Tags: american experience

Cordon C3

"It's the soundtrack of the revolution, man."

Tonight, after a sunny day, it's 57˚F.

Really not much to say about today. It has the sad distinction of only being the fifth worst day of the month. The truth hurts. Me more than you, but there it is.

I watched an episode of American Experience about Annie Oakley, then another about Amelia Earhart, and then an episode of Nova about the Kepler space telescope. Then tonight we finished Season Three of Mrs. Maisel (five episodes a night, two nights), and it was brilliant, and it was hilarious, both as expected, but unexpectedly sorta harrowing. Repeat after me, "The Atlantic is full of shit. Again. As always. It's what they do."

We're hoping to do some fieldwork tomorrow, but it all depends on the weather.

Oh, and yesterday was not Sméagol's tenth Gotcha Day. That was today. And we didn't have him for four years. We only had him for three years and three months. I used to have a memory. At least about the things that mattered.

Thank you. Drive around.


10:16 p.m. (a little too tall, this image, but they can't all be winners)
Western Interior Seaway

Sugar Packet

Today was our second nice day in a row here, but I was in the lab all day, so...and now it's gonna rain until the middle of next week. Alabama doesn't so much have a winter as a rainy season. Currently, it's 46˚F. The high today was 65˚F.

So, yeah. I was at McWane again today. The left quadrate of Winifred in almost clean. After this element is done, I'll be moving on to the material still in the plaster field jacket, which means I'll be moving from manual preparation to the air scribe, which I hope means things will move along a little faster. In "normal" Mooreville Chalk, manual prep is a breeze, but Winifred came from within the lower ten meters of the formation, where it grades into the Tombigbee Sand Member of the Eutaw Formation, and at that horizon the chalk is full of glauconite (a greenish iron potassium phyllosilicate) that has to be painstakingly picked off with dental tools, sometimes, literally, one granule at a time. And I know this is boring you silly, but I'm too tired right now to care. Oh, and there was stuff today about the turtle paper, which may actually be out within weeks. I found typos in the galleys, because finding other people's typos, when I can rarely see my own, that's my superpower.


Tonight we had spaghetti and watched Part One of Chasing the Moon on American Experience.

And I had these lines from an Iron & Wine song stuck in my head most of the day:

And the beast, never seen,
Licks its red talons clean.
Sara curses the cold,
"No more snow, no more snow, no more snow."

And...here's something I wrote several years ago, and it just keeps getting more and more true:

Yesterday, it occurred to me that I have outlived the context that made sense of my existence. I now exist out of context, like a dodo bird in a cyberpunk story, and it's a terrible way to be. I suppose I'm saying I have become an anachronism. But it seems worse even than that. Anachronism makes it sound dignified, and I feel no dignity in this.

And, on that note, I'm going to bed. I leave you with Saurocephalus, one of my favorite fish in the chalk.


3:57 p.m.

The Lightness of the Dark

A cold but sunny day. Currently, it's 42˚F, and we have a frost advisory.

I didn't leave the house today.

I spent about four hours today just compiling the ms. for Comes a Pale Rider, layout and all that, writing the publication notes and what have you. I printed out all 177 pages, 56,614 words of prose. I think it's going to be a nice book. I still have to proofread the whole thing (and that's gonna be a goddamn marathon), but it feels like a book now, not just a bunch of files on my iMac.

Most of the day was shadowed by that old anger that rarely pursues me anymore. But I managed to stay ahead of it, and it finally gave up the chase about three p.m.

Anyway, after work, Spooky gave me a haircut I've been needing for months. Most of my head is shaved again, and it feels good.

Tonight, I had a can of Progresso chicken and rice soup for dinner, and then we finished Season Two of Jack Ryan. I think I'm going to bed a little early. Oh, and before dinner, we watched the new(ish) American Experience about Woodstock.


8:25 a.m.

"Last night, I heard your voice..."

Hot today. Currently, it's 93˚F, with the hat index at 100˚F.

I got no work done again yesterday. If there was a bright spot, it was that the latest issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology arrived. I watched an episode of American Experience, "The Big Burn." I realized partway in I'd seen it already, but I finished watching it, anyway. There was spaghetti for dinner. I had an extremely short nap. We finished Season Three of GLOW, which may be the best of the three. Okay, so that's two bright spots.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks. Every little bit helps.


1:07 p.m,
Cordon C3

A Walrus Out of Water

I thought it was going to be another stormy day, but the weather held until after dark. There was a good bit a sun. A nice day. Currently, it's rainy and 70˚F.

This morning, I sent The Tindalos Asset away to Jonathan Strahan, and that's a load off my shoulders. Now, I'm going to write a couple of short pieces for Sirenia Digest before I write two new Dancy Flammarion short stories.

I also did a little paleontology-related stuff today, mostly email, planning for a visit to the State Museum in Tuscaloosa late next week. And after work, we made a run to Publix and then over to the botanical gardens where we talked with chipmunks and turtles.

Last night, we saw a really excellent two-part American Experience, "The Circus."

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks.


1:39 p.m.

"I alight like a whisper. I alight with the lights out."

Sunny and cold this morning. Currently, it's 30˚F, with the windchill at 24˚F. There are clouds on the way.

Yesterday, I spent five and a half hours writing story notes for The Dinosaur Tourist, and then after dinner I came back and spent another hour on the book. Today, I have to proofread The Chartreuse Alphabet, which will be the free chapbook accompanying this collection. I had hoped to be done with all this two days ago, but hopin' ain't gettin', as my grandpa used to say. I think I can pretty much be done with the collection by this evening, and then it goes away to Bill Schafer at Subterranean Press. I'm guessing The Dinosaur Tourist will be a late 2018 release.

We've only got five days (not counting today) until we leave for Birmingham/Leeds/Montgomery/Tuscaloosa, and it's getting hectic around here. Spooky's taking the vehicle down to a garage in North Kingstown this afternoon to get the oil changed while I work.

In the evening's, we've mostly been watching Roseanne, and we've made it deep into Season Six (since January 19th). But last night we also watched an American Experience episode about the ill-fated Greely expedition to the Arctic (1881-1884, aka the International Polar Expedition, aka the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition). I feel asleep sometime after two a.m., watching Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo (1944).

Day before yesterday I finished my reread of Michael McDowell's five-volume Blackwater series (1983), and I want to write a little about it. Maybe tomorrow. While still very readable, I have to say those books are nowhere as good as I remember them being. But I was just a kid back then. Next up, I think I'm about to go on a Larry McMurtry binge.

Yesterday I wrote on Facebook:

I used to be able to use the internet to wake up in the mornings. Now, most of what is waiting for me online either scares the shit out of me or pisses me off, leaving me unable to work. Which causes me to lose work days. I have learned that avoidance equals survival, and these days, I mostly avoid everything except Wikipedia, my LJ, and my Facebook page.

~ and ~

I'm beginning to think that 50% of my "friends" list on Facebook is composed of bots and scam accounts.

Aunt Beast

10:42 a.m. (this morning)

"Take a picture here, take a souvenir."

We have a few inches of snow, and it's still falling, a fine, dry sort of snow that blows into white veils whenever the wind picks up. Currently, it's 23˚F, with the windchill at 11˚F.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,122 words on "As Water Is In Water." I hope to be finished with the story tomorrow.

We're trying to figure out exactly when in February we're heading down to Alabama. The fact that I have to be back by March 1st, for StokerCon, is complicating things. And the fact that I still have not gotten The Tindalos Asset written. And making sure there are people around to watch after Selwyn and Lydia. And so on.

David is doing better. They sent him home yesterday.

Last night, I learned from my mother that Lonnie D. Marbury has died. He was my science teacher in eighth grade (1977-1978, Leeds Junior High). Forty years ago he was one of the people who inspired and encouraged me to study paleontology.

Last night, Spooky made delicious beef stroganoff (which, ironically, LJ cannot spell), and then we watched the two most recent episodes of American Experience – "Into the Amazon" and "The Secret of Tuxedo Park." The former concerned Theodore Roosevelt and Cândido Rondon's ill-fated 1914 expedition to explore the Amazon's "River of Doubt," which afterwards was named the Rio Roosevelt. Three years ago, I read Candice Millard's The River of Doubt (2005), and I believe the episode must have been based on the book. Later, I watched Cary Grant and Myrna Loy in H.C. Potter's Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream Home (1948), one of my favorite comedies, until I finally fell asleep sometime after 4 a.m. Oh, and I also finished the third volume of Michael McDowell's Blackwater series yesterday, and continued brushing up on my mosasaurs with "Reassessment and reassignment of the early Maastrichtian mosasaur Hainosaurus bernardi Dollo, 1885, to Tylosaurus Marsh, 1872."

Aunt Beast

4:37 p.m.