Americans who can find North and South Korea on a map are more likely to prefer diplomacy to war.
Which country is our strongest ally? After dumping (on) Britain and Europe, Republicans are leaning toward Australia.
Being forgetful may mean your brain is working properly. Do I really have to remember the essay I wrote for the NYS English Regents exam?
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayer's dissent warns that the US is turning into a prison state. She's not wrong. Read this.
Body shape analysis with kittens.
Obama on the Trumplackofcare bill. Ignore the grandiosity of the webpage and drop down to the speech. And the Congressional Budget Office's crunched numbers show 22 million would lose health care. Essentially, it is the cynical and uncaring RetroRepublicans trading lives for tax cuts.
And an editorial on why people are in politics, and how this week will define them. Quoting ( behind the cut: )
So I worked a half-day from home yesterday and saw a physio, and I'm working from home again today because it's still twinging a little.
Down side: all the testing and over-the-shoulder help I could use right now is not available. And there's quite a lot of it.
Up side: I can pick up my Sydney Transport card which I dropped on a bus the other week and which someone kindly picked up and turned in.
Fandom: Original Work
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Original Male Character/Original Male Character
Additional Tags: Romance Novel, Paranormal, PTSD, Hauntings, Kid Fic, Drug Use
A house full of ghosts is no place to fall in love.
Malcolm Carmichael has been coping with his post-war trauma by taking lovers, teaching art to schoolboys, and trying to ignore the ghosts he sees everywhere. At the death of his mother, he realizes he wants more than just to coast on by, and leaves the exclusive school in search of something more.
Caleb Thibodeaux was so traumatized by the death of his parents in a fire that he hasn't spoken a word since. His uncle Noel hires Malcolm to be his tutor, and Malcolm discovers that Caleb is not the only Thibodeaux son with secrets. The plantation house Fidele is beautiful but haunted, and Noel is much the same.
Soon Malcolm is absorbed in protecting Caleb and Noel from threats both living and dead, and in uncovering the story of Fidele.
Read at AO3 or at JennaLynnBrown.com
Different types of exercise affect different parts of the brain.
A disillusioned Reaganite explains why he's not a Democrat. Read this one.
Nobel-winning economists oppose Trumpcareless.
Ways to stay motivated in this shit-shellacked era of epic stupid.
Kentuckians are represented in the Senate by McConnell and Rand Paul. They have a lot to lose if Trumpuncare passes, and they're letting McConnell know that.
Salvatore Dali's body is being exhumed for a paternity test that may give a lot of his estate to someone nobody expected.
How much traffic on Eclipse Day, Aug. 21?
Gay Pride marchers carrying a Star of David were kicked out of the Chicago parade.
Russia has recalled the ambassador at the center of the Trump investigation.
A review of the status of TrumpnoIdontcare, from The Slatest.
How Harry Potter enchanted the world.
How Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus, Jews and some Christians dress for worship.
America's 11 most interesting mayors.
Technology catches up with tech workers in India.
How gay should a gay bar be?
Congress, Amartya Sen and the Saudi-imposed famine in Yemen.
Dogs calming cheetahs.
Fun stuff: I budget crunched and determined I did have enough to start buying Makeup Geek shadow pans on this past paycheck, which spreads them out over more paychecks which is very nice. And then I seem to have successfully made will rolls against buying more makeup brushes I really don't need, self, I don't care how stressed you are.
Although since I started this post the day has gotten increasingly faily in small but irritating ways until the UPS software I literally need to do my job blew up and now I'm just stress eating eclairs and want to buy all the makeup until I stop being too rage-y to write. HATE.
I did not so much figure out something about Long Road last night as figure out that I am not too clever to not have to do the thing the way, and so some of that should be easier when I get back to it. I also went ahead and decided that since I haven't been looking ahead at any of the stuff I already wrote for this portion of Malachy I might as well delete it all. Which I did except the last scene because I looked ahead and decided okay, that was the girls and Keith, that seems in character for the conclusion, that can stay. Everything else can go, so now I have a better idea of what I've written and how much I have yet to write and hopefully since I'm not cutting and pasting and measuring anymore, this will go a lot faster. Or it would have today if the day hadn't been full of ducks nibbling me to death.
My fic lives here.
Freelancer! From the distant future the Factions bring you our Mutant Chronicles Bundle featuring the 2015 Third Edition of Mutant Chronicles, the dieselpunk techno-fantasy RPG of future darkness from Modiphius Entertainment. With its fast-playing, cinematic "2d20" system designed by Jay Little (Star Wars: Edge of the Empire), Mutant Chronicles 3E is a thrill ride across a Solar System beset by megacorporate intrigue and the invasion of a terrible alien force.
I slept badly last night. I never used the c-PAP at all because it seemed unwise with reflux and with me getting up repeatedly during the first couple of hours. I woke up with the sneezing and runny nose again, so apparently the c-PAP doesn't relate to that. Damned if I have any clue what's going on.
I guess I'll keep the extra appointment I have with my doctor next month (I was supposed to cancel it in favor of the scheduled follow up in August, but I held onto it in case something came up). My chances of getting in to see her any earlier are almost zero. I didn't want to keep that appointment because it Thursday during Art Fair. That week is pretty much the worst time to go to UHS all year long as all the buses will be both detoured and packed. My dentist appointment, in the same general area, is the Monday of that week, but that should be before the detours start. Official Art Fair is usually Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with set up on Wednesday.
The technician came today to do the tune up on the air conditioner. He says it all looks good (which isn't surprising given that the unit is only two or three years old). The woman from their office who called to let me know that he was on his way kind of freaked me out because she insisted that all of our windows had to be closed in order for him to work. Scott declined to shut the windows last night because the predicted high for today was 73F, and I can't shut most of the dratted things on my own (and Cordelia was still asleep). She assured me that the technician could close them for me. He was puzzled as to why she'd think it would be necessary. He said that that requirement is for when it's actually cold outside. That is, if the windows are open and it's 50F outside, it's kind of hard to get the AC to do anything so that he can see how it's working.
Anyway, that's done until the furnace tune up in the fall. We get the same guy each time, and I like him.
I've gotten the trash out. I'm holding out on the recycling in hopes that I can break down some of the boxes in the basement and get rid of them. I like keeping a few boxes in case of wanting to send a package, but we've probably got thirty Amazon boxes down there. We don't need that many, and I know there's room in the bin for at least some of them to go.
Jack was the kind of character that I wish I'd met when I was older -- I think I met him once when I was 4, which wasn't that memorable. As I said, he was a baker, and he was engaged to this girl that everyone in the family liked (which might have been difficult, since Jack was the youngest of 9 and the family tended to be protective of their littlest brother, never mind that he was in his 20s.) And on the day of the wedding ... she didn't show up. Neither did his best man. They'd eloped.
It broke his heart. He couldn't stay in the Ottawa Valley any more; it was just too uncomfortable. So he took a job as a cook on a ranch in Alberta, took the train west, and came back at Christmas when he could. He taught my mom to knit, because he knew how to knit his own socks, and held her skeins of yarn for her while she wound them into balls, telling her stories of the ranch all the time. He taught her how to make piecrust, and a cake that wouldn't fall, and a lot more. Nellie would write to him and get frustrated when he didn't reply -- someone from the ranch would stop at the post office in town once a week or so -- so after two attempts that got no answer one year she put on the address, "If not claimed within two weeks, addressee is deceased; please return to sender." He wrote back really fast after that, and made a big joke of it.
When he came back during World War I, both his parents were dead (his mother a few years earlier but his father died in about 1917-1918) and were buried out in the little cemetery by the river church, without a headstone. He went around to visit all his brothers and sisters, asking for a little money to pay a stone cutter, and got nowhere. And yeah, he could understand that farmers and small merchants had a hard time during wartime, but there was family pride at stake too. So he dug into his own pocket, and one day a gravestone, a tall, elegant granite marker, appeared over their graves. Engraved on it was, "Sacred to the memory of Daniel and Catherine McNeely," and their dates and I think (it's been a while since I saw it) a pious verse of some sort. But in another line, underneath, "Erected by their son, John McNeely." (Never mind his three older brothers, and five sisters.) Nobody in the family took it badly, and some found it really funny, but under it all people were grateful that it had been done. And they all thought it was very much a Jack thing to do.
When he died in the late 1960s, after several years in a nursing home back in the Ottawa Valley, near family, he was buried near his parents, and the marker was altered to add his name and dates.
So, please, use Uncle Jack's Piecrust Recipe, and welcome, and pass it along. I don't want it to vanish into the place where good memories go when nobody remembers them any more.
The other thing is that I have a new rule for watching telly, where if a season is, like, ten-ish episodes I'll wait till it's finished its run then I can consume it all over a week or so. This works well for shows like Orphan Black which work better for me when binged, but not at all when it came to The Handmaid's Tale, a show that needed some built in recovery time, and to be watched from behind your fingers with a strong drink to hand.
( nolite te bastardes carborundorum )
I'm still thinking on the idea of angelic punishment, Lucifer's raison d'etre, because what does it accomplish, really, in the end? Those harmed by the punishee were still harmed, and will still suffer from it; that is not changed, and especially if the victim is dead, what do they gain? It all depends on your feelings about revenge, I suppose. Is the punishment of a criminal an act of justice, or is it merely a momentary strike against pain that already occurred? Punishment and justice can be very different things.
In boring news, my thigh still hurts; I discovered this by not taking a night dose of anti-inflammatory for two nights in a row and self-assessing each morning.
I complain about exercising when I'm forcing myself to get moving and go, but I also complain when I cannot exercise, because there is no winning here. I would really appreciate the stress relief and sense of virtue that comes after a workout.
I probably won't play softball this week, even though we have two games. Agh.
Hopefully, all my muscles will not dissipate by the time I have no more resting pain/ache and can once again drag myself to the gym.
I did read three books this week, which hasn't happened in a while.
Going out to dinner with friends tonight, which ought to cheer me up.
Also, a big deadline at dayjob yesterday appears to have gone okay. Go me.
And now my closet door actually slides in the track and I can reach the clothes on that side of my closet again! Thanks, Dad.
After we'd wandered around most of the buildings, she took me to the nature trails, on the wilder part of the campus by the river. The trails had been there for a century or more, weaving through the woods and the nearby swamp; the longer trail we ended up on ran from the village to the west, past the campus, and into a park halfway to the city of Olean, on the east. It was well-worn dirt, not bad for walking, and she was talking and gesturing as we walked and I listened.
Then I looked up.
There were trees on both sides of the trail, so we were walking under the arch of their branches. And on one of those low branches -- say, 15' from the ground -- there was a bald eagle, and it was staring at me. It shifted around on the branch to face me full on.
I tried to get her attention; I couldn't manage to interrupt her, and we kept walking forward toward that branch.
The eagle lifted off, watching me the whole time, and swooped low, its claws nearly touching my head, and swung off into the woods.
The girl with me never saw a thing.
I learned later that the eagle was one that had been found injured in a farmer's field, had been taken to a branch of the Audubon Society, where they had a vet who patched up wounded birds, and rehabilitated. When she was released, she built a nest on the edge of the swamp, near the river. That wasn't a bad choice for a fish-eating bird -- that river had four-foot carp, not to mention catfish and other fish.
I used to see the eagle again, when I was walking through the trails, taking a break from class. There was a small clearing in the woods, with a stone bench that caught the sun, and it was a good place to study or catch up on reading -- I've never been able to study with other people around me. After a while, the animals would come out to see what this odd thing was that smelled like a human but didn't move like one. I would see deer fairly often, and parts of wild turkeys (you never saw a whole one -- they always kept part of a tree between you and them), and once or twice a fox. But they left when I moved, and none of them gave me the intense close encounter that I had with that eagle.