Archive for September, 2014

North Pole Weather 9/19/14

The sun will rise this morning at 7:55 and set 11 hours 30 min later at 7:25 this evening. Weather? I’ve been stuck in the hospital in Anchorage so long I had to look up the weather in Fairbanks, but I’m pretty sure we’ve had a killing frost or tw0. If I fly back Wednesday, as I now hope, I’m likely to meet snow showers.


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Sunday is the day for Weekend Writing Warriors (click the logo above for other participants) and Snippet Sunday (click the logo below.)

I am continuing to post from Rescue Operation. Roi Is the first to speak, finishing the sentence Emeraude started last week.

Hubble’s View of Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 1672
“And mine. She’s Lai’s daughter, and she has a mind of her own.” With boosting, he thought he could reach Derry, Kaia and Wif telepathically, even without a planned contact. They wouldn’t know what had happened, any more than he had, and his first priority had better be to let them know, even if they couldn’t break away right now.


By choice Roi was an esper Healer, an artist, and devoted to his family. The Healing talent was a legacy from his R’il’nian father, the last survivor of the now-extinct R’il’nai. His creativity was a gift from the Human mother he could barely remember. His love for children and other small, helpless things might have come from his mother as well, though he thought it just as likely to have been learned from Marna, the R’il’nian stepmother who had taught him to use the Healing ability he’d been born with.

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It’s Saturday, and time for Science Fiction Romance Brigade Presents. Click the logo above for information on this blog hop and links to other participants.

I’m still posting from Both Sides Now, continuing from last week. (All my snippets can be reached from the index.) This is from Mik’s POV, after he has seen Jadel and Star fall.

At least Jadel seemed to have survived the fall, as he was sitting up by the time one of the other riders reached him. Mik wasn’t so sure about Star, who was still trying to struggle to his feet at the bottom of the slope.

“Easy, boy,” he soothed as he rode Coin up to the dazed old gelding. Nothing obviously broken, at least, and as he watched, the horse managed to regain his feet. Mik leaned over to catch the dangling reins, and then patted the brown’s neck before leading him a few paces. Lame. The old horse certainly could not carry Jadel back to the camp. Grimacing, he led Star up the slope to where Curon and Jad waited.

“Jad’s got something wrong with his shoulder, Mik,” Curon called as he approached. “Better have Doc take a look at it. His place isn’t far.” Jadel looked pale, and when he got a good look at the man’s distorted shoulder, Mik knew why.

“I’ll take him,” he said, almost glad of the interruption. “Find Domik and tell him to take over.” He hadn’t seen Doc in well over a month, and this was too good an opportunity to miss.

Jarn’s Journal Year 11 Day 132

Year 11 Day 132

Well, I spent the day yesterday flying as far north as I could get in one day. Nothing but sea ice, and since it was (for a change) a clear day, I was able to hop from latitude to latitude as long as I could see there was no high ground. By the time I tired, I had confirmed that floating ice reached to the pole.

Two things are clear already. I am far enough north that the day is continuous. And this ice, like that on the west side of the northern continent, is inhabited. So far I am sure of the white bears and foxes, the seals, and some creatures a bit larger than seals with massive tusks. All live on ice floes, though the ones with tusks seem mainly found where the bottom is shallow.

I have seen the ones with tusks before, but rarely, I think they need shallow bottoms and ice floes in open water. They showed up occasionally on the north coast of the large land northern land mass, but that area does not have much open water in the winter. There are also some on the east coast of the large ice-covered island or continent. But while there is plenty of water there, the sea floor is only rarely shallow.

This shallow sea north and south of the strait seems to be an ideal habitat. Their tusks, when I found a skeleton, seem remarkably similar to elephant ivory. I wonder if it can also be carved and worked into ornaments.

Quotes from Terry Pratchett

Here are the contexts of the quotes tweeted from @sueannbowling between September 18 and September 24, 2014. The first six are from Mort, by Terry Pratchett.

Mort cover“A stuffed alligator is absolutely standard equipment in any properly-run magical establishment.” Even in the establishment of Igneous Cutwell, as Mort observes.

“Rather than drown in uncertainty it was better to surf right over the top of it.” One of the things Mort has learned as an apprentice to Death.

“If there’s one thing that really annoys a god, it’s not knowing everything.” Why the gods have not loosed an avalanche on the abbey of the Listeners.

“History has a habit of changing the people who think they are changing it.” Mort thinks he has changed history by preventing an assassination, but history is tougher than that.

“People just don’t see what their mind says isn’t there.” Cutwell is speaking to Mort, who already knows that.

“Better to be a dead queen in your own castle than a live commoner somewhere else.” The Royal way of looking at things, as Cutwell attempts to explain Keli’s attitude to Mort.

“Empaths were necessary, but they were not suited to rule.” Sue Ann Bowling, Tourist Trap. Part of Zhaim’s grievance against Roi.

View out the hospital widow when I'm walking for exercise.

View out the hospital widow when I’m walking for exercise.

The sun will rise today in Fairbanks at 7:34 in the morning, and set 12 hours 16 minutes later at 7:51 pm. Yes, it’s the equinox today – at 6:29 pm, to be exact. But equinox does not mean 12 hour days


In the first place, sunset and sunrise are defined by when the top edge of the sun touches the horizon. Twelve hour days would be true if the center of the sun was the defining point.

Second, where you see the sun is not where it is actually located, especially when it is near the horizon. Even seen a road mirage where it looks as if a hot road is covered with water? What you are really seeing is the light of the sky, bent by the strong temperature gradient near the road. The opposite kind of bending occurs when the air near the ground is denser that that higher up, which is the normal case in the atmosphere. In this case, the sun looks higher in the sky than is really the case. The result is that days at the equinox are really a little bit longer than the nights.

It didn’t rain much in Fairbanks between the first few days in September and the last weekend, though we did get a good dollop last Saturday. Anchorage (I’m still in the hospital there) has been making up for it. Well over 4″ so far, and raining most of the time I’ve been in the hospital here.

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It’s Sunday again, time for Weekend Writing Warriors (click the logo above for links to other fine authors) and Snippet Sunday (click the logo at the bottom of the page.)

I am continuing to post from Rescue Operation. Roi is still speaking, continuing his remark that Zhaim has 8 councilors loyal to his idea of R’il’noids are the only ones worth considering.

“At best they believe in the letter of the law rather than its spirit; at worst they look on the Confederation as R’il’noid property. With me and my three strongest supporters gone, all he’d have needed was three of the four swing votes—and he can be awfully persuasive when he wants to be.” Roi was checking the voting record as he spoke. “Yes—all of his eight were in the eleven, and all the ones here I can count on were in the nine. Along with Tethya, bless her.”

“Tethya? She sides with Zhaim more often than with you, doesn’t she? She’s his sister …”


Half sister actually, as Roi is Zhaim’s half brother.

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It’s Saturday, and time for Science Fiction Romance Brigade Presents. For information this blog hop and links to the other participants, click on the logo above.

I’m still posting from Both Sides Now, with the first part being in Doc’s POV as he comes to terms with treating Kevi. The second part is a little distance away, and in Mikal’s POV.

Still, Kevi’s hand was markedly more flexible by the time Doc took the cast off his other hand and Kevi started trying other types of therapy to recover strength and range of motion.

No question that the R’il’noid wasn’t at all what he’d expected, Doc thought. He wondered how Mik would react to the man. He’d find out soon; Mik would have to come by the cave in the next fiveday or so, if only to pick up Coralie for the spring migration. Doc could hardly wait.


The instant Star fell Mikal knew he had made a mistake. Jadel, Star’s rider, was as much too old for this kind of work as was his aged brown snowflake gelding. But they were desperately short-handed. They had to bring all the horses in before the drive to summer pastures. Slavers would almost certainly be watching from the sky, and Terry, who’d been left behind this time, was unique among the younger people in being able not only to look old and unattractive, but in being able to move that way.

Mik didn’t dare use those young and attractive enough to interest the slavers—but leaving the oldsters like Jadel behind, when they needed riders so badly, would have been an insult to the old man.

Year 11 Day 130

I’ve come to a sea water strait that may or may not end this continent. It’s not very wide; I can levitate high enough to see land beyond. And it’s not very deep either. In fact, the whole sea water expanse between the northern continent and this land mass farther east is so shallow that it wouldn’t take much drop in sea level – no more that a buildup of the ice sheets – to make this new land continuous with the coast I’ve been following.

This strait is a bit wider than the one separating the tideless sea from the tidal see to the west, but shallower. I don’t believe it is really any as much of a division between continents as a flooded low-lying area.

Go on eastward, or follow the strait to the south? Since my main question is why this planet seems to have ice caps at both poles, I think I’ll assume that this strait is too narrow to allow much warm sea water in to melt the ice, and continue along the north coast of this new land mass. Right now the ice is within easy sight of the shore, but that may change as the season advances. At any rate, this will allow me to encircle the floating ice, and perhaps take an occasional side trip to the north.

Quotes from Mercedes Lackey

Here are the contexts of the quotes tweeted from September 11 through September 17, 2014. The first six are from Beauty and the Werewolf, by Mercedes Lackey.

Beauty and the Werewolf cover“Footwear was not exactly memorable.”  Well, not to some people! But in this case Bella is confident that Sebastian will not recognize that she is wearing a pair of his mother’s boots.

“It’s not just what you are good with. It’s what you’re good at.”  Sebastian to Bella, when suggesting she might be a better sorceress than a witch.

“A whistling girl and a crowing hen always come to some bad end.”  The housekeeper’s admonition when she used to catch Bella whistling.

“A whistling girl and a wise old sheep are two of the best things a farmer can keep.”  Bella’s retort to the housekeeper.

“War is never good for trade.”  Bella remembering her father when a war seems imminent. The arms trade is an unfortunate exception.

“Curses don’t die with their maker.”  The magical distinction between a spell and a curse.

“As long as there was a chance I could help you by staying with you, that’s what I had to do.” Sue Ann Bowling, Tourist Trap. Roi’s statement to Penny when she wonders why he didn’t save himself by teleporting away from the sailboat in the squall.