Kel Tec P-3AT Repair

One of my primary carry options is my Kel Tec P-3AT.  It’s small size makes it an excellent choice when I need deep concealment.

Unfortunately, a few days ago I was taking the pocket holster containing the gun out of my pocket and discovered that the hammer spring catch was loose in my pocket.  The reason the catch was loose was that the hammer spring had broken.  Sometime since the last time I’d had it at the range, the hammer spring had broken meaning that I had been relying on a paperweight for my personal defense.

Not good.

I call Kel Tec.  They ask me a few questions.   Am I the original owner? (Yes)  Do I have the receipt? (No) They refer me to the web site where I can order parts or request service.

Before I do that, I call the shop where I bought the gun.  Could they print a copy of my original purchase receipt?

No.  The original owner had retired and sold the shop.  Legally that meant the original shop went out of business and a new shop with a new owner started in the same location and having the same inventory.  That meant that all the original records were turned over to the ATF. (And as much as I do not like that–yes, I do have a problem with the government keeping records of who buys what firearms–it is the law currently.)

So I go to Kel Tec and start a support ticket.  I explain the situation, including that I do not have the receipt.  I ask them what they can do for me.

Kel Tec’s representative comes back with two options:  Either they can send me the hammer spring if I’m comfortable doing that (they appended instructions to the support ticket) or I can send the gun back and one of their gunsmiths would do the job for $65 (labor and return shipping).

I ask them so send the spring.  They mail it first class mail and when it arrives I see that it’s not just the spring but an assembly including the hammer, the hammer spring, the hammer spring catch, and the hammer spring pin.

I reassemble the gun and by turning it I can fit the hammer spring catch and pin assembly down the mag well so I don’t have to disassemble the subassembly in order to install it in the gun.  I need to grab the assembly with pliers and pull it out far enough to seat it in its place.  I probably could have done it a better way but I got impatient.  The pliers did mar the plastic of the hammer spring catch a bit but it’s a carry gun, not a show piece.  I’m not worried about a bit of cosmetic marring on that piece.

And the gun is all assembled.  Dry fire function test.  And I’ll test it out when I next I go to the range.

All in all, I am very happy with Kel Tec’s customer service.  They were willing to ship me the part I needed free of charge even though I could not show that I qualified for “original owner” warranty service.

Facts are Facts

Sarah makes some good points. People are all too willing to attempt to rewrite reality to what they want it to be. I have seen claims that doctors should treat “Trans” patients exactly as the gender as which they identify. Look a good friend of mine is MTF Trans–not transitioned because, as I understand it, she doesn’t consider the current medical state of the art up to doing what she considers an adequate job so better not to do something irrevocable now. What does doesn’t do, however, is try to tell herself that identifying as a woman will protect her from prostate cancer.

And it’s not just the left. People from the “anarchist” wing of libertarianism have sworn up and down that Iceland really and truly was their anarchist ideal. That Iceland had people in involuntary bound servitude (thralls) and had an organization considered legitimate able to force an individual to dispose of or abandon his property and leave the area (c.f. Eirik the Red) under threat of force for refusal seems to escape them. Hint: an organization considered legitimately able to use force to impose behavior on others is called “government”. That’s pretty much the definition.

Someone once said, “to know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge.” There is much truth to that. And confusing what is (or was) with what you wish to be is a good way to run afoul of the Gods of the Copybook Headings:

The Gods of the Copybook Headings

AS I PASS through my incarnations in every age and race,
I make my proper prostrations to the Gods of the Market Place.
Peering through reverent fingers I watch them flourish and fall,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings, I notice, outlast them all.

We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind.

We moved as the Spirit listed. They never altered their pace,
Being neither cloud nor wind-borne like the Gods of the Market Place,
But they always caught up with our progress, and presently word would come
That a tribe had been wiped off its icefield, or the lights had gone out in Rome.

With the Hopes that our World is built on they were utterly out of touch,
They denied that the Moon was Stilton; they denied she was even Dutch;
They denied that Wishes were Horses; they denied that a Pig had Wings;
So we worshipped the Gods of the Market Who promised these beautiful things.

When the Cambrian measures were forming, They promised perpetual peace.
They swore, if we gave them our weapons, that the wars of the tribes would cease.
But when we disarmed They sold us and delivered us bound to our foe,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “Stick to the Devil you know.”

On the first Feminian Sandstones we were promised the Fuller Life
(Which started by loving our neighbour and ended by loving his wife)
Till our women had no more children and the men lost reason and faith,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “The Wages of Sin is Death.”

In the Carboniferous Epoch we were promised abundance for all,
By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul;
But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy,
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work you die.”

Then the Gods of the Market tumbled, and their smooth-tongued wizards withdrew
And the hearts of the meanest were humbled and began to believe it was true
That All is not Gold that Glitters, and Two and Two make Four
And the Gods of the Copybook Headings limped up to explain it once more.

As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began.
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool’s bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire;

And that after this is accomplished, and the brave new world begins
When all men are paid for existing and no man must pay for his sins,
As surely as Water will wet us, as surely as Fire will burn,
The Gods of the Copybook Headings with terror and slaughter return!

According To Hoyt

I think most of us were raised with a saying that goes “if ifs and ans were pots and pans, we’d all be fed.”  Or “If wishes were horses all the beggars would ride.”

This is very important to remember.  Particularly when our wishes seem to be “real.”  Particularly when forming our vision of the past and the future.

Look, we can’t trust any of our institutions of learning.  We can’t trust most of the research institutes, particularly in the softer sciences.  The price we pay for allowing the left to take over the respected institutions, flay them, kill them, then wear their skins demanding respect, is that these institutions are not the ones you respected, and everything they say must be examined.

The downside of the death of prestige is that you can’t assume that anyone who has a college degree is literate; you can’t assume a “scientist” understands…

View original post 1,029 more words

A Snippet (From Alchemy of Shadows)

Another Snippet from one of my active works in progress.

I drove past the hotel.  I wanted to take a look before committing to stopping.

“See anything?” I asked.

“No cars I recognize,” Jeff said.


“Was that car there before?” Becki pointed to a Hyundai sitting near the entrance. There were only a few cars in the lot. “Didn’t I see one of your teammates in a car like that?”

“Ben’s was red, not gray,” Jeff said. “I don’t think that belongs to anyone on the team.”

“All right,” I said.  I pulled into a lot just up the street of the hotel, checked traffic, then backed into the street to turn back toward the hotel.

We parked.  I glanced at Becki as she got out of the car.  The red mark on her throat had faded to a light pink.  From a distance, there would be no indication that she’d been hurt.  Of the three of us, I looked the worse.  My face swollen from the beating Chuck had given me.  I could barely see out of my left eye.  My knee felt stuffed with pillows but it managed to support my weight.  Later, it would hurt.  Probably a lot.

I followed close behind Jeff as we entered the hotel, letting his bulk shield me from view.  He nodded at the clerk at the desk and we turned down the hall to the elevators.

We reached the room without incident and found nobody waiting.  We had clearly beaten Ata back.  I began to breath a little easier as we stuffed our few belongings into bags.

I was packing the last of my alchemical supplies into a case when someone pounded on the door.

“Open up.  Police.”

Becki’s hands snapped up to cover her mouth.  Jeff looked at me, his eyes wide.

“What do we do?” he whispered.

I shrugged. “Open the door.”

Becki went to open the door.  I still had my hands in my bag, feeling for the jar I wanted.

The door opened.  A police officer stood in the doorway.  I quickly twisted the cap off the jar.  The police officer wore dark glasses, even in the poorly lit hallway.  His hand rested on the butt of his gun.

I heard the snap of the release of the retention strap on the holster. “You.  Hands where I can see them.”

I turned, lifting my arms as though raising my hands.  The police officer started to draw his gun.  At the top of the arc of my arm motion, I flicked my wrist and opened my hand.  The jar went tumbling across the room, spilling its contents in a cloud in its wake.  The jar hit the police officer in the chest just as his gun started to come up.  He drew a breath, probably in preparation for speaking.  His face went slack.  He crumbled to the floor.

Becki’s eyes rolled back in her head and her own knees buckled.  She collapsed on top of the police officer.

Jeff started forward but I held a hand in front of him. “Wait.”

Jeff paused and looked at me.

“Don’t breath the dust or you’ll be down there too.

He nodded and took a deep breath and went to grab Becki, pulling her out of the rapidly settling cloud of sleeping powder.

“So what do we do now?” He asked.

“We get out of here.  Did you notice the glasses?” I turned on the light next to me, then crossed to reach the light next to one of the beds.  Jeff caught the idea and set Becki on the other bed and turned on more lights.

“He’s one of those things?” Jeff asked.

“Ridden by one, I think.  Whether the police in general are after us, or just this one, I don’t know.” I stood staring down at the police officer on the floor. “If the police are after us they’ll probably have a description of the Green Monster.”

“What are we going to do.”

“Get out of here first.” I grabbed my bags. The powder had settled enough. “Can you get Becki?”

Jeff nodded and hoisted Becki into a fireman’s carry.

My mind raced as we descended the back stairs toward the exit.  The last time I had to do back to back identity changes was before the modern day of ubiquitous identification and government computers all networked together.  It took time to insert data into the system.  And while I still had an emergency stash of gold, I did not have much ready cash.  I would have to sell some gold chain, but that would have to wait until pawn shops were open in the morning.  But first we had to get out of town and avoid the police in doing so.

We reached the exit door.  The red and blue lights of a police cruiser flashed outside.  I peered at the car, shielding my eyes against the glare.  No one seemed to be inside.  It seemed there was only the one police officer.  Police cruiser in one direction, Monster in the other.

I nodded at Jeff, pushed through the door, and dashed toward the Monster.  I pulled open the back door on the near side before rounding the Monster to get in at the driver’s side.

Jeff took the hint.  He shoved Becki into the back seat before jumping in behind her as I started the car.  As soon as I heard the back door slam, I put the car in gear and pulled out.  While my hindbrain beat at me with the need for frantic haste, I nevertheless carefully pulled into the street and drove at modest speed, nothing to draw attention.

My heart sounded loud in my own ears as I turned onto Madison Avenue, heading south.  Later, when we passed the Marion county line I began to breath a little easier.

The American Republic

So, Joy Reid of MSNBC has called rural voters “the core threat to our democracy”.  Well, it’s MSNBC so it’s not surprising but, really, this may be a new low even for them.

This is why America was never intended to be an absolute democracy.  Ever.  It was a representative Republic intended not merely to follow the will of the majority but to protect the rights of the minority from being trampled on by a majority.  The old joke about “Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what’s for dinner” has more than a little truth to it.

There are several things intended to protect the minority in the US.  First is the separation of powers.  The Legislature, the Executive, and the Judiciary were intended as co-equal branches where any two can check the third.

Then there’s the division of the Legislature into the House and Senate.  The House, proportional representation with numbers based on the population of each State, represents the people of those States.  The Senate, however, represents the States as States (and going to the direct election of Senators was, perhaps, one of the biggest mistakes among the various Constitutional Amendments).  So the more populous States (generally more urban) could not entirely run roughshod over the less populous (generally more rural).

The Bill of Rights and other rights protected in the Constitution provide another level of protection.  The need for a supermajority not only of both the House and Senate, but of State Legislatures to make changes to any of this is supposed to be a strong protection of the rights of the people, majority and minority alike.  Unfortunately, the tendency to “redefine” terms in ways that the ones who wrote them had undermined this protection.

One protection, one that Ms. Read presumably wants to bypass, is the Electoral College. (The DNC Chair Tom Perez has claimed that it is not a creation of the Constitution, after all, the term “Electoral College” appears nowhere in the Constitution, but the system of electors, chosen by the States and numbering the sum of Senators and Representatives is so spelled out whatever label one applies to it.) The Electoral College ensures that the candidates for President cannot simply look to the highest population density areas–generally largely urban areas–and ignore those outside those areas.

Here’s the thing.  What people in dense urban areas want, based on their situation, does not necessarily match what those in less densely populated, more rural, areas need.  People who live in the big city do not know (and rarely care) what is is appropriate for people living in the countryside.  Their may be more of the former, but their numbers do not give them the right to dictate the lives of people living in rural areas.

The Electoral College means that a candidate has to at least try to appeal to those in both areas.

But now, certain people want to eliminate that simply because their candidate failed to do that.  That candidate’s supporters want a “do over” because things did not go the way they wanted.  They want the high density urban areas to be able to dictate arbitrarily to everyone else.

That’s not what the American Republic was intended to be.

A Snippet

I do not know how long I stayed at the hospital.  Samantha was still unconscious.  The police found no clue where Bobbi was.  Eventually, I returned home thinking maybe, I don’t know, maybe Bobbi would show up.

I found my new friend Donner Rothskeg sitting in the doorway.  Just sitting.  Watching as he had promised to do when I rode to the hospital with my wife.  He stood at my approach. “My friend. Is your woman well?”

“The doctors said she’ll be okay.” I wiped my face with both hands. “They are not so certain about the baby.  Oh, God, I need to be back there but…”

Donner put a hand on my shoulder and squeezed gently. “She would not thank you, I think, if you turned your back on your little one for her sake.”

“No, you’re right.  But what can I do?”

“That I do not know, but–” He turned me so that I was facing the wall. “Behold.” Written on the wall were letters in, oh god was that blood?


“I do not understand.”

“That message is for me.  He has…” Donner stopped and looked past me.  I turned.

Near the fence stood another coyote.  It seemed to be watching us.  Behind me I sensed Donner stooping.  A moment later he stepped past me and hurled something, a rock.  The rock struck the coyote in the hindquarters, knocking its rear legs out from under it.  As the coyote struggled to rise, Donner sprinted.  His hand closed on the scruff of the coyote’s neck and he lifted it at arms length.

The coyote struggled, snapping and clawing.  Donner shook it once and the coyote went limp.

“Where is your master?” Donner asked.  I knew then he had gone crazy.

“It’s just an animal,” I said. “It can’t talk.”

Short barks, almost like laughter emerged from the coyote’s mouth.  Then, clear as day, I heard, “You travel with fools, thunderer.”

“As do you, Trickster’s Servant,” Donner said. “As do you.”

Was Donner a ventriloquist?

“Tell me,” Donner said. “Or must I start breaking your bones?”

“Release me and I will tell you.”

At this point I finally understood.  It was not Donner who had gone mad.  It was I.

“Trickster’s word?” Donner laughed. “Do you think I am a fool?”

“Very well,” the coyote said. “I swear by Coyote, my master, by Raven the trickster, and by the Great Sky Spirit to take you to Coyote my master.” The coyote laughed again. “After all, he wants to see you.”

Donner looked at the writing on the wall then back at the coyote.

Once more the coyote laughed. “He changed his mind.  What do you expect?  I was sent to invite you.  None of this was necessary.”

Donner gave the coyote another shake then released it.  The coyote fell to the ground with a yip.  It came to its feet, sat, and licked its hindquarters.

Donner turned to me. “I must follow this beast and see…”

“But what about Bobbi?”

“This one’s master has your little girl, I think.  I will–”

“We will.” I sighed. “I may have lost my mind, but if you think they’ve got Bobbi.”

“Very well then.  Together.” He held out a hand, when I reached back to take it, he moved, clasping not hand to hand, but hand to forearm.  I returned the grip.  It was like grasping a bar of iron.

How to have a successful political discussion over Thanksgiving (or any holiday) dinner

Short one today.

For some reason I get emails from, with links to articles I can read if I want to. (I don’t.)  My best guess about how this happens is that my wife was on my account when she signed up for a free/low-cost trial subscription or something.

Well today one came in that had as the subject: “How not to Ruin Thanksgiving with Political Debate” which actually sounded promising (see later) however, the link inside was titled “How to Have a Productive Political Debate During Thanksgiving Dinner (or Just Keep it from Ruining Everyone’s Night).

Um, no.  Just…no.

I didn’t click the link.  Wasn’t going to go there.  So, here’s my suggestion on how not to ruin Thanksgiving with political debate.


Don’t have a political debate.  You’ve got 360 other days (reserving four more here for other holidays–adjust as needed for the holidays important to you).  You can do without politics for one.

Not everything has to be political.  Really.  It doesn’t.  You can put aside the politics and just enjoy an evening with family and friends–watch sports if you’re into that.  The Macy’s Thankgiving Parade is always nice.  Board games or cards.  Whatever.  Just leave the politics out of it for once.

The politics will still be there the next day.  And maybe, just maybe, people will be more interested in what you have to say if you demonstrate you’re not a douche on Thanksgiving.

Think about it.


Blast from the past: Human Wave Science Fiction

This started based on a post over on Sarah Hoyt’s Blog also on Mad Genius Club.

The Human Wave movement is a response that a number of people in the Science Fiction & Fantasy field to the perception that professionally published SF has become circumscribed by “rules” that have little to do with story, that don’t address the needs and wants of readers as readers, and that artificially limit writers can do with their stories if they want to be “accepted” in the field.

The rules of the Human Wave movement are more anti-rules, not so much things you must do, but things you are allowed to do:

  1. You are allowed to write a story for no other purpose but to entertain.  That someone get some enjoyment out of it is all the purpose it needs.  You may even consider someone getting enjoyment from it to be its highest purpose.
  2. You are allowed to write, and publish, as much as you wish and are able.  There are no “only one book per year” or the like limits on your productivity.  We reject the idea that how long it takes to write a story is a necessary indicator of its quality.  That may be true for some people, not for others.  Do what is right for you.
  3. You are allowed to write first person if you wish.  Third person?  Sure.  Second person?  Why not?  Fourth person (if you can figure out how)?  You bet.  Do whatever you believe is right for the story you wish to tell.
  4. You are allowed to write stories that don’t match “accepted” views of the future.  Faster than light is impossible?  Use it anyway if that’s what you want.  People expect the future to be some great socialist utopia?  Have capitalism be the wave of the future if that’s your vision for the story.  So long as your story holds together enough for your readers to accept it, do what you want.  The idea is to explore possibilities, not limit yourself to mundane predictions of what will be.
  5. It’s okay to have a goal to sell books (or short stories).  “To eat, or not to eat” is allowed to be the question.
  6. You are allowed to write whatever heroes you want to write.  You are allowed to write whatever villains you want to write.  Want a white, male, Christian hero? Go for it.  Want a swarthy, pagan villain?  That too is permitted, just as the reverse is also allowed.  Write what your story, and your vision calls for.
  7. Happy endings?  Permitted. Happy for the time being?  That too.  Everybody dies?  If that’s what your story calls for, sure.  Some mixture of good and bad?  Absolutely.  It’s your story.  All that really matters is that the ending derive from the events of the story (“And then a meteor hit the Earth and they all died” is probably not such a good ending unless the story was about that meteor) and that the ending satisfy the readers.
  8. It’s okay to write stories which center on action and plot.
  9. You are allowed to include sex in the story.  You are allowed to not include sex in the story.  You are allowed to have heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or even mechano-sexual sex if that’s what’s appropriate to the story and the characters.  It’s your story and they’re your characters.  You don’t have to avoid sex.  You don’t have to include it.
  10. You can write politics if you want, provided that they’re the politics of your story.  (A story set in ancient Egypt should probably not have a debate between characters on the relative merits of Capitalism vs. Socialism.) You can have a message if you want, again, provided it arises naturally from the story.  But you don’t have to include one.  The story can be its own reward, with no deeper meaning required.

Some general guidelines:

  • You should be entertaining.  People should enjoy your story.  After all, even if you’re including a deep message, more people will get the message if they enjoy reading your story.
  • Your characters should be individuals.  If your character is a bad guy, readers should not need to feel ashamed because they are the same age, race, sex, religion, ethnic background, or what have you as that character.  Virtue or its lack should come from who one is as an individual, not what group to which one belongs.
  • Story first.  Message later.  In any dispute between story and message, story trumps.
  • “Everything is shades of gray” is boring.  Add some black and white, or even color, to spice things up.
  • People generally prefer positive feeling to stories. This doesn’t necessarily mean “happy endings” or “good guys win” but that even when they lose, they go down fighting and don’t whine themselves to death.
  • Thou shalt not be boring.

Anyway, those are the basics.  Come ride the Human Wave.  The water’s fine.

A snippet

I have decided that a themed collection I am putting together is too short.  So I decided to dip into Norse myth (well, I have a fascination for many things Norse) and expand on one of the tales told therein, treating the rather brief synopsis we have of the story as the outline for a more fleshed-out tale.

So here’s the opening.  It is, perhaps, not how it happened but rather one way it might have happened.

Sleet fell in slants from the iron-gray sky.  The barest hint of carmine indicated where the sun neared the western horizon.

The two-wheeled cart, drawn by two enormous goats, rumbled to a stop in the lee of a hill.  The larger of the cart’s two occupants shifted the reins to one hand and twisted to look at the young man who trotted nimbly behind the cart.

“Thjalfi,” the burly one said, “find us shelter.  The weather is worsening.”

The young man stopped and bowed. “At once, master.”

As the young man dashed off, the smaller of the cart’s occupants hopped to the ground.  He stretched.

“Why do you insist on using that thing, Thor,” the smaller said. “A horse would be more comfortable.”

The burly one, Thor, laughed. “It is what people expect.  I am the charioteer.”

“Yes, yes,” the other said. “And when the goat-drawn chariot approaches with hoof beats like thunder, all know it is Thor who rides.  Have you thought that when you journey in Jotunheim, that perhaps it might be a good idea not to let everyone know that it is Thor who approaches?  Could you find some wit in that skull of yours for once?”

“Why, Loki,” Thor said. “Do you fear your kin might give you cold reception?”

Loki snorted. “I have lived among the As for how long now?  I don’t think even my own mother would recognize me as Jotun now.”

Before Thor could respond, Thjalfi returned. “Master?”

Thor nodded.

“There is a cave to the left of our track but not far, large enough for us all, with enough overhang we can build a fire and…” He cast a sideways glance at the goats.

Thor chuckled. “Well done, lad.  Lead on.” He looked down at Loki. “Will you ride or do you prefer to walk?”

“Fine.  Fine.”  Loki put a hand on the rail of the cart and lightly vaulted up onto it.

“Lead, Thjalfi,” Thor said. “Tanngrisnir, Tanngnjóstr, on.”

Thjalfi was as good as his word.  They soon came to the yawning entrance to a cave, barely visible in the gloom.

Thor pulled the cart up to the entrance and stopped.  The opening was low.  Thor would need to stoop to enter.  But it was large enough to hold the three of them and the interior was dry.

“This will do.” Thor hopped off the back of the cart. He removed the massive hammer from where it hung at his belt. “Bring firewood.”

Thjalfi bowed before turning and speeding off into the gathering darkness.

With measured blows, Thor struck each of the goats once in the head.  Long practice let him measure the force and location of the blow, just enough to kill the goat from shock without cracking bone.

By the time Thjalfi returned with an armload of wood Thor had the two goats dressed and skinned and was carving chunks of meat from the best parts.

“Uncle Fox,” Thor said with a grin up at Loki. Fire is your province, I believe.”

Loki snorted. “Just because the similarity of name does not mean that I am a fire god.”

Thor paused in his carving. “Can you start the fire or not?”

“Of course I can start the fire.  I’m just saying…”

Thor held up his hands. “Peace.  Peace.”

Loki closed his mouth and looked toward Thor, not directly into his eyes, but close.  Thor followed the direction of his gaze to his own right hand, still holding the knife that dripped blood, spoiling the peaceful nature of his gesture.  He laughed.

“Please, Uncle, if you would start the fire.”

“Very well, nephew.”

Thor flipped the knife in the air and caught it be the blade.  He held the grip toward Thjalfi. “Continue the butchering while I inspect our shelter.”

“Yes, master.”

Thor started to turn toward the mouth of the cave then paused and looked back. “And, Thjalfi?”

“Yes, master?”

Thor tapped his thigh with one finger and cocked his head to the side.

“No, master.  I will be carefull.”

Thor grinned and turned back to the cave.  It was, perhaps, unkind of him to continue to tease the boy for that long ago incident but Thjalfi took the teasing with a good heart.  While Thjalfi’s affrontery of breaking the goat’s thighbone to get to the marrow had earned him much more severe punishment than being made Thor’s bond servant, Thor liked the lad.  The arrangement had worked well for both of them.  Bilskirnir was a far better dwelling than the peasants cottage and his work for Thor, relying mainly on his fleetness of foot, was far lighter than guiding a team of oxen plowing a field.

Then there were the apples, why Thjalfi remained but a lad after so many years.

Thor crouched and walked into the cave, his hammer loose in his hand.  If any creature made its dwelling here, he was best fit to deal with it.  A short way into the cave the top drooped until the only opening was a narrow crack at the bottom, too narrow for even Thjalfi to pass through.  Loki might take a form that could pass, but Thor decided that nothing else that could endanger them could lie beyond.

He backed out of the cave to find Loki had kindled a modest fire over which Thjalfi had propped spits of roasting goat meat.