Three years ago this month, things were coming together towards a almost-nearly-final draft of Slow Road Home. It was all quite exhilarating and also quite maddening–all the unknowns in InDesign, ISBNs, LCC copyrights, pre-press, and such. It turned out to be a good experience in the end and like having a baby, most of the nauseau and pain are forgotten by now. I’ll have a quicker learning curve the next time around, should I become great with book.
✸ Geekly Things
I purchased Devonthink Pro early on in my Mac life (which, by the way, started one year ago yesterday, thank you very much.) Frankly, I could not make it consistently beat the competition for doing what I usually do. But version 2 (still in final beta) came out recently and addresses some shortcomings of earlier versions. And it is just the right tool for doing what I’m doing now with a large writing project. SaaaaWeet.
✸ Public Health
I don’t think I’m infectious, so I’m going to work today (briefly, the patient stream is drying up due to an unfortunate outbreak of orthopedic safety–what happened to all the ice-damaged wrists and elbows we usually see this time of year?) My laryngitis persists, but if I can keep the voice down in the Barry White or Lou Rawls register, I’ll be able to carry on a conversation with my couple of patients today. A physician friend suggested that, if not better after five days (that was yesterday) an antibiotic might be warranted. Don’t want any permanent bacterial residence in the bronchial tree, that’s for sure.
✸ Gramps Cramps
Danged if I remember it happening but must have had a calf muscle cramp during the night. It’s so sore I can barely put my weight on it. (HOW can you sleep through such pain?) Some while back I set out to try to better understand this not uncommon phenomenon–not just among Silverbacks but also for athletes. I intended to write about it, but never got around to it. Anyhow, the older theories about electrolyte imbalance (capitalized on by the various sports drinks like Gator Aid) seem to not hold water, if you’ll forgive the pun. This series from Sports Scientist may be more technical than you want, but it does a good job of discussing the merits and shortcomings of what we think we know about this aggravating shock that flesh is heir to.
✸ Wood or Wouldn’t
I called the first name on my list that had five potential sources for firewood. It now has four. The first guy was not all that agreeable, and when I told him we needed our wood 16″ plus or minus an inch, he balked, going to charge extra. How hard is it to make this slight change to the way he always does it, for goodness sake? I’m sorry, maybe we should look for an elastic firebox that will accept any length he wants to cut. So, we’re moving on down the list. I think we’ll make it, still warm by the end of this year’s season, but there will NOT be much left to start next year. I should be able to get across the icy creek by the weekend, maybe, and can get in a load of deadwood from up on the ridge.
✸ Looking Out
One black crow flies circles over the pasture, a holding pattern, waiting for those he hangs out with, the bird the same black as the maple branches silhouettted against a gradient of grays and gunsmoke blues. There’s frost on the barn roof pinked by the invisible reds of first light. It is utterly calm so that even the drooping inflorescence of butterfly bush outside my window could be made of a delicate stone. The world smells of winter.
✸ Looking In
Having a newly-clean glass on the wood stove door has something in common with the first night in a newly made bed. You know it will become mussed and disordered, but it is not so now. It represents a new beginning, waiting for the entropy we call living to muss it up, again and again. This morning’s fire of cherry and locust casts an orange glow into the shadows, I feel its heat on my nose and eyelids when I turn toward it. If there were no books, no computer, I would watch the fire burn, endlessly fascinating and primal.