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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in stickmaker's LiveJournal:

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Friday, November 9th, 2018
10:10 am
Best Laid Plans

I was supposed to go in this morning for my six month fasting blood test. Unfortunately, shortly after getting into bed last night I began several hours of a major irritable bowel attack. I finally just turned the alarm off and instead slept in this morning.

I'll go next week. A few extra days out of six months won't make much difference.

Current Mood: sick
Saturday, September 8th, 2018
10:57 am
Long Time Coming
I just finished uploading and commenting on images I took at and around the Capital Overlook of Frankfort, Kentucky in the Fall of 1998:

Current Mood: sleepy
Monday, August 27th, 2018
11:01 am
I really, really, really hate when Windows tells me I've entered an incorrect password before it lets me enter a password. 

Current Mood: annoyed
Friday, July 27th, 2018
9:39 am
Better and Worse
The previous night I felt so bad I had no trouble sleeping. Last night I was feeling better. Naturally, I had a *lot* of trouble sleeping. Mainly due to itching.

I applied additional hydrocortisone ointment. Then took an extra Benadryl. Couldn't take an Ibuprofen, due to being on prescription Prednisone. Still itching.

Around 2:00 AM I suddenly remembered I had a tube of ointment with lidocaine in it. Used that. Great relief. Not total; but enough so I could sleep. Thank you, impulse buy at medical supply store I only visit about once a year.

Aside from being sleepy (so sleepy I started a load of laundry which should have been washed on Delicate on Whitest Whites and only caught it at the rinse) I'm doing better. Swelling on right arm nearly gone. Still itching.

Current Mood: sleepy
Thursday, July 26th, 2018
9:59 am
I found a yellowjacket nest the hard way, yesterday, while mowing. I got stung twice (as usual; for some reason, perhaps combined reflexes, every time this has happened I've been stung twice), once on my right elbow and once on my right wrist. I treated the stings with hydrocortisone ointment and finished mowing, very definitely avoiding that spot.

The nest was up against the foundation of my house, near the gas meter. Once I knew it was there I could see the half-grown (as expected for a new nest) yellowjackets flying in and out. I got the cats in and dusted the hole and the area around it with the insecticide powder I've used for yellowjackets before. Knew I might have to repeat that treatment the next day, but figured the danger was over.

Nope. Hours later, while watching TV, something stung me several times on the left side of my neck. I treated the stings, then looked for the culprit. No sign. I actually thought it might be a spider which had gotten into the Afghan I use as a pillow.

This morning I found a dead, juvenile yellowjacket near the window over the nest. Coincidence? No telling. However, I suspect that is what stung me last night, possibly receiving fatal wounds when I reacted to the sting. It desperately tried to make it home, only to find a closed window in the way. No idea how it got inside. Perhaps on my clothing. Perhaps following me when I ran inside after the initial stinging.

Better today, but I still have a lot of swelling and redness. I may call the doctor in a bit.

Current Mood: cranky
Friday, July 13th, 2018
12:11 pm
MarCon 1998 Photos + Warning

I  finally found my negatives for the 1998 MarCon. The images have been scanned and posted here:


Also, Homeland Security is warning that photography is a sign of terrorism:


Current Mood: angry
9:42 am
Sticky Business
Keeping the cats in today, to their displeasure. Yesterday all the houses on this street received a notice that today the contractors previously repaving at the entrance to our neighborhood will be oiling and paving here. 

Combine that with this being Friday 13th.

"Whole lotta nope right there!" :-)

Current Mood: annoyed
Saturday, June 23rd, 2018
3:39 pm
A New Masks Story is Published!

Important announcement!

Doppler Press has brought out my fifth Masks story as a Kindle e-book through Amazon, as of June 23, 2018!

While life goes on for Template and her friends and allies, a new generation is getting its own start.
You can also still buy the first four Masks stories at the same link!

Read about the history of the Masks universe at the link below!



A partial timeline of the Masks Universe

Current Mood: accomplished
Friday, June 22nd, 2018
8:38 am
Zero Sense

Bureaucracies love "Zero Tolerance." It means they don't have to think about anything; just treat everyone the same.

The problem is that everyone is different. Human beings are supposed to use their judgement to treat each person - and each family - as the unique situation they are.

As has been proven repeatedly and consistently, "Zero Tolerance" makes zero sense.

Current Mood: angry
Sunday, June 17th, 2018
11:38 am
A Good Night's Sleep
I seriously overslept this morning. Feels good.
I suspect I needed this, especially after I forgot to turn the alarm off Friday night and didn't sleep in Saturday.

Current Mood: awake
Thursday, June 14th, 2018
9:05 am

Most likely at least partly due to the antibiotic I've been on, I have slept very little the past three nights. The past two nights I went to bed early, but then woke even earlier.

Part of the problem is that my bedroom catches the morning Sun and gets warm, in spite of both shades and a curtain. After a night of cool comfort, I wake up overheated. Though I think much of that the past week has been due to the lower respiratory infection, as mentioned last Saturday.

I really need to mow my yard, after all the rain we've had this week. Will start after breakfast digests, taking it in easy stages. Nothing about this task is very physically challenging; it's just a big yard.

Then, probably after lunch, I'll try to nap. Otherwise I'll be useless the rest of the day as the lack of sleep catches up with me.

Current Mood: sleepy
Saturday, June 9th, 2018
11:28 am
Once More, With Phlegm

Woke up this morning bathed in sweat. Called doctor, made appointment (East Side Family Medicine is open until Noon on Saturday). 

Doctor says it's a lower respiratory infection. Put me on Z-Pac. Will take first dose during Lunch.

Will likely be at home all weekend.

Monday, May 28th, 2018
1:35 pm
Great Timing

Not sure what's wrong. I did mow my back yard yesterday morning in high temps and humidity. However, I took it in stages and drank plenty of water. Didn't actually start feeling sick until the late evening. Then I was mostly just tired.

I actually scared myself this morning. My bedroom windows catch the morning sun, so being a bit warm when I wake is not unusual. I was fine when I got up a little after 6:00 to use the john and get some water. (Sleeping in due to the holiday and being restless during the night.) However, when I woke at 9:30 I was baking. I was hot, sweating heavily. Took me more than an hour to feel cool again.

Naturally, the only medical place open today is the emergency room. I'm feeling somewhat better, so will wait until tomorrow and - if still feeling sick - will go to my usual PCP. 

Saturday, May 19th, 2018
9:52 am

This is ridiculous.

Tragedy strikes, and instead of helping, politicians of every stripe (not all politicians, but far too many) trot out their favorite phrases, blame their favorite bogeyman and feel they've done their job.


Violence is a social problem and an individual problem. Dealing with either type is not easy, but it must be done. Stop targeting this class of object or that favorite group to blame. Find out why this _individual_ did this. Figure out why _society_ allowed them to get to a place in their life where committing such an act seemed acceptable.

We have to figure out why these few - and they are, by a huge measure, exceptions to the general population - do these things. We _must_ as a community learn how to identify them and get them help before they hurt anyone, including themselves. We must _not_ base policies only on these exceptions, but learn to include measures for dealing with them. Bureaucracies love to generalize and hate to deal with individuals, but if we cannot learn to do this we are a failure as a society.

After the Parkland, Florida shooting I heard an interview with a criminal court judge. He angrily stated that law enforcement has been given reliable tools for predicting who will commit a crime, but nothing to help predict who will become violent. That has to change.

As a Christian, I say that we must become our brother's keeper. Not in the _1984_ Big Brother, oppressive sense; but in the sense of paying attention to each other and caring for each other. Of offering a kind word and a supporting hand when it is needed. Of staging in intervention when it is required. The legal tools for this exist but are rarely used and could be improved. Far more important, though, is the change in attitude that our nation and we as individuals must demonstrate.

Look out for each other.

May these few and clumsy words help someone more enlightened produce a solution.

Current Mood: angry
Friday, April 20th, 2018
9:35 am
A Very Twilight Zone Experience
Someone set up a video with every Serling introduction to the program with them all synced to end when he says "Twilight Zone." The cacophony builds and builds until that final moment (reminiscent of the later ending of the Beatles "A Day in the Life") when it all comes together:

Current Mood: amused
Wednesday, April 4th, 2018
9:24 am
Sick Again
I went to ConGlomeration with a mild cold. I came back with a worse one.

I don't know if the worse health now is due to not resting enough - though I
rested plenty, even missing a lot of the con - or if I actually caught
something there. The timing is right for the second; my condition began
deteriorating Tuesday, three days after the middle of the con. That's
generally the incubation period.

Got to bed late last night due to napping in my recliner for a couple of hours
(with the Weather Underground playing at low volume in the background) until
the storms passed. Went to bed chilled and woke up roasting. While I'm still
sick today (Wednesday) I no longer feel as feverish as I did Tuesday.
Hopefully, that means I'm on the mend.

Current Mood: sick
Tuesday, April 3rd, 2018
5:46 pm
ConGlomeration 2018 Images Posted
My photos for the 2018 ConGlomeration are posted at:

Current Mood: accomplished
Monday, April 2nd, 2018
10:34 am
Important Announcement!
Doppler Press has brought out my fourth Masks story as a Kindle e-book through Amazon, as of March 31, 2018!
Can modern heroes defeat mad science and ancient magic? If not, there will be _Vengeance in Vegas!_
You can also still buy the first three Masks stories at the same link!
Read about the history of the Masks universe here:

Current Mood: accomplished
Friday, February 23rd, 2018
10:51 am
More 1993 WorldCon Photos

I found a bunch more negatives of the 1997 WorldCon. They are finally scanned and posted:


Current Mood: accomplished
Thursday, February 15th, 2018
9:06 am
We Need to do Better

We need to be better.

Mass shootings are a social problem, not a technical one. The technical solutions people keep proposing do little or nothing to help. We need social solutions.

We need to understand why some people do these things. We need to learn how to identify them ahead of time. We need to get them help before they hurt anyone, including themselves.

We need to pay more attention to each other and be willing to help them when they need it. We need to be willing to ask for help when _we_ need it.

The motivation is definitely there. It just needs to be turned in the right direction.

Current Mood: sad
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