Jul. 21st, 2016
A year ago I wrote about the final Spirit of the West show in Toronto. At long last, the official video from that show is online here.
Jun. 26th, 2016
I am reading Ada Palmer's new book, Too Like The Lightning. About 100 pages in, it is a science fiction novel that appears to ask the questions:
- What is a nation?
- What is a family?
- What is a gender?
- What is a church?
Reading this against the background of Brexit is surreal. I have no idea where this book is going, and I have no idea where the world is going. In a few hours the financial markets will reopen and I have no idea what they will do. All I can do is read on and see.
Feb. 20th, 2016
I'm packing tonight for a business trip, and have had a little epiphany. The past couple of trips I have "forgotten" to bring business cards. Now I get to admit that I just choose not to use them. "Making it" takes various different forms, but one of them is getting to the point where everybody knows who you are. There's probably a little passive agressive note in taking someone else's card so you'll remember their name, and doing nothing in return. It's possible that I'm a bad person.
I have also stopped wearing name badges at conferences. I feel a little sorry for the student volunteer at the last one who very correctly tried to bar me from the session room.
Feb. 7th, 2016
One of my chores for the coming week is to update my will, which is a shocking decade out of date. There are new people who have come into my life, through birth or otherwise. I will add them with joy. There are also friendships that have fizzled into acquaintances, which I must remove with sadness. I think it's for the best -- if I died today what had been once intended as a sincere gift might come across as a passive-agressive "See, in the end I loved you more."
Jan. 24th, 2016
A happy anniversary. Following up on my post from 6 months ago, J is now one year clear of her last hospital stay. Still no symptoms, and her pill load now does fit into a little plastic weekly organizer. We're never going to formally know that she's cured, but this is as good a point to declare it as any.
Jan. 10th, 2016
Details have been removed here to protect privacy, but I promise that every word is true.
I'm in a major US airport, pacing the terminals as I wait for my delayed flight. I've just said goodbye to KS with whom I've been sharing adventures for the past week. It'll be a few months before I see her again. I'm not quite sad, but I'm definitely mellow.
As I walk, lost in my own thoughts, I hear somebody call my name. I look up, and see one of the most accomplished astronauts of the US shuttle era. He has recognized me out of the crowd, and comes over to say 'hi'.
He's travelling to a fairly remote part of the world. I mention that I've been somewhere close to that. He says "I've seen it, but never been there, if you know what I mean." I wonder how many times he gets to use that line.
Now I continue to wait for my flight. Life is strange.
Sep. 13th, 2015
It's been a month since I got back from Utah. Three weeks from now I make my next trip to the USA, to Washington to see a performance of A Softer World with KS. Then, the next week, it's off to the UK with J.
My immediate upcoming adventure is one of altitude. Some time this week I need to take my plane to my mechanic in Waterloo for an oil change. I'll fill up my oxygen tank there as well. This leaves me with half a tank of oxygen that I may as well use in the next few days. I'm going to take a shot at the fabled class A airspace, which begins at 18,000' above sea level. I'm going to file an IFR flight plan for FL190, and see whether I can get there.
I have finally been able to do some relaxing with a good book. Right now I'm half way through Zero History by William Gibson. Gibson was hugely influential to me in the early 90s through the Sprawl novels. Somewhere along the line I lost track of his realtime output, which means that I now have a delightful back catalog to catch up on. I'm finding the characters of Milgrim and Case to be intriguingly similar, from books written 26 years apart. Both are former drug addicts, forcibly detoxed and recruited by shadowy powers.
Jul. 23rd, 2015
Today marks a special anniversary. It is exactly six months from the day of J's last overnight hospital stay. She is now fully recovered, back at work, and living an active, happy life. Her only legacy from this unpleasantness is the ~20 assorted pills she has to take daily -- far more than will fit into the pill organizers the drug stores try to sell you.
It's taking me some time to adapt to the new reality. Like boiling the proverbial frog, it is not easy to say when this all started. Certainly by five years ago I was regularly checking J's breathing after finding her passed out around the house. A little less than two years ago was her first ICU stay with critically unbalanced blood chemistry.
While she's back to her old self, I remain anxious and hyper-vigilant. Anything that sounds like the thud of a body collapsing onto a hardwood floor (which happened too often to count) will set me off. I hope that time will fix this. A few months is not a lot of time to undo the habit of years.
During the time when it looked like J would be gone in days or hours I received a lot of support from people with terminal illness, or from those caring for them. Now I feel some sort of survivor-guilt-by-proxy. Their illness and grief remains, while I get to move forward with my life.
And so, moving forward: in two weeks probabilistic
and I will load up my Mooney (now outfitted with crew oxygen) and attempt an IFR flight to Utah. There I get to spend a week with KS (and about a thousand other people, if we choose to acknowledge their existence). In September J and I are off to a Steampunk convention in Niagara. Then in October we head to the UK for a week -- targets include the set of Coronation Street in Manchester.
Jun. 7th, 2015
J and I went to the Spirit of the West show at Massey Hall last night. It was an excellent gig -- everything we have come to expect from these folks.
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May. 10th, 2015
I have some new wheels...
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