Susan’s Salon: 2021 October 17/18


Please use the comment section to just chat about whatever you want. Susan’s Salon is posted early Monday (Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Whatever Standard Time, which is still Sunday in most other countries). It’s fine to be sad, worried, vaccinated, unvaccinated-yet, 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 😇

32 thoughts on “Susan’s Salon: 2021 October 17/18

  1. We had to take Wisp in to the vet Tuesday for her foot (wise move, it turned out to be an infected bite). She did not appreciate it and was very reluctant to come in the house for a few days. Seems to be getting over it. Snowdrop has disappeared for a couple of days but he’s done that before.
    Saw Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster which is awful. Saw The Faculty, which I like a lot, but it’s annoyingly sexist that every woman taken by the aliens immediately glams up as much as possible.
    Read This Island Earth by Raymond F. Jones and it’s way better than the movie.
    It was cold this morning, for the first time this fall.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Afternoon, all!

    My new-dog transport got canceled, sigh, so no new dog yet. I’m waiting to see whether this is just a temporary setback, or whether I’ll need to start searching again for a different dog. Also haven’t heard back from the kitten lady I had lined up. It gets very irritating when people tell you they are desperate to place animals, but then they drop the ball!

    In other news, I’ve been waiting all week for complicated financial papers that finally arrived Friday. I haven’t looked at them yet, because I am angsting over being sure to fill them out correctly. They are Very Good News for me, but anxiety inducing. Got to get that done today so they can go off in the mail first thing Monday.

    In watching, this was a busy watching week. For the first time since my parents’ deaths I went to see the first Met Opera Live in HD broadcast of the season on Wednesday (Boris Godunov, by Mussorgsky, in its original version). Very strange opera; I kept thinking nothing was happening and there wasn’t much of a plot, but then all of a sudden it was over — the time flew by. It’s based on Russian history, but in the extreme Cliff’s Notes version, so it doesn’t really hold together well as a drama. The role of Boris’s young son was played by a truly teeny tiny mezzo (Megan Marino) — she was so short that I was startled when I finally noticed that she actually wasn’t a young boy. Iiiiiiiiiitttty bitty lady, good voice.

    I hadn’t realized it, but the opera turned out to be very short — so I stayed at the theater and saw No Time to Die afterward. I thought it was excellent — Bond gets to be much more human than usual, Craig gets to actually show off some of his acting chops, and two out of three of the featured women are excellent. The agent in Cuba, played by Ana de Armas, was adorable — much like a young Gal Gadot, and just barely wearing a gorgeous dress while she kicked ass left and right. And if you don’t have a lump in your throat at the end, you have no heart. Yes, much of the plot was ridiculous — so what else is new? I’ll be happy to watch this one again.

    I had intended to go back through all the Craig bond movies before seeing the new one, but things didn’t turn out that way. But I did re-watch Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace, and Skyfall this week. I am once again laughing at an entire high-tech complex burning down with no sprinkler systems in Q of S, and I am once again angry at Skyfall for the stupid planning that got M killed.

    Meanwhile, in reading: the pandemic has infected current literature. I know, not a surprise, but the two books I was listening to for most of this week are the first literary exposure I’ve had to the infestation.

    I started with The Madness of Crowds by Louise Penny, the current (17th?) installment in the Three Pines/Inspector Gamache mystery series. I kept feeling like shouting “Too soon, too soon!”. It is set after the pandemic ends, and like most Penny books it deals with societal and philosophical repercussions of the pandemic as much as the murder itself. The murder doesn’t even happen until 1/3 of the way through the book. I like all her books, but this one felt too repetitive and the antagonist’s position too easily rebutted for the book to be really effective.

    Then King Bullet by Richard Kadrey, the 12th and last (sob!) installment in the Sandman Slim series. Kadrey’s pandemic is not our pandemic — it’s supernatural, it tends to make people go mad, and it’s pretty apocalyptic, though not quite on the scale of a zombie apocalypse. I enjoyed this one as much as the others in the series, and MacLeod Andrews’s narration is as good as ever — but since it was the last book it had to wrap up lots of threads, and since Stark (Sandman Slim) was always a tragic character you knew he couldn’t really go riding off into the sunset with his best girl at his side. Still, it wasn’t a truly depressing ending, and Kadrey carefully did leave room to come back to the series if he should ever get bored or desperate for more money in the future (like Kim Harrison and the Hollows books!). Overall pretty satisfying.

    And now I’m a couple of hours into Shards of Earthby Adrian Tchaikovsky. It’s got an impressive 4.3 rating at GR, and so far it’s going swimmingly. Looking forward to The Rest Of The Story.


  3. Feeling the need for light & fluffy stuff, so apart from re-reading the Dune series, I’ve been watching Taskmaster. The UK version is the original & superior, but there is also a New Zealand version which is very good.

    It’s October so time for another re-read: Zelazny’s “A Night in the Lonesome October”. I know some people have a tradition of reading one chapter a day in this month (each chapter is a day in October), but I have never managed it myself. Every time I start a re-read, I can’t resist turning the page and carrying on reading the next chapter.

    New Zealand had a momentous vaccination weekend. On Saturday was the first “Vaxathon” inspired by Telethon (televised fundraising events) events from the past. New Zealand vaccinated 130,000 people in a day, roughly 2.5% of its population, which provided a much needed boost in vaccination numbers (it’s currently in the mid-high 80% first dose in many parts of the country but the daily vaccination numbers have slowed). It also had a big effect on a sense of community, especially among the Māori & Pasifika whose vaccination rates are lower. Māori & Pasifika are also over-represented in the vulnerable categories & would be disproportionally affected by COVID.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. LOL agree. When I started re-reading the series, I wasn’t feeling the need for “light & fluffy”, but have continued to keep reading. I think it ‘s not as challenging a read because I have read it before, so know what’s coming. One of the central premises of “Grow up, humans” is as relevant as ever.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s finally fall here in Arkansas — highs in the low 70’s, lows in the mid 40s (22c to 7c). I’m enjoying having the porch doors open, as are the cats, who can come and go as they please.

    Reading The Great Circle, by Maggie Shipstead. Not genre, but pretty good.


  5. I’m still having trouble with the customer I had to fire. Some folks just won’t take “no” for an answer.

    On Saturday, I was at my aunt’s 90th birthday party. This was also one of the first times I’ve been inside a restaurant since March 2020. I don’t see my cousins a lot, because we’re all busy people living busy lives, so it was nice seeing them again.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. The permanent crown didn’t fit, so another 3 week wait for a new one. Sigh.

    However, I got a different dentist, a lady, who has smaller hands and wasn’t so hurty. Plus the temp crown she put on Wed. morning is still on here Sunday night, which is much better than the immediately-previous one which lasted about a day. If it falls off, I shall glue it back on daily if need be.

    EGG the same as always. The weather was a little chilly the other night, so he actually crawled under the covers and curled up behind my knees. Very nice for autumn.


    1. It’s cooled off today, so EGG is on my lap now.

      Crown still on for another 24 hours!

      I must get the name of this woman and only schedule when I can see her. She’s also younger, so probably more up to date.

      Fun fact: “TMJ” is the same en Espanol, which she was speaking to the hygienist.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. An up and down week at Chez Angharad. The mother of a close friend of mine passed away. Not unexpected – she was very frail and in the grips of dementia, but expected doesn’t also mean easy.
    However, I finally managed to finish a spinning project that’s been stuck on my wheel for a few months now (I injured my shoulder and found it too uncomfortable to sit at the wheel).
    Also, our oven broke (actually on the same day I nearly poked Mr angharad’s eye out), and it doesn’t look like we are going to get a new one for a while. When we ordered a replacement we were told there are only 11 in the country (and I’m guessing none of those are in this state).
    And on the upside, we’ve had a few decent Spring days and it is finally warm enough for my tomatoes to get some tomatoes on them


    1. When our oven died, we took it out and put a toaster oven in the hole. It should tide you over for a while as long as you’re not doing whole turkeys. If it’s only you and Mr. a, definitely. They’re big enough to fit casserole dishes, bread loaf pans, small-to-medium pizzas, cake/pie pans. You have to rotate things more often (I did a pumpkin pie and rotated it 3 times; casseroles once), but they’re quite good nowadays for any main dish of 4 servings or fewer. And they heat the kitchen up much less, which will be useful with your summer coming on.


      1. We do have a toaster oven, which helps a little. Sadly we also have three teenagers who eat like a swarm of locusts, so it doesn’t help as much as it could.

        But we found out today that the oven is coming on Friday, which is a lot sooner than I thought it might.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. We were shocked this week when our little foster kid (age 11) abruptly went from all As and Bs to failing three classes. He insisted that the assignments listed as failed or “missing” were things he could submit (or resubmit) later, but we e-mailed his teachers anyway.

    We learned that for certain writing assignments, there is a large submission window (two weeks in this case), and the kid can look at the feedback and resubmit an unlimited number of times. Most kids haven’t submitted the first draft yet, so they all showed 50%. (Apparently the school never gives grades under 50%.) He spent an hour on it on Sunday night and made his first submissions in all affected classes.

    Separately, we did a “vacation experiment” where we went to Tacoma (one hour away) for a day trip. This was eight hours, mostly on our feet, exploring the zoo and aquarium, walking around the downtown, and checking out the glass museum. We’d had concerns that our little guy might get fatigued too easily to do the sort of vacations we usually do, but he was a trooper and had a good time right up to the end. Next experiment will be an overnight trip, probably to Spokane (5 hours away).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Greg, this has been the worst year of my life, hands down, but I have to thank you for these periodic updates and sweet stories about your little guy having a family that is returning him to the life of just being a kid, doing kid things, being supported and challenged, and feeling safe and secure. I hope you are having as much fun with this new role as parent as I suspect you are.

      Liked by 3 people

  9. Here in Sweden, we are all following the last episode of the real docudrama that is the Alt Right online magazine Bulletin that started last Christmas.

    The original ambition was that it would be the Swedish alternative to NYT(!) and it hired all the Ben Shapiro-wannabees from all other papers, claiming it would be the Avengers team. Within two months, the editor had resigned, the owners were in open battle with the journalists, recordings of their meetings – mostly consisting of inarticulate screaming – sent out to the press. From that it went downhill.

    They forgot to get legal protection for the journalists, they appointed a new editor that the owners openly mocked at Facebook, the new editor managed to get the legal protection, but then resigned, taking it with them.

    Then they hired a new editor, a woke liberal from NYT who knew no Swedish and couldn’t read the articles. He still takes 20 000 dollar/month for communicating with the journalists by google translate, telling them to hire more Somalis to get more diverse voices.

    A new CEO has been hired, with no experience from papers. He started of with a bang by bringing in a triple murderer to the board meetings and was recorded claiming the murderer was there in judicial capacity to perform research on the disloyal journalists. This was later clarified in a newspaper interview that the murderer of course wasn’t there to perform research on the journalists, instead being invited to write possible opinion pieces, but that he also might perform research on the journalists.

    I don’t know how many careers this magazine has managed to smash ow how much money they have burned yet, but it is impressive. While the left at the start hoped for a quick bankruptcy, they are now the biggest supporters of the magazine, wanting to what new weirdness will appear.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I thought NYT was fake news? Why would anyone make a Swedish alternative to that? Much better to make a Swedish alternative to a real news organization, like Breitbart.

      Liked by 3 people

  10. “Then they hired a new editor, a woke liberal from NYT who knew no Swedish and couldn’t read the articles. He still takes 20 000 dollar/month for communicating with the journalists by google translate, telling them to hire more Somalis to get more diverse voices.”

    Can I have this job for that salary? I even promise to learn Swedish. Or do you have to work for the New York Times first?

    Liked by 2 people

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