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October 29, 2001

Double Rejections; Amusing Reading

Ah, two rejections today - a 101 day pass from Asimov's, and a 24 day detailed pass from Strange Horizons.

One of the things I hadn't expected to receive for our new house was an owner's manual (I mean, hey, it isn't like it's a stereo or a microwave). There're several sections covering various things (Insulation; Flooring; Heating, Air Conditioning and Ventilation) with details on proper maintenance and the like. As I'm reading this book, I'm amused at some of the opening sections. It's obvious the technical writer did his or her best to keep it interesting. To whit:

On Caulking:

In days gone by, caulking was used to fill the seams in wooden boats.

On Windows:

Ancient Romans were the first to use glass in windows to absorb solar heat. Many centuries later, windows of all sizes and shapes continue to provide heat, light and ventilation.

On Fireplaces:

While the crackle and pop of a burning fire creates an atmosphere of warmth and coziness, there are some
things you should know about your fireplace.

October 27, 2001

Our House

Well, after some delay, we've finally got a picture of the new place, as you can see to the right. For a better (and more sizeable - round 140k), I've got a link right here. You wouldn't've thought it'd be so difficult to get a shot, but we'd never gotten around to springing for a digital camera. Today we took my in-laws to see it, and my mother-in-law took this pic. Nice looking place, ain't it? We certainly think so. Only about five more weeks till we close. Tick tick tick...

October 22, 2001

Decisive No from Future Orbits

A speedy rejection from Future Orbits. Short, personalized, say-nothing. Hm.

October 19, 2001

Holy Crap

Well, the loan people called today: they've approved our mortgage. They may require more paperwork -- if you've never bought a house before, the amount of paper they want on you is astonishing -- and they'll check our credit again in a month to make sure nothing's happened (for example, if we suddenly owe an extra $75,000 that they hadn't noticed before), but otherwise, that's it. We're approved.

I say again: holy crap.

October 14, 2001

Welcome To The Landed Gentry

All right, not exactly gentry, per se, but we're now landed. We've been househunting for a while now: weeks of driving around and picking up flyers, followed by some viewing houses on the inside guided by our sherpa guide realtor. Well, this afternoon we signed to buy a house. Brand spanking new, in a new housing development northwest of Atlanta. Like all new housing developments in the southeast, it's got one of those vaguely Tolkien/Celtic/Shakespeare kinda names: The Lakes of Stone Gate. We signed the papers and wrote out a large check of earnest money, so that's it. No damned offer-counteroffer shenanigans to deal with. We'll close at the beginning of December. Good God. I feel both pleased and nauseous at the same time...

October 13, 2001

Brutarian No

A 29 day form rejection from Brutarian.

October 09, 2001

Beware The Book Review

Today is Columbus Day! A day of pride, shame, or bitterness, depending on your heritage. In my case, it's annoyance, since there's no mail today.

In other news, I just finished Stephen King's new book, On Writing. Very interesting read for a how to write book, since it isn't just about how he writes. Oh, that stuff is in there, if you're curious (i.e, it takes him about three months to finish a draft, he does two drafts and a polish, and he rarely knows how the book is going to end when he starts it - which might explain why I've think his novels sometimes end on an unsatisfactory note). But there's also stuff about his personal life (didja know he's a recovering alcoholic and a reformed coke head? I didn't), and he also talks about the accident last year. That part is especially surreal, and actually a little heartbreaking. On the other hand, I've turned into a big milksop these days, so maybe you'll have a different impression. On the whole, I recommend it quite highly. Two thumbs up and more (if I had more thumbs).

October 05, 2001

Rejection from Horror Garage; Plastic Wizards

A 21 day form rejection from Horror Garage (which, despite its name and fairly lurid covers, has high standards for fiction). In local news, I've indulged myself with two new purchases: the LOTR Gandalf and Saruman action figures! They're fairly advanced from the figures of my youth, having batteries and magnets embedded in them to let them some interesting things. Such as, wipe any stray floppy disks lying around if I'm not careful. Despite this, I am highly amused.

October 02, 2001

Home Of Elvis And The Ancient Greeks

Had to make an unscheduled trip to Memphis for a funeral. Lisa's grandfather passed away, and we made the trip out there to pay our respects. It was a side of her family (most of whom) I've never met in all our years of togetherness. It was good we went. Lest you think this strange, my having not met much of her mother's family, I'd just like to say she's got a whole big blended family thing going on there. There's always someone else to meet, unlike my family, which is very small. And I still haven't met all of them. There's still her father's folks in Fort Smith. Ya know books that give family trees in the front (like some of Julian May's, or Katherine Kurtz) and they've got a whole bunch of people in the family? I always thought they did that just to have lots of characters. Well, Lisa's family is like that one of those. Lots of characters, with all sorts of interesting dynamics.