Thursday, July 24, 2008


I spent yesterday afternoon hanging out in Suzzallo Library on the UW campus. Being a lifetime member of the Alumni Association, I have access to the UW Net setup so I can go to campus and steal wifi internet access. Free wifi is one of my great pleasures in life; being unemployed, I can't exactly afford $100 plus a month for phone, cable, wifi, robotic monkeys, etc. The nice thing about the U district is plenty of wifi. I do miss being able to steal it from the comfort of my own apartment, but still, I don't have to travel very far to enjoy it.

Most of my time there was passed in the stacks where the oldest, mustiest, weirdest books are. It's like a tomb there, and I get all squishy inside every time I walk past them. I do love old books, I really, really do. And this section is chock full of them. Just the spines feed my imagination, whether I feel as if I'm visiting some learned scholar's library circa 1890 and looking for the latest tomes on dirigibles, or looking for a book on forbidden magic and alchemy so I can free my brother from the horrible family curse...anywho, as they say, I wandered the stacks in search of books on whaling, particularly the use of nuclear submarines for whaling. There were submarines in the 19th century; I'm writing a (nuclear) steampunk whaling novel. Get over it.

I was pleased to discover that my friend the mad scientist haunted the very same stacks in his time at University; perhaps he was having fun in the alchemy section, or looking for the lost papers of Nikola Tesla. He called this afternoon when he realized I visiting his old haunts; he invited me to accompany him to a symposium being conducted this weekend by the evil genius/mad scientist community. Of course, this rests upon the assumption that his experiments go well and are concluded in a timely fashion. Hopefully he won't end up with any citations for practicing physics without a license. I wonder if there is a Physics Officer out there somewhere, handing out citations for physics offenses. {Noisy, you may want to expand your jurisdiction...}

Here's a photo of me enjoying myself in front of Suzzallo's famous stained-glass windows:

Of the boni attendant upon being a member of the Alumni Association, the absolute coolest is the library card. Yes, it's even better than the email address and the free wifi on campus. So I also took the time to renew my alumni library card, and brought home four lovely tomes on 19th nuclear whaling practices.

Today I'm making some soup and cleaning the apartment a bit, as soon as I have a cuppa or two. If my evening at the symposium falls through, I'm running down to Nordstroms to pick up a pair of hose - girls night out tomorrow night!

Oh yes - I have to give many Thanks to George Gordon for providing the means by which I was able to acquire my lovely little shuffle. I understand why people love these things! Thank you again, Lord B.

PS - You may recall from a previous entry that one of my regular readers recently suffered a goat invasion at her home. Amorous goats, no less. Yes, they're rather like rabbits - I've seen goats in action many times at the fair over the years. And they've set up house in her front yard, if you will, entertaining the neighbors with their love play. How sweet!


Anonymous said...

I used to work for M/D/C myself but was laid off in the First Great Purge of November 2, 1981.

As for steam and submarines, the British actually had a HUGE steam powered sub in The Great War (You mean some of them are not?) along with a submarine that was fitted with a 12" gun from a battle-cruiser.

I love your posts. Do remember, as soon as your severance-artery bleeds out, SIGN UP FOR [f]Unemployment.

Jane said...

Thank you for the kind feedback - and the information on the huge steam-powered sub. That would be even better for whale hunting. In fact, it makes me want to write a steampunk version of "The Hunt for Red October".

My condolences to a fellow victim of M/D/C; the First Great Purge still lives in the memory of those who witnessed it (but not I - I was being purged from my student job at University, thanks to Ronald Reagan).

I do indeed tend to sign up for the dole as soon as I get my termination papers from M/D/C. If I don't get them soon, the whole world will be hearing about it. I am being patient, though - Wilde is toward the end of the alphabet, so I might not be first on the mailing list.