Small Pleasures

Took my Wonder Woman along with me on a jaunt to my favorite “fell off the back of a truck store,” in part to help me keep my expenditures down. Well, that worked well. *heh* Oh, don’t get me wrong, the butcher’s bill was not that bad, even for a tightwad like me, but. . .

She found a Tramontina combo ( one of Tramontina’s triple-ply stainless, small Dutch ovens and an induction plate) for half what I paid for a 12” Tramontina pan seven years ago. . . on close-out @33% off the regular price. Yeh, that was still more than my tightwad heart had set as a likely outing cost, but at less than 1/3 of the Amazon price for the set, I am able to at least rationalize the purchase, especially since I know I’ll at least be using the pan for years to come.

Used the combo today to make a fritata–potatoes ion bottom, layered with sauteed onion/garlic, corn, broccoli, red pepper, cheese, and egg/heavy cream. Oh, ver’ yummers.

I simply cannot imagine the literacy level these books were written to appeal to. . .

An obviously *cough* “author” *cough* written book blurb begins,

“Anyone who enjoys mystery/thrillers such as James Patterson, Lee Child, and Patricia Cornwell, The [Name suppressed to protect the guilty from raucous mocking] series with definitely satisfy your need for suspense!”

(Yes, that’s a direct copy?paste.)

The “FAIL” is strong with this one. . . If that’s an example of the gibberish the book contains, thanks but no thanks. “Free” is too much to pay for such “work.” The only way I’d read this “writer’s” so-called “work” would be if I were paid to line and content edit the thing (probably, from the evidence of the blurb (and yes, the first few pages of the “omnibus” where the writer and any editor should have focused all available talent and ability. . . but seem not to have done), that might well take a full rewrite, so no.

Lessons Learned

*sigh* Signed up for a writer’s email list in order to get a free “prequel” to a giveaway novel. That’s two freebies–coulda been pretty sweet, but. . . Read the prequel. *meh* So-so. Too many places where it was skimmed by incompetent (or no) editing, after having been written by a Dunning-Kruger-ite who thought he knew what too many words meant that he did NOT know them meanings of (well, either that or he was just intentionally writing gibberish in those places).

Got my first list emails. Yeh, incompetent writer goes on and on about how he’s trying to “change the world” with books that “mean something” (whatever THAT means). Yeh, didn’t read the freebie novel. The freebie novella was enough to convince me, but a fiction writer who isn’t FIRST concerned with being a good storyteller and writer is only, at best, going to change the world for the worse if his writing succeeds at anything at all.

Takeaway: sometimes “freebies” are more costly than they at first seem. I’ll never have back the time I spent on the novella or reading two of this writer’s emails.

Shoulda known, though. He refers to himself as “Author [So-and-so]”–an almost sure sign of an unconscious insecurity (based on REAL incompetence) covered over with a casually assumed expression of self-importance.

Law Enfarcement in America’s Third World County™

Just another *cough* typical *cough* interaction with putative “law enforcement” in America’s Third World County™. . .

[Phone rings]

Me: Hello.
Caller: This is [some redneck] with the [Third World County™] Sheriff’s Department. What can I do for you?
Me: You called _me_. What do you want?
Caller: Dispatch gave me your name and number and told me you requested a call.
Me: What name?
Caller: Junior [Redacted].
Me: Junior [Redacted] lives two miles from me. What number did dispatch give you?
Caller: [recites my landline number]
Me: That’s not Junior [Redacted]’s number.
Caller: Sorry.
Me: *click*

I should have asked if dispatched was referring to Junior [Redacted] or Junior [Redacted] Junior, his son, although they live (lived? Is Junior [Redacted] still among the “quick”?) in “manufactured homes” catty-cornered from each other. . . (and Junior [Redacted] Junior now runs the family business).

Of Course They Are. . .

Word “on the street” is that Mediacom is making major “improvements” for our area. I already knew that, since the “service” has sucked dead bunnies for the last few days (yes, even suckier than normal).

Notice where the upload “speed” test says, “Connecting”? Yeh, well it stuck there for five minutes before I gave up.

“Mediacom is making improvements” has invariably meant “Mediacom is screwing things up, again” for years now. But, never fear! Meadiacom really is “making improvements,” where “making improvements” = “we’re getting ready to hike you rates, and a compliant government regulatory agency is already greased to issue its approval for further gouging,” no doubt.

One of Those Days. . .

*sigh*

It’s been a mixed bag of a day, so far. Sent a not quite right dessert off with my Wonder Woman for a “potluck-ish” day at work. *meh* Tastes OK, but texture and appearance lacking. So-so, so far.

I’ve gotten a goodly number of tasks marked off today’s list. Plus.

Phone call. Cancel whatever I have on Thursday to be pallbearer at a longstanding client’s funeral. *sigh* Transitioned over the years from strictly business (keeping he and her daughter’s computers and network running well for their home medical transcription work) to real friendship. Five months ago, I attended her daughter’s funeral. Now, her family has asked me to participate in hers. Mixed feelings.

I’ll have to see how much I can get done the rest of today and this evening, so I have the entire afternoon off on Thursday. I know it’ll be hard on her surviving son and his wife (pretty much all that’s left of the family, now, apart from some great-nieces and -nephews.).

On the plus side, shes Home, and her longstanding health issues are over.

Mixed bag all around.

Lil EDC Tip

Have instructional cards (cheat sheets, EPrep “Cliff Notes” as it were) for various things, like fire-making, basic first aid, etc., in your EDC bag, in case YOU are unable to access your EDC bag and have to ask for help from someone else.* For example, my EDC bag has a small set of instructional “fire-building cards.” They’re waxed 3×5 cards with instructions and a few matches affixed to the cards via the wax (so, the matches are also waterproof, more or less). . . 😉 Each of them separately packaged in nicely flammable envelopes, containing a bit of waxed dryer lint.

Even Dunning-Kruger-ites should be able to start fires with those resources.
_______________________________________

You, of course, should already have all the info in the cheat sheets down cold.

Note, also: my “EDC Bags” are bags I keep in my car for emergencies away from home, but they are essentially smaller versions of 72-hour kits. Since I also have car-specific emergency kits in the trunk/rear package area (the latter referring to a hatchback), these kits are tailored for more personal items, and can also double as very (very) short term bugout bags. . . or “Get home bags.”

Micro-mini kits I carry on my person (knives, multi-tool, VERY simple and limited first aid, etc.) should be enough to get me back to my car (and my car and its kits, back home).

Since we live in an area with VERY low risks, apart from weather risks which can usually be anticipated, preps like this combined with our home preps should generally be sufficient.

Take Note: It is Always Appropriate to Give Me a Knife. :-)

It’s taken some time, but I’m finally coming to grips with (*heh*) the opening/closing mechanism and finger hole/blade grip on the lil Spyderco Estimable Son-in-Law gifted me. Nice knife. The very nicely-machined jibbing on the finger choils on both the spine and edge sides of the blade have proven to be a nice feature, and it definitely came sharp enough to shave with right outa the box (and has held its edge nicely).

All-in-all, it’s proven to be much more useful than one might expect any knife its size to be. Definitely an “always-carry” lil knife.

Thanks again, Joshua.

A Generation of English “Teachers” Have Much to Answer For

. . .as do their students, IMO.

Every time I see some absolutely stupid construction like, “If I would have [done such and so] then I would have [so-and so-ed]” I want to string up a generation of English “teachers” and their “students” and beat them all with dangling participles. No, illiterates, it’s “If I -HAD [done such and so] then I would have [blah-blah-blah-ed].”

See “Past Perfect Conditional,” for example, “If I had owned a car, I would have driven to work. But I didn’t own one, so I took the bus,” as found here.

But then, I see the simple past used where the past perfect is required in published (and reportedly edited) works all the time, too.