Book-ish

Minus four or five books not shown, I was a bit busy reading to keep sane in 2020.

So, a few days late and no dollars short, here are most of the books that have shown up from a few small to large publishers last year when I was holed up and locked down. There are a few missing from this photo, as a friend needed some emergency reads and I was more than happy to oblige. I don’t think I’ve read this much fantasy and sci-fi in a row since high school, so it was a pretty interesting few months.

Then again, when you have two strokes, survive and need to teach yourself to read and write again, it’s definitely a good thing I was able to enjoy this lot of novels, albeit a bit slower than I used to. I was a bit of a speedy reader back in the day and when these books started showing up last year, it was a bit daunting at first. But the as the amount increased, I became quite determined to get through them all. So, yes – it helped with all these books showing up. Hooray for mailing lists, and sure, I may write a few short reviews on some of these down the road a piece.

-GW

Happy(?) Feat

Well, here we go again… so to speak. We’re still in recovery mode here, but I’ve been a bit occupied with a bunch of books plus a few too many movies and games. I’ll post a few photos in a day or two of the books – all oddball but interesting fantasy stuff that’s come in over the last year when I was in not much of a mood to read anything light, but eventually ended up doing so because one kind of has no choice but to successfully divert oneself during a long lockdown.

Game-wise, as I now have a tablet here, I’ve discovered a few “free to start” games I like on the format where I’ve not spent a dime on them despite both games flirting with me to do so. Fire Emblem Heroes and Dragon Quest Tact, both which are franchises I’m a longtime fan of but I’d avoided the mobile games until DQT tempted me a month ago. The gacha aspect in both titles is a bit easy to ignore if you simply play the waiting game and use only the free daily rewards both games generously give you for regularly checking in. I have about 40 characters in FEH and just reached 80 of them in DQT (which I’ve been playing a few weeks longer). I haven’t spent a dime and amusingly enough, just got a free $5.00 credit from the Google Play Store, which made me laugh for a good few minutes because I may have to break my no spending on those two games rule (well, it’ll be about .48 on the tax if I use that free credit).

Been slowly going through some bigger games on the PS5, but that’s a longer post for another time. One day at a time, and so it goes. I guess I’m “happy” today, but let’s not get carried away. Yet. You know what happens when you get too overconfident these days.

-GW

Voodoo, Child (Slight Return)

By either direct connection or extension, I know (knew?) quite a few recently deceased people, but I’d like to think some to too many of us do these days. That sort of balancing act is quite the bitch, by the way. One wanting to free up the mind space to be otherwise occupied by more lighter and vastly more entertaining fare gets into quite a tumble with actual reality when a message arrives that someone else has unexpectedly left the building.

Of course, the unmasked killer is still inside the house making collect worldwide phone calls and pretty much having its merry way with the rest of the planet’s tenants. As we’re discovering from assorted news outlets, during last year, response from the recently departed government had been awful, at best. Too many holes in rules state to state meant no national plan despite, as Roddy McDowell in a great Twilight Zone episode once noted, “People Are Alike All Over”.

Of course, it’s just past 4am and I hit publish too soon, but I’d guess you get the point here. Eh, I’m going to go back to bed now. I may re-edit this post later, but there’s a better chance I’ll post something else. We shall see.

This Is Only A Test…

Well, sort of. I’m currently popping up for air and feeling as if I’ve been trapped in the worst ever remake of Groundhog Day (or perhaps, the worst choose your own adventure novel where whichever page you turn to means a character meets a messy end). What day is it, anyway? Or week, month and year, for that matter?

There’s actually a post before this one, but I decided on not running it as it’s a bit long and well, somewhat grim and depressing. Still, some (much) shorter version of it will get posted – just not the novella-length monster that took a few too-long months to assemble. Anyway, no cool images or videos this time, as I’m typing this on a fancy new tablet and it’s a thing I’m trying to wrap my head around. Uh, Happy New Year and all that. Back in a bit, but maybe on a PC, as it feels more… comfortable working on one.

-GW

The Death Dealer, Too

(Thanks, Lex121100!)

Okay, I’m back. Sort of.

It’s been a bit of a rocky ride dealing with a recent demise, especially with a few big companies more or less trying to skimp their way out of paying proper annuity settlements. But we’ll not say more about that at the moment save for there’s a lot of things percolating in the background that need eyes kept on. In the meantime. it’s just been a total stress-fest in the writing department, although I have a small army of reviews in assorted states of completion. They’ll get posted at some point.

I suppose I should/could just be like others who post daily or more frequently and try to blank out the current nonsense in favor of a more rosy outlook, but it’s a bit tough what with all these follies going on in the periphery. That and, hell, every time I see someone here not wearing a mask or carrying one in their hand or a pocket then slapping in on as they walk into a shop, I want to dress up like El Kabong and give them a quick guitar lesson. But I don’t, as dressing like a cartoon horse and bashing folks on the head with a gitbox would probably be too sensible a solution and we just have to keep things crazy here in the US just because.

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Post Toasties

I’d really rather not waste such a good song on such a terminally bad person or group of people, but so it goes. Your tune for this Monday, which I hope is going as well as it should, rose colored blinders on or not:

(Thanks,TheGodfathersVEVO!)

So, we’re officially at this stage of the game now. Morbid humor as a reality check in some areas here, but it’s more a dry, hoarse chuckle from a very tired people at this point because we’re all tied to the couch as loud Uncle Bob starts setting up the old slide projector and has revved up some really bad Borscht Belt jokes to go with the carousel of everlasting pain:

(Thanks, Browingate!)

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Trouble (Living With It)

(Thanks, Thomas Barnett!)

So, the latest advice from the government is more or less let your abuser move right on it and sure, too many of you will possibly suffer the negative consequences. But hey, we’ll tell you you’re 99% safe and the economy is more important than staying alive because you can’t live without a little sacrifice. Or a lot of little sacrifices that add up to be a lot more. Maybe. My head hurts at all this sheer negligence going on, especially when a more urgent and actually powerful federal response would have worked better from the outset, but nope. It’s been hands off and putting people who have no scientific knowledge or care to grasp it “in charge” of not keeping millions of others safe. plus muzzling or talking over the science-minded folks when they speak out publicly, along with promoting the brick-headed, stubborn ones who are afraid of rocking a slowly sinking boat and its erratic Captain Queeg.

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Empanadas

(Thanks, Spaceprince72!)

Have you ever been hit in the brain by such a vivid dream that you wake up and think whatever was in that dream actually happened? Or worse, you woke up the next morning or at some point during the day to get dressed and go somewhere that doesn’t exist? Yes, that sort of happened a few days back and I wasn’t going to write about it, but this sort of thing happens quite a lot to quite a lot of people, I hear.

Anyway, I had a dream about empanadas a few days back that had me about to take a bite of one of the dozen I bought, then waking up and wanting to head out to a take out place somewhere in Harlem, if the dream was correct. Well, my brain’s GPS placed the restaurant there and as I’d lived in that area for a few years, I thought I knew exactly where it was located.

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The Unexpected Fruit Market and Other Occasional Hazards

(Thanks, The Midwest TV Guys!)

This morning, I went to return some plastic bottles at the Stop ‘N Shop about a half mile or so walk away (there are many closer places, but it’s good exercise for me) and stumbled across a rather interesting exercise in capitalism taking place. On the way to the store, there’s a hospital complex made up of a few buildings spread over a few blocks and at the kidney dialysis building, I noticed two tall stacks of red containers marked BIOHAZARD a few feet apart and someone standing between and slightly to the rear of them. I was across the street waiting for the light to change, so I merely thought that person was a hospital worker waiting for that hazardous material to be retrieved by whatever company collected it. As I waited for the light, a woman walked up to the man and quickly handed him something, whereupon something else was quickly exchanged and she walked off back the way she came.

Yes, I was a bit more than a little curious at this. So I crossed the street in stealth mode. hoping to sneak a closer peek when suddenly, another person walked up and quickly passed what looked like cash to the man, whereupon they were handed and walked away with a small plastic-encased item. Did they just both just buy an organ or some other icky flesh waste? Was it homemade Soylent Green? Was there a secret society of vampires or zombie keepers in the Bronx I had no idea existed who came out during the daytime? As got closer, I saw that it was just plastic boxes of mixed fruit being quickly traded and there were two or three other people who were either taking cash or distributing fruit boxes as they were paid for. I guess Midge didn’t like the mixed fruit on the menu, or something. A few Midges actually, from the look of things.

(Thanks, boydclanvirginia!)

Passing the people conducting their business, I stopped about 15 or so feet away, turned around, stepped to the right and watched for a bit. It seemed that the guys doing the sales worked in the hospital and were making a few bucks on the side selling that fruit. From what I gathered, these seemed to be low-level staff workers with a few regular customers, giving the speed of the transactions. After about two minutes, I tuned and headed to the store. It was hot out and those plastic bottles weren’t going to return themselves. This was a mystery for some other day. I did hope that those red containers weren’t full or at least clean and just used to block passersby from seeing from afar what was going on, or those fruit cases would be a total fruit surprise for the buyers soon enough.

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Play It Loud/Fire Works/The Death Dealer

(Thanks, FaceUnknown!)

I was relatively and comfortably dead asleep until 4:38:19 this morning, when a blast of very loud music woke me up. The car wash across the street was indeed, open all night and yes, I did not realize this (they’ve been open for what, almost 9 months or so since the renovation?) until that loud, thumping music kicked me out of whatever dreamworld I was inside of. I think I was likely dreaming of the news of late, as I was watching it a few hours before, all bad news and getting worse by the minute.

In case you’ve been otherwise occupied, in the US it’s kind of like this out there, but without the appropriate soundtrack. Monkey business, indeed:

(Thanks, – inTegrity –!

Oh, that music went on for over an hour through a few radio stations, which led me to believe that the person was actually very deaf and getting their car detailed or some sort of full service job that took so long. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much after that, but I did oversleep quite well, thank you much. The square block=sized hole in the ground where a new hospital complex is being slowly built can’t come soon enough, as it will surely add a few QUIET ZONE signs to the area. Which by the way, is the nicest thing I have to say about the incoming building, as it wiped out a few too many family-run shops in the area, none of which have come back or even reopened elsewhere, including a family-owned and run bakery almost everyone I’ve spoken with misses.

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