Good health to you!

Wed, Sep. 20th, 2017 07:19 am
garyomaha: (Default)
[personal profile] garyomaha
This week has been yet another example of annoyances regarding health care in our lives.  Fortunately, we caught this early.  (One would expect that sentence to be used in terms of an illness, not of a billing error.)

Between M and me, we have several ongoing conditions.  We are covered by health insurance through his employer.  Except that, four years after getting married, an old code for "domestic partnership" showed up and, because of a rather complicated chain of events, caused one of my claims to be rejected.

I got on the phone and spoke with several reps.  All were friendly and helpful, which, in and of itself, was a good place to start.  But, initially, they didn't have answers.  So, M joined in via conference call, and discovered he needed to call his company's HR department to get this fixed.  Later in the day, we were told everything is okay and, after the correction makes its way through the system, all will be fine.  I am not totally convinced.

One of the reps I spoke with reminded me of me.  Imagine that, rather than tell me "You need green," he described the process of combining yellow and blue to make green, and how there are so many shades of green, and how we each see green differently, and so on and so forth.  It was all (apparently) accurate and an interesting story, but not necessary for me to know.  As I told M last evening, "I talk like that a lot, don't I?"  His smile was his answer. 

I regularly wonder how somebody with less time or less patience or different analytic skills could even manage to get through the explanations offered by the health insurance company.

I regularly wonder how someone without an intelligent, helpful partner like M could navigate all of this on one's own.

I regularly wonder why we do not have a simpler health system in the US.  Oh wait, no I don't wonder about that one -- it's all about profit.

Sometimes It's the Little Things

Tue, Sep. 19th, 2017 02:36 pm
malkingrey: ((default))
[personal profile] malkingrey
It doesn't take much to improve my mood, a lot of the time.

Today it was a surprise short story royalty check in the morning mail.

Not a large one . . . given that most short story payments are lucky if they make in into the low three figures, most short story royalties tend to be in the exceedingly low two figures. If that. (If a short story payment is a tank, maybe two tanks, of gas, then a typical short story royalty check is maybe a couple of quarts of motor oil.) But still, a royalty check is a royalty check, and not yet another piece of junk mail from Capital One, trying to sell me a credit card.

As they say back where I come from, it beats a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.

Crafty Tuesday: This is Halloween

Tue, Sep. 19th, 2017 11:33 am
puppetmaker: (Default)
[personal profile] puppetmaker
We are well known for two things in our neighborhood especially at Halloween. The first is that we give comic books rather than candy and the second is a graveyard that I have been building to and working on for years to the point that people who had their picture taken in front of it are now taking pictures of their children in front of it. The two years I didn’t put it up I had people asking if we were OK or what happened.

This year I want to try something a little different and give the graveyard a theme. This gives me a month to create some new props and gravestones for the display.

I am sorting out what I can get done with that and a puppet that is on the table and Caroline’s annual Halloween costume. The difference is that Caroline is getting use to working with the sewing machine and soon will be making her own costumes.

I have been given permission to do a Scary Godmother puppet show which may see the light of day this year possibly by Halloween.

So I have ideas and some motivation now I just need to get the energy to move this project forward.

Along with this is the open call for “They Keep Killing Glenn” and my Nemo novel.

Let’s see what I can get done. I will check in next week with progress on all these projects.

I am grateful for things that motivate me.

Monday, Monday

Tue, Sep. 19th, 2017 07:19 am
garyomaha: (Default)
[personal profile] garyomaha
It was a pretty exciting Monday around here.

M got up before I did and left me a note that his computer is infected with malware!  He and I have somewhat different viewpoints on how to protect against such nastiness.  I turned on my computer, and pretty soon Malwarebytes gave me a warning that it had quarantined malware on my computer, too.  Seems we were both caught by an update to CCleaner, and throughout the day various sources alerted the world to the problem.  Bravo, Malwarebytes, for being the first to catch it on my machine.  Boo on a few other pieces of software that didn't do as well.

Then it rained and rained and rained much of the day.  This was good for our relatively parched area, but a little nerve-wracking for us as we are currently operating without a fully functioning gutter or diverting awning for one area outside that has been particularly mischievous in the past when it let water into the house.  The latter is not a good thing.  Fortunately, we did not get water in the house yesterday, thanks to some of M's temporary handiwork.

I got some moderately good financial news and, in a coincidence, so did M.  This is not going to fund our retirements nor will it allow us to take an ocean cruise, but it is convenient at a relatively expensive time, in light of M's expenses for classes and the ongoing roof/soffit/gutter project.  Add that I didn't take my planned trip to the Northwest (but it could still happen) and there's more money saved.  We might just splurge and buy the good ice cream.

Lastly, thanks to friend A and A junior (daughter of A) who yesterday provided a high point of the day with some clips from The View of a "Sister Act" 25-year reunion.  That's the sort of stuff I'd like to see more of online, rather than all the nasty political sniping.  It was a fun diversion.

Rats and Books

Mon, Sep. 18th, 2017 08:21 pm
marthawells: (Reading)
[personal profile] marthawells
We've been hearing noises in the wall between our house and the garage for a while, and got confirmation today that it was rats. Apparently they chewed their way in through a hole at the end of a rain gutter and got in the garage attic, then got in and have been hanging out under the bathtub. So, not fun. But someone at the university recommended a wildlife removal company that specializes in rodents, and I think that's exactly what we need. (We're also infested with geckos, but that's actually a good thing.) Anyway, it's going to be expensive, but not nearly as bad as I thought.


Fireside Fiction has set up an ebook Hurricane Relief Bookstore. 100% of the profits go to hurricane relief funds in Houston, Florida, and the Caribbean. My book Wheel of the Infinite is available there, with lots of other cool SF/F novels, magazines, and anthologies:
thomryng: A Sepia Man in a Hat (Default)
[personal profile] thomryng
Castilla y León (and, indeed, all of Spain) is divided into provinces. Here, we are leaving the Province of Burgos and entering the Province of Palencia. Why they felt the need to tell us three times, I’m not certain.

Date: 15 April 2016
Place: Border between the Provinces of Burgos and... (more at

Originally posted at Pilgrims on the Way. If you wish to comment, please do so there.

File under: Map, Photo of the Day

Hi there!

Mon, Sep. 18th, 2017 07:50 am
scarlettina: (Default)
[personal profile] scarlettina posting in [community profile] 2017revival
Name: [personal profile] scarlettina
Age: 55 (Good G-d, how did that happen?)
Location: Seattle, WA

Describe yourself in five sentences or less: I’m a New York transplant living in Seattle with two cats and way too many books. I am creative and opinionated and still express myself like a native New Yorker, which makes some Seattleites uncomfortable despite my best efforts. I am a theater geek, a movie buff, a lover of tabletop and board games, a reader, a writer and a jeweler.

Top 5 fandoms: I’m a second-wave slash writer (second-wave as in: the first wave was in the early 1970s, the second in the mid-’80s to early ’90’s; everyone else came after) who hasn’t written fanfic in a while, but when I was doing that it was Star Trek, Starsky & Hutch and, more recently, Doctor Who (see my fanfic journal at [personal profile] scarlett_key). I have loved watching and discussing Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones, so many more. How do you pick just five?

I mostly post about: My personal life, which also tends to be sprinkled with bits about politics, the science fiction community, movies, theater, books, travel, cats, my family, writing and observations about life in general.

I rarely post about: sports, math, the giant hornbeam tree in front of my condo, jackalopes, and my collection of porcelain hands (yes, really).

My three last posts were about: I occasionally do the Friday Five so this morning’s post was answering last week’s questions, two particularly striking dreams, and discovering the pile of get-well cards I received when I was in the hospital last year.

How often do you post? I currently post about once a week, though I’m aiming for better.

How about commenting? I try to comment on at least half to two-thirds of the posts that I read.

Random Monday Writing Thinks

Mon, Sep. 18th, 2017 07:47 am
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
[personal profile] lagilman

One of the interesting joys of the current story-series is that I'm NOT writing a broken or restricted character - I'm writing a character who has gotten his shit together & is taking on a new, out-of-comfort-zone challenge because he chooses to.

Because the story doesn't end when the broken bits of a POV character are repaired/justified.  Interesting stuff happens after, too. And we don't have to break them a second or third time to make it interesting.

Kintsugi is about the repaired form as a whole, not just the golden seams.

This post possibly brought to you by reading too damn many "hero/ine is broken in order to BE the hero/ine" story.  Which are good and necessary stories, but not the only ones we should be telling.

marthawells: (Atlantis)
[personal profile] marthawells

Now that the cover (by Jaime Jones) has been revealed, more preorder links are available. (I really, really appreciate preorders, wherever you shop, not just the links here.)

Note: Artificial Condition is a novella, around 160 pages. It's a direct sequel to All Systems Red and begins not long after that novella ends.

Description: It has a dark past -- one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself "Murderbot." But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more. Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don't want to know what the "A" stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue. What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks...

Available at:
Barnes & Noble, Amazon US and all other Amazons, Mysterious Galaxy, BooksaMillion, Book Depository, and from a local independent bookseller through Indiebound.

ebook (DRM-free): Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo, iBooks, Amazon Kindle, Kindle UK, Kindle Canada, Kindle France, Kindle Germany, Kindle Spain, and all other Kindle retailers.


SECUNITS DON'T CARE ABOUT the news. Even after I hacked my governor module and got access to the feeds, I never paid much attention to it. Partly because downloading the entertainment media was less likely to trigger any alarms that might be set up on satellite and station networks; political and economic news was carried on different levels, closer to the protected data exchanges. But mostly because the news was boring and I didn't care what humans were doing to each other as long as I didn't have to a) stop it or b) clean up after it.

more )

The Meticulous Tornadoes

Mon, Sep. 18th, 2017 07:38 am
garyomaha: (Default)
[personal profile] garyomaha
It's raining now and is supposed to rain all morning.  I'd imagine that will mean we won't see any carpenters working on the soffit today.  Since they were running out of wood, that times out rather nicely for them.  Not so much for us, as parts of the house look like a tornado hit -- although a rather well-organized, meticulous tornado.  Gotta love those meticulous tornadoes.  Hey, that might be a good rock band name!

(no subject)

Sun, Sep. 17th, 2017 05:39 pm
lycomingst: (Default)
[personal profile] lycomingst
Netflix movie The Deep Blue Sea )

A quiet week in the neighborhood except for the car that ran into a house across the way. The other night about 2AM, I was about to turn off my light and go to sleep and I heard a thump, not a crash but more like when the garbage truck empties a dumpster. Then a guy is yelling, and I’m thinking it’s some kind of domestic fight. And he yells for a long time and after a while there’s cops and firefighters, and looking out the window I see a car up against a house. I live in a mobile home park and there’s a lane between houses that lets two cars pass. This car was on the wrong side of the road. Perhaps a little too much happy juice. The next morning I could see that a real job had been done on the house’s skirting. The owners have only restricted access for safety. That’s the third time a car has run into a house since I lived here.

I finished a book, And Furthermore by Judi Dench. Lots of anecdotes, nothing too deep but enjoyable. She had a fine time, thank you very much. She didn’t mention my favorite movie of hers, On Giant’s Shoulders which was actually a BBC play of the week. I have no recollection how I came across it.

I realized I saw her in a play, The Gay Lord Quex. I’d tell you how many years ago but I don’t want to scare you. I don’t remember her only Daniel Massey.

Meme:; Kitchen, favorite comfort food.

Well, my mother wasn’t a good cook, neither was my childhood home a place of comfort. So I don’t have any memories to go to.

But I’m not a good cook either but most any kind of pasta makes me happy.

OTW Chat

Sun, Sep. 17th, 2017 03:59 pm
marthawells: (Reading)
[personal profile] marthawells
Here's the transcript for the Organization for Transformative Works 10th Anniversary chat:

First day

Sun, Sep. 17th, 2017 07:45 pm
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
Grumpy that I've got no better recourse for finding the room my "Welcome Talk" will be in tomorrow morning than turning up early and hoping there's someone to ask.

Andrew offered to come with me to help me find it but that's not going to be easy for someone who woke up at three this afternoon; it's basically an accessibility issue for him too. And it costs money in bus fare. And it's just not fair because that shouldn't be his responsibility and I hate feeling dependent on him.

I booked my Disability Services meeting a month ago for as soon as I could get it, but that turns out to be Tuesday. I know this will be a busy and nightmarish time for them, but argh. Hopefully I will be a bit less confused for the rest of the week. There are a bunch of other rooms I have to find after these first ones tomorrow!

The Murderbot Diaries: Artificial Condition

Sun, Sep. 17th, 2017 10:26 am
marthawells: (Miko)
[personal profile] marthawells

* Excerpt:

* Interview on The Verge:

* And we're coming up on the time for the OTW Chat: Today 9/17 noon to 2 EST, me and Seanan Mcguire will do a guest chat for the Organization For Transformative Works 10th Anniversary
thomryng: A Sepia Man in a Hat (Default)
[personal profile] thomryng
Just past San Nicolás de Puente Fitero is the Río Pisuerga, which forms the border between the provinces of Burgos and Palencia. This bridge contains construction work from the 12th, 16th, 17th, and 20th centuries. It’s a highway bridge, so we leave the muddy path to walk on asphalt among... (more at

Originally posted at Pilgrims on the Way. If you wish to comment, please do so there.

File under: Map, Photo of the Day

Sunday miscellanea

Sun, Sep. 17th, 2017 07:39 am
garyomaha: (Default)
[personal profile] garyomaha
I broke out a jacket yesterday.  It was in the low 60s and windy, and I was chilly.  I know we likely have plenty of hot weather ahead of us, off and on, this season, but this is a time of transition, from stifling heat and humidity to a more humane weather pattern.  That is, before cold weather hits.  Autumn is my favorite time of the year.

* * * * *
Today -- right now -- was to be the start of my trip to the Northwest.  Except it isn't and I'm still at home.  In some ways, that's good -- for instance, M and I had a really nice day yesterday.  However, I had looked forward to visiting with friends in the Seattle area, and of seeing Seattle again after a couple years, and of getting away in general, which I need.  But I hesitated and procrastinated, and here I am, at home.  On a positive note, at least I've saved a lot of money.  Will the trip be rescheduled?  I hope so.

* * * * *
I may more fully write about it eventually, but a small experience yesterday made me realize some things may be a bit out of whack in my world.  It was a positive experience, but afterwards M and I thought about it and decided that, though it made us feel good, the larger ramifications are that some things could be changed for the better.  What's needed to change has never been easy and probably won't be this time, either.  Sorry for the mystery but I'm not yet ready to go public on this one.

* * * * *
Among other things, we picked up dog food this weekend at a pet store.  When we go together, M always likes to look at the puppies on display.  We saw some particularly adorable dogs this time and briefly discussed the "what if" of getting another dog.  Nothing was done at this time -- I certainly would not make such an important decision on a whim.  We'll see.  For now, Mandy and Toby are enough, and they probably agree with that.

Some Days I Like Working in My Kitchen

Sat, Sep. 16th, 2017 06:52 pm
malkingrey: (Default)
[personal profile] malkingrey
And then there are days like this.

This afternoon I decided, for good and sufficient reasons, that it was time to use one of boxes of brownie mix that I've got in my pantry stash. (Every so often, the grocery store puts them on sale for a dollar, and when they do I stock up.) This process, let it be known, is not rocket science: Prep the pan, empty the box into a bowl, add the oil and the water and the two eggs, mix, pour into pan, and cook. Even a functioning maladroit like me on an off day can manage it, and get chocolaty goodness at the end of it.

All went well until it was time to mix in the two eggs. I took the first egg, and tapped it on the tabletop to crack it, as one does . . . only this egg must have had a super-thin shell, because it didn't just crack, it burst all the way open all around and left me with a raw egg lying on the tabletop and dripping onto the floor.

Cleanup operations ensued.

Once the floor and the tabletop were egg-free again, I went over to the refrigerator to take out another egg, in order to replace the one that never made it into the mixing bowl. And yes, I know I should have taken the egg box all the way out of the refrigerator, instead of merely lifting up the lid and reaching into it, but in my defense, I've performed the same move dozens of times without having the egg roll in my fingers and slip off them onto the refrigerator shelf . . . and then evade my fingers a second time and crash onto the floor. (Yes, maybe I could have grabbed faster, but the way things were going, I would just have ended up with a fistful of liquid egg and broken shell.)

More cleanup operations ensued.

Then, finally, I was able to finish mixing the brownies and get them into the oven. From which I have just removed them, and they are done and awaiting cutting. And the oven is now heating up the half-ham I bought last Wednesday, which will be tonight's dinner. Probably with raisin sauce, because raisin sauce is dead easy.

(But then, I thought the same thing about cracking eggs.)


Sat, Sep. 16th, 2017 08:23 pm
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
Google says the thing making my feet horrible is probably... eczema! "Often caused by stress." Well, that explains why it first arrived when my parents visited! (Yes I know that was a long time ago. It's been flaring up and then almost-going-away ever since and every time it goes away I think it'll stay away and at least I'm doing something about it now.)

Can't even really make a GP appointment until I have a better idea of what my schedule will be like. Nnnrgh.

Plus I already have a follow-up appointment about my new meds, a smear test, and my first meeting with the Disabled Students Office this week, which is quite enough Health Work to be getting on with right now.

By the end of the week I will definitely know my class schedule (since it starts the week after that!) and will be able to make an appointment about my horrible feet. So at least I have a plan.

Cover reveal and interview on The Verge

Sat, Sep. 16th, 2017 01:44 pm
marthawells: (Miko)
[personal profile] marthawells
The cover reveal for The Murderbot Diaries: Artificial Condition, plus an interview with me, is on The Verge:


scarlettina: (Default)

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