10-21-2015 Back to the future Day!

  • DSC02157I’m going to announce that Fall has officially arrived. Last week John took down the screen door, (so it’s a lot easier to let the cats in, as we don’t need to open two), and this weekend we closed the window in the pantry (most of the way- we shall continue to use it to regulate the cold in there), and the window in the upstairs hall. Frankly, I’d forgotten that one was open. But last night it was (theoretically) down in the 20s, so it’s time to close all the windows. Kat put up her insulated curtains. She’s not going to put the inner layer of plastic up this year. Apparently it made creepy sounds when the wind came in, and that led to a constant tension.DSC02161The pond at the bottom of Pinnacle Road where the fire truck fills up is gorgeous! You can’t see from this picture but there’s a patch of a red leaves and a patch of yellow leaves floating under their respective trees, and that’s very cool looking. The foliage is not at “peak”, yet, but I like it better when there’s green as well as gold and red- more variety. I especially like the way that the bright trees look against the dark of the pines and firs. The ferns are gold, and the poison ivy and sumac (which we hate) are brilliant reds- brighter than anything but the most vibrant of the sugar maples.  I try to enjoy it, but probably don’t get out enough.DSC02164The big event for me this week was the appliance repairman came and fixed the oven. He announced when he got here “It’s always the igniter.” Apparently that’s the weak spot on gas ovens. The visit was about $80 and the igniter around $60, and I am tickled pink that we don’t need to buy a new stove! I mention this in case your gas oven isn’t heating properly. Replacing the igniter is so much better than a new stove!
    I immediately made a couple of apple pies. Later I made an apple crisp, but then as the topping looked pale, I put it under the broiler “for a minute” and set it on fire- so I had to take most of the crumbled top off and throw it out. No, really the whole thing was on fire. I had to blow it out. When you think that it’s basically butter, flour and sugar, it’s not surprising that it could burn. I guess I should have stayed there and watched it brown. Live and learn, even in my sixties! Last week I’d made an apple pie and used the broiler (off and on) to heat the oven enough to bake it, which did, in fact, burn the top crust. That was the last straw, and why I gave in and called the appliance store. I’d figured it was the thermostat, and we just replaced that last year, which is why I was worried the stove might not be fixable.Eveevolution blanket

    The big event for the girls was Another Anime Con. I love the name, but we usually call it AAC because otherwise it gets confusing. It was in Manchester, up in the hotel where Birka is held these days. Willow and her friends actually shared a room in a nearby but cheaper hotel.  Last week you may recall she was working on curling a wig for a cosplay she’s going to do, sadly, the pink wig she’d gotten on sale was plenty long, but couldn’t take a curl, and the character needs curly hair, so she’s going to have to actually get ANOTHER pink wig for that. Whether a wig or hair, when hair gets long it gets heavy, and that makes it hard to curl. If you’ve never had long hair, you may not know that. Anyway, having tested it, she stopped working on the cosplay and was able to relax a little. She did finish the series of new blankets she was making.  You might be able to see all of them on her Etsy shop (if she’s posted them yet). Otherwise they’re on her facebook page.

  • Soul cake duckYou can also see some of her Inktober images there. The girls have continued to do at least one small pen and ink drawing every day for that. This one with the snake is Willows. WillowinktoberThe excellent “Soul Cake Duck” (from Discworld) is Kat’s. Our “pocket calendar” is getting filled up with the various Inktober pictures.The girls went up to the con on Friday- to set up, Willow was in Altair- a white outfit from, I think, Assasins’ Creed. I know almost nothing about it except that they do Parcour, and sometimes we see references to it on the internet. (Acrobatic teens or even kitten’s Friendlies sundaydressed as Assassins jumping over things.) She tells me that she wore Serus Victoria on Saturday and Leonardo daVinci on Sunday. I actually saw that when they got home. Kat apparently wore various Lolita’s all weekend, although she changed out of her white Loli into something more washable (Adric) when they went out to dinner.

    Business wise they did very well. Remember that Willow had made 9 new blankets showing each of the Eveevolution from Pokeman? She sold all but one- plus other blankets as well.tumblr_ozma earphones
    Meanwhile Kat discovered some gold belting we’d gotten at some point (I assume I intended to make a belt- or maybe comfortable circlets with it), and made a prototype Lolita style crown Kat in the crown hatwith it. She sold that, and the half bonnet she’d made (SO MANY ruffles!) and a straw boater trimmed with lace.tumblr Kat hat
    Those sold so well when she got home she ordered more hat blanks to decorate.
    The person who runs Artists Alley at inside hatBakuretsu Con saw her and asked if she was coming. I’m not sure whether she’s decided to or not. She said that she had “too many blankets” when she headed for AAC, but now she says she too many blankets, fuzzydoesn’t have enough to sell at BakuCon. It’s a somewhat smaller con, so I’m encouraging her to go if she has the energy. They do enjoy cons, and making things that people love.
    On the other hand, they all seem to be fighting off colds- doing the rest, zinc and vitamin C thing. Because John has it too, they aren’t sure whether it’s “con crud” (the normal result of being stressed and sharing air with thousands of strangers), or whether maybe they picked it up sometime before the con and might be “patient zero” themselves. Tonight’s supper was chicken soup and toast points.
    On the other hand, with the coming of the cold (it was in the 20ºs a couple of nights ago!) we had tortellini soup last night, beef stew Sunday night, pork stew last Thursday… This is stew and soup weather!
    I guess the big excitement for John was we went to the movies on Sunday. We’d meant to take him to see Ant Man, but kept putting it off until it’s no longer in theatres, so I made a point of taking him to see the Goosebumps movie when he asked. It was a lot of fun. On the other hand, this weekend I also saw the latest Tremor’s movie (number 5) Tremors: Bloodline and it was even more fun. But then, I’m very fond of the Tremors series. I liked the first one in 1990 back when Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, and Michael Gross were young. The most important question for me was the character Bert Gummer “Obsessed Survivalist” in it and yes he was. Gross just keeps getting better! OK, it’s silly, but then again, so is the Raven (with Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, and Peter Lorre), but it was also a great deal of fun. And why not? Isn’t that what the Halloween season is about? The fun of safe spookiness?
    I continue working on the CTCW conference, although I am thoroughly sick of the nuts and bolts bits that eat up so much time. This week I’ve been editing the “sessions” (workshop descriptions) on the website, adding in the times and locations. One set of speakers had to bow out, but I was approached by another I can plug into their slots. One of our concert singers let us know that she has cut off the tip of her finger chopping vegetables for soup- on her guitar hand. I have asked all our healers to send healing at her. We still have three weeks to see if we can help accelerate her recovery. Last night I totally spaced that we were supposed to be having an on-line planning meeting. Luckily there wasn’t much going on and we closed it early.
    Tonight the New Normal with Sheri Ann Cook, a kitchen witch, worked. It was a “do-over” from last week when the online studio just didn’t work at all. It was SO frustrating. I got it up, but whatever I clicked on, I couldn’t get her out of the “green room”- apparently it did record some- of her and Jane talking with muzak over them. The producer suggested a new platform Spreaker, but when I tried it, my computer isn’t compatible. I needed 10.8 and only have 10.6, sigh. (and before that he gave me the wrong address- Speaker.com not Spreaker. One letter makes a great deal of difference in computers! We talked about food and holidays and cooking, and the hour went by VERY fast. I wish I could talk to her at the con, but expect I’ll be too busy. So many fascinating people come, and some day I hope to get a chance to just go and be able to interact with them other than as a facilitator!
    John and I went over to help Mark with clearing his locker again. This time we put most of the books right into the book repositories. I kept some of the military history books as well as the SF books for Ed Dragonslayer. Trevor came over and took most of the Osborn Men at Arms books,  and Mark’s old helmet. He and Tom are practicing with Lucan in Nashua. I figure that every fighting practice can use another helmet. It’s good to find homes for the stuff Mark’s getting rid of.

    When in the car or doing dishes I’ve been listening to the Odyssey of the West (III the medieval world) courses. To be honest I’m not really that excited about Thomas Aquinas, Chretien de Troyes, and Dante, but I’m not unhappy about laying down some basics so I understand the context of the Middle Ages better.  I’m nearly done with Megan’s book on the canal women, but mostly what I’ve been reading this week is the old Dragonrider books from Anne McCaffrey in my kindle. Re-reading old favorites is the mental equivilent of comfort food, and I find them calming. I think I first read Dragonflight in the “Best SF and Fantasy of 1968” and continued to read the series as it came out. I also watched Masada– the movie they made from the mini series. They left out some of my favorite scenes, and Peter’s Friends, a lovely movie about friendship and growing up- the actors look SO young!

    I don’t think that it has anything to do with Back to the Future Day, but recently I’ve been thinking a lot about the stuff we’ve gotten used to that were totally new when we first encountered them. I still remember hula hoops, and Trolls, but also my first yogurt (lukewarm prune yogurt, and I didn’t try yogurt again for years!) and Fresca- tried them the same day. Who’d have thought we’d have gotten used to using credit cards for just about every transaction? Where we’d put microchips in our pets (and children)? Where car inspections were done by plugging the car into a computer? Home computers? Flash drives? Cell phones? MP3 players? (music collections of thousands of songs) Copies of movies to watch at home any time you want? Digital cameras? Print-on-demand books? Reiki? Seltzer? Herbal teas? Who’d have thought my favorite shoes would be fleece lined boots from Australia? At one point my mother suggested that no one would read science fiction (or comics) but idiots and illiterates. Now the major movies are based on those. Not only are there cons somewhere every weekend, but history as a hobby has become popular. I heard that last night on NCIS:LA they were talking about Renn Faires and the SCA. (I suppose we have been around for 50 years!) Who knew that Chai would be my hot drink of choice? Or that it and Green and White teas would be so ubiquitous? Or what about coffee pods? I still remember Tang, and hula hoops, and the Berlin Wall going up as well as coming down. I remember using dot-matrix printers, and the Rialto (a very early way to interact on the internet in the 80s), and the guy in Aelfwine’s dorm who had a calculator that could do square roots- he paid $500 for it.  I remember getting my first wok for my wedding, but I didn’t use for years. Instead I made fried rice in the Club aluminum like my mothers. My kids were the first generation to use car seats, and I had a pram not a folding stroller. Stickies. I remember Mother saying “How did we ever get along before there were little sticky pieces of yellow paper?” There are so many things that are so banal, and we are so used to, that were pretty inconceivable years before.DSC02157
    That reminds me of another book I’ve started- Nature and the Environment in Twentieth-Century American Life. It’s a strange version of history, it talks not about incidents, but about various trends like greater appreciation of parks, and that sort of thing. I’m only in the first chapter, but it’s fascinating.
    Ah well, it’s past midnight. I must send this off. Until next week. (gosh I hope this isn’t the “high point of your week” as I suggested to one of my kids that this letter was for some people!)


    45a“We’ve already agreed that having information about the future can be extremely dangerous. Even if your intentions are good, it can backfire drastically!” Emmett Brown in BTtF   (as a soothsayer, I rather like this one.)

    also I like:
    Marty: “What about all that talk about screwing up future events? The space-time continuum?”

    Brown: “Well, I figured, what the hell?”