So have I been inconsistent lately, or what? Three posts in four days (August 5th, 6th, and 8th), and now nothing until the 22nd? What kind of slipshod operation is this Brackett guy running here, anyway?!?!
Well truthfully, there’s been quite a bit going on for the last few weeks. Firstly, I got the confirmation email and questionnaire from Streetlight Graphics for the cover art and formatting they will be doing for The Road to Rejas. It looks like I’m on the schedule for cover artwork beginning September 17, and formatting for publication on September 24. So yeah, it’s a month away still, but I’m looking forward to working with these folks. Everything seems to be quite professional, and the pricing is still very reasonable. So far, it’s looking good.
And there has been the office upgrade. Over to the left here is the desk I was using until recently. It was all right, but didn’t have any drawers or storage of any kind. Now, I’m not exactly the neatest person in the world, a fact to which anyone who has been around me in a work environment will happily attest. So imagine that desk covered with two full sized keyboards (I work on two different desktops), mice and other computer peripherals, papers, books, and other odds and ends. The top shelf was pretty crowded with three twenty-inch wide-screen monitors, and the network equipment. Note the size of the router still shown here on the top left.
You will notice that the room (what of it you can see in this picture) is pretty empty. That’s because I took this picture as we were removing everything in preparation for the arrival of the new carpet and furniture. Believe me, there were times you could barely see the carpet for the mess I had in there.
See the router on the left side of the credenza? That gives you a sense of the scale. The credenza alone has more surface area than the old desk. The desk, credenza, and bridge combine to give me more than triple the work surface area. And if that isn’t enough, there are drawers! And file drawers! And storage in the hutch above the credenza! Woohoo!
That’s it for the home front, but definitely not all that’s been going on.
Last week, Baby Bird came back to the nest for a visit. And since she had some time, and we were planning a trip to visit with my parents, we got to take her with us to surprise my folks. Me, my wife, our daughter, and the two furry kids rolled up for the invasion of the parents’ cabin on Friday.
The dogs love it up there (my wife calls it “doggie heaven”), since there is so much room for them to run and play. We were able to unplug and relax a bit as well. Mom and Dad are learning about the pros and cons of rural living after having lived in Houston most of their lives. When they first moved to Oklahoma, there was absolutely no cell service, and the only internet they could get was via satellite. Now, a few years later, they can still only get internet via satellite, but they do have limited cellular service. Limited means that if you stand out on the far southwest corner of the outside deck, and the weather isn’t too overcast, you can get a full bar of service. On really good days, you might get two bars.
But the truth of the matter is that, when you’re trying to get away from it all, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. And they do have a land line, so it’s not like they’re completely cut off. All in all, it’s a pretty nice little setup. They’re working on growing some of their own veggies – not much, but a little spinach, some peppers and tomatoes, a few herbs, and other odds and ends – and are learning what grows there, and what doesn’t.
Speaking of what grows there, there is a mystery plant growing up the trellis under the deck that had us all stymied. It started growing where my parents had started some morning glory, and at first they thought that was what it was. It pretty quickly became evident that it wasn’t, but no one seems to know what it actually is. Here are a couple of pictures, and if anyone can identify it, I’d be really grateful. My curiosity just won’t let it go.
The second picture is a closeup of one of the odd seed pods that grows on the mystery plant. As you can see, they’re pretty large. My dad and wife cut one open to see what was in them. I wasn’t there, but they said the pod was filled with long, silky fibers, each of which had a seed about the size of a fingernail attached to it.
I haven’t really researched it yet, but thought I would just ask if any of you have ever seen this before, and if so, what the heck is it? Because I have never seen such a thing, and the writer in me is automatically wondering, will our next visit to see my parents begin with my folks at the door, or pod people?
All right, that’s enough for now. I really need to get back to work. So long for now, and stay safe.