Susan’s Salon: 15/16 May 2022

Susan’s Salon: 15/16 May 2022

You can use the comment section to chat about whatever you want. Susan’s Salon is posted early on Monday (Australian Eastern Standard Time, which is still Sunday in most places).

Reply or post about anything 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! It’s fine to be sad, worried, vaccinated, unvaccinated-yet, worried about wars, angry or maybe even happy (or all of those things at once).

41 responses to “Susan’s Salon: 15/16 May 2022”

  1. TYG threw a party Friday at an upscale restaurant to celebrate getting a new job. I wore a suit. Food was excellent, locale was cool, the people were fun. Though I went home before the cigar smoking started.
    This kicked off a very lazy weekend with much movie watching.
    And Wisp slept indoors most nights this week, which pleased me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I want to talk about fake countries in fiction. Realm’s new “spy-fi with parallel universes” podcast Overleaper has enemy nation called Soviska and characters are using the word as if I already know what the heck it is while presenting almost no context about country’s location or size or reasons for conflict with USA. After two episodes my best guess is that it was actually Russia but they Ctrl+F’d it late in the game.

    I have long history of being irritated by fake countries (especially Eastern European or Slavic ones) in fiction that takes places in a world close to real one. I understand their purpose to not piss off actual country. But that also leads to shallowness and fakeness where you can just make some shit up about Sokovia or Bialya that has nothing to do with regions they’re ostensibly located in.

    I’m also just interested in peoples’ simple first reactions to meeting a new one these.

    Liked by 2 people

      • There’s lots of fake Central/South American countries in comics too, and any number of random islands.

        I think avoiding international incidents over video games and comics is a good idea.

        (Dr. Victor von Doom could not be reached for comment.)

        Liked by 1 person

        • It goes back way before 20th century genre fiction. The term “Ruritanian” as a generic descriptor for that kind of thing dates back to The Prisoner of Zenda, and I wouldn’t say the point was to “not piss off actual country” as Oleg said, so much as to allow things to happen in the the plot or the backstory that wouldn’t make readers go “wait, the actual prince of ____ at the time this was written didn’t have a dead brother!”

          Liked by 3 people

            • Obviously, Watson did the same thing to keep from having a diplomatic incident with whatever Central European country it actually happened to. Particularly when the King of “Bohemia” would probably have been one of Queen Victoria’s cousins. It just wouldn’t be proper.


              • That’s the prevailing Holmesian theory.
                There’s a great quote about a 1916 film in which a pacifist discourages America from entering WW I after which the Evil Foreign Power manipulating him storms into Washington. One reviewer observed that even though the foreign nation’s army isn’t identified in the film “They’re definitely not Portuguese!”

                Liked by 1 person

          • I wholeheartedly recommend History Of The Marvel Universe to everybody cause of Javier Rodriguez’s artwork, it’s very much loan-worthy for that, man’s insanely powerful. History parts are all over the place, from Siancong on one hand to first ever officially depicted kiss between Mystique and Destiny on another.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Started a new job today. After twenty odd years as a research technician on fixed-term contracts I am now in a permanent fulltime role. It brings some much needed stability after the uncertainty but I also feel sad to be leaving the research side of things which I have enjoyed doing for so long.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. For the past week, Eric and our little foster kid (age 12) have been fighting COVID. We’re all vaccinated, and Eric and I are boosted, but, of course, it’s not magic. Eric was only mildly sick, with one bad day, but our little guy has had a rough time of it. Nothing life-threatening, but coughing about once a minute, sneezing, and a sore throat that just makes him miserable, day after day. Even with all the suggestions from the doctor, he’s still pretty unhappy, although his fever finally dropped yesterday and today.

    Meanwhile, I have no symptoms whatsoever. Stuck indoors with two COVID factories coughing and sneezing for a solid week, I’m still not positive for COVID–much less sick. I haven’t even done anything to try to avoid it. That’s mostly because they were both sick for a couple of days before they tested positive, so I figured I must already have it too. But apparently not. In a house that has to be full of virus, I seem to be meeting it and killing it on a minute-by-minute basis.

    Hard to tell what made the difference–if it’s not just luck. I’m the only one who got the Moderna vaccine (for all three shots). I’m the last one to get a shot (but it was over six months ago). I’m the only one who does serious exercise (I swim 4 miles a week). None of that really seems sufficient, but, whatever the explanation, I’ll take it.

    Eric says he feels “almost 100%” today, and instead of lying on the couch listlessly watching YouTube, our little guy is energetically playing a video game online with a school friend of his who’s also sick with COVID. If he’s symptom-free in the morning, he can go back to school tomorrow. Here’s hoping.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Aww, tell the little guy I know those feels. (Or whatever the kids today say) When I had it between Xmas and New Year’s, it was the worst sore throat I’ve ever had, even taking into account a couple really bad flu cases and a lot of strep throat. I was using Chloraseptic like there was no tomorrow. Glad he’s well enough to game with his friend too.

      Some of the reactions to Covid seem to be determined by genetics, so that might be why you’re not sick.

      Mr. LT and I got our 4th shots last month when Kaiser threw it open to everyone over 50 who hadn’t had one in 4 months. The boosters also seem to clear out the last of the crud, so bonus there. I’d had 3 Pfizers and went for Moderna just to train my system differently. There’s no data either way, but what the heck.


      • One really good sign is that he was so wrapped up in his game that he missed his last dose of sudafed and cough syrup. Previously, he’d be asking “Is it time yet” about two hours before time.

        He may not really be ready for school tomorrow, but it’s at least possible.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Best wishes. I can identify on the “why am I so lucky” thing: my partner got it a week ago, not a super terrible case but still very uncomfortable and fatigued and continuing to test positive even though the symptoms are fading, and one of the cats is sneezing a lot so may have gotten it too, but I’m still scott free, despite this being such a small place that isolation is not really possible.


  5. Same old same old here. EGG continues his complete lack of consistency in treat-catching ability. One night he’ll be near-perfect, the next he’ll be unable to catch anything and have trouble finding them on the floor.

    He had big excitement yesterday afternoon when a couple of birds got VERY close to the house and were all hoppity and flappy where he could see them. He rarely does the chattering teeth motion, usually with with no sound, but it was so intense he actually was audible.

    A letter came from the city telling us it was time to renew our late kitty’s license. It was sad. Had to log on and tick the “pet deceased” box. I still miss her. But then I also miss our Best Cat Ever who’s been gone longer than he lived; accidentally called EGG by his name yesterday. EGG doesn’t care what you call him, as long as it’s not late for dinner.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Currently taking a quiet moment on the loans desk to work on my preferences for the Australian Federal election due next Saturday.
    I, of course, have a serious – possibly fatal – allergy to following the how-to-vote cards that the parties hand out, and the senate ballot paper always takes longer than the house of reps paper.
    But it suddenly strikes me that this process is very much trying to work out Hugo votes – just with a different type of subject material and level of fiction involved.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nowhere near as entertaining, though.

      I’m about to tackle that for our primary election, but it isn’t due till June 7. So I still have time to wade through the stack of papers.


  7. Forgot to mention my Learned League week. 12 out of 12 on the Librarians quiz (about 400th out of 1600). In the Mythology in Popular Culture mini-league I came in with 10 wins, 1 tie, one of my wins 6/6 questions. That’s way above my usual average.


    • Nice! I guess you made the championship then? I really wish that ML championships would have the tools that the one-day specials have, where you can see how players on your tracked list did.

      I was also 10 wins in that ML, but one loss rather than a tie. A bunch of 6/6’s though; for the first 9 days it seemed like I knew nearly everything, and then on the last two either I got cocky or the questions got harder. And only 6/12 on the championship, which unsurprisingly put me in the middle of the pack. (I had read World of Wonders but a long long time ago, and couldn’t pull “Isengrim”.)


  8. Currently in the Land of my Fathers (or more accurately, of my grandmother) with two American guests. Done a cathedral, a castle and a stately home & today we’re off to Prisoner-land (I’ve already told our friends to watch out for any large opaque beach balls but they didn’t get the reference!).
    Watched the Green Knight about which the consensus was ‘beautiful but baffling’ (I’m not sure why they made Morgan Le Fey his mum, for ex.).
    And I had Bara Brith (fruitcake) ice cream for the first time … which was wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We apparently skipped over April and May completely and went directly from March to June. My office has been so hot that I had to turn on the AC.

    I read T. Wombat Kingfisher’s latest, which I enjoyed. I started another of Colin Cotterill’s Siri Paiboun mysteries. Siri is the aged national coroner of communist Laos who is also the reincarnation of a Hmong shaman named Yeh Ming. Cotterill doesn’t plot terribly well and I don’t entirely buy the Yeh Ming subplot, but he gets by on humor and the charms of his characters and I’ve enjoyed this series so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Just got back from the grocery store.

    Less than half the people in masks, and most of those in the thin disposable blue ones. None of the employees were masked.

    You will, I am sure, be shocked to hear that the rednecks were all unmasked, and the Asians were all masked.

    I somehow managed to survive walking around the store and pushing the cart with a KN95 on. I didn’t take it off till after I loaded the bags and was buckled in to drive. Also, I did not fear the fact that it’s warm, dry, the wind is blowing, and everything’s blooming. Take THAT, pollen!


  11. The Redhead and I took the Littlest Starship Captain to an outdoor drive-through “dinosaur” exhibit that set up at the local county fairgrounds. It was animatronic silliness, but the Captain loved every second of it. It didn’t hurt that she got to sit in the front seat of the car with the window open for the ride.

    The Captain also has discovered Thundercats and now walks around the house saying “Thundercats, Hooooo!” a lot.

    I started designing a new RPG setting for use in a future campaign. It is a definite departure from the usual settings I have made in the past, so we will see how that goes.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. A friend went to a writers conference in Miami a few weeks back. She write the Haunted Ballads series. It’s quite excellent.

    There were palm seedlings, they are two Hershey’s peanut butter cups in size, laying everywhere so she collected some and brought them home to the Midwest. She posted three to me this week along with a very large chocolate brownie. I’ve now potted them in sand and just a bit of organic material as they don’t want a rich organic environment.

    She says eventually the trees will be four to six feet tall. Let’s hope that’s quite awhile off!

    I also bought a coffee plant this week…


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