These are some of the things C. Flynt has been up to, some of our personal lives, some reviews of things we've read, some stuff we've learned.

The blogs are organized by date.

Comments will appear when we've had time to check them. Apology for the inconvenience, but it's a way to keep phishers and spammers off the page.

November is NaNoWriMo month.

Around here, that means that all life stops, except where it concerns this year's project.

That's true for Carol.

For Clif, November is a week-long meeting with his consulting client, running a technical conference, finishing Christmas presents and a little bit of help with plotting and technical details.

This year's project is In Transit, the sequel to Misrouted.

At the end of Misrouted we left our heroes needing to make the Luna colony profitable.

That means reducing the quantity of supplies shipped from Earth, and that means growing food on Luna.

A little bit of research indicated that our first idea of hydroponics was like, so twentieth century. In the brave new future, there's a new technique called aeroponics. This is pretty much the same as hydroponics, but instead of putting the plants in some substrate like vermiculite and soaking that with water, you put them in a holder, let the roots float free in the air and spray those with water.

The advantages of this system include lower water usage (good for our Luna colony where all resources are in tight supply) and faster growth. There's a nice discussion of aeroponics here and here.

Reading about this is fine and lovely, but it would be good to build an aeroponics setup and actually watch the plants grow, so the descriptions can be perfectly accurate.

Conveniently enough, Costco just started selling AeroGarden kits made by MiracleGro.

This kit comes with a collection of kitchen herbs: basil, dill, chives, parsley, cilantro and mint. Not useful for feeding a colony, but useful for making the colony's meals taste better.

This kit is easy to set up. You fill it with water, dump in some nutrient and put the pre-packaged plants into their reservoirs and the little computerized control unit takes it from there. The rack of LED lights is fairly low-power.

Five days after we set up the tank the first basil leaves appeared. Nine days after setup, we had to take off the first protective dome because the dill wanted to grow taller than the cap would allow.

We've seen bits of fungus growing in the pods. These don't seem to be affecting anything, but our hero may need to deal with this.

In the meantime, fifty-thousand words have come and gone with a few spots that read "DESCRIBE AEROPONICS SETUP" and "DESCRIBE GROWING GARDEN" waiting to be filled in during the editing and expansion.

Like Misrouted, this novel will weigh in at a bit over a hundred thousand words when it's done.

And we'll have grown and eaten bunches of new research projects.