April 18th, 2007

Second Life

Odds and ends moving toward end of odd day

OH right... The real world.

I've been catching up on things so slowly I'm falling behind.

See me point to the water in the basement for this -- for the first time in about 5 years the basement floor went from dampish to puddles. I *did so* bring the books into the house and put them all downstairs...into the basement. They are on risers and pallets, of course, but having to walk around the wet spots makes packing outgoing SRM and PIN trip-support orders that much harder.

Speaking of SRM, my eyes are sometimes bigger than they should be. While bopping about the Meisha Merlin warehouse I kept seeing all the boxes of books I thought I might have room for. Books not our own. Books people would love to buy, if only they could get their hands on them.

Particularly sirenic were several cases of Hellspark by Janet Kagan. If you've been around us when we've talked about books for writers... you've heard us mention Hellspark. If you've been around us when we talked about books we have more than one of, you've heard us mention Hellspark... and so, when the rental truck developed an odd little empty spot, just *there* as boxes went in, it was no doubt destined that several cases of Hellspark should fit therein. As far as I can determine, they may be the last such books in captivity. As time permits (see catching up slowly, above) these books may make it to the SRM catalog. That is, unless enough people tell me ahead of time that *they* want copies of Hellspark.

In passing, odd notes from the trip. Rather than hope I'll recall them later and expand each into the proper size and space, I'll throw them out now...

About AMTRAK -- I find much to like about AMTRAK, which served me well this trip. However, if anyone cares, I think it appalling that on the Boston to Washington portion of the trip AMTRAK's corps of canteen dining stocks very expensive pastries for consumption by passengers. I was wondering why *so* expensive after I purchased one... until I saw that the item in question was admitted to contain three portions... Does no one sell single portion pastries betwen Boston and DC?

Driving back I was thankful for sound that was not the truck-on-seams sound made famous by vans. Luckily, the Budgetmobile had a radio and so kudos to WJZZ as well as WROQ which gave me early assistance in the trip. Also, the stations of Virginia Public Broadcasting and Maryland Public Broadcasting, and toward the end of the trip, I depended on I-95 Classic Hits ...and who knew so many radio stations call themselves the same thing?

Gas on the trip was... expensive, varying between $2.67 (one lucky fill-up) and $2.98 a gallon. Me, I am not one to like a $50 fill-up.

Meanwhile, since I traveled coach-class on the Boston-Washington portion of the AMTRAK run, I found myself needing to invent something for entertainment since the kids running up and down the aisle 4 times an hour, each time with an different snack in hand, were not much amusement. Very early in the trip I saw a deer stand in the woods.

Wait. That's not a deer in the woods, standing. No, nor was it a shop where one would buy a deer. It was not a pose or movement meant to recall a deer, as say crane might recall a crane, or a swan a dive, but not a bar... So I made a list of "stand" related questions while avoiding watching the kids run through junk food like it was going out of style.

Do you shoot dogs from a hot stand? Which Christmas tree stand do you think of -- the one that sells or the one that holds the tree? Would a one night lay be more comfortable than a one night stand? is a home stand related to a one night stand? Would a squid buy ink? A pipe stand and a stand pipe are related by what? Do standing committees engage in one night stands? Where did I see Custard's Last Stand, anyway?

Anyhow, words are words, and sometimes they can keep you from going stir crazy.
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