Blowing Up

by wjw on June 12, 2024

Taos Toolbox is three-quarters done, and a fine Toolbox it is. Every one of the participants is talented, and every one can have some kind of writing career if they want one.

Over the weekend I blew up my left knee, by walking in a straight line on a sidewalk. I would have fallen had not Nancy grabbed me by one side and I grabbed a lamp on the other. I did not “do anything to myself,” I have reached the age when these things just happen to me of their own accord.

I spent part of a day at an Urgent Care, where I got an X-ray that failed to show any problem— which I could have told them. (My leg problems are nerves and muscle, not bone.) I ended up with a prescription for steroids, but I was already walking better. I’m doing fine now, though staircases are still painful. I’m using a cane, but it’s a reminder not to do anything dumb.

We’ve had inspiration talks from James S.A. Corey and Jeffe Kennedy, and tomorrow we’ll see Diana Rowland’s Traveling Corpse Show. I hope I don’t identify.

We Conquer KU

by wjw on May 23, 2024

The Accidental War, Fleet Elements, and Imperium Restored are now available (for free, I believe) on Kindle Unlimited through the end of June. Because it’s the publisher arranging this— as opposed to a mere mortal like myself— the books are also available as regular ebooks on Amazon, and are also available on all other platforms.

You have more choice now than ever before! Go forth and read!

I Don My Divine Aspect

by wjw on May 21, 2024

Photo by David Levine

Cured Meats

by wjw on May 20, 2024

I’ve been at the Truchas Peaks Place the last week, at the Rio Hondo workshop with a group of my friends. For our first meal I provided a 16-pound Serrano ham complete with carving stand. The ham had been shipped from Iberia after spending 14 months curing in a Spanish cave.

Here’s what it looked like with the layer of fat removed and showing signs of my inexpert carving. I had bought a special Serrano-carving knife when in Spain a few years ago, but hadn’t had a chance to use it till now, and there was a steep learning curve.

That first meal was a Deusy. The main dish was sliced ham and Spanish chorizo with olives and Manchego and Iberico cheese. Side dishes included asparagus wrapped in ham, shrimp in a chorizo garlic sauce, and for dessert melon with slices of ham and a balsamic reduction. Served with a couple bottles of an unoaked Spanish white.

I’d been looking for an occasion to do this for years, but consuming an entire ham would have required a very large group of diners— and indeed despite the big dinner and slices being carved for meals and snacks over the next week, we managed to consume only about half the edible bits. The rest is now in a box in my living room, and I plan to tackle it tomorrow. Some ham for ourselves, some for friends, some put in storage for another day.

And maybe the bone for soup. Mustn’t waste.

New Wheels

by wjw on May 9, 2024

My trim line may be slightly different

So after seven years with a Subaru WRX, I’ve gone and bought a new WRX. Upgunned with a 2.2-liter boxer engine that wouldn’t be complete without a ginormous turbocharger sitting on it.

My old car was in good shape, and a used WRX is always in demand, so I got a very nice price for it.

One obvious difference is the giant touchscreen of an entertainment/climate system sitting in the middle of the dashboard. I have only the slightest idea of how to work the thing. After some struggle I finally manage to get it to play a podcast off my iPhone.

Yes, I know I should look up the answers in the owner’s manual. But which owner’s manual? This beast comes with no less than FIVE owner’s manuals. And none of the questions I have seem to be addressed in any of the indexes. Maybe I can find some Youtube videos.

I’m going to do my best to avoid temptation for the first 5000 miles or so, and not succumb to the temptation to write it out on New Mexico’s exemplary mountain roads. But all I can say is, that temptation is certainly there.

Pig and Veg

April 27, 2024

We’re in a campaign to empty out the chest freezer, which contains a lot of stuff that I don’t remember buying, and the result for tonight was this pork loin roast cooked with potatoes, carrots, and onions. You could think of it as a one-pot meal if it weren’t for the fact that it’s in […]

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Tonight’s Sunset

April 24, 2024

I know it looks as if I produced this in Photoshop, but this is exactly what I saw from our front porch. I love the Southwest.

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One Way to Get to Pylos

April 23, 2024

Another picture from my 1980 trip. I’ve fled the freezing rain of Northern Europe for the Med, and here we find me on a rare sunny day. Greece turned out to be cold and rainy as hell, and one night I pitched my tent in a tree-sheltered hollow, only to have the rain start to […]

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The Small Rains Down Do Rain

April 19, 2024

Here I am in the UK in the autumn of 1980. I’m in Greenwich doing research for the Privateer books, and I’m standing in front of the clipper ship Cutty Sark. I seem to be an older and more weathered person than I remember. I seem to attract extreme weather whenever I visit Britain, and […]

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April 16, 2024

“Damn.” Now that’s a word you don’t want to hear from your eye doc when he’s peering through his scope at the interior of your eye. And you really don’t want to hear his next line, which is: “You really can’t catch a break, can you?” The vision in my left eye has been deteriorating […]

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