Saturday, 4 October 2014

12:10 – The usual Saturday stuff. I’m doing laundry. Barbara is downstairs finishing up a batch of 32 small parts bags for biology kits. We also need to clean out my office today, This Time For Sure.

Our contractor, Austin McKnight, called yesterday to give us a quote on replacing the front windows in our house. I told him to go for it. Austin is the nephew of our friend Bonnie Richardson. He’s honest and competent. We don’t even bother to get second quotes any more. Austin tells us how much it’ll cost, and we tell him to go ahead.

Before Austin can replace the window in my office, we need to move the worktable that’s in front of that window, and everything that’s under that table. That includes half a dozen mini- and mid-tower PCs and one PVR/DVR system that looks like something that belongs in an audio rack. Most of them probably still work, but they have older generation components like Core2 Duo processors and so on. Barbara checked them to make sure we’d pulled the hard drives and will haul them over to Good Will this afternoon.

I’m thinking about ordering an air rifle, something like this. I last shot an air rifle in about 1979, when Gamo was a decent Spanish-made budget model. From the reviews, I suspect this one will be just fine for what what I want, which is an inexpensive practice/plinking rifle that could even be used in the house. Of course, inexpensive is relative. Not all that long ago, a brick of 500 .22LR rounds was about $10, or 2 cents a round. Nowadays, .22LR is more like 8 cents a round, while decent basic pellets are about 2.5 cents a round, and premium pellets can run 10 cents a round or more.


55 thoughts on “Saturday, 4 October 2014”

  1. “This Time For Sure.” Cleaning the office falls into the same category as dishes, laundry, etc. – they are never done, although appearances may change briefly.

  2. Bob, a couple of caveats about air-arms (terminology as opposed to firearms).

    1. Better to keep velocity under speed of sound. Better accuracy because they don’t travel at, then drop through, the sound barrier at whatever it is at your height, temp, humidity, et al. That Gamo looks good, and I’d be happy to get it for free, but if there were a .22 air-rifle with comparable energy and price, I’d prefer it unless I was planning on making body shots on quail.

    2. The recent Gamos have a reputation for rough triggers. If it does have, and if you’re getting it purely for practice, that might not be bad. The discipline to make a good shot despite a bad trigger might be worthwhile. Mind you, I’ve never heard bad things said about Gamo’s durability, and $99 is a hell of a price for something that could feed you (and Duncan et al) more-or-less silently in the ‘burbs with squirrels, pigeons, maybe rabbits and woodchucks on open ground, roof rabbits, lap bunnies, and head shots on park pond ferals from ducks to Canada geese, plus screeching guinea fowl and screaming peafowl.

    3. The good doctor (Pournelle) wrote about setting up a practice range in his office, with a bullet trap and an air-pistol similar in feel to his everyday-carry pistol. Just made sure a visitor bursting in couldn’t barge across his line-of-sight before he could make safe. So maybe you could also shop for a bullet trap for any place you’d like to shoot. No fuel costs, no travel time, no delay for making prior arrangements, practice any time in any weather.
    In that respect, your fellow day-noter, Dave Markowitz, has written about that.

  3. Thanks. I just ordered the rifle and 1,000 Crosman premium pellets a few minutes ago. And of course another box of 100 CCI mini-mag .22LR rounds, which is all they’ll let you order per order per person per day. $9 per hundred. Nine cents a round! That’s absurd. Of course, I also looked at some pellets that cost $0.15 each even in bulk. Geez.

    1. I specifically wanted .177 rather than .22. The trade-off is that, all other things being equal, you get significantly higher muzzle velocity with the .177 in exchange for a lighter pellet with less sectional density. That means the .177 shoots flatter out to 30 or 40 meters. The .177 pellets also penetrate better than the .22 pellets with their larger surface area (I can attest to this from experience) and, let’s face it, penetration is the only thing that lets a pellet gun kill vermin and small game.

    2. As I said, I haven’t shot an airgun since 1979, but back then I shot a Gamo (I think it was called El Gamo back then) and several high-end German airguns, including Feinwerkbau. The El Gamo, IIRC, was about $100 then as it is now, so my guess is that it’s now made in China. Still, it was a decent airgun then, and from the reviews I suspect it still is. I just wish they’d get rid of the junk scope and sell it for $95 instead of $100. I could put that $5 towards a real scope. As to the trigger, I’ll take it down when it arrives and see what a little work with a file or even an emery board can do.

    3. Yes, I do intend to set up bullet traps, but I’ll probably just use old phone books. They stop pellets just as well, and they don’t make nearly as much noise as a steel trap.

  4. Nine cents a round! That’s absurd.

    Any reasonable sites to order 500 round bricks?

  5. Thanks. I just emailed Dreamhost tech support. This is new for me. I’ve never had the problem before on any of the domains I’ve used, and some of them are 20 years old.

  6. Hey, Obummer! Still want to allow flights from AfreakA.

    CDC officials have rushed to Newark Liberty International Airport after a passenger believed to be from Liberia showed symptoms of Ebola.
    The man traveling with his daughter on a United Airlines flight from Brussels was reported vomiting as they landed in New Jersey.
    They were both removed from the plane by a CDC crew in full Hazmat attire, ABC reported.

  7. If I were Obama, I’d put a CBG or two off West Africa, with orders to shoot down any aircraft and sink any boat/ship that attempted to leave the affected areas.

  8. If anyone else is looking to buy an air rifle you might want to check out Flying Dragon Air Rifles ( http://flyingdragonairrifles.org/ ) which is run by renowned airgun tuner Mike Melick. He sells Chinese clones of RWS, Crosman and Beeman models that are inspected and test fired before they are shipped. You can also order them tuned. Service was good and he is willing to offer advice on what to purchase.

  9. “…something that could feed you (and Duncan et al) more-or-less silently in the ‘burbs with squirrels, pigeons, maybe rabbits and woodchucks on open ground, roof rabbits, lap bunnies, and head shots on park pond ferals from ducks to Canada geese, plus screeching guinea fowl and screaming peafowl.”

    How long would all these creatures last in the event of major dystopia in the cities, suburbs and exurbs?

    I think Dr. Bob would be smart to get outta Dodge and head for the area he’s been investigating, and toot-sweet. Ditto MrAtoz and Mr. Lynn. It won’t pay to be living near a major urban area, interstate, railroad line, or military base. Mixed forest and farm country looks good, though.

    We’re livin’ on the edge here ourselves; the very northern tip of Megalopolis and within four miles of an interstate and rail line, within a couple of miles of a plethora of local, state and Fed “law enforcement” and “security” organizations. And thirty miles north of an airport which hosts a fighter squadron. Not to mention 90 minutes south of the Montreal megalopolis, but I’m not that worried about them, given the country between.

    We’re also on a 130-mile-long lake that crosses the international border and surrounded by many square miles of farms and forests. There is also local manufacturing industry, so one presumes there are tool makers and machinists in the area, too. And LOTSA firearms.

  10. I think Dr. Bob would be smart to get outta Dodge and head for the area he’s been investigating, and toot-sweet. Ditto MrAtoz and Mr. Lynn. It won’t pay to be living near a major urban area, interstate, railroad line, or military base. Mixed forest and farm country looks good, though.

    I made an executive decision about four years ago to move our business out seven miles from where we were at in the Land of Sugar. But, we are still in the Sugar Land ETJ in Fort Bend County. At the time, I was also contemplating moving the business out to Beasley or to Wharton in Wharton County, another 25 miles out. Funny, I would have been close to where both sets of my maternal great grandparents lived and died in Wharton.

    But, I would have lost half of my employees and probably my prized technical support PhD Chemical Engineer who can handhold just about anyone long enough to help them get an suitable answer out of our software. Plus, I just was not sure that I wanted to live in Wharton. Now I am wondering if El Campo (40 miles out) is too close in to the metropolis.

    I told the wife last night that I thought that we should keep our gas tanks half full all the time now. The only answer I got was a rolling of her eyes. She verified this morning that she thinks that I am nuts. Hey, she’s the one who married me 32 years ago.

  11. “…I thought that we should keep our gas tanks half full all the time now. The only answer I got was a rolling of her eyes.”

    No rolling of eyes up here at that; it is a necessity in the wintuh. Full tanks, that is.

    And that house in El Campo? What kinda peeps would even build a place like that, much less live in it? Yikes. For that price we could buy a huge farm up here, several hundred acres and build whatever we wanted on it, which in our case would conform to the local historical landscape circa 1800. If we lived in MA, it’d be 1650.

    Or we could buy an existing lakefront estate here but I wouldn’t want the upkeep and the necessity of an in-house staff.

    Mrs. OFD and I took a spin out in the country this afternoon, in pouring rain, to view the foliage, which I think looks even better in these conditions; the colors really stand out against a gray and green background. We also visited the birthplace of our 21st President, Chester A. Arthur, in Fairfield; he was born there the year this house was built. War Between the States veteran and a pretty decent President. His mom’s great-grandfather was a soldier in the Continental Army.

    The missus will be off to northern NB tomorrow with her mom to salvage what they can from the cottage and to meet with Provincial officials on the situation. Gone for the week.

    The following week she’ll be in MA babysitting grandkids while daddy is in SF; gone for the week.

    I’ll be investigating various schema here and working on the house and yahd again. And back to watching violent movies and tee-vee shows occasionally.

    Just made up a batch of kale-kielbasa-bean soup; now to toast up some French bread with gahlic buttah. Maybe some kinda apple dessert with coffee ice cream…

  12. I think Dr. Bob would be smart to get outta Dodge and head for the area he’s been investigating, and toot-sweet. Ditto MrAtoz and Mr. Lynn.

    The thing about Vegas is how it is spread out. I’m not sure what survival would be like during a Baracolypse. The population hovers around 2 million, but that is spread out over the entire county (Clark). There aren’t a lot of high rise type living buildings. With the heat and dumb population (we still rate 50 in K-12 quality of education), the death rate would be high and fast. Defense would be a higher priority than food and water as the rats try to get your shit. I’m thinking about upping my paltry couple of months of stores to a year. But if we move on a moments notice, that is a lot of shit to move.

    I think a better scenario is Vegas gradually becoming a ghost town as fewer people can afford to come here. Still got the digs in Kansas. My brother lives in Port Orchard, WA and we could crash there if Obamaggedon starts early.

  13. After the Barrystopia collapse, I picture Vegas as like unto those abandoned and semi-abandoned Russian cities, built around vast industrial and/or atomic energy plants in the old Soviet Union. A ghost town writ large, maybe, only about a hundred degrees warmer. But near the end there would be a mad scramble of crazed rats trying to either steal your chit or escape or both.

    How would you live after such a collapse there?

    Seems like Kansas and Washington would be fah bettuh bets.

    Raining catz and dawgs here tonight; landscape will be saturated again, but the weather liars tell us it’s gonna clear out by morning and we’ll have a wunnerful summuh day tomorrow.

    The kielbasa-bean-kale soup was a hit. French bread toasted with butter and Parmesan-Romano grated organic cheese. Now for some ginger snap cookies and strawberry ice cream. I keep eating like this and I’ll be back up to 275 in no time.

  14. How would you live after such a collapse there?

    As long as there is water, there will be something here. Before the mob, there were cattle and small farms. Up north 15 there are plenty of farms and cattle (Bundy). The gradual transformation of Vegas into a ghost town gives me plenty of time to move. As long as the work is coming in and the airport is functional, we’ll stay here.

    Off to a “Tower of Power” concert at the South Point Casino and Resort. Once of the Twins has to see a live act for Music 101. The South Point is one of the stops for lots of oldies.

  15. But, I would have lost half of my employees and probably my prized technical support PhD Chemical Engineer

    Just out of curiosity, can’t you run your company virtually? Why does everyone have to be in one office?

  16. Allow me to answer for Lynn, in his own words: because he’s a control freak!!!!! The peons must be under his thumb where he can watch them and whip them all day!!!!!!!

    OK, not quite his own words, but that’s what he said when I asked the same thing a year or so ago.

  17. My wife and I briefly managed a remote development team some years ago. It was a miserable failure. I suspect it was because of Chinese culture — modern mainland Chinese culture, anyway — which has most people lying to and cheating everyone they can. It’s just the way things are done; allegedly no one much like it, but it’s the way things are done.

    The owner of the company that we contracted to wasn’t surprised at the failure. He’s Chinese, too, and knows the culture. He’d hoped that a hand-picked team, being very well paid by local standards, would be honest enough to go in to the office, communicate with us by phone and email, and actually do the assigned work. Nope. It was a nice try, but the remote developers took their (high) pay, apparently worked on other paying work on the company computers, and never did deliver much of anything to us, and nothing that wasn’t crap. Oh, and there were constant “misunderstandings”, which would be plausible if I were the only one talking with them, but my wife is Chinese and a developer and is unlikely to have said “next week” when she meant “tomorrow”. Fortunately, the company owner regarded this as an experiment and didn’t blame us for the failure.

  18. Got a replacement phone for my Galaxy S3 that died with the exact symptoms of bad DRAM in their 16gb S3 phones: battery life shortens significantly, noticeable heat generation, dies totally and completely while charging overnight.

    FOURTEEN effing days without a phone! They sent me a replacement at the cost of $75, but the replacement would not activate by my efforts, and for 2 days, my schedule prevented me from travelling the 38 miles to the nearest company-owned store FOR THE FOURTH TIME to get them to activate it. And it took them 20 minutes to do that job, so it warnt me.

    THEN I start using it, and the built-in earpiece is clearly broken. It crackles badly, to the point that I cannot understand anybody through that static.

    Obviously, I get a refurbished phone, but customer service and QC at this cell phone company is not worth chit! I cannot be too loud about it, because I am on a friend’s plan, which gets me (what I just confirmed as) a $100/mo discount on unlimited everything but talk to landlines. Actually it is closer to $200, because you cannot get unlimited data from anybody if you were not grandfathered in, for less than about $240/mo. I have unlimited data. So I put up with the 14 day inconvenience.

    ARRRRGH!

  19. I am familiar with a couple of places that allow remote work, but neither believes essentially everybody could work remotely. The one I am most familiar with, will allow working remotely after you have worked in their office for 2 years. Then it is incremental. You can work from home (or anywhere) 1 day a week, then after a trial period, 2 days a week, up to the point that you can be authorized for 6 months of ‘leave’ to work remotely. Regular Skype video conferences are mandatory for anybody that works remotely — you have to ‘attend’ meetings, just as if you were working in the office. For those who work in the office, their coming and going is tracked by ID badges that unlock doors for them, so the hours in the building are logged. When working remotely, they are required to be on a company Instant Message system, which tracks whether your computer is idle or not, and for how long. When I visit with a person who works from home a couple days a week, they are frequently reaching over for the mouse and moving it a bit, to keep the IM active while we are talking.

    That company does have 2 people who were hired to work 100% remotely (in Europe), but they had a 2 month orientation period in the office, before being brought on board fulltime as remote workers. The company has about 80 employees.

    The other outfit has only a couple people out of the office, and their rules are not quite as hard and fast. The people in that company who work from home, are not paid as well as those who work in the office. I have not been able to get information about whether that is coincidental or intentional.

  20. “Off to a “Tower of Power” concert at the South Point Casino and Resort.”

    I saw them boyz out in Oakland, CA, in ’73, when I was stationed with the AF radar squadron up on Mt. Tam across the Bay. They kicked major ass.

    “… battery life shortens significantly, noticeable heat generation, dies totally and completely while charging overnight.”

    Ditto with the iPhone 5S that the manglers at my recent job gave me. Had to charge it twice a day, which took forever, and it was always hot to the touch. Good riddance. My iPhone 4 stays charged for a couple or three days and is never even warm. I may look at alternatives, though, when my contract runs out; tired of the iTunes and iCloud linkages and hassles all the time with logins and passwords.

    “The one I am most familiar with, will allow working remotely after you have worked in their office for 2 years. Then it is incremental.”

    Wow. That is really totalitarian control freak chit. They’d have to pay me truly beaucoups piastres to eat that every day. Less hassle to just drive in and do the prolecube thang.

  21. Just out of curiosity, can’t you run your company virtually? Why does everyone have to be in one office?

    Allow me to answer for Lynn, in his own words: because he’s a control freak!!!!! The peons must be under his thumb where he can watch them and whip them all day!!!!!!!

    You have got me! Actually, my management style is walk-around. I walk around and talk to people about how things are going. I try to do this daily. I find that I get an enormous amount of info from body language on how things are really going. I do allow some of my people to work offsite up to half of their time but I require that they come into the office each day.

    That said, we use email immensely to “talk” to each other. We could be virtual and save a few thousand a month but I feel that the liabilities would outweigh the benefits. It costs my business about $8,000/month to maintain an office so it is not a big expense. That is about 1/10th of our payroll so you can see where my interests are focused.

  22. The last company that I worked for in the early 1990s had a guy in England. His work output cut back seriously in the afternoons so the prez went over there and pulled a surprise visit. He found him down the street in the pub getting plastered. He was fired that day.

  23. I do allow some of my people to work offsite up to half of their time but I require that they come into the office each day.

    One place I worked had flex hours something like that. The rule was that you could come or go any time of the day, so long as you were in the office from 10:00 to 14:00. That rule was a farce, because I worked on a program that aired live at 20:00 every Friday, and since we did not get out of the building until about 21:00, no one working on that show came in until 14:00. We officially worked 7 hour days there, but got paid for 8, and you could do what you wanted with lunch — take it or not. The rule was complicated even more when the workload increased to the point that we had 2 shifts in the edit suites going from 08:00 to 16:00 and 16:00 to 24:00.

    I was going to say that firings occurred rarely in my business, but in thinking back on it, I cannot really say that. The ones I remember were for theft, carrying a handgun into the studio which is prohibited by the FCC (unless you are the Secret Service), arguing with the top boss over his decision about who would be the noon news anchor, drinking on the job (also prohibited by the FCC), 2 people at different times and places for refusing a direct order by a superior, screwing up audio on a program for the third time after being warned, doing drugs on the job, fisticuffs on the job, rewinding on-air the tape of the final episode of a major PBS British mini-series that had a shock ending (during live Pledge no less), and for hiring a researcher in a documentary unit who previously worked for a special interest group opposing one side of the supposedly unbiased documentary in question. That last one was found out by the local newspaper and the station was pilloried by them. In retrospect, I guess that is a lot of firings.

    Then there was me, ultimately.

  24. What happened if you went to lunch outside and had some booze, then came back? Was that a firing offense?

    Booze was strictly verboten at my workplace in the Eighties but I think they relaxed a bit from about 1995 onwards, but only for “happy hour”.

    I only came back from lunch drunk (or close to it) once, after six margaritas. I could hardly walk straight.

  25. Ha! How about drinking on the job while also on drugs, firing guns off into the air or nearby trees, getting into fisticuffs, beating prisoners, and having sex during the shift?

    You can guess what job that was.

  26. Big-city librarian? Them biddies is tough. I sure wouldn’t want to run across a pack of them.

  27. Every study I’ve ever seen says that telecommuters are more productive than people working in a central office. They also tend to put in more hours/work than office workers, presumably because they treat as work time the time that they’d otherwise spend commuting. They value being able to telecommute, and the flexibility it gives them in their daily lives. It’s pretty easy to get VPN, Skype and teleconferencing software set up and working, as is setting up a distributed virtual PBX.

    If it were me, I’d be figuring out how to transition my company to fully virtual, with as close as possible to zero employees and all independent contractors. I don’t know what percentage of salaries you pay in benefits, but I’d bet it’s pretty high. With independent contractors instead of employees, you can factor your total costs into their hourly billing rates and still probably come out ahead, much more than the $8,000/month in office space costs.

  28. I agree with Dr. Bob 100% on his company employee plan of work. I would do the same, and have cutting-edge video conferencing, Skype or Jitsi, quality sound systems, all on high-end pooters, traditional client-server and advanced VOIP. As much open-sauce as possible but otherwise if it helps make it work better. The servers would be hosted somewhere; there would be no “office” or prolecubes, per se. Peeps would also be hardwired, except in areas where wireless is flawless and secure.

  29. Management by Walking (or Wandering) Around is a time-honored technique that even has an acronym (MBWA) and a Wikipedia entry.

    I was never in management, for which everyone was thankful (myself especially), but I wandered around a lot anyway. It wasn’t a bad way for me to be effective. Enough of the people I bothered would run questions past me about how I would handle their current problem that my wanderings probably had a better payback for the company than my regular assigned work. Not that it was always visible to management, but I was blessed with a couple of the best for long periods and they had a pretty good idea of how things worked.

  30. Well, not every business can be done remotely. In mine, production still requires equipment that no individual can afford to have at home. For very simple projects, like the lawyer videos, I can do those at home. For bonafide broadcast TV shows, that still requires equipment investment in a studio space with video and audio installations into the millions, and a post-production suite with a few people in attendance. I cannot see any way that producers, directors, editors, sound men, could do editing without being in the same room and seeing and hearing exactly the same thing through exactly the same equipment, all together. No way one could sit at home in front of a computer and judge everything correctly without everyone seeing it through the same equipment.

    One might be able to organize and setup shows, write scripts and such from home, but there is so much collaboration required that I do not know how one could get along without a central place for meetings. I have been involved in Skype meetings that resulted in everybody agreeing that we had to meet physically, in person, to move things forward. Might as well all be working together in an office.

  31. Interesting article, Roy. The best managers I’ve seen do this a lot — they wander through the lab/office, stopping with people for just as long as is needed to help them out. I don’t know whether it’s the wandering that *makes* them good, but it at least seems to act like a multiplier for an already-adequate manager.

    Teleworking is good, although I find I struggle with productivity when I’m living somewhere that doesn’t have room to keep an office in a separate room from the living room and bedroom. I’m unsure why, but in that situation it takes me far longer to wake up.

  32. “Actually it is closer to $200, because you cannot get unlimited data from anybody if you were not grandfathered in, for less than about $240/mo. I have unlimited data. So I put up with the 14 day inconvenience.”

    Sheesh Chuck, where are you? On the moon? I’m having a row with our cell provider here in England (3) because they’re still asking £20 ($30?) a month for their unlimited data tariff and I want it cheaper!

  33. Wow. And there’s me thinking it’s always the UK that gets shafted on everything.

  34. Thanks a lot, Mat; you’ve now opened up the Mr. Chuck Pandora’s Box of adulation for All Things Europa.

    Just kidding, Mr. Chuck; I luv ya, man!

  35. Perhaps the lower cost is relative to the number of Ryder cup victories over the last decade….?

    I’d happily trade your cellular costs for our petrol (gas) prices. Touching £6 ($9?) a gallon.

  36. But… but… you have the best health care in the world! It says so on the BBC! That makes up for everything else. They said so on the BBC!

  37. Best health care in the world and undoubtedly the better writers, considering the evidence of the past seven-hundred years.

    Food sucks, though.

  38. Given I fund both from taxes, I’m happy to continue doing so with the NHS (it’s not perfect, but it’s tried, tested and relatively inexpensive) but I’m afraid it’s time Aunty (as we lovingly refer to our state broadcaster) started covering her cost.

    I’m still disgusted that you sent Piers Morgan back. I don’t know, try to give a friend a gift…

  39. Best health care in the world and undoubtedly the better writers, considering the evidence of the past seven-hundred years.

    No freaking way on the writers, we have David Weber, John Ringo and Marcos Kloos. Oh wait, Kloos is a German immigrant to the USA. Ok, I will substitute Robert Heinlein for Kloos.

  40. Last time I checked, there were some other peeps scribbling away long before those dudes. And even if you mean contemporary, I stand by my assertion that writers from the UK and Ireland are way better than ours. Even our best 20th-C poets left the country and moved to England and Italy. We don’t like good writers here; we don’t trust them, and prefer crap.

    Hell, even the Russians can write better than us.

  41. I’ll take British food. Starts with better raw ingredients than we can. No GMO. And gravies and sauces I positively can’t get where I am. Better pizza, too while I’m at it. And fish and chips? We haven’t even had any since Arthur Treacher died. Piers I didn’t mind. It’s Simon Cowles I want sent back. But I want somebody exciting in their place — like Lily Allen. Please keep Adele, although Kiki Dee would do in a pinch. And please send Tanita Tikaram directly to my house.

  42. I’ll gladly take Kiki Dee over the others; I’m a sucker for redhead cougars. Married to one, actually.

  43. Last time I checked, there were some other peeps scribbling away long before those dudes.

    Dude, it is all about the here and now. The popularity of Obala proves that. Shakespeare? Some dude (or maybe even dudes) lived in the way past. Shoot, they never even did a photo interview of him in People or Time magazine! Or even The Rolling Stone!

    Seriously, the UK has not had an awesome speculative fiction writer since H. G. Wells. I read about 90% SF (gotta read Grisham or Patterson every once in a while) and I am not sure that I have any British authors (other than HGW) in my 3,000 book SF collection. Or my 500 book SBR (strategic book reserve). In reviewing my profile on Amazon, I have rated about 250 books over the last 10 years from the 1900s and 2000s.
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A2P5WAAF0R125O

    Wrong! Stephen Baxter is a Brit and I have several of his books. Some of them are actually very good. And so is Arthur C. Clarke and I have a couple of dozen of his. Of course Canadians are not in the UK, right?

  44. OFD wrote:

    “Food sucks, though.”

    Not always. I’ve had quite nice meals in the UK, but I admit they aren’t world leaders.

    But their pasties are *wonderful*. Oops, sorry, that’s Cornwall, not England.

  45. A bit loose on the genre, and reaching on the dates. However, you’ll recognise them, either immediately or after looking them and their works up.
    It’s either “Of course!” or “Really? Gee whiz!” or “Oh, my God!”
    If it’s not, you should make a point of reading their works.

    R.L.Stevenson
    Jonathan Swift
    Walter de la Mare
    Edward Lear
    Brian Lumley
    Mary Shelley
    J.R.R.Tolkien
    Eric Rücker Eddison
    William Morris
    Lord Dunsany
    T. H. White
    Arthur Conan Doyle
    H. Rider Haggard
    William Hope Hodgson
    Lewis Carroll
    G. K. Chesterton
    C.S.Lewis
    Mervyn Peake
    Eric Frank Russell
    John Wyndham
    Neil M. Gunn
    Naomi Mitchison née Haldane, CBE (Lady Mitchison).
    Colin Kapp (the original steam-punk – Yea, the Unorthodox Engineers)
    Piers Anthony
    Trevor Hoyle
    Cory Doctorow
    Terry Pratchett
    Ian Watson
    Iain Banks
    Walter Wangerin, Jr.
    Michael Moorcock
    J.K.Rowling
    _Steven Baxter
    _Arthur C.Clarke
    _H.G.Wells

  46. Thank you, Mr. Don; a fine list!

    As a “hyper-literate” drone I’m partial to Swift, Carroll and Chesterton. For boffo laffs, try Swift’s “Directions to Servants.” Carroll would be in jail nowadays but there is zero evidence anywhere to indicate that he was ever other than absolutely correct in his dealings with young girls. And Chesterton is a 20th-C revelation.

  47. OK, I am defeated. I forgot about J. K. Rowling and C. S. Lewis. The rest of that list is mostly dated. And Michael Moorcock is not awesome, just weird. The same with Cory Doctorow (who is Canadian).

  48. Cory Doctorow (who is Canadian)

    Not as of about 2011, he’s not.

    Actually, C.S.Lewis left the building ten years earlier than did J.R.R.Tolkien. Mervyn Peake pretty close to exactly split the difference. T.H.White four years earlier. Naomi Mitchison came within a year of spanning three calendar centuries.

    Wangerin is well-and-truly still with us, and well-and-truly Oregonian. Maledictions upon my original source, although it has to happen occasionally with Wikipedia.

  49. Authors: Add Neil Gaiman, Alastair Reynolds, Steven Erikson (Canadian) and Guy Gavriel Kay (Canadian)

    I work remotely full-time now as the rest of my team is in Florida. My current contract is working for a software testing services center and as previously stated, I can do everything via VPN, Lync, Outlook, etc. with the bulk in RHEL and VMware vSphere.

    .mg

  50. Sweet.

    Most of us and most of our IT work could be done via those tools; but no, manglers just can’t bring themselves to relinquish even a vestige of their hourly control.

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