Toilet Troubles, Grilled Cheese, and Garlic

 It’s possible that I mentioned that we got a water softener a little while ago. 

And by that, I mean my mother, sick of me putting it off, found a plumber in Ithaca, picked out a softener, had it installed, (SCHEDULED the installation), and paid for the whole thing. 

Um. 

Sometimes I manage to stop Mom from getting carried away.  Sometimes. 

Not always, clearly. 

So, the problem was, before that we’d installed a toilet. 

And hard water – and our water was both orange and REALLY HARD – and toilets are a bad combination, it seems.  Our toilet wasn’t really flushing the way it oughta anymore. 

So we took the tank off the toilet and scrubbed iron residue off of every bit we could find, put it back together – nope . Still not working. 

That means, as far as we can tell, that the problem is in the bowl, probably in the interior bit where the water swooshes around before shooting into the bowl proper. 

Thus, tomorrow or Saturday I’m buying a new toilet.  Le Sigh. (by the time this posts, I may have already bought one.  Still Sigh) Continue reading

Hidden Mall 79: Roar

EVERY MALL HAS ITS OWN POWERS.  EVEN A NORMAL MALL LIKE THIS ONE HAS SOME MAGIC TO IT.

“So a mall could give someone the power to mind-control someone else?”

IF SOMEONE IMAGINED IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA FOR A MALL, THEN YES. ANY MALL SOMEONE IMAGINED CAN EXIST.

Abby swallowed. “I really, really want to say nobody would say that was a good idea for a mall to be able to control your mind, but shit, Shit, I can think of so many ways that might happen.  People wanting to stop violence, so they start with ‘the mall doesn’t allow violent thoughts.'” Continue reading

Post-Scar City – a beginning

So: I had something on my fiction list titled post-scarcity, and LilFluff, in his… Fluffiness, called for Post-Scar City. 

Technically, it’s a Post-Scar University, with some influence from The 100 and AM Harte’s Above Ground.

This is an introductory chapter.  Don’t know what I’ll do with it after this, but it does seem to, well, introduce things.

🏫

Adeline pressed up close to the screen that showed their descent, wedging between two taller people that she didn’t know while still trying not to lose her hold on Geordi’s hand.  “It looks… green.  Really green.”

“I’ve never seen so much green,” one of the tall people agreed.  She peeked up, but she didn’t recognize their faces, either.  They were tall, and blue-eyed, with dark hair, and both of them looked the same.  They must have either come from one of the other Habitats, or from the other side of Lazarus Habitat. “It doesn’t —  It can’t– where are the scars?”

“There ought to be scars.”  Geordi’s right hand moved in the signs he used to talk most of the time.  “There ought to be — black, grey.”

She twitched her free hand in the same method.  “It looks like a hydro suite.  Or the sort of things that they show on vids of Before Times.”

Geordi had implants, had since he was ten, but they’d met in the creche, and when it came down to it, he’d always be more comfortable with sign than with spoken language. Continue reading

Running in the Bear Empire 53: the Swan

 

First: Running in the Bear Empire
🐻

“A good day, mmm?”  Carrone took a long drink and then responded to Ranger Learone’s pointed tale with his own story, something about a swan who had decided to follow a man around, until eventually, the man brought the swan home. The swan would attack him — of course, it was a swan —but it wouldn’t leave, either, so he fed it and let it follow him around, until eventually people started calling the swan his wife.  Continue reading

The Wild Kingdom of House Thorn and Cat-nanigans

This weekend, we had one of those heart-stopping moments, and we had only ourselves to blame. 

Actually, that happened twice in the last few days, one far less bad than the other, and only myself/ourselves to blame in both cases.

So, Sunday, we were hanging laundry, so we let the boy-cats out on the patio, as we do sometimes.  They can hang out there and eat grass (their favorite activity) and roll around on the concrete (second-favorite activity) for 10, fifteen minutes and all is right with the world. 

Except T & I got distracted talking about which trees we were going to prune.  We headed back to the house – and Oli was looking guilty and Theo was nowhere to be seen. 

I wasn’t worried right away. Theo likes to hide under the lilac near the corner of the house and sniff out chipmunks. 

No Theo. 

No Theo under the car, behind the heating-oil tank, under the patio chairs.  Continue reading

Spoils of War 16 – Quiet

First: Spoils of War I: Surrender

“You have to wonder what happened here.”

“I don’t have to.  I mean, unless you tell me I do.”

Nikol looked around the town.  As far as she could tell, it had been left completely intact, except for the ruined bridge on one end and the broken road on the other.  Someone had laid planks down over the hole in the road. 

But there were no collapsed buildings, no signs of fire, no skeletons – there were quite a few things left in the houses, as if people had packed up and left in a hurry, but they had, it seemed, all left. 

“You don’t have to,” she agreed evenly.  “How about this one? It’s pretty.” She gestured at a house with a Victorian feel, a matching garage, and three-tone paint with relatively intact gingerbreading.  Continue reading

Hidden Mall 78: Trends

“I think I’m seeing a trend.”

Liv was staring at her notepad, one pen behind her ear, another in her mouth and a third in her hand. 

Abby glanced at the notebook, but she never could quite figure out Liv’s note-taking system. There was definitely something going on. 

“So it has to do with which stores connect to which malls.  But it’s not, well, something obvious, like ‘anchor stores’ or ‘menswear vs. girls’ clothes.'”   Liv glared at the paper.

Olly slipped in over her shoulder and stared at the notes.  She, no surprise, had no problem reading the mess. “You’re right.  It’s — so some of the stores are definitely dark. They’re not Abby’s favorite stores, are they? Because that would kind of suck.” Continue reading

Blog Post: What an Old House (Attic Edition)

We’re still on the attic… of course we are, we’re going to be on the attic forever…

Well, okay, maybe not forever. 

It stalled for a while, due in large part to a combination of physical and mental illness on my part, but we’re back!

And we’re making things I insist on calling keystones, even though they’re not nearly that important.

We took each rafter (the things that go /\ to make a gable roof) and we “sistered” a long 2×4 to the bottom of it, to provide depth for insulation and some extra structure (considering that the rafters are… not as deep as they oughta be, no matter how long they’ve lasted.

But these /\ joins are in many cases imperfect, so now, with the aid of a hammer, a chop saw, and a sander, I am taking little wedges of scrap lumber and gluing them in between the / and the \ where they meet. 

This means that any pressure from the sistered rafters will have something to push on, rather than just pushing into the air (If the rafters have pressure going –> that way or <– that way.  Pressure going up and down is handled by glue, nails, nails, glue, and three braces nailed to each rafter & sister, and side to side by braces nailed between each pair of rafters)

(we have probably doubled the structure of this attic, to be honest) 

So the process goes: note a measurement on a scrap of lumber, cut the piece, fit, sand down, fit, sand down, fit, glue, hammer into place… repeat.

This is really not that time-consuming a process; I think sweeping down all the cobwebs from the roof took longer. 

But man does it involve a lot of up and down on that step ladder.  

Next after that: framing in the tiny bit of ceiling /–\ that we’ll be putting in there — just enough to put in some new lighting once this is done. 

It’s starting to look a lot like attic….