A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

"Christmas Time is Here, By Golly

Let's not forget what
office the dude held
Disapproval would be folly...."

It snowed for Christmas Day, but we had to hurry to shovel it off the sidewalk before it melted.  That's what TOF calls snow: just enough to be a decorative accessory for the holiday.  Number One son -- he is the only one, but that doesn't mean he isn't the first -- tells us that in Anchorage AK, where he lives, the snow doesn't melt quite so quickly.  First, there's not enough sunlight for the task...

The knob at one end is used to punctuate
important points in a discussion.
We skyped with him for about an hour when we were over at Pere's house for dinner.  Bro' Sean did most of the cooking and brought it up with him.  Sara and the boys completed the crowd.  Adam announced that Gliese something or other was smaller than the sun, but that no one on his school bus would believe him.  He received a home planetarium among his haul of treasures, and guessed ahead of time that one large flat package must be a book about space.  He also warned us that an asteroid came real close to Earth last week. 

TOF received an Irish shillelagh.  It is made of stout blackthorn and is suitable for either walking or discussing politics.  TOF also received a booklet of 100 dumb decisions that cost battles or elections, etc.  They included such decisions as Napoleon's decision to reject the terms he was initially offered after Leipzig and Bush I's "read my lips" speech.  Evidently, bad decisions are not made by Democratic presidents unless they involve interns or the Vietnam War. 

Dashing through the snow may require more than one horse
It is now snowing again, turning to sleet as we speak; but rain is in the offing, so it may melt off tomorrow.  This year has been a colder-than-normal year, in tune with the inflection point of the global warming curve.  Astrophysicists are saying that the weather may continue colder until 2030 or so.  TOF hopes not.  It's more fun to see huge mounds of snow on Currier & Ives engravings than on one's front yard.   


  1. Merry second day of Christmas!

  2. I just read parts of this post aloud to the GF, who I recently stole away from Anchorage. For Christmas I gave her, among other things, a big box of Kaladi's coffee, a brand name that will surely be familiar to your son from his Alaskan perambulations. She, by the way, laughed aloud at the caption explaining the uses of the shillelagh.

    Finally, speaking of shillelaghs, I'm tempted to recommend Frank Delaney's _Ireland_, but I'm all but certain you've already read it!

  3. A glance at my tab indicates that here in Newark, DE, it's currently 41°F., while in my two alternate cities of Charlotte, NC -- home to my baby sister Melissa -- it's 40°, and that of my childhood, Fairbanks, AK, it's presently -17°.

    I'll note that blackthorn is very good at keeping vampires at bay.

    Everyone commenting on my LiveJournal responded favorably that Himself was pleased to receive his signed gifts, except for RBS, who told me he wished the photo hadn't been snapped at the instant I stepped on his foot.



  4. Deck the halls with hunks of holly. Merry Christmas!

    Awesome shillelagh, a weapon that, sadly, figures infrequently in space opera.

    Grew up in SoCal, where we keep our snow up on the San Gabriel Mountains, where we could admire it while working on our tans down in the basin. Here in the Bay Area, it's getting all the way down into the 30s at night, up around 60 in the day. Lots and lots of snow up in the Sierra, but out of sight.

    First encountered snow in college - took about 36 hours for it to loose any appeal whatsoever.

    1. All shillelaghs are awesome. It is nearly definitional.

      The Mass During the Day, at which TOF lectored, was celebrated by Fr. Karobo, cousin of our pastor. It was the first time he had ever seen snow, it being rare in Tanzania.


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