Thursday, December 03, 2020

Because 2020 didn't suck enough

So two nights ago, my dog started whining and gasping in the middle of the night.

Our town has an emergency animal clinic. At two in the morning on a night with a low of 22 degrees, I took him to the clinic and sat outside in the icy car (because covid) while the vets looked at him. They did bloodwork and other tests, said they couldn't tell what was wrong, started him on fluids and gave him IV antibiotics, and told me to take him to the regular vet when it opened.

I did that, and he spent the next two days there. His blood sugar was high, he had a fever of 104.5, and his liver functions were off.

Two days and nearly a thousand dollars later, they still don't know what's wrong. They said we could take him to a specialist, but good God, we can't even afford this.

I've brought him home and we're keeping him on antibiotics and insulin and taking him back in two weeks to see if anything has changed. His fever is normal now, so that's good, and he seems a little quiet, but he's eating well.

2020 can just stop now, please.


The Little Dog

Wednesday, December 02, 2020

Remaining Trump Supporters: the Unhinged and the Bizarre

Most people have now accepted that Biden actually won the election.

This is not to say that we don't have some unhinged fringe numpties still pushing truly bizarre nonsense and calling for violence to support their nonsense.

See here, for instance:

Look, I know you guys think I’m crazy when I say that only 10 to 25% of the democrat votes are REAL votes. But think about it: think about forcing Joe-the-houseplant in, and then giving him one of the least appealing running mates possible. And then running a potemkin campaign mostly from the basement.


...they went so completely out of their minds and really hate us so much [because of Trump’s election], that they’ve been throwing a naked rage-fit for four years, and doing what they can to hurt America and secondarily to drive Orangemanbad off. And 2020 has been like the expression of how much they hate and despise us. Yeah, at the top the lockdowns were driven by Chinese agents (this is not under dispute) but the left loves them, embraces them and keeps resorting to them because it destroys small business owners, families and well…. Americans. 

Someone in the comments calls for a "limited nuclear war" on "core cities" to removed these dangerous liberals who hate America. Someone else agrees with him, and says that, after all, nuclear wars are quite survivable.

This is logical progression from Reagan through George W. Bush to Trump. Here, have a look at Stephen Colbert's riff from the 2006 White House Correspondence dinner -- look at how many things he's warning us about that now are just commonplace.

This isn't all down to Fox News and talk radio -- people on the Right have been happily gulping down Kool-Aid since about 300 A.D. -- but yeah, Rupert Murdoch weaponsized that shit.

(Though it is kind of funny that the Far-Right have swirled so far down the hole that they have now turned on Fox News.)

Notice that in the post above, Hoyt explains to us how smart she is -- that's something I see a lot in such garbling nonsense from the unhinged. They're convinced that they are smarter than anyone around them, and therefore they can see the conspirators all the sheep are blind to.

And notice how, having been thwarted by the election of Biden, these unhinged buckets are willing to jump straight to shooting those who dared to oppose them:

So…. are we going to fight for our liberties? Is the fourth box on the program? I’d like to think so. Not because I’m a fan of war and destruction, but because there are worse things than war, and the destruction of the land of liberty from within is one of those

It's the Dunning-Kruger train crossed with the propaganda jet engine, and it takes us directly to MAGA country, where public schools are evil, fact-checks have a liberal bias, and you can't trust science but you can totally trust some slicked-up talk show host who is in this to fill his pockets.

ETA: See also this. I love how at the end he asks Trump to be the better man. Has he met Trump?

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Cat under the Heat Pump, November 2020

 As all y'all know, our heat pump has been repaired.

Here is Junti, directly under its vent and very happy:

Friday, November 27, 2020


 We never shop on Black Friday -- we never leave the house if we can help it -- and especially we wouldn't this year.

Our Thanksgiving was nice. The kid, his sweetie, and his roommate all came down to eat with us. Uncle Charger, who has symptoms of the rona, though he hasn't yet been tested, is self-isolating. This is the first time he's missed Thanksgiving since 2002, when we moved to the Fort.

We had turkey, broccoli casserole, sweet potato casserole (a terrible failure this year due to the non-corn syrup marshmallows not working out), potatoes dauphinoise, and rolls made by Dr. Skull. Dessert was pumpkin pie, ginger cakes, and whipped cream.

Also a choice of white wine, milk, or Dark & Stormies.

Dr. Skull did all the cooking, except the sweet potatoes. Because he's really still recovering from his surgery, I offered to do the cooking this year. "No," he said very very quickly. "I'll do it."

The kids stayed over and are now all asleep in my tiny writing nook -- one on the couch, one in my big chair, one on the futon on the floor. I am writing at the dining table, like a pioneer or something. (Usually I write in the big chair, with my laptop on my lap and my feet on the ottoman.)

It's 55 degrees here, and very pretty outside. Last night Canada geese landed in our yard and honked in an idle sort of way, driving the little dog to distraction.

Hope everyone's holiday is going as well as can be expected!

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

No Words

 We found out yesterday how much of Dr. Skull's hospital bill is "our responsibility," according to our insurance company.

"How does anyone pay for things like this?" I asked the "financial counselor," and she handed me a pamphlet for a "financial relief" company which will loan us the money at "only" 4% above APR.

Just in case you were wondering how the American Health Care system was doing.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

No Longer Freezing

The guy brought in a buddy, a heating pump specialist, and not only did they fix our heat pump, they fixed the gas furnace which was our old heating method.

So now we don't just have heat, we have back-up heat. I'll admit, as much as I like the cold, it's nice not to be cold all the time.

The first time the furnace came on, Junti freaked out and rocketed through the house to hide under my big chair (her safe space).

Oh, yeah: also Trump has finally been persuaded to stop acting like such a huge spoiled brat. The transition is under way.

Sunday, November 22, 2020


 One of my friends sent me some yarn for my new crochet habit:

And here is the cat, hiding in the kitty house because the mailman came:

And here is the other cat, who does not care about mailmen:

Friday, November 20, 2020

No Heat for Me

 The guy finally got the part to fix our heating system but it didn't fix the problem.

He's got another idea he's trying tomorrow.

Then he's just going to give in and replace the entire system.

This is one of those times I am very glad that we are renters. I can't imagine what this is costing.

So far the weather has continued mild, which makes this more of an interesting event than the horror show it might have been.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

New Recipe at Cooking with Delagar

This is a black bread recipe I have been messing with for a few years. It's more brown than black now, but very tasty.

Mixed Grain Bread 

No Heat For Us

 The delay in fixing our heating system is that the part must come from China.

So this, as with so much else in the world, is Trump's fault.

Last night the low was 37 degrees.

Fortunately, due to global climate change, it will be in the mid-seventies all week. (Also Trump's fault.)

[this post is 65% sarcasm]

Monday, November 16, 2020

What I'm Reading Now

Our heat is still not fixed. It was 38 degrees last night and is only 49 now.  Right now I have the fireplace going and three burners on the stove. It is still very brrr in here. I put a message in to the landlord, and he is good about dealing with problems, so.

Here is what, huddled under my big comforter, I am reading lately:

Kira Jane Buxton, Hollow Kingdom

Zombies, but from the point of view of the animals, both those who live with humans (domestics); those who do not, but who live in cities and zoos and on farms and so on; and wild animals. A bit of 'nature is healing' vibe, but still pretty good, mostly because of the voice of the main character, a crow named Shit Turd.

S.T. (as he is mostly called) lived with Big Jim before everything went wrong, and he spends most of the book taking care of Dennis, the bloodhound who also lived with Big Jim, and hunting for non-zombie MoFos, as Big Jim, and thus S.T., calls humans. Eventually he gives up on that (mostly) and sets about freeing animals who are trapped in human houses -- dogs, cats, and birds left locked inside when their humans turned.

Maybe a few too many characters here, and the humans-are-the-real-plague trope made me roll my eyes; but otherwise I enjoyed it. A fun read.

Stephanie Barron, Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor; Jane and the Man of the Cloth

These are mystery novels told in the point of view of Jane Austen, beginning in her 27th year. (I believe Jenny F. Scientist recommended them -- thanks, Jenny!) The mysteries are okay, but the fun part is being immersed in Austen's world. There are some delightful footnotes, explaining details that are left unexplained in Austen's novels; and characters who show up in Austen's novels also show up here -- or I guess the other way around, except the conceit of the novels is that these "real" people are used by Austen to build her characters. There are also bits from Austen's letters, and we visit places that show up in the novels.

I expect if you don't love Austen passionately, you won't like these as much as I do. But if you're a Janeite, these are definitely for you.

Kate Atkinson, Behind the Scenes in the Museum

This is the only Kate Atkinson novel I had never read. I think I started it once, years back, and wasn't gripped by it. But since I'm a completist if I am anything, and since our library had it, I went ahead and read it.

It's Atkinson's first novel, and not bad. I see a lot of themes and ideas she would develop in later novels -- the fascination with the World Wars, for instance, and with accidental death.

Readable, but probably only for big Atkinson fans.

Emily M. Danforth, Plain Bad Heroines

Danforth is best known for her earlier YA book, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, which I started but DNF. It made some minor waves in the writing community, though.

This one, billed as her "first adult novel" I liked better, though it has some of the same faults as MCP -- that is, it's very discursive, without much tension propelling the plot forward, and despite the billing, more YA than adult. There's a lot of overt symbolism which doesn't add up to much in the end.

The writing is better, though, and I was (just barely) interested enough in the characters to keep reading. We have two stories, running in tandem, both queer stories -- one, set in 19th century Rhode Island, is the story of dark events at a girl's boarding school and the even darker fate of the two women who run the school. The other is the story of a movie being made about the school, and the three young women (all in their early 20s) involved with that. 

Lots of queer passion, which is nice, and there is a happy ending for the 21st century women, though not for the women in the past.

If this is your thing -- ghost stories, creepiness, LA and rich people, a long leisurely narrative, you might like this better than I did. Good footnotes here too.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Just a Reminder


Despite Trump's bluster, Covid-19 has still not "disappeared." We're averaging a thousand Americans dead a day, with thousand more contracting the disease, some of whom will suffer serious consequences.

Almost 250,000 dead so far, and 10 million confirmed cases.

Even if the vaccine from Pfizer pans out, it won't be available for the general public until well into 2021. And please don't @ me with your "herd immunity" bullshit.

Wear your masks. Isolate as much as possible. Take this seriously.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

New Recipe at Cooking with Delagar


I can't get enough curry lately -- chicken curry, curried vegetables, curried potato soup. 

This recipe is an adaption of several I found on the internet. It's delicious.