Your Maintenance Announcement for 2017

If you were trying to get in here in the middle of the night on Sunday, you probably saw this:

That happened because bots from Russia and China were, in Mollie’s words, “eating up our resources.”  She’s on it and we have the blog back, but that was a little . . . disconcerting.  What did we ever do to Russia and China?  (I know, they’re just mugging bandwidths so they can re-elect Trump, but still, ARGH? Really?)

This has been your maintenance announcement for 2017.  

Cherry Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017

It’s Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month.

Oh, come on, you knew I’d go for this one.  Seriously, there are marvelous dogs (and cats) in shelters all over the world that just need love, food, exercise, and expensive vets. In return, a dog will give you an alarm system, a body guard,, a warm body to cuddle, and unconditional adoration.  Best deal in the world.  

Go to or your local shelter.  That’s where Milton, Veronica, Mona, and Lyle came from (Bernie and Lucy came from the pound, Rosie was a gift one of my classes got from the pound [Melissa Copher, I keep losing your e-mail address, but I’ll never forget you]), and through that website you can even search by breed and your area.  

Don’t do it for the dogs (although they deserve it), do it for you.  




Cherry Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017

Today is Random Acts of Poetry Day.

I think you’re supposed to write poetry on post-its and photos and leave it stickied or scattered around, but that seems to me to be self-serving littering.  Let’s face it, most people are not good poets.  I, for example, suck at poetry.  Love it, can’t write it.  But oh, do I love it.

Robert Frost was evidently a bastard to live with, but he wrote beautiful poetry.  Every place I’ve ever lived, I’ve painted or posted my favorite lines of his on a wall (it’s from “Two Tramps at Mudtime”):

Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future’s sakes.

The whole poem is incredibly beautiful, but it’s those last lines that gave me my life philosophy on work: if I can’t be passionate about what I need to do, I need to do something I’m passionate about instead.   Yes, I know that’s impossible for most people, I’m just happy it’s worked out for me twice.  

So how are you going to commit random acts of poetry?  Posting some here is a non-littering method.  I’m going to try to figure out where in my practically wall-less off I can put those four lines (there are walls, there are just windows and doors in 90% of them).  Maybe on a Post-It . . .

Highly Professional Writer at Work

So I’m rewriting the opening, trying to smooth out the cuts I made, and I realize that Nick is going to have to smite something because it’s referred to over and over again (and because it sets up the Rich scene later).  But I don’t want to add much to the scene and I really like the one-two punch of the hellfire on the palm and then dropping the facade.  So he smites something small in between those, only a second’s action, for a three-beat.  It took me several minutes to figure out what and then to do the research, but I am a professional and I will spend minutes on things if it’s necessary.  Like this:

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Cherry Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017

Today is International Red Panda Day.

Red Pandas are endangered, which is bad, especially since they’re the only ones of their family: they’re not related to pandas, foxes, racoons, or bears, there’s just them, and thanks to depredations to their habitats, there are now less than 10,000 of them in the wild.  Nothing this cute should ever go extinct.  

No, you can’t adopt one and take it home, but you can do this.

Or this.

Or just google “red panda” and squee.  It’s that kind of day.




Mission Amazing

Thank you, Cassini, the little explorer that could.

Launched almost twenty years ago (Oct. 17, 1997), Cassini has been taking pictures of Saturn and its moons (and selfies, evidently) for thirteen years (it takes awhile to get to Saturn).  Its primary mission was completed in June of 2008, but it said, “You know, as long I’m out here,” and kept on sending back information and pictures that revolutionized our understanding of space, thanks to the good work of NASA and the European Space Agency.   NASA has a free e-book of the Saturn System Through the Eyes of Cassini, but my favorite Cassini production is still the Google Doodle.


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