Acts of bike maintenance

It is very gratifying, after I went to the trouble of getting a fancy e-bike, to be able to do something to take proper care of it.

Last several rides I’ve been out, the pedaling in some gears was being weird. Not quite grinding, but going in that direction. Enough for me to notice, certainly. So I stopped at Seattle Electric Bike in Bothell to ask them what to do about this, since I was there anyway to pop super-fast into the BECU and do a deposit in the ATM.

Noted with interest that Seattle Electric Bike was open, but they had put up a little table to block the entrance, with a small terminal there and a sign that asked customers to wait at the door and they’d come outside to us. So I did that, and one of the guys inside the store came quickly out to chat with me. (We were both wearing masks, so A++ handling of customer and staff store safety there, Seattle Electric Bike!)

I explained my problem, and the staffer told me I should go to Bothell Ski & Bike to buy some lubricant for the chain. Seattle Electric Bike doesn’t carry parts or maintenance items, for the most part; they’re focused on selling the e-bikes, as well as doing regular maintenance for the people who’ve bought bikes from them. But if you want parts or other essentials to do maintenance yourself, Bothell Ski & Bike is better for that.

So I thanked him and went on my way. Since Bothell Ski & Bike was on my way back from Bothell anyway, I popped off the trail long enough to divert over to them once I reached that part of Kenmore.

Bothell Ski & Bike also gets high marks for handling their store and customer safety. They’re a bigger store than Seattle Electric Bike, with a larger entrance, and they’ve got signs up asking customers to wait outside until a staffer can come out to talk to them and let them into the store. Once I explained what I needed, their staffer was immediately able to help me and sold me a bottle of their most recommended chain lubricant.

Today, I tried that out and it worked like a charm. I had to hoist the bike up onto the support pole we have in our garage, just so that I’d be able to spin the back wheel freely and get to all parts of the chain. Laid down a towel underneath the bike, streamed the lubricant all along the chain, and then wandered off for ten minutes as per instructions. When I came back, I then wiped the chain down three times.

Took the chance to wash the bike a bit as well. It had a lot of cruft on it in various places, which both of the bike staffers suspected was contributing to the hinky behavior of the chain.

Finally took the bike on a little round of the block and the ride was much smoother. Mission accomplished, go me!

Mail outage on

Heads up folks who are on mailing lists hosted on or who get their personal mail there: we are having an unexpected outage of newmoon, the server that runs our mail. We’re working on it.
The outage is going to necessitate a clean install of the operating system, and once that’s done we’ll have to reinstate functionality like mailing lists. We apologize for the inconvenience!
Primarily impacted by this:
1) the and filk mailing lists;
2) anybody who gets personal mail on newmoon.
I’ll post here, on Twitter, and on my Facebook page when newmoon is back up. Thanks in advance for your patience! Drop a comment if you have any questions.

Because I fixed crossposting ebook roundup

Latest ebooks I’ve acquired, you all know the drill.

Picked up from Kobo:

  • Upright Women Wanted, by Sarah Gailey. Had my eye on this one as a post-apocalyptic Western-flavored thing starring queer women serving as Librarians–charged with taking books to communities in the oppressive society they live in.
  • Reborn Yesterday, by Tessa Bailey. Paranormal romance featuring vampires. The Bitchery seemed to like this one and it was on sale for 99 cents, and I liked the cover and the sample I read. So thought I’d give it a go.
  • Chilling Effect, by Valerie Valdes. SF. This one was also on sale, and I nabbed it in part because the protagonist appears to be Latinx and this has an impact on the dialogue. Plus I am intrigued by her ship having to deliver a cargo of superintelligent telepathic cats, and since the blurb is setting it up as humorous space opera, I’m here for that.
  • Santa Olivia, by Jacqueline Carey. This one’s actually been out a while, and I had my eye on it as it’s a superhero story set in the American Southwest. Grabbed it finally as it was on sale for $1.99.

Pre-ordered from Kobo:

  • The Conductors, by Nicole Glover. Historical/urban fantasy with protagonists of color and this one does seem like fun. More info on the book can be found on the author’s site here.

127 for the year.

In other news: power outage shenanigans

(Those of you who follow me on Facebook already saw me posting about this, but this is for everybody who missed the story!)

Thursday morning, around 4am, I got woken up of a sound sleep to discover that the power had gone out. How my sleeping mind knew this: the air filter had gone off.

I need the soft noise of the air filter to sleep–I have a very hard time sleeping in total silence. So when the filter went out and the room was in fact silent, that was enough to wake me up.

Continue reading “In other news: power outage shenanigans”

Solving more computer issues, RSS Client edition

So way back when, when Google killed off Google Reader, I wound up flipping about a lot in search of an RSS reader solution that’d let me get the links I wanted to follow in all the places I wanted to follow them.

I finally settled on a solution that didn’t exactly satisfy me: using a Feedly account, plus two different RSS clients. I needed one RSS client to pull stuff down from Feedly, and it’s an RSS client I do like–but unfortunately it doesn’t support authenticated feeds. So I also had to install a second client to get at the feeds I wanted to read from Dreamwidth (and at least until everybody seriously bailed on LJ, LJ as well).

But I had to also keep the first client, because the second one didn’t talk to Feedly.

In other words: stupidly complicated.

(And this is also stupidly long for a post, so here’s a More/cut tag for y’all.)

Continue reading “Solving more computer issues, RSS Client edition”

Solving some computer issues

The last few days have been pretty big for solving computer issues at the Murkworks. So here’s a writeup about what I solved!

First and foremost, I got crossposting to Dreamwidth working again. Turns out the root cause of the problem was Dreamwidth changing security settings under the hood, as per this post. The instructions they gave for generating an API key for the client Semagic also worked for the JournalPress plugin I use to crosspost off my WordPress blog. So whew, finally, that’s sorted.

Second tech issue solved: my secondary laptop Savah (the one with the dual partitions of Windows 10 and Linux) had to have its backup settings in both OSers rejiggered, since they stopped talking to the laptop we use as our Time Machine/general backup server. We’ve got this ancient Mac that our newer Macs keep talking happily to, and it’s got three, count ’em, three different hard drives plugged into it serving as backups.

But Win10 stopped talking to it and I don’t really know why. So Dara came up with the useful alternate plan of setting up Samba on one of our Linux servers, making a share on that, and letting Windows 10 do its backup to that share. This also necessitates excluding the directory that share’s in from the main server backups. But so far this seems to be working.

Third solved tech issue is bigger, and I’ll spend another post on that, because that’s all about finally finding a solution to my RSS reader needs!

Writing again, finally

For those of you who may have missed it if you don’t follow or follow me directly on social media, I’ve actually been writing again for the last couple of weeks. Finally.

I have a project in progress I’m sending out to my Patreon supporters and I’ve written a post about it on, go check out the post if you’d like to know more!

Ebook roundup, Storybundle edition

I saw three different sets of books being promoted via Storybundle on Twitter today, so I decided to splurge and get all three of ’em. As of this writing the bundles are still available, so if any of these sound interesting to you, you should check them out!

I’m not going to list every single title here, otherwise the post would be way too damned long. But I will link you up with the actual pages on!

These bundles are timed offers, so if any of them sound interesting to you, get on it:

SFWA Fantastic Beasts Bundle, good for another 11 days, 15 books if you pay at least $15

Pride 2020 Bundle, good for another 25 days, 11 books if you pay at least $15

African Speculative Fiction Bundle, good for another five days, 10 titles if you pay at least $15; note that these are all anthologies/collections of shorter works

122 total for the year.

Ebook roundup, anti-racism edition

Trying a new thing with this particular book roundup, and including actual purchase links for all the titles. In case any of you all want to buy these titles for yourselves, particularly the anti-racism reading, I thought it might behoove me to make it a little easier for you.

For almost all titles, I have included the link off to Kobo where I bought them from, but I have also included the link to the title on If you’re not familiar with that site, it’s an aggregate site for indie booksellers, and I encourage you to look into it if you’d like to buy print books from somewhere that isn’t Amazon.

On to the books! Purchased from Kobo for purposes of educating myself about systemic racism in this country:

  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?, by Beverly Daniel Tatum. [Kobo] [Bookshop]
  • When They Call You a Terrorist, by Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele. [Kobo] [Bookshop]
  • Eloquent Rage, by Brittney Cooper. [Kobo] [Bookshop]
  • So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo. I’ve actually already read this, but I read it as a library book before, and under the current circumstances I feel it important to own a copy. I can definitely recommend this as critical reading. [Kobo] [Bookshop]

Purchased from Kobo because I wanted to support some authors of color:

  • A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, by Roseanne A. Brown. YA Fantasy. Nabbed this because the title is awesome. [Kobo] [Bookshop]
  • Raybearer, by Jordan Ifueko. YA Fantasy. Nabbed this because its cover is gorgeous, because I liked what I read in the sample. [Kobo] [Bookshop]
  • A Song Below Water, by Bethany C. Morrow. YA Fantasy. Nabbed this because mermaids are cool. [Kobo] [Bookshop]
  • The City We Became, by N.K. Jemisin. Urban fantasy. Nabbed this because I already knew N.K. Jemisin is an amazing writer, and because I read the original short work on that precipitated this novel. [Kobo] [Bookshop]

Also purchased from Kobo:

  • Wanderers, by Chuck Wendig. Apocalyptic SF. Grabbed this one because I already know I like Wendig’s work, and because I’m half in the mood for this kind of story given current national and world events. [Kobo] [Bookshop]
  • Blood Shot, by Tanya Huff. Urban fantasy. This is a collection of short stories featuring Vicki Nelson, post-dating the main Blood series. Only available in ebook form, I think? [Kobo]

And lastly, purchased from Amazon:

  • Knit One, Girl Two, by Shira Glassman. F/F romance. Grabbed this because a) I think the title is adorable, b) it got some positive buzz on Smart Bitches, and c) the world is a flaming trash fire right now and every so often I just need a sweet little novella about two nice girls who like each other. Only available on Amazon for the Kindle, though. Sorry, anybody who reads on other platforms! [Amazon]
  • Conquest, by Celeste Harte. Futuristic sci-fi fantasy. This is another author of color, and I saw her work getting plugged on Twitter so I decided to check it out. She thanked me directly and was very sweet about it. <3 Go give her book a look, won’t you? [Amazon] [Bookshop]
  • The Undoing, by Shelly Laurenston. Paranormal romance/urban fantasy, book 2 of her Call of Crows series. Nabbed it because it went on sale for $1.99 for a little bit there, though it appears to no longer be on sale at that price. [Amazon] [Bookshop]

86 for the year.

Mid-May ebook roundup

Acquired from

  • The Way of Kings, by Brandon Sanderson. Fantasy. This was a freebie from their ebook club mailing list.

Acquired from Amazon:

  • Aurora Blazing, by Jessie Mihalik. Book 2 of her Consortium Rebellion sci-fi romance series. Nabbed this one because it was cheap, even though I haven’t read book 1 yet. But I love the titles, I love the cover, and I love what I’m seeing in the blurbs on these so I anticipate liking these quite a bit. And I’ll freely admit I like the similarity of vibe to Jupiter Ascending given off by this series’ book titles. I’m hoping the actual books will have a similarly fun vibe.

Pre-ordered from Kobo:

  • The Relentless Moon, by Mary Robinette Kowal. SF, book 3 of her Lady Astronaut series. Because fuck yeah, I want to read this one! Books 1 and 2 were awesome. <3
  • Harrow the Ninth, by Tamsyn Muir. Book 2 of her Locked Tomb trilogy, which I pre-ordered the fuck out of as soon as I finished Gideon the Ninth, Book 1. Because goddamn that book rocked.

Bought from Kobo:

  • Truthseeker, by C.E. Murphy. I have this one already in print, and I’ve already read it, but now it’s finally out in ebook form. Yay!
  • Chimera, by Mira Grant. Book 3 of her Parasitology series, which I’m finally ready to read now that I’ve re-read books 1 and 2!
  • The Broken Girls, by Simone St. James. Nabbed this one because I really enjoyed the other book I recently read by her, and because this went on sale.

73 for the year.