Working Wednesday, April 27, 2021

I ordered a whiteboard.

I’m so excited, I can’t stand it. I had several plans for how to mount one in my living-room-turned-office, but I finally just ordered a rolling one. Now I just have to keep working on the office so I can roll it in. (Well, I’ll have to put it together first, but you know what I mean.). And I’ll have a place to plot on again.

I have to go take another load of not-office-stuff out off the living room now BECAUSE I HAVE TO MAKE ROOM FOR A WHITEBOARD. Sorry. Very excited.

What did you work on this week?

+13

Spoiler Space: Fugitive Telemetry

I started the new Murderbot at 2AM when it dropped into my mailbox. Technology is a wonderful thing. Since we’re going to want to talk about it, I’m putting this post up so we’ll have the comments as a spoiler space.

DO NOT READ THE COMMENTS IF YOU HAVEN’T FINISHED FUGITIVE TELEMETRY.

Seriously.

+5

Happiness is Not $100,000

The Atlantic reports that a study done in 2010 found that while money can buy happiness if it’s lifting you out of worrying about bills into not worrying (which they defined as $75,000 or about $92,000 in today’s money) after that, it doesn’t make much difference to general contentment; another more recent study showed that more money after $100,000 doesn’t do much for your happiness. I’ve found this to be generally true depending on where I live; years ago as a single mother with lousy child support, every damn bill was a stress and I routinely priced out my grocery list before I went to the store and several times took a second job. And then my books began to make money and suddenly, paying bills wasn’t agony, I just wrote the checks. I went to the grocery with a list, but I could impulse things. I had a savings account for sudden disasters. I stopped doing a running calculus of how to manage money (although some things still stick: Every time the power goes off, I think, “Did I pay that bill?”). I wasn’t rich, but I was secure, and according to that study, secure was better than rich.

So how do you get happy after you hit security? According to that study, people. Connecting with people, having experiences with people, doing things for people. Share a meal or a vacation with people you love, pay people to do work you don’t want to do (thus freeing yourself and helping them achieve security), give to a charity you trust so you know you’re helping people. It’s people, not money; money just makes it easier to be with people.

Or, you know, start a blog so you can talk with smart, funny, kind people every week. Argh makes me happy; thank you all for showing up.

What made you happy this week?

+21

Argh Question

For once, something Google can’t answer.

What is the nickname “Dillie” short for?

Yes, I know I named her that, but it was a long time ago. The only thing that comes to mind is Tom Bombadil and just no on that. Dylan is a possibility, but that would make her Dylie, wouldn’t it?

This is going to drive me nuts.

+7

This is a Good Book Thursday, April 22, 2021

Just finished Crazy Rich Asians (yes, I am the last to read it) and the Murderbot short, and eh. Murderbot is always fun, but it read like some of Aaronovitch’s shorts, not really constructed as a story, more like outtakes. Still fun to read. Also some Michael Gilbert short stories that were well-constructed, and parts of Sh*t My Dad Says, which was funny, probably because I didn’t sit down and read it all the way through; it’s the kind of book you read a section in, laugh, and then go do something else.

What did you read this week?

+6

Working Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Krissie and I both need clean offices (she’s organizing the office she has, I’m making the living room into mine), so we agreed to start with pictures of the chaos. (No, you can’t see them, we have some pride.) Then we both agreed that we were comfortable where we were–she in her LaZBoy in Vermont and me in the guest room bed in NJ–so maybe later for the pictures . . . . I’m thinking this is going to take awhile.

What did you do this week?

+8

Happiness is Vintage Photography

Every now and then I come across vintage images that make me reconsider all my assumptions about the past, that make me realize that not only is the past not stodgy, many of our forbearers were actively weird. My fave is the woman who looks like me sitting on a bed with a bear, but even fairly tame vintage clip art often has an edge of insanity to it. The image at left is from the Graphics Fairy, a great site full of free graphics from the past, but there are a lot more sources once you start to go down the rabbit hole of vintage image, especially if you google for “weird vintage photos.”

Vintage photography makes me smile.

What made you happy this week?

Continue reading

+18

Argh Re-Reads: Martha Wells’ Murderbot Books

First, two confessions: One, I’ve only read one Martha Wells’ novel that wasn’t a Murderbot. Two, I have read all of the Murderbot novels plus the last novel well over twelve times (I stopped counting then) and I’ll re-read them another twelve times at least. Wells is a terrific writer so I’m sure all of her books are terrific, but I am a Murderbot fan (to put it mildly) so this is a Murderbot post. Continue reading

+20

This is a Good Book Thursday, April 15, 2021

I’ve been reading even more than usual–another Dick Francis (Wild Horses), a romance novel that annoyed me, the first two Murderbot novellas again, one of my WiPs to see if I still thought it was a worth finishing (yes, it is). I also have a stack of housecleaning books that I’ve gathered on the theory that “If I buy it, I will clean,” which turns out not to be true. Oh, well.

What did you read this week?

+9