I don't like nuts), had my coffee (though I'm contemplating a second cup) and taken the vegetarian support supplement that I take.  Now, I just have to wait, and hope it works soon.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

I am so tired of children's programming...

I'm ready to turn off the TV and shut the pixie in her room when (not if, when) she throws a fit.  Children's television programming is...irritating, to say the least.

Especially since I can't turn on music to work by while her crap is on the TV.  We only have the one stereo...unless I steal the one out of the bathroom, and even then, I'm trying to teach them that it's rude to turn on something else when somebody is watching or listening to something.  I can't very well do what I'm trying to teach them to not do. 

Especially since, with my small house, the kitchen and living room are adjoined, and there is no door. 

I think when this episode is over, she's getting the television turned off regardless of what she wants, and a CD will be put on.

Because I have housework to do. 

Monday, May 4, 2015


I hate the early stages of cleaning up a big mess that's grown over a month or so.  It always seems to make things worse, at first.  It's going to take a few days' constant work (and finding places for things) before my kitchen is presentable.  Probably the same for the living room and the hall bathroom. 

I hope I can get it done in the three weeks of four hour child-free time blocs.


I've spent the last hour writing.  I've had my creativity hijacked by something.  I don't know what it is, yet, but the scope is...huge.  And it was inspired by Starset's Transmissions album. 

A while back, one of my blog acquaintances mentioned the concept albums of the past, and wondering where the idea went in the music world.  Well, concept albums are still being created by some, but the age of the single had pushed the concept album to the back for a while.  The age of the MP3 and downloading music has brought it back.  We have Within Temptation's The Unforgiving...and now, we have Starset's Transmissions

Within Temptation makes you feel: The Unforgiving projects betrayal, rage, determination, and guts.  Starset?  Yeah, there's a lot of despair, longing, and a feeling of being lost, but Starset makes you think

Starset could spark another round of interest in space. 

I have two and a half hours more before I have to go pick up my daughter from preschool, and my solitude will be...over for the day.  I'll have Wednesday, though, and Friday for this week, then Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for two more weeks without kids for four hours, but with my best friend. 

I'd keep writing, brain feels like mush, and my hands are starting to hurt.  I'll probably do some housework while I wait for things to gel again, and then I'll get some notes down in my new draftbook for this project.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Newest working pens

Here's an Arnold--and I am tempted to keep it if it doesn't sell in four months, and get the nib fixed professionally.  I have one pen with a silver palladium nib, and this one, despite being bent, is almost as nice.  Should it be repaired, it would be as good. 
This is one of the ones I have repaired by gluing a new sac to the section: it's an Epenco (formerly Eagle Pen Company), and reminds me of some really ugly yellow marble countertops I've seen.  It is, however, an incredibly smooth writer.

I'll post more pictures of pens as I get them fixed.  The next two I post won't be for sale, though--one's...warped, and the other has been modified from cartridge to eyedropper.  I'm not happy with the idea of selling something that is in poor condition, or isn't fully guaranteed to work and keep working.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Random rambling

The kids have three more weeks of school, starting Monday.  The pixie goes from eight to noon MWF, so I'll have nine days where I won't have children underfoot for four hours, and can get some housework done. 

Last week, the kids' school took school-wide achievement tests--the Stanford Achievement Test.  Yep, my kindergartener has taken a version of the SATs.  His teachers said he worked hard and did his best, so he got rewarded with a trip to the local bounce house yesterday afternoon.

Today, we took the kids up to their grandparents' house, and left them there while Odysseus and I went out on a date.  We ended at the new Avengers movie, in a 2:00 matinee, and I learned that what passes for popular music today may be popular, but it ain't music. 

The movie rocked.  There is no way to describe how it rocked without giving away spoilers.  It...just...rocked

We got back to rescue Odysseus's parents pick up the kids around 5:30, and the pixie was exhausted.  So was the imp.  I have hopes that they'll sleep in a little bit, then be a little quieter tomorrow.  If not, and if the weather is decent enough, I'll take them up to my mom's so Odysseus can get some work done on his final paper for his internship/research assistantship. 

And the cats have been...cats.  Alternately being clingy and annoying, and standoffish since we got back.  I had a long, wide stripe of cat drool down my arm at one point from where Cricket sat on my table with her head on my biceps, and purred with her mouth hanging open. 

I discovered that one of the pens I'd restored had a damaged nib--I think one of the tines may be broken, but I'll have to look at it under magnification to be sure--and a second one had a nib that kept slipping out, and would not seat with the feed.  You can imagine what kind of a mess that made.  Only one of the three I reassembled and tested yesterday worked, so...yeah.  Disappointing. 

I have two more re-sacked, reassembled, and ready for testing, but I'm a little tired tonight. 

And I've got a few more to do before I'm out of pens to fix. 

Why, no, I don't have an addiction...what makes you say that? 

I am done with teaching for the semester.  I'll have revisions coming in for my 8:00 class until 10:00 tomorrow, and plan to turn in grades no later than noon.  I'll have revisions coming in until 11:00 on Wednesday for the other class, and plan to turn in their grades no later than 1:00, and then I'm totally done for the semester. 

And...the sort-of hard science sci-fi story I had inspired has taken over totally.  I do not know what will come of this, but I'm gonna find out.  I think it's going to be fun...and something I might try to send to a publisher.

Friday, May 1, 2015

More than a little excited...

I bid on an unidentified vintage Parker button fill pen earlier this week.  It got here today, and I took a good, close look at the pen.  I thought I'd identified it as a Parker Challenger, or maybe a lady's duofold, based on the seller's pictures. 

That...was wrong.  Both have an imprint of the model name, and what I got only had the Parker name imprinted on the barrel.  So, not a Challenger or a Duofold.  That meant I had no idea what I'd bought.  So, I got on some forums (fora?) and did some research to figure out what I bought.  Boy howdy, did I figure it out.

What I actually have is better.  What I have is a Depression Time, also known as a Thrift Time.  It was very similar to both the Duofold and the slim Challengers, but was missing the imprint of the brand name.  Or a name imprinted on the nib, like the Duofolds often had. 

And what I have seems to be a bit rarer.

A lady's duofold would be worth around $90 to $120; a Challenger Deluxe (like what I thought it was) would be worth $120-$150.  My Thrift Time Parker?  I've seen them going on ebay for $200.  Or more. 

They are a little uncommon, to say the least.  And mine is in very good shape. 

But doing the research and figuring out exactly what model I have was an incredible lot of fun.

FFOT: I got nothin'.

Seriously: I got nothin'.  I'm damn near done with grading, and as of 10:00 today, I am done with classes. 

I got three more pens re-sacked last night, and will be reassembling and testing them today, and fixing more of the ones I still have to go (after I find and watch videos on replacing J-bars in lever fill pens, and pressure bars in button fill pens). 

Once I'm done with the ones I've got, I'll have another three fountain pens, six vintage ballpoints (which I'll need to research), and one vintage mechanical pencil (which I'll keep, should it be bulky enough to make using it comfortable).  And I'll focus on getting what I have fixed posted and sold on Etsy

So no, I really don't have anything to bitch about this week. 

If you do, have at it in the comments.