Monday, August 10, 2009

It's been rather a while: I passed my yellow belt test. I've been to the U.S. with my daughter. My intern is progressing well. I'm currently planning on moving out of my office into a home office by the end of October, so I can rent the apartment to my recently married friend.

At the yellow belt test: I flubbed things a bit - I had a terrible time remembering the correct start for various things I was supposed to demonstrate. I'm not used to that - I never have test-angst for academic tests, but somehow it was a problem here. I passed anyway, but I'm going to need to work on this.

In the U.S.: We had a blast at the big family reunion, where I had very restricted communication access (no cell phone coverage, no phones or WiFi in the cabins) - I played a lot of guitar, practiced martial arts with my sister and my black belt cousin, went swimming, had some really good food, and generally hung out with people and had a good time. After that I visited my brother and his family. Finally I visited my Sister-in-Law and drove a few hours with her and her son to see Thomas the Tank Engine, life size. I got to go swimming again while I was at it. We also visited the "Goats on the Roof" Cafe.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

DW is in Macedonia

Well, my DW is off to Macedonia for a week. I drove her and a friend to a third friend's place about an hour away this afternoon, and they're all in Macedonia now (at least I presume they are - I haven't heard from her yet). They're "travel teaching", mostly meaning that they're giving talks about Baha'i at gatherings and inviting people to such gatherings.

DW bought a small book on the Macedonian language - sort of a "phrase-book plus" - they used to be called "globetrotters", but now they're called something else - I forget what. Unfortunately they're only available in German - they're really good for getting a quick handle on a language.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


A friend of mine just got married in Armenia. :-) It was only a church wedding: there were problems with the paperwork, and he's going to have to get an extra registrar's wedding here in Germany.

I've been practicing guitar a lot: I've buffed up a lot of old things, and learned a few new, like "When I'm 64" and "El Condor Pasa". E. wants to do "Hey there, Delilah" and "1 2 3 4" by the "plain white t's", both of which I'm progressing on.

E. is a teacher, and she's also interested the People's Theater and Stop and Act, so I've arranged for N., who did People's Theater for her year of service, to meet her at our Friday evening event (prayers/singing/story telling).

Oh, and my company has started doing "Kurzarbeit" (short work), meaning I should be working less. It's complicated, and has just started, so I'm not going to try and explain it here.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Random Late Update

There's no special reason to update now, just I haven't in a long time. I've been practicing guitar a lot, slacking off on Farsi and Chinese, making steady progress in Jiu Jitsu. I've got a new laptop for work - not at my request, but still cool - I still haven't "broken it in" - I'm still using my old laptop for most things.

I've not been getting enough sleep (so what else is new).

A friend of mine is off in Armenia getting married (hopefully). It kind of depends on some paperwork I sent to him by mail, which is taking its sweet time getting there, despite being sent express. Twice.

My praktikant has been making good progress, though he would like things to be more hardware oriented, and I don't have that much hardware stuff for him to do.

I've reserved tickets for K. and myself to go to the States in July - DW is not going this year. Instead she's off to Macedonia later this month on a Baha'i Teaching Trip with a couple friends of ours.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Fun with Sensei and May Day

This past Thursday at Jiu Jitsu we got to play with rope (hojo?), tying each other up and hitting each other with them. :-)

Afterwards, I broke out the guitar, and Sensei, his GF, DW and I sang songs until past 11:00 pm. Much fun! :-)

Generally I've been steadily improving at guitar playing. I'm thinking of trying to create a video and post it on youtube - as much for learning how to post on youtube as anything else.

My Farsi has been noticeably improving, although my Farsi teacher is going on vacation in a little over a week, so it may slide again.

Our Friday evenings now have a set of regulars. I'm really happy with them, despite some difficulties. This Friday evening was also May Day.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


It's near two weeks since I last posted. I need to post more often.

I now have a 'praktikant' at work (whatever that is in English). He's not been able to really help yet, but he's been learning what I've been teaching him very quickly.

Our Friday night event is still going strong. I'm still going to Jiu Jitsu. Ruhi course, book 1, started up again this past Tuesday - DW and I are the tutors.

My participation at has been suffering a bit, as full time job, practicing guitar and studying the Writings have been filling my free time.

I'm generally feeling pretty good about life, though I think I need to slow down a bit somehow.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Watchmen & Stuff

Well, DW did want to go to Watchmen after all. It was in German, of course. I think they did a good job of it. They changed the story a bit, but not in any way that I felt detracted from it. Warning: it is rather gory in parts. In general, I enjoyed it and DW thought it was an "OK" movie. :-)

I've been getting on a late night schedule, which is not really good, considering my praktikant starts tomorrow at 9:00 am sharp. I think this may be related to my difficulties with hay fever, which are ongoing - generally there seems to be less pollen at night, and I don't feel so great in the morning.

I've been continuing to practice guitar a lot - I've decided to at least get the basics down of every song in my basic German guitar book. A fairly big project.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Friday Event and Grilling

Busy, busy, busy! We've been "this close" to a release of the new software for weeks now. I made a final fix and checked it in late last night (Friday evening / Saturday morning), even though Friday and Monday are official holidays here in Germany.

Thursday was Jiu Jitsu as usual - very few people. Most of the regulars seem to be on vacation. Our Sensei asked me to show a technique from our retreat that we don't normally do - kind of embarrassing, because I didn't remember the new stuff very well - there was a *lot* of new stuff.

Our Friday evening event was very successful, with 7 people, lots of singing and guitar playing and interesting discussion, even though our daughter K. is off in Austria skiing with friends (Thursday through Sunday). I'm really happy that DW started this! :-)

Today we went to A.'s and grilled with her and her kids and R. It was lots of fun, and I played some guitar, too. We spent from about 1:00 pm until 6:00 pm there.

Now that the weather is so nice, my hay fever is beginning to kick in. I noticed it some last night, but after grilling it seems to have really kicked in. Perhaps somewhat provoked by my having an espresso - caffeine and sugar seem to provoke the hay fever.

I kind of want to go to the movie theater, but the only thing interesting is "The Watchmen", and it's only 10:45 pm, in German, and nobody seems to want to go with me. So, I guess I'll hope it's still being shown somewhere in the U.S. this Summer when I go - this is one I do want to see on the big screen, preferably in English.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Jiu Jitsu Training & Friends in Kassel

The Jiu Jitsu training went well. There were more about 50 people there, and about 20 black belts. There were nearly a dozen trainers. I felt seriously low-level with my mere white-yellow belt, although there were 4 white-belts there. I think I learned a good bit - though there really was too much for me to absorb half of it.
Afterward there was a grill party with meat and bread. No salad, not even potato salad, no fries, no veggies. About a pound of meat per person. Oh, and six cases of beer - although there was water and cola for those who didn't want alcohol for whatever reason.
Today I spent the day visiting friends who live near Kassel. DW and K. and I all went. We spent a lot of time playing guitar and singing, and all had a good time.

Friday, April 3, 2009


I haven't got any one special thing to report today. Life is going pretty well. :-)

I've been waking up early and doing dishes and other useful stuff in the morning, before DW is awake. It feels good. I get tired earlier in the evening, of course.

Jiu Jitsu went well yesterday. Today's Friday Evening Event went well, although only three people showed, and K. was off at a house-warming party for her best friend. We sang a lot, heard a story, said a few prayers.

Tomorrow, Saturday, I'm going to a short Jiu Jitsu retreat, with a grill-party afterward. Sunday we're off to visit a friend and his family in Kassel that we haven't seen in ages.

That's all for now.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I really have to post more - it won't help my writing much if I only write once every few weeks.

My DW has instigated a regular Friday evening event (with my and K.'s support), and I'm very happy with it! It is a prayer/sing-a-long/story-telling meeting. Our first event was last Friday, and it was great fun! :-)

Since last time:
- I went to Stuttgart Wednesday last week
- I've been to Jiu Jitsu regularly, though I missed once - I was overtired the day after Stuttgart.
- I've been mostly staying to a semi-normal schedule, getting up most mornings before 9:00.
- Last time at Jiu Jitsu, I seem to have irritated my previously hurt toe - it swelled up and turned red, but it seems to have recovered quickly and I will be going to Jiu Jitsu again today.
- I am restarting my Farsi lessons.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Happy Belated Naw Ruz

It's been forever since I last posted. The fast is over - it went really well. I got up in time for breakfast everyday and we had prayers after breakfast every day. For our anniversary, on the 19th, we went out to dinner (a Mexican restaurant) and a movie ("Slumdog Millionaire"). On Naw Ruz evening (March 20) itself, DW invited over a friend for dinner (non-Baha'i). On the 21st we went to a Baha'i friend's Naw Ruz party. DW kind of flipped out in the morning, because she was really tired (I, unfortunately, woke her up in the early morning hours and she couldn't get back to sleep), and because *everyone* she invited canceled at the last minute. Fortunately, it was still fun with the few of us, and DW felt much better after. I played guitar while everyone sang songs from the "Musical Fireside" (I practiced a lot). Our daughter K. went to a parallel Naw Ruz party, with mostly young people, and also had fun. My toe is finally (mostly) recovered and I've been back to Jiu Jitsu three times now. Work has been hefty - I'm implementing SSL/TLS for our product.

Friday, February 6, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

This is copied from my facebook account:

1. I hate chain letters, pyramid schemes and such
2. but I like memes
3. Which is why I'm breaking the rule on this meme and not tagging anyone (you're supposed to tag 25 people).
4. I play guitar
5. I speak German fluently
6. I speak Esperanto good enough to communicate.
7. I'm actively learning Chinese on my own (ni hao!) using a book I bought in Shanghai.
8. I'm semi-actively learning Farsi (Persian) - I have a teacher
9. I've learned a bit (minimum: alphabet, numbers) about a lot of languages, including Ukrainian, Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, Greek, Latin, French, Spanish, ...
10. I started learning these languages before seeing an article, where scientists say that learning a new language when you are older adds about 2 years to your life. :-)
11. I have a tendency to stay up way too late - this tends to reduce life expectancy.
12. I write programs I want in my non-existent spare time
13. Though I read a lot, I am not a fast reader.
14. I currently have no TV, and haven't had one for most of my life. It's a choice.
15. I call family (in the U.S.) pretty much every Sunday, sometimes talking for hours.
16. I am taking Jiu Jitsu (yellow/white belt) - except my health keeps getting in the way (currently nursing a probable broken toe)
17. I found out it can be fun to read and give constructive criticism to beginning authors, like my sister.
18. My office is pretty much the messiest place I know right now (I can see several defunct computers, monitors and printers right now)
19. I once wrote an astrology program and a numerology program, though I do not believe in either (I got paid for it).
20. I don't really believe in Tarot either, but I do readings, and they tend to be frighteningly accurate. :-(
21. I used to drink way too much beer in college - until I stopped drinking altogether.
22. I almost always carry a pen in my shirt collar (you can see the clip under my beard in my profile photo)
23. I carry my watch on my right hand, even though I'm right handed.
24. I wear my wedding ring on my right hand - a German tradition that most Germans don't follow any more: most wear it left like they see in American movies now.
25. I have two copies of a water color painting of the river and city where I live, one hanging in my office, one at home, painted by a good friend I haven't seen in a over a decade.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Photo Meme

PerpetualBeginner tagged me!

Rules are as follows:

1. Go to your Picture Folder on your computer or wherever you store your pictures.
2. Go to the 6th Folder, then pick the 6th picture in that folder.
3. Post that picture on your blog and the story that goes along with the picture.
4. Tag 6 other people that you know or don’t know to do the same thing and leave a comment on their blog or an e-mail letting them know you chose them.

I am not going to comply entirely:
- My sixth folder has one single picture in it
- Aside from having an aversion to chain-letter like schemes, I don't know 6 bloggers.

I am also not going to show the one picture in folder 6, though I will describe it: it is a picture of a cute little girl and her two middle-aged temporary foster parents sitting at a table. It was taken on the 25th of May, 2007. This is the little girl that the German foster agency was planning on having us parent for permanent foster care. That is, until a doctor said she needed to be institutionalized. Putting up the photo would likely break a German privacy law or two, so I won't.

This picture is the sixth picture from my seventh folder. It was taken on the 10th of June, 2007. We were visiting my sister, PerpetualBeginner, and her family during our Summer vacation. We all went out to a local reservoir, where we had great fun hunting for fossils and skipping stones. This was an attempt to photograph a fish. If I recall correctly, the fish is actually in the photo, but I certainly can't find it now.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Injury and a Book

Well, I managed to injure, possibly break my little toe on my left foot during Jiu Jitsu on Thursday. I don't even know how or when exactly - just at the end of class I noticed my toe was hurting and progressively worse. It was probably my own fault: I was tired and was making all kinds of mistakes. The toe looks to be straight - I even pulled on the end a little to be sure it was straight, but the whole side of my foot is discolored. Yesterday it was purple and green, this afternoon when I got up (yes, I went to bed rather late) it looked almost normal, but now after moving around a bit the discoloration has increased again, so I'm taking it easy, with my foot up while I surf and do stuff online.

Part of that "moving around" today was visiting some friends of ours: A. and her daughters M. (5) and L. (3). M. wrote a book, which she proudly showed us, about Jesus Christ, and Peter Pan, and Ariel and Melody, and Pirates, complete with pictures. After showing it to us, she said we should take it to the bookstore, so we could sell it. :-)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

Generally a very happy day! :-)

Today we started Ruhi Class 1. K. and I are the co-tutors. Though not everyone showed, I'm very happy with our start. K. is sick, a cough, sore throat and running a slight fever, so I did most of the leading. Her being sick was also the excuse for two of the no-shows - getting sick is no joke when you're over 70.

Of course, today our latest president was inaugurated. Things are looking very bad economically, and I think we really need a smart and inspiring president to lead us out of it: half the battle is getting people motivated.

I finally ordered some new glasses - my old glasses are pretty damaged and keep falling off my nose. Decent glasses are expensive!

Oh, and K.'s power supply is on the fritz again - I need to resolder the connector, which is really difficult because the plastic bits melt before the solder does. I may end up ruining the connector. Why do they make such stupid connectors?!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Film List from Perpetual Beginner

Copied from Perpetual Beginner's blog. Supposedly if you’ve seen over 85 films, you have no life. I have 88.

A few things to note:
- this doesn't adjust for age - the older you are, the more you'll have seen (I'm 47)
- I don't have a television, and haven't for most of my life.
- I have watched a lot of these films on long flights - one trip to the U.S. usually equals 6 films (you'll note I've seen a bunch of sequels without having seen the originals :p ).

There are 239 films on this list. Copy this list, go to your own blog, paste this . Then, put x’s next to the films you’ve seen, add them up, change the header adding your number, and click post at the bottom. Have fun.

(x) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(x) Grease
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest
( ) Boondock Saints
(x) Fight Club
( ) Starsky and Hutch
(x) Neverending Story
(x) Blazing Saddles
(x) Airplane
Total: 8

(x) The Princess Bride
( ) Anchorman
( ) Napoleon Dynamite
( ) Labyrinth
( ) Saw
( ) Saw II
( ) White Noise
( ) White Oleander
(x) Anger Management
(x) 50 First Dates
(x) The Princess Diaries
( ) The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
Total so far: 12

( ) Scream
( ) Scream 2
( ) Scream 3
(x) Scary Movie
( ) Scary Movie 2
( ) Scary Movie 3
( ) Scary Movie 4
( ) American Pie
( ) American Pie 2
( ) American Wedding
( ) American Pie Band Camp
Total so far: 12

(x) Harry Potter 1
(x) Harry Potter 2
(x) Harry Potter 3
(x) Harry Potter 4
(x) Resident Evil 1
( ) Resident Evil 2
( ) The Wedding Singer
( ) Little Black Book
( ) The Village
(x) Lilo & Stitch
Total so far: 18

(x) Finding Nemo
(x) Finding Neverland
( ) Signs
( ) The Grinch
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
( ) White Chicks
( ) Butterfly Effect
(x) 13 Going on 30
(x) I, Robot
(x) Robots
Total so far: 23

(x) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
( ) Universal Soldier
(x) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
(x) Along Came Polly
( ) Deep Impact
( ) KingPin
( ) Never Been Kissed
( ) Meet The Parents
( ) Meet the Fockers
( ) Eight Crazy Nights
( ) Joe Dirt
(x) KING KONG (The Original)
Total so far: 27

( ) A Cinderella Story
(x) The Terminal
( ) The Lizzie McGuire Movie
( ) Passport to Paris
( ) Dumb & Dumber
( ) Dumber & Dumberer
( ) Final Destination
( ) Final Destination 2
( ) Final Destination 3
( ) Halloween
( ) The Ring
( ) The Ring 2
( ) Surviving X-MAS
(x) Flubber [the original]
Total so far: 29

(x) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
( ) Practical Magic
(x) Chicago
( ) Ghost Ship
( ) From ***
(x) Hellboy
( ) Secret Window
(x) I Am Sam
( ) The Whole Nine Yards
( ) The Whole Ten Yards
Total so far: 33

(x) The Day After Tomorrow
( ) Child’s Play
( ) Seed of Chucky
( ) Bride of Chucky
(x) Ten Things I Hate About You
( ) Just Married
( ) Gothika
( ) Nightmare on Elm Street
( ) Sixteen Candles
( ) Remember the Titans
( ) Coach Carter
( ) The Grudge
( ) The Grudge 2
(x) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask
total so far: 36

( ) Bad Boys
( ) Bad Boys 2
( ) Joy Ride
(x) Lucky Number Slevin
( ) Ocean’s Eleven
(x) Ocean’s Twelve
( ) Bourne Identity
(x) Bourne Supremecy
( ) Lone Star
( ) Bedazzled
( ) Predator
( ) Predator II
( ) The Fog
(x) Ice Age
( ) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
( ) Curious George
Total so far: 40

(x) Independence Day
( ) Cujo
( ) A Bronx Tale
( ) Darkness Falls
( ) Christine
(x) ET
( ) Children of the Corn
( ) My Bosses Daughter
( ) Maid in Manhattan
( ) War of the Worlds
( ) Rush Hour
(x) Rush Hour 2
Total so far: 43

( ) Best Bet
( ) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
( ) She’s All That
( ) Calendar Girls
(x) Sideways
(x) Mars Attacks
( ) Event Horizon
( ) Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
( ) Big Trouble in Little China
( ) The Terminator
( ) The Terminator 2
( ) The Terminator 3
Total so far: 47

(x) X-Men
(x) X-Men 2
(x) X-Men 3
(x) Spider-Man
(x) Spider-Man 2
(x) Sky High
( ) Jeepers Creepers
( ) Jeepers Creepers 2
( ) Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Little Mermaid
( ) Freaky Friday (the original)
( ) Reign of Fire
( ) The Skulls
(x) Cruel Intentions
( ) Cruel Intentions 2
( ) The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
(x) Shrek 2
Total so far: 57

( ) Swimfan
(x) Miracle on 34th street
( ) Old School
( ) The Notebook
(x) K-Pax
( ) Krippendorf’s Tribe
( ) A Walk to Remember
( ) Ice Castles
( ) Boogeyman
( ) The 40-year-old Virgin
Total so far: 59

(x) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
(x) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Total so far: 65

( ) Baseketball
( ) Hostel
( ) Waiting for Guffman
( ) House of 1000 Corpses
( ) Devils Rejects
( ) Elf
( ) Highlander
( ) Mothman Prophecies
( ) American History X
( ) Three
Total so Far: 65

(x) The Jacket
(x) Kung Fu Hustle
(x) Shaolin Soccer
( ) Night Watch
(x) Monsters Inc.
(x) Titanic
(x) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
(x) Shaun Of the Dead
( ) Willard (? - there was a typo: Willa74 - I presume this is Willard)
Total so far: 72

( ) High Tension (Haute Tension)
( ) Club Dread
(x) Hulk
( ) Dawn Of the Dead
(x) Hook
(x) Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
( ) 28 days later
( ) Orgazmo
( ) Phantasm
( ) Waterworld
Total so far: 75

(x) Kill Bill vol 1
(x) Kill Bill vol 2
( ) Mortal Kombat
( ) Wolf Creek
( ) Kingdom of Heaven
( ) the Hills Have Eyes
( ) I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
( ) The Last House on the Left
( ) Re-Animator
( ) Army of Darkness
Total so far: 77

(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(x) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(x) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
( ) Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
( ) Ewoks The Battle For Endor
Total so far: 83

(x) The Matrix
(x) The Matrix Reloaded
(x) The Matrix Revolutions
( ) Animatrix
( ) Evil Dead
( ) Evil Dead 2
(x) Team America: World Police
( ) Red Dragon
(x) Silence of the Lambs
( ) Hannibal
Grand Total: 88

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A change of pace

I spent Monday and Tuesday fixing bugs, and was feeling really good about being "back in the saddle", working on things I do well. However, late Tuesday I found out that we're stopping bug-fixing until we update our documentation. *sigh*. I understand, and actually agree with the decision and the reasons for it, but dang it feels like I was just getting up to speed on a race-track, when it's suddenly decided we need to do some boating. :p

On Tuesday evening our local "Round Table of the Religions" had a meeting at the local mosque. It went surprisingly well: there was a lot of anger, sadness and grief over the situation in Gaza, and some recriminations over who did or didn't do what in relation to a "silent march" that turned decidedly vocal and anti-Israel. Altogether, however, the people at the round table remained relatively respectful and we managed to work through to something of an understanding, and make some decisions on how to go forward.

It's not yet midnight (11:45), and I'm going to bed! I must be sick or something.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Back to 'Normal'

It is 2:40 am, Monday morning. I've just finished calling all kinds of family. Today Jiu Jitsu starts again, and I am not really in shape. I need to stretch more, work out more. The last class wasn't class - it was belt testing, and I didn't get tested. I don't think I covered that here yet: my Sensei thought that maybe I should get tested, but I really didn't feel comfortable. I missed too many classes and didn't go to the weekend retreat (or whatever it's called).

I've been working from the living room the past two weeks, but I think I need to move back down into my office and be available on my office phone. Back to normality.

I've finished reading Saltation, the sequel to Flegling by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. More disappointment: not only was the story arc from Fledgling not closed, it wasn't addressed at all, and it opened up a whole new can of unresolved worms. :p

I think I'll go to bed now. Sleep is not a bad thing.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Three Kings Day

Well, I've been rather remiss. It is already no longer Three Kings Day, also known as Epiphany. Today we were at J.'s birthday (same J. as we visited for Christmas Eve). We were there for over 4 hours - I didn't give M. guitar lessons, but I did play guitar, Kelly did sing, and I also did some dishes. I should do dishes at home more often.

Three Kings Day is an official holiday for my company, because it is based in Stuttgart, even though I am in Hessen, where it is not a holiday. I did a little bit of work today, but not much - I'm a bit behind and should really step it up.

I've been working on upgrading a program of mine to figure out the dominant frequency of sound input, and after that, convert it to a note plus whether it is high or low. I would really like to have some (immediate) feedback there without having to bother somebody else about it.

I've just finished reading the draft of "Fledgling" by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. It had the easy style that I like, but I was disappointed that so much was left hanging at the end of the story. I'm sure that wasn't intended - the story grew too long in the telling - but it was disappointing none the less.

I need to get some sleep ASAP. Thursday we have an 8:00 am appointment with a repairman... :p