Susan’s Salon: 2020 August 9/10

Another open thread for August! Please use the comment section to just chat about whatever you want. Susan’s Salon is posted early Monday (Sydney time which is still Sunday in most places) . It’s fine to be sad, worried, angry or happy (or all of those things at once). Please feel free to post either troubling news or pleasant distractions in the comments for this open thread. [However, no cranky conflicts between each other in the comments. Links, videos, cat pictures etc are fine – be nice to one another!] Whatever you like but be nice to one another 😇

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51 thoughts on “Susan’s Salon: 2020 August 9/10

  1. Sir Scrittles is happy. He has killed two birds and and snatched the tail from a small lizard. Nevyn tried to upstage him by hunting a deer, but failed miserably and had to go back to catching wasps and butterflies. Neither of them will try to catch the large black house spiders that climb up the bedroom wall when I want to go to sleep.

    Myself, I’m getting closer and closer to getting water inside the cottage, at least temporarily for washing dishes, learning more and more about hoses and fittings. I have built a new chimney for my electric toilet that promptly stopped working in protest.

    Mostly reading chinese wuxia and some superhero books (that were surprisingly fun!) now. I seem to have exhausted the supply of decent LitRPG and have had to give up on that genre.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I made my first stuffed pizza yesterday (veggie sausage, cheese and broccoli). As I don’t go anywhere on weekends, it’s easier to find time for elaborate meals.
    Got a short story rejected yesterday too.
    Our stray cat needs her annual checkup but she is, as usual, resistant to being caught

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sigh. It has been a week. Someone jumped the gun while they still had a red light just as my partner and I (he was driving) were coming across the intersection and slammed into our front left wheel. Most importantly we are both fine (and the other driver as well). Very, very thankful for that. Just dealing with insurance, car repair, and car rental — bleh!


  4. The Month from hell continues for me, with 2 weeks ago being bad job news, last week being my zayda passing, and this week a tropical storm hitting NY barely managed to knock out power for me for 48 hours and for some here for 5 days and counting. Because private electrical utilities are a brilliant American idea, like everything else.

    But hey, first full week in August, and I finished 5 books in that time, from the audiobook for Unconquerable Sun (Great as per usual with Elliott), the incredibly fun and sexy scifi “Deal with the Devil” by Kit Rocha, as well as three other books of varying quality – Cinderella is Dead, The Dawnhounds, and The Bone Shard Daughter. The Dawnhounds was the Best Novel award winner of the Sir Julius Vogel Awards, so some good came out of that whole debacle – really interesting novel that I liked but didn’t love due to it being a bit too confusing in its descriptions for my taste.

    I’m just praying now for an utterly normal week. Please.


  5. Yesterday I read Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee, and I recommend it highly. Pay no attention to the fact is is marketed as a middle grade book; it’s a very fun read. It’s got rocket ships, dens of iniquity, adventure, supernatural beings, vengeful ghosts, betrayals (some a few layers deep), family, and friendship.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We’ve been having a heatwave here in the past few days and I hate heat, because it leaves me unproductive and unable to concentrate. And the heat is supposed to last through the week, which is just torture.

    In other news, I dared to criticise the sacred cow of German TV, the crime drama “Tatort”, on Twitter for a terribly racist episode (not the first either) and promptly had a mob of German rightwiners screaming at me. Fodder for the blocklist. Also, I do think I have a right to object that my license fee is used to produce racist trash. Never mind that after 49 years, it’s time to put Tatort to pasture, especially since I haven’t seen a good episode in 25 years or so.

    I also made bread today.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. The Littlest Starship Captain had her third birthday party via Zoom yesterday, and she has declared her love for birthday cake and demonstrated her affection for the new CD player she now owns.

    I finished up the second twenty mile running week in a row this week, and am going to up my mileage to twenty-five miles for the upcoming week.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. One of my friends who shares my passion for antique typewriters has decided to get rid of a few of the models he had, and today dropped over an old Royal… after about an hour of fiddling with it to figure out what was working and what needed work, I started writing the first draft of a new short story on it.

    I warned my husband that my other antique typewriters may be pulled out of the back closet in coming weeks because of this…

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Had a very busy weekend – drove to Ubud on Friday morning for a yoga class, then went to a spa, wandered around a very closed and locked down Ubud, met up with a friend there, and Saturday morning we did a drive through to the coast to go scuba diving. It was my first time but she was certified, so we did similar dives but she got to go a little further than me, so I’m going back for my Open Water asap and maybe then my Advanced too – then I can dive with her and a bunch of my other friends to depths of 30 entire metres! I didn’t think it sounded like much (I’ve *climbed* higher than that up cliffs pretty easily) but wow, even at ~12 metres down it’s a totally new perspective and I’m so excited to go further.

    I wasn’t so sure I’d enjoy the diving so I initially only signed up for 1 dive, then added the 2nd one when we got back, then they were talking about visiting a shipwreck about 40 mins away and doing another dive after that, so how could I not do 2 more the next day? I’m doing my cert with the same guys since I won’t have to do another intro/basic skills dive and they can give me a decent discount on the price, as I’ll only be doing 3 dives (presumably 1 at 12 metres, then 2 at 18; I already know which dives I want to do for the open water too)

    On top of that I also finished reading Utopia Avenue – I personally loved it. If you like David Mitchell’s other books, chances are you’ll enjoy this one too. Made a start on Harrow the Ninth as well, which I’m enjoying and so far certainly appears to be a stronger book than Gideon (though I’m only 10% in).

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I have spent another week sitting on the couch watching TV and attending to credentials. had dinner “with” friends and then “attended” a concert.

    Shield continues to be All The Feels mostly srs bzness but also outbursts of LOL or Awww… in appropriate situations. This week is the final 2 hours and I will be ever so sad no matter what the ending is.

    We have oodles of movies stacked up on the DVR as well as Disney+ and Amazon Prime so we shall survive the loss of 1 show — but 7 seasons is a long time to get to now characters. And there isn’t going to be any new US TV for a while what with everything still shut down.

    Also my comma key isn’t working.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. This past week sucked really bad for reasons I won’t go into, but Cat and Ancillary Cat have been a great comfort to me. Ancillary Cat is tiny, but eats like a horse and then spends hours running it off, getting into anything and everything, including when I am trying to sleep in the wee hours of the morning. She has also gotten zoom-bombing down to a fine art.

    On Friday, I (safely) got the first hug I’ve had in months. It was a comfort, and it really brought home to me just how much the world has changed. I’m a big hugger with the people I care about, and I’m a bit bereft without that physical contact.

    On the flip side, the biggest advantage of not having regular physical contact is that I’m not having to put up with anyone else’s shit for extended periods, and no one’s having to put up with mine. 😀

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Speaking of viewing, I watched “Cast a Deadly Spell” (Phil Lovecraft, PI!) on Amazon last week. It is a very good mash-up of fantasy film and hardboiled PI and I highly recommend it. If only because Clancy Brown as one of the villains is so utterly smug you can’t wait to see him get his comeuppance.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I blogged about rewatching it last week ( Great cast and they do a really good job presenting a world where magic is accepted as normal.
        Lurkertype yes, the sequel was Witch Hunt with Dennis Hopper as Lovecraft.
        I’ve read they originally planned to call it just “Lovecraft” but audience response indicated they expected a “Love Boat” type comedy (this was 1991, so HPL wasn’t as well known as he is now).

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t seen that since originally so I’ll have to watch again. I have very fond memories.

      I think there was another similar one but with a completely different cast?

      (Comma key still not working)


      1. Gratuitous Tip: You can copy and paste someone else’s comma and use it as your own. Here’s a, sample.
        (This method is based on how I get diacriticals without opening ponderous PC apps–Google up a word that uses the one you want, and Bob’s your déjà vu!)

        And since this is Susan’s Salon, here’s an irrelevant video link to a jewelry store automata (my first typo, atomata, is so apropos) of a nuclear reactor for diamonds. I used to love seeing the new display at Anderson’s, my home town jeweler, which would rotate in and out every couple of weeks, or maybe every month. I remember cowboys, stagecoaches, Model Ts, Arabian Nights, and such, but looking online for Baranger displays has turned up all kinds of cool ones I never saw. My other favorite is the [honey]moon rocket.


      2. I use the Windows touch keyboard (even on my non-touch screen desktop with the mouse) for diacriticals and other things like that.


  13. Finished our first charter cruise this weekend from Warwick to Stratford upon Avon. It’s a fifteen minute train ride between the two towns, but we go the long way round so took five nights!

    The countryside was, as always, lovely, but England is doing the heatwave thing too and 30°c is too hot for doing all the locks on this route.

    The basin at Stratford is pretty, but there were far too many people around for happiness. Here’s an early morning picture of our boats, the blue and red ones stretching across the basin:

    Had to leave today to find a 14 day mooring. Temperature still in the high twenties and the water levels have been a nightmare and the boats seemed to get stuck in every lock…our 6 mile journey eight hours rather than the five it should have done.

    Still, we have a nice spot to stay in whilst we wait for our next booking.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Vacation is over. It was very nice overall, even though the weather was less than great and there was too little time for reading.

    A nice little thing during the vacation was that I came across a copy “A Wizard of Earthsea” in a book-crossing library. I think it’s the first Norwegian edition, and it’s got a very nice cover with a half-bird half-human figure, shown here: Am now debating whether to read it or just hoard it.


  15. We had a very brief taste of Spring here and my sinuses responded with a brief (hopefully) reminder of the madness yet to come. Now we are back to our usual winter weather – grey, cold and damp. To cheer myself up I ordered some books and some fibre, including some leftover sari silk. I cannot spin straw ino gold, but I will spin sari loom waste into gold coloured thread :-).

    Liked by 2 people

  16. *clap clap clap*

    Yay! Just finished SHIELD in almost-real time and I am happy. And a little teary.

    It was as wibbly wobbly timey wimey as an entire season or two of Doctor Who combined with many an Easter egg. Many things fit together and many loose ends were neatly tied. And also explosions, outer space, and explosions in outer space, because Marvel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Going out on their own terms after 7 years is pretty optimal for a TV show.

      Despite having a fraction of the budget, and having split off from the MCU some time back (no Thanos Snap), the last episode was as Marvel-y as anyone could want. And of course there were so many more hours of characterization available.

      Am still smiling.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I was quite happy with the end of Stargirl. Including the fact it actually wrapped up the season instead of ending on a cliffhanger like Flash and Batwoman (which will be more frustrating as Kate Kane will be replaced with a new character, Ruby Rose having dropped out of the show).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m also happy with the end of Stargirl. (Except for showing the lush pine forested mountains of Nebraska. Apparently her Earth has different geography.) If the series hadn’t been renewed, that would have been a swell ending. Although the final scene sets up some interesting ideas for next time since they are continuing. I really like that Mom and Dad are in the know and help out.

        Not recasting Batwoman is the stupidest thing ever. All the moving parts of the show are built around Kate Kane — father, sisters, cousin, exes. None of the plots or supporting characters are going to make a lick of sense with a different woman in the suit; the show basically has to start over. People were fine when they swapped actors for Spartacus. The grandmas of America never got confused every time they changed actors on soap operas. They better not get rid of Mary, is all I’m saying.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree completely on what a mess replacing Kate will create — and yeah, Mary needs to stick around.
        A lot of TV has alt.geography. They did a show near where I lived in the Florida Panhandle some years back (Pensacola: Wings of Gold set at the NAS there) and it included many shot of mountains surrounding the base. The Panhandle is not mountain country.
        Stargirl did a great job showing Barbara adapting to what’s been going on. I loved that.


      3. @Lurkertype

        “ I’m also happy with the end of Stargirl. (Except for showing the lush pine forested mountains of Nebraska. Apparently her Earth has different geography.)”

        How lush and how mountainous are we talking here? The Pine Ridge area in northwest Nebraska isn’t a mountain range under any conditions, but parts of it are very tall and quite steep and the dominant plant species really is the ponderosa pine tree.


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