Friday, July 31, 2020

A Poem for Us All

Borrowed from Famous Poets and Poems dot com...
Hail! Childish Slave Of Social Rules by Robert Louis Stevenson
HAIL! Childish slaves of social rules
You had yourselves a hand in making!
How I could shake your faith, ye fools,
If but I thought it worth the shaking.
I see, and pity you; and then
Go, casting off the idle pity,
In search of better, braver men,
My own way freely through the city.

My own way freely, and not yours;
And, careless of a town's abusing,
Seek real friendship that endures
Among the friends of my own choosing.
I'll choose my friends myself, do you hear?
And won't let Mrs. Grundy do it,
Tho' all I honour and hold dear
And all I hope should move me to it.

I take my old coat from the shelf -
I am a man of little breeding.
And only dress to please myself -
I own, a very strange proceeding.
I smoke a pipe abroad, because
To all cigars I much prefer it,
And as I scorn your social laws
My choice has nothing to deter it.

Gladly I trudge the footpath way,
While you and yours roll by in coaches
In all the pride of fine array,
Through all the city's thronged approaches.
O fine religious, decent folk,
In Virtue's flaunting gold and scarlet,
I sneer between two puffs of smoke, -
Give me the publican and harlot.

Ye dainty-spoken, stiff, severe
Seed of the migrated Philistian,
One whispered question in your ear -
Pray, what was Christ, if you be Christian?
If Christ were only here just now,
Among the city's wynds and gables
Teaching the life he taught us, how
Would he be welcome to your tables?

I go and leave your logic-straws,
Your former-friends with face averted,
Your petty ways and narrow laws,
Your Grundy and your God, deserted.
From your frail ark of lies, I flee
I know not where, like Noah's raven.
Full to the broad, unsounded sea
I swim from your dishonest haven.

Alone on that unsounded deep,
Poor waif, it may be I shall perish,
Far from the course I thought to keep,
Far from the friends I hoped to cherish.
It may be that I shall sink, and yet
Hear, thro' all taunt and scornful laughter,
Through all defeat and all regret,
The stronger swimmers coming after

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Thursday This n That

Wow, it's Thursday again.  Which is weird because I spent most of Tuesday thinking it was Friday and Hubs spent most of Tuesday thinking it was Wednesday.  Yesterday was and is a blur, other than each of us reminding the other that it was, in fact, Wednesday.  (Necessary because Wednesday night is when we get the trash ready for early Thursday morning pick-up.)

Such a life.

Anyway, it's Thursday.  Again.  Not really a big thing.  Trash day.  The day I have to make sure my timesheet is at the office by the time checks get written.  (I did it last night before I shut my work email down for the day.)   It's the day we get our second, weekly, local newspaper. 

Newspaper is one word but time sheet isn't?  What the hell is up with that? 

Today is the second to last day of July.  Where did that month go?  Right in the crapper with March-June.  I'd hope for a better August, but let's be real here. 

On a happier note, the fawns are here most mornings and bouncing around like fawns do.  We do have one fawn we were worried about because every time it was around here, it was crying like it had lost its mommy, but we saw it with its mom and it was still crying.  It looks healthy, it's not lost.  It's just a whiny fawn, I guess.  I think I'll name it Wanda.

It's gotten cooler here for a bit.  Low to mid 80s, which isn't cool but better than mid to upper 90s.  I really need to get off my dead ass and go for a walk, in the rain if necessary.  As long as it's not thundering.  Not zappies for me, thank you very much.

I need a haircut.  I can't blame this mane on the 'rona either, because I cut my own hair.  This mess is all mine and I need to muster the will to deal with it.  Today.  Before my shower.  I keep remembering to cut my hair when I'm halfway through the shower, which doesn't do me any good. 

Gah, I need to muster the will to do a lot of things.  Cut my hair, write, clean...  Right now, I only seem to have the will to watch TV and play poker.  Umm, yah. 

So, what's going on with you?

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Photo Time Again

Another day where I feel the need to randomly thump some deserving someone upside the head with my cane, so here's a pretty picture...
A northern oriole gorging himself on an orange I'd hung off our front porch two years ago May.  They didn't come last year, so I didn't hang oranges this year.  Maybe next year.  Hard to think about next year right now, though, eh? 

Monday, July 27, 2020

All is Well

I'm not dead and all is well.  I didn't post on Friday because I couldn't think of anything to port.  Of course, I did do the usual Saturday and Sunday posts, but those are easy.  I can't think of anything to post today that isn't a rant.  And I'm tired of pictures right now. 

What about you?  Have you got anything brilliant to share today?

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Sunday Update - Week 29?

I can't believe it's already Sunday again.  And I damn near forgot to post an Update.  Not that there's much to update.  Life amongst the chaos go on.  To what extent they'll allow it to go on remains to be seen.

When I look back at the week, I realize I did next to nothing.  No writing or writerly pursuits.  I did read a book.  Yay!  Also my activity log for the week only has one entry and that was last Sunday, when I went for an early walk before it got too hot to be outside.

A neighbor gave me zucchini, which I shredded into 8 cups worth.  I made a batch of bread, which promptly disappeared (one loaf to said neighbor and the other down our gullets).  Yesterday, I made another 2 loaf batch.  I still have enough shredded zucchini to make four more loaves.  (I freeze it in 2 cup increments for easy use.  The recipe requires 2 cups per batch.)  And I made granola bars yesterday, too, because I have been remiss in making granola bars and we were out.

I discovered on Monday that Dollar General was going full-on mandatory mask on Tuesday.  Thus, when I went to DG on Friday (I was in town and needed a couple things, so why not?), I masked up.  I managed to make it through without a full-on panic attack.  'Breathe through your nose and don't try to talk' seemed to work.  Both of these are antithetical to my person.  Yep, I'm a :gasp: mouthbreather.  And a talker.  The latter of which should come as no surprise.  But hey, if I have to do those things to get through wearing a mask, which I have to do if I want food for my family, I will do it.  Stupid as it all is.

The fawns are coming into the yard regularly now.  We think we have 5 individual fawns*.  I'll know more as I succeed in getting pictures of them and comparing spot patterns.  The two tom turkeys are also regularly visiting the yard again.

Other than that?  Nope.  What went on in your life last week?

*Update: 6:55am - there are 5 fawns in the yard right now, so it's confirmed.  The light's still to low for pictures.  Sorry.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 7/25/20

Hello again!  I finally read a book again.  Woohoo!

I bought one ebook this week.  And I read it.  I also made progress in the book I'd started before the reading slump began and, ultimately, decided to DNF it.  I have two unread ebooks left - a mystery and a UF.  I really need to start scoping out other books to read.

Books Read:

56) Casket Girls by Seth Pevey (7/23/20) - Suspense* - 5 stars.  Not new to me but definitely underappreciated - especially since it's a new release.  One-clicked this after hearing from the author that it was up at Amazon and I paid full price.
Review: "Another thrilling and suspenseful addition to this series. Strong plot, awesome characters and rich scenery that make the story seem all too real, plus an intriguing mystery. What's not to love? These are one-clickers for me because I've enjoyed them all so much, and this one didn't disappoint."


7/24/20 - UF? - free.  I  dunno.  It started out good - set in the here and now with the murder of what was potentially a supernatural creature, then it kind of went wonky and undercut its own premise, then the MC got sucked into a fantasy world.  This is the second book that did that and I've discovered I don't like it.  Make it a fantasy from the start or make it UF and leave it that way.  Blerg.

Currently reading... haven't picked a new book to read yet.  I might read one of the ebooks or go with a hardcopy.  :shrug:  Tune in next week to find out.  ;o)

What good things have you been reading lately?

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Thursday This n That

Just now I was looking up the definition of circumspect to see if it means what I think it means.  It does - watchful, discreet, prudent, etc., the surveying of all possible consequences before acting or deciding. (That last one is my favorite and what I had in mind.)  However, the Google definition at the top of the page?  'wary and unwilling to take risks'.  Interesting take there, Google.  Luckily, there are usually plenty of other definitions below the one they suggest.  Like there are more hits than the ones they give you on the first page, and they massage the hits the fit their agenda anyway, so don't always take the first few as being the definitive answers.  The gold is sometimes buried several pages in.

BTW, certain entities changing the definitions of words to suit an agenda  - not saying that's what the Big G did there but my conspiracy senses are tingling- or for any other reason doesn't actually change the meaning of the word. 

When I hear something strange, I tend to try and look it up on the web before accepting it as fact.  The other day, an acquaintance asked me if I'd ever seen a jellyfish in the lake.  I was immediately suspicious and told her I'd have to look that up before I believed it.  (Her success rate for strange info is about 50%.)  Sure enough, the lake does have freshwater jellyfish.  Huh.  I'd never heard of such a thing.  They're about the size of a quarter when they're in their sexual stage.  Most of their lives, though, are spent in the asexual stage and then they're only about an eighth of an inch and hang out at the bottom of the lake, stuck to stuff down there.  Every rare once in a while, when conditions are right, they reach the sexual stage and float around.  They can still sting, but all in all, not much to worry about.  Don't pick one up and you should be fine.  Pick one up and you'll still be okay, but with ouchie fingers.

I really need to start wearing my glasses while I'm at the computer.  Gah, getting old sucks.

A few days ago, I got an instant message from an author I follow.  He does this when he has a new book out and he calls me his favorite reviewer.  Neat.  Anyway, the fourth book in his series is out and I have it and I'm reading it.  Yay.  Maybe this will kill the reading drought I've been going through.

Now if I can just kill the writing drought.  

Anything on your this n that list today? 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Baby Deers

Yes, I know, they're fawns.  But it's more fun and cuter to say 'baby deers', so we do.

Anyway, here are this year's one set of twins with their mama. 
The fawn on the left is Dart and the one of the right is Jumble. 
I think Dart is a male and I named him Dart because he looks like he has a straight line of spots headed for a circle of dots on his shoulder - like a dartboard.  Jumble might be a female and is Jumble because her spots are kind of all jumbled up in one area.  (Hey, it's tough thinking of fawn names every year.)

Update 7a.m.:  The third fawn just walked into the yard and up to Dart and Jumble, who were eating.  He then proceeded to get up on his hinds legs and kick the crap out of the twins, chasing them both back into the woods.  Definitely a buck fawn.  He's now christened Little Joe after the boxer, Smokin' Joe Frazier.   No pics of him yet.  The light this morning isn't good for pics.

Update 7:45a.m.:  We just had a set of twins in the yard and we're 90% sure they weren't Dart and Jumble.  For now, they will be Freckles and Fawn to be Named Later.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The Chaos Diaries - A New Wave

And when I say 'new wave', I'm not talking about around new round of 'rona.  I'm talking about the insanity surrounding the 'rona.

So, Wallyworld has mandated masks nationwide with people who'll be standing outside to enforce the rule.  Why?  Because there are like loads of places in the nation already with mask rules, so why not make all the stores in the non-totalitarian places enforce those rules, too?  Umm.  Yah. 

Today, all Dollar General stores follow in Walmart's locksteps.  Because it's what they do, I guess. 

Okay, here's the thing.  Yesterday, I tried the mask thing.  I had heard the USPS was enforcing a mask rule, so before I went into the post office to mail bills and pay for my PO Box, I put on a mask.  I walked from my car which was parked in front of the door, to the outgoing mail slot which is about 8 feet inside the store and by the time I dropped my mail into the slot I was hyperventilating and sliding into a panic attack.  I walked the few steps to the postal jail and slid my money for the PO Box through the tiny slot to the mail chick.  When I tried to talk to her, all that came out was croaking, so I ripped the damn mask off.  She looked at me kind of weird and I apologized saying "I'm sorry but I just can't wear it' and explaining how I'd heard it was mandatory masks in there.  She said she hadn't heard it was mandatory there yet. 

I'd also heard that masks were already mandatory at DG, so I girded my loins and went off to DG, telling myself it was something I was going to have to do if I wanted food, so I just needed to get over it.  I put the mask in my purse and headed for the doors.  No signs of any kind saying I had to put on a mask, so I didn't, but I was prepared to do it if someone said something.  No one inside was wearing masks, so my stress level went way down and I shopped, thinking perhaps my info was wrong.  When I was done, I talked to the cashier who told me the mask rule would go into effect the next day.  The guy behind me overheard us talking and was all like 'what?', so I explained it to him.  And he WENT OFF.  Can't say I disagreed with anything he said, although I might've said it quieter and with fewer expletives. 

The manager, upon hearing him, came out loaded for bear and totally on the defensive. With me.  I talked her down and the dude left, muttering additional worthy comments about America, freedom, and communism.  After she'd calmed down, because I assured her I was on her side and didn't have any intentions of taking my own righteous anger out on her or her staff, she told me that DG's new rules are to be enforced, no questions asked and no room for dissent.  Employees don't comply or enforce the rule, they're fired.  Period.  Then she told me she has the same phobia I have about things over my mouth and nose.  And she has to suck it up or lose her livelihood. 

That's where we're at in America, folks.  Follow the rules to avoid the chance you might catch a disease that, at the worst projections, is only slightly deadlier than the flu, or lose your job, be unable to shop for necessities, potentially face jail time...  The original guidelines were to stay 6 feet away, wash your hands, and stop touching your face.  I haven't heard anything that says 'those didn't work, so we have to wear masks now'.  We just have to.  No logic.  No rational.  Nothing.   

As I've said before, I have no problem with people choosing to wear masks.  If you feel like you're in the risk group, and you feel safer wearing a mask, go for it.  It's the difference between choice and force, folks.  And the underlying goal behind it?  Control. If they can get you to wear a mask by scaring the hell out of you, they can get you to do anything.

I have to go out again later this week.  While I was at DG, I bought a big handkerchief which I hope will be easier to deal with than the mask I had.  The new masks I ordered arrive sometime this week.  We'll see what happens.  If I totally spazz out inside a store because of the mask thing, I'll have Hubs drop a line here while I'm in jail.  (Not seriously concerned about that.  Well, maybe a little.)

Monday, July 20, 2020

Homemade Ice Cream w/o a Churn

The homemade ice cream worked out.  No churn needed.  I thought it was good but very rich.  Owl thought it was good but too sweet.  Hubs doesn't eat much ice cream, so he hasn't tried it.  Anyway, if you want to try it, here's the recipe:

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup dark chocolate syrup
2 cups heavy whipping cream

Blend together condensed milk and syrup in a large bowl.  In a separate medium to large bowl, whip cream on high until it forms stiff peaks.  Fold whipped cream into milk mixture.  Pour into sealable container.  Freeze overnight or until ice cream is firm.  Scoop and serve. 

Owl pointed out that I might have whipped the cream a smidge too long, so watch out for that.  She also suggested I try using cocoa powder next time to cut the sweetness and making up the loss of liquid by adding a 1/4 cup of unwhipped whipping cream to the condensed milk.  :shrug:  Your mileage may vary.

Also, apparently, you're supposed to whip cream in a cold bowl, preferably metal.  I don't have any metal mixing bowls.  I'll try chilling my plastic bowl next time.  If there is a next time.  I still prefer store bought ice cream.  But this is a good substitute if you're out of IC, have the ingredients handy, and don't mind whipping cream. (Not by hand.  Good lord, that would be a huge pain.  Use a mixer.)

Next time, I think I'll try just making vanilla and see how that works out.

Oh, and I used a gallon plastic ice cream container.  We wash them out and use them for all sorts of stuff, and it's perfect for this.  It was less than half full, but better that than overfull.  Blue Bunny sells their half-gallons in plastic containers, so those would work, too.

Good luck!

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Sunday Update - Week 28

Nearly forgot it was Sunday again.  Everything blurs together lately.

I wrote about a thousand words last week.  I told a friend that I had the words but not the gumption.  Turns out I don't have either.  When I sat down to write, I got the thou out and it felt shitty.  I know, I know, you can fix shitty, but it's hard to keep writing when you know what's coming out is shitty.

No reading, marketing, or editing.  Blerg.

The other day, Hubs and I took apart the pipes under the kitchen sink and cleaned them out.  The sink was backing up, so it was a must-do.  Talk about gross.  And there was one bend that had something I can only describe as a bezoar in it.  When it hit the bathtub, it clunked.  (We put the pipes in a bucket and scrubbed them out in the bathtub for ease of post-cleaning cleaning.)  No clue what the hell that was.  And it's not like we've never cleaned these pipes, so it was our mess and not the previous owners'.

Yesterday, I made ice cream using a recipe Silver James posted on her blog a while back.  As of bedtime, it wasn't quite hard enough to eat yet - more like a firm mousse than ice cream - but I have hopes for today.  (My freezer* has this thing it does where it freezes most things solid, but other things - like those liquid freezer pops - not.)  If it works, I'll drop my tweaked recipe here.  Hers was coffee ice cream, I made chocolate.  

Other than that, I have been thoroughly unmotivated for a couple weeks now.  It's hotter than Blue Billy blazes which makes exercise, fishing, and baking unpleasant.  I'm disheartened by the world which makes me want to crawl into a hole and pull the dirt in over myself.  Stuffs.  As such, I've been spending too much time playing free poker.  At least there I have the illusion of productivity and have almost $800K in chips**.  (Over a million in the play-money slots.  Woohoo.)  Friday I took 20K in chips and built it to over 200K.  Yay.  Would that it were real money. 

Here's hoping the next week goes better.  How did your week go?

* My freezer and fridge are on the same control.  If I turn it up (which is actually down), things in the fridge start to freeze, too.  Poorly engineered.  Gah.  On the upside, all the meats are solid as a rock, so no worries about food poisoning.

** All without buying chips, which you can do at this site.  I took the amounts they gave me and built them up to where I am now.  

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-Up - 7/18/20

Umm, yeah.  It's another week with no reading.  Call it the mid-summer blahs.  I'm resting my eyes... yeah, yeah, that's the ticket. 

No new books.  No DNFs.  No nothing.  And I guess you could say I'm still currently reading that UF I was reading last week, but since I haven't done any reading... 

What about you?  Are you reading anything good these days?  Or are you stuck in the blahs like I am?

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Thursday This n That - Chaos Edition

Ir may sound silly, but I've been drinking tonic water as a kind of prophylactic measure.  Not sure if the quinine is helping stave off the 'rona, but hey, it can't hurt.  Plus, it's yummy.  Two-thirds OJ, one-third tonic.  It's like a gin and tonic without the pine.  I wonder if there could be some kind of study to see how tonic drinkers rate in the 'rona numbers.  :shrug:  No worries - I don't think this makes me invincible against the crap.  I'm just hoping it helps tamp the shit down a bit.

Well, they finally did it.  Wallyworld caved to the fearmongers and, starting Monday, everyone everywhere will have to wear face masks to shop there.  And so I caved and ordered face masks.  I'm tempted to write things on the outside of mine, but I don't want to smell permanent marker on top of the whole 'I know I'm not suffocating, but I'm suffocating' thing.  I get panicky when I'm breathing my own air.  And then I start to hyperventilate, which isn't good on any given day and can't be good while wearing a face mask.  Bastards.

Note: After thirty minutes of trying to find face masks that were made in America that didn't cost me a tit and a half, I caved again and bought a 50 pack of China masks that are sold and ship out of Dallas.  Only $19.99 and free shipping.  Amazon, of course.  They're due to arrive around the 23rd.  Until then, I'll just avoid Wallyworld - which isn't that hard since I'm pretty stocked up from the last run.

The Kung Flu is still on the rise again here.  Hubs is keeping track of it all and giving me updates.  As I said before, if I wasn't worried about bringing it home to him, I wouldn't give a rat's ass.  At this point, I'm so over it all.  Bring it on.  Except no.

For the record, I don't have a problem with individuals choosing to wear face masks.  You want to wear one, more power to you.  You have to wear one because you're in a high risk group, you do what you have to do.  The problem I have is people, myself particularly, being bullied into wearing one.  America - the land of the kinda free when there isn't a virus about and home of the no-so-brave anymore.  =o(

By the way, even if you're wearing a mask, stay six feet away from me - even after this is over.  I don't want your cooties.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Another Pretty Pic

Another pretty pic today.
It's a snowy egret at a lake in eastern CO. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

It's Too Early for This Shit

I woke up this morning to find that the screensaver program that I'd used for years with no problems, and which I'd recently re-downloaded,  had taken over my new computer.  Uninstalling at 4:30am is not the way I wanted to start my day and my desktop is still messed up.  Blerg.

Then while doing my morning routine of checking sales and updating my spreadsheets I noticed I screwed up the formulas on my Daily Pages tab so July is all pointing to the wrong cells.  (Notice it's the 14th and I'm only noticing now because lack of sales this month. Gack.)

Both of those should've been a clue that I never should've opened Facebook.  Ugly ugly ugly shit going on out there. 

I need more coffee.  And a Valium.  Okay, no Valium since I'm allergic to it.  Vodka, perhaps?  Except I stopped drinking ages ago and there's no liquor in the house. A ball-peen hammer to the head maybe.  Only I'm not into the pain thing.  A ball-peen hammer to their heads sounds better.  Boink. Boink. Boink.

:crawls off in search of calm music and pretty things:

5:59am:  Okay, so the calm music idea ended up with me trying to rip some more of my classical CDs only to have them completely disappear from my Windows Media Player.  It said they were ripped, but no.  What the hell is up with this morning?

Update:  The desktop screw up has been fixed.  The spreadsheet formulas have, too.  I haven't figured out the music thing yet, but I'm hoping once the computer comes on again in the morning, everything will be hunky dory.  As for the world?  I don't know what could fix it, so I'm trying to keep my head down and muddle through.  Good luck out there, folks.  

Monday, July 13, 2020

Sunday +1 Update - Week 27

Hey all.  Sorry I totally brainfarted about yesterday's Sunday Update post.  Like total brainfartness.  I didn't even realize I'd missed it until it was almost dinner time and then I figured I could hit it this morning instead.

So anyway...

I managed to get about 2500 words added to Cinder Ugly last week over 4 days.  Not exactly burning up the keyboard, but better than nothing.  I'm still trying to find my way from here to there and it's slow going.

The free thing for Project Hermes ended.  I moved 40 copies.  No residual anythings.  :shrug:

I didn't read anything last week.  Partly because I've been trying to keep my brain focused on Cinder Ugly.  The thought is that it doesn't need any fictional distractions right now.  :shrug:

The world has become such an ugly place, Hubs and I have been listening to pretty classical music before we go to bed at night.  It helps distract the brain from all the ugly and it's good to affirm that pretty things do exist, that man is, in fact, a heroic being, and that we can create beauty.  Don't believe me?  Go here and listen to this.  If you don't find that beautiful, I can't help you.

Other stuffs happened, but right now, I can't think of anything else I want to talk about.  Is there anything you'd like an update on?  How'd your week go?

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 7/11/20

Well, this is going to be a short post.  I didn't finish any books last week.

I did snag one new book - an UF that sounded fun.  So, I have three unread ebooks - that UF, another UF, and a mystery.  Still no new hardcopies because while the thrift stores are open again, they're requiring masks and I don't need old books bad enough to wear a mask.  Yet.  I am jones'n for some new old books though.

No DNFs this week either.

I'm currently reading that most recently acquired urban fantasy, but I haven't made much progress because I've been trying to focus on writing. 

What was up in your reading life last week? 

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Thursday This n That

We're hitting Wallyworld today.  Should be interesting.  The Owl has all sorts of fashion statement masks she ordered online to choose from.  I will still be maskless unless they make me wear one.  (I still have one in the car.)  The plan today is to go in, get everything that doesn't require refrigeration, put it in the car.  Then go back in and get all the perishable stuff.  It's supposed to be wicked hot again, so the plan is necessary.  Since I already picked up deer food last week, we should have plenty of room in the car.  :fingers crossed:

We're also supposed to get a storm system rolling through, so I have to get my butt in gear and get the shopping done early.  Blerg.  I need more coffee.

Our daylilies are thriving.
I've been coveting this bunch of daylilies for a while now because we thought they were on the neighbor's property.  Then the neighbor got his property surveyed and they're actually ours.  Yay.

The world is such a fucked up place right now.  Look for the beauty where you can find it. 

I might make a cake today.  I need cake.  My ass doesn't need cake, but the rest of me does.  Chocolate oil, I think.  I already bought frosting because I knew I wouldn't feel like making it.  I have cream cheese frosting and chocolate frosting.  We'll see which way I go.  Woohoo.

Not much else going on right now.  Ranty stuffs.  So, I'll leave it here without going into that.  Got anything on your this-n-that list today?

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Picture Day... Because the Alternative Would be Ranting

So, rather than rant, which doesn't do anyone any damn good, here's a picture of my stargazer lilies.
I had to snip them and bring them inside after something... wind, rain, critters... knocked one of them over  The photo doesn't do them justice.  So pretty.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Ramblings on a Braindead Tuesday Morning

I am slightly braindead today.  Shouldn't come as a shock to anyone.  Some mornings are better than others.  This is not one of the better ones.  More coffee!  STAT!

In computer news, I figured out what the hell is up with my image software.  It's a long story I won't bore you with.  Suffice it to say, it should be fixed later this morning.  I also discovered that I need to transfer my Outlook data - even though we're not using Outlook at the office anymore - because I have old emails in there that I still need.

After not having written for quite some time, I'm writing again and discovering that the writing muscles in my hands and arms have atrophied.  I cranked out a thousand words last night and oh, ow.  If not for the hand cramps, etc., I probably could've written at least another thou.  Stupid atrophy.

You know when someone says something and you can't think of an appropriate response right then, but later you think of all the things you could've said only now it's too late?  I'm like that all the time.  I'm still finishing arguments in my head that occurred years ago.

I was out in the world yesterday.  I only encountered one couple with masks on, and they were sufficiently old that I could understand why they felt the need.  They weren't wearing them right, but if it makes them feel better, more power to them.  I still haven't worn a mask and I won't unless I'm backed into a corner.

I'm not sure what's up with the half-shaved head craze, but I don't think it looks good on anyone.  It's like they're prepping for Thunderdome.  Of course, I'm also not thrilled with oddly-colored hair.  Blue?  Seriously?  It's reminds me of that scene in Jumpin' Jack Flash where Terry is hopped up on truth serum and she runs into a punk couple... "Oh, look!  A tropical fish and its mate!"  Then again, I still want to yell 'Fleet's in!' when I see someone with tattoos.  Yeah, I'm an old fuddy-duddy.

Speaking of Whoopie, she's totally ruined her movies for me.  Which sucks because I really loved Jumpin' Jack Flash.  Stupid celebrities and their shitty opinions.  Can't watch Lethal Weapon anymore.  Can't watch Silence of the Lambs anymore.  Can't watch a lot of things anymore.  I can't divorce the actor from the character long enough to just enjoy the movies.  Wish I could... can't.  Bleh.  And don't get me started on The Simpsons

And that's more than enough out of me this morning.  Hopefully I'll think of something less random to talk about tomorrow.

Monday, July 6, 2020

A Nearly New Computer

A short while back, I ordered a nearly new computer.  (Nearly new, as in refurbished.)  First off, I'd like to thank Newegg for another good shopping experience.  And I'd like to thank the seller on Newegg's marketplace for shooting this sucker out so fast and getting it here nearly a week ahead of the earliest delivery date they gave me.

This is my third Lenovo desktop.  I keep buying them because they're so damn good.  The first one was new, the other two were refurbished.  This one is so quiet, it's creepy.  Is it on?  Is it off?  It was particularly hard to tell before I got the monitor settings to stop sending it into sleep mode every 15 minutes.  I'd walk into the office and see the monitor off and think 'what the hell shut my computer off?' 

Anyway, I'm on the new 'puter now.  I spent most of the weekend transferring files and setting things just the way I like them.  I still have one thing to fix - my image software - and some little niggling things - like having all my go-to files show up in the 'recently opened files' section of my softwares.  And adding my words to the freakin' dictionaries again.  Writerly is too a word, dammit. 

I think I have the answer to my image software issue.  We'll see later today.  If I can't fix it, I'm going to have to teach myself GIMP or something.  Blerg. 

I'm still running Windows 7.  Yes, I know it's old.  But it's stable and I know all its ins and outs.  Also, I don't want to have to pay for a new version of MS Office to go with Windows 10.  And I sure as hell don't want to learn new software.  I hate that shit and I ain't got time for it.  If it ain't broke, don't fix it.  And Windows 7 was never broke.  Hell, I was using Windows 98 until 7 came out.  I still miss DOS for petesakes.  (Okay, only on occasion.  Windows is better than DOS, but it has limitations on what it will let me do sometimes.)

Anyway, the transition has been pretty seamless.  I was up on this computer within like 48 hrs of its arrival.  And I wrote new words last night like this wasn't a totally new and unusual computer.  (Another reason to get one exactly like my last one.)  Yay.

So, if you're like me and need a new computer but don't have the fundage for a new computer, I'd recommend a refurbished one.  This sucker cost me $160 out the door - free shipping and all.  I could've gone a little cheaper with less RAM, and gotten it for around $130.  Seriously.  Don't break the bank if you don't have to. 

And now it's time for me to start my day.  The same way I started my day with the old computer.  Yay.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Sunday Update - Week 26

We've reached the halfway point of the year.  Here's hoping the second half is better than the first.  I don't expect it to be, but I have hope. 

I didn't do any actual writing this week, but that's okay.  I did a lot of sitting down with my notebook and trying to figure out the course of the story for Cinder Ugly.  I had a brain quasar that will come much later in the story and a smaller flash that will come before it, but getting from where I am now to the flash to the quasar is still up in the air. 

Since I had a wild hair, I put Project Hermes for free the 3rd through the 7th, so I did some marketing for that on Friday.   Then yesterday hit and I got derailed.  The internet was obscenely slow making it really hard to upload graphics - and I have such a lovely graphic someone awesome made for me, too.
I'll work on using it for marketing today. 

I did get some reading done.  Which is always good.

The big thing for the week was the arrival of my refurb computer on Friday afternoon.  It wasn't even supposed to be here until after the 9th.  UPS pulled into the driveway and I was all like 'what the hell are they here for? must be something Owl ordered', but it was my 'puter.  So I spent most of Friday night and yesterday working on getting it set up.  Most of the time was spent on transferring files - pictures to be specific.  42.6 gig of picture files took 4 hours to put onto a thumb drive and then another hour to move from the thumb to the new harddrive.  Ugh.  I'm still on the old girl, but I'm 90% of the way on the newbie.  I just have to get my bookmarks over to Firefox so my internet isn't screwy and I still have to set up my screensaver and also get my image program loaded.  There are probably other little things that need doing, but nothing on the radar yet.

It's been too hot for baking or for fishing, so nothing's up there. 

Let's not talk about exercise or activity, k?  I did get a walk in on Friday, but it was a shorter walk because I've been such a toad I couldn't do the whole walk.  Blerg.

Okay, I'd better get my buns in gear this morning.  Things to do and all that.  What were you up to last week?

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 7/4/20

Happy Independence Day!  And welcome to another reading wrap-up.  Just a quick aside... Ain't it great to live in a country where you can read whatever you want without fear of recrimination?**

I did pick up three new ebooks - urban fantasy, cozy mystery, and mystery.  

Books Read:

55) Pixie Me Up by Willow Mason (7/2/20) - Paranormal Cozy Mystery* - 5 stars.  New to me and could be more appreciated, but not quite underappreciated.  Free off the Book Adrenaline newsletter.
Review: " So cute and fun!"

54) Hide by Lisa Gardner (6/30/20) - Suspense - 5 stars.  Neither new to me nor underappreciated.  I picked this up last year from one of the thrift stores for 17c.  It's on my keeper shelf now.
Review: "That was awesome. If you like suspense, and you haven't read this one yet, read it. I'm sorry I had never read it before now. So good."

53) Live Fae or Die Trying by Jenna Wolfhart (6/27/20) - UF* - 5 stars.  New to me but not underappreciated.  Free off the Book Barbarian newsletter.
Review: "Ooo, I really enjoyed this one. Different premise with interesting characters. A bit of romantic stuff and loads of snark, plus suspense and thrills and twists. I wasn't sure who the real villain was until the reveal at the end. Just what I like."


7/3/20 - Historical Mystery.  Free.  The whole beginning of the book felt like the author didn't want to waste one little bit of the research they'd done and they were going to shove every last morsel of it into the book.  It definitely needed more story and less tiny detail.  Meh.

6/27/20 - Suspense.  Free.  Meh.  I read through the prologue and part of the first chapter, but something was off about it and I didn't want to read anymore.

Currently reading...  I haven't started anything since I DNF'd that mystery.  Not sure where I'm going from here.

**Unless, of course, you get caught reading the 'wrong' book.  Then there'll be hell to pay.  =o(

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Thursday This n That

There's something hinky with my toilet.  It's making weird sounds like it's pissed and is digesting its enemies.  Either that or it's become a portal to another dimension where the inhabitants are pissed and digesting their enemies.  I suspect it's just mineral deposits and I need to clean the tank again. 

I saw baby turkeys yesterday!  For the first time in years.  Four little poults and their mama.  Only four probably means she lost the rest because I think they usually hatch out about eight.  But poults!  Yay!

Since the world has become such an unpalatable place, I'm spending too much time playing online play-money slots.  Click, spin, click, spin, click, spin.  With the one I'm playing there are so many different ways to win, I'm often not sure how I won.  Or how I could possibly not win.  :shrug:  Totally random.  Totally out of my control.  Totally mindless entertainment.

The other day, Owl wanted to try a new recipe for chocolate cake with root beer in it.  When it came out of the oven, I was a little concerned it was so low in the bundt pan.  She had the first piece and commented it wasn't quite right.  Hubs and I had our pieces and yeah, something about it was weird.  Really dense and the texture was strange.  It tasted good, but yeah.  So, I sat down with Owl to brainstorm what might've gone wrong.  After a time, she realized she'd forgotten the baking soda.  No leavening agent made it basically a chocolate rubber brick.  Yesterday, I figured out if you cut a thinner slice and then nuke it and eat it hot, it takes away the weird texture, so the cake will get eaten.  It takes a lot to get me to throw away food.  Especially chocolate flavored food.

I'm having a tough time finding new ebooks to read right now.  Not much is really exciting me enough to click through.  I think I might have to bite the bullet and pay for some books in series I've enjoyed in the past.  I'm also down to one book in my pile of random paperbacks.  Oh, I still have loads of paperbacks, but the random pile is too damn low.  I need to get into a thrift store soon.

Fish sticks for dinner tonight.  I haven't had those in ages, so when I saw them at the DG, I snapped them up.  Am I the only one who says it fishticks?  I also say sammich instead of sandwich.  And breffishnook instead of breakfast nook.  :shrug:

And that's it for me today.  What's it for you?