What’s hanging around on your Kindle?

(… or other e-reader?)

A copy of Jane Eyre; Persuasion; Northanger Abbey; Carmilla; Middlemarch; Barchester Towers; a Jeeves book.  Father Brown mysteries by G. K. Chesterton.

Several books from the Liaden universe by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (Fledgling).  Lots of short stories by Seanan McGuire.

Almost everything K. J. Charles has ever published!  Romancing the Werewolf by Gail Carriger.  Amethyst by Lauren Royal.  (#2 thinks she deleted Amethyst, but she loves the Temptation series, especially the Consent is Sexy parts of Tempting Juiliana, even if sometimes that heroine is pretty silly– note that the first in that series is still 100% free for kindle and a good read/reread)

Serpentine by Cindy Pon.  At least 1 collection by John Scalzi.  The Corpse Reader by Antonio Garrido.

Random fantasy novels that I got a deal on:  The Native Star by M. K. Hobson; Not Dark Yet by Berit Ellingsen (I don’t remember reading this but apparently I did; I have no memory of it); The Final Formula by Becca Andre (tried to read further in this series but petered out); Ghosts of Tsavo by Vered Ehsani.  Here’s me talking about some of this before.

The Amsterdam Assassin series by Martyn V. Halm.

Several books by Martha Wells (Wheel of the Infinite; City of Bones; etc.). (#2 has all of these in paperback because her hardbacks from high school disappeared for some reason… maybe her BIL ended up with them?)

Widdershins by Jordan L. Hawk.  A romance novel I haven’t read yet that I heard about on a podcast.  Novellas by Tiffany Reisz.

Most of Sarah McLean’s Rule of Scoundrels series (A Rogue by Any Other Name), plus some Courtney Milan.  (Some of the Milan has nifty behind the scenes commentary throughout!)

Assorted detritus, short story collections, un-great romance novels, terribly-written fantasy (although I’m trying to delete most of this stuff).  [#2 only keeps very good and great romance novels on hers– even the sub-par Heyer got deleted.]

A couple of the Vorkosigan books by Lois McMaster Bujold; I have most of them in paper books instead.

Here’s some earlier posts on this topic, with links to mostly free or in a few cases inexpensive stuff.  (#2 has literally hundreds of books on her kindle– btw, did you know you could get Shellabarger and Sabatini books for free on your kindle?  #2 had no idea that Sabatini wrote so many boring terrible books in addition to classics like Captain Blood, Scaramouche, and The Sea Hawk.)  (#1 still prefers paper books.) (#2 does too except for traveling which she does a lot of, thus the need for more ebooks.  I’m pretty sure my sister ended up with my Sabatini hardbacks.)

We’re gearing up for holiday reading [and conference trips]… be sure to click our “books” tag to see all kinds of things we’ve read and loved in 2018 (and before).

That oughta keep me occupied for a while!  Whatcha got, Grumpeteers?

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Artists to support with money

We need art to keep us sane in this crazy world.  Donating to worthy causes is all very good, but if you want to consume some media, here are some suggestions.

 

Do you wish you could read more widely with low effort?  Great news!  I found out that if you subscribe to Open Letter publications, they’ll just send you their books in the mail.  The price is really surprisingly low, and all the books are translated from around the world.  They didn’t pay me to say this.

Patreon finds:  I need diverse games; award-winning author and podcaster Mur Lafferty; sure-to-be-award-winning writer Rivers Solomon; necessary words from The Bookavid; I’ve also read K. Tempest Bradford; I have enjoyed writing by Liz Bourke.  Amazing writer Nisi Shawl will also send you tea blends!  McMansion Hell makes us laugh.

I think LaGuardia Cross’s videos are hilarious and occasionally poignant.  Subscribe to his channel so he can keep getting endorsement contracts and stuff.  (Ok, this one isn’t spending money.)

I like podcasts from the maximumfun.org family of pods.  Some suggestions:

I recommend (again) buying things by Sarah Gailey.  If you aren’t convinced, try reading this story; that oughta do it.  And if you want to cry, you can read the sequel.

Get a t-shirt from the Call Your Girlfriend podcast.

Buy comics from Lions Forge (diversity and all-ages).

The Worldbuilders shop is a place to buy cool bookish things (like this rad bookmark). You can buy lots of foreign-language translations of fantasy novels (Hungarian!  Catalan!  Canadian French!  Polish!  Brazilian Portuguese!), jewelry, stickers, a sword, mugs, etc. Proceeds are given to charities such as Heifer International and First Book.

 

What kinds of art should people toss their dollars at, Grumpeteers? 

On Time Link Love

 

One of us is traveling and the other one is busy, so we’re likely missing any and all important links from Thursday and Friday.

Here’s an educator pledge that a former student asked me to sign.

If you vote by mail in Florida it is 10x more likely that your vote won’t count

Ted Cruz sent fundraising letters pretending to be legal summons.  This is not illegal.

Fake News and Advertising on Social Media:  A study of the anti-vaxx movement

Trump Administration releases new rules allowing states to remove the requirement to cover pre-existing conditions.  I’m finding that none of my students, even graduate students, know what a world without this requirement was like.  They are USED to being able to get health insurance. (#2 says: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!  I remember pre-existing conditions not being covered.  This is relevant to me and to my family.)

Should you trust Republicans or Democrats on health care?  The answer may not surprise you.

The University of Tulsa wants to learn about your reactions to the media coverage of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. If you are in the U.S., please complete this short, anonymous survey to help us better understand the effects of the nomination and its news coverage.

More on universal basic income

Selling shares beats collecting dividends

BS asymmetry principle

Writing post-cards you find out about some interesting places.  Check out the street names in this subdivision.

Remember that if you’re in line by the time the polls close, they have to let you vote!

Finally… BOO. (Nerd joke alert)

Times are spooky, Grumpeteers!

Ask the grumpies: emojis vs. emoticons

Leah asks:

what is your stance on emoticons, and are there ones you favor? What about emojis? I prefer emoticons, for the record, but maybe it’s because I like to kick it old school.

#1:  Gchat used to have these super cool emoticons that would move and turn around after you made them.  So the less than 3 would rotate and fill into a pink heart.  The winky face would wink at you.  And so on. (Especially the secret hidden ones like the monkey and rock on and stuff.)  Those were the best.

#2: Emojis are silly and sometimes fun. I use them sometimes for ridiculousness. I prefer emoticons like you, as I am what you might call ancient school.

RBOC

  • A lot of books will have interludes behind the scenes with the villains discussing their plans or watching them do dirty deeds that the heroes find out about later.  I find that these books seem to be more enjoyable when I just skip those parts completely.  Nothing is missing without them.
  • DC2 lost hir first tooth.  Very exciting.
  • I have some new pants for work and they are comfortable and look nice.  But somehow they weirdly feel like I’m not wearing any pants at all.  I keep having to look and check that I’m dressed!  They are magic pants.
  • I have been craving rhubarb pie for a little over a year now.  Unfortunately, rhubarb doesn’t grow in our area and we haven’t been able to find it anywhere (not even the freezer section at whole foods!).  And we’re always in the midwest during not rhubarb season.  But this week, DH came home with 5 big stalks from our regular grocery store, which was enough to make a strawberry rhubarb pie with (heavy on the strawberries).  I don’t know what it is, but I really like tart red edible vegetation like rhubarb and hibiscus (and sweeter more purpley things like beets and dragonfruit).
  • DC2 got a boil on hir arm that wouldn’t stop growing, so we took hir to urgent care after school.  DH made it very clear to the doctor and the pharmacist that zie gets hives from red food dye.  The antibiotic they gave us was pink.  We called up the pharmacy and they said, “it doesn’t say red food dye on the bottle”… but http://www.akorn.com/prod_detail.php?ndc=50383-823-16 it does have red food dye in it.  So DH went back to the pharmacy and they looked at their online info and yes, it has red food dye in it.  And there was nothing the pharmacist could do about it because all sulfamethoxazole suspensions in the US have red food dye and he would need a different prescription to let us get the white pills instead of the pink suspension.  So after a lot of discussion and consultation with DH’s nurse mom (and DC2’s boil growing even more), we dosed hir with 24 hour Zyrtec and gave hir a dose of the pink medicine.  And zie had to skip school the next day to see hir regular pediatrician.  If we lived in Australia, the name brand would not have red food dye in it (and it would taste like banana instead of cherry… yuck.)  [Update:  the pediatrician prescribed a different antibiotic and drained the boil and after several days it is much smaller and happier, which is good because if it weren’t, DC2 would have had to go to the doctor again.]
  • In the past week I have had to deal with two white dudes thinking they’d been accused of racism and reacting very strongly to it.  One of them the reaction was so outsized that I kinda think he was racist (ya think?).  The other guy we ended up having a very nice conversation about how when you’re a privileged white guy sometimes you have to be really careful about not using economics jargon when the colloquial meanings of the words mean something much different than the jargon term (ex. discrimination, ghetto, etc.).  And really maybe we shouldn’t be using the jargon anyway since the colloquial definition has become so negative.  (Though in defense of “discrimination” we have a subset that matches the colloquial definition, “animus” or “taste-based”, but the jargon word “discrimination” is shorthand for “differential treatment by group characteristic” which is a mouthful.  “Ethnic enclave” is only 2 more syllables than “ghetto” so we should just say ethnic enclave.)
  • How I know I’m middle-aged:  My good hip is bothering me.

ACADEMICS in the US:  Have you encouraged random students to vote?  I’ve found them to be extremely grateful for information about early voting (when/where), what is needed (picture ID? what if you don’t have one in-state), etc.  League of women voters has a lot of amazing resources including vote411

Non-Academics (and academics too):  What can you do to get the vote out?  Post-cards?  Canvassing?  Letters?  Conversations with friends and family?  Making sure your polling places have campaign signs for Democrats in state and local elections?  (We may be driving into the city to get some for our local dems from their HQ…)

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Trees fall down

One of our big oaks got some kind of borer beetle and had to come down.  Then two weeks later during a big storm, our last ornamental pear tree fell over (fortunately it did not take either our deck or our fence with it, though it did grab some of the wisteria off our fence on its way down).

So we paid $335.58 to get the oak taken down and the stump ground, along with trimming back our crepe myrtle so it would stop hitting our roof and grinding another stump from a tree the previous owners had removed (the stump had been bothering DH for lo these 12 years, who knew?).

Then a few weeks later we paid another ~$200 to get the pear tree taken out of our backyard and its remaining stump and roots ground.

Next month we’re planning on buying another oak to replace the beetled oak (apparently the beetles are only a problem when the trees are distressed, so that won’t be a problem with the new oak) and a cherry tree for the back.  DH also wants to buy a few more experimental fruit trees for the remaining places in our lawn.  (Every year he buys a few and one will take root and flourish even if it never fruits again and the other two will die.  I think he’s going to keep doing this until he runs out of spots.)  This year he’s gonna get a crabapple, which I love.  We’ll see if it survives and fruits.  Cost:  ~$300 all told, including mulch.  (It’s way more expensive if we get the tree company to do it, but DH has found a nursery he likes, and we’ve had better luck with keeping cheap younger trees alive than expensive older.)

*Activism Update*

Speaking of things on your lawn being removed… All of the democratic signs in my neighborhood for a specific race were stolen Saturday night.  If that happens to you, be sure to file a police report.  The police can’t do anything based on rumors.  They are more likely to investigate if they see a pattern.  And an entire HOA losing its signs is a pattern.  We went to Target and got materials to make our own sign.  Then we bought 30 signs at the Dem HQ when they opened and gave them to people whose signs had been stolen.  And a few for local candidates while we were at it.  Make some good come from evil.

This weekend we also did postcards from postcards to voters:  https://postcardstovoters.org/

and letters from votefwd.org

And I’ve been hooked up with a post-card service that only sends stuff in my state.

Do you have trees?  Have you ever had problems with them?

Lateish link love

Link Love is what I should have been doing yesterday when nobody showed up to office hours and I was too braindead to do real work…

Celest Pewter with recommendations for activism focus

The University of Tulsa wants to learn about your reactions to the media coverage of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. If you are in the U.S., please complete this short, anonymous survey to help us better understand the effects of the nomination and its news coverage.

Snopes with a how-to if you’re turned away from the polls on election day and what to do to request and follow up on a provisional ballot.

Brian Kemp has purged over 300,000 voters from Georgia rolls  He’s also blocking 53,000 new registrations.

High rate of absentee ballots thrown out in Gwinnett, Georgia

Georgia county orders elderly black voters off bus taking them to the polls

Florida Gov. Rick Scott got a 500,000 donation from a private-equity CEO and then a week later invested $200 million of the state pension money in the CEO’s private-equity fund, Cereberus, losing taxpayers a huge amount over what they would gained had that money been invested in an S&P 500 index fund.  This is not against the law(!)

Texas Tribune fact checks Cruz/O’Rourke second debate

The Russia probe has uncovered a widespread Russian effort to meddle in the 2016 election

In case you were wondering… Heidi and Ted Cruz can absolutely afford a second home.  They currently live in a luxury condo that they bought for >$800K back in 2008.

#metoo and the legacy of black women’s testimonies

A good thread about the importance of getting a flu shot.

Two stories about getting abortion pills online.  Jezebel and the Atlantic

History of the Sears’ catalog and how it changed the South.

What happened to private sector pensions?

Vox’s recommended charities for 2018

Congrats to nzmuse!

Congrats to Dame Eleanor Hull!

Maureen Johnson’s clinic

Heinlein’s fan mail solution

This boss’s day