Even maniacal arch-villains need their cuddlin’

Every creature, big or small, good or evil, needs some affection, some more than others. When McFuzzball looks to me for comfort, I’m fully aware she’s after my body heat and only my body heat, like an endothermic vampire. Sometimes, however, I see things I don’t think I’ll ever be able to explain.

Kitty cuddle

Cute? Absolutely. But, just be aware, the bunny was never seen again.

Grief and incomprehension

I was having a very good day today at work. I figured it was going to get better this evening (the original plan was to post something cute and funny) and then it’d continue into tomorrow when I went to visit some friends for Festivus.

But there’s nothing fun nor funny about today now.

There’s only grief and incomprehension.

Incomprehension of why.

It’s a big question. It’s complex and can’t be comprehensively captured in a sound bite, though no doubt many will try. The hard part for me is to avoid speculating, because, in the absence of facts, all we can do is take guesses, which don’t really help anybody. In the meantime, that’s all the media is going to do over the next 24 hours, fill its airwaves with wild speculation as the facts slowly roll in over the next few days to weeks.

I like facts, but I doubt I’ll find these ones comforting. They certainly won’t be comforting to the families of the victims.

What a shitty day, and be sure to hug your loved ones. I know I will.

Congratulations Andrea Stewart!

I consider myself lucky, because I belong to a pretty neat writing group (Anxious Appliances) and you’ll find many of their blogs in the  blogroll to the right, including Andrea Stewart‘s. A bunch of them (Laura Lam, Lee Batterby, Wesley Chu, John Dixon, and, and Lee Collins) are scoring some decent book deals.

Well, Andrea has some big news now too, because she just won the third-quarter 2012 Writer’s of the Future contest. It’s a pretty big deal. She gets some cash and a trip to a week-long writer’s workshop.

Congrats Andrea!

Lumbercat

McFuzzball may be my nemesis, but even she knows her limits (mainly that, while it’s one thing to piss off me, it’s another thing to piss off Mrs. Kalar).

Unlike K.C. Shaw’s cat, which did this.

Sat-lure-day

After spending all Saturday morning hammering away at my keyboard while world-building for my current WIP, I needed a break. But, with Mrs. Kalar out of the house and McFuzzball starting her winter hibernation, I found myself directionless.

That is, until I thought about so many of the fish that got away this summer. McFuzzball needs her caviar and she likes it fresh.

This summer was a great one on the lake, with some big days with some decent sized (and tasty) fish. But I lost a bunch of lures at the end of the season after my father-in-law and I moved into deeper areas only to discover that’s where the big fish were hiding. And I hate losing lures. The fish getting away doesn’t bother me so much, but it’s mostly that it’s bad for the fish and the lake. A fish that gets away with a lure could get an infection and die. It’s not very responsible.

So, my father-in-law and I decided we needed lures attached to a stronger line for when we’re trolling in deeper waters. But everything that had the spinner, bead, floater, and hook setup we wanted were on 12-pound lines, and that wasn’t strong enough. The stronger lines that were available didn’t have anything close to the setup we were looking for. And I was doing my shopping at Bass Pro Shop, which has a lure section as big as a grocery store.

Thus, I decided to make my own. I like basic stuff (it’s never done me wrong), so I went with a simple spinner, bead, floater, and single hook on a 17-pound line, dominated by the color yellow (red washes  out after about 10 feet depth, leaving yellow as the most visible “bright” color to attract fish). As a bonus, I suffered minimal blood loss despite a couple of close calls while working with the hooks.

My afternoon is summed up below (a pair of each for a total of six lures). My father-in-law is getting one of the sets for Christmas. Some kids do macaroni art. I make stuff to help catch and kill tasty things. Maybe McFuzzball and I aren’t so different.

Perch magnets

And, importantly, I had some help from my lovely assistant:

Assistant

Now I have to wait until May to put mine to use. In the meantime, I’ll spend more time with my assistant.