I had another productive day at work today, mostly working on a fairly sophisticated application logging system. I’m pleased with how it is working so far.
Dashed for the mail box when I got home today and still no NEW SCIENTIST, much to my dismay. I know that I can read the issue on-line, but it doesn’t give me the same satisfaction as holding the magazine in my hand and moving slowly through it, cover-to-cover. Maybe tomorrow?
I was up early this morning and I was pretty tired by the time I picked Kelly up from work. I plan on heading to bed early.
Today’s reading: Franklin Delano Roosevelt (through 60 pages).
I felt a little sluggish throughout the rest of the day yesterday–cold too, and that’s probably because the saline they put back in me was freezing! I didn’t end up cooking last night. I was going to make Taco Salad but decided to hold off until tonight. For one thing, there were leftovers we could eat. For another, AJ and Denisse might come over tonight and I thought the Taco Salad would be a good dish for everyone.
I received the December 2008 "Double" issue of ANALOG in the mail yesterday with part 3 of Rob Sawyer’s Wake. It reminded me that I still have the finishing touches to put on my workshop story, and get it sent out.
I get paid today, but I always get my pay stub a day early. This paycheck sets the record as the biggest paycheck I’ve ever received. Remember that I get "sabbatic" pay when I take time off. That is, when I take vacation time, my company pays me an extra 5% of my salary. This was originally done as an inducement to take time off because many people were working themselves to death. Since I got a decent raise back in June, and had two full weeks of sabbatic pay on this paycheck, it represents the single largest paycheck I have ever received. In relative terms, it is nearly 5 times as big as the first paycheck I ever received here, just over 14 years ago.
Today’s reading: SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN (Nov. 2008).
Before the wedding, I subscribed to New Scientist. When I got back from the honeymoon, the first issue was in the mail. Unlike SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, New Scientist is a weekly magazine. The next issue came yesterday. I didn’t want to fall too far behind and so today, I read last week’s issue cover-to-cover. And you know what, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The articles are interesting, the commentary is good. The articles are not as long or quite in depth as SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, but they are well-written, and have a charming U.K. flair to them. I’m trying to get through as much of this week’s issue as I can before heading off to bed.
I worked from home for part of the day today. Doug, Rachel, he11o_sunshine and stubiebrother got Kelly and I a grill for our wedding. The grill was delivered today. It weighs 176 pounds according to the manifest, and the delivery guys wouldn’t bring it up the stairs. I’ll open the box later in the week and bring the parts up separately so that we can get it put together for the weekend. I can’t wait to use it! Speaking of which, I made the arugula and parmesan salad as well as the Hoisin chicken sandwiches for dinner. It was easy to make and they turned out great!
Spoke to he11o_sunshine on the phone this evening. Also spoke to Doug for a little while. I thanked both of the for the grill. Still working on thank you notes. Not as far along as I’d like to be, but I’m hoping to have most of them done by the end of the weekend.
Crazy wind today. Gusts were up to 40 MPH and the wind is still whipping away outside. It’s been cold, too. It didn’t get out of the 40s today. We used the fireplace for the first time this evening and that was nice. I sat in front of it for a while, reading my magazine and soaking in the heat.
A pleasant surprise when I got home today: I had in my mailbox the December issues of ASIMOV’S and ANALOG, both in their new size and format. I am particularly looking forward to relaxing to Part II of Robert J. Sawyer’s serial Wake.
When I got home from work this even, I had science fiction in the mail. It seems just about every print science fiction magazine I subscribe to was delivered today:
- The Bulletin, Spring 2008 (for my non-SF friends, this is the magazine of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America)
- ANALOG, September 2008
- ASIMOV’S, August 2008
- F&SF, July 2008
I think this is the first time that all 4 magazines have arrived on the same day.
Wow, this year is flying by. Already April is here! Today seemed more like an April day than a March day, what with the rain showers we had. It’s also opening day of the baseball season, and naturally, the Yankees/Blue Jays game was rained out. They’ll play tomorrow instead. I don’t feel quite as enthusiastic about it this year. I think it’s because of the whole steroid controversy. I’m sure baseball will get passed it–after all, it has survived two World Wars, several smaller skirmishes, strikes, gambling controversies, etc.
I emailed my accountant this morning to make sure she received my tax papers which I sent out more than a week ago. She did. I heard from her later this morning. She’s got them all entered into the computer and I should be getting a call from her tomorrow to “discuss things”. Stay tuned on that one.
Mostly junk in the mail today, although I did get a birthday card from my financial adviser and his team. And I got the June issue of ASIMOV’S, which still says it’s my last one, even though I sent in a renewal some weeks back.
I took my suit to the cleaners to have it cleaned and pressed. $4.50, which to me seems reasonable, but I rarely take in dry-cleaning. When I do, I always walk out feeling as though I’ve gotten a bargain. After all, $4.50 is barely more than a gallon of gasoline these days.
I’m 305 pages through I. Asimov.
Staying at Kelly’s tomorrow instead of Wednesday. She is getting her wisdom teeth removed tomorrow. The dentist says it will be a quick and easy job, but I’m going to stay with her tomorrow just in case.
I finally got around to putting together all of my tax paperwork today. My accountant supplies me with a list of things I need to include. This year was a little more “paper” than most. My taxes included my 1099-MISC for the sale of my first story, as well as a number of papers supporting charitable donations and itemized deductions. It’s all packaged up now and ready to go in the mail tomorrow so the accountant can work her magic. Without factoring in itemized deductions and other stuff, a rough back-of-the-envelope calculation makes it look like I’ll owe $3,300. But I’m thinking that will drop to somewhere around $2,000 by the time all of the deductions and stuff have gone in. I sure hope so.
I also got around to re-upping my subscriptions to Asimov’s Science Fiction and F&SF. I had 3 year subscriptions on each and both run out in a month or so. I’ve re-upped for another 2 years each.
I’ve got about 30 pages left on The Left Hand of Darkness. I really will finish tonight. I took a break last night and watched a movie (Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven.) I’m eagerly awaiting Robert Silverberg’s Up the Line, which I’ve heard is a fantastic time-travel story. But it won’t get here before I leave for Orlando tomorrow night. In the meantime, I’ll be reading joe_haldeman‘s short novel, War Year.
Another busy day at work today, but nonetheless productive. I got home around 5 PM and continued working for another 3 hours. It’s Tuesday and I’ve already worked 33.5 hours this week. I’m working from home tomorrow, and then, tomorrow evening, Kelly and I fly down to Orlando where we are meeting vickyandnorm for 4 days of fun at Disney World.
I gave up on the mails and braved the light snow to run over to Borders where I picked up a copy of the January/February issue of ANALOG. It contains the first part of Joe Haldeman’s new serialized novel, Marsbound. I can’t wait to start reading it at lunch today.
I’ll give ANALOG another week or so before I call them and ask that they simply skip that issue and tack it on to the end of my current subscription.
I did about 1,200 words of “If By Reason of Strength…” this evening and it’s coming along nicely. Today was a busy day at work and by the time lunch rolled around, I just didn’t feel like writing.
When I got home from work today, I was hoping that the January 2008 issue of ANALOG would be here, but it was not. I’m tempted to head to the bookstore tomorrow and pick it up as I am really anxious to get started on the first part of Joe Haldeman’s 3-part serial, Marsbound. Instead, I started reading Joe’s book, Worlds, which he says on his website, is his personal favorite. I started reading it yesterday. I haven’t given up on the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction by any means, but it’s difficult to lug that book in my backpack, along with my laptop, while at the same time, carry my gym bag, and my lunch. The combination must have added 50 pounds to my morning commute.
I ordered some more canned cat food for Zeke tonight. His special diet food requires pre-ordering. I placed an order for 2 cases. The vet will call me when they come in. I also arranged to have my landlord’s repairman out to the house Saturday morning to do some miscellaneous work.
Snow is in the forecast for tomorrow. 1-2 inches is predicted.
I’m off to bed. It’s past my bedtime and now that I’m back on the workout routine, I have to get up at 4:20 AM.
“…a rare month for boys.”
It’s one of my favorite opening lines to a book, ever and I can only use that line once a year or so. If I’m being repetitive, well, what’s new really?
Some bills paid today, rent, phone bill, and a few others. Had a letter from Trevor and thepopeswife over the weekend, as well as a thank you note from amo2761 (which explains why he emailed me asking for my address earlier in the week).
Today is the first day of Fiscal Year 2008 at work, but it still seems as though there is some focus on FY2007. It’s silly if you ask me.
The leaves are just beginning to change color around here, just barely and in patches but I imagine it will pick up over the next couple of weeks. It may have already started up where strausmouse and rmstraus live; possibly where vickyandnorm live too.
I had an amusing message from AJ and Denisse yesterday but haven’t had a chance to call them back yet. Maybe later this evening.
October is certainly not a rare month for birthdays: Andy, Carmen, Jim, Kelly, and Norm all celebrate birthdays this month. Possibly more people, but I haven’t checked the calendar yet.
And as I was writing this entry, the mail was delivered and I received the December 2007 issues of both Asimov’s and Analog.
I definitely need to chill out a bit when I got home from work this evening. So I spent the last couple of hours in front of the TV. I’m about to get into bed but I figured I’d share my evening with you.
For the first time since moving to the D.C. area, I made myself a grilled cheese sandwich for dinner. I used my own secret recipe and it proved two things: (1) it was a fantastically delicious sandwich; (2) the stomach cramps I now have illustrate why I’m dangerous in the kitchen. Still, grilled cheese and a caffeine-free Coke was just the anodyne I needed from my day.
I sat in front of the TV and watched two shows that Tivo diligently recorded for me. First, Inside the Actors Studio (Tom Hanks), followed by the season premier of Heroes. Both were good.
Spoke to Doug and he110_sunshine on the phone this evening.
I got the latest issue of SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN in the mail today and it looks like a fascinating issue dedicated to the future of space exploration. I can’t wait to pick my way through it.
And now, I’m off to bed and bid you all a good night!
Read this from slushmaster via mabfan. With the decline continuing in markets for short speculative fiction, the assistant editor of Realms of Fantasy is urging a subscription drive for all short science fiction, fantasy and horror magazines as a way of supporting the art form and bolstering their subscriptions.
Doing this preserves a commercial art form limited almost exclusively to the genre markets these day, the short story, something near and dear to my heart.
I have multi-year subscriptions to Analog Science Fiction, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and Fantasy & Science Fiction. I have a year-long subscription to Jim Baen’s Universe. And I buy individual issues of Intergalactic Medicine Show. I’m partial to the latter, of course, because they published my first story. But the truth is that all of the magazines publish outstanding fiction and are well worth subscribing to.
See what mabfan has to say about this, too.