Squirrel!

Jul. 22nd, 2017 01:15 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
You can tell how hot it is because the squirrel's tail is so flat
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Sean Spicer has finally grown a backbone.

When asked how he's feeling, he said: "How do I look like I'm feeling? Relieved."

LOL, I bet!

Sanders read a statement from Trump at the press briefing this afternoon.

"I am grateful for Sean's work on behalf of my administration and the American people. I wish him continued success as he moves on to pursue new opportunities. Just look at his great television ratings," Trump said in the statement.


Dear god, it's like an Onion article, but more so. But listen, Trump, you wanna see great ratings? Just wait until Spicer publishes his salacious tell-all. Bestseller. (He better have a salacious tell-all in the works.)

I'm just disappointed that he made his decision first and then went on the air. I really was hoping to see him give up on national TV. Sigh.

Moonpie has been extra snuggly today.

Jul. 21st, 2017 02:58 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
No wonder! Yesterday must have been scary, with strangers tromping around in her house and her own people weren't there!

And today the kittens have started using the litterbox. They've also stopped avoiding the door, which means I had to chase down Kid Blink and return her to her room. But she's definitely getting more used to humans - catching her was trivially easy.
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
And she is back home. It's unfortunate that she missed another day of school due to all this, but at least it doesn't look like there's much risk of foster care. I don't think that'd help her education much.

Her dad has been caught. It must've happened in the morning, because as recently as late last night, when Michele dropped me off, there were cops peering in the car windows.

Conversation from the hospital:

Me: Oh, hey, Mommy, did you speak to your brother yet?
Mom: Yeah, I called him last week.
Me: Okay, but do you think you should call him soon?
Mom: I was going to call him Saturday. That's his birthday.
Me: ...
Michele: Oh, wonderful! "Hi, happy birthday, and by the way...!"
Mom: Oh, it's a minor stroke!
Michele: "Good news, bro, I had a stroke of luck!"
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I still have to review Extra Virginity as well, but I actually liked that one, so it will take longer to compose….

One of the things I did get done yesterday between work, the ball game, and the Epic Sunburn, was finish a slim book of short stories called A City Equal to My Desire by James Sallis. This wasn’t a book that was recommended to me, which means I don’t have to feel bad about truly disliking it. I found it in a keyword search on the library website for books about ukuleles, and it has a short story called Ukulele And The World’s Pain, which admittedly was one of the better stories in the book despite still not being very good.

From what I can tell, he did pick the best story out of the book to develop into a novel, “Drive”, but it is very obviously unfinished in short-story form. Sallis has a couple of ongoing problems in the short story collection, one of which is that he tends to skip the vital information you need in order to know what the fuck is going on. And not in a “the blanks slowly get filled in” way, or in a “your imagination is more terrible” way (though there is a little of that) but just in a way where like…he says something that you understand to be vital to the story but which is missing context, then spends like a page describing the fucking diner someone’s sitting in, and by then any context forthcoming doesn’t get linked back. It’s like being in the middle of a paragraph when you hit the photo plates in an older book – yes the photos are very interesting thank you but I need to finish the thought you were sharing with me before I go back and look at them. I think maybe he thinks this is challenging the reader but it’s not, it’s just annoying and makes what are otherwise interesting premises totally opaque. I shouldn’t need to work this hard for a story about a hit man who decides not to kill a politician. 

If the book had a more cohesive theme in terms of the stories, it might be more readable – he clearly enjoys building worlds and then doesn’t quite know what to do with them once he’s built them, so if this was an entire book of “weird and different worlds” ala Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, I would buy in more fully and I think he would have put a little more elbow in. But it’s not. It’s mostly “here’s a really interesting world and a person living in squalor in it does something while being in it”. Also he appears to be fascinated by describing things that are shaped like pi. And a lot of times it feels like he read a wikipedia article on something and wanted to share some knowledge, so he just kind of built a half-assed story around his wikiwander. 

And all of this I would probably let go if say, it was something I was noticing in a fanfic writer, or someone who was just starting out, or someone I felt was genuinely trying to get a point across. But there’s this inexplicable sense of arrogance to the collection, a sort of smugness to it that in professional writers drives me up the goddamn wall. Stephen King sometimes falls into the same trap, where it feels like the author believes they don’t have to respect their readers because they are The Writer. 

The thing about volumes of short stories is that you keep reading it because sometimes there is a real gem. And there are one or two good stories in the volume, but I don’t know if they’re worth the rest of it. 

So my review I guess is mostly me being annoyed, but it boils down to “If you like short stories in the SFF Noir genre, give it a whirl, but if you’re bored with a story none of them get better, so feel free to skip to the next one.” 

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2gQid4Q
via IFTTT

So my mother had a small stroke.

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:34 pm
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
She's talking just fine (which is great, she's a real chatterbox) and even though she has some weakness on one side, it's already improving.

And while we were gone dealing with this, the cops broke into our house to search for our escaped neighbor. Which is ridiculous - they didn't have a warrant, and they certainly didn't have probable cause, and they definitely did not have our consent to a search.

I must say, they're really pulling out all the stops here. The cops, the state troopers, a joint NY/NJ task force, a helicopter... all this for some dude who ran out of his house, handcuffed, in his undies. It's either overkill, or they're hiding something big.

Gender in Comics

Jul. 20th, 2017 12:23 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I found this analysis of gender in comics to be fascinating.  In many categories, I've written against the mainstream pattern, such as having females with super-strength and males with psychic powers.  In a few areas I may have replicated the pattern; with pheromone control and prehensile hair, I could only think of female characters, although I'm sure there are males with pheromones.
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I am like….90% sure I’m going camping this Friday. 

It depends a bit on the weather, but I’m mostly packed, I’ve cooked food that’s currently waiting in the freezer, and I have acquired the third Diane Mott Davidson book to read. 

The plan is to leave work early, catch the train to the campground, camp overnight, and in the morning hike out to a different train station further down the line, about a seven-mile trek, to do a longer endurance test than last weekend’s. Then I’ll catch the train home around noon on Saturday.

If something goes wrong, I can catch an evening train home on Friday until eight o’clock, or starting in the morning at 5:30, with little to no exertion. It’s pretty low-risk and I’m well stocked. I don’t have a sleeping pad, but my backpack has a partial one built-in, and I have one arriving tomorrow (though it might be too bulky, we’ll see). And honestly in this heat, I might just sleep on top of my sleeping bag in any case. 

Worst case scenario, the campground has heated, lockable shower cubicles with nice big floors. I’ve slept on worse. 

Caaaaaaamping! *jazz hands*

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2uB78KA
via IFTTT

Hard Things

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:32 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Life is full of things which are hard or tedious or otherwise unpleasant that need doing anyhow. They help make the world go 'round, they improve skills, and they boost your sense of self-respect. But doing them still kinda sucks. It's all the more difficult to do those things when nobody appreciates it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our accomplishments and pat each other on the back.

What are some of the hard things you've done recently? What are some hard things you haven't gotten to yet, but need to do?

July 2017 Poetry Fishbowl, Session 2

Jul. 18th, 2017 12:43 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The July 2017 Poetry Fishbowl is once again open.  We're reusing the original post with its donation button and ticker. However, please place new prompts below THIS post, because the other one is already so full that comments are collapsing, which makes them harder to read or search.  You may prompt in this session IF 1) you did not prompt in the July 4 session OR 2) you donated to the July 4 session.

I will do the best I can to fill new prompts and pick up some from the previous session.  I have no idea how long it'll take.  My body is being kind of cranky after last week's adventures, and the internet is a bit iffy although nowhere near as bad as it was earlier this month.  Witch me luck, eh?
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
They were already a bit more semi than feral, and now they've been upgraded! Nellie is Sociable, and Kid Blink is Friendly But Shy. It is crucially important that we don't fall into the trap of giving Nellie more attention just because she is friendlier.

***********


Found: A Letter to the Future From 1995

Your car has just been crushed by hagfish: Frequently Asked Questions

More Than Bread: Sourdough As a Window Into The Microbiome

A Window Into Windex

How Cellophane Changed the Way We Shop for Food

Scientists marvel at creatures' 'precise' body clock

Hyenas spark admiration, not fear, in Ethiopia's Harar city

Marrying Later, Staying Single Longer (Nifty animated graphs!)

The Power of Inclusive Sex Education

Tech giant releasing 20 million mosquitoes in Fresno; that's a good thing, really

Tribes commit to uphold Paris climate agreement

Under siege by liberals: the town where everyone owns a gun

The Myth of Drug Expiration Dates

Swiss glacier yields bodies of couple missing for 75 years

The Prisoner Who Painted Dachau’s Horrors (Some of the paintings are reproduced in the article.)

Puerto Rico economic crisis hits island's only zoo

The Summer of Misreading Thucydides

'Inappropriate' and 'Insulting.' Most Americans Disapprove of Trump's Twitter Use

More hospital closings in rural America add risk for pregnant women

Republican attempts to replace Obamacare fail

Separatists proclaim a new state to replace Ukraine

A video of a woman in a skirt sparks outrage in Saudi Arabia

Australians see woman's shooting by police as US nightmare

Children of the Opioid Epidemic Are Flooding Foster Homes. America Is Turning a Blind Eye.

'It's raining needles': Drug crisis creates pollution threat

UAE orchestrated hacking of Qatari government sites, sparking regional upheaval, according to U.S. intelligence officials

Recent Trip

Jul. 17th, 2017 11:41 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
In case you're wondering what I did last week, my partner Doug went to the IBM/SAM magic convention in Louisville, Kentucky. We met up with friends, and I spent several days exploring the tourist attractions ...

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the July 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] kengr, [personal profile] antisocialite_forum, [personal profile] curiosity, [personal profile] redsixwing, [personal profile] alatefeline, [personal profile] sweet_sparrow, [personal profile] technoshaman, [personal profile] mdlbear, [personal profile] chanter_greenie, and [personal profile] callibr8. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] ng_moonmoth, [personal profile] across_space_and_time, [personal profile] technoshaman, and [personal profile] alatefeline. This poem belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics. It directly follows "We Are All Related," so read that first or this will make no sense.

WARNING: This poem contains some intense and controversial topics. Highlight to read the more detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. You-all wanted to see the gaybashers who attacked Kenzie curbstomped by the Iron Horses, so here it is. Watch out for conspiracy to commit assault, religious issues, conflicting obligations, bloody souvenirs, desire for vengeance, magical/spiritual stalking of culpable parties, Thunderbird is fucking scary and so is his follower, rude language, using superpowers against ordinary opponents, gaybashers stalking around a gay bar, oblique references to pony play, references to poaching and hazardous equipment, graphic violence, vigilante justice, use of barbed wire as a rumble weapon, probable permanent injury, brutal application of inconvenient truth, temporary hearing impairment, explanation of internalized oppression and repression of identity, complicated transgender issues, and other mayhem. This is a major plot development, so skipping it would leave a big gap, but the main thing you need to know is simply that the Iron Horses hunt down the gaybashers and beat the shit out of them. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )

Monday Yardening

Jul. 17th, 2017 12:11 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today I walked around the yard.  It's getting warm and moist.

There are bees everywhere.  In the wildflower garden, I saw a big bumblebee visiting every flower on this plant.  I saw a small black bee and a tiny metallic green one on the echinacea.  These are probably native species, some of which are rarely seen. All had large panniers of yellow pollen collected from the flowers.  :D  Beeeeeees!

EDIT 7/17/17: Round 2, I picked a few blackberries.

EDIT 7/17/17: Round 3, I planted some morning glories and watered plants.

EDIT 7/17/17: Round 4, I weeded about half of the septic garden.

Monday Update 7-17-17

Jul. 17th, 2017 11:13 am
ysabetwordsmith: Artwork of the wordsmith typing. (typing)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
These are some posts from the later part of last week in case you missed them:
Garden Photos 7-16-17 (pots)
Garden Photos 7-16-17 (prairie garden)
Rainbow!
Sunday Yardening
Badger Engineering


I'm back at the keyboard now after a busy week.

The second session of the July Poetry Fishbowl will open on Tuesday, July 18.


Poetry in Microfunding:
"A Hope and a Promise" belongs to Polychrome Heroics.  Aidan and Mrs. Ozenne talk more about Saraphina as she interacts with another toddler.  "The Inner Transition" belongs to Polychrome Heroics: Berettaflies.  Valor's Widow finds out what Stylet has in his backpack.  

Weather has been steamy here.  It rained a little yesterday.  Currently blooming: dandelions, marigolds, petunias, lantana, million bells, snapdragons, zinnias, firecracker plant, white and red clover, morning glories, spiderwort, echinacea, blackberry lilies, yellow coneflowers, Queen Anne's lace, frost asters, and some yellow thing in the wildflower garden.  Corn is tasseling.  I need to pick more blackberries.  I think there are two jalapeno plants with tiny peppers on them, and more cayenne too.  \o/  Evidently peppers grow better in pots than my efforts with tomatoes.
Page generated Jul. 22nd, 2017 06:43 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios