April 4th, 2006

Jin Shei Cover from sgreer

Going with the flow

I finally got the plumber out here. He told me that my bathroom faucet is so old that he couldn't fix it, so he tightened everything that wasn't actually fused solid and told me to tough it out until it started not just oozing but finally giving up the ghost - because it is still serviceable despite being an original fixture of this now 30-year-old house. That was the good news. The bad news was that the kitchen faucet had to be replaced with a new, pretty and expensive one; that the water pressure regulation valve in this house was failing kind of radically and that the water pressure was TWICE what it should be, which was what was putting the strain on the plumbing in the first place; and that my hot water tank is pushing seventeen years and way due for replacement. We didn't do the tank this time, and that's gonna cost upwards of $500 by the time we're done, but the REST of the stuff, the faucet and the valve replacement, came to damn near as much for this visit anyway. So flip a coin - I finally managed to get the plumber to come in and deal with stuff, but he left with over four hundred dollars' worth of check.

I'm still waiting for the final tax papers from my accountant, but I already KNOW that's going to be radical.

If it isn't one thing it's another.

Sent off the copy edit to New York yesterday, and this week I should be back to writing YA book 2 - just as well, since the next actual REAL advance that I am expecting, before the UK pub installment of "Embers of Heaven" which isn't due until September, is in fact YA book 2. Unless my agent comes back from Bologna and showers me with contracts, that is...

In other news, my garden is an explosion of colour and scent; the mints are starting to come up, the whole front yard smells of hyacinth, the tulips are about ready to pop and the dogwood's buds are looking interesting, and the lily of the valley is coming up. I wonder if my peonies are going to bloom this year. And I've been keeping a beady eye on the lilacs but I can't see any buds. Maybe that late frost really did put paid to blooms this year. Pity, if so. But the Rhododendron appears to have a couple of good-looking buds, and I hope that they don't (like last year) all turn out to be new leaves. I do love the fact that they are all growing nicely but I WOULD like to see a flower or two this season. Really.

And the sun is out. For the first time in months the sun has actually been out all day.

SOon we can go and sit on our deck and enjoy our cedars. Really soon.
Jin Shei Cover from sgreer



Just LOOk at that title. "River of stars". Go resist that, if you can, and if you're even half the star-nerd that I am you won't be able to. I mean, what an image. What a world we live in. What a wondrous universe lies just out there beyond the sky.

And then you get to the article.

And certain words and phrases - like "Milky Way", "Big Dipper", "galaxy", "Moon", "planet" - aer hyperlinks. And if you mouse over them a little box appears, telling you...

...no, not more information about the astronomical term you've just looked at. What it gives you is things like cheap air tickets, an automatic kitchen grease interceptor for the love of Ghu, dealership management software, an area guide to what appears to be a place called Moon which seems to be located in Virginia, USA.

I don't know whether to tear my hair out in outrage or just sit here and laugh hysterically.

A kitchen grease interceptor? *A Kitchen Grease Interceptor*???

Weep for us all, my children, for we are a lost and wandering race. Instead of raising our eyes to a map of the stars, we are having our heads shoved down a grease trap in a kitchen sink.

And in the meantime... "Overhead", as Arthur C. Clarke once said, "without any fuss, the stars were going out."
Jin Shei Cover from sgreer

"Let Bookworms Gnaw his Entrails"...

Gacked from a couple of different sources - too good to pass up -

This is apparently a notice pinned up in the college library at Peterhouse, Cambridge. It is a Curse against Book Stealers, originally attributed to the Monastery of San Pedro in Barcelona. It reads as follows:

"For him that stealeth a Book from this Library, let it change into a Serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck with Palsy, and all his members blasted. Let him languish in Pain crying aloud for mercy, and let there be no Surcease to his Agony till he sink to Dissolution. Let Bookworms gnaw his Entrails in token of the Worm that dieth not, and when at last he goes to his final Punishment let the flames of Hell consume him forever and aye."