A little of this, a little of that

software frustrations

Pardon me while I ramble for a bit this morning. I haven’t had nearly enough coffee. I’m in the final push to get Surtr’s Fury out the door. Family stuff has me distracted. If that’s not enough, I am already tired of some of the political shenanigans going on both locally and elsewhere.

Let’s start with the first of the shenanigans. Like so many major metropolitan areas, DFW is home to two “large” airports. I won’t argue with DFW International being called that. But let’s face it. Love Field is still a mid-sized airport with visions of grandeur. Love is also the source of my first semi-rant.

Parking at Love, much less the ability to drive in and pick up your family/friend/business associate/whoever with ease has been a fiction for years. Because of that, those familiar with the airport have long gone with using taxis or ride share services. Now the city has decided it would be a good thing to make it more difficult for anyone wanting to Uber or use similar services to do so. All in favor of a taxi-like service that will now have exclusive right to what had been the area where taxis and ride shares used to come to wait.

Oh, but wait, says the city. We have a new designated area for everyone but the contracted service (a 5 year contract at that). All you have to do is grab your luggage, trek to a separate area further away and one that some have voiced concerns about security about. Besides, says the city, it will help raise money for our transit services.

Riiiight. And if you believe that, I have some land in Florida I want to talk to you about. This is all another example of the city not seeing the long-term impact because all they see are the short term dollars. Something that isn’t new where Love Field is concerned.

Then there’s the screwing NYC is doing to drivers wanting to actually use their cars to get to work, shop, whatever in Midtown Manhattan. I get that they have a major traffic problem. Most large cities do. I get that they need to find a way to fix the issue. But c’mon. Charging $15/day to drive into town. While by itself that doesn’t seem too bad. However, add that to parking, tolls they pay to get to Midtown, etc., and it becomes much more than that $15.

This has as much, if not more, to do with NYC needing money than it does with easing traffic in the city. Instead of sending cops out to write parking tickets and setting ticket quotas, they’ve gone one better. They will just hit a majority of commuters because ride shares and other vehicles are included in this “toll”. They the pols will wonder why prices have had to increase, why shops are closing and moving to more friendly environs, etc.

Of course, in typical NYC fashion, the powers-that-be have done this in the wrong order. It has already spent the money to purchase and install the toll readers. But, and this is a big but, they have yet to get the appropriate federal approval. Part of me is hoping the feds don’t give their approval. Then there are already law suits filed, iirc, challenging this new law. Talk about putting the cart before the horse.

What else?

Oh, the best of the morning? A friend pointed me to her response over on the platform once known as Twitter to an idiot who is trying to school everyone on the Ukraine situation. According to this asshole–the idiot, not my friend–Putin has wanted to end the war in Ukraine since it started and the only reason that hasn’t happened is because we are losing and can’t have that.

Yes, you read that right. We are losing the war in Ukraine and, supposedly, we have troops on the ground there, fighting side-by-side with the Ukraine military.

And Tovarisch Putin has wanted to end the war since he started it. I’ll agree there. But the only way this Stalin-wannabe wants it to end is with the complete and total unconditional surrender of the country. Anyone who thinks differently needs to not only study up on what’s been happening there but also on Putin’s history and the history of those who models his rule on. He is most definitely not a benevolent dictator.

In the words of Monty Python, “And now, for something completely different,” here’s a snippet from Surtr’s Fury. I’m not going to say where in the book it comes except that it’s in the first quarter. Nor will I give you context because I’m mean that way. Here you go:

Five miles outside of town, the SUV slowed to a stop and idled at the crossroads. I held the steering wheel in a death grip and leaned back, considering my options. This was it. If I drove on, there would be no turning back. Gemma would “feel” me the moment I crossed into her lands. The fact her house lay several miles away didn’t matter. She’d know, just as she’d know if I chickened out and ran back to town.

Not long before she disappeared, Mom and I made the drive to see Gemma. Mom stopped the car right here that day. She sat as rigid and looked as uncertain as I now felt. When I asked her about it, she explained what she called Gemma’s arcane security system. The Seer’s wards would warn her of anyone approaching. Spells would turn them aside unless she approved of their presence on her lands. If that failed, well, Mom said not to risk the “what happens now” factor where Gemma’s concerned.

That was one of Mom’s many lessons I took to heart and now it resonated through me almost as strongly as the magics from the Rift.

I hissed out a breath, cursing softly for letting memories distract me. Then I inhaled sharply. Ten yards in front of the SUV, a large, tawny-colored feline slowly crossed the road. Mouth suddenly dry, pulse beating a loud rhythm in my ears, the fingers of my right hand slowly pried themselves from the steering wheel. Even more slowly, I reached for the .1911 resting on the passenger seat. Not that it would do much beyond pissing the cat off if I had to use it.

As if reading my thoughts, the cat swung its large head in my direction. Green eyes blazed above a scarred snout and fangs that left no doubt about the damage it could inflict if it wanted. The fact it also outweighed me didn’t reassure me any.

I waited, holding the gun in my lap, hoping the cat would move along. I didn’t want to kill her—assuming I could—not when her teats told me she probably had a litter somewhere nearby.

I didn’t dare close my eyes, but I could roll them. This was just what we didn’t need: a litter of monster cats that bore more than a passing resemblance to the long extinct smilodon. Assuming I got out of this alive, I needed to warn Gemma. I also needed to let the local authorities and then the Conclave know.

The cat gave me one last look and padded off, disappearing between two of the abandoned houses down the road. Relief washed over me, and I let out a shaky breath I hadn’t realized I’d been holding. Then I swallowed hard. The cat’s appearance was a reminder monsters bigger, badder, and meaner than me lived in the area and I was the trespasser. If I continued down this road, I risked everything and for what?

What the hell did Gemma want with me?

Until later!

Featured image created using Midjourney AI

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.