Sunday, February 26, 2017

The real interesting part...

So, over at a friend's tonight, and he had the Oscars on.

One of us was definitely watching for the costuming. I kinda was, too, though I was playing "spot the costume mistresses fixing everything for photo ops."

But four of us were really playing "spot the security in tuxes." My goodness, that place was swarming with security! So we were counting the number of people in dove position, and spotting the security guy in tennis shoes instead of shiny black wingtips that aren't so good for hauling butt, and the security guy who clearly neither knew nor cared that his bowtie was askew... (I kept expecting a costume mistress to make him twitch by running up and fixing it, but the camera wasn't catching it.)

There were some celebrities there, too. I didn't recognize most of 'em, so they got labelled manbun-boy, concentration-camp-vampire woman, unhappy-child-bride, etc. But who cares about them, when there are costumes, costume mistresses, and security to watch?

Apparently appendix carry was really popular this year, because most of 'em weren't printing on the tuxes.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


There are 17 muscles in the shoulder. The fall only bruised and irritated, inflamed, or pissed off 15 of them. Missed a perfect score by two!

And then I wonder why healing is taking so long... ah, well, time to do my physical therapy homework again. Will write more later.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Slow Cooker Pork Roast

In 6-quart slow cooker, assemble:

4 lb pork loin / pork butt (I used a quartered chunk of pork butt, defrosted)
1 jar sauerkraut
1 bottle beer
4 cloves roasted garlic, smashed
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3 Tbsp molasses
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 medium onions, chopped
2 medium apples, chopped

Cook on low for 6 hours (or, if you're not sure it defrosted all the way through like me, I did high for 3 hours and low for 3 hours).

Serve with couscous and steamed broccoli (five minutes on the stove for one, five minutes in the microwave for the other).

It's not low carb. I'm cold, tired, and the rain's making my joints ache; it's perfect comfort food. Feeds 6-8, with ice cream for dessert. Eat, and enjoy the company of friends and a fire in the fireplace afterward.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Rainy Days

I like rainy days. Somewhere along the way, rainy days became my internal signal of "Yay! A dedicated day to do all the housework chores, so they're all done when it's sunny and I can go fly / hike / enjoy outdoor life!"

So to me, rainy days smell of cleaners, and fresh laundry, and blasting good music all through the place.

(My husband is confused by this, but shrugs and just disappears into his writing.)

Unfortunately, this rainy day is frustrating, because I'm not healed enough to Clean! Everything!

Ashbutt is frustrated, too - here you can see him going "Where are my birds? There's rain hitting the window, but no birds!"

Some Beautiful Shots of Winter

Matt's updated his blog with some beautiful shots of winter flying in Alaska. Go check out what I ran away from!

And yeah, I don't miss pushing the planes around on ice, either...

Monday, February 13, 2017

A paen to starting rotary engines...

For everyone who's missed the lyrical and lovely writings of Brigid at Home on the Range, she's ba-ack! Not on her blog, which is still locked down post-troll-attack, but in a guest post at Borepatch's!

The ancients wrote that the great things to be seen are sun, stars, water and clouds. I think they forgot the round engine.

I have a fair amount of experience flying jets and as much fun as I had, I do have to agree - there is absolutely no mystery to a jet engine. The air travels through it in a straight line and doesn't pick up any of the pungent fragrance of engine oil, hydraulic fluid or pilot sweat.

The rules for the operation of a jet are basic. When I first had some beginning airmen to teach there was this preprinted poster with the "four forces of flight". Lift. Weight. Thrust. Drag. Each were represented by a drawing of a man. Someone, of course, drew a dress on Mr. Drag, which now would just get them sent to the corner for "sensitivity training". But it wasn't all that much harder to teach airmen gas turbine engine technology. I have kitchen equipment more complicated.

Go on! Go read it! You know you want to howl with laughter, especially if you've ever tried to perfect angling the clipboard so it deflects the oil spume from the DeHavilland Beaver's engine when you're adding more oil in flight!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Romance and Science Fiction

I know, I know. Ruminations on romance from a gal who's still tickled pink that her husband got her a Ruger Mark IV in steampunky bronze, and promptly declared it an early valentine's present. (Look those things are scarce as well-behaved kittens right now. I'm not fool enough to expect him to be able to find it right on St. Valentine's, and I didn't want to wait until the day to get it, either!)

I'm a woman. I like love stories in my fiction. I know, I know, a lot of y'all see the protagonist making puppy dog eyes and the gut reaction is just like the grandkid in The Princess Bride:

But I also grew up on Anne McCaffrey, Lois McMaster Bujold, Leigh Brackett, Andre Norton, and other Grand Old Dames of science fiction and fantasy, who believed in working love stories right in with the thrilling action. Who doesn’t enjoy fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, and miracles? Or Princess Leia and Han Solo's banter, in the middle of space battles?

Unfortunately, from the 80's on, I saw a lot of emo navelgazing gutting the SF&F romance, and then wearing its skin, calling itself by that name, and demanding respect. It allied with erotica and romance that picked up the barest trappings of SF and declared itself part of the genre without any of the love for the ideas, tropes, or fans. (They seem like a movie crew directed to the wrong set who throw on the costumes, shoot faithfully to their script without exploring anything they've found, and then declare that they must belong to the genre and frachise who were supposed to be there.) This inevitably leads to heartache and heartburn, and giving romance a bad name.

So I wrote the kind of book that I love to read, but have a very hard time finding anymore. It’s set on a colony trapped in a crater while the terraforming on their iceball is failing. While the two factions have temporarily ceased their running civil war and are pretending to cooperate in order to install a weather station that’ll warn them both of killing cold coming down from above, things are never as simple as they seem!

It’s got fighting and skiing, avalanches and intrigue, killing cold and uncovering old secrets, gunfights, true love and sacrifice…

Hope you like it, too.