Dec 25 2022

The littlest tree. Plus: Xmas egg mystery!


Led lights are the only kind this guy can handle…

This little tree might look like it’s on its last legs, but actually has been with me for nearly twenty years!   I picked it up when it was a wee little sprout, just after I moved in with Sabine, and it’s been holding on and getting marginally larger ever since.   I had to change its pot a number of times.  It’s currently living in a plastic mixing bowl, because some time after I moved into my own place, I dropped it and broke its official ceramic pot.  Haven’t replaced the pot yet, but Little Tree seems not to mind.

The Christmas Duckie ornament has been in our family since we ourselves were wee little sprouts.

My sister is now a nomad, currently catsitting in Florida, whilst I am tucked into my cozy apartment, while outside it’s so freakin’ cold!   It’s the lower edge of that bomb cyclone that’s been dropping tons of snow over much of the United States, and crazy-cold temps over the rest of it.  The other night it went down to 7 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s  -13.88 Celsius to the rest of the world).   Cold enough to make you not want to leave the house.


In unrelated news, I’ve had an odd encounter with eggs…

The other day, I wanted an omelet.  Stopped by a neighborhood store that I don’t often use, picked up some all-natural eggs, which I don’t often buy, jumbo-sized, because Why Not?

Got home, cracked the first one and it was a double-yolk!

Well, isn’t that nice, I thought.  Double yolk means free extra egg!  Kind of.  Ah, the mysteries of Nature.

Then I cracked the second one, and — hey, wait a minute…

I became suspicious.  I cracked a third.  This is what I got:

Free extra eggs!

Heh.  What are the odds.   Posted the event to Facebook (as one does).  Thought no more of it.

Until Christmas eve, when, hey, I wanted another omelet.   Some big cheesy thing, lots of mushrooms and scallions because: Christmas Eve brunch!

And I got this:

Okay, hang on, here…

Okay, so, what if…

Then I realized that even if my suspicions were true, it would be very easy for someone to fake double-yolks in a photo. So I videoed it.      (Link only; I found that I couldn’t easily embed my own video directly in WordPress.)

Six consecutive eggs from one carton, all double-yolk.   Yeah, this is beyond natural probability.   And that means that someone did it.  On purpose.

So, today when I decided to make some egg salad for use in the upcoming week, which required hard-boiled eggs…

Only the last is not a double.

So here’s what I think happened:  Someone at the egg-packing facility knew (or strongly suspected) which eggs might be double-yolk.  And decided to put them all in one carton.  Specifically in order to surprise, amuse, and possibly mystify, and send into trains of logic and probability some future unknown random customer.

That’s exactly what I would have done in their place.  I am on the side of those who choose to surprise, amuse, possibly mystify, and eventually elucidate.   My people.

I hope your holidays bring you and yours unexpected gifts, laughter, and enlightenment.

And stay warm, if you can manage it.


Nov 29 2016

Every year, John Scalzi does a very nice thing.


Actually, he does many nice things, all year ’round.  He’s just a nice guy!

But around this time of year, he also opens the comment stream of his blog to writers and artists of all sorts to promote their own works, with his Holiday Shopping Guide.

He breaks it out by type.  Yesterday (Monday,) was reserved for traditionally published books, ebooks, and audiobooks.  Today (Tuesday) is for non-traditionally published works (that would be me).  Wednesday is for other creators; Thursday is for fans to share their enthusiasm about any books or other art they want people to know about; and Friday is dedicated to promoting charites.

Last year, I got a good increase in sales from Mr. Scalzi’s blog.  He has lots of readers.   Another year-end boost would be very useful indeed.

And you might want to check in on his blog daily this week.   A lot of people, creators of all sorts (although mostly writers), will be plugging their work.  And Christmas is coming!  You don’t want to just buy the same old stuff for your friends & family, do you?

Meanwhile:  Yes, I am in Florida.  Here’s proof:


Yeah. I'm not going to be feeding any gators that show up...

Yeah. I’m not going to be feeding any gators that show up…

I am, however, allowed and even encouraged to feed the other wildlife.  Well, not in the park; in the yard of the place I’m staying.

Ibises, who also cannot read.



Egyptian goose.

Egyptian goose.  They will basically walk up to the screened porch and give me the side-eye until I come out and feed them.

And my pal Charlie:

Grub, skritches and cuddles dispensed on command.

Grub, skritches and cuddles dispensed on command.

Well.  Back to Book 5, which is sort of the whole point of being here, right?

More later.

LATER:  I posted the promo, but (Darn it!) I forgot that I had wanted to make it shorter first  — I think it’s too long.   But I just copy/pasted, and hit “post.”  I feel it was unkind of me to take up that much space.  That’s what happens when you post half-asleep — should have edited it down last night.

On the other hand, I managed to be the seventh person posting (out of what will be, trust me, hundreds).  So, yay.


Aug 4 2015

Hitting the ground running, but not in any particularly desirable direction.


Yep. Back, as I said, from the Schrodinger sessions. And now also back at the day job. With various forms of job and non-job crap hitting various fans located at especially inconvenient intervals, and requiring immediate attention or emails or unavoidable hair-tearing.

I can’t, yet, do a full write-up of the Schrodinger sessions…

So, over the next few days I’ll post some moments, including occasional pics (a few of which I already tweeted, but might be new to you).

Like this:

A lot of the photographs I took were of people pointing at things they had written on blackboards and whiteboards, and slides.   This is because they were saying fascinating things.  Here Chris Monroe explains quantum teleportation.

quantum teleportation

Does not work on people.

Earlier, Mohammed Hafezi tried to convince  us that regardless which side of the box you looked in, the chances of which state you’d observe were 50/50.

This was especially tricky...

This was especially tricky…


And Chad Orzel shared this lovely photo of the lovely building itself, from ground level looking up in the central well:



The central well.

The central well.


And of course, I got to have dinner with the most diverting of companions:

Why, yes, that's Jack McDevitt and Jeff Carver.  Jealous?

Why, yes, that’s Jack McDevitt and Jeff Carver. Jealous?


More later.   I need to turn in soon, so I can go do very mundane things early in the morning….

( DMV.  It doesn’t get more mundane than that.)