Friday, October 7, 2016

October 7 Link Log

A weekender (lots of links). Categories: Books, Business, Christian, Crafts, Food, Gardening, Green, Hauntings, Mental Illness, Music, Nice, Pictures, Poetry, Politics, Writing, Zazzle.


Anyone who sells books ought to love this. (I for one don't feel competitive toward other booksellers, at all. I think we're all in this urgent need to preserve Earth-friendly, grid-independent knowledge and culture, together. I check with two real-world local bookstores before using Amazon when people order books from me.)

Here's a book about Tetris. Has anyone out there not played Tetris? (Fun fact: Tetris is the only computer game I have played.) The book ought to appeal to everyone who's played Tetris, which, in cyberspace, probably means everyone. I hope someone out there will buy a copy, read it, and hand it down to me!

Forthcoming from Neil Gaiman:


Technically, what Larry Kim describes here aren't what I'd call "needs." They're "wants." (If you want to be what Abraham Maslow called a self-actualizer, you have to be willing to step over a few of those "wants" at the bottom of Maslow's Pyramid, especially the ones associated with security and popularity.)


Josh McDowell online. Really.


Fancy, fluffy's not just for knitted sweaters any more...

Food (Yum) 

Beth Ann Chiles has a "Grandma Bonnie" who is definitely not Grandma Bonnie Peters. Why share her recipe for bran muffins? Because it actually works with corn meal and corn flakes, although you have to serve the all-corn muffins in the little paper cup liners, and the tidiest way to eat them is with a spoon.

These cookies probably wouldn't work without some wheat gluten to hold them together, but, for the 60 to 75% of humankind for whom wheat is good food, they'd be a relatively healthy, tasty, and interesting treat:

Good news for those who like canned tuna:

I've not found sugar-free raspberry syrup and don't know whether I want to try this or not. A lot of raspberry-flavored things are actually made from highly processed animal excrement rather than fruit. However, if you have access to raspberry plants, you can make raspberry syrup by straining ripe raspberry juice and pulp and mixing into any kind of mild-flavored syrup of your choice.

For those who think they don't like spinach...

I'd use turkey sausages and forget about the creme fraiche, but I like mixed-bean chili and I especially like that this chili recipe provides a sneaky way to use up your last few zucchini. (Courgettes are to zucchini as haricots verts are to green beans.)


Did you know you could plant "Cheerfulness"? That's a variety of white daffodil or narcissus. (Thanks to Elizabeth Barrette for sharing the link.)


Let’s hope that Poison Green “zoning” doesn’t ruin this man’s good work…


Halloween silliness aside...have you ever felt haunted? +Andria Perry recently described the experience, and +Sandy KS gave some valuable advice for all Christians who have this kind of experience...I don't know how "real" the spirits that haunt people may or may not be. I know they seem to be much more active in the presence of black mold and much much much more active for people who used certain prescription medications (most of which have since been banned) in the mid-twentieth century...but who am I to say there's no real Evil Principle using those things? Christianity teaches that there is. One thing I know for sure: black mold can survive inside organic material (wood, paper, cement) that's covered with salt (or baking or washing soda), but it doesn't grow and flourish on the surface of that material. So salting a "haunted" room may help, if you're willing to live with a layer of mineral powder on the floor.

(I believe pleasant hauntings come from our memories. I've all-but-seen and all-but-heard departed people, and animals, and even trees, whom I'd loved and missed; I believe their spirits, themselves, are at rest...but I've been grateful.)

Mental Illness 

Why didn't this story blow up into a media circus, Elsa Henry asks. Hmm. Because it's crazy? Because it's creepy? A man spends his working life helping care for people with mental disorders, then at 73 he decides all these people should be killed, and charges out with a knife and...Hatecrime, EH says. Violent insanity, I say, wondering which popular prescription antidepressant he'd been taking. But it's the same thing. Hating people enough to choose to walk rather than sit next to them on the bus is stupidity. Hating people enough to commit murder is violent insanity. I personally don't like the concept of "hatecrimes" because it misleadingly confuses the hate with the crime. 


"Having a song" may be more important than you think, opines Jill Suttie. (I agree; singing does definitely work in pain management. However, there are people, like our Nefarious Librarian in Gate City, whose singing tends to create or aggravate pain for other people. Much remains to be learned on ways they can manage their own pain without inflicting pain on others.)


Nice kid meets nice cop ( #AllLivesMatter ).


From Montana:

Fritillary and buckeye butterflies:


Poetry Day?

Well, for a start, here's a fresh new limerick:

Here's an Amazon book link:

Here's a Blogspot link...btw, if you like these Croatian-Canadian poems, some of them exist in book form too.

Politics (General) 

Norb Leahy offers witty, slightly rude, commentary on Social Security:

And on why towns like Gate City (Virginia, but probably the one in NTL's state of Georgia too) may be better off not having Wal-Marts...

Did we link to this before? Did someone else already steer you to it?

This web site is generally pro-police, especially Adayahi (who used to be a police officer). However, we must admit that not all police officers are as nice as Adayahi.

Politics (Election 2016) 

Thanks to...the Daily Kos, a left-wing site, for sharing this link:

Andrew Napolitano explains why this is such a sorry excuse for an election:

Daniel J. Mitchell agrees:

An article to which I'm not linking claimed that, when sample voters hear how their demographic are expected to vote, they feel that if they don't vote that way they're "dangerous sociopaths" just for not being swayed by the possibility of peer pressure. I've often thought that my parents deliberately set out to immunize their children to this way of thinking by putting us down right on the fence between as many different demographic groups as possible. (Legally White, but biracial. Southern, but my brother and I were born on separate trips to California. Christian, but not allowed to join a church. And so on ad infinitum. I'm lucky I was allowed to grow up solidly self-identified as female.) Anyway, no, when I hear that other college-educated White female baby-boomers do X, it does not make me feel that I ought to do X; my reaction is more like "Hmm, interesting datum there." That's a useful reaction to develop, especially if you're born at the end of a demographic generation, e.g. 1960-1965, and want to remain active and healthy while the cluster of people born between 1945 and 1950 are starting to become "old"! Here are some tips toward developing the courage to differ from any demographic group with which you may identify:


I don’t think it’s ideology as such that makes some poems (and poets) incapable of being memorized; it’s the  misguided idea of writing “free verse” without some sort of coherent sound pattern. Maya Angelou wrote some poems that can be not only memorized, but sung. My perception is that “Phenomenal Woman” has enough of a sound pattern to form an actual tune; I’d be interested in knowing whether the words form a similar tune in other readers’ minds too. “A Rock a River a Tree,” the effusion Angelou read at Bill Clinton’s inauguration, is fine as prose but it’s not, to my ear, a poem at all. Even when “free verse” is a loosened-up form of “blank verse”—Robert Hayden’s “Those Winter Sundays” is excellent writing; I’d much rather have it lingering in my mind than some of the nursery rimes and commercial jingles that do linger there, but in terms of memorizability, a strong sound pattern unfortunately beats an excellent thought.

Although the interviewer introduced Elsa Henry as "badass" and much of what she has to say is quite understandably snarky, in the end I found this an enjoyable, encouraging read. (I don't trust "self-driving cars" but I have written fiction about highly interactive, partly sensor-controlled, low-speed, pedal-and-battery-powered personal vehicles...sort of like Segways with bench seats, under-bench storage, and as much weather protection as the users need. Sighted people want to see more thinking in this direction too.)

Here's a different kind of blog challenge: Post the first part of a three-part scary story and link it. Next week, participants in the challenge will write the second part of someone else's story; the week after next, the third. Just for fun, not for money...


When my very social sister cats Heather and Irene curled up around their kittens like a ying-yang, that was quite a sight. Last spring, when Inky the half-grown Manx waif got into the act, I was really surprised. Very pleasantly surprised. Here's a tote bag, suitable for hauling in bags of cat food, with stylized cats in the ying-yang position:

Here's one for knitters:

Or do you prefer realistic cats?

If our new temporary Problem Cat Barnie had looked like this, instead of having a mostly white calico-cat face with markings that look like a drawing of a barn owl's face, Barnie might have a loving home.