Wednesday, November 2, 2016

November 2 Link Log

Still way behind on online reading. Categories: Animals, Books, Christian, Crafts, Faith, Food, Halloween, Health, Obituary, Phenology, Philosophy, Poem, Politics, Traffic Safety, Weird, Writing, Yougov.


Cute dog costume:

Skunks...such cute animals. (Most skunks are actually pretty peaceable. Pepe and Hepzibah got along with one another, despite being different species of skunk, and with the cats and humans and even the temporary dogs, for years. Some people have lived with skunks as cuddly pets! It's just that you won't like them when they're angry.)

Photo visit with some lovable llamas:

"Every little [Halloween-type] witch needs her own black cat," indeed. So does every little Wiccan/Pagan, and likewise every little Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh...although people in some of those categories need to keep the cat outdoors for reasons of Ritual Purity.

Now that Halloween's over, what about some black cats from Petfinder? (I'm partial to black cats at Petfinder, not because most of them resemble my beloved first cat Magic, but because studies show that dark-colored animals are the hardest for shelters to place...they literally fade into the shadows, so people fail to notice them.)

Peanut from Atlanta:
Down below there's a fictional cat called Riule; here's a real one called Rielle from Charlotte:

Lucy (fka Hermione)
Lucy from Washington, D.C.:
One of these days, when I look for Petfinder links, I will look for dogs. Meanwhile...the more Niume posts friends share, the less I like Niume. I don't imagine your computer will like Niume either. Photo essays like this one are memory hogs...but if your computer doesn't crash, these puppies are sooo cute:


Beyond a real cat "hosts" a fictional interview with a fictional cat about a novel that sounds so silly I might actually enjoy reading it, once for laughs anyway.

More laughs...(No, that's not a new link; it popped up linked to a post about TV and, easily enough, distracted me from the whole topic of TV.)

Interesting picks here:


Beautiful prayer quilt and prayer in this photo essay:



+Marsha Cooper shares some more inspiring quilts:


The ten good deeds for Buddhists:

Food (Yum) 



Bean and pasta soup...if you can trust your source of rice or rice pasta, you can make it gluten-free:

Gluten-free chicken pie...the cheese topping ruins it for me, but the curried chicken would be fine:

I'd classify this as a Vegetable Dish not a Salad, since the veg are cooked. That's a quibble. Gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, vegan, natural...

And a gluten-free cake humans can share with dogs. Seriously.

Halloween (I'm not the only one posting belatedly) 

A Scottish perspective:


As below, my comment at the site below was narrow and tangential; my comment, to everyone else, about the post overall, is more of a summary: For recovering alcoholics, a sugar-free diet is about breaking the habits and cravings more than about losing weight (although it may help some people lose weight). The site will prompt you to subscribe if you want to help cheer Laura McKowen on. I have to salute anyone who can think about starting a sugar-free diet while Halloween candy is in the house!


Sheri Tepper and far too many more. We're losing the whole Greatest Generation.

(For those who don't remember, Sheri S. Tepper wrote the funniest version ever of the classic feminist fantasy involving males who become obsessed with anti-abortion efforts...I don't agree with the politics in this novel, but it was worth reading for the pregnant pro-life senators alone.)

The Fresco by [Tepper, Sheri S.]


While Australia waits for spring, the Eastern and Midwestern States wait for autumn. (I have to admit that, lacking electric heat at home, I'm enjoying this long, mellow "Indian Summer" myself...) Here's a dragonfly, yes in Illinois, yes in November.

From Alabama:


Somewhat intense, but some correspondents will like it:


Trees (with a lovely phenology photo):

Politics (Election 2016) 

One anti-Clinton argument:

Another one...I don't find this one so persuasive. It's true that Trump is probably past the grabbing stage; also true that I can't imagine a man grabbing me--at least in a sexual way--when he has the option of grabbing The Melania. It's also true that a vote for Trump is a vote for another general lowering of the standards of civilized behavior. Trump crony Bill Clinton lowered them far enough.

Anti-Clinton dirt, for those who want dirt. (Trigger warnings: You do know who Kathy Shelton is, right? This is a tasteful discussion of yucky, sexualized, violent dirt.)

Anti-Clinton dirt that, if true...the problem here is that I'm not convinced that Hillary Clinton really was drunk early in the morning. Beware of Virus Karma! Grandma Bonnie Peters walked like a drunk a few times when she had pneumonia, and here I stand to testify that she wasn't even drinking enough water because getting up was a bore. But if HRC does have a drinking problem...

Traffic Safety 

This is not the way I drive. In the situation this young man describes, I wouldn't panic and turn from the spot where the turn was forbidden. I'd drive grimly on as prescribed by law, find my way back somehow, grimly but legally, chanting "I hate driving, oh God knows I hate driving, oh God knows I can't afford to drive around this stupid loop, oh please God send me a car pool where I don't have to drive any more." But I do picture this young man when someone else makes a stupid move. I do what my class was taught in Driver Education: work from the assumption that I am the only sane person on the road. Everybody else is suicidally insane and out there with the intention of hurling themselves into my car. Me? I'm sane, therefore I drive at the pace my astigmatism permits, which is probably slower than the person behind me would like. A little empathy, please. Most of the people in any high-traffic situation should not be driving. At least I try. At least I refuse to own a car.


Right. I sort of see how this happened. Large young man, running toward older people, not speaking, wearing sports gear. They don't think "teenager with severely limited speech ability allowed to run on school track team," because that's not something they've seen on the TV news every evening of their lives. They think "mugger," because that is what they've seen on the TV news, and hey, they've never seen a real mugger before, but they know all muggers are large young men, aren't they? So-o-o stupid. I'm not saying they shouldn't have braced, maybe drawn a deadly weapon, just in case the guy had been a mugger. I'm saying they should have waited for some evidence that he was one before attacking him. Panic is such a shabby, pathetic excuse for murder...and what I'm seeing in the Post headline at the link below is a murder report, even if (arguably) in a lesser "degree."

People. Please. What's on TV is "news" because it's rare, because it's something that probably won't ever happen to anybody you know in real life. Please spend less time watching TV, more time actually walking the streets in your neighborhood and talking to people, just so you'll realize how immensely teen athletes (and would-be athletes) outnumber muggers. Even in ghetto neighborhoods.


Encouragement to finish your NaNoWriMo project, if doing an exercise (or a dare), not a novel that needs to be published. You can do it. Sloppy first drafts are what writing a novel in a month is all about. If all else fails, write it so badly it's funny and share it with friends as a joke.

(Once, on a dare bet, I wrote a ridiculously bad young adult novel--sort of a parody of the ones that weren't circulating in the high school library--five pages a day until it was long enough to qualify as book-length. I was fifteen. The novel was quite funny, intentionally and unintentionally, and would have been a much better joke if I hadn't been foolish enough to send it to an actual publisher. Probably continuing the joke, the publisher then sent parts of it to two different agents, one of whom read the Teen Romance Parody page and replied with guidelines for how to write the then-new brand of Silhouette romance novels...the explicit ones, where the couple aren't virgins and at least two torrid bedroom scenes are required before the wedding. Cripes, I wasn't old enough to read that sort of books, much less write them!)

[Link to legitimate blog post about writing, whose title contains a word banned by this site's contract]

If you write about people who look just like you, you're erasing other kinds of people. If you write about people different from you, that's cultural appropriation. So should we all just erase ourselves? My comment on the post below, overall, is completely different from the narrowly focussed one I typed in (first). I think fiction works best when people write what they know. (Or, if it's supposed to be speculative, when it makes historical sense; if your fantasy world is based on Scandinavian folklore then it makes sense for everybody to be blond.) If I sat down to write a memoir, depending on which year I was remembering all the main characters might be at least legally White, or all of them might be at least biracial. When I write what I know, it does look like America. If that's not true for you, maybe you should think harder about expanding your life experience and social networks.

Would you rather write short stories?


It occurs to me that I've not posted a complete list of places where you can (slowly) earn free stuff through this legitimate survey site, faster if you use the link below. Here are the businesses that currently offer giftcards to people who fill out Yougov surveys, in alphabetical order: Amazon, AMC, Applebees, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Chilis, CVS, Fandango, Foot Locker, Game Stop, Global Hotel, Groupon, I-Tunes, K-Mart, Lowes, Macys, Michaels, Nike, Old Navy, Regal, Sears, Target, TJX, UNICEF (donations), Visa, Walgreens, Wal-Mart. (Tip: If you're in the United States, and a survey asks whether you'd rather take the survey in English or Spanish, and you can take it in Spanish, do...Spanish-speaking U.S. respondents are the hot topic in market research these days, so you'll get more surveys and free stuff. Yougov is slow enough, and both Bing's and Google's online dictionaries are fast enough, that you can look up an occasional word while taking a survey.)