Friday, October 13, 2006

It ain't the years, it's the mileage...

The season changed with a resounding *thud* here in East Tennessee. Less than 48 hours ago it was a sunny, cloudless day in the balmy high 70s and now I'm huddled on the porch with Patagonia capilene on under my jeans and a North Face fleece vest under my jacket(s). The citronella candle that was being used to keep skeeters away just the other night is now burning so I have something to thaw my hand over to keep it limber enough to turn pages in Pournelle's Falkenberg's Legion, which I am re-reading for the umpteenth time.

I let enough life slip by that I never had a chance to shake hands with Mr. Heinlein. Hopefully I'll not make that mistake with Mr. Pournelle; I'd love to thank him personally for hours of enjoyable reading.

Anyhow, it's only 40 degrees outside by the thermometer, and as I wander upstairs for another Sierra (I'd have a Snake Dog, but Kroger closed tonight at 10PM; I guess when they say "Open 24 Hours", they don't mean "...in a row,") my right shin, held together with a steel rod, screws, and (for all I know) duct tape, twinges painfully in the cold. As I reach for the doorknob, my right thumb, broken once in a sportbike wreck and battered by decades of recoil, stiffens and then lets go with an audible *pop!* My left ankle, buttressed by screws of its own, grinds in sympathy. If I'd known I was going to live this long...

Now I know why folks complain about the changing of the seasons, and why our primitive ancestors would give a person's age, not in years, but as "She's survived X winters." Anybody can survive a summer.

Speaking of motorcycles, I wonder if I'll be able to get the CB1 up and running this week. I'll bet the fall colors will be lovely next weekend in the mountains, and the giddy switchbacks of Appalachian mountain highways are calling...

14 comments:

phlegmfatale said...

"Anybody can survive a summer."
That was golden. An open-air ride through fall-colored switchbacks sounds lovely. You'll have to take photographs. It's only fair.

Anonymous said...

Pournelle has a web site.

Lizard said...

I tend to read things in long, quick, glances, which sometimes leads to odd conflations. My eyes saw your comment about missing Heinlein and "She's survived X winters" and I read the latter as "She's survived X *writers*", which struck me as an iconoclastic, if slightly grim, means of tracking one's ever-encroaching age.

The temperature has plummeted here in Southern Indiana, too, but I don't mind. I prefer cold, because it's a lot easier to bundle up with blankets (and cats) than to cool down.

WR Olsen said...

If you want to read Pournelle at his best he has a website "jerrypournelle.com that you will enjoy. His grasp of politics and science is amazing and the people who communicate with him are usuallt brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Pournelle in person is ...interesting.

When he's sober he's thoughtful, erudite, and fascinating.

Unfortunately he has a drinking problem. I've heard he's been getting it under control in recent years, but haven't seen him to confirm.

He is rather unpleasant to be around when he's intoxicated. He's not a nice drunk.

His books (and the stuff he's co-authored with Niven) are really good stuff. Highly recommended.

Trebor said...

I also regret not meeting Heinlein. I do make it a point to meet authors I like whenever they are at the same con I happen to be attending. I hadn't been to any cons yet when RAH passed away though. I still remember hearing the news on the radio and being shocked.

Anonymous said...

"It ain't the years, it's the mileage..."


Thought you were going to talk about sorority girls, for a moment.

Diamondback said...

"It ain't the years, it's the mileage..." One of the greatest quotes from one of the best Movies ever made.

Anonymous said...

I remain pleased to have met Phillip Jose Farmer and tell him how I enjoyed his fiction. ...I also touched his Hugo... ROFL

Dr. StrangeGun said...

Ah, reminds me of every morning, when I wake up nicely and feel great right up until I lift my right knee to step into the shower and it makes a hideous snap...

Anonymous said...

Falkenberg's Legion, as you may know, is one part of a series. BAM has "the complete saga" in one hardback volume, titled 'The Prince'.

Billy Hollis said...

All you Heinlein fans ought to get up to the Heinlein centennial next year in Kansas City. I've got hotel reservations already.

randy said...

Old injuries come back to haunt you again later. ;)

I'd imagine there will be traffic jams on the "Dragon" over the next few weeks.

Firehand said...

Old injuries and plain wear & tear. Glucosimine is the only reason my knees work worth a damn anymore. And when fronts start moving through OK- never mind the cold- the arthritis and battering over the years in various joints remind me about it. Which I really, really could do without.