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People who are reading my Nanaboozhoo stories -- Are you tired of them? I've got another one banging around my head. This one takes place sometime before Stronger than Swift Runner.

I think I want this story to be about redemption.

"Open up! Hey! Come get the door! Police! Open up!"

Abby McGeezhick's eyes sprang open and she staggered out of bed. It had snowed during the night. When she threw open the second floor window and stuck her head out, the snow on the window ledge fell back and plopped on her bare feet.

The officers at the door looked up at her, frowning. The morning sun off the fresh snow made their faces harsh.

"I'm right here! Hold on, I'm coming down!" She pushed the window shut, shoved her wet feet into jeans, and threw on an old sweatshirt. In the living room, Boots and a couple of his buddies were sleeping on the couches and floor. Bags of Doritos and Cheetos and red Solo cups littered the side tables. Abby stomped her bare feet into boots, stepped outside and closed the door quietly behind her.

"We've got a problem, Ms. McGeezhick." Both of the officers towered over her and Abby took a breath to calm herself. One of them was a young guy, and the other was Phillips, who'd been on the force for a handful of years. The younger guy pointed across the street. "The VFW's door has been forced, and somebody took a keg of beer and some other stuff."

The looked stern. Accusingly, even. Abby shrugged. "I don't know what you're talking about. I don't know anything about it!"

The officers looked at each other. "Well, that's real funny, Ma'am," Phillips drawled. "Seeing how there's tracks going out your front door right to the VFW, and then tracks leaving, going right to your back door."

Abby closed her eyes and saw the boys inside, passed out in her living room. "Shit."


Sep. 23rd, 2016 02:24 pm
ljgeoff: (Default)
I'm loving being a nurse.

This job, though! We are a small clinic in a small county jail. We're open 12 hours a day, seven days a week. There are two full-time nurses who work 3 days a week, and one part time nurse who works one day here and one day at the downtown jail.

Except that the other full-time nurse got pneumonia so bad that she ended up in the hospital and had to get prednisone, which sent her into irregular heart rhythm, and now she's not coming back. I've been working about 65hrs/wk for the last two weeks, and have another three to four weeks, I think. They need to hire someone, and then train them for at least a week...

So very tired. It's an hour drive. I get up at 5am, leave the house at 5:45, get to work at about 6:45am, leave anywhere between 7pm to 9pm, get home somewhere between 8pm and 10pm and fall into bed. Day is done.

Uffdah. I just need to hang on. In the mean time, there's a story rattling 'round my head.
ljgeoff: (Default)
Oooh! Four Big Finish Captain Jack stories:

1. The Year After I Died by Guy Adams
Set in the year 200,101, on an Earth ravaged by the Daleks, Jack struggles to save humanity from its oldest enemy.

2. Wednesdays For Beginners by James Goss
Jack and Jackie Tyler must unite to rescue the Powell Estate from a force whose name Jackie can never say.

3. One Enchanted Evening by James Goss
Captain Jack and Alonso Frame have only just met. But why did the Doctor want them to be together?

4. Month 25 by Guy Adams
He’s the young star of the Time Agency, and his whole life is about to fall apart. But that’s not going to stop him winning.

ljgeoff: (Default)
"Some of the models suggest that there is a 75 percent chance that the entire north polar ice cap during some of the summer months will be completely ice-free within the next five to seven years." Al Gore, U.N. Climate Summit, Copenhagen, 2009

Well, we'll end up at about 4000 km3 for the 2017 minimum, compared to the historic (1950-1990) value of about 7500 km3. So it's going slower than we worried it might.

However, this year, we have an ice-free north pole:

From the Canadian Cost Guard twitter feed, the scientific ship and ice-breaker, Odin, at the geographical North Pole, August 28, 2016.

I am thankful that we aren't yet ice-fee. But I don't think it will be long now.
ljgeoff: (Default)
The "Wrangel Arm" in the arctic ocean, from Aug 2 to Sept 2, 2016:

"First, since the summer sea ice was also shrinking, this meant that the summer ice cover had lost something like 60 per cent of its volume between the 1970s and the 1990s, a far more drastic and dramatic loss than one would have suspected without taking account of the ice thickness. At this rate the summer ice would disappear fairly early in the coming twenty-first century. The world needed to be warned, and we did our best to warn it. But not only did the politicians and industrialists not want to know, neither did the scientific modelers. They continued to run unrealistic models which forecast that sea ice would remain substantially undiminished right up to the end of the twenty-first century. The UK Meteorological Office still clings to these impossible predictions. Nature would soon prove them wrong."

A Farewell To Ice, p. 69, Wadhams 2016

"A mild winter, early opening up, extreme low snow cover, probably caused the Arctic to soak up enough heat to not care about the June and July sun. And who knows, maybe a pulse of warm water - extremely difficult to measure - from the Atlantic and Pacific continued the long-term process of complete Arctic sea ice loss.

The world hasn't experienced the warmest average global temperatures on record for three years in a row for nothing. This heat eventually ends up in the Arctic."

-- Neven Acropolis, Sea Ice Blog, PIOMAS September 2016
ljgeoff: (Default)
Here's the newest story. I'd like to post a little something about writing, but for now I'll just hand you this.

about 2500 words

Bear Moon

The thing is, Leona always hated her name. It was her grandmother’s name, and granny was a mean drunk, no pussyfooting around it. So Leona went by Sunny, the name Arty Bertucci, her Nonno, called her. Nonno was the only person in her life who’d really loved her, so it was his right to name her. And that’s what started the big fight at the casino out by Chocolay, Sunny not liking her name, and Fred Ingalls calling her Leona one time too many.

That, and being nine months, four days pregnant. She just wasn’t in the mood.

So, she threw the first punch and when Fred pushed her, half the place piled on him - there were fists and boots flying - and the other half picked her up and made her sit down and drink a glass of water to cool the fuck down. Then, both she and Fred were kicked out into the snow of the last night of February. Fred’s buddies dragged him off to the emergency room or God knows where. Not to see his baby born, that’s for sure. Whenever that would be. Not tonight. All that hubbub, and not one little contraction. Read more... )
ljgeoff: (Default)
Working on balance this week. Or rather, not finding balance because of working too much. That about sums it up. I came in twice for sick calls this week (there are only four of us nurses) which gave me about 54 hours at the jail, and another seven hours with my disabled private-duty client.

I'm really liking being a nurse, though honestly, as an LPN I don't do anything that I haven't been doing for several years. It's just that now I can do them properly. Setting up and handing out meds, dressing changes and taking out stitches, documenting vitals and advising doctors about a patient's signs and symptoms --- that kind of thing. Nothing earth shattering, but more like ... comfortable. I feel like I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.

I wrote to the nursing department at the college and let them know I'd like to step back in if there is a seat available in January. I'm trying not to get too excited in case there's no slot for me.

I'm also getting ready to start volunteering at a hospice to be a ... um, I can't remember what it's called, but I'd be someone who simply sits with someone who is dying; sits with the person if they're alone, whether they're conscious or not, or with family, if they want someone to be with them.

And the writing is coming along. I don't know if it's very good; anyone want to beta? It's original fiction and it's almost done. It feels to me, I dunno, kinda cliché-like. But what's more human that a birth story? Fresh eyes would be good.

So, hey, here I am! Alive and mostly working. :)
ljgeoff: (Default)

There's a chance that this year we'll see our first ice-free north pole in recorded history.
ljgeoff: (Default)

I'm planning a family camp out. Consider joining us! It falls on a Monday, so we'll probably land at whatever campground on Saturday, and stay through Tuesday.

We're looking the Shawnee National Forest or the Land Between Lakes National Park.
ljgeoff: (Default)
From A guest article by Florence Fetterer, principal investigator at the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) in the US.

"Most fundamentally of all, the new dataset allows us to answer the three questions we posed at the beginning of this article.

First, there is no point in the past 150 years where sea ice extent is as small as it has been in recent years. Second, the rate of sea ice retreat in recent years is also unprecedented in the historical record. And, third, the natural fluctuations in sea ice over multiple decades are generally smaller than the year-to-year variability."

Sea ice cover maps for the annual minimum in September, for the periods 1850-1900, 1901-1950, 1951-2000, and 2001-2013. The maps show the sea ice extent in the lowest minimum during each period, which are in years: 1879, 1943, 1995, and 2012.

Walsh, J. E., Fetterer, F., Stewart, J. S. and Chapman, W. L. (2016) A database for depicting Arctic sea ice variations back to 1850. Geographical Review, doi:10.1111/j.1931-0846.2016.12195.x
ljgeoff: (Default)
This is me, planning the meals for the Fourth Annual Great Summer Camp Out. There will be 12 adults, 1 teen, 7 grade-school kids, 3 toddlers, 2 babies.

Read more... )
ljgeoff: (Default)
-- why would I work on a mosaic for a house that I'm leaving in 2 years? Mostly what we're thinking about for this house is getting it in good enough shape to sell it.

Yeah. So, change of plans. The mosaic is for Lilac House1, the house I'm going to build in a couple years. I will re-imagine the project, and place the mosaic either in my kitchen or conservatory. Hmm, the conservatory, I think.

Which makes me wonder -- should I have a conservatory, and where would I place the sunroom on a house that'll be transitioning from Zone 4 to zone 7 or 8 within the lifetime of the house, which I'm hoping is at least 100 yrs. Also, the weather'll be extreme and chaotic. Glass will be an issue; maybe have shutters? Maybe not have a conservatory? I'm very open to opinions.

In the mean time, I will buy heavy totes and store the finished pieces in totes. God, they're gonna weigh a ton. Luke and I are going to go buy some tiles tonight, and I'm going to print out the cat and sketch a pattern over the next week.

1) Lilac House will be a post and beam stackwood house with a sod roof growing lilacs and other flowers and herbs.

Something like this, but with another story on top, and made with stackwood instead of logs.

This is stackwood, also called cordwood masonry construction
ljgeoff: (Default)
I want to order the tile for my first cat mosaic. I am going to start with this one:

-- but make him our big orange guy, Dexter. And I'll have him laying in some flowers, like this,

but with some birdsfoot trefoil in the background. This section is going to be at the foot of the stairs, and there's a corner there that I have to work with.

The cool thing about this project is that it's not very expensive. It's more of a time thing, and I can do it for bits of time, here and there.

I can buy tile by the piece at Home Depot. I need to draw a pattern! I am not a drawing kind of person. :P Maybe if I print out the picture and kindof trace it... I also have to get some tile nippers.

I think I'll just tape the mosaic onto a heavy piece of cardboard with some double-sided tape, and when I have a 4' x'4' section done, or four 2x2 sections done, I'll lay down a piece of cement board over the old wood flooring* and cement the mosaic in and grout it. I think the whole project will take six 4x4 sections.

Luke is going to take a picture of Dexter and go out with me to pick out some colors. He's intrigued by the project.

* -- I may pay someone to do this, and I should probably wait until I have all the sections done and lay it all at one time.
ljgeoff: (Default)
Ok, this is just a ... idle idea. I guess. I mean, I'd love to do it, but I don't know if I will. *shrug*

So, I'd like to make a floor mosaic. I've been wanting to do something like this for a while. I've been thinking about putting a mosaic down on the entrance way of the house here in Lansing. So I'm just going to write about it a little here; it may never happen.

The area is the entrance way and hall, an L-shaped space where the bottom of the L goes along the front door and the stairs to the second floor, and the long part of the L edges the living room and leads to the dining room. I would guess that from the door to the dining room is about fifteen feet, and it's about four feet wide.

The theme is cats and gardens. I want to include all of the cats, even Morgan, whom we lost a few years ago.

(A side note: Last week I was sure that our old fellow, Buddy, had crawled off somewhere and died. We got him when he started living under our trailer, back in 2011, and he was old then. When we moved to the house in '12, we figured he might last the winter. Anyway, I hadn't seen him in a few days, and when I went to pick up Luke from his friend's house, I talked to him about how Buddy was probably gone. We were driving up to the house, and I said, "He was so old; he had a good life with us." And as I pulled into the driveway, the headlights caught the figure of a cat. "Look!" Luke pointed, "It's Buddy!"

I sighed. "Yep."

Luke laughed. "Don't be so disappointed!")

So, we have ten cats that live inside and another three or four that come up to the porch to eat. In the house there's Buddy, the color of oranges and creme; Lulu, petite and grey, with a striped tail; Lulu's kittens, Bandit, a brown taby, Miss Pickles, a grey tabby tuxedo, and Patrick and Louie, both dove grey tuxedos; Annie, a brown tabby tuxedo; Dexter, a Garfield; Morgan, orange tabby with a white chest, not as big as Dexter; Steve, a long, thin orange tabby; Portia (who used to live on the porch); a muted calico; and finally Squiggy, mostly borwn with some rusty tabby markings. Outside, there's Lenny, a lean, muscular brown tabby; Persephone, a less-muted calico, maybe Portia's sister; and Ichabod, another grey tuxedo, and maybe Patrick and Louie's half-feral half-brother. There was a small feral black tuxudo we called Mouse because he was so skittish, but I haven't seen him since spring. And Persephone may have had kittens.

All of the inside cats are fixed.

I think each cat will be about the size of a hand or two, and look something like this: Read more... )

The Plan

Jul. 8th, 2016 09:48 am
ljgeoff: (Default)
I haven't talked much about climate change or The Plan recently, because it seems to me that most folks can see what's happening and the info is out there if they want a deeper understanding.

Back in 2010, I wrote that we weren't sure yet how bad it was going to get. That's still true, but what else is true is that the projections now are much more dire than they were in 2010. We'll loose the summer arctic cap sometime within the next ten years. We're already seeing serious losses in agriculture. Everywhere, the weather has changed.

Now that I'm in a position to really start realizing some of my plans, I want to update The Plan.

I had hoped to have purchased the property five years ago, three years ago, last year. We still haven't got it together. As a family, we've made some great moves forward, but we haven't got ourselves squared away enough to put money into savings. But now I expect to buy a 40-acre parcel in about twelve months. I plan to save money over the next year for both my RN education and a large down payment on the parcel.

I've talked to the kids about how they see this playing out. For the most part, what they've said is 'we'll keep going as long as we can, and when things get too hard, we'll come to the homestead.

This is somewhat problematic because a lot of work will need to be done before it 'gets too hard.' We're going to be having our yearly family camp out at the beginning of August, and I'll present a timeline to them then:

2025 -- summer arctic ice cap is gone. Jet stream is erratic, and weather is extreme with droughts mixed with torrential downpours. World food projected to decrease by 15% of today's totals

2035 -- world temp is over 2°c-3°c; ice only forms in arctic in deep winter; modern agriculture is on the brink of collapse. War.

A lot of folks believe that we will avert this future. I believe that we could, but we won't. The Plan is to have the beginning of a secure homestead by 2025 that can not only feed a 10-15 family clan, but is also a place of learning with a large library, ability to produce cloth/fiber, pottery, and smithing/working of metals, a tech/mechanical shop, a collection of musical instruments, and a small hospital/dental clinic.

It's an ambitious plan, and I might not see the fulfillment. Perhaps these things are never fulfilled but a work in progress. Onward.
ljgeoff: (Default)
I've had one interview with a job offer of working nights in a nursing home for $23.80/hr. I've had two phone interviews for the correctional job, and will be sending in my background check tomorrow; the interviewer finished the interview by saying "Let's get this show on the road." I haven't been able to connect with the hiring person from the spinal cord/brain injury rehab place yet. So I still haven't decided which job to take, but I know I'll be working somewhere soon for pre'damn good money.

Short range plans: get all the bills under control; get Luke moved into Carl's place; get the upstairs bedroom that's been gutted for two-freaking-years finished so the little boys can have their own room; get myself a new laptop for school.

Mid-range plans: I'm not going to school this September. There are some excellent reasons, and they mostly have to do with money. I will go back next September, and I'll go back with most of my tuition saved up and with some real nursing experience under my belt. I feel extremely comfortable and confident about this.

Long range plans: After graduating with my RN, I'll start saving for the property. Every year that passes gets me more jumpy about the future, and I'm behind by something like five years. Truthfully, I had a tough talk with myself about spending the time/money to get my RN --I'm that freaked out by the incessant ticking of the damn clock. But the knowledge and skills will be just as useful, if not more, than the increased pay and job opportunities.

What is hard for me: I want to spend money that I haven't yet made on things I've been wanting for years. One thing I *am* going to do is go to the Nutcracker this Christmas, and pay for some family to come with me-- whoever wants to come. I also want to fix up this house -- some carpeting, paint, that kind of thing. So I have to set myself a budget within a budget within a budget. Bills/fix-up/fun. I have only ever been able to handle the bills, and when something has come up that had to get fixed, we played catch-up.

I have some thoughts about stress and poverty. I may go a bit crazy for a couple months. Bear with me, eh? A final thought: my interviews went very well and gave me a window-look into what kind of nurse I will be. Do you know what? I will be amazing.


Jun. 21st, 2016 09:38 am
ljgeoff: (Default)
One of the unique properties of the nursing professions, unique to me anyway, is that I have the luxury of choosing a job.

Do you know that there is such a thing as a Denials Nurse? It's not something that I could do -- it's a nurse who looks at folks who've been denied coverage for their care and tries to find ways to get them help. Which is a good thing to be doing, but not my particular skill set.

Over the weekend, I put in applications to several nursing homes, but the two jobs I'm really interested is a clinic in Detroit, and Jackson Prison. I've also put in applications to a couple of county jails. I've got to send in a background check form for one of the county jails -- that came in at 8am today.
ljgeoff: (Default)
After the little boys (finally) fell asleep, I called Luke down to help me clean up the kitchen and then I took the dog for a walk. It's after 10pm and 78°F (25.5°C). My working class neighborhood is very quiet, almost somnolent. Which is what you'd expect at 10:30pm on a Sunday night, but not our usual. Even Brenda, the crack-lady across the street who's usually out pontificating to the neighborhood from her porch, is quiet. I can hear lazy voices, box fans in the windows, and TVs.

A firefly lit up on the corner, a single *blink* .... *blink* .... *blink*. It made me sad, that he was out there all by himself. The house next to us is owned by a church, and a big group met there to clean it up, and threw all of the garbage out back. Three weeks now, big black bags of kitchen garbage, and the raccoons have got to it. I breath shallow as we pass. The dog and I took a turn into the alley and there was another firefly, *blink* .... *blink*. So that was a little better. Halfway down the alley, one of our cats met us, Louie, his white tuxedo markings glowing. He and the dog exchanged polite greetings.

We turned, threading through more alleyway, down and 'round the corner and through the yard of the house that's been empty for over a year-- a guy named Tucker used to live there and say hi whenever he saw me and the dog. I kinda miss him. Past the now-abandoned house and up the next alley, heading home. The air has weight, and there's cannabis floating in languid ribbons; I walk through one and then another. Stoner Dave is in his lawn chair out behind his house. I'm illuminated by the street light, and I give him a wave. "Hey, Lees," he murmurs, another silky ribbon. By our house, two more cats greet us, weaving back a forth just out of reach of the dog's leash. One reaches over and taps the other on the flank, and they bounce through the neighbor's box hedges.

My house smells like peanut butter sandwiches, growing things and, regrettably, cats. I let the dog loose of her leash and she goes to the kitchen for a drink of water. Yeah, that sounds good. It's so damn hot.

G'night all.
ljgeoff: (nurse strax)
I have passed the NCLEX-PN.

I can now work as an LPN in the state of Michigan. The folks that run the NCLEX test let you pay an additional $8 for unofficial results. I wasn't going to do it, but I have to say it's probably the best $8 I've ever spent. I should get my license number sometime next week.

My knee is slowly getting better. I'll be starting physical therapy next week. I should be in a new job by the end of the month.

I don't know if I can express how much this means to me. Accomplishment, financial security, being able to move forward -- it's rather amazing. When I got my BS, I felt validated. With this, I feel euphoric.

The nursing program has said that I will likely be able to continue on in September, and if not then, I will likely get a spot next May. Either way, I know that it'll come.

If you're a person who's planning on attending 2017 FOGcon or Wiscon, please come look me up. And Wiscon-folk, I'm looking for roomies.


ljgeoff: (Default)

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