The Word Is Out: I’m Working on a Novel

Has it already been a year since I wrote the first draft? (Answer: almost a year, I finished the first draft in September 2020).

Sorry I didn’t tell y’all about it sooner. So, so, so many bloggers write novels and… I was self-conscious about being yet another blogger who wrote a novel (why? Looking back, I don’t understand why I felt that way). Since I didn’t tell y’all earlier, I’ve been waiting for the ‘right moment’ to mention it.

The moment has come, even if it’s the wrong moment.

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Wildfires, Again

I slept in this bed in Westwood

I once spent a night in Westwood, Lassen County. Specifically, I slept in a building which had once been the home of the richest guy in Westwood (he was a timber baron).

For about two weeks, Westwood has been under mandatory evacuation orders due to the Dixie Fire. As of the publication of this post, the fire containment lines around the town are holding. The wildfire only surrounded it on three sides.

Westwood is less than twenty miles (thirty kilometers) away from Greenville, the town which the Dixie Fire destroyed. As soon as I learned that the wildfire was threatening Westwood, I knew Susanville is in danger. How? I’ve hiked the Bizz Johnson Trail from Westwood to Susanville. Dry forest goes all the way from the town to the city.

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Against Vaccine Mandates

(Warning: Long Rant with Minimal Editing)

When we talk about vaccine mandates, what are we talking about?

A local event venue has, after a year, resumed in-person events. They require proof of vaccination before entry, but they are flexible about what counts as ‘proof.’ A photo of a vaccination card suffices for them. It’s not just this venue–bars, restaurants, etc. are taking similar measures.

Meanwhile, the city government now requires all employees to be vaccinated (perhaps there are exemptions, I don’t know the details).

Some places accept recent/frequent covid tests in lieu of proof of vaccination, but the systems are set up to make things much more difficult for people who try to gain admission through negative covid tests than vaccination.

I’ve also encountered talk of forcing people to get vaccination–not just denying them admission or causing them to lose their jobs, but imposing legal penalties, perhaps even physical force–though no government agency or private business has suggested that, as far as I know.

So much to unpack…

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The Bizarre World of Vintage Toilets

I had no idea that the toilet I’m using is older than my parents. I had no idea that vintage toilets could sell for over a thousand USD. I had no idea that legal restrictions made the vintage toilet market so weird. One might even call it a ‘black’ market.

We applied to have our toilet replaced for free by our local water utility. To qualify, we had to send photos identifying the model and manufacturing date of our current toilet. The manufacturer of the toilet bowl… went out of business in the 1930s. That’s quite a way to date a toilet!

Then I went down the rabbit hole of vintage toilet research.

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