Fascinating courtly intrigue and bloody power games set on a generation ship full of secrets―Medusa Uploaded is an imaginative, intense mystery about family dramas and ancient technologies whose influence reverberates across the stars. Disturbing, exciting, and frankly kind of mind-blowing.” ―Annalee Newitz, author of Autonomous

Friday, June 14, 2024

Michael's Chronicle: Steaming in Salina

Michael Thiele is a woodsmith who makes musical instruments and playable furniture. He spends most of his life either in the shop or out on the road buying wood and selling his work at craft shows. In recent years, his travels have begun to inspire his own writing, so he sends me his thoughts.

June 13
Steaming in Salina

Fuck weather. I don’t have words for what’s going on here today in Salina, Kansas, as I’m setting up for this weekend’s show - the Smoky Hill River Festival. I actually thought about slitting my throat but if it’s too hot to bleed out what’s the point? When the mosquito that lands on your arm looks up in a moment of abject pathos because he lacks the energy to bite you, well……need I say more? 

Brutal hot is the opposite of brutal cold but actually the same. I live at seven thousand feet and on a bitter cold day one knows just how bad it can get because he can’t hear what the guy two feet away is saying unless he’s a lip reader. It’s not the wind or anything like that. It’s just that his words are breaking off in the cold and falling on the ground before they reach your ears. Brutal cold.

Back to sweltering heat. I grew up largely in the desert so I’m good up to maybe a hundred forty degrees, give or take. Dry heat. We don’t do humidity in the parts of Arizona where I’ve spent most of my life. In fact, if it’s found on or near your property you’re going to be ticketed upon first offense and maybe jailed for a day the second time around. You’ll get the picture, trust me. Remember, we don’t mind sweating. We just don’t like our sweat sweating. As I’ve said before sweat squared is wrong.

I’ve had people tell me, “heat is heat, man. Hot is hot.” False. Flat out false. The lungs aren’t meant to be steamed. They prefer to work. I know it’s all relative. Those who’ve grown up in the Midwest and Deep South are used to it. If you grew up as the only guy living on the atoll in the Pacific, two or three feels like a crowd. Familiarity sells. I’ve seen the ants and beetles griping today. Do you think there’s a reason for that?

I’ll get through it but don’t try to talk to me. I’m not in a good mood.


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