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Allergy

John studied himself in the mirror as best he could through tears. Red, puffy eyes stared back at him, a running nose already leaked just a minute after using a tissue. He couldn't do his job well if he always looked like this. He readjusted his coat and a sneeze caught him unaware. At least he had an appointment with the doctor today.

***

 "Mr. Filner, I am afraid that the results were inconclusive." Dr. Snozuk came bustling into the small room a clipboard in one hand with papers folded over the top and a pen in the other hand. "We only found one thing that you seemed to have a serious immune response to, and it simply doesn't grow in this environment."

"But if I am not allergic to anything else why do I have all the symptoms?" He tried not to wipe his nose on the jacket sleeve. Dr. Snozuk must have noticed John's involuntary half-lift of his arm because he grabbed the box of tissues behind him and set it next to John.

Dr. Snozuk waited while…

Another Attempt

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Or, I got really self-righteous writing an attempt at this post, or at least righteous.
So what am I doing now without two classes to keep up with? First, my wife is really happy that I am contributing more to chores. It is amazing how much she likes that, even with understanding just how much work school is. So if I don’t kill myself trying to do two classes maybe I can keep up more than just a token effort on chores.
And speaking of helping I was able to get her research back on track after five minutes of fiddling with the configuration files. It is nice that she can bother me without feeling guilty.
I really want to go fencing. This time for sure, no stopping me, we have all the gear.
More outdoor exercise, oh wait it dumped snow on us last week, just the walk to work was a workout. But the wife and I built a giant snow monster:
More birdwatching. Birds are coming to town! But it snowed and we’ve had some of the coldest weather of all winter. I am afraid that March regressed toward th…

Dust - Expedition

“Whoa! She crumbled” Jared stared down. 

Of course he had to touch it, Elena thought, men can’t appreciate anything they can’t touch. “Didn’t I say something about not touching anything.” 

“I didn’t.” That sounded a bit plaintive even for him. “I just wanted to look at something on her skin.”
It was a good thing that her eye roll didn’t add a chorus to her already restrained sigh. She shook her head and walked back out of the house on the outskirts of a town that must be abandoned. Nothing moved, not even a breeze. Elena was glad that she had photographic evidence before Jared breathed it out of existence. “Come on, and try not to stare too closely at the art next time, however weird that it was in a tub.” 

Elena didn’t understand the grumbled reply, and frankly didn’t want to make a big deal of it. They were already tight on their schedule, so many new places to go with a new satellite making its way across the surface of the Sphere, they had five hours allocated to explore this town an…

Blogger and CSS

My wonderful audience may have noticed a few swaps in my blogger theme, something is really broken on my posts with spacing between paragraphs. Since I can't use tabs without tabbing out of the editing interface I use an extra line between paragraphs, pretty standard for lots of internet content these days. However, blogger's new "improved" themes broke this for many of my old posts.

I tried to edit '.post-body' css but it seems that I will have to back through by hand and edit the html, per post. I really don't want to spend the time migrating to WordPress, but it is looking even more likely now. I was hoping to do more writing and save my developing time for more fun side projects.

Phyton: Episode 5 - First Report

Airports on the receiving end were just as nightmarish as the sending end these days, Al thought as he pulled his suitcase from an old fashioned belt.  Anyone could grab luggage if they wanted to. The security was terrible too. So many uniforms jostling to look closely at you, your bags, and a suspicious mustard stain if you had the misfortune of spilling lunch.
Back before the purge the entities had monitored from afar with others delivering your luggage directly to you, no mess and fuss of people crowding the belt. Now the security gap left by the entities felt unfillable, all of the personnel seemed frustrated by the number of people milling around and the occasional raised voices of people arguing over similar luggage or trying to convey just how important their lost luggage was to a harried worker.
Al found Jeff already in the crowd as he trundled his decidedly unresponsive luggage away from the chaos.
“You got yours, well that gives me hope. I’ll see you at our first meet. If anyth…

On Why Quitting is Terrible Failing

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Many failures may precede success, but failing within an institution is just failing.

I am trying to suss out what is an acceptable level of failure. I grew up with the idea that failing at anything was bad: school, piano, that stupid cake-walk back in cub scouts, and many other venues. I’ll just say that I was so upset at the cake-walk they gave me some consolation pie. But back to the point: failure was unacceptable and very upsetting.

School was and is the prime place of failure being unacceptable. In some ways I envy the kids that don’t care when they fail, but in many others I don’t, since I would be very surprised if they are more successful than myself. Though I am certainly not a paragon of success, just very comfortable.

What does failing lead to within school as an institution? Retaking a grade at the worst save dropping out. I never failed in primary or secondary with my worst grade a C. This kept me from having a free ride through UW. The only fear of failure ever was on spec…

Short Story: Dreams with no Prophecy

“How did we start talking about Joey?” My brother frowned. It was a bit weird I admit.
“Because we were talking about people we know, or knew.” I tried to adjust the flimsy plastic armor plate biting into my shoulder.
“Yeah, but she was a cat.” He leaned back against the netting of the seat and fiddled with the straps, some derision in his tone.
“My favorite.”
He chuckled and shook his head. I just smiled ruefully. A few more pallets arrived on an autonomous lift and were placed in the center of the hold. Neither my brother or I moved as the privates and corporals secured them. That felt weird too, but then we would have been in the way.
I continued, “I think it’s because she lived a long, full life.”
“Yeah, all 19 years. But do you really think so? You always could ‘reason’ your way through anything.” He focused on the tie-downs as the squad finished their work.
I felt a bit defensive, but took a breath before answering. “I was going to say that it really helped me.” I forced a laugh, “But …

Mostly Up, Some Down

This week has been a rollercoaster ride emotionally with school. I just finished the 4th project of 8 for my computer vision course, all about calibrated and un-calibrated stereo vision matrices. Fun stuff. I also got back a terrible grade from the other class, pretty sure that I have to get straight A’s the rest of the semester to get a B. I feel responsible, and between the problem of too many people in the class and the course instructor shooting down my plea to grade the part that we forgot, I almost quit.
I really need to talk to people about if this whole master’s is worth it for my career. Or would I be better off writing and living more?
I have been writing, not as much as I should nor in a great place (read: procrastination.) I have been working on the novel that I wrote 50k words for NaNoWriMo in 2015, mostly going through my wife’s comments and trying to make it read a bit better. The nice thing about waiting so long is that I can really have a critical eye. Nothing is spared…