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Several people on my friends list have pointed out what wonderful gifts books make. I agree completely. To encourage the book-giving, if you plan on giving a copy of one of my goblin books as a gift, please let me know and I'll send you an autographed bookplate to go with it. (U.S. only, please -- sorry.) This offer good through Christmas or until I run out of goblin bookplates.

I'm also still looking for people who might be willing to drop off Stepsister Scheme bookmarks at conventions over the next few months. If you're up for it, please shoot me an e-mail.

Thirdly, a reminder that tomorrow is the last day to vote in the Stepsister photo contest. I'd encourage people to check out the fun pics if you haven't already. Just click on ye olde banner.

Finally, an important safety tip. Yesterday, I learned that when your oven is at 450 degrees full of hot, juicy chicken strips and french fries, it's a bad idea to open the door and immediately bend down to grab stuff, even if you're in a hurry. I was quite impressed at the targeting ability of the steam, which managed to burn my left eye but not my right, and to do so despite the fact that I was wearing glasses.

It's a very minor burn, and a half-hour of cold damp cloth pretty much took care of it. I did have a Mythbusters moment where I hurried to the bathroom asking, "Am I missing any eyelashes?" So nothing serious or crippling, but not a pleasant experience.

The lesson here? Steam is apparently very hot. It's also both evil and sneaky, and has precision targeting systems that bypass normal protections. Consider yourself warned!

Myth Gotten Gains, by Robert Asprin & Jody Lynn Nye
Amazon | Mysterious Galaxy
Red Hood's Revenge



( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 4th, 2008 06:19 pm (UTC)
Steam is not evil, it just has its own agenda, one that doesn't always include powering engines, providing comfy baths, or being yet another "-punk" literary adjective. Don't be reinforcing old stereotypes!
Dec. 4th, 2008 06:26 pm (UTC)
Why Jon, I never would have taken you for one of those backstabbing steam apologists! I'll be watching you from now on, buddy. I know all about your kind and the radical pro-steam agenda!
Dec. 4th, 2008 08:04 pm (UTC)
Hey, open your eyes, man! I suggest you take a look at FightTheSteamSmears.com and learn the truth!
Dec. 4th, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC)
I was in on the team that designed the guidance system. We lifted the code in job lots from the group that was doing the cat hair project.

It's not a bug, it's a feature.
Dec. 4th, 2008 06:26 pm (UTC)
Well done. You've done a remarkably efficient and effective job with the project.
Dec. 4th, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC)
Steam is an Elemental - sounds like he found you and tried to plant a story idea and hit you in the eye instead.

Steam is very sorry
Dec. 4th, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Steam
See, this is why I prefer my ideas delivered by pigeon. Sure, you get pigeon poop in the office carpet, but that can be cleaned. Plus the cats get to play fun games with the messenger!
Dec. 4th, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Steam
WOW - the old Pigeon Poop Special.

Explains why I am just a Technical Writer - we just get the Nuts "N Bolts Deadline Wagon. Clunky, but cleaner and (maybe) neater.
Dec. 4th, 2008 06:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Steam
Must ... resist ... childish comments about injuries to the nuts 'n bolts.
Dec. 4th, 2008 07:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Steam
Sick - AND - twisted - I knew I liked you
Dec. 4th, 2008 06:23 pm (UTC)
This sort of thing has apparently happened throughout human history, without any lasting lesson obtained by the species.
Dec. 4th, 2008 06:28 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I'm just amazed it took this long for me to burn myself. I would have predicted this months ago.
Dec. 4th, 2008 06:30 pm (UTC)
I'm surprised the "young earth" crowd hasn't seized on the example as proof against evolution.
Dec. 4th, 2008 06:44 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the warning, and glad the injury wasn't more lasting...
Dec. 4th, 2008 06:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Yikes!
You and me both!
Dec. 5th, 2008 02:57 am (UTC)
Here's another sneaky thing about steam. If you have a whistling tea kettle, the cloud of white stuff isn't steam -- it's just condensing water vapor. The steam is the thin transparent jet coming out of the whistling hole under pressure in the gap before the white mist begins.

The white cloud is cool and damp. The jet of "true steam" will burn you, cut you like a knife, steal your wallet and make wild love to your girlfriend. All before you can scream or your wife finds out.

Dr. Phil
Dec. 5th, 2008 06:10 pm (UTC)
That's why it was so dangerous to crawl through the university steam tunnels. But we did it anyway.
Dec. 5th, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC)
Michigan State, or a different one? We checked out the MSU tunnels once or twice too.
Dec. 6th, 2008 11:08 pm (UTC)
U of Akron, actually. Many tunnels lead from downtown Akron. Lots of dust.

It was something to do.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )


Jim C. Hines


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