Sunday, August 28, 2022

Sunday Update - Week 34?

The internet is telling me last week was number 34.  I'm not sure I believe it, but eh, whatever.  Can you believe that August is almost over?  Yeeps.  Not much of note happened this week, but I figured I'd better do an update.  Let's see if I can make your trip here worthwhile with some semi-interesting stuff...  

It's been over two months since I wrote any fiction.  That almost feels like an introduction to a addict support group.  "Hi, my name is BE and it's been over two months since I wrote fiction."  At which point everyone would say 'Hi, BE.'  Except it wasn't an addiction and I didn't need a support group because I was doing it.  I might need a support group for not doing it.  'Writers Not Writing Anonymous' or something.  It kinda feels like I cut off an appendage.  I get phantom pains to write, but when I reach out for the ability, it's not there.

Whoa, that was disturbing.  :shudder:

Anyway, I read a great book this past week.  Visit yesterday's post to see what it was and a link to click.  

Yesterday, I made coffee cake.  It was my usual recipe, but I added applesauce to the batter and then dribbled applesauce over the top.  It turned out pretty damned good, if I do say so myself.  Today, I need to make granola bars because Hubs is out.

Speaking of Hubs, he's been working on my car.  This week, he took it to get the oil changed and he put two new tires on the back.  He also picked up the parts to fix my windshield washer - a new tank and a new pump.  Yesterday, the poor man spent 6 hours putting those suckers in.  In 90+ heat.  And during the test phase, we discovered it wasn't just the tank and the pump... the hose leaks, too.  He'll need to order that and go through the process of taking the front of my car apart again.  For now, duct tape is doing the job and my pump squirts liquid up onto the windshield again.  Yay.  Well, for now, my car will be put back together and driveable so I can get to work tomorrow.

Work is work.  Busy busy.  I'm still liking it for the most part.  There are a couple people I could live without, but I don't deal with them that often, so it's no big deal.  The owner seems like a good guy, and the four I have to deal with every day are good people, too.  The worst part is sitting like 90% of the time.  The 5% I spent standing ain't so good on the body either.  I need more motion in my day.  As soon as the weather cools down, I'm going to try walking on my lunch half-hour.  Fifteen minutes to eat and 15 minutes to walk.  We'll see how it goes.

Meanwhile, to try and ameliorate the ouchies caused by sitting too much, I ordered a gel chair cushion.  It's supposed to be delivered tomorrow.  Keep your fingers crossed.

This week, I discovered I've lost 10 pounds since I started work.  It's gotta be due to the whole not grazing all day thing, since I am definitely not getting any exercise.  Weight: 171.6.  That's the lowest I've been in like over 10 years.  A pound lower than the start of 'rona when I stressed so bad I dropped a bunch of weight.  I gained all that back.  Let's see if I can keep this off.  

Let's see... what else...   The fawns are getting bigger and their spots are starting to fade a bit.  We saw Chester Chipmunk and he looks well.  My gardens are toast.  Everyone in my family is doing well, as far as I know.  

Oh, one last thing...  I went to Wallyworld yesterday.  Lucky for me, I didn't need that much stuff.  And I still paid $48 total.  The price of damn near everything had jumped.  TP was up $2 from the last time I bought it.  $12+ for a 12 pack of Great Value when it was $10+.  Under Trump, the same toilet paper was $6+.  Doubled in under 2 years.  Thanks, Creepy Joe, you rat bastard.  

And that's it.  How was your week?  How's life in general treating you these days?

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 8/27/22

Well hello there.  It's morning.  I woke up tired.  And I forgot to schedule this post, so bear with me.

I got two new books this week.  I didn't mean to get two.  I finished a book last night and went to go buy its sequel. Once clicked that sucker like my ass was on fire and it was water.  And then I noticed I hadn't bought the second book.  I'd clicked the third.  Soooo, I went back and bought the second book, like I had originally planned.  (And no, I'm not returning the 3rd book.  I don't return books.)  Here's hoping these are as awesome as the first one was.  Speaking of which...

Books Read:

45) Sorcerer Rising (Virgil McDane #1) by E. Nathan Sisk (8/26/22) - UF Noir*# - 5 stars.  New to me and underappreciated.  Free off the ENT newsletter.  (Last night, when I bought the others, this was only 99c.)
Review: "Now, that was a frickin' awesome read. It was nowhere near what I thought it was going to be when I downloaded it. It defies any attempt to pigeonhole it into a genre. And I loved it. Any preconceptions you might have... this is going to blow them all to tiny bits of dust. Much the way Virgil tackles his ultimate nemesis. Which, by the way, was incredibly satisfying. I miss Tiffany. I wish the best for Sarah. I want Conrad to thrive. Most of all, I want to see Virgil continuing to kick ass through many subsequent novels.

And yeah, it took me a week to read. It's a big book with lots of intricate stuff going on in there, but none of it is a slog. It's action packed and you'll find yourself staying up later than you ought to, sneaking in time to read when you should be doing something else, and still having it take a while to read. It's worth it. Dive on in. Now I have to go slap my money down for the next book."

No DNFs.

Currently reading... Nothing yet.  I won't be diving into book 2 of the above yet.  I don't like to read a series straight through.  I'll cleanse my palate with something else first and go into #2 fresh.

What was on your reading plate last week?

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The Spectacle

Did you hear the one about the optometrist who fell into his lens grinder?  He made a spectacle of himself.

Seriously, though, this is The Writing Spectacle.  But I'm not doing much in the way of writing anymore.  Well, not fiction writing.  I write tons of emails and texts and letters and sundry other work product.  I think my typing speed has increased exponentially.  Fiction, though?  Nada.  

Life itself is a spectacle.  Sit back and watch it sometime.  :cue circus music:   

Work is a spectacle.  It is definitely something to behold.  Setting aside the fact that this is the first time I've worked outside the house in eighteen years (two years less than the gal who has the office next door has been alive, by the way), it's a circus.  Some days I feel like I'm on the tightrope.  Rolling along on my itty-bitty unicycle, juggling chainsaws and tiny balls as I go.  Tiny ball, tiny ball, chainsaw, tiny ball, chainsaw, chainsaw.  Can't drop any of them.  And I can't set any of them down.  I juggle in my sleep these days.  

For the most part, home is quiet.  Until a bit of spectacle gets thrown in and I have a dozen oranges to juggle along with my tiny balls and chainsaws.  For instance: Anyone else caught up in the CenturyLink / Direct TV spectacle?  CenturyLink and Direct TV had an agreement wherein you could have your phone and your satellite bundled.  But then AT&T bought Direct TV and the agreement fell apart.  So they separated the bundles, which separated the billing.  Hubs is trying to sort out the double billing, and has been on the phone for irritating lengths of time, only to have me come home to a slew of emails from Direct TV telling me we're past due and they're going to shut off our satellite if we don't pay 1) what we already paid and 2) don't owe anyway.  I'm ready to tell Direct TV to go pound sand up their collective asses.  Hubs will waste another day trying to get this sorted out.  I feel bad, but I can't handle the oranges right now.

Oh, and in the midst of all this CenturyLink is reinventing itself again.  (It used to be CenturyTel.)  It's becoming Brightstar.  Well, la de dah.  Barf.

Needless to say, I don't have the brain space to write.  Too many of my neurons are devoted to other things these days.  I was thinking that maybe once the work thing reaches a cruising altitude I'll be able to put some words down.  Now I'm thinking there is no cruising altitude.  I'm strapped to a rocket.  

Ah, the spectacle.

Monday, August 22, 2022

No Update?

When there's nothing to update, there's no update.  Basically, my life last week was the same as it was the week before.  I can't think of anything new that happened.  Work, reading, TV, eat, sleep... lather rinse repeat.  And I already talked about the reading.

How are things in your life?

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 8/20/22

 :blink blink:  There I am.  Sorry about last week's wrap-up, or lack thereof.  I totally forgot, but then again, I hadn't read anything either.  Today's not going to be exciting, but at least it's here.

I picked up two books last week - a cozy mystery and an SF mystery.  The SF mystery I read this week - jumping it ahead of books I'd downloaded before it, but it was a book 2 I'd been looking forward to reading, so there ya go.  I still have four ebooks left unread - a paranormal mystery, a paranormal something or other, a cozy mystery and a suspense.  I'm three books behind on my goal.  :shrug:  It is what it is.  When I set the goal, I never dreamed I'd be working full-time again.

Books Read: 

44) Last Train to Nowhere by KC Sivils (8/14/22) - SF Noir*2# - 5 stars.  Not new to me, since it's a book 2, but definitely underappreciated.  I paid for this one during a late-night, 'I can't sleep' bit of retail therapy - $2.99. (I know.. Big Spender, eh?)
Review: "
A dark and deadly story, full of twists and turns, with just enough science to turn this noir hard-boiled crime novel into something really special. My only niggle would be that the writer eschews the use of commas on occasions where a comma is expected. :shrug: The story carried me past all that until I wasn't even noticing the missing commas anymore. Your mileage may vary, but the book is truly worth the read. "

No DNFs.  

Currently reading... well, this book is kind of hard to pinpoint on genre.  So I'm calling it a hard-boiled fantasy noir.  It's pretty damn good so far.  Man, one scene I read last night was gorgeously written.  Deep and dark with imagery so poignant it made the writer in me want to weep that I hadn't thought of it first.  I hope it keeps up being this awesome.

And that's it for me.  What were you reading this week?

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Thursday This n That

 I get these emails from Ancestry letting me know when they found something interesting in one of my trees.  I used to get them and heave a sigh because I didn't have the money.  Now, I have the money, but I have no time.  :heavy sigh:

Speaking of time, we're supposed to be implementing a new thing at the office where we schedule our tasks throughout the day.  It's a fine idea.  We are all exceptionally busy all day and working more efficiently is always a good thing.  Except for when it comes to my job it's probably pissing into the wind.  You see, I am point man on answering the phones.  And they ring A LOT.  And just about every call is critical.  Now, if I was just answering the phones and passing the call along, scheduling my day might be doable, but I'm answering the phones, then a) dealing with the calls myself, b) taking lengthy messages and either sending the info through on chat or in email, c) hunting down people when it's critical... you get the picture.  I will attempt to schedule, though.  Actually, now that I think about it I already do to some extent.  I have to or I'd already be insane.

And my phone is the wonky one at the office.  Woohoo.  They keep saying they'll fix it, but no one has time, so I deal.  Improvise, adapt, and overcome.  Hoorah.

I made the decision when I started working that I wouldn't talk about the specifics of where I work.  It keeps my online life separate from my work life.  That and I already know they researched me online before they hired me, so they could be reading this right now.  :waves:  Besides, I don't necessarily want the people who've been nasty to me on the phone to connect there with here.  (They still could if they tried really hard, but why make it easier?)

We bought a new mattress on Saturday.  I'd like to say I love it.  :shrug:  I'm getting used to it.  

And with that, I'll let you go because it's just about time to get ready for work.  See ya in the funny papers.  ;o)

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Sunday Update - Week 32

 I know I'm late, but hey, it's still Sunday.  Thanks for still stopping by, even though I'm not exactly here much and I'm probably boring as hell.

I still haven't written anything or done anything writerly since I started working.  I know scads of people write and work.  I just haven't figured out that secret yet.  Or rather, I've totally forgotten the secret because when I first started writing, I was working a full time job and I still managed it.  :shrug:

I also didn't read anything last week, hence the lack of a Saturday Reading Wrap-up this week.  Sorry about that.  

Work was busy last week.  I mean, it's always busy, but last week was intense.  And because of that, I hit 40 hours by like 2pm on Friday and they let me go home early, which was nice.  I would've worked 'til closing, but after I got home, I was so glad I didn't.  I didn't realize how tired I was until I walked in the door and put on my comfies.  I could've fallen asleep right then.  I probably should've at least napped then.  If I had, I wouldn't have gone to bed at 8.  Thank goodness for On Patrol reruns.  LOL

Yesterday, Hubs and I got the idea to go buy a new mattress.  My usual store said they had them in stock when I looked online.  When I called?  Nope.  So I called my alternate store - whose online thing said they had them in stock, too, but since the other store's online 'in stock' thing lied, who knew?  They said they had them, but quoted me a totally different price.  Anyway, we decided on taking the road trip and if they didn't have the mattress I wanted, we'd just call it a lovely day for a drive.  Thankfully, they did have the mattress.  We picked it up and then went out to lunch.  

If you know me, you know that's a big deal.  We NEVER go out to eat.  Anyway, we had Chinese.  I had sesame chicken and Hubs got a split platter of cashew chicken and sweet n sour chicken.  Yummers.  Then we had the leftovers for dinner.  Win win.

As for the mattress, it's still expanding.  The instructions said 24-48 hours, so it'll be tomorrow before we get to sleep on it.  Unfortunately, the only place to let it come to fruition is on the bed, so we're sleeping on our old mattress on the floor in the living room.  It's like camping.  I actually got a better night's sleep on the floor than I have in weeks on that old mattress.  Here's hoping the new memory foam thing is as awesome as everyone says it is.  If it is, I'll never buy another pricey-ass mattress again.  The old mattress is a Serta and it started to die years ago.  But who wants to spend that kind of money every three years?  Am I right?

Anyway, that was my exciting week.  Woohoo.  How are things in your world?

Friday, August 12, 2022

Life and Song

 Let me tell ya, for a while there my life was all like:

And I was trying to be all...

Now it's pretty much:


And I have...

How are things in your world?

Sunday, August 7, 2022

Sunday Update - Week 31?

Sorry I'm late.  I don't really have anything to talk about.  It was a week.  It was busy at work and veggie at home.  (More of both in the coming week.)

I read one book and DNF'd several others.  I didn't bake anything.  I didn't do much in the way of activity and I only lost two tenths of a pound.  (Which I probably gained back after yesterday's see-food-eat-it festivities.)  We did just get back from a walk, so that's something.

If you missed it, I finally got my squeaky brakes fixed.  The silence is wonderful.

There's a doe around here with three fawns following her.  Not sure whether she had triplets or adopted some other doe's baby.  One is decidedly bigger than the other two.  We had a mama raccoon stop by this morning with three babies.  (It's not the same raccoon who came by with 4 the other day.  This mama is noticeably smaller.)  Someone ran over a copper head near the house.  :shudder:  Then this morning, we saw a dead Rough Green Snake (I assume it was this and not the smooth, because the smooth kind hasn't been seen in MO in a long time.  I did not touch it to verify my assumption) in the road. Bummer for that one because they aren't venomous and they eat bugs.

Other than that, it's been pretty quiet here.  Keeping my head down and working for the most part.  

How are things in your world?

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 8/6/22

Hello again.  Welcome to the Saturday Reading Wrap-up, where I talk about the readerly things I've done this week and then you can talk about yours, too.

I picked up three new ebooks this week, which was good because after the DNF stream, I was down to only one previously downloaded, unread ebook last night.  The one is a fantasy.  The others are a paranormal mystery,  a paranormal something, and a suspense.  

Books Read:

43) Sins of the Fathers by SW Frontz (7/31/22) - Suspense*# - 3 stars.  New to me with few reviews.  
No review from me either and I don't really think you need to know where I found it.  If you haven't been here before, I don't review books with less than 4 stars.  Most of the time I don't finish a book if I don't think I can give it at least 4 stars.  This one wouldn't even be here, except I did finish it and it counted toward my Goodreads goal, so here it is.


8/5/22 - free - suspense.  I felt like it was going to be pretty good.  The writing was solid and the MC was likable, but it had several plot lines running concurrently, and every time I started to get into one, it would switch to another.  Maybe if they'd stuck with one or even two I could've kept it straight.  :shrug:  I don't have the brain power to juggle that many threads at once right now.

8/4/22 - free - UF.  Eh.  The heroine seemed too stupid to live.  

7/31/22 - free - UF.  First person, present tense - for one thing.  I was soldiering through that when the MC said something I found super insulting and not wishing to encounter further crap, I swiped to the end and closed the book.  Ain't got time for that shit.  Thanks for playing, but EHNT wrong answer.  Next contestant please.

Currently reading... after I DNF'd that suspense last night, I was too tired to start anything else and On Patrol, Live was on.  We'll see what today brings.

What was on your reading list last week?

Friday, August 5, 2022

Thurs... err... Friday This n That

I totally brainfarted yesterday.  As in, I can't believe I missed Thursday and now it's Friday.  :shrug:

Hubs was doing this thing where he'd compare old pictures of various coastal places today versus way back when.  Take the Statue of Liberty, for instance.  Now... Then... count the bricks on the seawall from water level to the top.  Same same.  I did the beaches at Normandy.  Same same.  He found a site that was saying that this was no way to dispute the rising-sea-level' claim because the two pictures probably weren't taken at the same tidal point or some such crap.  My point was and is that we have documented 'experts' saying in the 1970s that certain places would be underwater by now and there is no tangible, objective, visual evidence of the water level even being higher.  Don't believe me, go look for pics yourself.  

Who ya gonna believe?  An expert or your own eyes?  ;o)

You may remember I got my brakes done a while back.  Well, something was hinky with the back set of new brakes.  It started out with a little thump and I took the car back over there and the dude told me it would stop after a while.  Well, it didn't.  It got worse.  I told Hubs, but apparently I didn't tell him hard enough.  Fast forward to Tuesday and Hubs hopped into the passenger seat while I drove us to go vote.  And he was all like WHOA, that's sounds bad.  Umm... yah.  We got home from voting and I went to work.  While I was at work, he called the mechanic and worked it out to bring my car in the next day.  He dropped me off at work and picked me up afterwards.  The damn brakes weren't set right.  The head mechanic apologized profusely.  Now it's fixed and my car doesn't make any untoward noises any longer.  Yay.  And the 6-7 weeks of noise didn't damage my new brakes.  Also yay.

Gas is down to $3.75/gal here.  I saw something on FB saying anyone who was grateful for a slight reduction in gas prices was an idiot because they went up so much that this little drop was nothing.  I beg to differ.  It's like when someone holds your head underwater for a length of time.  When they finally let you take a breath, you're grateful, even though you know they're going to shove your face back in the water again shortly.  And they know it.  

I took a trip down my last Walmart receipt.  It was not a pleasant trip.  The prices are totally jacked.  Take, for instance, vitamins.  Used to pay like $3-something for a small bottle of off-brand mens 50+ multi.  They didn't have any small bottles, so I got the larger one.  $12 and half or so.  And this was NOT four time more pills.  It was two times, so what, the small bottle is like $6-7 now?  Blerg.

I can't think of one thing that's better under this administration.  Seriously.  If you voted for this, slap yourself for me, will ya?

And on that note, that's probably enough out of me.  It's not time to get ready for work yet, but I've flapped my proverbial gums enough this morning.  What's on your this n that radar?  How's life in general?  I feel like we don't get to chat much anymore, so have at it.