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Title: Mr Childermass Calls [a remix]
Fandom: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Word Count: 3044
Characters/pairing: John Childermass/Arabella Strange
Warnings: Dubious Consent, Grief/Mourning, Implied/Referenced Rape/Non-con
Summary: John Childermass, on business in Venice, calls on the Greysteel household, but only Arabella is at home.
One recent pickup was "Bearslayer", an epic poem by the Latvian poet Andrejs Pumpurs. It's kind of a Latvian analogue of "Kalevala"; Pumpurs gathered together a bunch of folk tales about the legendary hero Bearslayer and wove them into a single poem. I finished it the other day. It's rather interesting; the Latvian gods appear, along with devils, witches, ogres, and assorted other monsters. It's set, however, in a fairly recent time-period, during the invasion of the Baltic states by the Teutonic Knights. Bearslayer is a leader in the doomed defense. There's one bit which jarred me, though. As Bearslayer's prophesied doom approaches, it is suddenly revealed that he has bear's ears, and if they are cut off his power will be diminished. No foreshadowing at all; his bride never asks, "Honey, what's wrong with your ears?" Still, it was fun.
My current Kindle reading (I rotate through them):
Lad, a Dog, Albert Payson Terhune. Yes, Terhune was a racist, and it's very explicit when it comes up. Fortunately, it's only come up once in the first 80% of the book. Other than that, they're standard dog stories.
The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliffe. I think this is one of the books that Jane Austen mocked in Northanger Abbey. Not too much Gothic yet, but I'm still in the early part of the book.
Sir Walter Scott's Journal. It's pretty interesting; we get glimpses of James Fenimore Cooper, the Duke of Wellington, and various other early-nineteenth century figures. There's a story of a man who'd been exiled to Australia and, feeling for some reason indebted to Sir Walter, sent him an emu. Scott accepted it, being under the impression that an emu was a sort of large parrot. He was unpleasantly surprised by the truth. (There's a later entry: "I offered the emu to Lord ####." No indication that the offer was accepted.)
Morphosyntactic Change, by Los, Blom, and Booij. This is a rather technical work on particle verbs in Dutch, German, and English, today and through history, and I'll admit I'm in over my head. But it's interesting to see what questions they're wrestling with, and what kinds of answers they give.
I'm also rereading Peter Hamilton's Judas Unchained. It and the preceding volume, Pandora's Star, are doorstops, but the story is intricate and absorbing.
I find that when days vastly resembled each other I forget to come here and write. To be fair, during the same ol’ same ol’ weeks it probably would seem like someone just went wacky and hit the re-post button over and over if I did. No one wants that.
So I will attempt to catch you all up in my daily ho-hums in this post….
Let’s see (I’ll just skip past the usual household chore rambles for this, shall I):
- Oh! I can’t recall if I mentioned in older posts or not, but my car is totally paid off now (as of July 14th). So no more monthly car payments for us. Aaron’s car was paid off the year prior, so… now we just need to figure out the best way to smush the mortgage with out lots of penalties …. smush smush
- Aaron’s mom was supposed to be over for a two week visit at the beginning of September because she had time scheduled off at work, but caught a nasty flu and couldn’t make it. And so she’ll be over mid October for a weeks visit instead.
- So far the deer are staying out of the fenced area I made. So I actually have a few tall Canna plants growing in there right now, as well as gladiolus and mini roses!! In a last ditch effort to get ‘something’ to grow a while back (when the fence bits first went up) I had scattered some left over tomato and pepper seeds any where/every where. One pepper seed seems to have germinated next to the big Canna, and has flowers on it. I am staggered. That, to me, is amazingly cool.
- I seem to have killed off my poor iceland poppy plant. But I think the seeds from it have sprouted in a few spots, so maybe all is not lost?
- This year has been pretty smokey and miserable outside due to all of the fires around the US and here, and so for once I can honestly say I am looking forward to the rainy days of Fall.
- Inside the house I have been continuing the downsize of useless clutter.
- It’s going well, although I’ve pretty much given up on the donation place I used to use. They have been a no-show at least four times (Probably more than that, but I am feeling generous). And so now I just post things to the local FB group when I want to get rid of it. More of a hassle, as things take several days (or more) to be gone, and not everyone who says they will show up does. But hey, it get’s the stuff gone sooner than that donation truck, so at this point I’ll take it.
- We upgraded the TV in the bedroom to a 55″ one. I’m the only one that really watches TV in the house, so no beaking about how TV’s shouldn’t be in the bedroom because blah blah blah please. Aaron’s not a big TV watching person, period. We generally don’t watch TV when we are hanging out together, unless we have decided to watch a film, and so there is no intimacy issue there. =P
- The old TV from our bedroom has been moved to the guestroom now, and the old guestroom TV will be donated some time soon.
- I’ve also been rearranging most of the rooms in the house. Aaron’s office and the exercise room still need a bit of a reorganize. But the rabbits live down there with him, and we don’t want to really change their space just yet. So that will be left alone for the time being.
- I’ve been taking various barely used shelves and stands, ones where the sole use seemed to be as a clutter catcher, and tried to find them a more useful spot in the house. If I couldn’t find a spot where they were more than a clutter catcher, then I posted them on the FB group to get rid of. I also went through the damn clutter piles and got rid of what was just a waste of space.
- I got a few small profile comfy chairs for the downstairs front room, moved around a couple of the larger comfy chairs so that there is seating in Aaron’s office, and one more place to sit in the upstairs livingroom now. It’s funny, we had lots of shelves/bookcases scattered about the house .. but very few places to actually sit and read. I don’t know what that was about, but it’s been remedied now.
- I downsized my nail polish collection, and made some local ladies on FB very happy in the process. My collection is now half the size, which is still quite massive. I also went through all of the makeup and passed most of those on to them as well.
- I’m winding down a bit more on the whole go crazy and decorate everything outside on holidays thing, too. We’re at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac, most of the neighbors before us don’t decorate, and so decorating to the nines is just too much for too few views. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ll still do it. The people across the street do enjoy it. But I won’t be going as crazy as I would have if we still lived on a busier road. I will be going through the boxes of that stuff and getting rid of what ever has not been used in years of holidays (I’m looking at you ‘skinnier me’ halloween costumes.. time to go bye bye.)
- Bongo kitty is still reacting well to the pills that keep him alive. One and a half pills every day. So he may see another couple years through with us. Knock wood. He’s more of a cuddle bug these days. He will play with his toys for a bit, but it wears him out pretty fast, and so he doesn’t bother most times. As the weather changes his joints get a bit more creaky, and so there are some failed jump attempts here and there. We just lift him up to whatever chair he was trying for, and he happily nestles down for a nap.
- Our lop rabbits have become slobs of sorts. And so they keep us on their toes more than a few times daily as they potty wherever they please and proceed to lay in it if we are not quick enough to catch it. Bunny baths are becoming a regular thing. Cocoa Banana is still a sweet gentleman dwarf bunny, and we have no such troubles with him.
- Since moving here we’ve gotten at least six new families moving into the neighborhood. So far we’ve been lucky and they’ve been pretty nice people (even the bear ignorant ones are nice, they just are not used to living near wildlife yet is all). Just recently a house a few doors down just sold, but we have no idea who has purchased it yet. Fingers crossed it’s more good people.
- Oh, The people who purchased the empty lot beside us have been visiting there and spending the day there every now and again. Trying to get a feel for the space as they plan their new home setup, I assume. They recently brought their camp trailer and set it up, and so we’re getting a mini preview of what it’ll be like with neighbors there. Still have lots of deer that go through there, even when the new neighbors are hanging out, and so at least for now that isn’t changing.
I can’t think of anything else at the moment to add, and so I best post this. I can always continue on page 2, as it were, if I think of more.
. . .bearing in mind, as always, that, in my accent, "ketchup" rhymes with "catch-up".
So, let's see. . .
I finished the story I was working on, in first draft; it's resting at the moment, titleless, and with a page of notes. I'll get back to it, oh, early or mid-October; plenty of time for a mid-November hand-in. I'm anticipating that the finished story will be about 10,000 words. Including, yanno, the title.
On the mundane side of life, Steve came home from Maryland; I celebrated my 65th birthday quietly, and managed to miss yoga two weeks in a row because Reasons. I shall endeavor to do better this week.
Fifth of Five is moving along. . .slowly. Clean-up books are hard.
I've gotten in a couple more fountain pens -- demonstrator pens, so called, which take ink in right from the bottle via a piston mechanism -- and some fun colored ink: Noodler's Borealis Black; Noodler's Wampum Purple; Diamine Ancient Copper; Diamine Sherwood Green. The company I bought the demonstrators from, included a bonus eyedropper pen -- no piston, you fill the barrel via an eyedropper.
One of my new pens has a bold nib, which I'm tentatively preferring over what has been my go-to, the medium-nib Pilot Metropolitan. The ink flow seems smoother -- granted, this may be the difference in the inks; the Metropolitan uses a cartridge.
While I was ordering things in, I also committed a new coloring book: The Art of Cursive, which looks like a lot of fun.
Let's see. . .my new glasses arrived, so, yay! new glasses!
On Thursday, Steve and I drove three hours one way to the Burlington Mall in -- surprise! -- Burlington, Massachusetts, there to sign books at the BN (which is technically across from the Mall), and also to test drive a pair of Bose Hearphones. Frequent auditors of this journal will recall that I'm starting to lose my hearing, as one apparently does, especially if one spent a Large-ish Chunk of one's life, earphones in, typing copy from a Dictaphone. Anyway. . .hearing aids not required at this point, says the last person who evaluated my hearing, right before the insurance companies decided they weren't in the ear bidness. However! More than a few studies now have indicated that people who have uncorrected hearing loss are more likely to develop dementia; and! that for the best results from hearing aids, one ought to start using an assist before the loss is so significant as to be disabling.
Thus, the Hearphones, which Bose is very careful to say are not hearing aids; they merely assist in direction hearing, and in blocking out background noise.
I did a test drive at the store with the trainer. He asked me what I would be using them for, and we briefly discussed the fact that writers spend a lot of their time in bars, and I can no longer hear my tablemates in that setting. So we did that scenario first -- he pulled up a recording of a 250-people restaurant, and had me adjust the gain on the Hearphones, until I could hear him speaking directly to me. I could still hear the background noise, if I concentrated, but it was a whole lot easier just to listen to him.
One of the weird things is that you also hear yourself, sorta like using a microphone. . . which, actually, I guess you are.
The trainer then asked if there was anything else, and I said, yes -- movies, television. I can't hear dialog any more.
So, he pulled up a clip of The Theory of Everything, where Eddie Redmayne is explaining Life, the Universe, and Everything to the nice young lady, and I heard every word, clean and clear.
When the clip ended, the trainer asked how that had worked for me, and my answer was, "I watched Fantastic Beasts and I did not understand one word that man said during the whole movie! This -- I got everything."
So, I brought the Hearphones home. They are not cheap, and they are getting a rigorous field testing, because they can be taken back to a Bose with no penalty within 30 days. And the Extra Good News Is? We don't have to drive 6 hours round trip to take them back, if that proves necessary. They can be returned to the Bose store in Kittery (which doesn't sell the item, sigh), a mere hour-and-a-half down the road.
Today's test was to be Fantastic Beasts, but, when I put on the Hearphones, I was told that the charge was dangerously low; which is a little scary because I charged them yesterday. It's certainly possible that I forgot to turn them off after my tutorial session yesterday, but a device with a two hour charge isn't going to be as useful as it might be.
In any case, after the Hearphones are charged -- Fantastic Beasts. If we pass Mr. Redmayne, then Steve and I will take ourselves out to a noisy bar, and I'll see if I can hear him through the din.
. . .I think that about catches us up -- Oh. No. I am remiss in reporting that I purchased a blue Totoro at the BN. Yes, I am weak.
Everybody have a good weekend.
This is from a few years ago. I wonder what the people who thought it was plausible are doing now? Aside from presumably supporting Trump.
(to Hymie): "Hymie, what happened to you? You used to love to kill, and to hellodolly, and..."
(to himself): "Hellodolly? That's not right."
(singing softly): "DUT-dut-DUT-dut-DUT-da-DUT-da-DUT-DUT, Ma-"
(to Hymie): "Maim!"
Still cracks me up, after half a century.
Yesterday, a little before six, I headed over to Peck Hall for my Linear Algebra class. On arrival, I went to the elevator and punched the "Up" button. (It's on the third floor, the stairs are kind of steep, and my knees are not in good shape. I'm entitled.) As I waited, a young man joined me. When the car came, I stepped in, pushed the "3" button, and asked him what floor. He replied, "Same as you." This stopped me for a moment. Hmm, evidently this fellow has ridden up in the elevator with me several times this year. Aloud: "I'll try to remember that next time." At that point he informed me that he was one of my Linear Algebra students. I recognized him then, of course.
I'm really not good with faces.