damn it's late

just completely devoured the 5th book in Orson Scott Card's Alvin Maker series, Heartfire. i'm pretty familiar with a lot of his work now, having read all the books in the Ender and Homecoming series (both sci-fi) and all but one of the Alvin series. if there's a running theme in his work that i can see, it's his knack for creating moral dilemmas for his characters. the Alvin series takes place in an alternate history of the United States in the late 18th & early 19th centuries, fictionalizing some well-known historical figures (Washington, Jefferson, John Adams, Henry Harrison, Andrew Jackson, and Napoleon, to name a few) almost, but not quite, to the point of unrecognizability, and using them to lend some historical weight to the landscape his completely original (and more central) characters inhabit. fun stuff.

another theme in Card's work is obviously to use children (often fantastically gifted ones) as his main protagonists, and i'm not sure if this makes it easier for everyone to empathize with, or just me in particular, but it's certainly effective where i'm concerned.

moving on to other subjects:

it snowed nearly all day today, from about 10am on, letting up a little in the afternoon and coming back for real in the evening. knocked out power to at least 2500 people in northern snohomish and south whatcom counties, and piling up about 5" deep in the most average place i could find to measure this evening. a blanket of white, which Loren wasted no time getting out and snowballing it up in. i joined him for a bit but since i've been freezing my tail off hanging Christmas lights on graveyard shift in downtown Seattle for the last couple weeks, i'm a bit too fond of the warmth to spend a lot of time out in it. barring a heap more severe weather, it'll be more Christmas lights to hang tomorrow night (tonight, now- i believe i mentioned it's quite late) and i'm sure i'll get a fair measure of cold for ducking out of it this afternoon.

Loren's school is cancelled tomorrow, which simply broke his heart.

Chowder went nuts when i let him out in it this afternoon- that dog does love the snow. pretty much anything new and different is OK by him.

Loren and i spent the 4-day weekend hangin' out. he spent a good deal of time messing with the new Nintendo video game system (the Wii) she bought him. it was originally supposed to be a Christmas present, but she opted to "guarantee" she got one by camping out in front of the local Target store for the first shipment, which necessitated her bringing her younger son Phoenix along, and the surprise was sacrificed, so she just gave it to them. Loren's loving it, especially the Dragonball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 2 game she got as well. the thing's got an unconventional motion-sensitive controller (which you already know if you don't live under a rock) which allows realistic motions to be used interactively with the games, i.e. swing the thing like a bat to hit a baseball, use the two pieces of the controller simultaneously in punching motions to hit an opposing boxer, swing the controller forward underhand to bowl, etc. pretty neat. it'll be interesting to see what types of things the game designers come up with to exploit the technology.

Loren also spent a fair amount of time playing games on his computer, which made me quite happy, since i spent a fair amount of time getting it set up and workable, and doubtless makes his grandparents happy since they gave the bulk of the system to him.

tomorrow Loren's mom's going to drop off Phoenix, and Loren & Phoenix's cousin (damn-i-forgot-his-name), who's 5, while she wrestles the bad roads to Children's Hospital in Seattle with her neice Jennifer (the boy's mom) and Jennifer's other son, age 1, who has some fairly rare sort of bone cancer. they're going to postpone a bone marrow transplant treatment (if i understand correctly) for the boy until after the holidays, which should be good for everyone involved. neither Phoenix nor Jennifer's older son would have much fun making a likely 5-hr round trip to Seattle, as well as waiting through the brain fluid tap procedure they're going to do on the little one tomorrow, so they're coming here. Loren was all thumbs-up to that.

i saw Nichole on the news this morning, at the beginning of the Seattle Marathon- first time i can remember seeing anyone from my family on television. Loren saw it too. fun stuff there.

Loren kicked my butt in the first 2 of 3 chess matches we played this evening- beat me pretty handily in the first 2, and fought well before i defeated him in the last one. just when i think his attention span in the game is suffering, he does something brilliant. either that or i'm not very good, or possibly both. fun, though. still like to play chess, and though we don't play all that much, there's a table with a board set up on it in the living room pretty much all the time.

haven't exactly enjoyed the experience of hanging Christmas lights in the cold and wet at night, but the timing was near perfect and i really couldn't turn it down after finding myself summarily dismissed from my former job. sounds like there may be some work for me through the end of the year at Hollywood Lights, if'n i can do it. i've been wearing my wrist/thumb brace hanging the lights; i tried it without and it left me in a lot more pain than normal. there's really no improvement in my wrist to speak of, and i need to get back to the doc. i've given up on filing paperwork over the internet, a method i was more than a little inclined to use, given the amount of writing necessary on the work history forms they sent me, but eventually just grinned and bore it since their web site is just one more jumble of red tape. i haven't been back to the doc in quite a while, partially because i've been working nights and partially because Labor & Industries hasn't compensated me for my claim-related expenses or paid the doc yet, since they've been waiting on the paperwork to allow or reject my claim. the holiday weekend's been a little more delay for me, but this week i'll get their forms in the mail and the ball rolling again- the injury's been around for months now, and isn't healing on its own.

suppose that's all the news that's important to print. PEACE

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