Snow-Motion Science

First, this awesomeness is a thing:


Now, let me explain. This weekend my friend Kyle Cassidy was in town for the 50th birthday of another friend, the Fabulous Lorraine Garland. Kyle is a fantastic professional photographer and always up for doing cool and silly stuff involving pictures. I’ve been wanting to get him together with my photographer/geologist friend and frequent co-conspiritor Matt Kuchta for ages. I figured this was a perfect time, and since both of them had been hoping to meet at some point too, it was a low risk, low effort plan.

With some back and forth on twitter it was decided to go with high speed video madness rather than straight up photography—Matt and another friend, Todd Zimmerman, both work in my wife’s physics department and have been doing some amazing work with an incredible high-speed video camera that the department bought for the doing of SCIENCE. Kyle’s really liked what he’s seen on that front and wanted to check out the cool toy. Add in another friend, Dill Hero, husband of yet another friend, Joan of Dark—both also up for Fablor’s birthday—some quick thinking, and Castle Gaiman as a backdrop and you get SCIENCE + ART + SILLINESS with Matt and Todd behind the camera, and Kyle, Dill, and me in front of it.

The end result is Snow-Motion Science*

(click on space above if video doesn’t appear immediately)

*Linked for those who can’t see the embedded video.

Friday Cat Blogging Now On Saturday Morning

Did you hears something sneaking up behind me?

No. Not this time. Not that last time. In fact, never. Nothing is sneaking up behind you.*

That’s snow moon! That’s a polar bear sneaking up behind Jordan!

Whatvever dudes! I’m just gonna chill here and think about The Hobbit.

Me too, awesome trainwreck of a movie.

And on a completely different note. Tail crosshairs engaged on target.

Firing space based kitten cannon in 3.2.1…

Dude this is the strangest cat blog I’ve ever been in.

It’s because I’m trapped under a Princess. If I move, she’ll kill me. Send help.

*Why, yes, that is an advance copy of Martha Wells’ Emilie and the Hollow World,

and it is all mine!

For Meglet: A Little Cat Poem

I have a fuzzy little cat
Who always wonders where I’m at
Up and down the stairs she goes
Following me with eyes and nose
Content only when she sees
Herself lying on my knees



Tradition and Red Currant Jelly…not a writing post

Every year in April my wife and I throw a party for a jar of jelly.*

It all started when a young man (me) went walkabout to the Arizona Renaissance Festival and needed someone to see that his apartment didn’t explode and that his cats stayed well-fed. The year was 1989. Many adventures were had by the lad on his walkabout, but that is not what this story is about. This is about his or, should I say, my, refrigerator.

Since I lived a hundred yards from both my parents and my grandmother, I’d never seen much point in using the kitchen of my apartment for anything other than storage. The oven was a convenient place to put the cat food bag, as the cats couldn’t open it, and it kept it out of my way. The cabinets were largely filled with strange artifacts (later identified as dishes by my wife-to-be) supplied by my parents and grandmother when I moved out. Actually, when they moved out and to two separate houses, but again, that’s another story. The refrigerator was a mystical place into which I would occasionally stuff a twelve pack of Mountain Dew, or a candle that had been melting in the sun.

None of this was really front-brain knowledge however, and when I went on my way to live in a tent in the middle of the desert I didn’t give so much as a passing thought to the functioning of my kitchen. For the friend, “CD,” who moved into my place as caretaker for the two months that I was gone however, the kitchen was a vitally important place, necessary to his survival.

So, one of the first things CD did after I left for parts south, was to go to a grocery store and stock up on food, which he then brought home and proceeded to put away. This turned out to be an adventure in itself, beginning when he opened the crisper. At some point in the distant past, I had been given a dragon candle. Slightly after that, it ended up in direct sunlight, softened, and folded in half. That was when I stuffed it into the crisper. Of course, it was already too late at that point, and all that I managed to do was create a multi-colored blob of wax, heavy on the purples and greens, and with a very odd topology.

Needless to say, CD, still foolishly possessed of the idea that if it was in the fridge, it had probably at one time been food, was deeply disturbed by this discovery. (I was unavailable for comment at the time, being somewhere in transit.) But after a while, he worked up his nerve, prodded the alien life form with a fork, and discovered that it was harmless. However, this experience made him very cautious when he approached the rest of the contents of the fridge, which turned out to consist of one never-opened jar of Red Currant Jelly that had expired some two years before his arrival.

When I finally returned from my wanderjar, CD naturally enough wanted to share the tale of his adventures in my apartment, and to question me about the candle (tucked away in a box in a cabinet-but still unidentified by him) and the jelly. After some careful inspection of the items in question and dusting off of old memories, I was able to identify the candle. But the jelly defied my powers of memory.

Or, at least, that is one explanation. However, since I have never in my entire life eaten red currant jelly, nor to my knowledge has it ever been a staple in my family’s household, I have darker suspicions. I tend to believe that it condensed out of the mysterious cosmic stuff of missing hangers and lost socks, and that it happened some time between when I left the house on my trip and when CD arrived a day later — and that it is possessed of inhuman and sinister motivations.

And so I have never opened it or discarded it (for fear that someone else might open it) and once a year (near the expiration date listed on the jar) we bring it out and throw a festival to appease it. Today will be the 23rd annual red currant jelly party, marking the 25thd anniversary of its expiration.

The Jelly Wakes!

*reposted with edits from SFNovelists

Dragon Diaries now here on the webpage

The Dragon Diaries are a series of micro fiction post that I started writing in March of 2010. At the time, I was really sick with the stomach virus of doom and awake in the middle of the night, plus borderline hallucinating. My brain, wired as it is for narrative, started scripting out little bits of a dragon’s diary. They had been living over in notes on my facebook page, but I felt they really belonged over here.

Dragon Diaries Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven. Also, Unicorn Diaries and Dragon’s Cat

Like Downton Abbey on a boat, with elves, and time lords…at a con!

That was the pitch line for my dream last night, that or something very much like it. I think my brain may have overheated in the night and started to melt. While I slept last night, I got involved in a stage production. It was a period piece set on Galadriel’s yacht on the eve of last alliance between men and elves. Tension was high as it was only a question of time until the war against the dark lord Sauron broke out. The action of the play was focused on the intense rivalries and unlikely alliances between classes. So far, so very strange. Add in that the name of the yacht was the Galifrey——I can only assume that it sailed through time as well as along the mighty Anduin——and the strange goes to eleven. The thing that make me fear for my frontal lobes though, was that the production was being staged as part of the opening ceremonies at a con. I fear my dreams.

My Brain & Me: Scenes From An Absurdist Dialogue #1

Brain: Hola Kelly, como estas?

Me: ???????

Brain: En este photograhphia, el autobus—

Me: (interrupting) WTF brain?

Brain: Shh, play along. Buenos tardes, Senors e Senoras, en este photographia—

Me: Seriously, WTF? It’s been nearly 30 years since we took Spanish and I’m pretty sure you’re doing it wrong.

Brain: (triumphantly) See!

Me: What?

Brain: No one inspects the Spanish exposition!

Me ????????

Brain: Get it? That’s a joke, son, laugh.

Me: For this you woke me up before 8:00 am?

Hits brain with stick, but it’s too late. I’m already up. Sigh.