In four hours, the Bunny and I will be at an airport enroute to Hungary for Christmas, hopefully to wipe most of this fall’s discontent away with old friends not seen in a while.
- This fall and this year has seen a lot more sickness and death than we usually see around here, in both the kith and the kin, the (way too goddamn-)young and the old. I handle death very well in the immediate, and poorly in the long-term; I’m precisely unlike the old monk in A Canticle for Leibowitz, who is “like mercury. I splatter, but somehow I always run back together.” No, I’m the guy who’s like wood, and gets brittle, and this year is has really shown.
- I finally go to the levee to pull some arrows and shoot at a reasonable distance. There is a feeling involved with instinctive shooting that you simply don’t get using three-point western archery. (And you the latter is more accurate, but you can’t do it from horseback.)
- On that front, I took a short break from savate due to the combination of starting to burn out, and the commute involved not letting me do any of the other things that make me who I am without neglecting my wife (who felt the weight of me being gone an extra night of the week) … some of them things that make me very happy, had simply sat to the side mouldering for lack of hours in the week. Some people like to talk about it, but I know what I’d be doing if I hit the lottery.
- My third article in “the trilogy” is being looked at both by Clifford Rogers at JMMH, and by a friend of my Dad’s who has friends elsewhere in the field. My hope with these three articles is to exert just enough weight in my field that sachkritik becomes de rigeur in research, and to promote the use of experimental archaeology and the “worm’s-eye-view” of raw, detailed physical realities to solve historical problems where the written sources tend to disagree. Yeah, I’m arrogant that way, but I’m already starting to pop up in footnotes, and article two, which takes the “fish slapping dance” to most of the big names of the field, is going to make a splash. The third takes aim at two generically cherished notions in the field, and both will likely draw fire from folks who are far more learned than me (or more specialized, which in this case amounts to the same thing), but in that process influence the discussion.
- On that front, my friend Csaba needs to get published, preferably in English, for the sake of his career, and he is running dead into ideological opposition at home. So I may wind up working on a full-length manuscript faster than I intend to.
- The novel is yet another one of the many things that was supposed to get finished this fall, and hasn’t been. I’ve got somewhere between two and three chapters left to write, and will either take it to Baen, or else self-publish (which has gotten a lot more respectable over the past couple of years as technology makes its impact, with a number of very good authors taking this route).
- Made sling bullets for James Baird this Christmas. I should be able to start actually making them more uniform in mass once it’s determined what the best “standard” size is for the type of slings we use (which are leather, and longer in the arm than most woven slings).
- Other random things waiting in the wings to be written: messerfechten with Grzegorz Zabinski, and two different martial arts books with Kevin. And either a sequel to said novel (which flows obviously and organically from the first), or two others, including a romantic comedy idea that makes The Graduate look tame and sane by comparison. Clearly I need to invest in those drugs that let you skip sleep for half the week.
- Terra Preta experiment is kind of stuck due to the need for powdered charcoal in bulk. Anybody know of a supplier? The activated stuff is too expensive and probably a bad experimental source.
- I’m teaching seven sections next semester, in three different counties. And have been accepted at UTA for the additional coursework I will need long-term to escape the accreditation demons. Suffice it to say, the gamble paid off, and I’m now fully-employed as a history lecturer.
- Picked up a new .45, since I can’t even think of doing El Presidente races with my Llama, which is safe to shoot, but mechanically faulty. It’s a Taurus Millenium, which is a nice carry pistol with a small magazine but an equally small footprint (it’s not much bigger than a .380), and a grip that suits my hands.
- I and Jim Braith are now officially Johnny Redwood-seed, and his land should be absolutely perfect for starting a redwood grove in the Oachitas. I’ve got big hopes in that direction.
- The side business making parchment is ready to go pending the first customer’s bulk order. He did a nice illumination on the samples I provided him, and is hot to go. Once that starts rolling, word of mouth should do the rest, as I can provide reasonable parchment at *much* less than the main commercial supplier charges.
- Squirmybutt McPoopytail is officially the property of Ms. Autumn Jackson, though he’s still here for a couple days snarfing and curling up in peoples’ laps. So I guess I don’t have to turn him into gloves after all.
As usual, I’m sure there’s something else, but it doesn’t spring to mind at the moment. Merry Christmas, y’all, and see you next year.