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it came out of the wordwork

Quiet start to the day and "I don' like dees dollars" ...
So I went downstairs and grabbed a "to go"  breakfast and coffee and have been going over the workshop stories. I have time before my appointment at the SFWA table and other duties, so I'm taking things slow.

So I didn't tell you about the experience of passing a blazing motorhome on the side of the road in Virginia on Tuesday, close enough that I could feel heat through the window glass despite having the airconditioner on at the time. Black smoke hung away from the road, the field next to the vehicle was starting to burn.  There were people sheltering on the other side of an underpass, looked like several sets of older couples -- they had with them some motorists who had stopped -- and the entire front half of the semi-bus style contraption was burning ... here's a slightly more newsy story -- with photo

The odd thing was that I'd spotted the smoke a few minutes before, off to my right but as traffic was cruising at 75 or so didn't  think much about it, assuming something industrial -- but then the road curved and cars began slowing  down and i realized this was not some purposeful event. Luckily, it was not a full-scale tragedy -- I have family members who are truckers and they have sometimes told of the scenes they've ween along the roads -- but it was impressive enough that I decided to stop and take a walk-around break at the pretty rest area at Mile 262


Coincidentally, this is one of my favorite highway rest areas ever, complete with wooded trails and flowers... and I (and Sharon and I) have stopped there a  few times in the past until it has become a looked for stop. Oddly, I'd overlooked it my planning this time around, so it was a welcome chance to climb wooden stairs under the big trees and sit on a picnic bench for a snack, despite the heat. I also spoke briefly with Big Kake and Little Jake -- two nearly identical Dalmations who happened to be ... wait for it ... mother and daughter.

Breakfast today, by the way, included this interaction:

Me, hearing that the charge was $7.92, handing over $8 -- a $5 bill and three gold-toned coins.

The cashier looked up.  "I don'  like dees dollars," he said, turning the coins over and looking me in the face.

I pulled a pocketful of change out, pennies, a few quarters, and three or four more of "dees dollars" -- "What I have on me. We use these coins up north in Maine."

He shrugged, moved his change in the drawer around a little to make a place for them, and gave me my change.  

Oh, I know Canadians use coins in palce of bills at the low end -- how about Europeans?

And last night was the Guest of Honor dinner, which went well I thought, even though several people I was expecting to be there for dinner were not -- but lasagna, cheesecake, and a sititng at a table with folks sharing good conversation on topics like Andre Norton's publishing and residential history, fanzines, the fate of old collections  -- hey, good stuff. Right beside me sat Doug Fratz, who bought an article from me many years ago for his excellent review and commentary semi-pro zine THRUST SF. 

So SFWA table and dealers room coming up for me today. Hope to see some of you there!