Another late link love

Modern lynching involves burning people in cars.  Another activist murdered this year.

Arrested for exercising free speech against racism.

I am totally with Hillary Clinton and was just yesterday reminded of this double bind.  Several times, both with a bullying colleague and a cluelessly entitled student.  But what could she do?

Matt Lauer has a history of being a sexist turd.  Allowing him that stage is harmful.

Nobody ever tells Trump to smile.

Donald Trump still hasn’t released his tax returns.

After bribing Attorney General Pam Bondi to drop the lawsuit against Trump University, Trump held an additional fundraiser for her and charged way less for his properties than he’s charging people who donate to his campaign.  That’s right, Trump is making money off his campaign from people donating.

Shut down the Trump Organization NOW.  It’s not like anybody will die of aids or bad water if you do.

WaPo says the email story is out of control, and it is right.  Also, this news story, WOW.

How the media undermine American democracy.

I only got 50% on the quiz in the middle of this article.  It was really hard!

Colin Kaepernick is a hero.

Guac the vote.

Bardiac discusses trigger warnings, and more than that, who they affect and questions why so many of them affect women– why is there so much violence against women everywhere?

This person is amazing!

What to do after paying off your mortgage.

Why does #2 get cookies and why doesn’t she share with me?

grape beard

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Land of the answered googled questions

Q:  romance novel.with.character having.big.boobs

A:  Bet me.

Q:  how do raises work

A:  #1 wouldn’t know.  Ask #2.

Q:  Can you have vertical blinds and horizontal in the same room

A:  You have many choices in life.

Q:  matter which scholastic flyer order from

A:  I hope not!

Q:  what to do with a starting bonus

A:  Do you have an emergency fund?  Did you max out your IRA contributions?  Have you paid off high-interest debt?  Are you maxing out your work retirement savings?  Are you on track or ahead with your other savings goals?  If yes, give some to charity and blow the rest on crack.  (Not the bad kind of crack– get really good books or something.)

Q:  how much time off work do american professors get?

A:  all the time (outside of class and meetings) and none of the time

Q:  how can a teacher help a student who complain of falling test

A:  Ask your teacher and ze will tell you what zhe recommends.

Q:  what to do with 25k

A:  paypal to grumpyrumblings at gmail dot com (Or see above with the starting bonus– that’s a better idea, really.)

Q:  if majority of mortgage is paid can you still foreclose

A:  Probably yes, but this may vary by state.  Check with your state’s mortgage lending laws or consult an attorney.

Q:  what page us the sex scene in before i fall

A:  Don’t know the answer to this one, but it sounds kinda kinky

What are we reading

do not recommend sweetest scoundrel by Elizabeth Hoyt.  What could be a fun story is ruined by graphic details of sexual abuse when the heroine was a child.  Very 1980s and destroys the fun.  Also lazy on the part of the author. :(

Also do not recommend Only Beloved, Mary Balogh’s odd end to the otherwise cozy Survivor’s series.  Really she should have just made it a novella or have it run through the rest of the series with the hero and heroine as secondary characters.  Then she could have cut down the boring repetition of the cozy middle aged folks falling in love and removed the stupid sordid back story (which she telegraphed early on) and the stupidity of the heroine’s life being put unnecessarily in danger by the icky villain.  The part that fits with the rest of the series drags.  The “excitement” part doesn’t fit with the rest of the series given its ickiness.  At least Balogh seems to have given up rape in the past decade.

how the duke was won by Lenora bell was fun ($1.99 on kindle!).  Recommended only if you’re good at suspending disbelief and don’t get caught up on historical accuracy.  It is a bit of The Bachelor Regency Edition.  Her voice is similar to Sarah MacLean’s.

one night in London by Caroline linden dragged and was just kind of boring.  A good editor would have cut it down by at least a third.

christmas revels four regency novellas by Kate Parker, Louisa Cornell, Anna Allen, and Hannah Meredith was fun.

Cold Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas was great until the last couple/few chapters.  She just did not stick the ending.  The book would have been a lot better if she hadn’t decided to do the Elizabeth Hoyt thing and drag out the secondary story into the second book.  Or maybe she could have handled that better without putting unnecessary drama in.  Ugh.  C’mon, stick the landing.   Still, I guess I’ll be reading the second in the series even if I no longer plan to buy the first.  At least our red state library seems pretty stocked with romances even if it has pretty much nothing else in adult fiction so I’ll still be able to try before I buy even though I won’t get off the wait list in time in Paradise.

The first Ribbon Ridge book by Darcy Burke, also not worth it.  This is a modern romance (free on kindle).  Without spoilering too much, the hero has issues and really needs a therapist before he can be in a relationship and it’s bizarre that the heroine doesn’t get creeped out about him acting like a creep most of the times they meet (really only the first meeting is him not acting creepy).

Read the first three Shelly Adina books.  The first one is free for kindle, but it’s really like the first part of the second book, and has some boring bits to skip through plus you have to suspend a lot of disbelief.  The second book is excellent and well worth having read the first.  The third book is just not very good (thankfully it was a library book).  I’m wondering if the fourth book is as good as the second or if it’s boring with bad stuff happening like the third…

Ugh.  Got any recommendations for books that are light and don’t have super creepy heroes?  Also please no rape, incest, child molestation, etc.  *SIGH*

Ima reread To Say Nothing of the Dog now.

Jury duty and videos (kitten and otherwise)

In which #1 tries to stave off boredom in the crowded jury assembly room by bothering #2.

#1: welp, I’m sitting in a grim jury assembly room next to a grimmer basement cafeteria. What mischief shall erupt?  Signs say, “Do not stand in this corner. Take a seat.”

I mean…. it’s better than being at work?

well crap, my leg is asleep from these chairs. And no standing in the corner. I guess I can stand up in the cafeteria next door, though.  My mom was on a Grand Jury for a month of drug dealers and child molestation cases. She said it was gross.

who knows, maybe I’ll get called!

The chronicle fora are talking about pasta. Oh man. Do want! (Not hopeful about the options in the cafeteria here…. although it does say today’s special is spaghetti…. sigh)

Marijuana Improves Night Vision of Tadpoles, Study Suggests

I want this now: Tonight’s pasta: tomatoes from the farmers’ market, feta, garlic, parsley, olive oil, and a dash of white wine. Simple and perfectly late summer, with an ear of corn also from the farmers’ market on the side.

ooh this looks good too: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/browned-onion-kugels-231507

also the video they had us watch about being jurors was a masterpiece of … something.

“Deliberation was my favorite part!” –former juror

#2 says:  I liked being on the traffic jury.  There was video and everything of him not stopping at a stop sign.  His argument was that he’d stopped Before the video part– which was like a full car length before the stop sign– which didn’t count as stopping.  So that was super easy… very unlike all the other jury deliberation processes I’ve been on.  It took less time than the first round of jury selection because it was so unimportant.

#1:  My partner and I have a bet about which part of my life would get me thrown out first.  I have a PhD, I want to smash the patriarchy, and the criminal justice system is racist. Go to town.

Also, I was on jury duty the same day as Taylor Swift!!!  (Not in the same state though.)

argle I’m back from lunch and we have to watch the video again!

Ours is a state of beauty…. harmony… but not always. Sometimes we have conflicts. Who can decide fairly? who can make decisions without any personal bias? Many times, we don’t trust any single individual to decide the case.  There are times when no one person should have so much power.  “I feel our system is a bit better than other countries. You get to go to trial” –former Juror.

#2: But Ms. Video Person!  Jury selection is still really racist.  Lawyers can remove a person for any reason.

Democracy is made real every day by thousands of juries across the country

#2: Prosecutors know that black jurors are more likely to find black defendants innocent, so they come up with bogus reasons to remove them, and those bogus reasons have to be accepted.

Even though it means that large swaths of our country are not actually represented fairly.  Leading to a racist justice system.  Prosecutors, just trying to win their cases, will inject racism into the proceedings.  The system is set up so that there is no alternative but racism.

#1:  The attorneys will make opening statements. (fun fact: these are not evidence)  This video is 2/3 done I think….

You’ll weigh what is important, and what is the truth. You will use your everyday common sense.  [p.s. closing statements are not evidence either. They are points of view.] These POVs may oppose each other! Only the jury can decide.

“Trying to come to some sort of agreement with 12 perfect strangers was my favorite part of the whole thing.”  –former Juror.  You may organize yourselves as seems best. It will be your duty to give your opinion, and also, to listen to other. Everyone counts. ..  The decision of the jury has been made! Justice has been served. [I didn’t paraphrase this part, I swear]  “I came out of this process more confident in the system!”

sigh.

quick, time to look at kittens!  http://livestream.com/tinykittens/felicity  Here comes mommy. Baff-time!  Mommy does baff; kitten tries to baff mommy.  Mutual baff.

Here’s #2’s experience on jury duty.

#1:  sigh.  KITTENS.  baby will wrestle mama! no bafftime anymore! oops more bafftime.  Are you seeing how cute this is!  it’s even cuter when they all chirrup at each other.

Now little boy chews his own hand, little girl has fallen asleep.  They have gotten so big! uh oh, brother wants to wrestle sister.  Sister says, BOP on your face!  Sister and brother say, wrassle wrassle. Mama says, I baff my foot.  Mama says, I FEEL LIKE SOMEONE IS WATCHING ME.  Sister has murdered a feather; brother is involved with red fishy toy.

#2:  maybe you could blog about this?

What’s your favorite video about actual justice in the justice system?

 

September Mortgage Update: And what did we do with the leftover money?

Last month (August)
Balance:$7,481.78
Years left: 0.5833333333333333
P =$1,180.12, I =$34.29, Escrow =$812.79

This month (September)
Balance:$6,296.99
Years left: 0.5
P =$1,184.79, I =$29.62, Escrow =$812.79

Saved from prepayment ($0)

I have to admit, I was pretty tempted to pay off the mortgage this month just so I could put off some of the decision of what to do with our unspent leftover money from paradise.  That would only save $52.43 and only account for $6,296.99 and, to be honest, I’m not yet ready to give up this monthly post.  Plus I kind of like the idea of being done with the mortgage on my birthday.  Irrational!

Here’s what I did:

  1. I did have some pre-payment I could do, specifically to the US government.  I sent them the remainder of our estimated taxes plus some extra since I got some untaxed honoraria and writing fees.  $4,305.
  2. Hid traces of my stupidity from last summer when I scraped my car against the side of our garage TWICE right before leaving for paradise.  New bumper, front lamp, and fender:  $1,265.  (Surprisingly, this is still less than the car is worth!)
  3. Bought a second (custom-made Amish wood) filing cabinet:  $1,479.
  4. Tree removal and stump grinding (one of our remaining two ornamental pears fell over):  $563.
  5. Donors Choose.  I know I said I wasn’t going to do charity with this money, and I probably shouldn’t even count this since it’s only $200, but NPR had this story about a school in Louisiana losing its entire library and… (we also sent $100 to DH’s sister as a housewarming gift since they just bought, but I’m not counting that):  $200.
  6. Home laser removal thing:  $450
  7.  Vanguard Admiral Shares VTSAX:  Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund.  Because it has the lowest expense ratio and it seems pretty diversified and I have plenty enough bonds in our retirement accounts and emerging markets etc. are just so expensive.  Please don’t let Trump be elected president so I won’t regret not having put more money in international funds.  (Not that international funds will necessarily be doing well either!  Not even US Treasury bonds!):  $30K.

That leaves about 2K extra over and above what I want as an emergency fund, but I’m not getting paid for another month, and the stock market could be in freefall, and etc., so I think I’ll be happy to have the emergency fund stay a little extra padded this month.  I think what I will want to do is wait until we get 10K extra in savings and then put money into more admiral funds.  Maybe I’ll be more adventurous with diversification with additional 1oK lumps.

Fingers crossed, other than the cosmetic damage, my car seems to be in pretty good shape.  Hopefully I can put off car-buying for another few years.

If we didn’t have this extra cash, we definitely wouldn’t have spent more than a thousand dollars on cosmetic damage on my car, and instead of getting a second filing cabinet, we would have either culled, scanned, and shredded or we would have stuck some bankers boxes in the attic.  I feel a little bit guilty about the filing cabinet but it is so beautiful.  Oddly I didn’t feel guilty about the first cabinet or the similarly priced Amish recliner that I sat in while pregnant with DC1 and had to get, but maybe it’s because we had to save up several months and make sacrifices for both of those items.  In this case we already had the money.

We also started maxing out DH’s retirement, but it turned out we’d actually already been contributing more than I had thought, so that’s only 5K more over the course of the year.

We decided not to do a backdoor IRA because we’d like access to the money should we need it short-term without hassle.  (Also we want to avoid the hassle of putting it in there.)

We opted no on the kitchen renovation for now mainly because we just don’t have the time.  Partly because DH’s company only has enough money to get through February and cash in hand (or in the stock market) is better than a mostly done kitchen renovation that has gone over budget and taken all our time.  DH has gotten 3 head-hunter emails over the past month so it’s hopeful that he’d be able to find work should his current company go under, but we might not end up staying here and the market for houses in our neighborhood is so hot we could probably get away with not redoing the kitchen.

DH was pushing for cosmetic updates on the bathroom, but I wasn’t excited about them, so we decided not to do that.

DH went all over our neighborhood to see if anybody xeriscapes and only people with tiny lawns, big shady trees, and in hidden areas that aren’t immediately visible from the main roads seem to.  Plus we can’t think of anything that wouldn’t have to be sprayed to prevent bermuda grass (other than, of course, our thirsty St. Augustine).  So we’ve tabled that.

Not only do people not have solar panels in town, but the BBB has some really nasty reviews about the solar panel provider.  Plus our roof is neither new nor in need of immediate replacement, so…

And we’re not redoing the floors because we’re lazy.

So… yeah, laziness.  (I just spent 5 min trying to find our post where we talk about how being lazy can lead to saving money, but I gave up…)

Sunday link love

This week was pretty hectic, so link love is late.  If we don’t update regularly through the month of September, it’s because we’re busy.

Why is media mostly ignoring Trump Foundation Pay for Play story.  How the media is turning the Clinton Foundation’s “optics” or “potential” for wrong-doing, even though they *did nothing wrong* and have saved thousands and thousands of lives into another “scandal

Oh man, NYTimes, wtf.

I love propane jane so much

This week in F the police.  SRSLY, Santa Clara?

Laws restricting abortion hurt women literally

Patriarchy smash!

Important experiment

Ailes attempts to smear reporter

ICYMI, and you might have since I read a CNN article where they cover the Maine governor’s expletive response towards being called racist but didn’t mention why he was called racist in the first place (answer: he’s dangerously racist)

wow, it really is modern-day slavery, complete with company store, ICYMI:  Trump’s illegal use and abuse of teenage illegal immigrants for modeling

The stuff about Trump in just August alone is insane when you put it together into one article.  And yet… he is rising in the polls as the mainstream media tries to manufacture fake scandals about HRC.  Are they afraid Trump will sue?  Does Ailes have blackmail on key people?  Are they just trying to promote a horse-race narrative?  Is it underlying misogyny?  Whatever it is they are playing with danger.

Why does the NYTimes have any readers left?

Could the election be hacked?  Seriously, we are in the worst-written Thriller/spy/con book right now.  It’s like our reality was written by Donald Westlake or something.  Also:  Russian hackers alter hacked documents… which makes sense, why just release them when you could do so much more damage?

Nasa agrees 100% with high school me.  Take that sexist physics teacher who didn’t think the people aspect of getting people to mars was important (and thought we’d have a space elevator two years ago).

So much outrage

I like the cut of this guy’s jib

More patriarchy

Ugh twitter.

Wedding steps

Awww

lego grad student

mystery

These are true

Sharing the pain

Cat comics

kitten

Time to lifestream some kittens.

Ask the grumpies: Favorite podcasts?

Meaghan asks:

 Favorite podcasts?

#1 listens to a bunch, including Dear Hank and John.  I tried Here to Make Friends and couldn’t get into it.

Podcasts from the Maximum Fun family:  Jordan Jesse GO is the main one.  I stopped listening to Judge John Hodgman because the answer was always the same: People like what they like.  I sometimes have listened to The Adventure Zone or My Brother, My Brother, and Me— both of which star the McElroy brothers doing zany things, sometimes with other members of their family.  I listened to a few of Baby Geniuses and Throwing Shade, and I’m thinking of trying Lady to Lady.

Book podcasts:  Book Fight, where two writers talk about books and argue about why they’re good or bad; also sometimes includes features like Fanfiction Corner and Raccoon News.  I listen to some of the Book Riot family of podcasts, including the original Book Riot podcast.  I also listen to Get Booked, which is a book recommendation show, and sometimes The Reading Life if they’re interviewing someone I want to listen to.  I stopped listening to Dear Book Nerd because I felt like I knew the answers better than the host did.  :-)   I can’t listen to All The Books because my TBR list is already way too long!  Sometimes I’ve also listened to Oh, Comics!

Random other podcasts:  Sometimes I re-listen to old episodes of The Indoor Kids, because I find it soothing.  I wish they’d come back from hiatus, but that doesn’t seem likely anytime soon.  Very nerdy.  I also listen to Ditch Diggers, by Mur Lafferty and Matt Wallace, which is about the business side of writing.  I used to listen to Writing Excuses, which is more about the craft of writing, but somehow my feed dropped them.  They’re great, though.

I can’t listen to any podcasts about science or about my particular area of work, because they are too much like work and engage my brain in work-like ways, and aren’t relaxing at all even when they are very good.

I would check to see if I missed any, but my iPod is out of batteries for now…

#2 only listens to two podcasts:  Here to Make Friends, a feminist podcast about the Bachelor franchise from huffington post, and Dear Hank and John, a comedy podcast about death from the creators of vlogbrothers.

AND you get a bonus from #2’s DH who listens to a lot of podcasts and like last week answered this very question over email:

FYI, here are the podcasts that I like, not really in any order.

Radiolab  This is the best science-y podcast I’ve heard so far. It’s well produced and has interesting material about a variety of topics. It doesn’t produce new episodes very often though.

DLC aka DownLoadable Content  An easy-listening video gaming podcast. Also has a segment on boardgames that’s short but good. It’s up-beat and isn’t negative or long-winded. Probably my favorite of the gaming podcasts I’ve found because most gaming podcasts get into arguments, go off-track, are more based on cult personalities, or are boring.

Idle Thumbs A bit more like other video gaming podcasts, slightly bigger cast, a bit more focus on cult-of-the-new, etc.

Three Moves Ahead The best podcast I’ve found about strategy video games. The quality/enjoyment is a bit lower, but I like the topics.

Thrilling Adventure Hour Old-timey radio shows. Short episodes that can be hit or miss, but some really funny bits.

Gamers With Jobs,  Another video gaming podcast. Can sometimes have really insightful material, but more often it’s just interesting to hear what other video games people are playing. This one and Idle Thumbs are somewhat interchangeable for me.

StarTalk Neil deGrasse Tyson is really cool.

The D6 Generation The best miniatures/boardgame podcast. I’ve listened to it off-and-on for about a decade.

More Perfect The RadioLab series about the Supreme Court has been incredibly engrossing.

Roguelike Radio Not the best audio/recording, but I find Roguelikes so interesting and there are 125 episodes all about them.

The Secret Cabal Gaming Podcast It’s about boardgames like several other podcasts out there, but with a cast I find quite interesting.

Rocket Talk  I bounce in and out of this one. I like the idea of listening to podcasts about scifi/fantasy books, and narration of short fiction, but I’m not always in the right mood for it.

Oh, and NPR has recordings of their shows…I don’t listen to these by myself, but when we go on car trips I usually grab some for the family….Splendid Table and Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me are our most popular.
I’ve listened to Nerdist too and liked some of it but ultimately it’s not what I’m looking for.
I don’t think I’ll keep listening to the Dev Game Club…it’s an interesting concept, but the actual value-per-time is too low for me.

WHEW.  Ok Grumpy Nation, what do you listen to?