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

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Sunday, August 4th, 2019
12:07 pm
Feeling Better
I got almost eleven hours of sleep last night and feel vastly better this morning. I don't know whether there was something else involved (sometimes my first - and maybe only - symptom of a low-grade bug is a physical irritability which makes sleeping difficult) or I simply felt bad due to lack of sleep. I do know that the body goes through a process during proper sleep which aids immune system function.

Current Mood: awake
Saturday, August 3rd, 2019
8:59 am
Got to bed late last night. Then was kept up by strange noises from the house downhill from me, which is within spitting distance of my bedroom windows. Then I woke about an hour before I normally rise, due to a full bladder!

I went to the john, fed the cats and opened the cat door, then went back to bed. Tossed and turned for a while, dozed for a bit... then I heard what sounded like a cat fight not far from my windows. I looked outside from several vantage points, in the basement under my bedroom, even put my slippers on and went out back. Nothing. Shrugged, went back inside and back to bed.

I was just starting to get comfortable again when the workers arrived to put a new roof on the duplex uphill from me. (I can understand wanting to get a jump on the heat of the day, but this is Sparta Saturday!)

So sleepy...

Having a sketchy breakfast of granola bar and large mug of strong coffee. Right now don't feel competent to operate heavy machinery, so no driving until and unless I can get some (about two hours of) sleep.

Current Mood: sleepy
Saturday, July 20th, 2019
10:09 am
2019 NASFiC Photos

My photos from the con can be found at:

Current Mood: accomplished
Monday, June 24th, 2019
10:20 am
Masks 9 Published!
Masks 9 Published!
Doppler Press has brought out my ninth Masks story as a Kindle e-book through Amazon, as of June 23, 2019!
It's at:
An attack on a school is a horrible thing. However, this is a specialized place of learning for superhuman children. The government which is supposed to be protecting the school is actually spying on it. Worse, some members of that government believe that those at the school shouldn't be allowed to exist in the first place. The Pine Island Academy therefore has to call on the worldwide superhuman community for protection... and justice.
Oh, and Template is... WHAT? How did that happen? Well, besides the usual way...
You can also still buy the previous Masks stories as a set at the link below!

Current Mood: accomplished
Thursday, May 16th, 2019
9:22 am
Wednesday, May 8th, 2019
8:59 am
I am more and more thinking of skipping MarCon. Partly due to health, partly due to still not knowing what the repairs on my main computer will cost. (Typing this on my MacBook.) I'm also keeping an eye on the weather, though right now the forecast is fair for Friday and Sunday. Argh. I missed the past two years and this year they're at a new hotel and convention center. I just don't know if I'm ready for a four hour drive each way by myself. Will decide later today.

Current Mood: tired
Tuesday, March 26th, 2019
4:56 pm
Helping Others
For those who want to help with disaster relief around the world, besides such organizations as Red Cross/Crescent and Doctors Without Borders, I recommend Shelter Box:


They emphasize providing such things as shelter, cooking equipment and tools for rebuilding.

Current Mood: accomplished
Thursday, January 24th, 2019
8:56 am
Warning! Star Trek Fan Theory

I have read - though I was unable to confirm for this post - that when the transporter for the _Enterprise D_ was designed that they made the upper part resemble the platform of the transporter from the original series. It may even have used some of the parts, placed in the ceiling to prevent wear from walking on them.
Note that in _First Contact_ the Vulcans arrive by shuttlecraft, rather than transporting down. (The only transporting done in the movie was by folks from the future.)
So, here's the theory. At the time of _First Contact_ even the Vulcans didn't have transporters. That humans - going where Vulcans didn't have a reason to look - found a broken one in a derelict ship of unknown origin. They made repairs and through the decades some improvements, but were still feeling their way along.
Therefore, the reason they had so much trouble with the transporter in the original series was that they didn't have a full understanding of how it worked. That, in fact, every Federation transporter from that era had the beaming chamber installed *upside down*! :-)

Current Mood: amused
Saturday, January 19th, 2019
10:57 am
Masks 8 Published
<input ... > <input ... >

The eighth Masks story has been published:


When the opportunity arises for Lawrence Hawthorne to investigate accusations
against his long dead mentor, detective Mack Risk, he recruits several other
friends of Mack to help. This results in a group of superhumans in late middle
age - and older - going on an expedition into the Rockies near the Canadian

If the police knew about this there'd be a manhunt. If their life insurance
companies knew they would cancel their policies. There's life in these aging
men, yet. As well as super powers. They're engaged in serious business, but
there's no reason not to have fun while doing it.

This is shorter and has more sex than most Masks stories.

Current Mood: accomplished
Saturday, December 22nd, 2018
10:52 am
Incoherent Brain
Been sleeping well all week. Been exercising. Feeling good for the first time in weeks. Was looking forward to going to gaming tonight, for our last session before Christmas.

Phone rang at 7:15. I have an 86 year old mother with health problems. I jumped out of bed, fearing the worst. I realized it wasn't when I saw the caller ID was INVALID NUMBER. Sure enough, the caller hung up without saying anything when the answering machine picked up.

I fed the cats and opened the cat door, then went back to bed. But not to sleep. I managed to doze, but finally gave up around 9:15. A few minutes later my mother _did_ call, but to finalize family holiday meal and present opening plans. *Sigh*.

I'm so sleepy right now I'm having trouble remembering words (and I mean more trouble than usual). If I can't get a good, long nap this afternoon I'm just staying home.


Update: Yeah. Tooooooo sleepy. When I heard a radio announcer talking about the partial government shutdown saying "The Grand Canyon is open" I laughed out loud.

Current Mood: sleepy
Friday, December 21st, 2018
10:03 am
Winter Wonderland?
Virgin snowfield, just waiting for cross-country skiers:

Current Mood: amused
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
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