The Riders of Skaith’s Top 23 Search Terms of 2021

Or, at least, the top 25 that excludes everything in Russian and stuff I didn’t want to include.

love and destiny11Starting from Episodes 1-5, I watched and recapped this during early 2020. It, along with The Romance of Hua Rong, helped keep me sane while surrounded by crazy people and tigers.
scott adkins ninja10Review here! This one was fun to watch!
ninja 20097Not to be confused with the Scott Adkins Ninja of the same year (but I totally did), this one stars that Korean guy, Rain, and that girl who plays the police girl in all the movies.
tiger art png5I can direct you to my Big Cats tag, which is largely but not entirely photos I took during my internship at a large animal sanctuary, 2019-2020.
the romance of hua rong5For your convenience and pleasure, I can direct you to this summary post! This show is amazing and I will defend that to my dying breath.
inside the mandalorian suite3It’s Brendan Wayne, and although I’m lukewarm on the show, he had interesting perspectives to share.
romance of hua rong3Aw, yep.
edward norton those who wisj3Turns out it was actually discount Edward Norton, I’m sorry to say.
marnie terry holbrook character2I’m more amazed that I got two hits on this than anything else. Book review: here.
frank frazetta2Stick around, I do these every Friday.
why do people dislike peace talks by jim butcher1Because they’re morons. I actually prefer Peace Talks to Battle Ground, needless to say.
rhfcrb b nuh1Huh.
siege in fog summary1The book was actually OK! Just not very good. The drama started out well and then turned boring AF.
romance of hua rong drama episode 1 recap1Bless your little heart. Here it is.
veronica lake in boots1When you find it, let me know, huh?
the mountains call . caitlin brennan1Horse girls aren’t a very demanding audience but your fantasy horse novel should still have a plot.
theridersofskaith sky empire1Sorry, friend. I have no idea. Sounds cool, though!
riders of skaith xu kai1He’s that guy in The Legends / Ostentatious Zhao Yao, right?
wandavision s01e031It was just beginning to show its true colors at that point.
oriental odyssey drama who marries the prince1The heroine, of course.
house of assassins summary1Well, I reviewed it.
skot adking  ninja1Dude, really?
gordon dickson dune1YOU ARE A FAKE NERD AND A HEATHEN AND NOT A SLAN. GET OUT OF HERE!

everybody should have goats

“Yeah, she’s got PBGVs.”
“Petit Brussels Griffon Vendeens.”
“Yep, and the Grande…the GPV….somethings.”
“The ones with the acronym I can’t even remember? They’re fancy Basset Hounds, basically.”
“Yeah. Also she’s got [x] and [y].”
“Oooh, nice.”
“And a camel.”
“Eh.”
“And goats.”
“Everyone should have a few goats to add complexity to their life!”

“Is that your real hair?”
“…yes….?”
“Can I pull it to make sure?”
“….no.”
[…]
“At least she asked first.”

Miscellany

  • Be professional. Wear pants.
  • No, you cannot sell cookies at the conference.
  • Don’t talk too fast; it prevents the fishy and/or bewildered looks from registering.
  • A silent glare isn’t actually a good sign, but in certain circumstances consider it an honor.
  • Communicate with your coworkers and supervisors sooner rather than later. Especially if you think someone’s going to complain.
  • In this case, it was while getting out of the driveway.
  • Also, read your bloody notes ahead of time.
  • One missed phone call is chance. Twice is coincidence. Four straight to voicemail means they’re definitely running mad.
  • When conversation lags, “What the hell is wrong with people?” is always a good one.

Every Day Carry

Apropos of nothing much, I switched out my daily carry bag today.

I’m allergic to purses, so….I’ve had my same sling bag four about (wow) six years, and the strap is fraying. It cost about 30$ off of Amazon, has pockets and zippers and compartments and straps galore, and most importantly, shipped in two days to replace the insultingly pink string bag I was expected to use at the time. It’s military green and has lots of those strappy attachment thingys on it. (The pink bag went to my brother in law.) Anyhow, I’m switching it out for a 10$ backpack from Walmart.

What my daily carry bag contains is:

Main pocket:

  • Wallet/pocket book with cards, essential documents, and cash.
  • A first-aid kit, to which I have added bandaids, because there’s nothing like needing a bandaid for your hangnailed finger and pawing through your entire vaunted first aid kit and still not having one.
  • I’m going to add a clipboard to the flat liner pocket, purely to have a rigid surface along the inside/back for comfort while wearing for longer periods of time. This backpack can fit my 17-inch personal laptop, but just barely.
  • There’s plenty of room left over at this point, which is a good thing. Loaded with approximately the same stuff, this bag is far lighter than my old one.

Smaller front pocket:

  • Ziploc bag containing emergency supplies:
    • 2 clean pair of socks + underpants.
    • Feminine hygiene product supplies (4 pads + 4 tampons) in their own baggie.
    • Haircare: a comb, one of those folding brushes from Dollar Tree, and a handful of hairpins….really, what I need for this one is to replace comb + brush with a wide- toothed comb that I’ll actually use, and stick a headband or kerchief in there. Note to self. (These are also contained in their own baggie.)
    • One of those hotel soap bars, and one of those travel toothbrushes in a third baggie.
    • Packet of tissues.
  • Large flashlight with window-breaking tool.
  • Large sheathed knife.
  • Paperback book (Memory – Lois McMaster Bujold, replacing The Prince Commands by Andre Norton) and one of those miniature New Testaments.
  • Spare string-top bag.

Quick-access front pocket:

  • Quick-access feminine hygiene supplies (2 each, in a baggie.)
  • 2-foot cable + plug for phone.
  • Set of wired earbuds from Dollar Tree, in packaging.

Left side mesh pocket: (my old bag had a small zippered top pocket that was exquisitely useful. Alas.)

  • Small notebook.
  • 2 pens.
  • small Altoids tin with assorted pills.
  • multitool.
  • pepper spray…and hope like hell it doesn’t get jostled enough to go off.
  • hand sanitizer.
  • lighter.
  • Since I usually carry a pocket knife in, y’know, my pocket, I removed the small folding knife that used to be included here.
  • Admittedly, what I mostly used this pocket for was storing snack bars ready to hand….

Right side mesh pocket:

  • Hopefully my 750-ml Camelbak bottle will fit comfortably in there.

Any recommendations for improvement?

1-person, 4-cheese pizza

OK, so I am quite proud of how this one turned out, for once. Most of my pizza experiments have ended up just about edible, but nothing to write (or blog) home about.

So!

Preheat your oven. I had it at 350F and used a glass casserole dish, but an actual pizza pan and a higher temperature would work better. Grease it thoroughly (this step is IMPORTANT.)

– 50 g cottage cheese (technically, this is supposed to be Greek yogurt, but I didn’t have any. This worked fine, though, so I’m going to keep doing it. More cheese = more better pizza.)
– 10 g of whatever dried grated cheese substitute in a can you have on hand because it’s cheap (praise Aldi)
– 2 g (1/2 tsp) of baking powder
– 2 g (shakeshakeshakeshakwhoopsnahit’llbefine) of salt
– dash of Italian seasoning + garlic powder / onion powder if you feel like it
– 25 g flour

Mix, adding very small amounts of water as needed until the dough pulls together. It’s quite sticky.

– Add about ~10 g cornmeal to unsticky it.

En-dish it and bake for a while. Since you have gone to some trouble to grease your baking pan, don’t smush the dough directly into it. Smush it out flat on the counter first, then transfer to the pan. Once it looks like it’s mostly cooked through (~20 minutes?), remove, and add:

– 90 g or about four big spoons of pizza sauce of choice
– 25 g of one type of cheese (muenster from the discount grocery!)
– 25 g of another type of cheese (parmesan from the other discount grocery!)
– toppings of your choice (….I have long wondered whether asparagus would be good on pizza, but today is not the day I find out)

Frankly, the oven should be hotter than 350, because it took a while. Pull it out when it’s ready or you get tired of waiting.

It was just about the right thickness, nice and crispy on the bottom but not too much, fluffy in the middle, and very cheesy on top. Kindly pretend this post is illustrated with pinterest-style making of pics, because I’m not about that. 

Normal content programming will resume whenever I get the time to read an actual book.

Good books lately

a_princess_of_mars-michael_whelanChildren of Time (Adrian Tchaikovsky) was something of a bust, because I resent being required to empathize with spiders. Yes, there are humans in it. But, with the exception of the insane mad scientist, they were boring, small-minded, and not spaceworthy. And the freaking spiders were better space heroes than them. Gah.

Doors of Eden (same) started out with enough of a #CurrentYear buzzwords bingo that I checked the inside cover, to find that, yep, it was published last year. But once it gets rolling, there’s a decent enough thriller underneath to keep my attention so far. I have a feeling it’s not going to last, either (who cares about saving the world? Really? When you get right down to it?)

Last Stand of the Tin Can Soldiers (somebody or other) remains resolutely unopened.

A Princess of Mars (Edgar Rice Burroughs) seems to have partially cured my writers block, with the realization that, no matter *what* the princess is or has done, the prince has got to be able to rescue her…

self-domesticated

“Kitty, you are really ruining my street cred here, y’know.”
Purr.
“You aren’t even all that ferocious. I mean, it would be fine if you weighed like five hundred pounds and had saber teeth like that guy’s dog does.” Preston grinned a little.
Purr. The claws retracted, now that attempts to prise them free had stopped. Preston gingerly reached over her shoulder again and essayed a stroke.
Purr, knead. Preston winced. One of the paws was kneading the backpack strap, but one of them was on her neck and the kitten-sharp claws went straight through her t-shirt. “Okay, cat. You gotta stop now. Stop. Get down. C’mon.”
This time the kitten slithered gracefully into her arms, purring.
Preston put it down firmly on the table and turned away, only to feel a slight pressure and hear a series of popping sounds, like small claws clambering up a canvas pack, and then a purr.
She untangled it again and set it on the table. It arched its back and walked back and forwards, turning to slam its head into her palm and then slide its body along under her fingers. She stood with her hand stiffly extended. “You shouldn’t get too attached, kitty. You gotta be careful. Humans are not to be trusted.”