the invisible hand is making a significant gesture

The pet business has been booming for the last year. More people have been buying pets, particularly dogs (at hugely inflated prices….seriously, I paid less for my car than some people are charging for certain brachycephalic, crop-tailed, wheezy, snotty, bowlegged, cherry-eye and skin-infection-prone breeds which shall remain, nonetheless, nameless. I don’t care if they’ve allegedly got tons of personality, they suck as dogs.), more people have been adopting dogs, and more people have been entering the pet business.

Intelligent people knew that the market was going to balance out again eventually, and, sure enough, The Hill reports that the process is now starting. First-time pet owners are starting to return animals to shelters….at an impressively high rate.

Owners returning their pets has risen 82.6 percent since 2020, though it has dropped 12.5 percent compared to 2019, which may reflect the coinciding adoption surge, according to Best Friends Animal Society.

The surrendering of these dogs coincides with cities and states easing and lifting coronavirus restrictions as more and more of the population becomes vaccinated, allowing these owners to return to work, go out to socialize more often and even take trips.

Personally, I think we’re spaying and neutering the majority of healthy individuals of the wrong species. 

Frazetta Friday – Nerse edition

I am informed this is entitled “Young Doctor” and it’s by Norman Rockwell. All together now: aww!

I’m feeling a bit under the weather (spent yesterday either asleep or watching spectacularly bad romantic dramas) and posting may be light for a while. Also, I did something to Brave and it insists on deleting my login information every time I close the browser. I’m getting annoyed but one should not make important decisions while feverish. Like uninstalling and installing a new browser in a fit of pique.

Oops.

Working on it readlist

collins2Carrying the Fire – Michael Collins’ memoirs of the Gemini and Apollo space programs. 

Man once dreamed of the stars.

Shadow and Bone – Leigh Bardugo – After having seen the trailer over at pergelator’s place, I decided to check out the show….and promptly found that I couldn’t watch more than about five minutes of the show itself, because I have an incredibly low capacity for cringy YA  fantasy romances these days. (Cringy scifi/fantasy action horror dramas, on the other hand…) Problem is, low capacity for cringy YA-focused TV = low capacity for cringy YA fantasy romance novels. And this is as cringe YA fantasy romance as it gets. I mean, I can’t even be into the hot dangerous bad boy who wears black all the time and has a dark (geddit) fascination with the heroine, because he’s kind of….dull. And let’s not even get into how the heroine is kind of…basic.

Will attempt it someday and at least it’s on my Kindle readlist:

Blood Heir – Amelie Wen Zhao

– The White Company – Arthur Conan Doyle

Poetry Corner – Other Tiger

A tiger comes to mind. The twilight here
Exalts the vast and busy Library
And seems to set the bookshelves back in gloom;
Innocent, ruthless, bloodstained, sleek
It wanders through its forest and its day
Printing a track along the muddy banks
Of sluggish streams whose names it does not know
(In its world there are no names or past
Or time to come, only the vivid now)
And makes its way across wild distances
Sniffing the braided labyrinth of smells
And in the wind picking the smell of dawn
And tantalizing scent of grazing deer;
Among the bamboo's slanting stripes I glimpse
The tiger's stripes and sense the bony frame
Under the splendid, quivering cover of skin.
Curving oceans and the planet's wastes keep us
Apart in vain; from here in a house far off
In South America I dream of you,
Track you, O tiger of the Ganges' banks.
	
It strikes me now as evening fills my soul
That the tiger addressed in my poem
Is a shadowy beast, a tiger of symbols
And scraps picked up at random out of books,
A string of labored tropes that have no life,
And not the fated tiger, the deadly jewel
That under sun or stars or changing moon
Goes on in Bengal or Sumatra fulfilling
Its rounds of love and indolence and death.
To the tiger of symbols I hold opposed
The one that's real, the one whose blood runs hot
As it cuts down a herd of buffaloes,
And that today, this August third, nineteen
Fifty-nine, throws its shadow on the grass;
But by the act of giving it a name,
By trying to fix the limits of its world,
It becomes a fiction not a living beast,
Not a tiger out roaming the wilds of earth.
	
We'll hunt for a third tiger now, but like
The others this one too will be a form
Of what I dream, a structure of words, and not
The flesh and one tiger that beyond all myths
Paces the earth. I know these things quite well,
Yet nonetheless some force keeps driving me
In this vague, unreasonable, and ancient quest,
And I go on pursuing through the hours
Another tiger, the beast not found in verse.


- Jorge Luis Borges

monkey brains

I started to speak and then someone tapped on my door.

“Come in.” Sam said. I noticed he straightened up a little and his face went calm and intent.

The elf woman pushed it open gently and tip-toed in. She had a plate of sandwiches. She glanced at me, and then away, and then said softly, “I used your kitchen to make some food.”

I concentrated on making my lizard brain override my monkey brain. Food > territory. Get refueled first, and then worry about intruders into my domain. Anyway, if I bit her Sam would probably laugh. Yeah.

“Thank you, Edris.” Sam said. He took the plate from her and passed it to me.

I sat up, because while it is possible to eat sandwiches upside down in bed, it’s not a good idea, especially if they are made of bread that has been warmed but not really toasted because the toaster didn’t actually work properly below “black and crunchy,” and then globs of butter have been slapped on them quickly enough for the residual heat to make them just a little bit runny but still mostly solid in the middle, and then additional fillings have been added of whatever was in my fridge. Nut butter. Cheese curds. Fried eggs. Ketchup.

They were the most delicious sandwiches I had ever tasted. I ate three of them, and Sam ate one with a tired, residual hunger–reaching for it gingerly when my mouth was full and it looked like I wouldn’t bite his hand off if he tried. Then I wiped my mouth off on the inside collar of my shirt and set the plate, with one last oozing pile of delicious near-satiation, back down on the bed.

On the far side of me.

There are more tigers in Texas

–than there are in the wild. There’s approximately 4,800 tigers in the wild–in the entire world. There are approximately 5,000 in the state of Texas alone.

In some ways, this is a good thing. The amount of habitat available for tigers–and most other large wild animals–is limited. Preserving the species, even if it’s in captivity, is a worthwhile endeavor. Because a world without tigers, or elephants, or moose, or penguins, or hell, even Ivory-billed Woodpeckers, is a world that is that much less worth living in as a human.

However, there are a lot of people who just do not know how or what is necessary to take care of giant, obligate carnivore, apex predators. 

THIS FUCKING FALLS UNDER YOU DO NOT HAVE ADEQUATE FACILITIES TO CONTAIN THAT ANIMAL and I fucking guarantee you that it isn’t being fed or treated right.

Somebody here deserves to get shot, and it’s not the stripey one.

Overheard: Monday edition

[technical discussion]
“Wait, isn’t that something M should be doing proactively? Since it’s his job?”
“You just said ‘proactive’ and ‘M’ in the same sentence as ‘job.'”

“If Chihuahuas were the size of Dobermans they’d be banned!”

“How is _ doing?”
“Oh, she’s ok, I guess.”
“’cause when she used to bottle feed calves, they all scoured and died.”
“…”
“Every. Single. Time.”

“My Dad wanted me to sic the USDA on the tiger people. I was trying to explain to him that wouldn’t work, because the USDA only cares about how the tigers are being treated. Not the people.”
“Yup.”
“Apparently he was very traumatized by the way Murder Eyes was trying to kill me through the fence.”

Movies With My Mother – The Gambler From Nachez

s-l1000(Also my Auntie P)

“He’s in uniform, where’s his regiment?”
“He was disbanded….sent home.”
“Why can’t he put on civilian clothes? Or any clothes?”

“Is he the gambler?”
“No, he’s the gambler’s son.”

“He should have known that was coming. Shouldn’t grab someone and push him.”
“What, did he hit first?…he didn’t turn the other cheek.”

dale_robertson“He looks like Burt Lancaster right there.”
“That is not Burt Lancaster.”
“Yes, but he looks like Burt Lancaster.”
“Not really.”
“A little.”
“He don’t look like Burt Lancaster.”

“Unless what?”
“Unless she’s married to him.”
“And then she said, I’ll wait.”
“Tehee!”

[“K, that jacket’s real smart-looking, put it on. Let’s see it!”
“It’s not ironed yet.”]

“Ohhh, women rivalry now. The sophisticated and then the boat girl.”
“Who is this girl?”
“Madame Somebody Sophisticated.”

“Is her umbrella going up or down? ’cause I can’t tell.”

“I dunno who did her lipstick, it looks terrible.”

“That upside down umbrella ain’t gonna do her a lick of good.”

“Remember that, a lady does not allow the situation to get beyond her control. Good wisdom!”

“They going ‘oh,’ she going ‘ah,’ I dunno what they’re talking about.”

“What’s the name of this movie? The night of the who?”

“He’s gonna get infected, he’s crawling through the swamp with a knife wound!”

[“Never trust anything you buy in the Philippines! Look at this!”
“Are you still ironing that jacket?”
“I may have to send it to the cleaners.”]

“He’s not gonna be like Tarzan, take a reed and go underwater?”

“He didn’t even give him a chance. ‘Hello.’ Wham!

“Good night, this man is more than heavy set. Good night. He’s huge.”

“Oh look at her green eye makeup….and she just dove into the water and got out. Got her makeup done already!”

“The other one scorning him because his father was a gambler, she’s in love with him because he’s a gambler….oh the irony.”

“Oh, she’s got false eyelashes…green eyeshadow…red lips…bare shoulders…her skirt got a split in the middle….all she needs is a shimmy.”

“Oh no they DO NOT have a naked person in a statue in the middle of town.”
“What?”
“They have a statue of a naked person in the middle of town. ’cause they French.”

[“Are you still ironing that jacket after thirty minutes?! K. Put it down. Put it down, now! You know if that had been your husband’s shirt it’d have been on the floor long ago. You’re obsessed with that shirt! How much did it cost, 3 dollars?’
“SIX!”]

“What’s he going to do, gamble them out of their money?”

[“I should say, I paid, ‘three thousand pesos’ for that thing.”
“Which is what, six dollars?”
“Which is a lot of money!”
“What is one million pesos, one hundred dollars?”]

‘My father was only a customer, you have no friends.’ What does that mean?”
“Means he would sell him out if he was paid, and he was paid, and he did sell him out.”

“Oh lord, don’t tell me they gon’ come kill this man!”

“They’re looking at her like she’s a skank.”

“Never known a woman who what?”
“Looked good in the morning.”

“Now, she is gonna be a fool if she doesn’t know her brother any better than that.”

(Gasp!) “They murdered him! And they’re gonna say he did it! Because he’s right down the hall.”
“How are they getting him in there?!”
“Through  the balcony. And then they’re gonna put the knife on him, so they can say he did it. It’s so easy to figure out.”

“Now, he gave the knife to the sister, knowing she was going to give the knife to him, and that they took the man and were probably going to kill him. He ought to know they’re going to set him up!”

“….that’s the one you said was going to fall off the building, Riders?”

“Hee, saying I don’ want no kissy kiss on my forehead.”

“Where did dueling come from, the French or the British?”

“What’d she say?”
“She said, I’m gonna marry you pretty soon, you just wait.”
“She staked her claim!”

“She’s what?”
“Pale and skinny.”
“Teehee. She pale and skinny. That’s a good one.”

“She bit her?!”

“That is foolish, you know. To gamble away a boat! Foolish!”

“Who let her out of the pen?”

“Course, when he wins, someone is going to stand up and try to shoot the other person. Bam. You can tell what’s going to happen.”

“So whoever wins gets both? The boat and the farm? Why would he do that!?”

“Now he’s gonna pull out the gun.”

“There he goes….oh, he got a sword.”

“He’s lost everything, now he’s going to lose his life.”
“He’s trying to go out in honor….which is dishonor in his case.”

“Now, the women are just watching….including us.”

“It sounds like pots in the kitchen. Bang bang bang!”

“Now give that woman back her farm! Her plantation! Because she doesn’t have nothing. He’s got to marry her off or something.”

“Put her mouth on him and he been kissing on that other woman?! I’d be slapping his face and handing him a bar of soap!”

1/3 brownies

This recipe courtesy of a friend of mine who doesn’t believe in chemicals, and the fact that all the other measuring cups were in the sink.

– Turn oven on to 350ish. Prep a fairly small pan, because one single mother and a two and five year old aren’t going to eat that much brownies, are they?

– 1/3 c sugar (sugar is not a chemical, yes?)
– 1/3 c carob powder (cocoa powder would work, of course, if these were cursed CHEMICAL brownies, but you might need to throw some salt in there to taste, and up the vanilla)
– 1/3 c carob chips, but doubling it wouldn’t actually hurt.
– 2/3 c flour
– 1/3 c egg whites
– 1/3 c almond milk (mental note: do not tell G that it was store-bought almond milk.)
– splash of vanilla extract (mental note: do not tell G it was *imitation* vanilla.)

– Mix all ingredients.
– Pour into pan.
– Bake for about thirty minutes? I dunno, I checked and it was sizzling because the carob chips apparently melt instead of burning like chocolate chips do.
– Carefully cut into pieces and arrange, artistically, on a plate to hide the fact that you quality-control checked about….one third of it…