What I See, part 11, by Karen Joy Fowler

Mon 28 Feb 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Author

What I See, part 11, by Karen Joy Fowler

The weather here has been erratic. MJ and I have taken our walks in rain and in wind so strong I was knocked off my feet. Snow was predicted here at sea level one morning, but never materialized. Other days have been like spring. I meant to report on all of them. But I’ve been distracted by travel, work, and family. And mesmerized by the events in the Middle-East and the midwest. I’ve been so discouraged by the drumbeat of men with money (fresh off the windfall of the Bush tax-cut extensions) soberly insisting on the need for a shared sacrifice in which they’ll have no share. Put the people who are actually sacrificing on my television please instead of these buffoons. Let me look at the incredibly bravery of the people in Libya and be awed. Let me look at the crowds in my beloved Madison, Wisconsin, and be hopeful.

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Founder of Palm has trouble getting health insurance

Sun 20 Feb 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Gavin

This shows precisely why the US needs a new health insurance system. As I’ve said before, “In the USA I don’t know a single person, rich or poor, who doesn’t worry about their health insurance.” And here is a fantastic editorial in the NYTimes from Donna Dubinsky, a co-founder of Palm Computer and Handspring who struggled to find health insurance. And you know if some rich computer exec can’t get covered, what chance do the rest of us (those outside the Great Commonwealth of Massachusetts) have?

THIS isn’t the story of a poor family with a mother who has a dreadful disease that bankrupts them, or with a child who has to go without vital medicines. Unlike many others, my family can afford medical care, with or without insurance.”

At the end she has a superb suggestion:

“If members of Congress feel so strongly about undoing this important legislation, perhaps we should stop providing them with health insurance. Let’s credit their pay for the amount that has been paid by the taxpayers, and let them try to buy health insurance in the individual market. My bet is that they all would be denied. Health insurance reform might suddenly not seem to them like such a bad idea.”

Oh absolutely yes.

Let those senators and congresspeople go out and see how just wonderfully transparent and easy to use the market is. Once they get a taste of that medicine, they’ll be on the reform train in no time.



Boskone

Thu 17 Feb 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

Hey, we’re going to be at Boskone this weekend. Here’s Kelly’s and my schedules—all dependent of course on all people with colds/flus/con crud staying away, por favor, so that we can bring Ursula and have some fun running around with her. Not sure what we’re going to do at naptime. Maybe go off home. Michael will be there, too, although I’m not sure if he’s panelling after all. We’ll be sporting some nice new shirts and will be experimenting with a Weightless thing.

Kelly Link:

Saturday 11am Harbor 3: New Faces of Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror

These exceptional writers may still be in the early stages of their career, but already we catch glimpses of greatness. Let’s name names — and talk about what makes them so special.

Laird Barron, Peter V. Brett, Paul Di Filippo (m), David Anthony Durham, Kelly Link

Sunday 1pm Harbor 1: A Child’s Garden of Dystopias — the Boom in Nasty Worlds for Children

Why do dystopias and YA literature seem to go together? Are YA dystopias more common now than previously? Are there differences between YA and adult dystopias — perhaps a different ratio of cynicism to hope? How does “if this goes on” fit in? Consider this article.

Bruce Coville, Theodora Goss, Jack M. Haringa (m), Kelly Link

Gavin:

Saturday 1pm Lewis: The Small Press: Bigger Than Ever?

Boutique publishers and small presses are publishing more of the best stuff in the field every year. True? Who? How? Why? And what about the future? What’s the role of the small press in a world dominated by e-books?

Neil Clarke, Gavin Grant, Valerie L. Grimm (m), Joe Hill

Sunday 11am Harbor 3: The e-Book Market

E-books appear to be the wave of the future. How does a professional who wishes to continue to make a living surf that wave?

Jeffrey A. Carver, Neil Clarke (m), John R. Douglas, Gavin Grant, Charles Stross, Eleanor Wood



A new year with Georges-Olivier

Tue 15 Feb 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 2 Comments| Posted by: Author

100 Years of Unease by Edward Gauvin (translator of Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud’s A Life on Paper: Stories)

The Hôtel de Massa is a handsome historical edifice in the 14th arrondissement, not far south of the Sorbonne, on the rue du Faubourg St. Jacques. It is the headquarters of the Société des Gens de Lettres, a sort of French Authors Guild, of which Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud was president from 2000 to 2002. He had told me to meet him there at a quarter to one, and he was late.

The receptionist rose from her desk and came to the lobby to tell me that his RER commuter train had been delayed. Later, striding briskly toward the restaurant, Châteaureynaud explained that someone had committed suicide by leaping onto the tracks. They were probably still cleaning the remains off now. If he hadn’t given up and changed trains, he might still be waiting. The thought of another year was apparently, for some, a terrible prospect. Read more



What I See, part 10, by Karen Joy Fowler

Mon 14 Feb 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , | 1 Comment| Posted by: Author

What I See, part 10, by Karen Joy Fowler

Recently our walks have been curtailed by Mojito’s surgery. Not abandoned, but shorter and slower. She’s sporting some Frankenstein’s monster stitchery and is only just recovering the bounce in her step. The vet described her as a relatively young dog, which surprised me as she’s ten, but according to the chart in his office, ten for a dog is comparable to fifty-six for a person, which does make her the youngest creature in the house, a mere sprig, and explains her youthful attitudes and behaviors.

Odd sightings today.

A singing tree: Just west of the dog beach, along the clifftop is a Monterey pine. There are many Monterey pines along the cliff and one tries not to have favorites, but this is a very appealing tree. Today it was making a tremendous racket as I approached and I had to get quite close to understand that a congress of blackbirds was hidden among the needles, each of them shouting as loudly as possible. There were so many that if they’d all flapped their wings at once, the tree would have taken flight.

A leaping cat: MJ and I were coming home along the north edge of the park when I saw a flash of white. It appeared briefly above the blackberry vines and then disappeared again. This repeated until I was close enough to see that it was a cat, bouncing straight up and down in the bramble as if it were on a pogo stick. Of course, MJ’s appearance put an end to all such joyous behaviors and I never did figure out what the what was there.

A drunken surfer: Or maybe not. He was headed back from the beach, still wet, still in his wet-suit, surfboard under one arm and carrying an enormous, almost empty bottle of Jack Daniels in the other hand. Though it’s entirely possible that he hadn’t been drinking—drinking while surfing certainly seems inadvisable in the extreme. It’s entirely possible that he was merely picking up someone else’s litter.

There was a monthly community clean-up underway. When I first walked through the park this morning, it looked fine, but later I had no trouble filling a pail with trash. I found many cigarette butts, wrappers from straws, beer bottles, and napkins. Empty bean cans and bits of tin foil. Condoms, which I’d rather not find, but at least suggest responsible sex. There are many things I’ve done in my life that it shames me to remember, but littering is not among them. Put it on my tombstone. She Didn’t Litter.

Previous posts:

What I See
What I See, part 2
Interrupting our regular schedule . . .
What I See, part 3

What I See, part 4

What I See, part 5
What I See, part 6
What I See, part 7
What I See, part 8
What I See, part 9



1/2 story, Locus, TK

Mon 7 Feb 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

I have a story up at Strange Horizons this week! Or, at least, the first part. Part 2 will be up next Monday. Can’t wait to see what happens.

Last week’s story at Strange Horizons was a reprint of “The Third Wish” by Joan Aiken, nicely presented with an Introduction by one of the fiction editors, Jed Hartman.

We have four books on the Locus Recommended Reading List, Meeks, Redemption in Indigo, The Poison Eaters, and What I Didn’t See. Not too bad!

We published nine books last year (+ 2 issues of LCRW!), these four plus four that weren’t eligible for the list: a reprint (Ted Chiang’s collection), two novels that aren’t spec fic, (Kathe Koja’s Under the Poppy and Alasdair Gray’s Old Men in Love), the Daily Planner, and the first publication in English of Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud (A Life on Paper: Stories). It’s disappointing that A Life on Paper didn’t make the list but to make up for it there’s a nice review up at Devil’s Lake—a well-named lit journal from UW Madison.

Last week I was looking for any recs on mobile broadband devices and while Verizon gets the thumbs up, it’s pricey so I was leaning toward Virgin Mobile—but they’re putting on a data limit of 5GB/month (which I think I’d pass given we’re always uploading new things to Weightless). So now I’m wondering if anyone has used localnet? Looks old fashioned, but I only need better internet access for 3-6 months. Anyone know it?

And, Later this week Karen Joy Fowler and Edward Gauvin will be popping by.



Wind me up

Thu 3 Feb 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , | Leave a Comment| Posted by: Gavin

It’s been a while since I looked at where our electricity company gets its power. The last one I can find is October 2009. I’d stacked up this year’s reports so here is far too much info on the New England GreenStart program’s power source. Looks like we are up to 13.2% power from solar and wind. Which means it has tripled since 2008: not bad. Bummer for me though: they just sent me a note saying the unit cost price for the “green” electricity is tripling (! . . . I think because they can) by about $20 a month. Hmm.

Not sure they can keep increasing the solar and wind power quite as fast—so bring on the the Cape Cod Wind Farm, and as many more as they can build asap.

Our office in Easthampton is 40 miles south of Vermont’s leaky old nuclear power plant, Vermont Yankee (seen here being gently buzzed by Greenpeace’s thermal airship) and here in Boston we’re 40 miles south another nuclear plant in New Hampshire. Eek! Build me a windfarm and coat my building in solar panels now!

Update: As far as I can see it’s pretty much always 75% “small hydro” (is that “greener” than “big hydro”? Is there less damage from dams?) and then a mix of mostly wind, then solar, and digester gas.

Update: Vermont Yankee is closing, yay!

Fall 2017

  • 71% old hydro
  • 6% new hydro
  • 3% biomass
  • 6% solar
  • 14% wind

Summer 2017

  • 74.9% hydro
  • 3.4% landfill gas
  • 5.4% biomass
  • 4.2% solar
  • 12% wind

Spring 2017

  • 75% hydro
  • 7% digester gas
  • 5% solar
  • 13% wind

Winter 2017 — hydro back to 75%

  • 75% hydro
  • 7% digester gas
  • 6% solar
  • 12% wind

Fall 2016 — first time hydro has dropped 1%

  • 74% hydro
  • 8% biomass
  • 4% solar
  • 14% wind

Summer 2016

  • 75% hydro
  • 8% biomass
  • 2% solar
  • 15% wind

Spring 2016

  • 75% hydro
  • 6% biomass
  • 3% solar
  • 16% wind

Winter 2016

  • 75% hydro
  • 5% biomass
  • 4% solar
  • 16% wind

Autumn 2015

  • 75% “small hydro”
  • 4% gas digester
  • 5% solar
  • 16% wind

Summer 2015

  • 75% “small hydro”
  • 1% digester gas
  • 5% solar
  • 19% wind

Spring 2015:

  • 75% “small hydro”
  • 2% digester gas
  • 7% solar
  • 16% wind

Autumn 2014:

  • 75% “small hydro”
  • 3% digester gas
  • 6% solar
  • 16% wind

Summer 2014 was nearly the same as the previous 2 quarters:

  • 75% “small hydro”
  • 3% digester gas
  • 5% solar
  • 17% wind

It is depressing to look at our supplier, National Grid’s “standard mix” of power. Lot of change to come here:

  • 36% “natural” gas
  • 28% nuclear
  • 15% imported
  • 6% oil
  • 5% coal
  • 5% municipal trash
  • 3% wind
  • 1% biomass
  • 1% hydro

Spring 2014 was exactly the same as:
Winter 2014 (back to “disgester gas”—how is your digestion?)

  • 75% “small hydro”
  • 4% digester gas
  • 6% solar
  • 15% wind

Autumn 2013 (same as spring except with a new title for hydro. But, really, is hydro low impact? Relatively. Maybe.)

  • 75% hydroelectric (now retitled small hydro. hmm)
  • 3% biogas
  • 6% solar
  • 16% wind

Summer 2013 (same as spring except with a new title for hydro. But, really, is hydro low impact? Relatively, maybe.)

  • 74.9% hydroelectric (now retitled low impact hydro. hmm)
  • 14.5% Digester Gas (cow power)
  • 4.1% solar
  • 6.4% wind

Spring 2013

  • 74.9% hydroelectric
  • 14.5% Digester Gas (cow power) [that’s really what it says!]
  • 4.1% solar
  • 6.4% wind

Winter 2013

  • 74.9% hydroelectric
  • 14.5% biomass (“wood, other plant matter, or landfill gas”)
  • 4.1% solar
  • 6.4% wind

Falll 2012

  • 74.9% hydroelectric
  • 16.2% landfill gas
  • 3.3% solar
  • 5.6% wind

Spring 2011

  • 74.9% hydroelectric
  • 9.9% biomass
  • 6.9% solar
  • 8.2% wind

Winter 2010

  • 74.9% hydroelectric
  • 11.8% biomass
  • 7.2% solar
  • 6.0% wind

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