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Checking in

… Because I feel guilty not blogging for two days in a row even though I announced “lite” blogging into next week and have been enjoying totally mundane days.

I’ve finished hanging all the drywall in and around the new bedroom. Next I begin taping, mudding, and putting up metal corner bead, starting with the darkest corner of the closet. While I won’t enjoy working in the closet, I’ll be glad to have the biggest storage area of the house completed so I can quit tripping over art supplies, chop saws, and spare space heaters. (Well, I’ll still be tripping over the chop saw; I have no idea where construction tools are going to end up living.)

During breaks from that, I finished a knitting project I undertook 18 months ago and worked on the RebelFire story. I have everything now except the ending; but that’s the hard part.

Not great blog fodder, any of that. Sure feels good to get it done, though.


I did run across a heartbreaking story of bad decision-making in an emergency. Perhaps you know about this. It’s apparently notorious in Japan, but I’d never heard about it: the tragedy of Okawa Elementary School. (And here’s a related article.)

TL;DR: After the March 2011 earthquake, teachers at the school dithered for 50 minutes despite multiple tsunami evacuation warnings. They scolded children who urged them to escape up a nearby hill — then finally acted by leading their charges on the most foolish possible path.

Hard to imagine such a story coming out of the most earthquake-prepared country on earth.

It’s one of many tales of loss, rage, and hauntings in the new (and apparently outstanding) book Ghosts of the Tsunami.

Biggest lesson: Think for yourself and don’t wait for authority to act. But then, you knew that. Obedient Japanese schoolkids couldn’t be expected to.


Here’s a much more heartening story about everyone from passersby to emergency rooms responding swiftly and helpfully to last week’s Amtrak derailment onto Washington’s I5 freeway. Kudos to the Seattle Times for a very well-written piece.

Anyone who has driven that road during commute hours has got to marvel that the crash, as horrendous as it was, wasn’t much, much more deadly.


I am collecting some newslinks for you and will have them maybe as soon as tomorrow, depending on how deep in drywall mud I get.

Meanwhile, have a dog and a Christmas tree;


  1. rochester_veteran
    rochester_veteran December 27, 2017 2:44 am

    My daughter put up the Christmas Tree this year. We had a white Christmas and now we’ve hit the deep freeze with the temperature going down to 5 degrees. High temperatures will not rise higher than the lower teens, with wind chills in the negative numbers for the foreseeable future. We do have a snow cover, but we’ve escaped the worst of the lake effect. Erie, PA got 53 inches in two days over Christmas and that broke a Pennsylvania snowfall record. My wife was from Akron, OH and all of her family lives there and we’ve driven through Erie a bunch of times and through some pretty bad snow squalls, but nothing like this!

  2. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty December 27, 2017 3:08 am

    -8 degrees outside this morning, still snowed in and more coming tonight. Almost out of coffee creamer and will have to switch to tea after that. I do miss my neighbor who used to take me to town on days like this in his 4WD, but he died two years ago. I’m warm and well fed, so have nothing to complain about. Laddie loves the snow, but has never seen a christmas tree. 🙂

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