ARRRR! It's Talk Like A Pirate Day!
It has been a LONG time since I reviewed any comics. It's actually been awhile since I've read any comics. So I'm going to work on catching up. It might take a few weeks.
I generally don't like posting about dreams, because they are usually really boring to other people. But I'll make an exception, just to record this one for myself. We've had houseguests over for "Androcon" - our Doctor Who club's annual visit to Eric and I here in the middle of nowhere. It's been non-stop watching Doctor Who, movies and funny videos supplemented by tons of food.
As usual, I'm a bit anti-social throughout it all, retreating to my room upstairs during most of the action and just listening to the talking and the videos. Inkwell has been terrified this time, staying upstairs with me, either under my chair or next to it. Although he bit me pretty hard yesterday when I tried to play on my computer when he needed to reassurance and comfort skritches.
On Friday I drank some soda pop and had chocolate and, clearly, managed to exceed my caffeine limit. I ended up with a migraine on Saturday and had to spend a couple of hours with a pillow covering my eyes and Inkwell sniffing me every once in awhile to make sure I was still alive. I slept after the worst of it wore off, then came down and participated in the party a bit in the evening.
I didn't go to sleep until about 1:30 a.m., after making up for lost internet time and playing DC Universe Online for a bit. Then I wandered into a dream that was... I'm not even sure how to describe it.
I existed in the expanse of time when the Earth was being created and populated, and I was assigned the task of creating creatures to be on the North American continent. My requirements, intuitively understood, were that the animals had to be in balance with one another and some of them had to be of use to humans, who were coming later. I was enthusiastic about the task and set about creating fantastic creatures that were going to be just awesome. Humans were going to love my animals when they got to North America.
I can't remember most of my animals, but I remember three of them clearly. One was a kind of turtle with a ridge down the back, a bit like spikes but not so tall. It could, in a pinch, expel flame out its back. It was truly wonderful. I loved it. Another animal I created walked on two legs and was just big enough for a human to ride... think Taun Taun from Star Wars. It was a bit smaller and the head was completely different - I think it was like an alpaca head. I loved it. My third animal was the elephant. Yes. In the dream, I created elephants.
And I took my animals to show them off and - no, no, these won't do at all! We need squirrels! We're going to populate North America with squirrels. I was crestfallen, but since a few of my animals made it I wasn't sad. Until they said the elephants had to go. I argued for my elephants. They are majestic, I said. They can be used as beasts of labor by the humans, I said. They are wonderful. But no, they said North America wouldn't have elephants. Imagine my rage when I found out Africa was getting my beautiful elephants instead! And someone else was claiming they had made my elephants. And some other person stole the idea and used it in Asia. I was so angry!
I woke up in an absolute RAGE that my elephants had been stolen. For almost an hour after I woke up I was in a state of righteous indignation about my elephants being stolen even though I was fully aware that it had only been a dream.
In fact, I'm still a bit annoyed. I think perhaps I managed to get my elephants in North America after all, though, by developing Woolly Mammoths. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.
After watching a very strange interview on MSNBC last night (I usually watch the last bit of "All In" then Rachel Maddow, and nothing else on that channel) I was amused to find out that Taco Trucks on Every Corner had become a meme overnight. This is my favorite:
Maeril made a comic, and it's well worth sharing...
Apparently, I haven't been paying close enough attention to him, as he managed to throw up in the front window sill without me noticing. I'm not sure how long ago it happened, as I don't open the front window unless I absolutely have to. In addition, I'd built up a "cat castle" in front of the window, making it a safe space for him to get away from humans.
Well, he took advantage of it.
I just spent the last half hour scrubbing the area and vacuuming up the remaining chunks. It looks to me like it was a dinner, so it probably happened in the middle of the night sometime. It was dried enough that cleaning it wasn't too bad, it just required some scrubbing.
I have been in a major depression with some anxiety attacks for the past few months. It's been bad enough that I've been trying to stay inside and away from people. I'm going to have to break out of it soon. It's not a comfortable way to live. As a meme on Facebook said, "Depression is when you don't really care about anything. Anxiety is when you care too much about everything. And having both is just like hell."
In lieu of forcing myself to be creative, here's a summary of some of my recent Facebook posts - stuff that I found interesting enough to share.
Andy Borowitz again hits one out of the park with Nation with Crumbling Bridges and Roads Excited to Build Giant Wall. Infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure. We need leadership that will rebuild our infrastructure, not make stupid promises about walls on our borders.
U.S. Doctors Call for Universal Health Care. A single-payer system is the only moral system. Companies that profit from denying care, which includes most health insurance companies and many pharmaceutical companies, are basically evil. If the goal is increasing shareholder profits and not saving lives, then the companies should go away. Forever.
CharityWatch ranks lots of charities, including The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Foundation. Note the extremely low overhead of the Clinton Foundation, at only 12%. The charity gets an "A" rating because most of its money goes to help people. The numbers being used by conservative critics are not false... they simply count everything that isn't a grant as overhead. Since the Clinton Foundation assists people using other methods besides grants, the critics' numbers are misleading and basically a giant lie.
When we lived in Frankenhaus, one of the biggest problems we ran into was keeping the blackberries under control. Well, we have Luther Burbank to blame. I've spent many days at Luther Burbank Park, so I was a little surprised to read the history of the man. Kind of strikingly eye-opening, and not in a good way.
I quite liked this tweet:
So Sarkozy calls the burkini a 'provocation.' Whether women cover or uncover their bodies, seems we're always, always 'asking for it.'— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) August 25, 2016
I'm sure everyone who reads my blog knows all about Solar Roadways and how enthused I am about it. Well, the first public installation is about to begin, in Sandpoint, Idaho: at Jeff Jones Town Square. This installation will either be the first step toward real solar roads... or the proof that the concept cannot work. I'm rooting for it to work, and can hardly wait for the cam to go live.
...is the advice I would have given the driver who just slammed into a car across the street, pushing it into a truck and damaging both. The driver then raced off, peeling out on a sidewalk before roaring away from the neighborhood, leaving half the neighbors to come outside and have an impromptu street meeting. I called the cops, who sent a nice officer to take stock of the situation. One neighbor believed the car came from a party, and everyone was in agreement that the driver had to be impaired. Probably with alcohol, but who knows?
I was told that the car that was hit belongs to a 19-year-old kid who has been working extra hours to maintain the car and make sure it stays running and in nice shape. The young man is apparently in Seattle this weekend, and will not be happy to learn that his car has been crunched badly.
I heard the crash from inside my house, and by the time I got out of my chair, across the room and to the front door, the vehicle that caused the crash was gone.
Ah well, nothing like a car crash to get your blood pumping at 11 p.m.
So I got a text from a company called Everalbum claiming that someone named Ralph Mendoza recommended that I check out "my" photos on its site.
First, the only Ralph Mendoza I know is a business contact from when I was a reporter. I hardly know him beyond an interview or two.
Second, I certainly never gave permission for him or anyone else to send me text spam. Since I pay for my text usage, this could conceivably drive my bill up, therefore I'm unhappy to see unwanted solicitations through text. Also, I don't think Mendoza would send me this kind of spam. He's not that kind of guy, so this company is dragging his name through the mud.
Third, I looked up Everalbum, and it seems to be a legit company that scrapes social media, steals your photos and saves them in an album for you. As nice as that service might be, having them do it without my permission and then text me about it really irritates me.
My recommendation is to not click the link if you get this spam text, because they will steal your phone numbers and spam everyone you know. I suggest going to their FB page and giving them a bad rating if they do spam you. If they steal your contacts and send out spam to everyone you know, perhaps a lawsuit is in order... I don't know.
If you've never watched the Eurovision Song Contest, you should. The song I posted was an awesome parody, but this annotated version of the lyrics will give you a much broader look into the history of the contest. Click on the gray bits to see a lovely sidebar, often with animated visuals.
While I've fallen off the face of the web, I have done a little work on reading/watching the Hugo finalists and getting ready for voting. Sadly, I haven't had the energy or will to write about it, until now, and I'm pretty sure I won't have time to write about all of them. So I'll just do what little I can before voting ends.
After last year's attempt to be completely fair in my judging resulted in me wasting my time on total garbage, I decided this year to avoid any works created by rapid puppies, which whittled down the list a bit before I even started.
Because the puppies nominated a bunch of good stuff this year, that many others nominated as well, I am NOT going by what they nominated. That would throw the baby out with the bathwater.
So, let's start with the novels. I had read all but one before the finalists were announced. That one I hadn't read was "The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut's Windlass" by Jim Butcher, which was easy to get from the library and read.
"The Fifth Season" by N.K. Jemisin is haunting and strange and hints at a completely different world and culture. There is a narrative at work that is amazing and deep, and I loved it and am looking forward to the second book to see if some of my guesses were correct. The biggest flaw was that it was slightly drawn out in some places, but not badly so. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
"Uprooted" by Naomi Novik has the best opening lines of any of these books, which isn't enough to put it on top, but combined with how good it is overall, it's worth noting. The characters are fascinating and the premise is both fun and a bit of a challenge to figure out. There are a few squicky moments between the lead characters, but I felt they emerged naturally from the situation and were resolved in a way that doesn't diminish the main character. Overall, an excellent book.
"Ancillary Mercy" by Ann Leckie is a lovely finale to a great trilogy. I was not expecting the solution that came out of everything, but it worked for me. The entire trilogy was solid and twisted my brain in good ways. I love the use of language to challenge perceptions and found this to be a good read.
"Seveneves: A Novel" by Neal Stephenson is way too long. It's also two completely different books thrown together to create a kind of symmetry that's both good and bad. I have a lot of issues with the science, although it's one of those "suspension of disbelief for the sake of a story" things. Not my favorite of the bunch. In fact, although it's a good read and decent book, I have to put it at the bottom of my list.
"The Cinder Spires: The Aeronaut's Windlass" by Jim Butcher is a fun little read, a bit of a popcorn book. I put it slightly over "Seveneves" because I found it more readable and interesting, but it's still not really in the same league as the top books. The characters are varied and have a great deal of potential, but still manage to come off as slightly stereotypical. Future books in this series will determine if they stay that way.
So, while I enjoyed all of them, a nice surprise, it's between "The Fifth Season" and "Uprooted" for the top prize, and I'm probably going to put "The Fifth Season" first and "Uprooted" second.