Susan’s Salon: 2020 October 25/26

Oooh spooky

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 countries) . It’s fine to be sad, worried, angry or happy (or all of those things at once).

Please feel free to post what you like (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! Whatever you like and be nice to one another 😇

ALSO! For US Presidential election discussion, gripes, fears and hopes, Wednesday’s “Straw Puppy’s POTUS Polls” is dedicated to election talk.

49 thoughts on “Susan’s Salon: 2020 October 25/26

  1. We voted yesterday. I went to the polling station and there was one other person there in front of us. He finished his voting, folded up his ballot and dropped it into the box, leaving the booth for us. J went first, picked up her ballot, marked it, folded it and dropped it off then it was my turn. I made my selection, folded up my ballot, tore off the verification strip, dropped my ballot in the box and the strip in the bag with all the others and then we left the polling station. Total elapsed time: 10 minutes.

    But of course that’s because in British Columbia the Government isn’t heavily invested in voter suppression strategies. I wish that our cousins down South could have my privileges.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The actual amount of suppression varies from state to state. Nebraska is Republican-dominated (except for the Omaha metro area) and we have had mail-in voting by request for years without any problem; we also have early voting. I mailed my vote in and it has been received and accepted. I wish it was this easy in Texas.


  2. My book will be out mid-November, is now appearing on Amazon for pre-sale, with shipping price from the US to Canada listed as …… $14.88. Eeek.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. TBH, delays on stuff from the US were so long in the summer I am putting off ordering from the US until next year, provided Biden gets in and the Post Office is rebuilt.


      1. For some reason, there are huge delays in POD books at the moment. I ordered two POD books from Thalia (German bookshop chain) weeks ago and they still didn’t ship. I’m about to cancel the order and go straight to Amazon.


  3. Got my first paycheck – well direct deposit, but you know what I mean – on Friday, which is awesome. Third work week and It’s mostly all good, so that’s great! Also finished an audiobook and three other books this week, two of them advance copies of books to come: Essa Hansen’ Nophek Gloss and RF Kuang’s “The Burning God.”

    That last one is basically 600 pages long in paperback (I got an advance reader copy in the rare goodreads giveaway i actually won) and is absolutely tremendous, with me devouring it over 4 and a half hours last night. Could not put it down, despite my plans to do so and finishing it today. If you disliked the first two books, you won’t like this (this is the finale for The Poppy War) but it’s a hell of a capper to it all, even if its middle third is not quite as strong as it could be.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I got my flu shot today. Normally my employer holds onsite immunization clinics at work, but obviously that wasn’t going to work this year. (We got sent home to work in March and the company shows no signs of bringing us back soon.) Instead they emailed vouchers that we could print out and use at pharmacies that offered immunizations. (Technically I didn’t need the voucher at all, as flu shots are covered by my insurance, but I wanted to signal my approval of the practice.) I now have a slightly sore left arm and the happiness that comes from knowing I have reduced my chances of getting or transmitting this year’s predicted flu strains.

    In other news, we are supposed to get our first snowfall today. Current models call for 1 to 4 inches of accumulation from this afternoon to tomorrow morning. Snow in late October is not unusual in my part of Nebraska, but it is usually 2 inches or less; it will be interesting to see what the final total is. In the meantime, working from home means I won’t have to stand at the bus stop tomorrow and I am liking this.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My workplace has offered pharmacy vouchers for a couple of years now as alternatives for people who can’t get into the office on flu shot day. I used one of these last year as I was actually sick when the in-house immunisations were scheduled (we’re not a super large office, so typically they only set aside a couple of mornings). Since our flu season is offset from yours flu shots typically come around in April or May ie this year they were at the height of the pandemic shutdowns here. Since I was working at home I tried to get a pharmacy voucher, but none of my local pharmacies actually had any vaccines left. I ended up having to go into the office to get my shot!


  5. Currently 13 F and snowing heavily here. This is a Very Good Thing, as the two largest wildfire’s in the state of Colorado’s history are still burning; the second one blew up by 100,000 acres *overnight* last Wednesday.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. My husband’s workplace was shut down Thursday evening because one of his co-workers has tested positive for COVID. It is a small business with less than a dozen employees so everyone works with everyone. No one can come back until they get a negative COVID test. After our scare when we both came down sick a month or so ago, you would think we already knew how high our anxiety could get.

    Nope. We were both emotional wrecks for at least 24 hours after getting the news.

    The earliest appointment we could get for his test was Saturday morning. I spoke with my doctor Friday, and he advised that I not get a test unless my husband’s came back positive or either of us developed symptoms. His reasoning was since there isn’t any treatment and though we have lots of testing capacity now, there are still some constraints on testing resources.

    We’re in the molds and spores season, so I have hay fever symptoms constantly, which aren’t the same as COVID, there is just enough of an overlap that I’m still playing the “hay fever or COVID” game all the time. Overnight low temperatures are starting to flirt with freezing, so maybe in a few weeks that particular thing will end for a while.

    We spent Saturday afternoon gaming online with our usual gaming group, and that helped a lot with my mood. I don’t know why I decided last night to finally watch the remake of “The Boys in the Band” since I know it is a very unhappy play.

    I did not have happy dreams after.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fingers crossed that your husband’s COVID test comes out negative. And yes, you have my sympathies on allergies feeling like covid symptoms.

      Though even if an employee at a small business tests positive, they don’t necessarily infect others, especially if it’s caught early. An apprentice at the company where my Dad works caught Covid from a family member, but didn’t infect anybody at the company. He did experience symptoms, but only mild ones. An employee at the company which supplied my furnace also tested positive, after he attended a football match which was a superspreader event,Again, no one else at the company caught it, though they all wore masks, because they work in other people’s houses. And when someone from that company came to fix a problem with my furnace, I also wore a mask inside the house, which I never do otherwise.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I don’t think I’ve seen health professionals say this directly, but as far as I can tell from the statistics most people who are infected don’t infect anyone else.

        We have an R number around 1, meaning every infected person infects 1 other person on average. But then there are some people who are superspreaders – who infect 10, 20 or even more people. And to keep the average at 1, with some cases at 20, there have to be a lot of zeroes. Situations with a higher R can involve more infections from low-infections people, but more superspreaders is probably a more important factor.

        I don’t know what’s the most important factor for becoming a superspreader. I assume it’s some combination of being close to many people, poor hand hygiene, and being infected in a way that makes you cough and/or breathe out lots of viruses.

        Bottom line: People who stay cautious have a good chance of not getting infected, and if that fails they have a good chance of not spreading the infection further.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Johan, they have determined that a sustained period of exposure in an environment with a high viral load tends to result in extremely bad cases, whereas a brief period of exposure to a high viral load tends to result in a less severe infection, and a brief period of exposure to a low viral load may result in no infection at all.

        In other words, you are right: when everyone is wearing masks and observing distancing, exposure is minimal or nil, and when people are in close contact without masks or distancing for extended periods of time, it results in an R of 2 – 25 or more.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Yeah, my doctor on Friday tried to talk me down, and was conveying a lot of the same information. Including saying that unless my husband tests positive, no reason for me to do anything different that I already am: only go out to buy groceries or go to the pharmacy, always wear a mask when I go out, keep washing my hands, that sort of thing.

        A couple of my husband’s co-workers managed to get testing appointments a day earlier than his, and this evening they’ve both come back negative.

        I’m a bit calmer and trying to get some writing done tonight. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Thank you EVERYONE for the well wishes, finger-crossings, positive vibes, et cetera.

      Husband’s test results just arrived, and his is negative.

      So he is now involved in a conversation trying to determine when they want to open the business back up.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Oh, what a relief! I’ve had a few of those uncertain moments because of allergies, too, and the doubts are an absolute killer.

        Best wishes for you and all of the other commenters here on staying safe and healthy. ❤


  7. Have finished my May short fiction reading. On track to make my goal of finishing 2nd quarter in Oct. Mostly good to very good stories, but nothing jumping on my possible Hugo nominee list. Especially enjoyed Uncanny 34 (May/Jun 2020). Otherwise, enjoying the colorful leaves and cool temperatures.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m finally more than halfway through Flowers of Mold! I’m enjoying it, the stories are dark and creepy, on the border of horror a lot of the time. Next up I think absolutely has to be Yoon Ha Lee’s latest, then I’ll take a break for some non-fiction, then maybe Piranesi.

    Reminded myself this weekend that it’s stupid to make plans around seeing friends without something else to do, particularly if you’re travelling any distance. Luckily I had plans to do some different yoga than usual anyway, so it wasn’t a total waste to go there.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Basically this week was a repeat of last week and the one before. Attend to credentials, get takeout or make something simple, sit on couch surfing internet or watching TV.

    But! Mr. LT had to trade some stuff with the other half of our potential holiday bubble and put some air in one of the tires, so he dropped off our ballots at city hall so we didn’t have to trust them to the overworked post office. Got the email that they have been received. Yay. Now to try to ignore the final week of TV ads and mailers.

    Finally cooled off enough that I have changed to wearing my long transitional-weight nightie.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My notable achievement for the week: I finally made it to Season 15 of Supernatural. The very last season, sob! I also went back and rewatched the pilot episode — they were just babies! I’m gonna hafta find the first episodes with Castiel and rewatch them too, just for old times’ sake.

    I still haven’t voted. Drove by the Election Commission again today, but there was still a line. I’ll try again tomorrow, and if there’s still a line then I’ll drive over to a neighboring town where I’ve been told there are no lines. (We can vote anywhere in the county.)

    In case you’re wondering why I’m so worried about lines — my knee arthritis makes it very hard for me to stand still for long periods. It’s actually easier for me to walk than to stand, but lines are a killer.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I’ve been working on this year’s Novellapalooza, and I’m up to 23 works with a handful more sitting here waiting, and the only one I’ve encountered thus far that really enthuses me is The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo, so it’s a bit discouraging. I’m trying to encourage myself that it was much the same way at this time last year, and then late in the game there were several I thought were excellent, so I’m hoping for the same this year.

    Bujold’s new Penric (Masquerade in Lodi) and Willis’ new holiday novella (Take a look at the Five and Ten, in the Nov/Dec Asimov’s, and coming out soon from Subterranean) are both recommended for those who could use a feel-good story which doesn’t require a lot of heavy emotional lifting from the reader.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ooh, I think the other half of the bubble still has a paper Asimov’s subscription, and I ADORE Connie’s Christmas stories. And I think I might be able to Kindle-borrow the Penric from a friend.

      As soon as I find the Kindle — it’s somewhere in the bedroom, but between sheet-changing, mattress-cover changing, and the large stupid credential lounging about on the bed all afternoon and evening, it’s going to take An Expotition.

      We have exchanged more stuff with the bubble — traded the home-grown apples and the loan of the cat trap for a whole bunch of Costco batteries. There is a lorge handsome floofy marmie hanging about their backyard, not only driving their cats mad, but equipped to father more ferals, and they want to TNR him.

      There was an old woman who lived down their street who was a mega-hoarder, and it’s taking quite a while to clean up after her. The city came in and took away as many as they could, but of course some escaped. I heard from a realtor friend that her house was sold basically for the value of the land and the structure, and a contractor/flipper had to strip it down to the walls and foundation before he could resell it. For a tidy profit, but no one begrudged him the money after all that stinky work.


  12. Yesterday was quite a thing, proving that even when life is moving at top speed, it’s still possible to get up at 4:30 and spend the next seven hours dealing with a hitherto unsuspected kidney stone (which the CT scans indicate has already passed). Surprise, surprise, surprise, and all that.


      1. I don’t recall a timeline, but the convalescence was over with almost disappointing rapidity. At Cathy’s advising, I made a nest in the bedroom, with a TV and my computer handy, and that’s when I discovered “Slow TV” with the seven-hour videos taken from the fronts of trains going up and down Norway. I bought yarn and needles, thinking I might try knitting, but there just wasn’t time.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, my guts took a few months to really figure out what was going on and settle in to the new conditions, but the most annoying part of my recovery was probably just not being allowed to carry anything of any substantial weight for several weeks. That’s tough to avoid when you’ve got a bunch of critters to feed!


      1. Kind of having a quiet day at home (just as I would have in any event), and my two jobs are drinking water and peeing (so that I can drink more). Then I had soup for lunch. Life is mostly comfortably horizontal, and whenever I have to get up and pee, I feel valorous for being on the job.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, I had one in March, and it was not so bad, apart from the prep. At my request, they didn’t knock me out, and I watched the monitor. Right at the end it somehow was pointing at something with a dial on it, and I later wished I’d said “Hey! My old transistor radio! I haven’t seen that in years!”

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I have to be knocked out for colonoscopies because of some meds I take, so while the prep is awful, the actual procedure is quite pleasant. Fall asleep on the bed, wake up in recovery (it’s only Versed so it wears off fast and clean), devour the saltines and soda provided, get an Egg McMuffin on the way home, and swear off bouillon and Gatorade for a while. Inshallah, I’ll only have to do that once more in my life.


    1. That happened to the husband twice. His first one was when we were at a con and I had to ask the front desk where the nearest hospital was (before smartphones).

      He was fine the rest of the day, it having passed and him getting the fun drugs, but I was exhausted. Luckily one of our friends had stolen many items from the breakfast buffet and saved them for me.


      1. I had a couple of stones before the 90s, when I started taking Magnesium. Then I went for a couple of decades with no problems, except the occasional twinge that felt like a sign of a stone. Then two years or more ago, I had the biggest stone evah*, I guess they’re back in my life. I never have really considered giving up cheese or dairy, because my bones need the calcium (and if I cut out everything that they found in my stones, dairy, meat, and veg would all be off the list).

        I still have the last stone I passed in the 90s. It’s a lovely little thing, and I’d really like to have it suspended in a pea-sized glass bead for possible jewelry use. The bead would magnify it.

        * 4mm by 7mm, they told me.


  13. A few months ago there was some discussion of the evil protestors destroying cities – Good news. The guy firing a high powered weapon into a police station has been found and apparently confessed to setting the station on fire. He was part of a group called the Boogaloo Boys – surprise! (well not really).


    1. Basically no one with any sense is surprised. It was also them what burned down Uncle Hugo’s and Uncle Edgar’s bookstores, too.


  14. We saw “Solaris” as a theater play yesterday. (With half the seats empty for distansing purposes.) It was good.


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