- I’m off to German Stammtisch over in Hanover again tonight. (That’s the once-a-month gathering of German speakers sponsored by the German department at Dartmouth, so the students have a chance to use the language with native speakers for an evening.) There are two more Stammtisch meetings before the end of the year, and it’s a nice opportunity to go out, be social, have some free beverages, and engage in a few hours of Krautspeak.
- If you’re reading this blog on a mobile device, you may have noticed a swank new look for the mobile version. This is not of my doing—the folks at WordPress did all that. I’ve been on WordPress for almost two years now, and I haven’t regretted the switch from That Other Free Blogging Service once. WP has a cleaner interface, an integrated control panel and stats page, more appealing templates, and much more reliable and quick-to-load comments. The only thing WP won’t let you do is script (at least not in the free, WP-hosted blogs), but I’ don’t have much of a use for scripted applets, anyway.
- I hereby proclaim Noodler’s Bulletproof Black the best fountain pen ink in the known universe. Waterproof on paper, won’t bleed or feather even on newspaper rag, plays well with all my pens, fraud-proof…and it’s pretty cheap for having all those properties, at $12 per three-ounce bottle. (A bottle of Noodler’s is enough for sixty pen fill-ups, which makes bottled ink much more economical than cartridge refills.) Two ink-stained thumbs up—I’ll be using NBB exclusively from now on.
- We’re busy winterizing Castle Frostbite for the impending snow season, which lasts from December to April around here. In related news, the new pellet stove is plain awesome. Much easier to fuel and maintain than the old wood stove—just dump in a bag of pellets, and let the thing go all day and night without having to stoke or maintain a fire. There’s no need to haul in wood five times a day, and it’s much cleaner than the old stove. The only minus is the noise—the pellet stove has a blower motor and feed auger, and those make a bit of a racket. All things considered, however, I’ll put up with the noise for the massive improvement in efficiency and convenience.
- The sequel to Great Big Military SF Opus is humming along quite nicely. I’m at 25,000 words, which means I’m 1/4 of the way done. It’ll be halfway done by the end of the year, and hopefully completed by spring. Maybe I’ll even sell the first one by the time the second one’s written. And, oh yes, there will be a third one, since I had the story arc for a trilogy pop into my head halfway through the first novel. I have tentative titles, too: #2 will be called “Lines of Departure”, and #3 will be “Angles of Attack”. (The first one, as mentioned, is “Terms of Enlistment”. See what I did there?)
- Anyone know of any regular gun shows in the NH/VT area that are worth a trip? I haven’t been to a Fun Show since we moved here, and I’d hate to make the drive just to end up at a Beef Jerky & Camo Clothing (And Three Tables Of Beat-Up Cop Guns) Show.
- Two book recommendations for you: Paolo Bacigalupi’s “The Windup Girl”, and Cherie Priest’s “Boneshaker”. The first one is a SF novel that asks “What happens when calories become currency"?”, and the second one is a fun steampunk adventure with airships and zombies, which is really all you need to put on a book jacket to make me snatch the book off the shelf at Borders.
Anyway, that’s it from me for the moment. More later, perhaps.