Saturday, December 22, 2012

Where the hell did we hang that pickle ornament?

Click on this picture to see an obscenely large image of my head.

Oh, yeah.

There it is.

You'd think I would have noticed it banging against my neck as I walked.  

Friday, December 21, 2012

The tree, she shines and sparkles

One decorating party and hours of work from many different folks later, this blank tree

As always, click on an image to see a larger version.

metamorphosed into this shiny one.

I love the look and the smell of decorated Christmas trees.  I particularly like the way a tree looks as it glows late at night in a darkened room, its colors and twinkles happy harbingers of good things still to come. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

You need a little from the Mountain Goats

Some days, you just do.

Let's start with this recent song.

Now, let's flash back six years to this melancholy tune.

That should do us for now.

Back to your regularly scheduled holiday music.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The first Christmas without Mom

As regular readers know, my mother died last February.  As the year has worn on, I've experienced a lot of key events, such as my birthday, the family beach trip, and Thanksgiving,  that are different for her passing. 

Now, it's Christmas' turn. 

Christmas was always a big deal when I was growing up.  No matter how poor we were, it was the year's biggest blowout, with presents for all and a grand meal in the late afternoon.  After Mom married Ed and we had more money, Christmas became even more extravagant.  I've certainly carried that tradition into my life, as anyone who's been here at Christmas will attest. 

Mom used to come to Christmas here occasionally, but she hadn't made the trip in recent years.  She'd call, and if I missed her, I'd call back, often reluctantly.  On more than one occasion, I got so busy with our Christmas that I forgot to call until the next day--an occurrence that frequently led her to call here first.  Now, I'd give a lot to be able to make one of those calls.  

She wasn't a big presence in my adult Christmases, but her uncanny ability to give truly amazingly bad presents (e.g., the James Bond wallet holster) made each package from her just a little more interesting for what oddness it might contain.  She spent a lot of time shopping for those gifts, and she always preferred to finish before December or at least as early in December as possible.  She liked stores and mail-order catalogs; Internet shopping was never her thing. 

This coming Christmas, there will be no gifts from my mother under the tree. 

There will be no call. 

I know all this is natural and the way of the world, and most hours of most days, I don't think about it at all. 

Sometimes, though, I feel the loss like a hard punch to the solar plexus that leaves me unable to breathe and waiting, waiting for the moment when air will rush back in and I will be okay again. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

All my books are now available on Amazon's Kindle Store

I apologize up front for the spambot-like headline, but this news is exciting enough that I didn't want anyone to miss it.  As of a couple of days ago, you can now buy all of the fine ebooks from Baen, my publisher, not only on Baen's own wonderful store but also via Amazon's Kindle Store. 

As you'd expect, when you now see a book of mine on Amazon, you'll see it in Kindle editions as well.  Here's a not-very-well-done (sorry about that) screen shot of No Going Back on Amazon.

Note the Kindle, Hardcover, and Audible options; nifty!

You've always been able to download my ebooks to your Kindle, because Baen sells all its ebooks in seven different formats, including the Kindle's.  That process, though, did require a tiny bit of work.  Now, you can choose to have the benefits of those many formats or the ease of buying it from Amazon. 

Either way you buy my ebooks, you can be sure they will be DRM-free.  Baen has long stood firm against DRM, and I have for just as long supported that stance.  All of Baen's ebooks on Amazon's Kindle Store are thus DRM-free.

I'd be failing as a self-promoter--a role I find awkward and so do frequently fail at--if I didn't mention what fine Christmas gifts my books would make, so now I've done that.

It's great to see my books have more ways to connect to readers!

Monday, December 17, 2012

On the road again: Las Vegas, day 4

I am home, which is a very good thing.

I am behind on Christmas shopping and planning, which is a very bad thing.

So it goes.

Today's travel was exactly as it should be: smooth and straightforward, with the added luxury of first class on both legs. Princess Fancy and I quite enjoyed having friendly people offer us more beverages and food than we wanted as we lounged in comfy seats. I wish I could afford to fly first class all the time.

Poor Kyle, on the other hand, ended up stuck in Newark and ultimately driving a rental car many hours home. I doubt he's home now (and it's well past what the timestamp says). I do hope he arrives safely.

I'm still sick, and I expect to take more days to heal, so I'm going to wrap this up and then crash.

I hope to be more interesting tomorrow.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

On the road again: Las Vegas, day 3

We slept in a bit, which was great for me, and Kyle and Sarah grabbed brunch from the Bouchon Bakery.  I was still full, so I skipped the food.  We then headed out for a day of sightseeing at casinos and stores entirely too hip and expensive for my taste.  Such places, do, though, yield many photo ops.

Such as this one, of Kyle and Sarah standing near a water tornado exhibit that sits for no good reason on the floor of one shopping area in Crystals, the fancy shopping space between Aria and Cosmopolitan.

As always, click on an image to see a larger version.

Later, at Cosmpolitan's rooftop club and skating rink, Princess Fancy (so self-named after I declared myself, "Mr. Fancy") reclined in the best outdoor snuggling seat in Vegas.

Later, she tried on a very special red shoe.

Kyle tried on the same shoe, but he declared it not to fit him very well.

In the course of the day we also enjoyed gelato (twice), caught up with some friends of Kyle's who had just landed, watched the wonderful Cirque show Zarkana, and had a great dinner at Jose Andres' Jaleo.

A very nice day again.


Blog Archive