Death From Above

As you might know, we have been experiencing some cold and snow here in Chicago (as in, weeks of below freezing temperatures combined with the snowiest 3 week stretch in the last 40 years). That, combined with some leaking gutters on the neighboring apartment building has lead to some truly staggering ice stalactites hanging over our walkway.

Now inevitably those ice chunks start to melt, and when they do, they fall. And when they fall, it pretty much sounds like the end of the world. If you got hit by one of those, you would ABSOLUTELY be utterly destroyed.

This is not the first year that we have dealt with hovering death hanging over our heads; it’s not unusual for us to hear them smashing down this time of year. When they come rocketing down they take some significant chunks out of our fence, which is why we had to replace the wooden fence with wrought iron last year. In fact, it has already happened twice this week, destroying the last remaining section of wooden fence, and breaking a few of the points off of a section of wrought iron.

However, nothing prepared us for the entire thing coming down at once! Just a giant pillar of ice and death, toppling into our yard at 1:30 am!

Now, so far, it doesn’t look like much. However, allow Sara to lead you on a tour through our backyard…

Some of the ice chunks were too big for me to lift. I can’t stress enough how much this would have killed me if I had been outside!

As you can see, it took out the internet and (unused) phone cable. I don’t know how it managed to not take down the electric cable; it must be made of sterner stuff! But I did call the electric company anyway, and it turns out it was, in fact, damaged, so it’s a good thing I called them! (they already came out and fixed it up)

So long porch that was just redone 2 years ago! So long compost bin! So long walking casually down the walkway without a care in the world, not even thinking about a casual smiting from above!

See below for some of the gory details:

You can see here that the downspout was completely packed full up with ice.

Quote Monday deals with the Olden Times

<Watching an old-timey, silent movie, with all of the old film artifacts>
Alex: “This is like the worst internet ever!”

Evelyn: “So you could only watch DVDs?
Sara: “Honey, we’re older than DVDs.”
Evelyn: “But what did you have then?”
Sara: “We had tapes. VHS.”
Me: “And when you were done you had to rewind the movie or they charged you!”
Sara: “Yeah and they had special machines that could rewind it for you.”
Evelyn: “If you didn’t have a machine, how did you rewind it? By…by hand?”
<Sara and I laughing>
Sara: “No, that would take a long time.”
Evelyn: “So like… Did you have to rewind it overnight?”

I couldn’t stop laughing during this entire discussion, but honestly it’s because the questions that she was asking were legit questions! I mean, how would she know? If you’re used to a world where you can stream any movie on demand, how is rewinding a movie by hand any more ridiculous than the whole idea of a movie on a tape to begin with? How would you have any frame of reference as to how long it took to “rewind” a movie?

Man, do kids make you feel old sometimes!

New story by me, out now!

Just an update to say that a new story by me, “John Henry Was a Steel Driving Man”, is out now in the March/April issue of Analog Magazine! (If you are not a subscriber, a digital issue can be purchased here, or if you’re lucky enough to live by a newsstand or book store that carries Analog, you can pick up a paper copy!)

My, it has been a long time since I’ve had an announcement like this, hasn’t it? I just looked back and I hadn’t had anything new come out in all of 2020. To be honest, I haven’t written much in the past year and a half, or so (mostly for obvious reasons). So here’s to starting 2021 off right, and I will say that I have a few more publications coming up soon to tell you about.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy my retelling of John Henry in SPAAAAAACE! As always, I am humbled to grace the pages of Analog (and never more so when I manage to slip in a story about unionizing!) (Unionizing IN SPAAAAAACE!)

Quote Monday is a dad-annoyance

<Sara watching school webinar while making dinner>
Alex: “Are they teaching you how to cook better?”

Me: “So you’re excited to go back [to in person dance]?”
Evelyn: “Yeah! I’m the oldest dancer in the class and everybody stares at me!”
Me: “And you enjoy that.”
Evelyn: “It’s the only reason I’m still dancing!”

Me, hugging Alex: “I’m so glad you’re my child.”
Alex, hugging me back: “And I am so glad that mommy is my mommy.”

Ollie: “Can you turn my light back on for a second?”
Me: <turns light on> “One one-thousand!” <turns light off>
Ollie, laughing: “Ugh, Dad, you are so annoying!”
Me: “It is a dad’s duty to make terrible dad jokes.”
Ollie: “That’s not a dad-joke, it’s a dad-annoyance.”
Me: “There is a very fine line between those two.”

Quote Monday lives fast and dies young

Ollie: “I know 7 bad words.”
Alex: “Oh I know WAY more than that!”

Alex: “I’m kinda if sad I gave you that check. I wanted to put it in the bank.”
Sara: “Oh, for college money?”
Alex: “No, that’s silly! To buy one of those things….hmmm… For when I’m a grown up? Um, what’s it called…it’s black….a coffin!”

::Alex doing a double take::
Alex: “Oh, for a second you looked like The Lord.”

Eventually we figured out “The Lord” meant “The Emperor” from Star Wars, which was perhaps less surprising (we did just watch Return of the Jedi), but…seriously dude? I’m only 41!