Henry and Ygraine doing what they do most of the day. (Ignore the messy floor, which I’ve TOTALLY PICKED UP since then.)
This fiber-optic connection kicks ass. That was a 153MB video straight from the iPhone, and it uploaded to YouTube in a minute or so. 50Mbps download speed is very nice, but 25Mbps on the upload makes a great many online tasks a great deal shorter.
We had a door put into the back wall of our garage. it has a doggy flap in it, so the dogs can get into the fenced-in yard from the garage without anyone having to let them out through the porch door.
It’s interesting to see the ability of the dogs to adjust to this new entry/exit after five years of being let out through the porch door exclusively. Henry is the smartest of the bunch–he figured it out in a few hours. The others sort of get confused every once in a while and seemingly forget the new door temporarily.
Ban, bless his pointy little head, is as dumb as a bucket of gravel. He just let himself out through the garage flap, but on his journey across the yard his little doggy brain has erased that locational information to reuse the storage capacity or something. Now he’s standing in front of the porch door and barking desperately to be let in. We’ll see how long it takes him to remember/discover the unobstructed door a hundred feet to his left that leads back into the warm house. I suspect I’ll have to get up and let him in by early afternoon so he doesn’t turn into a dogsicle.
Castle Frostbite just got a major Internet upgrade:
I opted for the 50Mbps down/25Mbps up package, and as you can see, Speedtest says we’re getting pretty close to that. Our DSL line was 1.5Mbps down/0.75Mbps up, so this is a significant jump in bandwidth.
And look at that latency. It’s a thing of beauty.
As you can see, young Lady Ygraine isn’t slowed down much by her pneumonia treatment.
We’ve had a rainy, buggy summer here in Upper Cryogenica, and I am greatly looking forward to the fall, which is my favorite season.
How buggy has it been up here, you ask? Buggy enough to support the breeding of this truly monstrous orb weaver, who is in residence next to the Castle’s main portcullis (behind the split to spare you arachnophobes):
Lawn maintenance and landscaping: not my favorite tasks in the whole world. They do, however, provide a handy excuse for unsheathing a machete.
Funny thing about the chickens: as skittish as they are when it comes to unfamiliar sights and noises, they don’t mind the lawnmower at all. They’ll graze right in front of it and will only grudgingly move out of the way when the mower is close enough to almost bump them. Moreover, they’ve learned that the mower chases off bugs (and shreds the ones that don’t get out of the way in time), so they actually follow me around when I mow to catch the refugees and broken bugs. It’s like having my own little phalanx of poultry Secret Service agents around me when I mow the front yard.
Someone requested an update on the state of the novella, so here it is: it ain’t done yet. I had to spend most of my writing time the last few weeks on edits for Book #2, and then the kids were home from camp and we went off and did some family things together. I still intend to finish and release the novella in August, but depending on how much (or little) editing it needs, it may be September before it’s in sellable shape. I’m not going to finish something and then upload it to the Kindle store ten minutes later because OMG THE MONIEZ—there are way too many first drafts masquerading as finished product out there as it is. But rest assured that a.) it will be out soon, and b.) it will not suck.
Spring has totally sprung, y’all.
Yesterday, the thermometer at Castle Frostbite recorded 88 degrees. Unfortunately, we lost power in the short but intense thunderstorm front that moved through the area in the evening, so it was also 88 degrees under the roof where the grown-ups sleep. We were in the middle of cooking dinner when the power went out, but the salmon cooked with the residual heat from the stove, so at least we didn’t ruin a $20 slab of good Alaska salmon.
Did you know that it’s kind of hard to fall asleep when it’s close to 90 degrees and you can’t run a fan or air conditioning because the electrons are leaking out of a broken line somewhere up the road? And did you further know that when the power comes back on at 2:30am, after you had finally fallen asleep, it’s even harder to go back to sleep?
So yeah, we’re dragging a bit today. I’m at the auxiliary office, a.k.a. the coffee shop, doing my writing for the day after dropping the kids off at Splash Camp. When I get home, I think I’ll check the acoustic integrity of the mattress for an hour or so.
People of Earth!
Your tiny Empress turns six years old today.
<insert obligatory kvetching about how time flies, something something diapers blah blah before you know it &etc.>
The tiny Empress has really made strides this year socially. She’s been in Kindergarten since July, and she loves it with a fierce, white-hot intensity. That kid right there? She will be the Queen Bee or the Chief Delinquent in high school, and possibly both.
Love ya, kiddo. But no, you can’t have “just pound cake” for dinner. We have to throw in some alibi vitamins somewhere.
It’s Monday, and the house is QUIET. The dogs are snoozing in front of the pellet stove, which we had to turn on again last night because the temperature was predicted to dip down to freezing overnight. That marks the first day of the year when we had to run the pellet stove and the window air conditioning unit ON THE SAME DAY.
We had a little shindig for Miss Lyra on Sunday. She turns six on Wednesday, so we pulled the party back just a bit to the one weekend this month where most of our friends were available. There was cake and presents and an inflatable 12-foot pool and ten kids in the 3-9 age bracket running around on the Castle grounds, so you may understand why I emphasized the QUIET in the first sentence of this post.
Now back to work. I have this thing called a “contract” that specifies I have to deliver this here novel by the end of the month, and it still needs a little work, so I should probably get to it. But understand that this is not a Monday gripe. Drinking coffee in a quiet house and making up stories beats the hell out of digging ditches or changing diapers when it comes to ways to make a living.
The girls have been confined to the run and their coop since last summer. With the weather finally nice, and the bugs finally out in force again, I decided they should have some recess time outside in the afternoons again. They love their freedom, risky as it is.