Well, That Was Fun

This is very much a state of the writer post, and the state of the writer is mixed. I seem to have hit some kind of respiratory allergy that keeps worsening, so I spend most of the nights trying to hack up a lung.

(Allergy, because it’s been going on for two weeks, and I haven’t given it to anyone, including my husband, and we kiss!)

It’s not a huge problem, as I don’t think it’s impairing my breathing. It’s just annoying because I’m not sleeping, which means I have a case of “don’t wanna.” I need to unpack, move furniture, set up rooms. I can do it. I mean, I’m not too tired to. I just don’t wanna.

Same with writing. I have a book — second Rhodes — almost done, and I’m awake enough to write, but I don’t wanna.

Meanwhile I’m ridiculously susceptible to online adds. At the moment I’m trying to convince myself I don’t need the Virginia edition of all of Heinlein’s books, even if they are $200 off. (Whines: but I just turned sixty. Surely I deserve a consolation prize. And I’ll never ask for anything again. I mean what would I even do with a pony. Answers back:oh, shuddup.)

At any rate, it’s been five very fun days, not including my birthday which was mildly blah due to husband’s health and cold. But– Well, there seems to be a new pattern establishing in the country, since we were set free from the crazy General Tso Flu. (Or since we started ignoring them and they reluctantly agreed we didn’t need to be under house arrest. I think we’re mixed on that, and it was one or the other depending on areas of the country. We’re a very large country, and there was a variety of responses. I happen to know due to friendships — yes, still — in the apparatus of state that the nesciis statists thought they could keep us hard-locked-down if not forever for a very long time while they implemented their utopian future. Until it became obvious orders wouldn’t be blindly followed.) It seems like suddenly (dare we say “unexpectedly”) a lot of us drive around within one or two days distance, where we’d fly in the past. I know Dan and I have flown not at all since the lockdowns, and have driven more than we did since our twenties.

What this means is that we get friends and family pinging or emailing to say “Hey, we’ll be headed your say on such and such a day.” And then we make arrangements for getting together for a meal or having them stay over. With the approach of thanksgiving there was a lot of that.

And thanksgiving was fun as we got the whole family plus younger son’s deadly-serious-girlfriend (meaning he’s very serious about her, and vice versa, not that she doesn’t laugh, which is not true at all.) So, it was a large and animated gathering, and we had much fun. Havey got his fill of pets.

I didn’t make quite so much food as in past years, and the kids took a bunch of leftovers, which means I actually (probably) won’t be eating leftovers for two weeks. (maybe.)

I really need to get my behind upstairs, and typeset A Few Good Men for re-release. As in I should be doing that right now, and not sitting here and typing…. Ah, whatever.

I dropped the ball, and didn’t schedule a new book sale for today or the next three days. OTOH I have scheduled three for sale on Monday, so there is that.

As a gauge on the economy, I always look at black Friday deals. This year they started pushing deals a month early, always a bad sign, but at least the deals on Black Friday seem to be real and not the contrived “truly a deal, I promise” as we got in the depths of the Obama economy. I don’t know if that is a good or bad thing. On the one hand, yeah, good that they can offer actual deals without going completely broke. OTOH perhaps they have to so anything moves. Friends in retail tell me it’s tighter than our clenched teeth.

Ah, well. We shall see. There’s a lot of ruin in a nation, and we’re going to probe the depth and length of it. Nothing we can do, except get ready for the rebuild.

And now I probably should drag my behind upstairs and go typeset. The last five days were indeed fun, but pretty much nothing got done. So, now to work.

Hopefully a more coherent post tomorrow.

67 thoughts on “Well, That Was Fun

  1. You no need pony. You have ox. Ox more reliable and less prone to random freakout.
    And.. you had Great Big Fundraiser, yes? Yeah, hire eddytaurs, hauskippers, etc. But in all that, you wanna mainline Heinlein?? Ain’t you entItled? Or, for a Mormon Male with a “Great Rack” even ent”i”tled? (Sorry folks, but it’s Friday and after all that turkey, a fish fry sure sounds good!)

  2. The China Show YT channel has some really good info on the current Chinese revolts against the “zero Coof” protocols, complete with overturning police cars and hitting them with poles.

    That will cheer you up.

    Also make sure you have your vitamins, A and Bs and C and D and K. Very helpful against allergies and respiratory problems.

    1. Yes, it did. And just to clarify for those who aren’t aware of the situation in China already –

      A factory in Zhangzhou owned by Foxconn (a Taiwanese company) that makes iPhones had some problems a couple of weeks ago when COVID was detected on the site. The authorities went into their usual total lockdown procedures, some employees died in the company dormitories for what appear to have been health-related reasons, and many of the remaining employees decided to head home in defiance of government orders. Home in this case means whatever remote rural villages they were originally from, and not a residence in Zhangzhou. There’s a good chance that many of you have heard about this.

      Foxconn subsequently brought in some new workers by offering a hiring bonus for them… and then (among other things) COVID was detected again. That meant another draconian lock-down, coupled with the destruction of most of the personal possessions of everyone who might have been infected. IIRC, the lockdown also kept work from resuming at the factory, which meant that Foxconn couldn’t fill orders, and put a delay on the payment of the hiring bonus. The fed-up employees (both old and new) seem to have said, “Screw this!”, and there’s apparently a full-on riot taking place right now in the city. There are indications that it might be morphing from the usual “rage against the local authorities” that always happens in these situations into a “rage against the national government”. The latter is unheard of, as up until now Beijing been able to lay blame for its bad policies on supposed screw-ups by the local authorities (which allows the national government to come to the rescue of the citizens and punish the local authorities for faithfully following policies laid out at the national level).

      Further, the people who initially started live-streaming what was happening in Zhangzhou didn’t realize what they were looking at. So their livestreams didn’t have the key words that the internet censors need to use in order to quickly identify problematic internet posts and streams. As a result, footage got out “into the wild”, so to speak, before the government censors realized that they needed to shut those streams down. This has allowed people in other parts of China to see what’s going on in Zhangzhou, which is a potentially dangerous situation for Beijing. As mentioned above, Beijing gets away with a lot of what it does by making sure that everyone only thinks that their own village/town/city/residential area has these sorts of problems. Beijing maintains an illusion that the problems are entirely local issues, and don’t exist throughout the rest of the country. Being able to see the riots in Zhangzhou threatens to ruin that facade.

      Finally, the hosts at The China Show stated that while Zhangzhou is getting all of the attention, the hosts have also received word that riots have also started been breaking out in other parts of the country by people fed up with the government’s Zero COVID policy.

      1. Let us hope that China doesn’t destroy them all.

        And that it will be distracted from causing misery outside China by it.

        1. Hopefully.

          Things are escalating. There’s video of a man shouting (basically) “Give me liberty, or give me death!” and citing things like the unmasked crowds at the World Cup (which put the lie to the necessity of China’s Zero COVID policy). Cops start to drag him away… and then a crowd frees him. There’s videos of small crowds pushing through police lines. There’s graffiti turning up on the propaganda posters that are all over the country. There have even been instances of government officials being kidnapped out of their own offices. This sort of thing simply does not happen in China, but somehow it is. And this isn’t just happening in one or two regions. It’s happening across the entire country. Further, it’s not aimed at the local authorities. It’s very explicitly aimed at the CCP.

          Unfortunately, information is rather sparse due to China’s internet censorship. Video taken by someone streaming at the scene will show things just starting to come to a head between protestors and police… and then it goes black because a signal jammer was deployed to the area by the authorities.

          I don’t know what’s going to happen with these protests in the long-term. If things don’t deescalate, Beijing will no doubt attempt to repeat what happened at Tiananmen Square in 1989. I imagine that they’ll try to start off by using the military to crush one of the larger demonstrations, and expect that the example set will get the other demonstrators to go home. But if that doesn’t work, then this is something that will need to be repeated across the entire country. What sort of an effect would a bloodbath on that scale have on the country as a whole? Alternately, what happens if the army (which is largely conscripts, iirc) isn’t willing to do that, and says “Screw this!” after putting down the initial one or two demonstrations? What happens if the army unit set to be used for the “example” suppression decides it doesn’t want to get involved?

          There are a lot of variables here. I’m hoping and praying that it turns out like 1989 in Eastern Europe, and not 1989 in China.

  3. And as for Bleak Friday, I ordered a copy of Bowl of Red for $SISTAUR and one e-ShortStory (You’re welcome, MCA..) for myself. And I that is ALL that I plan to buy this day unless a Truly Screaming Deal appears. Nothing is critical, and I am not about to reward the Illegitimate Regime with undeserved economic activity!

  4. Glad to hear the State of the Writer is filled with happiness.

    And congratulations to Younger Son on the serious girlfriend. I’ve been reading this blog long enough to remember when you thought you’d never have grandkids because your boys were never going to figure out the whole dating thing. Glad to hear they’ve both gotten it at this point.

    I need to get over my own case of “I don’t wanna.” I’m about three-quarters of the way through my draft, and I’ve got zero motivation to get through those last few chapters. But if I leave the laptop open and on my lap long enough, words will eventually just spontaneously generate in the document, right?

  5. I was part of the clean up crew at our Thanksgiving feast and we ended up laughing so hard that we had to open doors to the 37 degree weather to cool off. A good time was had by all.

    The roads going hither and thon were packed with cars. Transport trucks, too, and a big train loaded with coal. We seem to have successfully decided that the expert class is neither expert nor classy. They keep bleating about some new Covid strain but nobody seems to care. It’s a good feeling.

  6. Yes I’m a worrywart. Fine you are not contagious and that’s great. But this silly lung thing has been going on long enough to bother me. Congrats to number 2 son though.

  7. Go forth and type set, even if its something I’d never, ever, notice. Yeah, retinal chips will get here in my lifetime they say, then you listen to the actual studies and realize, boatload of problems means not any time soon. Now, if all your readers were blind to type setting, like me, but not actually blind, unlike me, then life would be easier.

    Sigh, we can dream.

    I have a state report to finish, and you have writing work to do, so, back to the grind stone.

  8. Sarah,

    I admit to being greedily impatient for more Rhodes. I like film noir, robots, and all that. So, apart from ordinary human compassion for those suffering from various things, I “need” you healthy and etc.

    Granted this is getting a bit personal and giving unsolicited medical advice is — at best — boorish, I thought that I could share the non-prescription supplements and etc. I’ve been using, in many cases, since about December 2014.

    I’ll understand if folks want to discount the advice of an internet rando; but please do your own research. This ain’t pool cleaner or peach pits.

    I ran it past my doctors (yes, I have several) and they all said it was okay for me; but you’ll want to look over everything you take and verify with your MD. I am, by the way, 2x cancer-free with less than normal health issues for my age.

    Look over the items. This is not about fighting covid, per se. These supplements fight inflammation, joint issues, dry mouth, bacterial infections, and boost the immune system in other ways.

    And of course, they need to be a supplement to a healthy diet and correct exercise to be of any value. No magic pills. No silver bullets. No miracle cures. Just a helping hand. And I include no links because eight or ten of them in one message ought to get even a real Saint stuck in moderation.

    In no particular order, the supplements and where I bought them most recently:
    — Quercetin 500 Mg — Amazon
    — Vitamin D3 5000IU Plus K2 — Amazon
    — Biotene Oral Rinse Mouthwash — Amazon
    — Zinc Gummies — Vitaminshoppe dot com
    — CoQ10 200 mg — Amazon
    — Equate Daily Men’s Multivitamin Gummies (there is one for women, too) — Walmart
    — Equate Probiotic Gummy Supplement — Walmart
    — D-Mannose 1,300 mg — Amazon

    May the Lord heal you and yours quickly.

    Psalm 91

  9. I also, as I’m sure all, or at least most of us, have a lot of I don’t wannas waiting attention.

    I’ll deal with the I guess I gottas among the don’t wannas and ludicrously hope the list will be shorter tomorrow.

    Yep, I’m a glass is half full optimist, but I do have suspicions concerning what it’s half full of.

    1. LOL! That’s a new one to me, and I’m going to use it.

      Yeah, but what’s it half full of? That and “Are you sure that stuff was okay to drink?” Those are questions that too often go unasked.

  10. Indeed the “Black Friday” deals started well before Halloween. I sit here typing on a new machine gotten at a significant discount to replace some older hardware. That the Black friday sales started that early is never a good sign economy wise. Enjoyed Thanksgiving at home with my daughters. A friend came over for desert and we watched “White Christmas” (a family tradition after thanksgiving dinner).

    1. What sort of computer and keyboard? There are some really good discounts on build your own stuff right now. AMD is really trying to clear out their Zen 3 CPUs.

      Anandtech also lists a bunch of good deals, including some mechanical keyboards if that’s your thing.

      1. The new DAS Keyboard for the MacBook Pro. I have the older DAS Keyboard and the adapter needed to use it on the newer Macs, but it drains the battery like a son-of-a-gun and the adapter tends to overheat.

  11. Sarah, to me as a pulmonologist, “hack up a lung” sounds to me like you’re having trouble clearing your chest of thick phlegm. Thin phlegm is easy to clear. Thick phlegm is not.
    May I suggest that you try these therapies to loosen and liquefy the phlegm:
    Ingest hot liquids- chicken soup, coffee, tea
    Inhaled heated water vapor: long hot shower/ sitting over some sink of hot water/ personal steamer
    Flutter valve/ “Stangel maneuver”-watch on YouTube
    Retained phlegm is the 800 lb gorilla in the room in chronic recurrent common pulmonary illnesses.

    1. That and somebody else pounding/clapping your back with a cupped hand. There are good videos online.

      And sticking a little heating pad over your chest (over clothes, under a blanket), plus menthol rub all over the place.

      I don’t know about the valve thing. Will look up, because I tend to get stuff.

      And of course generic guaifenesin or Mucinex, which is the bestest stuff ever.

    2. My wife has the same thing, I think, that Sarah does. Not phlegm but chronic bronchial inflation. Only asthma steroid inhaler helps. Started after her second covid shot but Sarah didnt get that so eh.
      Hot tea and chicken broth helped for about an hour.

      1. Happens to be side effect of bp med, which considering my bp is only “elevated” (and the week after the election, at that.) not “sky high”.
        Someone posted that in a comment, and I looked it up. Something like 35% of patients get it. combine that with extremely reactive airways, and you have a recipe for h*ll.
        I will discontinue it and instead work at weight loss.

        1. If you can’t tolerate an ACE inhibitor, talk to your doctor about an Angiotension Receptor Blocker (ARB).

      2. I had something similar for about 6 months after my bout with whatever first few weeks of 2022. After I decided I was going to live (i.e. not surviving on Tylenol & NyQuil) the congestion just wouldn’t go away, devolving to dry hacking cough before it finally went away this fall (the little wildfire smoke we had this year did not help). Note I do not have trouble with asthma, or other plant allergies related to pollen. It was not fun. Kind of like whooping cough but not quite as bad. (That 1) did not hurt to cough clear down to my toes, 2) I could breath afterward without triggering another bad round right away. Trust me with whooping cough, even after “technically” well that is not true.)

  12. Went shopping at the largest mall in the region. I was dreading it, because Black Friday. But… Parking lot was not full. Mall was busy (like a pre- COVID busy Saturday) but not full. Only the discount stores had any lines, and they moved quickly. Noticed several small local shops were closed until Monday. This.,. Does not bode well.

    1. A lot of stores had their Black Friday deals all week and will have them all weekend and Monday.

      Sam’s Club was crowded. And there is a child-sized working forklift (by crank) that is adorable.

      1. My kids would’ve LOVED that. Heck, I love it. If I thought I was ever going to have grandkids, I’d buy one right now.

  13. Local mall had considerably fuller lot than normal for a Friday, and while I didn’t shop (went to get hair done at anchor store) was told it was busy. The food court certainly was.
    Glad to see multiple driveways yesterday full of cars. The family gathering is back.

  14. Sorry to hear about the health and other issues but it still sounds like it was a good holiday, especially with younger son and his girlfriend around! It’s just been rest on my end since the actual meal won’t be happening until Sunday for me (with my usual trip out of town happening tomorrow). Hope you feel better soon and that comes from the kitties too of course!

  15. We ate the leftover rock Cornish game hens for lunch today, and now we’re done. Tonight we’re back to general leftovers.

  16. It seems to me that the Black Friday deals are being pushed even more urgently and frequently this year, although my daughter says no – only about the same. We did venture out today to Costco, and to a large HEB grocery, and didn’t notice anything in the nature of jostling crowds. Costco has rock-bottom prices anyway – if anything, they might have laid on some special seasonal bargains. HEB … well, we did lay in another turkey for next year in the freezer , on sale at the bargain price of 99 cents a pound, which was exactly what we paid for the turkey that we ate yesterday, and which we bought after Thanksgiving last year and stashed in the freezer…
    Our turkey was good, BTW, but the new recipe that I tried out for this year – a spatchcocked turkey with anise and orange zest was sadly disappointing. Oh, it tasted fine, but it took as long to roast as it would have in the ordinary way, and the recipe had insisted that it would only take half that amount of time. A snare Andalusian… But it should be splendid as leftovers – I parted out the carcass this afternoon, and set the bones and scraps and all to stew as broth, for another round of turkey ramen.

    1. The fact that Costco has a large inventory of last year’s Apple products and is discounting them aggressively caught the Reader’s attention. The fact that Apple is discounting the newly released 2nd generation iPad Pro at all also got his attention. When Apple has excess inventory and has to discount new products bodes ill for next year’s economy.

    2. Yup – my oldest brother looked mildly disgusted by the fact that we wanted the carcasses from two turkeys for our leftovers, but we sure don’t care – we’re turning those suckers into broth to put away. He’s squeamish about the weirdest things . . .
      He smoked one bird this year, and that was super delicious. We’ll be doing that for our Christmas turkey (which we got for 99 cents/lb at our local market). Yum!
      Meh to Black Friday. I’ll be getting a few clothes of the brands I normally buy on sale in order to lay in a stock of more than just food, but I don’t need random crap, and Christmas presents this year are jams and jellies I made.

  17. I too had nasal drainage that would not stop. It wasn’t thick, consistence. It would come and go related to my work schedule finally after a missed medication, a XXXXpril, blood pressure medication, the drainage slowed. I don’t take XXXXXpril anymore.

    You could of developed an allergy to one or medications you are taking. Consult with MD, but recommend you stop one at a time for two to four days to determine if there is a change. Allergies can come and go, I was taking this XXXXXpril for over 10 years. SgtPete, RN

        1. Coughing is a known side effect of Angiotensin Converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors. See also Renin–angiotensin system – the Wikipedia article is a good start.

          Not taking a ‘pril just now, but they never bothered me that way.

  18. I developed a cough a few days ago that seems to have settled in my chest. Haven’t been sleeping much from the cough and avoided Thanksgiving.

    On the other hand, I seem to be getting a great abs workout.

  19. Just this Missus and me this Thanksgiving, so we made what we usually make: a trip to a restaurant. I haven’t been into a shop in some days — I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

    But Sarah and I do have one thing in common: Middle Daughter has a serious boyfriend. We met him last summer when we went out to the west coast to visit. We like him, and apparently he wants to have The Conversation with me. They’ll be coming out here this Christmas.

  20. I’ve decided that any time the Democrats declare “an EMERGENCY”, they’re lying, and their real purpose is to enable them to misuse emergency powers to control us even more, as they continue to destroy the Republic.

      1. Mr, Fleming you seem to have a couple extra words there, in particular that like word. Pretty much as far I can tell ALL the Democrat leadership ARE psychopaths to one degree or another.

  21. What’s gotten me on the dammit-stop-spending-money-on-it front this year was fantasy themed candles. Really, really good quality ones, and so far haven’t encountered a single scent blend that wasn’t amazing.

    But dammit, brain, stop trying to convince me I need one of ALL of them. Or two…

  22. On Black Friday (coincidence, really!) I bought myself another 1.5 pounds of loose-leaf fancy tea from my favorite tea company. The half-pound is a well-known estate Darjeeling from India. The pound is a Kenyan black dryer mouth style tea that I had tried a 2-oz sample of and liked it a lot. The total price got me a 25% discount. Which even if I add in the shipping cost works out to about 12¢ per brewed cup of delicious tea.

    When these arrive it will bring the inventory of my most-often brewed varieties up to at least 16 months. I get really antsy if it drops below a 6 or 7 months supply. 😉

  23. Gee, so sorry that so much yechiness has visited you and your family. You don’t suppose that there is mold or some kind of spores in your home or your air ducts that could be dealing you these attacks? I will be praying for you all. Had a nice Thanksgiving, me and the dogs and cats… AND I started reading your awesome free download of Stopping for Thought. I do not know if you ever watched “24” but there was a scene in which Jack Bauer, crouching over a rapidly cooling body, uttered one of my favorite lines ever – “I’m gonna need a hacksaw!” – and there was a smiling moment of reminiscing when I started your book;…. (In fact, she and I often used quotes form movies in our day to day lives, and two of our frequent sources for one or two liners, were 24 and Blazing Saddles!! Anyway, thanks again and all best wishes.

    1. A line having mystically disappeared would have made more clear that “she” was a reference to my beloved wife.

  24. For T-Day, I made the dash down to Memphis on Tuesday. Mom had all of us kids together for the day (oldest Sis showed up late Turkey day) , and I drove back home Friday. 16-17 mpg . . . ugh. Forced to get gas twice in Illinois, though it was “only” $3.42.9 at the last place. Worse, once filled, I realized I could have made it to WI and paid at worst $3.19, and probably $2.99.9 (I missed an exit, and the Circle K was cheaper than what I was aiming for at the TA/Pilot). Also. Garmin is useless. Forgot to load my route at Ma’s and it decided every little town needed to be gone through with much back tracking, and if a bypass went around a town, routed the longer way, and really tried to get me to take a route I knew was longer time wise due to I69 prep work, and the fact the route back tracked. Hateses Garmin! There be the reason I use it mainly as a Speedo/Odo only. (1645 Garmin miles are 1565-ish Truck Odo miles, iirc)

  25. This Thanksgiving was exceptionally light. We didn’t stuff ourselves this year (but spread out the turkey over three days). We didn’t go out to hit Black Friday (seriously, there wasn’t anything we wanted. Last time we had the “last dance before the economy went to hell” in 2006, I was able to get quite a bit…not this time), and didn’t see any movies (they were universally bad this Thanksgiving, which was very terrible).

    I’m suggesting to everyone that I know that this is the time to avoid debt, pay off anything you owe, avoid putting any money on your credit card, and get yourself into a solid cash position as quickly as you can. Hold off any big purchases if you can’t buy them outright. It has that feel of the time just before 2007-2008, and that wasn’t a good time at all.

    Still…Happy Thanksgiving to you all.

    1. has that feel of the time just before 2007-2008, and that wasn’t a good time at all.

      Yes, it does.

      We skated through ’07 – ’08, even refinanced the house late ’08 (did not take cash), percentage down. That is so not happening this time. First time financing asked for permits on the “new” part of the house, done before we bought. We got copies. Were a bit leery about that as, by now, we know the county does not have the addition square footage on the tax rolls. OTOH wouldn’t change anything other than accuracy (for reasons, they can’t come back on us for valuation change). ’07 – ’08 was a time when it was pretty clear, for once, that neither of us were losing our jobs (always a remote chance the companies we each worked for could die, that has happened to me before, but remote chance). Did have an effect on son getting seasonal work (he painted our and grandma’s houses). Also credit line got credit jacked, and impacted a backup source of cheap college money, which is why we said to heck with it, refinance.

      This time … well we are retired. We did the due diligence of paying ourselves. Can Uncle Sam screw us up (worse)? With Brandon in control? Do bears s* sit in the woods? But it that happens, won’t worry about the mortgage on the house. We use CC’s but we pay 100% off every month. I am more worried about nieces who have bough homes recently. At the recent low interest rates, so there is that … As long as they do not have to sell they will be fine. Their jobs should be secure-ish. One of their significant others is looking for work, but that couple is still in an apartment they can afford rent. They have other housing options at last ditch that does not put them on the street.

      Not making light of what is coming. Just thankful that baring world ending, for once we aren’t sweating the what-if’s balancing act. Note, we aren’t hurting obviously. But we aren’t stratospheric major rich either. We paid ourselves first over 35-ish year careers on combined gross income that was < 6 figures. Steady compound interest (equivalent) is a force multiplier.

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