Susan’s Salon: 2021 January 24/25


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, very worried, angry or maybe even 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 😇

43 thoughts on “Susan’s Salon: 2021 January 24/25

  1. Surely I am not the only one who scanned those little globules half-expecting to see Bernie as one of them?

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      1. oh no, I was just joking!

        I see him everywhere now, like when I was a kid and my sisters and I would catch minnows with sieves at the lake and put them in our little beach buckets and then I would still be seeing minnows when I closed my eyes at night.

        I hope your busy week was also a good week.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Been an absolute nightmare of a week – both due to a Sinus Infection that’s sapped my energy and due to work just being not great, forcing me to work today all morning and probably a bit more later.

    As a result, I only managed to finish 3 books this week, and that’s if you’re counting last sunday when I powered through and finished Genevieve Cogman’s The Dark Archive (the Invisible Library is one of my favorite series, and this was no different). Granted one of those books was a surprise get from NetGalley, Seanan McGuire’s next InCryptid novel “Calculated Risks” that I also finished within 24 hours, but well I’d hoped to finish at least Arkady Martine’s A Desolation Called Peace by yesterday as well and nope. (The last book i finished, half in audiobook, was Ibi Zoboi’s American Street, which didn’t help by being depressing & powerful – I needed a cheery book this week)

    Like I expected my reading to slow down due to work, but eh i didn’t realize how much that would disappoint me to have it actually happen.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Is this a rare photo of Susan in Fungus Town?

    This week was like all previous weeks, except it rained a tiny bit (yay) and the world got marginally less fascist (double yay). I am breathing easier, literally. Having friends and neighbors who’ve been demonized regularly for 4-5 years being not-quite-so is such a relief. F’rex, I sent some supplies to Standing Rock via a Native pal who went; so glad the next useless pipeline is cancelled again, so all the people in the middle of Canada and the US don’t have to do that again and get polluted.

    I voted for local delegates to the state Democratic Party and am now answering surveys and avoiding the email asking for money, because I don’t got it, sorry. Maybe they should sell Bernie-esque mittens.

    I ordered new glasses with my stimulus check. So soon the world will literally look better.

    I did not finish any books, because I’m in the middle of a very long, very dense one and I am determined to plow through. Made progress in it equivalent to a novella, at least.

    @Johan P:

    I took your advice and checked to see if my Kindle Collections still existed on the Amazon website listing, and they did. I was going to wipe and reload the whole thing, but lo and behold, evidently just the act of checking caused my Kindle to sync back up properly, and all the lovely sorting was back as if it never left. Poof. Quite the relief. I immediately classified the books that had come in during the crisis, and all is well again.

    So thank you very much indeed. Between all of us here in the Salon, we can solve so many niggling technical problems. AKICIF.

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    1. I’m glad to hear you got it solved! But I don’t think I can take any credit, that sounds like the work of Floppy, the trickster spirit of computer trouble.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. More spider related incidents here. I was relaxing in the bath with a book on Friday night when a large wolf spider dropped on me from the ceiling. I shrieked like a banshee and leapt out of the bath with an athleticism I did not know I possessed. Then, thinking the spider surely drowned, I thought if I fished it out I could resume my bath in peace (I am not any kind of arachnophobe but I am super not fond of things crawling on me). However, the spider was not dead. Once I scooped it out, it rushed about on the edge of the bath like a mad thing and fell back in again. Surely, I thought, the spider is now done for. Nope. It actually began swimming around in the bathwater. Admiring its tenacity, I once again fished it out of the bath, and it sat quietly on the side then until Mr angharad came home and put it outside.

    When I asked my two older kids, who were sitting in the next room, why they did not come and see why I was screeching they said they assumed it was Youngest Child yelling at his video game.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I have found it is very very hard to drown spiders. You’d have had to push it under for quite a while. Still, I’m glad you didn’t hurt yourself in the gazelle leap, and Mr. A saved the spider.

      Perhaps a family meeting is in order, to train the elder kids to distinguish between “Mum’s in a panic” and “little bro is gaming” screams.

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  5. My brain was broken before the inauguration, so I started reading romances and somehow never stopped. So I’ve read 5 1/2 romances this week, all from the same series by Mary Balogh. She usually does a pretty good job of popcorn reading, and I can trust her heroes to not be rapey, so there’s that.

    My brain is actually much better now, but I’m finishing the series because I’m just like that and because I actually want to know how she handles one of the characters (this is a series in which characters from previous installments do appear fairly prominently in subsequent books). I should be through with the last book tomorrow.

    I did try to get back to sff halfway through the series by starting Mexican Gothic, but I found the narrator very irritating very quickly. I might get back to that eventually — We Shall See.

    As for everything else, at least it’s not as bad as last week. Also, we’re about to have an incredibly warm week for this time of year, which is pleasant to experience but no doubt bad news in terms of climate change!

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  6. Finished the Unconquerable Sun by Kate Elliott. Very good space opera with intriguing world (galaxy?) building – looking forward to the next. Have just started Phoenix Extravagant by Yoon Ha Lee. Automata but with magic. Seems good so far. And I’m continuing to re-read a bit of Caliban’s War here and there.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Watched Lupin. Found it to be too depressing.
    When TV first started switching from the‘ episode of the week’ format to the whole season being a continuous story format I was pleased. Character development was happening!
    But now I miss the old format. It allowed stories to remain less serious, the stakes weren’t raised so much. I want it back.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. As I have alluded to elsewhere, I now have a Trigger Snowflake collection in EPUB that I am tentatively willing to let a few intrepid “let’s see if this works on my reader” beta-testers.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. At this point in time, I have not experimented by asking someone else’s robot to emit MOBI, but I guess that is a possibility. For the moment, I think getting one ebook format vetted is the primary aim.

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    1. I can try it on my Nook, which reads plain old EPUB.
      (me at the search engine what sounds like whoopee)

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      1. I suspect I have managed to not resolve the riddle, I sent a “probe” email that may or may not have arrived in someone’s mailbox, but as of yet I haven’t had a reply. The sende would be the most clever name you could possibly imagine.

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  9. Just finished reading T. Kingfisher/Ursula Vernon’s “A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking”, because I actually do read stuff that was published less than seventy years ago. Executive summary: I liked it. (Also reading recs lists for Hugos and weeping bitter self-published tears. I put out two perfectly good novels in 2020! – well, I put out two novels, at least.)

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Random entertainment discovery: I had never checked out the 2007 Stephen King anthology TV series “Nightmares and Dreamscapes”, because it didn’t look very good– and I still don’t know if it’s much good, but the one episode I just saw, “Battleground”, is one of the best short King adaptations I’ve ever seen. For those who haven’t read King’s ’70s pulp stories that he wrote for men’s magazines, “Battleground” is sort of a Tales from the Crypt version of “Die Hard”, as a bad person with combat skills is besieged in his skyscraper apartment by tiny magical(?) army toys. Our guy is played here by William Hurt, who makes a surprisingly credible action-horror-comedy lead – without ever speaking, because Richard Christian Matheson’s adaptation made a very smart choice to play the whole thing (including Hurt’s activities in the regular world) with no dialogue. Brian Henson, son of Jim, directed it and I’m surprised that he’s had relatively few directing credits; this is really skillfully done, and not just as an effects showcase.

    I was tipped off to this by the King celebrity-fan podcast “The Kingcast”, which has been comforting me lately by reminding me that I’m not the only one who during my formative years would read literally anything that guy wrote, for good or ill.

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  11. More Brexit issues.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/jan/26/eu-citizens-offered-financial-incentives-to-leave-uk

    I’m torn. If people want to return to their home countries I don’t see a strong objection to offering them assistance with relocation, but reading between the lines it seems that the government is looking to breach the spirit of the withdrawal agreement, never mind still ignoring the dependent of the UK healthcare and agricultural sectors on cheap foreign labour. (On the other side, I’ve seen reports of the Spanish authorities causing problems for British expats.)

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  12. In random SMH moments this morning, the ever-rational and intelligent Scott Lively (he of the claims that gays orchestrated the Holocaust, he who helped get anti-LGBT laws passed in Uganda and Russia) has now declared that Trump lost the election because God was punishing him for being too pro-gay.

    Oooooooooookay.

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      1. Upps reread that and seemed that I was unclear. I meant the rest of the stuff Contrarius posted about.

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  13. And the questions that you get while writting, how do I find out what weather was in Irland in August 1942?
    Upps.

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    1. Thanks, I will try to search the site, but I think I will just fabricate the weather, beeing vague where (Southcost of Irland) and when (Early August 1942) should get me away with it, I hope.
      Or is faking it, a very bad think?

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      1. I believe writers do fake it sometimes to fit the story! I think that Dorothy L Sayers even changed the phases of the moon in Gaudy Nights, but she made sure to mention it in the preface to avoid letters of complaint.

        I’ve not been able to find an old weather station in the southern counties that give temps as well as rainfall details, but Dublin Airport in County Dublin does. That should give a reasonable approximation of Irish weather for the time you are interested in.

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      2. Thanks you two, I think I will start with Sunny and then let it rain, it fits the story better.
        And mention it it somewhere, that I didn’t know the wetter in Ireland. lol, when in doubt it rains.

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  14. A thing that made me happy was a clip of VP Harris presiding over the Senate. She was all boss till she got to the business motion to swear in a replacement for the recently resigned Senator Kamala Harris of California. She gave a heartwarming laugh (not quite a giggle) and said “Yeah, that’s weird.”

    It’s nice having a Vice President who has a personality and a sense of humor.

    Liked by 3 people

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