Odds and Ends, November 2021

dirt road cover by dried leaves
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The first frost of the season coated the cars this morning when I headed out for my walk. It was just above freezing at 6:50 am, and still dark. I’m looking forward to Sunday when we roll the clocks back and I can walk earlier in the morning without having to use my iPhone flashlight to see the path in front of me, and signal to bikers and runners my presence on the bike path. I like this time of year. A big reason I moved back east from L.A. nearly 20 years ago was because I missed having four seasons. Fall and spring are my favorites. Neither can be fully appreciated without having gone through summer and winter. Soon, we can start using the fireplace again. There’s nothing quite like working from home on a cold day, with a roaring fire in the fire place. From my office, I can see the fireplace in the living room, and I can hear the wood crackling.

View of the fireplace from my office
View of the fireplace from my office

This reminds me that it should be eggnog season. Next time I stop in the grocery store, I need to check if they are stocking it. Sitting by the fire in the evening with a good book and some eggnog–now that is what I call autumn.

Speaking of good books, I recently read the first two volumes of Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun series: The Shadow of the Torturer and The Claw of the Conciliator. Wow! The writing in those books is stunning. The story, well, let’s just say at times I am confused, but I’m reading them for the writing, which is just incredible. I think I’ve read one Gene Wolfe story prior to reading these books, so I didn’t know much about them going in. I met Gene Wolfe once, briefly, at a s.f. convention. I no longer remember which one, but I want to say it was at at Capclave because I remember going into the men’s room across from the bar, and ending up next to Gene Wolfe. Outside the restroom, we chatted briefly. I was still a fairly new writer, and felt a bit in awe.

After finishing the first two books, I was looking for something different. I’d already tackled several of the books I’ve been looking forward to recently, and so I finally settled on Rhythm of War, book 4 in Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archives series. Interestingly, I read the first 3 books of the series at the end of 2020. I started the 4th book, but never finished it. So I restarted it on Tuesday and I’m about 1/4 of the way through it. Given that the book is more than 1,200 pages, I still have quite ways to go.

When I was younger, I remember calling one hotline or another to see if I could score tickets to this concert or that one. I remember standing in line outside a Tower Records to buy tickets for R.E.M.’s Monster tour. Well, as soon as the CDC approved the COVID vaccine for 5-11 year-olds, I was reminded of that feeling all over again. Appointments in our area came available today, and we lucked out scored appointments for our girls on Monday (and then, 3 weeks later). This is a big relief. It means that we will be fully vaccinated (and the grown-ups fully boosted) by the time we head down to Florida for our annual holiday trip at the end of the year.

There is a house I walk past every morning while walking. It is new construction, and the outside looks mostly finished, save for the yard. What bothers me about the house is that there is no front door, just a board. There has been no front door for months, at least since the spring. Each time I walk past, I wonder: why is there no door? What is up with the house not having a front door? I’m sure that one day, I’ll walk past and there will be a front door. At that point, I’ll wonder, what the heck took so long?

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  1. Regarding the front door – builders are having a very difficult time getting doors and windows through the supply chain. Perhaps that is the reason for the missing front door.

  2. My kids school had door issues too due to the pandemic disrupting the supply chain. I’d bet that’s the issue.


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