Saturday, January 14, 2017

January 14 Links

Murph, grrrahllll...she says in possum language...I don't normally come into town on a Saturday. I came into town in order to cook a lunch, which was then cancelled. (No, not at the cafe; one of the odd jobs I do is cooking restricted-diet feasts in private homes. You can still order a good, though probably gluten-based, lunch at the cafe.) So here I am, still behind the e-mail, with some faint hope of catching up...actually if another paid writing job comes in that's even better. Categories: Animals, Books, Etiquette, Fashion, Food, Health, Outrage, Politics, Virginia, Writing.

Animals 

Mudpie's Human drew a pretty picture, but...is that a cat? Puzzle: how do we know it's meant to be a cat?

http://www.mochasmysteriesmeows.com/2017/01/colorful-caturdayart.html

Anyway, that makes it a colorful cat day at Petfinder:

Frita (Polydactyl) and Shelia
Frita from Arlington is a polydactyl social cat (like our Heather) who travels with her foster daughter Shelia: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/28700506 . There are more photogenic cats in D.C. area shelters, but if you want an incredible once-in-a-lifetime pet like the ones you're not sure you believe I'm writing nonfiction about, I'd recommend adopting Frita. You'll see...conversations with cats are real!
Eve
Eve from New York...has had a rough life, is thought to be 13 years old, is still reported to be as friendly and playful as this kittenish picture suggests: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/36719448

Ash
Ash from Stone Mountain, wary and trying to look mean, but reported to be a sweetheart: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/32419473

Atlanta readers, I see both Jade and Vesper still in search of homes! What the...?! I'm sticking with this Petfinder theme because searches for zip codes 10101, 20202, and 30303 are revealing that a lot of the animals featured here are moving off the pages, and I'm glad. Maybe some other blogger wants to do daily, weekly, or whatever searches for other zip codes? Anyway, for those who can't possibly adopt another pet, here is a nice quiet flea-free book you may want to adopt; profits from sales of this author's books really are used to help animals rescued by small, private, non-HSUS-funded organizations or individuals, and if you already have one of her books, good news, there's more!



Speaking of horses...Avaaz has circulated some good petitions, and also some very bad ones. The one discussed here is very bad--very, very bad--quintessentially bad, an example of how not to write petitions. Send me a petition as vague and messy as this one if you want your whole organization to be denounced and discredited! I'm linking to it, though, and reminding myself to spend some time researching it next week and possibly write something for Swarm on this topic...partly because we all know the Guardian tends to be biased though well written, as do the U.S. sources Avaaz cited in the e-mail, and I want some more balanced data about the horse abuse story myself.


Books 

Do you have all the Dilbert books? Here's a single page where you can check, and complete your collection. The pull bar does not work for me. The move-slide button does not work for me. The Whencast bar below the book images does work for me.


I don't mentally confuse +Marsha Cooper and +Martha DeMeo , but Google + likes to confuse them with each other and also +Martin Kloess . Anyway, this web site just gave you our link to buy Small Town Roads, Scott Adams' very own links to stock up on Dilbert books, and here is Marsha Cooper's link, which this web site recommends using to buy Six Dollar Family; she says this book explains how to make your own less carcinogenic dryer sheets. 


I've not read this one, either, but a correspondent promises fresh fun facts from U.S. history:


Etiquette 

Mr. Brotman is 89 years old...and Mr. Trump is old enough to know that the way we show appreciation of our elders is the way our juniors will soon be showing appreciation of us. I say Mr. Brotman should be the official announcer. Mr. Ray should stand by in case he's needed, and be invited to announce the next big mass-media event if, as we all hope, he's not needed for the inauguration. And so (if he's my kind of man) will Mr. Ray say when this petition reaches his attention.


Fashion 

By this web site, L.L. Bean never goes out of fashion. (Out of season, maybe.) What the "boycott L.L. Bean because somebody in the company backed Trump" types aren't admitting is that nearly all big companies donate money to at least two opposing candidates in nearly all elections. It's all about owning a piece of whichever candidate is elected. Fear it not, they'll call in those favors from the successful candidate's office, as well--or do I mean "as badly"? Wal-Mart, Amazon, GM, Ford, McDonald's, Monsanto, Johnson...I've not checked, but you're encouraged to check, to verify that they backed both Trump and Clinton. Corporations have been doing this every year for centuries, Young Readers. So don't imagine that boycotting any corporation that did or didn't back Trump will change Thing One. 


Food (Yum) 

Vegetables are fun...and yummy! ( +Martha DeMeo posted lots of mouth-watering pictures here, but they're small and behave well.)


Health 

From a blogger who's obviously under some stress (see below), here's a link roundup of stress-busting techniques:


Outrage Alert 

Middle-aged bloggers from Illinois report that their phone service provider just changed the technology, without warning, rendering their phones obsolete, depriving them of a few weeks of service for which they've been paying. In Illinois. In January. It will be cold out there and a lot of people who "have never wanted to bother with cell phones" and "don't want any @#$% Obamaphones in this house!!!!" are older and less healthy than Elizabeth Barrette seems to be. What action does this suggest to you first, Gentle Readers?


(1) Call the phone company and tell some helpless minimum-wage worker how indignant you feel (probably a waste of time, but if you want to raise your blood pressure it might help with that)
(2) Call/write/e-mail the Federal Communications Commission (may do some good)
(3) Call/write/e-mail your elected officials (may do some good especially if you live in Illinois)
(4) Set up a temporary site, hub, node, hashtag, etc., for a campaign to identify victims of the phone company outrage and supply them with temporary "burnerphones" (might be an excellent short-term strategy, depending on the location and munificence of your e-friends)
(5) Invite relatives who live in Illinois to spend the winter with you in a warmer place (very good if your relatives happen to be victims)
(6) Take your cell phone and spend the winter with your relatives in Illinois (very good if you can do it in a way that won't cost them money)
(7) Other (please specify): 

Politics 

This is sooo rich. And "rich" is a relevant word, Gentle Readers. As a hack writer I contributed several profiles to one of those "Who are the world's richest people and how did they get so rich" sites. Nancy Pelosi's full "net worth" wasn't even certainly known, since so much of it was/is in real estate, but let's just say she's a billionnaire. Rare in her socioeconomic bracket, she seems to be scandal-free, hated for political reasons alone...but oh, what political hate-fodder (and laugh-until-you-spray-coffee-onto-the-table fodder) she has given the world. Y'know, actually, if and when she ever admits she's past retirement age, this woman will be missed.


Tom Woods shared a zinger yesterday:


And this, from the Washington Post...does not, repeat not, account for e.g. Trump, Dole, and Nixon as compared to Obama, Elizabeth Warren, and Al Gore, so take it with an appropriate measure of salt! (GBP always reminds me about using English idioms. Foreign readers: the metaphoric use of "salt" for "skepticism" goes back to ancient Latin so it's common in many European languages.)


Virginia General Assembly 

I left training to be a full-time bill reader in the hands of Providence, this year, and Providence decreed that I should commit to keeping time open for paid writing jobs instead. This does not change the fact that it's that time again. The General Assembly is in session; I will be keeping lis.virginia.gov open in a tab and sharing bills as time allows. For those who've been looking forward to more bill reading, here's a bill Adam Brandon e-mailed to recommend. (Official comment: I trust my elected representatives to do the right thing here.)


Writing 

If you like scary short stories, remind yourself to watch this page for links.