Sunday, November 22, 2020

Random stuff 2.0

The kids have all week off this next week.  Usually, they have school on Monday and half of Tuesday during Thanksgiving week; however, with this stupidity surrounding a cold, the school's decided to give the teachers (and the kids) the extra couple of days to rest and relax.  

I don't really object--I'm sort of exhausted, too.  This school year has rather inspired exhaustion: I've been doing a load of laundry every day, trying to keep the kids' buff/gaiters clean.  They've got two, so they wear one while the other's in the wash.  Friday and Saturday are the only days I don't do laundry, and I sometimes have to do an extra day when I get a load of towels and cleaning rags built up.  

Monday...I need to call the kids' doctor's office, tomorrow morning.  He'd had an appointment, but a call on a Sunday afternoon doesn't fill me with confidence that his appointment is still going to be tomorrow.  

The pixie's going to spend tomorrow night with Grandma, because of said appointment...which I'd had set up for a month.  Grandma will be picking her up something like half an hour before I need to leave for the imp's 10:00 appointment, for an overnight stay, to come home with Odysseus after work on Tuesday.  

Now.  Whether or not the doctor's office is going to let me keep that appointment...I have no idea, especially given the timing of the call from the doctor's office asking me to call them back about it.  But I won't be changing plans on the pixie. 

Christmas shopping's going to be...yeah.  Not good for Joplin, this year.  They posted another mask ordinance, effective immediately (as of Thursday or Friday, I don't recall), and running through the end of February.  Their last one--the one that lasted from July to August--fucked them over pretty badly with their sales tax revenue, to the tune of almost a quarter of the expected sales tax...not making an appearance.  I've already started ordering presents I can't find in Webb City for people, including at least one delivery from Sam's Club.  Yeah, sales tax on that was half what sales tax usually is...so ordering online for delivery bypassed Joplin's city tax quite nicely.   

And also postpones when I'm going to need to switch from my flip-phone to a smart phone, for Sam's Club's curbside delivery.  

Update: The kids' usual doctor is sick, this week.  The imp's appointment has been postponed until a week from today.  I've arranged so that he misses as little as possible at school.  

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Why the school doesn't simply ask for this...

My imp has been having trouble at school: trouble keeping up with papers, and trouble keeping up with writing utensils.  His teacher told me, when we went in to pick something up yesterday, that he has trouble keeping up with stuff because he just crams stuff in his binder, then drops it, sending stuff flying.  Losing all of his pencils, erasers, and papers.  

I pulled out my old, college zipper binder, a hunter green Five Star binder with pencil/pen pockets in the inside front, floppy drive pockets that close with a velcro flap (yes, it's that old) that he's using for things like big pink erasers and the white art erasers, a glue stick...things like that, and another floppy drive pocket that he's using for sticky notes.  We moved stuff from his open binder and I helped him arrange stuff, and explained why it was arranged like that.  I swear I saw the light come on, but we're going to have to keep re-doing it and clearing out his locker on a weekly basis.  

Also in the binder is a to-do list for his school day to help him with the executive function "oh crap, what am I supposed to be doing now/I feel like I've forgotten something" thing; a three-hole punch; a red folder for stuff he's finished and needs to put in his binder, and stuff he still has to do; dividers for his subjects; paper (wide ruled), a blue folder for stuff he's supposed to do at school; and more paper (5 squares to the inch grid). 

He also has trouble differentiating in his planner which work he's supposed to do at school, and what he's supposed to write down as homework; I've ordered him another planner that looks different and will live in his binder with his stuff.  

After we'd gotten his binder set up, the pixie looked at me with humongous brown eyes and said, "Momma, I'd like a zipper binder, too, please."  

So, when I ordered the planner for the imp, I also ordered a pink zipper binder for the pixie.  And I'll have her get her school binder from the classroom before Thanksgiving Break starts, and we'll switch over if she wants.  I'll help her set up, but she's better at general executive function and organization than the imp is...or really, better than even I have become through hard work and practice. 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Random stuff

We now have adequate insulation in the attic.  There were places we had very little, and one place the guy looking at what we needed said he could see the hall light from in the attic.  

He said that they were swamped, and we were looking at the end of November, unless they got help.  Well, they got the help from a sister store in Arkansas, and the insulation was blown in in about 40 minutes on Friday, two and a half weeks ahead of where I was thinking we'd be.

Now, we have the rafters buried plus about 6" and that same 6"  over the decking they'd put down for storage.  There's none over the garage, but that wasn't really a concern.  I'm just hoping it helps cut both the electric bill and propane usage.  

We also have a new modem, as of last Thursday.*  We've got the wi-fi  password changed on about half the things that it needs changed on--I still need to take care of the printer, my Kindle, and those of both of the kids (both of which need to be charged, first).  So far, things have been working better.  Smoother.  I'd have just gotten a new router and plugged it into the hard line part of the modem, but that was the first thing to go, six years ago.  

Other than that...I've decided I kinda sorta need to break down and acquire a smartphone.  It's going to be kept battery-dead and/or left home most of the time, but I have to have one if I'm going to use Sam's Club's curb-side pickup.  I wish they'd have posted a phone number like Walmart did, but they didn't.  

I wouldn't bother with it, but my personal energy budget sort of requires it.  I've been having issues with my energy, to the point that shopping, if it's not curbside pickup, is all I can do on the days I do  it.  And I can't afford that: I have a house, pets, kids, and a husband to take care of.  

I'm trying to finish Having a Pint this month.  I've got it around half finished in first-draft form, something like nearly 34K words.  I'm still plugging away.  I'd have a lot more done, but I spent half of last week in severe pain because of mild diverticulitis (runs in my family, and I know what to do when it hits), and the other half recovering and managing the modem replacement and the insulation installation. So, it is moving along, but slow going because I was only barely functional last week.  I should do much better this week.  I'm planning to also do better the next week, considering I don't have to shuttle the kids around twice per day, and I have headphones.  

Once I'm done with the first draft of Having a Pint, I have another piece I'm going to be working on--The Schrodinger Paradox. That one is about 2/3 finished in first-draft form, and I know where it's going and how it's going to get there.  It's just going to take a while of actually writing to finish it. 

*We had the old modem from...I think 2007 or 2008, so, it was nearing the end of its functional life anyway.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Done, and working.

The cable/internet company is still using the same type of modem.  Mine was just 12 years old, and the electric company changing out the meter fried it a bit.  

Everything is going to have to be changed, though--the password will have to be put into everything.  Off the top of my head, there's at least half a dozen things, if not a few more, that will need the new password.  But we won't have time for that until much later.

One of the other projects we'd been working on was getting more insulation into the attic.  When the couple who owned this place before us died, their daughter (estranged, at least a bit) didn't get everything out.  She left her mother's cast iron,* and a ton of stuff in the attic.  

That...needs to come out.  All of it.  Before tomorrow.  

We've gotten a lot out, already.  Including a couple of very old boxes of very old National Geographic magazines, and very old Readers' Digest magazines (all of which will be read and enjoyed by my family).  A pretty good stack of records (vinyl, not paper, some from the '30s), and a screen, slides, and a slide projector.  And a framed photo of the earth from lunar orbit, taken in 1969 (with a broken frame, but intact glass), and a letter regarding the readings from Genesis that were done in that particular mission.  We...are going to find a new frame for that.  It's history.  And priceless. 

There's also a lot of...well, trash.  

And we have a fairly small dumpster, and I saw that the city dump is still closed to the public.  

There's a lot of trash.  A lot.  

*One of the pieces was a corn stick pan, the other?  A perfectly seasoned, 9" skillet.  Probably at least as old as Odysseus's grandma's 10" skillet we use all the time.  And yes, we've been using that skillet. I'm sure the lady who lived here and died here would prefer that it be used. 

Monday, November 9, 2020

Ffffuuuuuuu.....

Our modem is starting to die. 

Honestly, it's about time--we've had it since...gawd, a long fucking time.  

And in that time, it's run our internet, phone, and (since five or seven years ago) our TV.  Yeah, it's seen some seriously heavy use for a residential modem.  

But it is starting to die.  Wireless, especially.  I'm not sure but what it wouldn't have lasted a few more years had the electric company not decided to put in wireless broadcasting meters so that they can tell from their main offices what our usage is.*  

What I mean by dying is that it's been, well, cutting in and out.  Specifically with the internet and the TV streaming device.  The phone's not been as bad, but then again, the phone's kinda...wired into the modem itself, not picking up a wireless signal. 

It's a massive pain in the ass.  If a new modem doesn't fix at least the internet, I'm going to be spending A LOT of time on the electric company's FB page bitching, as well as complaining to every state agency I can think of.  

If one service is blocking other services that I pay for, I'm going to be...well.  Yeah.  Unhappy.  More than just about the windmill bullshit.  

But for the moment, I'm going to assume it's just the modem reaching the end of its lifespan.  And contact the company that provides internet and phone to get them to replace it, since it's their equipment.

 

*We've had issues with radio stations abruptly going to static, on the ones with the digital tuners, too.  

Thursday, November 5, 2020

I really don't think they've thought this out...

The local electrical utility has...misunderstood their customers.  Badly.  Really badly.  We are not California.  

What I mean is this: they have sent out letters articulating a "commitment to providing clean, green energy," and have announced that they'll be shutting down one of their plants that provides electricity for the area...because they've put up a wind farm in an area where the wind doesn't blow every day.  But  it's the best they've got.  

This part of Missouri is made up of farmers.  Farmers who rely on their utilities.  They need their electricity, and their internet.  And farmers are, by nature, problem solvers with little tolerance for leftist stupidity.  

This is not going to work out well for the electric company.  They already get lynching threats from the locals every time a storm knocks out power for longer than the locals think it should be out.  When the locals are facing rolling brown- and black-outs from power usage higher than the virtue-signalling can generate, there's going to be some serious repercussions.

And I am looking into how to minimize my house's dependence on electricity.  And will be doing my best to switch as many to propane as humanly possible, and will be looking into alternates to that particular electric provider.  

Now.  That said.  I'm doing this not because I think looking into alternates to pollution-generating plants is a bad idea.  I'm doing this because not a single renewable source electric provider is reliable enough nor cost effective enough.  I'm doing this because they're looking at renewables instead of a truly clean, green source of electricity: nuclear.   

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Please don't do this.

President Trump has won re-election.  Fair and square.  By a fucking landslide.  

 Except...except for mail-in votes, technology "glitches" preventing precincts from counting their votes, and other such.  Except for blatant and obvious fraud.  

I really don't want to see what happens next, when the stolen election is contested by extra-legal means.  I really don't.  I don't want to see the legal system applied as a weapon against people who aren't fucking criminal communists.  I don't want to see it applied as a weapon at all.  

Nor do I want to see what happens when most of America wakes up.  

 It's going to be beyond fucking ugly.

I don't want this.  I really, really, really don't want this.  

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Almost over...

Tuesday is voting day.  I honestly can't wait.  I am so sick of petty political partisanship that I could vomit.  I don't want to hear anymore about any of the parties, politicians, or any of the other inanities that surround election year for at least two years (but you know we will--this has become religion to most of the left).  

I am...concerned, let's say...that there's going to be unrest (for lack of desire to use a more accurate term) during and after Tuesday.  Tomorrow, I have plans to do some shopping--a few top-ups on groceries, some things Walmart doesn't do in curb-side delivery, and a new package of ear plugs.*  

We've already gassed up both vehicles and gotten extra pet food.  

I do not plan to leave the house more than absolutely necessary until things calm back down a bit.  

*I use ear plugs for sleeping.  They help a lot when I'm in the worst side of a chronic illness attack. 

Monday, October 26, 2020

FFS, life, give me a damn break!

 So.  Last week: not too bad, early in the week.  However.  Thursday...Thursday was awful, and bled through the weekend.  

Thursday morning, I had a 6 month follow-up with an endocrinologist.  I dropped the kids off, came home, bolted breakfast and a 2nd cup of coffee, then headed over for my appointment.  When that was done, I did the Sam's Club shopping.* Then, about 11:45, I got a call from the imp's doctor, telling me to come pick up his paper prescriptions to take to our pharmacy.  They closed for lunch from 12 to 1:00.  So, I had my lunch, then pulled my cell phone off the charger, only to find out that the plug had come unplugged from the wall.  And my phone was flat dead.  And, due to covidiocy, I have to have that to call the receptionist to bring me the papers out front.  Because I wasn't to be allowed in the building.  

So.  I found another outlet (one that wasn't loose as a dock-side whore), and plugged my phone in.  Didn't get out of the house (with the phone only half-charged) before 1:30.  Got to the doctor's office by 2:00, and back to Joplin by...2:35.  The kids get turned loose at 2:45-2:55.  The pharmacy is 15 minutes away, on the opposite end of town from where I came in, and that doesn't count actually dropping off the 'scrips.

I waited on the kids, brought them home to drop off their stuff and put dinner in the oven, then got to the pharmacy, dropped off the 'scrips, and made it home.  Staggering with exhaustion by this point.**  Got the kids' buffs*** put in the wash with the imp's weekly laundry, and started it going.  

Sometime during the wash/rinse cycle...the water cut off.  To the house.  No, we don't have city water.  Had Odysseus flip the well pump breaker a few times, to see if that would fix the problem (it has a couple of times).  No joy.  No water.  No water means the laundry didn't actually run all the way, the kids didn't get showers, and a whole host of other inconveniences.  

And we couldn't get ahold of a well pump specialist Thursday evening.  

Thank God I'd thought to store water in empty kitty litter buckets for flushing toilets.  Because we had to use that water for flushing toilets.  

I need to re-stock on emergency drinking water.  Because we were out, and Odysseus had to get a flat, and that's half-gone, now.  

Friday morning started with me doing the Walmart curbside pickup.  Then, I got home, and found that Odysseus had managed to get in touch with the well pump experts that have the longest-running local business, and that they'd be out to check on things.  They'd call before they arrived.  

The call, by the way, was made not just after they'd arrived, but after they'd ruled out one potential issue and while they were back at the well head, pulling the pump up to check it.  

We now have a new pump, and new pipe.  Both of the old ones had rusted shut.  In PVC pipe.  

This week, we've got a quote lined up to get more insulation put into the attic, and then on Thursday, we've got Parent/Teacher conferences.  

I need some time off.  I know this isn't as hectic as it could be, but it's about the maximum that I can handle, and then some. 


*I still don't have everything put away.  

**I don't get my energy levels brought back up by eating and resting, like normal people do.  It sometimes takes days--and has taken longer than usual because I couldn't just...recover.

***Buffs are school-specific gaiters that the kids are required to wear in the halls between class and lunch, or class and specials (art, P.E., Spanish, music, etc). 

Saturday, October 3, 2020

How the fuck did that happen?

My son will be turning twelve on Tuesday.  He's in fifth grade, now (really?  really!), and is learning to play trumpet in band.  

I don't know how this happened.   I mean, last week, he was just a very little boy.  The week before that, a baby.  

So, since his birthday is during the school week, he'll be helping me make cookies for him to take for his class.  Over the summer, I got him to try chocolate peanut butter chip cookies--the recipe's on the back of the Reece's peanut butter chips--and he loved them.  We'll be making those, but with white chocolate chips and gluten free flour (one of his classmates throws up when she eats something with gluten).  Tuesday for supper, he's requested lasagna.  

He's growing fast, and starting to change from small boy into adolescent.  His face is maturing, and his shoulders are starting to fill out.  He's still scrawny as hell--the kid is closing in on 5' tall, but only barely tops 70 lbs...if he's just eaten and is soaking wet.  And it's all arms and legs.  

I dread the day he's too big to fit in my lap.  I really do.  But it's coming. 

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Taking a health day.

Not just mental health.  Health.  

I woke up this morning feeling like I'd had an hour or so of sleep.  Even though it was more like seven or so.  And what's more, I felt like I'd laid down right after a hard workout with no warmup or cool down, and just slept for that hour.  In the most awkward position you can imagine.  

I can probably manage a couple things but those have to be chosen carefully.  Thankfully, supper is going to be grab it from the freezer and put it in the oven, so that's not going to be horribly draining.  

I think I know exactly what's going on.  But there's not really anything I can do except take a day off: I've spent the last two weeks worried out of my mind for my sister and brother-in-law, and the last week cooking meals that extend to feeding my sister and our older brother who's been traveling from the southeast corner of the state several times a week to help her out.  

My sister will recover.  She only* had a cracked pelvis and a few broken ribs.  My brother-in-law's recovery will be much longer, and nobody knows yet how complete it will be; however, the doctors are now optimistic that he'll regain the ability to walk.  They weren't sure at first whether he'd be able to move anything below his neck, but he's able to move his arms a little, and the feeling's come back in his legs.  

My sister's staying at a local hotel in the chain she works for.  They've moved her from front desk/housekeeping to public relations/advertising, and are working with her to take care of her (and keep her, because they like her). 

The SUV that was totaled in the accident was their only car.  My sister's without much transportation for the moment, other than our older brother.  She's spending most of her time with her husband in his hospital room because they keep forgetting to take care of him.  Yeah, that's exactly what I said: he's had one sponge bath in two weeks, right after his second surgery.  And they put the tray of food under his face, but forget that he can't use his hands to feed himself.  

So, yeah.  I've been worrying.  And doing what I am capable of to support them (i.e., making food that they can fix in the microwave, since they've got a microwave, fridge, and cook-top in the hotel room).  And that has taken a physical toll on me to the point that I am being forced to take the day off.  

Which utterly sucks, because I need to finish getting caught up with house cleaning tasks I'd dropped while I was trying to keep up with the dishes without the aid of a dishwasher. 


*Hah.  "Only" a cracked pelvis...that required surgery and pinning to make sure it didn't get worse.  And probably a concussion.  And broken ribs that make pneumonia a greater danger.  And she's over 50.  Not easy injuries for a much younger person to bounce back from.  But still better than my brother-in-law who's got three fractures in his neck, and one further down his spine...but thankfully little damage to the spinal cord, as they're discovering as the swelling decreases. 

Friday, September 25, 2020

FFOT: Miscellaneous

 Migraines.  Migraines can fuck right the fuckety fuck off. I don't get them often, but when I do, they're at the worst possible fucking time, and last a subjective eternity (almost a full three days).  

People who dump kittens can fuck right off.  With a conical cheese grater.  Hell, people who dump any kind of animal.  And they can use Drano as lube.  

Allergies.  Allergies can fuck right off.  My daughter has them.  She's got the same damn symptoms she gets this time every fucking year, and is miserable.  Compounding the misery is that if she goes to school, people will panic.  

Which leads me to...the media.  And politicians.  They can all fuck off either alone or with each other for politicizing a fucking cold.  Yeah, it's a cold on steroids for some, but it's a fucking cold.  

And last, but not least, the fucking shit-for-brains that T-boned my sister's vehicle last weekend can fuck off with the remains of his full-sized pickup jammed up his ass with the bottles of alcohol he'd downed before he got behind the wheel.  May he be visited with all of the injuries he inflicted on my sister and brother-in-law. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Musings

Ruth Bader Ginsburg 

So.  The notorious RBG is dead.  I've seen celebrations, and I've seen grief.  I've even seen respect, among the social media groups I'm a member in.  As for me...yeah, I'm glad she's dead, but not for the reasons I've seen a lot of people cheering. 

I'm glad she's dead because that woman has been through absolute hell for the past several years.  She's been fighting pancreatic cancer: one of the most painful and least treatable cancers out there.  Because it pretends to be other things until it's far too late to treat.  And she's fought, and fought hard.  And she's done her dead-level best to continue working and being productive during that fight.  I did not like her politics.  I did not like her as a person.  I did not like her judicial choices.  But I have to admire her grit and determination in the face of such suffering. 

It's over, now.  And I'm glad--I rarely wish suffering on others.  And just because she was wrong on most counts doesn't mean she's not human. 

More of us--all of us, on both sides of the aisle,* not just the people cheering her death--need to remember that. 

Federal Funding

 The President is considering cutting federal funding to rioting cities that aren't attempting to control the riots.  Well, aren't successfully controlling the riots.  I can see that they're attempting; however, their attempts are the same as parents giving in to a tantrum to silence the toddler. 

That...doesn't work.  It doesn't ever work.  Not even in the short term.  What it actually does is embolden the little shit and teaches that the tantrums work to get them what they want.  It doesn't get them to stop.  It doesn't buy peace, not even in the short term. 

I don't mean that you have to beat the toddler black and blue to get your point across.  I don't think that's what it would take in these cases, either.

However.  That said.  You do have to say no, make it stick, and set (and enforce) consequences for this behavior.  It wouldn't even be very hard to do: most of the actions taken by the overgrown toddlers throwing tantrums are felonies.  I've seen assault, arson, felony theft, felony property damage (good God have I seen felony property damage!)...there's a list longer than a football field. 

Arrest the bad actors.  Not the peaceful protesters--let them whine and bleat all they like.  However.  The second they throw a rock at someone (or a brick at a window), come down on them like the wrath of God: arrest them, charge them, and send them to jail.  Hit them while they're still committing misdemeanors.  Don't let it accelerate to felonies.  Arrest the little dummies sitting in the middle of streets holding up traffic.  Do it before they start beating on cars, dragging people out of cars and attacking them, or robbing delivery trucks.  Prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law before they get worse. 

Anyway.  Any parent who's successfully raised toddlers past this stage knows this.  And Trump has raised several.  He's setting consequences on the people who should have been stopping this butt-cold, and haven't.  I really hope he sticks to it. 

Defunding Police

This...this is a fucking dumb idea.  I am in favor of disbanding city-level SWAT teams.  I am in favor of revoking qualified immunity.  I am in favor of prosecuting "wrong address" mistakes on no-knock warrants as first degree murder.  I am in favor of ending the war on (some) drugs. 

I am not in favor of defunding the police.  And if the left would fucking think about it, they'd be less in favor of such, as well. 

What do I mean?  I mean if you defund police departments...you're going to have a massive rise in violent crime (several places are already seeing this).  And then, people like me are going to stop calling for help that won't come, and will take care of the problems themselves. There are a lot of crimes that will suddenly come with a death sentence during the commission.  No trial, no pleading, just dead. 

I am in a peaceful area of the country.  So far.  However, my city is seeing an uptick in crime...not because our law enforcement has been defunded like in the larger, Democrat-owned cities.  Because our department doesn't have enough funding in the first place for the size of town we actually are.  Our police department is about half the size it should be. 

Yeah, I will call the cops if shit goes down in my house; however, I will have a gun in the hand that isn't holding the phone, because I know they won't get to me in anything resembling a timeframe that would prevent severe bodily harm.  Chances are that there would be a live creep spread out on the floor waiting for the cops to arrest them. 

In Democrat-owned cities, people are going to simply shoot the son-of-a-bitch, roll him out to the alley, and clean up.  Because they won't have the option of calling the police, and will refuse to lie down and die. 

Most of those would likely be Democrat voters.  And the people defending their own lives would start to grow up into non-Democrats.  Non-statists.  Because they'd have learned the important lesson that they actually are responsible for themselves and their own safety. 

Which is the opposite of what the left truly wants. 

Netflix and California

So.  Netflix. 

We didn't cancel Netflix when they gave political opponents time and space to expound their views.  We talked about it, but decided not to.  Because neither my other half nor I want to live in such an isolated, insulated bubble that we can't tolerate dissent. 

That's a trick of the left, and we aren't leftists.  We are leave-me-the-hell-alone libertarians (note the lack of a capital L). 

However.  We have children.  We have an almost-twelve-year-old son, and a daughter that will be ten in December. 

And Netflix has come out on the side of normalizing pedophilia and grooming children to be receptive victims thereof. 

That. 

We've cancelled Netflix over that. 

I am a survivor of long-term sexual abuse.  It lasted most of my childhood.  What there was of it.  Looking back, I can see the grooming that accompanied it.  Grooming to compete for the abuser's attention and affection, grooming to not tell.  (That failed.  Hard.)

I am...damaged.  I bear scars.  I am not in favor of permitting adults that look at children and think "mmm, sexy" to walk the world.  I am not in favor of things that normalize children as sexual objects to be considered "art."

So.  Neflix is gone.  And we're debating Disney+ because their tween series?  Same thing, but more subtle. 

And California has come out and, instead of raising all criminal definitions of pedophilia to the most strict, have lowered their standards to decriminalize adults fucking children so long as there's no more than ten years' age difference, and the child "consents." 

Because kids, of course, know better than anyone what's best for them.  Kids are capable of informed consent.  Kids are starting to think about sex earlier than ever.  Right? 

Actually, no.  No, they aren't.  Not without external grooming, like you see on Netflix.  And the Disney tween series. 

Unfortunately, grooming is on the rise, and has been for decades.  Like boiling a frog. 

I am about ready to simply buy a whole bunch of safe TV series on DVD and dump the Roku. 

Because I have kids, and I do not want them to have the same mental, spiritual, and emotional scars that I have.

*I've seen hard-line leftists damning her for not having retired during the last years of the Obama administration.  I understand how they feel, and why they feel that way...however, it doesn't mean they're right. 

Friday, September 18, 2020

FFOT: GADDAMN 2020

 Month or two ago, my youngest sister and her mother died in a fire.  Her mother...no big loss, but I wouldn't wish that on anyone.  My youngest brother...is really hurting.* 

Yesterday, my oldest sister and her husband got into a nasty car wreck.  T-bone.  The full-size pickup that hit their smallish SUV was very clearly, from video of the aftermath, going faster than they should have been.  Both survived, but my brother-in-law is likely to be a paraplegic (thankfully--it could have been far worse, looking at the SUV), and my sister-in-law is going to require surgery on Monday for broken ribs and pelvis.  

This fucking year.  This awful, horrendous fucking year.  It can fuck off with the pour-spout of a can of gasoline shoved up its ass and a lighter. 


*I met my youngest sister once when she was less than a year old.  I have never met my youngest brother. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Conveniences

Back in July, my dishwasher started peeing on the floor.  I cleaned around the gaskets and seals, and tried again.  It peed even more.  Come to find out, the seals at the bottom of the door on the left side were pretty much worn out.  Bit of a last straw: it's been acting up since we moved into this house.  I could likely get a repair guy out to deal with it (my attempts were not successful), but it's got a lot of quirks that I don't like, most of which are either caused by or exacerbated by its age. 

Or it could just be the brand--it's not the first GE I've had, and honestly, I haven't ever had a good one from them. 

In any case, I started shopping.  I was planning an Amana...but it seems like those are made of unobtanium.  Nobody anywhere nearby has one for sale until October.  I settled for a Samsung we found on sale.  It should be delivered and installed on Friday.*

The pixie was very helpful...for the first week.  Once we had to do the dishes by hand, it wasn't fun anymore.  She's still pretty helpful, though--just not with the dishes.  She's keeping the family room straightened up a bit, which is actually a huge help.

One thing I never realized is just how much of my energy budget that stupid, barely-functional piece of crap GE dishwasher was saving.  As in: between a third and half of my daily energy budget is currently spent on keeping up with the dishes.  No, going to disposables wouldn't help that much--I cook.  From scratch, a lot of the time.  And that...takes a lot of dishes, whether we're eating on paper plates/bowls with plastic knives/forks/spoons or not. 

Like it or not, I'm not handicapped anymore.  I'm disabled.  Not differently abled.  Full-on disabled.  There are things I simply cannot do.  ME/CFS puts hard limits on me that change from day to day.  As an example, yesterday was a particularly bad day--it took three cups of coffee and a couple more of decaf to have enough energy to breathe and to fix dinner (pasta bake is stupid-easy).  I was not capable of reading new material, writing, or any of the housework (including dishes).  Today, I'll manage the dishes, the cats' litter box, and clearing a good path to get the dishwasher into place.  Probably not more than that, but those are important, and it's the pixie's laundry night, so I don't have to worry about that. 

I've learned over the past month and a half that a dishwasher is, for me, a necessity, not a nicety.  I can keep up with the dishes and the added laundry (kids' school masks need washed daily), but I can't do anything else. 

*It was supposed to have been delivered and installed yesterday, but the installer called Monday night with a "family emergency" and asked to reschedule.  Once is fine.  Twice...will not be.  

Friday, September 11, 2020




I've said everything else.  I still feel the same as I always have.   I won't forget.  I can't. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Some Christian...

The kids go to a private, Christian school (as I've mentioned before).  Yes, it costs an alarming proportion of our annual income; however, public school is not an option. 

Usually, I have no complaints about the school, the curriculum,* or the other parents, but occasionally...yikes. 

Take this morning, for example.  The school's on the same road we live on, exactly a mile away from us and on the other side of the road.  The road we're on is a fairly busy one--it's one of the ones that connect to the bypass highway.**  And school drop-off time is at the same general time as everybody rushing to get to work.  This year, I could drop them off at 7:30, like I did last year, but they'd be put into the cafeteria (I think separated out by the color of their gaiters--different colors for different grades) instead of turned loose to play in the gym, like last year.  By doing so, I was able to avoid most of the people racing to work. 

I don't want to inflict that on either my kids, or the teachers assigned to watch the cafeteria.  So I've been dropping them off around the time the kids are sent straight to their classrooms. 

This morning, the road was particularly busy.  Lots of traffic.  I got the kids dropped off and was waiting to hang a left to go home.  And waiting.  And waiting.  Through half of "Smells Like Teen Spirit."  Finally got a gap, and made it out onto the road to wait some more behind a couple of cars waiting to make a left into the side road running beside the school that leads to where the high school kids get dropped off.  Finally got past, and a shiny, black Audi pulls out of that driveway, and decided to ride my bumper the entire mile between the school and my house.  Bobbing back and forth like he'd like to pass me (on a damn city street, with only two lanes!). 

I flipped my right-turn blinker on three driveways to the west of mine, then tapped the brakes, then stood on them to make my turn.  He went by so close he damn near clipped my bumper, with his right hand extended as far across the passenger seat as he could reach, flipping me the bird. 

The guy who'd just pulled out of a Christian school parking lot after dropping his kid off. 

Dude.  Do not act like an asshole, even if you do drive an Audi.  I drive a Subaru, and it's several years older than your Audi.  And if you rear-end me with your antics, it's your fault, and your insurance is going to pay for my repairs, then jack up your rates.   I do not care that you are running late, I will not speed up for you when my house is only a mile from the school, and I will not miss my turn just for your convenience.  Seriously, if you are running late to work, drop your kids off a few minutes earlier.

*I love the curriculum.  It's really challenging, to the point that my kids don't get bored and cause trouble.  It's harder and moves faster than most of the curricula out there, to the point that the imp's doctor said it's the equivalent of a public school gifted/talented curriculum for all of the classes, not just one or two.  

**I get why--the town's university is just a half mile further down the road from the kids' school.  BUT.  The road is TWO LANES ONLY from the bypass to the intersection on the far side of the kids' school, with no stop lights before that corner.  Occasionally, traffic can get hairy in the mornings, between people coming in off the bypass to head to college/work, and people heading out TO the bypass to get to the other end of town faster. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Done.

I'm done.

I will not play chess with pigeons any longer.  I hadn't for a while, but now, I've got serious justification.

Read this.

Go ahead.  I'll wait.

Interesting thing...a lot of the woke-scolds are vegan.  Study after study suggests that, while vegetarianism isn't too terrible for the human body long-term, veganism is.*  It causes serious degradation to the amygdala (fear and emotional processing) and reasoning centers of the brain.  In other words, vegans aren't as capable as others of filtering their emotional responses through reason.  They are, in a word, toddlers in both reasoning capacity and emotional control.

Makes sense of a lot of the riots and temper tantrums we're seeing in woke-run cities, doesn't it.

It also makes sense of the utter panic over a fucking cold-on-steroids, too.  People are reacting with emotion, rather than doing research and using their brains (a lot of people's have atrophied through non-use).  And, when offered research on the effectiveness of measures proposed and/or taken, with an offer to explain anything that the layman doesn't understand (I have a stupidly-high reading comprehension, even for things that aren't in my bailiwick), they screech back with emotion and/or personal attacks:
  • "You're a moron." (A response to the assertion that unless you're buying stuff rated for hazmat, your mask isn't saving you or anyone else.  Despite plentiful research showing exactly what I'd posited.)
  • "You just wanna kill grandma!"  (No, that was Cuomo in New York and Whitmer in Michigan, both of whom put still-contagious Corona patients in nursing homes...after warning their people to remove their own elderly relatives, of course.)
  • "You care more about money than people!"  (The economy is more than money--it's food, medicine, medical care, everything that makes living in civilization possible, and the lockdowns are killing the ability of the nation to manufacture and move everything.) 

  • "Just put on the mask!  Show you care!"  (I don't care.  And I don't jump on brainless bandwagons, either.) Or "Put on the mask!  You're killing me if you don't!"  (How long will this take?  Because I haven't worn a mask, and won't wear one.  And it's been five fucking months, already.)
Enough.  I didn't argue with my toddlers.  I won't be arguing any more with so-called adults who've descended to toddler-level in cognition.

*Going vegan short-term, for defined benefits, is not what I'm talking about--I can see an argument for that, if it's go vegan for a year or die of heart disease within that year.  I'm talking about a permanent, lifestyle choice.  

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Musings

It's been quiet, today.  The kids are (finally) at school, and have been all day.  I think the school they go to has about the best compromises between nods to the cowardly morons running the city and reality possible at this point.  Yes, the kids are in face coverings--gaiters, actually, which I have far less objections to than actual masks, given the new cries that they don't do anything for preventing somebody sick from passing it on because they don't restrict breathing. 

Funny, that.  I thought masks weren't supposed to restrict breathing, either. 

Anyway.  The kids are back in school, and will hopefully remain there.  I am praying nobody thinks it's a good idea to fuck things up by shutting schools down again. Only for a little while...like last spring, when all of fourth quarter ended up cancelled.  If y'all will recall, that was only supposed to be for two weeks. 

I'm not risking it again.  If school shuts down "temporarily," I'll withdraw the kids and buy the curriculum and start over (if necessary). 

Even though I'm really optimistic that this will end after the first Tuesday in November. 

(Cynical?  Who, me?  No...you must be joking.)

Speaking of November...does it seem to anyone else that the Democrats utterly wrote off their chances with their ticket picks?  Because damn.  I really don't think even most of their staunchest supporters like Harris.

Missouri had their primary for governor this month.  I voted.  And I wasn't alone--the tiny precinct where my other half and I cast our ballots saw around 250-300 voters over the course of the day.  That's been about average turnout.  No, we weren't the first to vote--we went after dinner--but we weren't the last ones, either.  I think we were the ones that tipped the precinct's tally over 200. 

Few people wore masks.  I don't blame the sweet little old ladies behind the tables checking registrations and handing out ballots for wearing them--they're squarely in the groups at risk.  Then again, like I said: tiny precinct, not many people in and voting at the same time. 

I'm also seeing more and more people going into stores without masks.  And the mayor of the large town that passed a mask ordinance in July is screeching lies that everybody knows are lies about how numbers are going up (they aren't) and masks are working (but I thought numbers were going up???), and please, for the love of God, can other cities pass these ordinances too, so we don't keep hemorrhaging sales tax money????  (The answer to that has been a horse laugh--most of the other city councils have quit even bothering to say no.) 

Fewer and fewer (and shriller and shriller) people are even still worried about the cold-on-steroids.  

I think the only long-term result from this mess will be the loss of any trust the public still has in media and elected officials.  And the next time there's a hue and cry that we must shut down or we're all gonna die...nobody's going to listen. 

I'm praying really hard that the next time isn't any more serious than this time has been.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Paying Tuition

I called the kids' school, today, to double-check if they'll be having class every day.  Since the answer was "yes," I've cut a huge check.  No, I'm not looking forward to that money leaving my hands.  Yes, I am looking forward to sending the kids back to school.  They've been home since the third week of March, and they're getting as sick of it as I am.  
No, we're not going back to normal, yet.  The idiot in charge of my city has declared that everyone will wear a face panty, and so many businesses have jumped on the bandwagon that it isn't even funny.  And it is a bandwagon--a frenzy, a hysteria, much along the same lines of the Beanie Baby craze or the tulip bulb craze, but far more destructive.  The face panty mask ordinance comes up for renewal about a week after the kids go back to school.  I really hope it's not renewed.  I miss Sam's Club.  Especially early enough it's not open to any but the plus members. 
I had doubts that I would be paying tuition, this year.  I wasn't sure the kids' school would be holding classes daily, since it seems that several of the other local schools aren't planning to.  I had back-up plans, for if that would have been the case, but it would have involved buying the curriculum their school uses, and spending all of my energy wrestling the kids through it.  In a way, yeah, it costs less (cash); in another...it would have been a hell of a lot more expensive (my energy).
So far, the school is doing daily in-person classes, and they will be offering lunch service.  They're still trying to work out how, but they will be.  Elementary kids will be having lunch in their classrooms, most of the time,* so peanut butter sandwiches on the days the kids don't want what the school is serving are out.**  I'd do lunchables, but they're too damn small for my kids' appetites, and too damn expensive for what they are. 
Funny thing, though.  When I took the check in, I swung by the superintendent's office on the way out, to look into something.  The kids have been at their school for...six years, now.  And in those six years, they've had three superintendents.  This newest one...his name was very familiar.  So I went in and talked to him.  He was my 8th grade science teacher, and one of my absolute favorite teachers, period. 
Small world.  I'm glad the school's opening up as normally as current political realities will permit, so that I could pay tuition this year. 

*The school's going to "bubble classrooms"--the kids will stay in their classes, and the art, music, and Spanish teachers (as well as the other special classes) will come to them.  The only exceptions will be PE and recess (with their specific classroom only--which sucks for my pixie, since her best friend is a year younger).  And lunch, once in a while, apparently, to keep the kids (and likely their teachers) from going absolutely batshit. 

**Peanuts and tree nuts are banned in the classrooms.  Just not the lunch room. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

I am really looking forward to how Walmart handles ADA lawsuits

Because they, and every municipality that's requiring mask wear, are going to be slapped with them--hard. 

1.  Masks do NOT work.  

In fact, they make things WORSE.  I've read studies (couple of weeks ago, now--can't find the links anymore) that suggest that people in places that require masks are having more, and worse, and weirder health issues cropping up related to wearing masks than what the masks are supposed to prevent.  One thing I saw mentioned was that there are people showing up in emergency rooms with breathing problems caused by mask wear: fungal infections and bacterial infections of the upper AND lower respiratory tract.  Translated into layman's terms, people are getting pneumonia from their face-panties.  And on top of that, they're not blocking the spread of the novel cold going around.  

2. A lot of people cannot wear masks.  

Whether those reasons are psychological or physiological, there is a sizable minority that simply cannot wear masks.  There are supposed to be work-arounds for the disabled, but that's often a shrug and a "don't care, you can't come in, we've got delivery, that's your accommodation, go away." 

My sister has intense claustrophobia.  As in: panic attacks to the point of passing out when her face is covered or breathing restricted.  My mom has COPD, and has low blood oxygen saturation to start with.  Neither can or should be forced to wear a mask. 

I found out this week that I cannot wear a mask.  I've been to various doctors' appointments three times since this "mask" idiocy started.  All three times, I was asked to wear a mask...and did, since they were asking, and polite.  All three times, it triggered a nasty ME/CFS attack.  Monday's mask wear sent me to bed all day Tuesday.  I'm better enough today that I can sit in my recliner, but not better enough to be able to do much more than that.  One such reaction after mask wear might be happenstance, but three for three says I just...can't.  Not won't, can't.  I have too much other stuff to do to be able to go down for a couple of days because some fucking coward requires me to wear a face panty.


3. Reasonable Accommodations aren't.  

In a lot of areas of the country, the only grocery store is a Walmart Supercenter...which will be requiring masks of the people who shop there as of 7/20.  And, say, in my mom's hometown, there is no curbside pickup, no delivery.  Nothing.  No accommodation for people who can't wear masks, but they'll be turned away anyway, due to company policy.

Other areas have the curbside pickup...but I have only very rarely gotten everything I asked for.  I've been told it was out of stock, but when I checked the website immediately after having gotten home, it wasn't.  The shopper clearly either couldn't find the item, or just didn't bother.  Since I don't permit substitutions (allergies--I know what does and does not have the ingredients that trigger our household's allergic reactions), I wasn't charged...but some of those things were either something we were looking forward to, or needed for the next week's meals. 

Some places advertise delivery, but...it doesn't work any better with delivery, and frequently, doesn't work as well.  And delivery slots are sometimes booked up weeks out, not days. 

Along with all of those, the click-and-pull curbside delivery does not seem to include anything other than groceries and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals.  Does not seem to include things like kids' summer clothes...which my family needs.  (Yes, this means I'll have to go to Walmart with my kids in tow before Walmart's stupid edict goes into effect...but what am I supposed to do about school clothes?)

I can see how, in an area where the curbside and delivery actually works and works well, those features could be considered "reasonable accommodation."  However, it would have to be expanded to all the items in the store, and would have to be absolutely equal to being able to walk in and do things for yourself...but it isn't. 

In conclusion, given all of this (especially that first point--that masks don't work), I am eagerly awaiting the ADA lawsuits.  This is going to be a glorious slap-down of the cry-bullies and control freak mask fetishists. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Words mean things...

...until they don't. 
An example: take the word silly.  What does that mean?  Stupid?  Goofy?  Childish?  Sure.  That's what it means...now. 
Originally, the word meant blessed.  The word evolved to mean joyful, then happy, and has...yeah.  Devolved is a good way to put it. 
Take the word racism.  Or, better yet, racist.  Used to, it meant someone who actively said or did awful things to people of other races--Native American, Chinese, African, you name it--because they thought those of other races weren't really human.  Barely a step up from an animal. 
Now? 
Well.
The word is applied to anyone born of visibly Caucasian background.  No, you don't have to do or say anything--in fact, silence is now deemed being racist.  Not noticing the color of people's skin is racist.  Treating everyone exactly the same is racist.
It's ironic, really.  Many of the proponents of this view are, at best, agnostic, and more often rabidly, evangelically atheist.  Yet the language they couch "racism" in is very familiar to Christians. 
It's Original Sin, just repackaged by leftists to make it useful for them to hit the rest of us with.  But, unlike with Christianity, there's no salvation, at all, ever. 
I am beginning to respond to the screams of "racism" with a shrug, and a "so what?" 
Words mean things...until the word's definition devolves to mean nothing. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Re-reading

I truly wish that I could find hardback versions of all of the Mageworlds books (Debra Doyle and James MacDonald).  They're some of our favorites, and our paperbacks are wearing out.  I guess Kindle will have to do, but Kindle doesn't offer the same reading experience: the feel and smell of the books as you read. 

There are actually a lot of books I'd like to have in hard-cover, because Odysseus or I have read the paperbacks to death.  The Mageworlds books--starting with The Price of the Stars--is only one set.  Many were never released in hardcover, more's the pity.  We've also replaced several of the paperback Honor Harrington books several times (David Weber), and The Star of the Guardians (Margaret Weiss) books at least once. 

Several years ago, TSR re-released the books following a particular character in hardback...one series of pulp D&D Forgotten Realms books per hardback.  I have, I think, three of the hardbacks (all by R. A. Salvatore), and still have my worn-out paperbacks.  I did the same with Elizabeth Moon's Deed of Paksenarrion. 

David Weber's Honor Harrington books have been re-released in hardcover.  Yes, we've been replacing our worn out paperbacks with the hardcover, when we can.  Otherwise, we rely on the electronic copies that Baen Books put out on CD-Rom inside some of their hardcover books in the early 2000s, before they partnered with Amazon.  

I wish they'd do the same for the book series I mentioned above.  I really doubt it will happen.  Tor seems to be committing active, slow, painful suicide by woke-ness (and the Mageworlds books do not fit within the world they're trying to force into being), and Bantam...I don't recall the last time I'd purchased a Bantam book.  Nor Ace. 

Honestly, it makes me sad.  When our current paperbacks go to pieces, we're likely to have to turn to Kindle for replacements.  I'm pretty sure most of the book series I named are out of print, and have been for a long time. 

Friday, June 26, 2020

Musings

I have a copy of Dave Ramsey's The Total Money Makeover.  I bought it several years ago, and have had it out on loan more often than it's been in our bookshelves. 
Recently, I re-read it for a pick-me-up.*
It does make a lot of sense, in a lot of ways--for one, it says that money problems aren't caused by money, but by behavior.  And by a lack of understanding of one's own behavior, a lack of understanding of the difference between need and want, and a lack of knowledge of how to make (and a lack of discipline to keep) a budget. 
I learned to budget watching my mom stretch $366 bucks per month (child support) to cover rent, utilities, and non-grocery incidentals (soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, toilet paper, etc).  I learned, early, the difference between needs and wants.  Yes, we did get a car with a loan (paid a 5 year loan in a bit less than three years), and yes, we messed up with credit cards (to the tune of less than a thousand dollars total).  But those were all paid off before we decided it was time to have kids.  And we've never done the same stupid thing twice.  And won't.  Because I don't like paying interest. 
The thing that struck me this time is that, in Ramsey's baby steps,** saving for retirement comes before saving for the kids' college.  I...yeah, that was something I'd gotten backwards. 
Right now, though, I have a couple more immediate short-term savings goals.  I want a new roof before I start putting money back for retirement.  And I'm almost there.  Once the roof gets repaired/replaced, I'm really planning on doing as much as I can to put as much into retirement as we can afford.***  Because security is something I've always stretched for.  And having enough money to take care of things that need to be taken care of is security. 
However.  The last step...giving money away.  Ramsey says that the most fun you can have with money is giving it away.  I honestly...can't see that.  I'm not sure I'll ever be very willing to do very much of it.  I have a very hard time wanting to help the terminally stupid, and it seems like most of the country is terminally stupid.  And it has been really, really apparent, this entire year. 

*First: debt is not one of our problems, and has not been one of our problems for a very long time.  Second: the testimonials always make me cheer for other people--something that I usually find it hard to do. 
**Dave Ramsey's baby steps: 1. Save $1000 for a baby emergency fund.  2. Line your debts up from smallest to largest, pay minimums on all but the smallest; pay that one off.  Then roll the payments from that one into the next smallest.  3. Save 3-6 months of expenses as a fully-funded emergency fund.  4. Invest for retirement.  Ramsey recommends 15% of the gross income.  5. Save for kids' college funds in a ESA or 529 account (if possible).  6. Pay off the mortgage.  7. Live and give like no one else.
***We have paid off the mortgage, so that's no longer an issue.  However, we're still paying tuition to a private school, and will be for about...eight more years for both, plus one more for the youngest.  And that eats a LOT of savings.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Amazing.

So.  The kids got a set of Little House books for Christmas.  I started reading them out loud to the kids right after we got them, and have been doing a chapter (or two...or three) every night since.  We're up to These Happy Golden Years, the last book that Laura Ingalls Wilder had fully finished (The First Four Years were a first draft/outline that she hadn't fleshed out and added to). 

The kids are loving the books. 

And so am I. 

I will admit this is my first re-read of the series in about...twenty, twenty-five years (yes, I am that old).  I am very familiar with them, because prior to hitting nominal adulthood, I had read them multiple times.  Re-reading them now, as an adult, several things have stood out. 

Charles Ingalls...was an idiot where money was concerned.  He borrowed more than he could pay back if things didn't go exactly perfect.  And he did it more than once.  One time, he was counting on a crop...that got eaten by...well, locusts.*  Another time, his crop was eaten in the seed stage by gophers.  A third by corvids (which they ended up eating).  One time could be due to inexperience, but over and over like that? 

Yikes.  Reminds me of a lot of stupid financial behavior we see even today, with student loan debt plus a car payment plus credit cards blocking people out of being able to afford to live

Caroline Ingalls...was a pretentious snob.  Mary was a spoiled brat (so was Grace, the youngest, but there were extenuating circumstances--she was born the same year their boy died at a year old).  And Carrie...poor little Carrie.  I think she may have had a heart condition, possibly caused by the same illness that sent Mary blind. 

And Almanzo Wilder had decided to court Laura Ingalls when she was not quite fifteen.  And watching him actually do so--the way he sorta just...showed up, and kept showing up and keeping her company...she never saw it coming until she'd fallen head over heels.  Sneaky-like, but not dishonorable-sneaky.  Really cute. 

Another thing I'd noticed, this time through...the Wilder family was far better off, financially, than the Ingalls family was, as both of them grew up.  That was not something I'd noticed, the first several times I read through the books. 

Recently, the book award for young readers named after Laura Ingalls Wilder was...yeah, not gonna be named after her anymore.  They say it's because the books are racist. 

They aren't.  Not for the time.  They're an accurate depiction of the time, including the dangers posed by the native tribes, and the fear many held for them.  And in Little House on the Prairie (yes, Indian Territory in Oklahoma, by the Verdigris River), they were in significant danger from the natives.  And the...interactions (some friendly, some decidedly not) were honestly shown, and to be honest, the fear that Caroline held was very much warranted.  So was, in a lot of ways, her disgust: I really doubt anyone would appreciate men wearing nothing more than newly-cured skunk-skins in their vicinity. 

All in all, though, the books absolutely stand up under the tests of time.  They are fully as good as I remember them being (if not better).  And I am already looking for a hardcover set for myself.

*Yes, the book called them grasshoppers, but the description was of locusts. 

Monday, June 8, 2020

Well. THAT happened.

Fuck 2020.  Honestly.

Our AC went out last Thursday night.  In such a way that the thermostat went dead, too.  Nothing showing in the little window. 

We opened up windows, and made calls to a couple of HVAC places, and got one to agree to come out on Friday morning.  And so they did.  And they went under the house, poked around, and told us it was an electrical issue. 

Boy howdy.  We got some electricians out late Friday afternoon to check it over.  The guys that came out said that it was just about ready to start a fire.  There was a badly-done secondary breaker box down there that was in the process of melting down entirely. 

They said it was going to be a most-of-the-day job, and that they couldn't get to it before Monday. 

So, yeah.  We went without AC all weekend.  Until about 2:00 or so this afternoon. 

And only barely avoided a house fire.

It's dealt with, now, and I've paid the bill for it.  It was well worth it.  

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Psychological hangups.

I am really...not responsive...to peer pressure. 

I do not wear a mask in public.  I won't make fun of (most of) those who do, but I won't do it.  I will not risk damage to my own health to make someone else "feel safe."  Someone else's emotional state is not my responsibility. 

I have not changed my FB profile--and will not--in honor of the protests.  I will not "black out" anything.  Not my FB profile, not my cheese-product (saw a "special edition" Kraft singles slices in passing, not sure if it was real or satire--it's hard to tell, anymore, with how utterly ridiculous the world has gotten), not anything. 

I don't share the posts saying "share if you love Jesus," or the ones saying "no one will share this, since I'm (crippled/ugly/starved/what-the-fuck-ever)" or the ones saying "FB keeps removing this...let's keep it going too far for them to get 'em all." 

I don't mindlessly support cops.  Some cops are awesome, but too many either stay silent, or join in the bullying and thuggery that the bad ones engage in.  I will not mindlessly sport the "blue line."  Not unless and until the thugs are all ejected from the police forces everywhere.  And prosecuted for the thuggery that would have seen anyone else jailed. 

(That said...I also don't support the people attacking cops just for the uniform.) 

I never smoked because of peer pressure (I did smoke, but that wasn't why).  Same with alcohol.  And pot.  I don't not smoke because of peer pressure, either--I quit smoking because my mom wouldn't stay out of my cigarettes, and she had COPD from working in smoke- and dust-filled environments long enough to ruin her lungs.  I don't not smoke pot because of peer pressure--it's inconvenient.  And I refuse to allow my rights to be infringed by the federal government because of a damn plant.  One that could very well be very useful to me, since I don't react well to narcotics. 

Don't ask me why, but peer pressure very often pushes me in the opposite direction that those applying the pressure really want me to go.  Possibly because I refuse to be manipulated, and I don't like doing or supporting anything without thinking it through. 

And maybe because most peer pressure relies on emotional appeals, which make me suspicious of the motives making them. 

Maybe it's partly because I hate bandwagons. 

Or people in general. 

I don't know why I react like I do to peer pressure, and I don't like not knowing that about myself.  This is going to take some serious reflection. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Interesting trends.

The worm may be turning.  Atheists are defending Christianity as "necessary." 

They're...not wrong.

Look at pre-Christian history around the world, look at the people's rights, at the governments, at the way people and nations treated each other.  There are a few, shining moral exceptions, but for the most part, history's been bloody, barbarous, and has not counted life as something valuable.

Don't believe me?

Look at Sodom.  Gomorrah.  Look at China.  Look at Africa.  Look at Egypt, through its history.  Greece.  Europe.  Look at the tribal cultures native to this hemisphere.  Hell with the tribes, look at the Aztecs: they practiced not just infanticide (Baal, Moloch), but straight-up non-voluntary human sacrifice, and did it often enough and horribly enough that every other nation and tribe in the region at the time teamed up with the admittedly horrible Spanish.

Sikhism is one of the few, non-Christian religions with morals, concepts, and a philosophy that any real Christian would understand.  There are a few revived pagan faiths that might also fit the bill (Asatru). 

But the majority--the vast majority--of world religions, historically, have not provided the societal advances pushed by Christianity. 

Christianity has produced a society--and indeed, a world--in which it can be safely repudiated.  I can't think of a single other culture/religion that has done the same.  And the world will not remain safe if Christianity is successfully repudiated...not just because it imposes an external moral scaffolding for people who don't want to think and create their own rules, but because the human animal needs to believe in something.*   And not many of the things which are competing for the faith of the modern human are as benign as Christianity. 

*Full disclosure: I am a strongly believing Christian.  I'm also a thinking Christian who is incapable of blind faith.  And this is something that I'd seen but not been able to bring into full focus until I read the article linked above.  

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Reading books.

That's what I'm doing.  I'm reading books.  And going the "wrong" way in store aisles when it's convenient.

I'm not accepting any fucking "new normal."

So.  What am I reading?  Well.  Lots of things.  I've found a series of books in KU I greatly enjoy, and a series not in KU that I very much like, and do plan to get the rest of.  Eventually.

The first series...I've read another trilogy by Marie Andreas, so when I found her Lost Ancients series, especially with the first book temporarily free (since the KU queue was full), I jumped on it.  The first book is The Glass Gargoyle, and is wicked fun.  Her faerie characters--Garbage Blossom, Leaf Grub, and Crusty Bucket--are original and hilarious, and her main character is well-drawn and interesting, a down-on-her-luck archaeologist.  Strongly recommend reading this series.  I'll be starting book 4 when I'm done with my current read.



Second series...is definitely a warm blanket with a steaming cup of coffee of a read.  The Dreamhealers series by M.C.A. Hogarth features not-quite-aliens...well, they sort of are, sort of aren't.  They're certainly not human, but that's because they were engineered and uplifted to sentience by humanity in their distant past...for nefarious purposes.  One main character is a winged centauroid, and the other is a human-cousin resembling an elf.  Both are "gifted" with strong psychic skills, and part of the book is learning to deal with them without going mad.  The book is set in a university graduate-level psychology program, and (quite honestly) feels like home, to me.  First hit's free, and I've bought the second.  I will be buying the third when I can.  These really are warm fuzzies--comfort reads.




A third series that is by turns intriguing and frustrating (on behalf of the characters, by the way, not with the author) is a book I snagged on KU on a whim: Moriarty Meets his Match.  I'm halfway through, and having to go between it and something else.  It's...a bit of a mind-fuck, and really complex with how the author is setting up the various conflicts and puzzles.  Some days, the ones really bad with the ME/CFS fog, I just can't manage it.  But the book is a lot of fun.


 

I'm also reading Jim Curtis's new Rimworld book.  It's fucking awesome.  I'm a quarter of the way into it, reading between going to bed and going to sleep.  It really does make putting the book down and actually going to sleep difficult, especially when pain levels don't want to let me sleep anyway.  This is an excellent distraction.



I do have others on my list, but this is what I'm reading, or have just finished, recently. 

Monday, April 20, 2020

Shopping, today.

I...yeah.  I'm going to have to go shopping today.  When I made last week's list, I hadn't realized how low I was on some things.  Bread, for example.  And cheese. 

For the past two or three years, I'd been doing the bulk of the grocery shopping: I'd drop the kids off, then go to Walmart, then Sam's Club.  Because Walmart never closed, that was easy.  And Walmart was the next best thing to empty, that early.  And I got to Sam's Club well within the Advantage Membership-only hours. 

Two things that have since disappeared.  Ironically, in an attempt to "clean, disinfect, and protect our customers," both stores have ended up cramming more people into fewer hours. 

I haven't gone shopping since the second week of March. 

Until today. 

I went to Sam's Club.  About an hour after it opened.  Last time we tried to go right when it opened, there was a massively long line stretching from the entrance, down the side of the store, and wrapping around the end of the side parking lot.  Thank you, no.

I got a lot done.  Got stocked up on quite a bit.  Still putting it away, slowly.  But I did get it done. 

Yes, I still resent the absolute fuck out of Sam's Club cutting the hours, and opening to the general membership at 9:00 instead of 10:00.  I resent the fuck out of Walmart cutting hours and cramming everybody into fewer hours--given a choice, I'd go really fucking early, and miss everyone who's either working or sleeping in, and have a NOT CROWDED STORE to visit. 

It took everything I had to not mock the morons wearing masks that do jack and shit to protect them.  There was one elderly couple that were wearing cone coffee filters as masks: they'd opened the cones up and used a paper punch to thread a shoestring through the corners.  Wore 'em like beaks.  Yeah, that is going to protect them from...maybe allergens?  I don't know.  But it won't protect them from anything else.  Nor will the jack-wagons using a folded, no-sew, bandana-and-rubber-band mask be protected from anything.  Except maybe fathering children.  Yeah, it's effective to see where the idiots are to be avoided. 

There were several using painting masks (not the N95).  Such worked just fine protecting my mom during flu seasons while she could still wear them and get enough air.  Not going to say anything against such.  There were several using medical masks.  And a few using the actual protective gear advocated by the "experts" as something we should leave/donate to the front-line workers (which, arguably, are the people stocking stores, serving customers, and bringing carts back to the front from the cart corrals; and I recognized a lady I'd spoken with the last time I'd shopped, who said she cleaned houses for the elderly for a local company, and I'd also argue that she is a front-line worker). 

But the vast majority were nothing more or less than morons dancing in security kabuki theater displays, trying to signal their virtue.  Most of which would have been at work if the stupid fucking governor would back the fuck off on the utterly stupid and useless "stay-at-home" order, and the "all non-essential businesses (as defined by closet communists) must close" order. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

"Unprecedented."

I've had to quit listening to the radio.  Last night, there was a PSA on one of my favorite stations that made me want to scream.  Referred to what's going on as "unprecedented." 

It's not.  Not even followed by "emergency" or "viral plague." 

Well, I take that back.  It is unprecedented.  I have never, in my forty-one years on this ball of rock, seen this level of unwarranted, unmitigated panic in this nation.  This level of mass stupidity.  This level of sheer ignorance

Because the actions being taken? are not without precedent.  They're common

They've happened world-wide. 

Venezuela. 

Cuba. 

Russia. 

China.

Vietnam.

North Korea. 

Germany.  

In fact, through the 1930s, there were a series of actions taken in Germany with a familiar catchphrase: "It's for your safety."  It started with neighbors calling the authorities on neighbors doing things that were deemed "non-essential" and ended with people reporting on their neighbors hiding people in attics and basement crawlspaces.

It's not unprecedented.  And I'm tired of people who are fucking pig-ignorant insisting that it is, and that it's anything other than what it is. 

"Unprecedented" my ass.

Friday, April 10, 2020

School's out.

The governor of Missouri has declared school done for the year.  So, admitting that a full quarter is useless in terms of information taught. 

The kids' private school has gone along with the public school order. 

I am...less than pleased.  I'm also trying to figure things out. 

I was hopeful that the kids were going to go back to school at the end of the month, for four weeks.  I really was.  Not totally for my sake, either.  For theirs.  They desperately miss their friends, and they miss their teachers. 

This is horribly unfair to them, especially given that we don't live in a hot spot. 

It's unfair to us, as a family, because some portion of a full quarter's tuition has not been, and will not be, used.  And I have heard nothing about it being credited toward next year's tuition. 

And, given the way the government keeps moving the goalposts, I'm dubious of the value of paying next year's tuition in the first place.  Where's the guarantee that school will start back up in August?  Or won't cut the last however long the twats in charge feel is "necessary for the good of all?"

It's really bad for my imp.  My imp who does not do well without an externally-applied routine.  He's been all over the place...with the help of his meds.  He misses his friends, he misses his teacher, he misses...well, everything except the school work. 

The pixie...well, she's not a whole lot better, but has a much better handle on controlling herself and her reactions to her disappointment and misery. 

I'm contemplating what should be done, and what can be done.  And how is best to do it.  Because while the murder of the nation's economy has pissed me off something fierce, my kids are far more important.  I need to figure out how to get them through this mess with their knowledge base as well-supported as I can manage, and their emotional needs as well-met as I can manage.  I need to figure out how best to set a routine on them to help them settle into adapting to the sudden knowledge that a government large enough to give people things is also large enough to successfully take almost everything away. 

And I'm worrying about their physical and emotional well-being for the short, medium, and long term. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Gonna self-isolate for non-Covid reasons...

I am...done.  I'm done following the data on the current virus.  The media's dishonest, and is stirring up panic where it isn't warranted; the government on all levels are taking actions both unwarranted and illegal; the economy is dying, if not already dead; and all of this is raising my stress levels to the point of anxiety attacks.  I'm done.

I am an intelligent human being that is capable of holding worry about more than one thing at a time.  I'm most concerned, at this point, about the actions the government is taking to "combat the virus."*

With everything being forced closed, there is nothing of value being created.  There are no services being exchanged.  Our economy isn't dying, it's been murdered.  Because of a 2% chance of death for some. 
That said.  I am NOT denying that the virus isn't nasty.  It is.  For a few.  However, I have family in those few that are in the most danger.  I am not in favor of those family members doing stupid shit and catching this.


I am also not in favor of people calling the police over a man playing catch with his daughter in an empty park.  I am not in favor of the police patrolling out on open water and arresting a single person alone in a kayak, paddle-boat, or on a surf board.  I am not in favor of police pulling people over and writing tickets for simply going for a drive...alone...in their cars.  I am not in favor of anyone telling me what is and is not a necessary purchase, because how the fuck does anyone but me know what I need? 

Gas prices are in free-fall.  Given that gas is what is referred to as an inelastic commodity, that is alarming.  Supply is way up because demand--that which is not supposed to change--is way down. 

There are landlords out there that have waved rent for the month of April.  I would assume that said landlords own the properties, free and clear, and do not rely on the rent payments to make their loan payments.  Others have not--cannot--because they do have loan payments.  What happens when they can't make those payments? 

What happens when over-extended homeowners can't make their house payments? 

Only, with landlords, it's a whole lot more people going to be turned out of their homes due to foreclosure. 

So many people have been living paycheck to paycheck for so long...it's normal.  It's not just those on the bottom rung of the socioeconomic ladder, either.  It's normal for everybody.  And right now, a lot of people simply...don't have a paycheck coming in.  And for a lot of those people, there won't ever be another paycheck from that particular job because of so many businesses going out of business.  Because businesses have those same habits--businesses are run by people who are used to going paycheck to paycheck. 

All for 2% of the population, the majority of which are already sick and dying with something else.  Or who have just a few years of their allotted time left. 

*I hate to say it, but I don't think the actions being taken by the various governments at the city, state, and federal levels are being taken solely to combat the virus.  I think there are bad actors at each level that are watching how we react, how we obey, and gleefully planning something different.  Too bad they're not paying attention to how many new background checks and gun purchases are happening daily, too.  Because they are not the only ones watching. 

Sunday, April 5, 2020

It's live.

Gods and Monsters is available for purchase in Kindle or paperback, and can be borrowed and read for free through Kindle Unlimited. 

It's the fourth book in the Modern Gods series, starting with The Godshead, and moving through Highway to Tartarus, "Bar Tabs" (a Kindle-only short story), and Fire and Forge.  There's more to the world, but I'm not sure when the next book will emerge.  I don't really have control over these--they kinda just come at their own pace, in their own time. 

In the meantime, I'm about a third of the way through the second book of the Liquid Diet Chronicles.  The current, working title is Having a Pint.  Meg's irritated it's taken me so long to get back to her story.  The bits I'd written down long hand are almost exhausted, have been tripled in content, and my hands are killing me. 

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Gods and Monsters Sample Chapter


All Kraken Must Be Kept on a Leash


A deep, gurgling, howling, reverberating moan shook Poseidon out of a deep sleep.  Medusa stirred next to him, humming as she woke, too.  “What was that?” she mumbled, spitting hair out of her mouth.  She wrinkled her nose and smiled, petting the dampened strands of hair, enjoying the feel of hair that didn’t try to bite her. 
“I’m not entirely sure,” Poseidon hedged, rolling out of bed.  “It sounds like it’s coming from deep water, though.  I’m going to go check it out.  Be back as soon as I can.”
“You do that,” Medusa groaned, turning over onto her side and hitching the covers higher.  “Just tell me what it was in the morning.”
Poseidon chuckled, planting a kiss on her bare shoulder.  He bent and picked his cutoffs up from where he’d kicked them the night before and padded from the bedroom.  He leaned against the wall in the hallway and untwisted them, then pulled them on, buttoning and zipping carefully.  He’d shed them when he went into the water, but people nowadays frowned on nudity at nearly any time, on this continent. 
The god of the sea could have gone back to the old world, but the people—and their priests—had made clear to him that he wasn’t welcome in any of the old places.  He’d stayed away for centuries, and now that he was welcome again, he wouldn’t go back.  Not for any price, not after the way he’d been rejected by his lands and people.
The sand under his feet had lost most of the heat from the day as he made his way down to the water’s edge.  He stripped the shorts off, felt for how strong the tides were and would be, and wadded them up to chuck them farther up the beach than the water would go, even with the added reach of a storm out in the ocean proper boosting the waves’ power.     There was a storm, but it was a lot further out despite what the cloud cover suggested, and he hoped to be done before it hit land.  He waded until the warm water lapped at his chest before he dove in.
Another burbling moan echoed through the water.  Poseidon relaxed and directed the currents to bring him and whatever was making that gawdawful noise together.  It had been a while since one of the creatures living deep had needed help, but that sound, now that he was in the water and could hear properly, was absolutely a cry for help.  And there was pain involved. 
Poseidon frowned as he darted through the water, and directed the current to move him faster.  He closed his eyes, relishing the caress of his ocean on his skin, and reached out with his power, checking through the rest of his domain for more trouble…or more trouble brewing.  There was…something, right at the edge of his perception, but he couldn’t figure it out, and he had other, more pressing concerns at the moment.
The overcast night, clouds speeding toward land, heralded the storm that Poseidon had sensed pushing the waves ahead of it.  He hadn’t left the daylight zone depth, yet, but with the cloud cover, he might as well have done.
And the storm in the Atlantic was picking up speed and force.  The currents would have it making landfall not far from where his home stood.  But by that time, he’d be long back, and the barrier islands would weaken it by a good bit.
It likely would do damage, even weakened, were he not who he was.  The ocean couldn’t harm him, or his home. 
But it could and would do damage to the homes around him.  He sighed.  Made a mental note to watch out for idiots doing stupid things in flood waters.  He couldn’t prevent the storm from making landfall, and wouldn’t redirect it, but he could prevent loss of life to water. 
Something loomed, changing the way the currents flowed, pushed by a different current from behind.  The conflicting currents eddied around, then slowed and stopped at Poseidon’s will.  A huge tentacle—almost as big around as he was—reached out, gently gathering him in while a massive body curled around him to protect him from the last of the eddying currents.  As he made contact with the creature’s body with both hands, he realized exactly what it was: the Kraken.  The Greater Kraken, the last of its kind that hid from sailors and scientists alike. 
The burbling moan shook the water again, vibrating along Poseidon’s bones, accompanied by a rumble from the creature’s digestive tract. 
Poseidon reached hard with his power and made contact with the Kraken’s mind.  “What’s wrong?” he murmured.
It answered.  Not in words, but in impressions that Poseidon’s mind automatically translated.  [belly.  Hurts.  Bad food.]
Poseidon took one hand off the Kraken.  Now that contact had been made for the first time, he didn’t need to touch to maintain it.  He only needed to maintain his position relative to it in the water.  He scratched the stubble along his jaw.  “Bad food?”
[bad.  Bad food.] the Kraken agreed.  [did not want to be eaten.  Still lives, still fights, hurts belly.  It bites.  It thrashes.  Bad food.]
Poseidon rubbed his forehead.  The alien thought processes were starting to give him a headache.  “What?  What was it?”
[do not know.  Rose from deepest.  Weak.  Strange.  Like food, not like.  I hungered.  I ate.  Bad food still lives, still fights, hurts belly.]
Poseidon shivered.  That sounded something like what his father had been warning them about.  “Can you bring it up?”
[bring…up?] 
Poseidon winced as the thought stabbed through his head, from temple to temple.  The confusion in the thoughts was even more painful than the straightforward thoughts had been.  “Vomit.  Can you?”
The Kraken’s body heaved, then heaved again.  The great beak opened, and the beast heaved again.  Pieces started coming up.  Pieces of something Poseidon didn’t recognize until the Kraken managed to expel the head.  The head’s tentacles were thrashing, and the polydexterous hand-things were twitching.  No wonder it had harmed the poor Kraken.
“Ah,” Poseidon breathed out.  He gathered the fluid around the thing, using the salts from the waters and the acid from the Kraken’s digestive juices to create a massive crystalline prison that kept all the pieces separated.  He managed to finish trapping it just before the whirlpool it attempted to create was able to form and propel it to the surface.  “Charibdis.  I was wondering where you went, you cunt.”
[bad food what?] the Kraken asked. 
“Something I thought was dead that apparently only slept in the deep.  I had no idea she was immortal.  She was trying to make a whirlpool in your guts and eat you…no wonder it hurt.”  Poseidon sighed.  Patted the poor creature, reached deep with his power over all the creatures in the sea, and pushed healing until the Kraken twitched. 
[hurt gone.  Hungry.  Go hunt, now…]
“Go deep,” Poseidon ordered absently, considering asking for a mate for the monster from someone who could help him make it.  “There’s a lot of not-food on the surface.  Will hurt you again if you try to eat it, and some of it will try to hurt you if it sees you.”
[I go.] 
The Kraken flipped, surfaced for a moment, eyeing the clouds balefully, then dove down to the rocky bottom, below where Poseidon could see.  He could feel it scudding toward a trench in the deepest part of the ocean, where the waters were warmed by volcanic vents, and occasional food drifted close enough for the Kraken to grab without coming where it could be noticed. 
He sighed, then smirked as he felt the monster in the salt crystal prison trying to form whirlpools and put herself back together.  It…wasn’t working.  She couldn’t break the walls between the different parts of herself, mostly because there wasn’t enough water in any given chamber to really give it a good try. 
Poseidon grinned, set his waters to reject the prison, then followed it to the surface.  He urged the current to nudge the ball full of angry, hungry, dismembered immortal to shore, and followed.  He made it to the entrance of his private bay, and used the mouth of the bay to form a portal to his brother’s realm. 
He smirked, made the ball utterly indestructible with smooth coral growths, then launched it through to bounce to Cerberus’s feet.  A happy yelp echoed through the portal and he grinned as he closed it.  He started for shore but stopped as a cigarette boat flashed lights and blipped the siren as it pulled up and slowed to a stop. 
“You, in the water,” a young voice called out. 
“Yes?” he asked, using the water to push him upright so he could cross his arms across his chest. 
“If you happen to be Poseidon,” a young voice called respectfully, “I would appreciate you taking the time to have a word.”
Poseidon sighed, stepping up out of the water’s embrace (even as he kept a modesty-protecting ring of water around his hips—for the youngster’s sake, since he didn’t give a shit).  He moved over the suddenly glassy-smooth surface of the water to the boat.  He started to seat himself on nothing, and ended up seated gracefully on the throne that the waters put up for him.  “Yes?”
“About twenty minutes ago, I had a speedboat of Cuban cartel members turn themselves over, begging to be run in.  They said they’d dumped the drugs overboard, and just wanted off the water before the monster got them.”
“Sounds helpful,” Poseidon commented. 
“Was there, in fact, a sea monster?” the young voice—a woman, Poseidon thought—asked, “or were they sampling their own merchandise?”
“I suppose they may have seen the Kraken on his way in.  He’d eaten something that disagreed with him, and came to me for help,” he mused, feeling through the depths for the drugs.  He found them and fished them out of where they’d dropped, bringing them to himself. 
“Kraken.  Is that a sea monster?” she asked.  “Because the only Kraken I know of is the black rum my dad drinks.”
“Good rum.  Hundred fifty foot squid, not a monster,” Poseidon corrected.  “Why?”
“Do they even get that big?” she asked dubiously.
“Oh, yes.”  Poseidon paused in thought, then shrugged regretfully.  “Or at least, they used to.  The Greater Kraken are all but extinct, now, though.”
“Does it swim at the surface waving tentacles?” the young woman persisted. 
Poseidon nodded slowly.  “Rarely, but it does happen sometimes.  When it’s been hurt, or something it’s eaten has disagreed with it.  Like tonight.”
“That means they were telling the truth about the sea monster,” she mused.  “Maybe even about the dumped drugs, too.”
Poseidon smirked and brought the drugs—a bale of white the size of his torso, wrapped in plastic—to the surface, then flipped it into the boat.  “They were telling the truth about all of it,” he agreed.
"Wow.  Thanks," she said breathlessly.  "But I need to ask you to keep sea creatures that size out where they don't panic boaters.  Out of sight.  Or under obvious control.  It helped with the drug bust, but there's a lot of legit fishers out here, too.  And I do appreciate the assist, but I don't want to hear about Cthulu rising ever again," she said, her voice rising.  "Especially not on a night like this where it looks like he could!"