Archive | opinion

goals and weight

tomato tart A couple of months ago, I finally went vegetarian…. I had been flirting with it for a few years. meat wasn’t a big mainstay for my diet, a couple of times a week, i’d add meat to a stew or casserole and if i was feeling rich i’d buy a whole chicken and stretch it to unreasonable lengths.

Removing the meat was easy, removing bread less easy, removing corn products wasn’t hard and probably the more dangerous of the bunch. Of the three, bread i still dream about at night, but I allow myself some flat bread off and on through the week, naan, pita, tortilla or the bottom of a tomato tart. Gluten isn’t a problem for me, but carbohydrates and starches seem to be.

Unfortunately, I have never been a huge vegetable person, to me they are all parts of a potential soup…..so it’s a brave new world for me. Too many raw foods at once can make me regretful, so I have been experimenting to find ways to get them inside of me, thus the tart.

I tried veganism once, it was extremely unsatisfying, too may things contain too many other things, and you have to start substituting things for other things…too complicated.  I just want to eat good real food and not have to worry, “oh does it have xyz in it?” i can’t eat “xyz” …i don’t want to be one of those people.   I just want to fill my diet with things that won’t hurt me. today I tried and liked millet go figure

I’m a big fan of Mark Bittman’s easy to remember advice “not to anything your grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food”  ‘cept in my case, i’d have to say my great grandmother..the only grandmother I met personally liked convenience foods.  Other bits of his advice were, not to buy things with more than 5 ingredients…. i’m afraid Cheerios breaks that rule and probably those granola bars I am partial to, but otherwise it’s a good rule of thumb for me.

scaleMeeting my biofamily has been delightful, and they understand completely when I say this… I don’t wish to continue sharing the family figure. Until now I just thought i was being a lazy sot, eating my feelings…but I have seen my future and don’t want any part of it. All those things I wanted to do someday are not going to wait forever. So i need to get off my ass and become half the person I have been lately.

I’ve only lost 15 lbs this summer, and about 20 before that…don’t do the math..it’s not pretty… but I haven’t really been exercising for weight loss yet, just riding or hiking for my own casual amusement…..so all that loss was really just tied to DIET…  removing everything currently ‘bad’ from my diet and cutting intake down to half normal, is responsible for a slow steady loss.

I hope to bring good bread back into my diet when I am finally happy with my weight, but I plan to remain a vegetarian for the rest of my life.  (don’t get me wrong…I ate a strip steak last week at the company barbecue..i’ve become vegetarian, not stupid)    My original target  to reach my goal weight was 3 years, but I may change it to 2 years, if i get into this vegetarian thing and get off my ass.

by the pricking of my ears

2016-07-28 10.40.12 Last year I started adding audiobooks to what I listen to at work along with the podcasts…(the day job is logistics/order tracking, i need to keep part of my mind busy so i can concentrate…go figure) I was starting to loose track of which books i hadn’t finished.   There are a few that i got pretty far into but i got bored and started something more interesting.    So I started making a list using the library website, my audible account, goodreads.com, and what i posted on facebook.  This is what I can remember that I have read since January. I have gotten hooked on Cyperpunk and techy sci fi books, but i discovered a number that I really loved enough to add to my bookcase in print form.  I just ordered an ARC of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore for my collection and I’d like a nice vintage paperback copy of Forever War too.

Books I reread this year, that i have read more than 5 times… some are well into double digits, these are books I have in my collection in hardcover as well.

The Martian, Andy Weir
Island in the Sea of Time, S. M. Stirling,
Ready Player One, Ernest Cline
Three Men in a Boat, Jerome K Jerome
Good Omens, Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
The Ascent of Rum Doodle, W Bowman
Sandman Slim #1, Richard Kadrey
Just One Damned Thing After Another (The Chronicles of St Mary’s, #1), Jodi Taylor
A Symphony of Echoes (The Chronicles of St. Mary’s, #2)
A Second Change (The Chronicels of St. Mary’s #3)

and the rest…an R means I reread it, I usually revisit the last book in a series before I read the new one.

A Hat Full of Sky (Discworld)
Carpe Jugulum (Discworld)
Equal Rites(Discworld) (R)
Guards! Guards! (Discworld)
I Shall Wear Midnight(Discworld) (R)
Lords and Ladies(Discworld)
Mort(Discworld)
Reaper Man (Discworld)
The Shepherd’s Crown(Discworld)
The Wee Free Men(Discworld)
Witches Abroad (Discworld)
Wyrd Sisters (Discworld)

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?, The Chronicles of St Mary’s, #6  (R)
Lies, Damned Lies, and History: The Chronicles of St. Mary’s #7

Killing Pretty- Sandman Slim #7, Richard Kadrey (R)
The Perdition Score Sandman Slim #8, Kadrey
The Everything Box, Richard Kadrey

Crooked Little Vein, Warren Ellis
Worst. Person. Ever., Douglas Coupland
Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits, David Wong
Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
Altered Carbon #1, Robert K Morgan
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, Robin Sloan

Daemon #1, Daniel Suarez
Freedom™ #2, Daniel Suarez

Three Body Problem #1, Liu Cixin
Embedded, Daniel Abnett
The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, Becky Chambers
Zoo City, Lauren Beukes

Kraken, China Miéville
The Magicians #1, Len Grossman (R)
Rivers of London, Ben Aaronovitch
Moon Over Soho, Ben Aaronovitch
The Accidental Alchemist, Gigi Pandian
The Atrocity Archives Laundry Files #1, Charles Stross
The Jennifer Morgue Laundry Files #2, Charles Stross

A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L’Engel
Inferno, Niven & Pournelle
Dinosaur Summer, Greg Bear

Mysteries
Clammed Up #1, Barbara Ross
Cocaine Blues, Kerry Greenwood
A Simple Murder, Kuhns
Precipice, Bowditch #6, Paul Doiron
Widowmaker, Bowditch #7, Paul Doiron
The Thirteenth Tale Diane Setterfield

Young Adult
The War That Saved My Life, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Bloody Jack #1, Meyer

Non Fiction
The View from the Cheap Seats, Neil Gaiman
The Design of Everyday Things
Spinster, Kate Bolick
Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off (knitting)
Ted Talks: The Official Ted Guide to Public Speaking
The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat: Craig Claiborne and the American Food Renaissance

Next up, I have Liu Cixin The Dark Forest #2.  I have a growing list of cyberpunk and techy sci fi waiting in the wings.

green toes

This is the 1st ‘Garden’ I have had in a long time… i had a really nice one about 14 years ago, but things went sideways when the Landscapers started encroaching and I had less and less time to devote to it. This one can’t be ignored, it’s kinda of the whole property. The last owner had inserted a lot of plants all over the place…and i have spent the last few years putting thing in their proper places, and trying to get the shrubbery under control.

gardenpano_edited-1

gardenshade_edited-1

I managed to clear all the mess behind the pond, along the back fence. The trees make a lot of kindling and viny weeds like to masquerade as other things.   I still have a large bush to finish killing off…to be replaced with a dwarf apple tree. And a couple of other shrubs to relocate.

pond_edited-1

 

I doubt I can fit any more raised beds, but next year I will add containers…especially on the brick patio which I don’t use., I have few places with high sun I can’t waste them.  There’s not enough sun for things like slicing tomatoes and peppers…so I went with moisture loving things like Cucurbitaceae the plants like zucchini, melon, cucumber, squash – they seemed to like the yard last year….I doubled down on cherry tomatoes..they did well last year…and so far this year the plants are huge, but have yet to produce anything edible…I have a sneaking suspicion that all of my plants will start producing at the same time, which means my neighbors are gonna get a lot of gift veg.

What I am most happy with is the herb bed…i fact, I think I will do a second bed with herbs as well…maybe a just small on the other side of the patio.   I have taken to putting fresh herbs in everything…and I hope to do a lot of drying at the end of the year.  I wish there was something I could grow in the pond that was edible… so far I am just tossing yellowed lettuce leaves in to feed the pollywogs – the dragons don’t eat much.

 

herbgarden

One sock, two sock…..

henrysockSomewhere around February, I started knitting…again….I had learned 30 plus years ago but it didn’t take…i didn’t need it.. i couldn’t have wrapped my head around just SITTING…. these days I am knitting while i am listening or watching – things that don’t require my hands, to the detriment of many other things.  I haven’t worked on anything else…blogs, manuscripts, publications..nothing that would make a profit… but i have turned out an afghan, a few dishtowels, scrub pads, a rather lovely shawl and ONE sock.

I confess I have fallen down the knitting rabbit hole rather far… but I recognized the hole before I got anywhere near it…and I made up a bunch of my ‘rules. It wasn’t that hard.. I still have an addictive personality but i don’t have the finances to support it.  Right now I am looking at a few boxes of yarn..my cache… i avoid even going INTO ‘yarn’ stores..if you been in one you’d know why… i have parsed knitting into recreational knitters and subsistence knitters..i am of the later… I am only wasting my time knitting things I can actually use and even then if i can avoid using buying A grade yarn the better.   The brown shawl used to be a small alpaca sweater purchased at for $2…unfortunately I have an entire trunk of Goodwill sweaters waiting to be unraveled….wool from all over the world all disguised as ugly sweaters for the moment. The socks on the other hand are new sock yarn, which I am resisting the urge to buy more of until I complete an actual Pair of socks..I keep unraveling them and doing them over, the 1st one in unraveled to make the second one, and the second one took me 14 tries.  shawl

Once I wrap my head around an aspect of knitting it sticks.. though my right hand is still a little fucked up, my biggest difficulty is SEEING the stitches, I like things like the socks where i can just measure.  Thankfully youtube is chockfull of knitting instructions and inspirational blogs – the videos are much more helpful than learning from a real person, it’s hard to get people to freeze frame and slowmotion backwards.

Ravelry.com  is the internet within the internet for knitters and crocheters, you need never have to pay for a pattern.  It also cross-references all the possible yarns and online places to get them, basically it satisfies all the possible yarn joneses.  There’s even a lovely corner for people like me, who unravel things to make other things.   Btw you can buy recycled yarn all over Ebay and Etsy, unless you are broke like me.

One of the things about knitting that I find endlessly fascinating and does feed into my raison d’etre, is the ability to unravel and recycle the yarn, or even just pick up the stitches on something and continue making it.  Granted you can try to get away with that in sewing, but it’s trickier..unless you are into patchwork, everything you are making is vastly smaller than the used fabric you are starting with.   Yarn doesn’t know that sort of limitation.  If you plot out the chess-like knitting notation on graph paper it is clear that it is completely binary, knit stitches and purl stitches which makes perfect sense to a brain like mine. Knitting is also similar to 3-D printing, you are creating all sides at the same time, the inside and the outside, as well as height and thickness.  Running  a soon to be felted slipper through a few hot wash loads yields a 3 dimensional object which started out as an unbroken line…a skein of yarn, I still think that’s pretty spectacular stunt.

Right now I am more interested in acquiring the skill, than acquiring a closet full of knitting items. I already have a few sweaters now, how many can I wear and I doubt I will ever be able to knit a a sweater as nice as the ones I have purchased, but I am using my new yarn knowledge to improve my thrift shopping. I have some really nice stuff now. But having the ability to churn out a new sock when I need one is empowering ( you know even the Egyptians used replaceable heels on their sock designs?)  I still need to finish this second sock before I start patting myself on the back.

Hello, my name is Barrie.

img-thingNo, I am not making that up; that was the name I was born with: Barrie Elizabeth…..or so my bio-mom tells me. For long time readers of this erstwhile blog, you know that I didn’t share genetic material with my toxic parent and he-who-shall-not-be-named. And before you ask, NO, I never had an itch to track down my bio-parents; Herself sort of ruined the idea of adding MORE family into the mix. But never say never.

I got a letter and then a phone call from Catholic Charities, I was being sought. In the backwards-ass way the church works, the ONE person who isn’t allowed to look for you is your mother, but my bio-dad’s, sister did get them to find me. In an interesting aside:  she had zilch information on how to where to look, but she found an online post from my mother that handed her all that she needed to get started. So, separately they had no chance of finding me, but when combined it took very little time.

As it happens I took the call at work on Monday…..they had outdated contact information about my mother.. but when I got home, it only took me about 20 minutes online to find her contact information – hey I have stalked a few boyfriends in my time, this was literally child’s play…. I had everything, except her cell phone number…and being the impatient brat that I am…by about 6 o’clock I was sitting in my biomoms living room in Maine(!) having a gabfest with her and my new other mother – HEY, if they didn’t want someone to knock on the screen door saying ‘ I think you’re my mother’, they shouldn’t have moved to the same state – coincidence? I think not…..and as IF having ONE mother didn’t teach me a lesson, now I have TWO MORE!…yes, Joycey has two mommies…and two more birthdays to remember…and two more siblings..no four more siblings and I dunno, a few nieces and nephews..oy vey.

But wait, racefans…it gets better….the only reason I was in my biomoms living room on Monday is because my bioaunt didn’t answer her damn cellphone..otherwise the order of appearance would be reversed… my aunt and her hubby had been traveling through the Maine/NB corridor and had made it back to her daughter’s(my biocousin) home when I called her…”you know I can be there in about 90 minutes right? guess who’s coming to dinner?” So, 90 minutes later I was having ANOTHER chinwag on a deck in New Hampshire.   They were flying back to FLA this morning so it was then or Skype and that isn’t very satisfying first contact is it?  And along with the bioaunt comes a package deal of her hubby, and her kids- my biocousins and their kids…bio-somethings, I am really too old to start  flowcharting family members.

On Monday morning I only had the voices in my head keeping me company, and by Wednesday morning my damn Christmas Card list was SRO!   Do NOT assume that this is somehow emotional or traumatic FOR ME, it’s not, I don’t think teenagers should raise babies…..or even get car keys for that matter…. but I am finding it intellectually entertaining as all hell–the universe is a surprising place. But those two women had to wait 54 years for closure, and some folks like my biodad and his parents NEVER got any. For all they know the church could have pushed me down a mineshaft or sold me to a circus…wait, wait…now THERE’s an image…but seriously Herself was damaged goods, my  Mad Men era dad died in ’66 taking all her dreams with her, no wonder her insecurities ran roughshod over everything in her path… but aside from that, I lived a comfortable white middle class lifestyle where I wanted for nothing.  Pregnant teenagers had few choices in 1962 and I ended up being more fortunate with the results than others.

I am still not sure what I think of ‘Barrie’ as an actual NAME name…part of me thinks it maybe another reason teenagers shouldn’t name babies.   No offense Ellen, whom I am sure is reading this along with Bettie and Fran….hmm…. damnit, now I won’t be able to talk about them on here.  8(

Chervil hunt

savorychervil Took a few days and a few phone calls but I found it….I didn’t even realize I needed it.

I started hunting for Chervil long after I had created my herb garden… too late in fact since there is barely any room left for even one more herb in that bed. I have become fascinated with a recipe I can’t make without it…well I can, but it wouldn’t be the same. Salted Herbes…Herbes Salées… a Quebecois condiment – which is as the name forecasts…herbs and salt, that’s it. You mince the herbs good and proper and salt the hell out of it and let them sit for a spell, draining all the fluids so you end up with something fluffy and green. One would add it to soups and stews and so forth. I have yet to taste it. There is one commercially sold brand here in Maine, but they are stingey on the herbs and it is made with only leeks, parsley and scallions; a shadow of the original recipe. Since it is a classic homestyle sort of thing, one can assume it varies from grandmother to grandmother.

from a A Taste of Quebec by Julian Armstrong
1 c Chopped fresh chives
1 c Chopped fresh savory
1 c Chopped fresh parsley
1 c Chopped fresh chervil
1 c Grated carrots
1 c Chopped celery leaves
1 c Chopped green onions
1/4 To 1/2 cup coarse salt

In a large bowl, combine herbs and vegetables. Layer a inch of herb mixture in the bottom of a crock or glass bowl and sprinkle with some of the salt. Repeat layers until all of the herb mixture and salt is used. Cover and refrigerate for 2 weeks. Drain off accumulated liquid and pack herb mixture into sterilized jars. Refrigerate until ready to use. Makes about 5 to 6 cups.

herbgardenNow any American grocery store is gonna have everything on that list..EXCEPT, Chervil and Savory..Summer Savory in fact..which I have since figured out both are annuals…and not on my perennial garden shopping list. So, I started calling around,I even had to spell them out. But I finally find a place in Falmouth who had Chervil in pots…though at an inflated price. The Savory was a bit trickier..actually it didn’t take any effort at all..i bought it by accident. I had been poking around at the feed store wasting money on end of season herbs like Pineapple Sage and Cinnamon Basil, I bought another pot of what was labeled Winter Savory for 1.49…turns out it didn’t look anything LIKE my $5 Winter Savory, so I went back and bought the rest of them…the little plastic Winter Savory label even had the Summer Savory picture ..imagine an intense tarragon with an anise backbite.

Now, that I have both of these in the ground, I am going to have carefullysave the seeds for next year since it has to be direct sewn. Seems like an awful lot of bother when I could probably just leave them out and it would taste just as good, right? I dunno, I have yet to try this delicacy, I am too cheap to spend the $6 on 3/4 of a pint of the store bought but yet I will be beaucoup dollars tracking down each and every other ingredient; I do have chives and parsley in the garden already…but i may have to make some room next year for celery and green onion.

While I was tunneling down the French Canadian recipe rabbit hole I found a number of recipes that are improved by the addition of salty herbs, because they seem to lean towards the bland without it. Right now I have my eye on Fricot a la Belette which is Weasel Fricot/Weasel stew, essentially a meatless potato stew with flour dumplings, because the weasel stole the meat..get it? ya, it’s lame, it’s potatoes, what did you expect. Here’s a link to a nice blog post with a recipe. It’s summer here in Maine, I’m hoping to have a few jars of Salted Herbs come fall to make tasty winter fricots.

self sabotage

2015-11-22 10.55.48Martha enjoys the bedroom window view..which will be an interesting experience this coming winter, last year I was still sleeping in a corner of the living room on the couch and the dead branches went down to the ground.  So now I have this view from my desk…when  i get around to sitting there.

I opened this blog post 10 hours ago on one computer and moved to another computer 4 hours ago…and it has remained blank. It is difficult for me to write about things and not complain. I don’t know why i figured my life would be financially better now than it was before i moved, but it’s not and in a few ways wore. My life is better way way better, but that’s cause i have basically not thought any further than the next paycheck. Just remembered today that the company i am working at part time is closed two days this week but because i am owned by the temp agency i am shitout of luck…i am gonna have to put in all my hours in just three days. 1st world problem i know but i’m glad i remembered in time. I tried selling the company, i tried getting some outside work all to naught… so now i have all my eggs in a basket that keeps moving like migratory goalposts.

4b158010-438b-4b3d-b07d-c4c89f5777cbSo, I’m writing a book…I’ve been writing this book for quite a while now…what i thought i could finish by the end of the summer has become a larger project than i had planned. But it’s my 1st unique text I have felt like seeing in print, so it’s still demanding to see the light of day. And I am hoping that it will bring me in some pocket change. fingers crossed.

And this book…which i do manage to talk about to nearly everyone i meet in the real world, i haven’t mentioned much on this page. I didn’t want to jinx myself. It is a culmination..a distillation of all the crap i have learned in the last 50 years. It’s a how to manual for people who live alone, all the crap most people have to deal with, household, cooking, recreation, everything soup to nuts, like i said the damn thing is getting more involved the longer i go on with it. Consider it a mile wide and a foot deep, I hope. I’m at the point where i am putting the meat on all the bones, and if i SAT at my desk and worked i’d have a good chance of finishing it. Instead i waste hours ‘researching’ surfing the net, avoiding writing at all costs…what is UP with that? If i finish the book, i have a shot at making a little money? i swear there is a suicidal asshole up inside my head.

leafy greens

leafparty1 As always I sat down to write this two or three times already and only now have a chance to finish it. I still try to stay away from the computer as much as possible, whenever i sit here i lose hours of time just consuming internet content. I sat down 4 hours ago to work on the new book and have as yet not written a word. I have had to drive cats down to the vet in Massachusetts three times now… I just can’t afford to use one up here, even running it through the rescue group I am creating a deficit i will need to make a sizable donation to cover, with what i don’t know…if i finished writing this fucking book i’d have a better idea. But like all things I really enjoy the research way way better than the actual writing part. I just can’t be trusted with grownup shit.  < i just typed an entire paragraph about how i can’t get ahead of the curve and then deleted…even i don’t want to hear my crap >

raisedbed1The woman next door gave me two of these unused raised bed frames..they are enormous..more along the lines of what you are supposed to build.   I couldn’t lift them so i attached casters to them and wheeled them over.  Looks like I am going to be buy a shit ton of top soil and compost from the city recycling center next spring… first off I am going to rake all the leaves into the boxes… i’m lazy that way.  if nature wanted them in bags, she’d put them in bags herself.

I decided to double down on the herb garden next year… i dug up a few and brought them inside for the winter…though i don’t see them surviving – the Lavender and rosemary are doing okay, fingers crossed on the sage and chives.   I need to move last years raised beds closer to the house to use every inch of sunny space properly.

 

a lot of asses

catonchairA The blog has turned into a record of my furniture these days…. i had to drive all the way to mass on Friday just to get vet care for one of my cats…i haven’t paid retail for a vet for decades, so it was pretty disturbing to get a quote of $600 for an ear hematoma with a straight face no less. It was worth the drive to mass to get helped out by the vets down there. I had sworn off driving back and forth on the same day, but i do seem to be doing it more often than not and in between i drive around visiting friends who just happen to be home… but while i was down there I bought a chair i didn’t need…$9…and it turns out most of it is 200 years old.

IMG_6265AIMG_6256AWhen I saw it at the ReStore i knew it was ‘something’, it spoke to me and said take me home, hang your semi dirty clothes from my thumbs. So I did. It has character, it has wabi sabi…or it IS wabi sabi…i am not sure if it’s a noun or an adjective…or can it be a verb?

I love a puzzle. a long long time ago it seems, I was an antique dealer for a few years…back when i was married and broke and selling my personal belongings, i spent a little extra and trolled thriftshops and find stuff to resell. I can’t say it was fun..i was married. unhappy and broke, but it kept me busy and I learned a shit ton about a LOT of things. I can usually tell at a glance that something is ‘good’, if i am in an upscale shop i know i can’t afford it, but once in a while a blind pig finds a truffle in a thrift store. Considering how much furniture i have divested I don’t really NEED anything else until the 2nd floor is open but i can always find room for a dainty little chair. Besides MY other spindle back side chair didn’t make the move, it got damaged and I didn’t want to look the damage everyday so i curbed it before i moved. IMG_6270A This chair has been professionally repaired at one time…but it seems from the wear on the overcoat of varnish, it was a long long time ago. I love things that tell a story…this says that someone loved this chair…or at least valued it a la Lovejoy and thought it was worth fixing…well three of the legs seem to be from a much later vintage but they are still pretty old too.char1820s

I spent practically an entire day, taking close up photos and researching it online…that sort of entertainment alone was worth $9 to me. once I finally found other examples I was a little freaked to date the chair to the 1820s…i had figured it was 1850s, but all my micro examinations tells me it’s older..way older… while i was happily google searching images, I actually found a cache of well researched magazine articles about American Furniture over at Chipstone…thanks fellas… Nancy Goyne Evans seems to be the big brain when it comes to American Chairs these days..especially these Windsor styles.. her article Frog Backs and Turkey Legs: The NomenClature of Vernacular Seating Furniture 1740-1850  is pretty extensive and fascinating.  According to Evans, 1820 saw a change from 7 spindles down to 4 or 5 spindles in these white pine side chairs, and after 1830 there seems to be a drift towards multiple crest and ladder backs.

IMG_6283AhookwitubeLike I said I had all kinds of fun researching this puppy.  Something that occurred to me while i was doing all this crazy highway driving, that my brain seems to be WORKING these days… I confess I am getting a little hyper stimulated by straight caffeine pills in the morning, but while I am awake I can actually THINK, it’s been a long time since that was both true.  In the end I decided to just hanging the chair on the newly painted wall in the kitchen.   I hadn’t found anything I owned worth the space, the Transmetro poster migrated to the bedroom so the wall was just hanging out looking lonely.   It took me a couple of hours to cut a rail and find the appropriate iron hooks and get everything painted so the chair would be secure and safe.  I didn’t have any shaker pegs, just cast iron hooks…but i had some plastic tubing from the fish tank, so in the end the chair is quite safe and can hold apparently at least one 15 lb cat.  In another home I supposed it would hold silk flowers or old books…in my house…it’s cat asses… but then this little old white pine seat has already seen 200 years of ass, what’s a few more?

escape pods

icon-podcastMy Kindle Fire HD has been acting all wonky lately, still is….. it just doesn’t want to cooperate somedays.  Yesterday it in fact, it just sat there imitating a winking brick for the entire day.  I gave up on it, thinking it was in league with the Laptop which did not survive being used as a launching pad by one of the elderly cats, and started looking for a replacement.   The Kindle Fire…which is  my constant companion,  feeds me a steady diet of audiobooks and podcasts.  Turns out that if I wait until the end of October..the non-HD Kindle Fire goes on sale for $50,  (I may actually buy another one at that price…just in case.)   My Kindle must have heard me, as soon as I got home from work, it allowed me get to settings and set off a factory reset bomb.  Like the deceased Laptop I don’t keep anything on it I can’t wipe by accident… in fact same thing with the PC,  cloud backup means a crash I wouldn’t send me into a fetal curl; it would be an expensive event, but not dire.  Long story short, the Kindle is once again purring away nicely playing a podcast, though I have my eye on it.

I had been at the day job for a few months before it occurred to me to bring the Kindle.  If it wasn’t for audiobooks from the library and audible, I wouldn’t get any books read these days.

There are some podcasts which I have been listening to for years:  WTF with Marc Maron,  Greg Proops Smartest Man in the World, NerdistAisha Tyler’s Girl On Guy, Doug Loves Movies.  Not to forget: Slate’s Culture Gabfest and Double X Gabfest, NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour, though all of NPRs programs can be downloaded as Podcasts, like Radiolab, How to Do Everything, Planet Money,  Fresh Air  and This American Life.  And if I still have any time after that, there some performed podcasts Welcome to Night Vale and the Thrilling Adventure Hour.

Reprogramming the podcast app on the Kindle by hand is actually a good memory aid, like cleaning out the junk drawer….I know there were probably about 15 other podcasts on there, which didn’t jumped readily to mind, meaning I probably don’t really care if I hear their newest upload.  Meanwhile there are a half dozen that I have not only fallen in love with, and I am working my way through their entire backlist: Roman Mars’ 99% Invisible…  IMHO is the BEST podcast ever, each episode is between 10 and 20 minutes and I am sad when it ends – sending me down the Radiotopia rabbit hole, where I am trying all sister shows, including the Allusionist podcast about the English language…another favorite podcast of all time, leading me to the embarrassment of riches that is Answer Me This. which made it into Episode 300 before I discovered it even existed (hangs head in shame). . . eventually landing me at the podcast produced by the QI elves: No Such Thing as a Fish, another show which is much too short.

I suppose I should not be surprised at the glut of listening available these days….podcasts have grown like topsy, ….both in quantity and quality, since people have been manage to monetize them. but I am seriously tickled to death that there are NOW this many that I actually LIKE, this many that I actually look forward to putting them into my brain.  I would have EASILY bought another Kindle if this one had shit the bed, I doubt I could get through a day at work without a podcast providing me an escape route.

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