Friday, June 02, 2017

Shhh, don't tell...

....the spambots but I have gone back to "anyone can comment, even anonymous users" (I still will moderate comments). Hopefully I have driven the bots away and anyhow with (a) more open time and (b) fewer stresses in my life to get me down, if they find me again I will hopefully be less sad/annoyed over getting bot comments.

As always, if I don't recognize you and you just send me a vague comment with weblinks it probably won't get approved. Chances of approval are better if you actually 'sign' the anonymous comments.


Didn't make it in today to work but that's okay. I got my mail, dealt with the accumulated things (some bills) I had to deal with, did some banking, did some trimming of hedges, mainly just faffed around but again, that's okay.


I am currently reading "The Z Murders" by J. Jefferson Farjeon and am once again struck at how he seems to be an (unfairly) neglected Golden Age mystery novelist - his stories are well-plotted and atmospheric and fully as good as many of the "big known" writers. (At least the British Crime Library seems to be republishing some of his books; I think this is the last one of his that they've done - I've read the other two ("The Thirteen Guests" and "Mystery in White").

This is apparently (I'm not very far into it) a story of a serial killer - first, an old man is killed, then an old woman. The protagonist (Richard Temperley) is first slightly suspected of the first, then it's concluded (correctly) he is merely a bystander. But as this is going on, he falls for a mysterious woman (of course there has to be one ) and then becomes concerned she might be in danger (I admit, when the second murder happened and it was said it was a woman, I was like, "Oh-oh, there went Sylvia" but it wasn't).

As I said, I'm not very far in but am interested to see where the story leads. It does have the slightly (but not unpleasantly) claustrophobic feeling that many "limited third-person POV" novels have - you are experiencing events along with Richard and you only know what he knows about the situation, which is not much.

There is a certain pleasure bordering on schadenfreude - I've mentioned it before - in reading stories like this: you are safe at home on the sofa or tucked up in bed (or in my case, sometimes, even in the bath) and you are reading about the peril a character, usually a somewhat sympathetic character, is in. And there is something oddly appealing about that. Part of it is that it does make being tucked up safe in bed (or where ever) all the more something to be grateful for (knowing you are not out running around the moors or trying to shake a persistent police detective or wondering if that angry-looking man looming in the corner of the restaurant poses a threat).


Vague plans to go to Sherman tomorrow. I don't need much in the way of groceries (I have the basics of food - spinach and ground meat and milk and cheese and a few other things) but there may be some things from the natural-foods store I want, and I also just want a day out shopping where I can do what I want and go where I want.

I also want to get the next two books in the "Interviews with Monster Girls" series - I read and enjoyed the first one and want to see the rest of the story. And I saw a rumor on some Tumblr sites that (at least some) JoAnn's are selling miniature versions of "classic" toys like the Fisher-Price "chatty" telephone, and there might be a few I want for entertainment/posing with my existing toys purposes.

I probably won't go if the weather is horrible - and also, yes, this is a Payday Weekend which means the stores will probably be busier. (I will note, when I lived in the more-prosperous/better-served-with-stores place in Illinois, this was never an issue and I boggled when a friend in rural Kentucky talked about how you didn't go shopping on Payday Friday. Then I moved here and learned what he meant....)

We have been having a lot of rain....I think I can hear some now. Usually this is the time of the year when the rain STOPS and it starts to get very hot. It has not been very hot yet but it has been very humid. (I need a new dehumidifier. My 17 year old one stopped working last fall. I wound up ordering a GE - a recommended brand - from the Home Depot website. Because the store in Sherman didn't stock them, and I could get free shipping. The other option was to have it shipped to the Sherman store and then pick it up, but seeing as that would take exactly as long as having it delivered to my house, and shipping was free, why bother? The whole "shop online/pick up in store" is great EXCEPT when you need something there has deemed Not To Be A Market For* and it's not kept in stock....again, why would I make a trip to Sherman and tote and load something if I can get it delivered to my door?)

(*And it kind of boggles me that people in southeastern OK/North Texas don't seem to have more of a need for dehumidifiers. I suppose it's the "no basements" idea but I find if I run one, I can set the a/c at a warmer temp and still be comfortable, and also not worry so much about my piano going out of tune. And with no dehumidifier, there have been a few days this spring where it felt distinctly clammy in here)

I wonder if this summer is going to shape up like 2007 or 2015 again, with flooding and all the attendant mess. At least this year I am not teaching so I won't have to worry about "where will I do the field lab?" or have to deal with students not being able to make it in if bridges get closed.

I would like for us (for once) to have an abnormally cool (but not necessarily abnormally wet) summer, but given current trends I don't see that happening....

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