Vacations and Magic

Kage Baker – believing, as she did, that computers operated by some inchoate Clarkian magic – was never really surprised when her own computer did something odd. Disappointed, frustrated, enraged – all those things; but not surprised. She rather expected it to turn on her from time to time, like a demon whose binding spells have to be periodically renewed.

I, on the other hand, know it’s(mostly) a machine. I understand the arcanities of GIGO. I know how to sign off things when I am done with them. Nonetheless … someone else’s computer system can still surprise me from time to time. And, of course, there is no telling what the Interwebs themselves will get up to in their spare time. They have such a lot of it! Consider how fast time moves  for the vast mind we have built between us, and you can see that bits of it must always be reaching senility or going quite mad.

This week, I have been lying around doing next to nothing at a friend’s house, vacationing in lovely Santa Rosa. I have done one load of laundry and taken their dog to the groomer, (the Cocker Spaniel is now whisper fresh!) so I guess I have satisfied Hygeia – other than that, I have pretty much been a happy fungus. My Buke doesn’t pull in a signal well here in the hills above the town, so I have been using my hosts’ generously offered computer system … but it has different quirks from mine own, of course.  Topping that, WordPress here has been declining to admit I exist, which has made blogging difficult.

I wouldn’t mind not existing, temporarily – what a way to ensure a vacation! But several of the other sites I habitually use have instead refused to let me sign off. One weird consequence of that is that I just got a book auto-delivered to my Kindle that I never heard of, and a note from Neassa explaining I was inexplicably signed on to Amazon in place of herself …

So I have been back-tracking everywhere this morning, signing myself off wherever I can recall going. And while I do remember already signing off, there I still was anyway on half of the sites. But I think I have managed to erase my tracks now.

And as a reward, WordPress is letting me back on. Huzzah!

Kage by this time would have stomped off in a snit at the evil vagaries of computer systems, and be ostentatiously writing by hand. She always carried a pen and notebook, in anticipation of the coming computer apocalypse. And she could write so that her very posture was accusatory – she was always so personally offended when her machines misbehaved.

But I am fine. I have read a great deal these last several days, which has been incredibly therapeutic. I’ve spent very comfy evenings reading stories about the periodic table of elements, and sharing weird information about gallium and the lanthanides with Neassa, as she worked on an exquisite Edwardian walking skirt and jacket. There has been unlimited cheese and copious fruit. And I am secure in the knowledge that I did necessary bookish stuff first.

I haven’t shared as much of adventures with you, Dear readers, as I should have; but I’ll catch up. To be honest, between the unfamiliar computer systems and my own laziness, most of my adventures have been of the “Oh no, we’re out of half and half!” variety.

Though I did spend yestreday evening in a cemetery, watching the sun set through a grove of old oak trees. Neassa was there for a dress rehearsal on a Rural Cemeteries Tour in which she participates each year; that’s why she’s been making a walking skirt. I sat happily on the edge of a Mr. Rule’s elegantly walled plot, and watched people in clothing of the past 150 years flit through the dimming trees. Very surreal, very lovely.

Tomorrow I head home. Today I am still lazy. On the other hand, I’ve defeated the computer glitches! A very successful vacation.

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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3 Responses to Vacations and Magic

  1. Medrith says:

    That whole Edwardian cemetery tour would make a heck of a painting. I like to paint in cemeteries anyway and the costumed people would add a great deal.


  2. Widdershins says:

    One cannot ask for more than that.


  3. Laura says:

    For the next time such a thing happens, clearing the browser’s cookies *should* log you out of anything still active. Computer gremlins can be wicked and tricksy, though.


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