Aphelion Issue 233, Volume 22
October 2018
 
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September was a strange month. My wife went off to visit her youngest daughter's family, so I spent a week and a half as a bachelor. The weather here was either still way too hot, or pouring rain and still too hot. The pets and I spent most of our time wishing the AC was a far more powerful unit than it is. I took two weeks off of work so that I could dog-sit during Lyn's trip. We worried that our surviving dog would be too lonely with Lyn being gone and me having to leave him alone every day I I went to work. He's not yet adjusted to the loss of his big brother--only a couple of months ago and he still wanders the back yard looking for his missing brother. So I made sure he wasn't alone. I missed out on doing some of the work on the project I've been assigned to at the factory, too. That turned out to be all right, since I was back in time to get in on the largest tasks of the project.

The project has been a change of pace for me in that it has been a lot of problem-solving, making lists, a few drawings, and some public speaking as we train to give a good presentation to company executives once the project concludes. The group has most of the detail work completed, and their drawings look highly professional. Now we're down to tracking the repairs we've suggested, mapping the progress, and rehearsing twice a week for the big presentation. Some of the progress recording involves a little bit of photo manipulation & graphic artwork with the computer, and I'm good at that!

As I said, it's a nice change of pace compaired to my doing quality tests and lab work.

In a few hours it'll be time for the monthly Larry Niven E-Mail List's IRC chat. I always look forward to those. They wind up being quite a lot like a mini-convention, but in VR as it's simply text on a screen. Larry, himself usually shows up for a couple of hours. Other guests have included Ed Learner and the late Jerry Pournelle. The usual attendees include rockt scientists, computer IT folks, a biologist, Big Name Fans, writers, artists, and all manner of fans of Larry's work. As I said, it's quite like a small convention. Try looking up the definition of "Topic Drift" sometime. That's us, LOL!

In less than ten days my wife and I, and a few of my co-workers will be flown to a big awards banquet for people who have 40 years seniority with the company who owns the factory where I work. Hard to believe that I've spent 40 years of my life working for the same company, but there you go. There will also be people from others of the company's factories and facilities. There are tours of historical sites and museums, Company HQ, the formal dinner, and everything else that can be crammed into a three-day trip to Pennsylvania. We're looking forward to it.

I realize this isn't much of an editorial, but my schedule is full for today and I don't want to be the reason tomorrow's new issue upload is late. I'll try to think up a better topic for November than a glorified blog post, LOL!

All right, it's about time I shut up and let y'all get to reading the eighth issue of Aphelion of 2018! Enjoy!

Dan


ON THE COVER

Title: Cosmic dust clouds in Messier 78

Photo Credit: ESO/APEX (MPIfR/ESO/OSO)/T. Stanke et al./Igor Chekalin/Digitized Sky Survey 2

This issue is dedicated to my Great Aunt Bea Jordan, who passed away Saturday. Her obituary can be viewed here...