Link Love

If you’ve been hearing about Trump “saving” jobs in Indiana, first off, they’re paying the company $7000oo/year for those “saved” jobs (and many of the jobs are still going to Mexico) and SECOND, and more importantly Donald Trump owns shares in the company (according to the Indiana Star).  Check the Activism tab for how to call the house financial oversight committee (202 225 5074), your congressperson to support the presidential accountability act, and email the GAO ( congrel@gao.gov ) to audit Trump’s finances.  This is insane!   (Even Sarah Palin says so.)

More voter restriction in North Carolina

This is true

Wandsci on politics

Wake-up Call

Turns out being president is a bigger job than Trump thought.

This parody of merriam webster’s word of the year is actually not quite as horrible as the word that’s actually on track to be word of the year.

“By rules of their philosophy, you are only folks they take seriously. Stop telling the rest of us how to change their minds. You go do it.”

Some garbage a guy used to believe about equality.

27 women waiting patiently for men to stop talking in 2016.

BCN fixes its lighting

This opens up the question:  should you trust the Washington Post about what news outlets you should be reading?

Go back to fairyland

Uber is unprofitable and will increase prices after it has become a monopoly.

#2 wants this shirt

Disclaimer:  I have never watched the Gilmore Girls

Sleep restriction is bad

Zika in TX

Quicksort

Advent calendar!

doubting your charitable giving

This mcmansion hell is especially…special.

 

 

Ask the grumpies: Recommendations for audiobooks?

Chelsea asks:

Also, I’d love to hear people’s favorite audiobooks. Right now I’m 1/2 way through the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, which is fantastic, but in a mere 200-ish more hours, I’ll be done. What should I listen to next?

To Say Nothing of the Dog has a fantastic audible and is a fantastic story.  First top choice.

Redshirts was absolutely fantabulous.  Wil Wheaton is the perfect voice narrator for the book, and it’s funny until the codas and then you cry a lot.  But a good kind of crying.

We recently did Agent to the Stars on a roadtrip and it was a lot of fun.

Most Scalzi books have good audible, including his latest short piece, The Dispatcher.  We did end up not finishing Little Fuzzy though because it was kind of boring.

My DH likes both the Iron Druid and the Harry Dresden series on audible.  I’ve listened to the first two Iron Druids and the voice acting is pretty good, but I couldn’t handle any more of the series after [spoiler redacted].

Grumpy listeners, what do you recommend?

RBOC

  • DH and the kids have been making up fake tag-lines to Darkwing duck.  “I am the sludge at the bottom of your hot chocolate.” “I’m the one who is stuck to your hair when you can’t comb it”
  • All this calling I’ve been doing of my representatives has made me a lot less phone shy.  I had no problem calling my mom’s local bookstore to get her a gift certificate there (they don’t have online ordering).
  • The appropriate response at work when someone way down the hall from you and on the other side politely asks you to turn down your music is, “Sorry” and to turn it down.  It isn’t, “Seriously?” and “Where is your office?” and then to just turn it down a tiny bit so that the person still has to close hir door AND put on headphones to not hear your crappy ass music.  (Although before the combination wasn’t working.)  Nobody wants to hear your music!  This is why God made headphones.  Or you could close your own fricking door.
  • dear middle school, please stop with the random spirit days that happen about once every one and a half weeks that require dc1 to dress in different types of clothing (specific sports jerseys or hats, random colors, etc.) that zie often doesn’t have and that we are not going to remember even if zie did have them.  It was hard enough remembering spirit Fridays for things most kids have (like the school shirt, or a funny hair style) last year.  This random day element is just too much.  We have jobs.  Dc1 has homework.  Why are you doing this and why are you attaching it to a group prize so that kids who don’t or can’t participate are shamed?
  • I do not like mosquitoes.
  • dc1’s orchestra class requires hir to download an app and record a practice session.  They also required the purchase of a specific $20 t-shirt for performances.  I have to wonder if they have anything for kids who don’t have a tablet or smartphone at home or who can’t afford a $20 shirt.  And do those kids have to go up to the teachers and admit the lack of resources or does the school take kids who qualify for reduced price lunch aside?  For science class they asked for donations for students who couldn’t afford an $8 piece of equipment but nothing like that in orchestra where the demands are more expensive.  Last year in paradise things were provided to all students from the school, but a lot was paid for with $500 donations requested at the beginning of the year (half for extracurriculars, half for everything else).  No large donation requested here.
  • speaking of donations, there are so many junky school fundraisers here.  I so much prefer just cutting a check.
  • Dc2 goes to a for profit daycare but they want to expand so they’re asking us to do fundraising (they’ve also started asking us to bring in items for projects instead of providing them and they are now enforcing late fees).  I’m not sure how I feel about this.  If it were nonprofit I would happily donate, but with a for-profit I’m not so sure.
  • I bought Wonderwoman stamps.  They make me happy.  Wonder Woman!  Wonder Woman!

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Favorite books made from webcomics

If I really love a webcomic’s art and/or story, I will happily buy a book of it so that I don’t have to keep clicking and scrolling and clicking and scrolling and looking at the computer for hours on end.  These ones are worth it:

Digger: The Complete Omnibus Edition by Ursula Vernon

Gunnerkrigg Court (link goes to volume 1 but there are multiple ones out now!  #2 notes that the books themselves are beautiful, much higher quality than other webcomic books)

Strong Female Protagonist (can’t wait for book 2!)

Princeless

Breaking Cat News: Cats Reporting on the News that Matters to Cats — we will read all of these the author puts out!!!

Was Wayward a webcomic?  Anyway, that.

Girl Genius

Chickweed books (#2 thinks this one is syndicated– she used to read it in an actual newspaper)

We have more posts coming up about other books, including graphic novels and other visual media, but most of them aren’t made from webcomics.  Stay tuned!

Are we missing anything awesome here?

December Mortgage Update and Trouble in Monetary Paradise

Note:  this post was written before the election results came out.  Now there’s a lot more uncertainty than just DH’s job.

This month (November)
Balance:$3,913.33
Years left: 0.333333333
P =$1,194.19, I =$20.22, Escrow =$812.79

This month (December)
Balance:$2,714.41
Years left: 0.25
P =$1,198.91, I =$15.49, Escrow =$812.79

Whenever I start getting used to not worrying about money at all (seriously, I just paid $1.95 processing fee for DC1 to have hot school lunches for a month without trying to optimize not having to pay the processing fee again vs worrying about DC1 deciding zie wants to go back to cold lunch… not to mention not even thinking about the costs of paying for hot lunch!), something happens to add a bit of uncertainty to the mix.

For example, we get an opportunity for unpaid leave or DH decides he hates his job or etc.   So I stop not worrying and start paying attention again.

This time DH’s company has asked him (and everybody else) to take a 10% paycut for the next two months.  The boss and lead programmer are taking larger cuts.

The reason is a cash-flow problem with an underlying cause coming from employee turnover several years ago resulting in too many little starter grants and not enough longer-term big grants right now.  Once this cash-flow problem is resolved, they’ll be ok until April.  Which isn’t exactly a long time either.

We don’t need DH’s salary on top of mine for our regular expenses, but we do in order to not care about money at all.  To eat out whenever, to max out retirement, to fly to see DH’s family over Christmas instead of spending two days driving (something we’ve already committed to), to just donate money where it’s needed, and so on.

So, once again, we’re back to being glad we’ve saved a lot and not increased our expenses to match our income.  I’m not sure how this warning shock will change our spending going forward.  It seems like the 30K emergency fund in cash is still what we will want to have, but I probably ought to start aiming for that now instead of in March when the mortgage is finished.  [Update:  see previous post about how we’re just going to stockpile cash until the US government is sane again.  No 30K limit.]

Have you faced income uncertainty?  How do you deal with it?

More link love

ICYMI, here’s our activism page.  You can reach it up top right corner.  We will update it.

How to call your reps when you have social anxiety

kakistocracy

Facebook Nazis

Women strike on Dec 12th.

The number is much higher now since #2 sent this post

actiongroups

Penzy’s continues awesome

SFF reads for the stages of grief

More money leads to less Alzheimer’s.

Self-care when everything is awful

Remembering SEK

20 children’s books that celebrate diversity and social justice

matching donations to we need diverse books

Misermom on volunteering at a soup kitchen

Donna Freedman on the scent of home

If Citibank sent you a big envelope talking about binding arbitration, then you will want to opt out.

A new library comic

Breaking [cat] news

#2 has been chortling over xkcd mouseovers.

these animals are cozy

 

 

 

 

 

Ask the Grumpies: What to do for people who have lost a loved one?

First Gen American asks:

 What can you do for people who have lost a loved one after the funeral.

Our Midwestern automatic answer is: Freezable casseroles, a card, and possibly flowers. Definitely the first two.  Casserole in disposable containers they don’t have to give back to you.

Offer to walk the dog, babysit the children, hire a housecleaner.  Let the grieving person pet your cat.

If you’re close, offer to send the form letters to the creditors that say “this person died, please write off the account”.  Offer to clean the house.  Buy them the really nice kind of Kleenex that is soft.

Send Calming Manatees.

Rented Life adds:

If local, be sure to check on them, take them out for coffee after all has settled. People will flock around shortly after but a month or more out, people are back to being busy with their own lives.