April 9th, 2007

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And So It Begins

First post. I hear that LiveJournal is the place to be for beginning writers. I have had blogs on Blogger, so I be making the transition to here. I'll go on about writing speculative fiction, reading speculative fiction, puzzles, math contests, technology, and whatever else is occupying my far-too-crowded brain.
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The Puzzles I Do

I like to do puzzles. Monday through Saturday, I do: Jumble, Word Sleuth, NEA Crossword and NY Times Crossword. I'll occasionally do a Sudoku (the easy ones), or an extra crossword puzzle or two from one of my books. Sunday I do the Jumble and the NY Times. I dream of one day attending the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament (http://www.crosswordtournament.com/) and doing well there. It takes a lot of time and practice, though.

I also like Rubik's Cube, though I'm not as into it as I used to be. I hang around 35-40 seconds for a solve, which usually put me in the "not good enough to advance to the next round" category. There's only so much time available, and writing takes higher priority.
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Puzzles: Mon Apr 9

Jumble = 1:13 (HANG UP HANG UP)
Word Sleuth = 2:50 (Remove the D's to make a new word)
NEA Crossword = 4:24 (4-09-07)
NY Times Crossword = 5:00 (No. 0226)
Sudoku = 9:45 (Easy), with interruptions

Was gone at Norwescon (www.norwescon.org) from Thurs-Sun, so no puzzle times from those days. Good start, slow on NEA, solid on NY Times, good on Sudoku with the slight interruption. Decent Monday, all things considered.
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Flying While Congested Stinks

I caught a "con cold" while I was at Norwescon. I can't be too surprised. I was around bazillions of people in various states of health; I was staying up until late hours while eating junk all day long. Did I expect to stay healthy or what?

Today I had to fly down to Palo Alto for work. The good part is that I flew in the "Otter" - the small HP plane that ferries between Roseville and the San Jose. The Otter is a small 15-seat prop plane. Here's a picture I could find: http://www.aoc.noaa.gov/aircraft_otter.htm, though the HP Otter seemed shorter and boxier. The Otter is supposedly the favored plane of Central and South American drug runners because of its short takeoff and landing requirements.

It takes off and lands like a helicopter and flies like a truck ("Good. What is a truck?"). While flying, the plane will be tooling along and then it will suddenly slide sideways in the air like it's on ice. It only flies at about 7000 feet so you can see everything on the ground very clearly. I could see the school and the park next to my house. It's an awesome ride.

The bad part was flying with a cold. On the return trip my ears clogged up and they still haven't fully cleared. Hopefully they will clear up soon because I'm going to Texas Thursday and flying with congestion sucks tremendously. My tubes close up with gunk and all I can hear is muffled high-pitched tones and a sound like cloth tearing (or ice cracking) when I swallow. Lovely, just lovely.

Soon, I'll post on my Norwescon experience. Overall, it was a fantastic trip and well worth it.