Dancing as fast as I can


View 704 Friday, December 09, 2011

I have a dozen small chores to accomplish today and over the weekend. I need to complete my pass through Black Ship Island, a novella set in the world of Legacy of Heorot about early interstellar colonies set up by slower than light ships. This story is set between Legacy of Heorot and Beowulf’s Children and while it stands alone, it is a part of the development of that unusual society of Adults and Starborn. It introduces a new alien creature.

Then I need to complete a reminiscence on Poul Anderson to be part of a book to be published at BOSKONE this year, where I am one of the guests.

And I need to get on paper some of the scenes I have been developing for the Anvil book; Niven and I have scheduled a hike to discuss that next week. And there’s always Mamelukes, which sits teasingly at 140,000 words, about 10,000 words from completion. And everyone wants me to revive Chaos Manor Reviews which I have neglected for a quarter. Time was I kept up with that many projects and more, and it’s embarrassing to discover that I run out of energy before I can do what I used to consider a full day’s work.

And behind all those are the other projects like getting the public domain California 6th Grade Reader posted as a Kindle Book for home schoolers and Charter Schools and for that matter just as good reading of what used to be a common part of our culture.

I really am dancing as fast as I can. At least I don’t have to go grubbing for quick money to pay the bills with free lance articles, thanks to those who subscribe to this place.


Roberta had an appointment so Sable and I took a long hike this morning. I’ve been getting a bit of static from some of my radios, and discovered that I no longer have any spray cans of tuner cleaner. I used to have several, including both “zero residue” and “lubricant”. There was a whole shelf of them at Fry’s. Alas, I wasn’t smart enough to buy a lifetime supply of them, and they seem to be scarce now, probably a gift from the friendly regulators at the EPA. I am not for polluting the atmosphere, but I doubt that tuner cleaners ever did much damage to anyone, except perhaps someone silly enough to sniff the stuff. But that’s another rant. Anyway, a quick trip on line showed these weren’t so easy to come by, but Radio Shack offers a lubricant tuner cleaner. There’s a Radio Shack about a mile away in Studio City, and I figured I needed the exercise. Sable and I took off at a brisk pace, taking the longer route down past where the Shell Station used to be when we first moved to Studio City. We met some neighbors, Sable met new and old admirers, and all was well. There were two clerks and only two customers in the Radio Shack. I found the lubricant tuner cleaner very quickly.

Then came the wait. Fifteen minutes. Both clerks were involved in doing something related to sales to the two customers. The elder, an Asian I would guess to have come from Bombay, was on the telephone. Endlessly on the telephone. It probably had something to do with a credit card. This went on and on and on. The other clerk, a younger American, was serving a little old lady who kept going off to find something else, then asking for one more thing like a new battery, and that went on and on. Eventually the little old lady got everything she wanted and that sale was completed after only fifteen minutes. My transaction was done in three minutes flat, although I note that Radio Shack’s system can’t tell whether a card is a credit or a debit card although Trader Joe’s can. I got my tuner cleaner and left. The elderly Indian clerk was still on the telephone. With the same customer. I can’t imagine how Radio Shack stays in business if they can make only about 3 sales each half hour. And mine was trivial.

The lubricant tuner cleaner did seem to work on my radio, eliminating the static when I turn the volume knob, but it leaves a residue I don’t like. I’ll have to see if I can find some zero residue cleaner, but I don’t think I’ll bother looking at Radio Shack. No wonder On Line is taking over retail sales.

And now it’s lunch time.