The third post in ten days?

I must be ill. It's been three months since I've written anything substantial here, after all. Not because I lacked things to report but because I lacked time and energy to report it all.

I still lack energy, but I'll take a shot at updating you.

Things have changed a lot in the last while. Here's what you've missed.

Short version: I'm working, making decent coin, not writing psycho crap, and we're all happy and healthy.

Long version: In February the bottom dropped out of the psychic contract -- half the work for half the money meant a quarter of the income, which wasn't enough. So Jaq and I raced each other to find work. She won, finding full time work which didn't suck when compared against starving and living out of the car, but only when compared to that. The first month wasn't too bad, but it went downhill from there.

Meanwhile, I began writing in earnest, cranking out about a dozen chapters on Mystery Novel. It's the most writing I've done (that I've enjoyed, that is) in years. But as Jaq grew less and less happy at work, the stress level at home grew more and more and I wrote fewer words per day over time. That's not her fault, it's mine. She can work through stress a lot better than me. I just get distracted. Besides, when she's feeling down it brings me down, too. And that brings her down, and...

After a particularly abusive run-in with Mr. Jerko she came home crying. I said "quit, we'll find something before we starve," so she did. She's been smiling ever since, and we have a happy house again.

I'd been sending out resumes for the past few weeks and, wouldn't you know it, I got a call-back two days after she quit. So we didn't even see a blip in our income. So now I'm working full-time and she's looking, half-assed, for part-time work to supplement what I'm bringing in. Half-assed looking by mutual agreement. With summer coming we want to have at least one parent around the house when the kids get out of school. Maybe in a few years we'll be more secure about leaving the house to the kids while we both work, but for right now -- no.

My job? Plain old grunt work. I'm with Happy Trails Park Maintenance, which maintains -- get this -- trails and parks. I've got a farmer tan, sore muscles, swollen feet from wearing steel toes, blisters developing into calluses, and a bad smell at the end of the day. And a big smile on my face. I love this job. This is the sort of stuff I did for seven years when I was in my late teens-early twenties, and I loved doing it then, too. Except now I'm doing it in a deeply forested valley with a lake view. And now I appreciate the workout. When I was younger I took the ability to do this sort of stuff for granted.

Nobody hates yard work more than me. Arsi might hate it as much as me, but not more. For some reason, though, doing similar stuff on the job just scratches my itch.

There are some beautiful trails around our lake that I never knew existed. Now I spend my days getting to know them, along with various parks and beaches, while cutting out dead trees, blowing trails clean, fixing picnic tables, getting ball-fields into shape for the little leaguers, mowing community hall fields...hell, all sorts of stuff. Mostly brainless muscle work, but it's probably the only job involving heavy lifting I've ever liked doing. We're in charge of thirteen different areas around the lake, from fairly wild trails to manicured parks, with a couple of beaches thrown into the mix.

I'm having a ball, I get along well with the boss, I don't hate the other guy on the crew, and I just got a raise. Boss-dude doesn't have a problem giving me a few days off in June to go hiking, either. He's an ex-hiker himself, so he knows what the bug's all about.

I'm ashamed to say I'm not writing, but I will, I will.

Meanwhile, things are good and we're all happy as clams and healthy as really healthy things.


I didn't mean to but...

This is a fascinating blog. Utterly insane, but fascinating.
"I didn't mean to but... I bought a boat - Lady Jane.

Some would say that is a pretty cool thing to do when they hear about it whereas others nod wisely then try to slip away from the raving loony as quickly as possible.

The thing is until I bought the boat I have never actually driven any kind of boat at all, which is fine except that my boat is a 27 metre (90 ft) steel ex fishing trawler, built tough for fishing in the North Sea."


The Infinite Cat Project

The Infinite Cat Project
It all began innocently enough when a user on an Apple help web site posted a picture of his cat, Frankie, contemplating the beauty of a flower. Shortly afterwards another user posted a picture of his cat bristling at the image of Frankie on the monitor. I decided this was too much fun and advanced the concept as The Infinite Cat Project which is, simply, cats regarding cats regarding cats in an electronic milieu.

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