The SFF 2021 Cantina

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Editing for authors: because every writer needs a good editor.

E.F.B.

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The Labor Day weekend Friday, someone decided it was a great idea to set two kittens of approximately 3 weeks of age in front of the door, knock, and run off before being seen.

Since then, the three responsible adults and one responsible teen have been taking care of the pair. Keeping up with keeping two bottomless bellies filled was not easy. Neither was keeping two bladders and lower GI tracts empty. We managed, they thrived.

Today? The pair left our care for a kitten foster.

While I wish the pair the best in their future, I wish to apologize to any with injured eardrums at my screams of primal joy at the departure. I did manage to wait long enough to not deafen the pair, but it was a struggle.

I really, really do not want to go through that again! If presented, I will not turn a bottle kitten down, though I will wish it a swift departure from my life to a foster who will care for him or her.
Wow. Do you normally care for animals so that the kitten-dumpers thought you'd be able to take care of them, or was this a totally random dump? Either way, I'm glad you were able to manage and get them to a foster!
 
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CMBright

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Wow. Do you normally care for animals so that the kitten-dumpers thought you'd be able to take care of them, or was this a totally random dump? Either way, I'm glad you were able to manage and get them to a foster!

We are staying with a couple for... reasons. I really hope they have a reputation in the apartment complex and it was not a random dump.

On the other hand, given the idiot could have used any number of tragic "solutions" to the problem? At least Thing 1 and Thing 2 had/have a chance.

I refused to get attached to the point I used the numbers interchangeably. Or "Hey Kid, give me the Other Thing" type usage. We have a 10yo who really wanted to help out.
 

Brightdreamer

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When we wound up with a kitty who was so young he wasn't quite sure how to eat (we think maybe 5 weeks), I called him JV - Just Visiting. He stayed in a separate area from the other cats we had, and not just because he had mites when he came to us. At the time, someone was supposed to take him in a couple or two weeks, and planned to call him Floyd. I could not call a cat Floyd, even a temporary cat.

Then the person who swore they were going to take him decided they didn't want him after all, so JV became Indy and joined the crew.
 

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The Labor Day weekend Friday, someone decided it was a great idea to set two kittens of approximately 3 weeks of age in front of the door, knock, and run off before being seen.

Since then, the three responsible adults and one responsible teen have been taking care of the pair. Keeping up with keeping two bottomless bellies filled was not easy. Neither was keeping two bladders and lower GI tracts empty. We managed, they thrived.

Today? The pair left our care for a kitten foster.

While I wish the pair the best in their future, I wish to apologize to any with injured eardrums at my screams of primal joy at the departure. I did manage to wait long enough to not deafen the pair, but it was a struggle.

I really, really do not want to go through that again! If presented, I will not turn a bottle kitten down, though I will wish it a swift departure from my life to a foster who will care for him or her.
OMG, what a horrible thing for someone to do!!! :rant:
 

E.F.B.

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On the other hand, given the idiot could have used any number of tragic "solutions" to the problem? At least Thing 1 and Thing 2 had/have a chance.
Very true. I live in a rural-ish area and for a long time people were bad about dumping animals out here. Not specifically on our porch, but in the general area, just driving out here and dumping them off. Better than what they could have done... sort of, given that they could just as easily get hit by cars as find a new family, but at least they had a chance. As more people move out here it seems to have lessened, but when it was still happening, that's actually how we got two of my childhood pets. One kitten (old enough to eat solid foods, but still very small) who had been living in the woods until we lured him onto the porch and caught him with a humane trap and one dog who showed up on the front porch for shelter from an ice storm. Cats still roam around here, but given their *cough* round bellies, I think they have homes and are just allowed to wander.
 

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Saturday, late morning, and we got some serious rain last night. Weather predictions are mixed for the weekend, here, but generally agree that we'll get more wet weather and possibly loud weather. For now, though, it's calm and the power isn't blipping so I should probably see if I can get more revisions in (assuming family shuts the frell up in the other room)...

--

And it's Sunday afternoon, and not only did I send off my Sisyphus Sequel last night, but I caught up on some site stuff this morning and just installed the sprayer bidet thing on the upstairs toilet (despite it being significantly less easy than it was on the downstairs toilet; knock on particle board, not leaking, at least not yet. so that's what matters, though I may eventually have to drill holes in tile to hang the sprayer part...)

Trying to decide what to do next. Mother and the sibling are off dealing with family stuff, so it's just me here (and Dad, who sorta putters about doing his own thing for the most part). Maybe I'll find something to stream, though I'm not sure family won't interrupt with phone calls/
 
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Hello Cantina, I'm back! The house didn't burn down, the town didn't burn down, our ski resort apparently only half burned down... Miracles (and a whole heaping pile of extraordinary firefighters) all around!!

We did get the go ahead to come back a while ago, but considering the air quality was still hovering somewhere around Bangladesh and the word was limited supplies of groceries and gas, we decided to extend Evacu-cation and fly Back East to see my parents. I hadn't seen them since our wedding over two years ago because freaking Covid and such things :cautious: and this seemed like the opportunity to take. I am sooooooo glad we did. It was so comforting and relaxing to hang out with them (for me at least; parents' homes are not particularly my husband's speed, but he played along quite graciously because he knew how important it was to me). I hadn't realized quite how much I needed to hug my mom.:giggle:

But now we're home, and it seems actual life must start moving on again. Husband went back to work already, and it turns out people are just as difficult to deal with as they've ever been. I have a Sisyphus story which steadfastly refuses to progress past the last page I rewrote. And the house is overrun with boxes, bags and suitcases I have not felt like dealing with yet. I gave myself the lofty goal of unpacking two things per day, and have therefore gotten my computer set up again, and art back on the walls. Think I'll tackle the books today; because yes, while being forced to flee, I managed to pack two boxes of books... I'm setting up a virtual work session with a friend later this week, which usually manages to keep me focused and productive, so I do have visions of Sisyphus progress, at least.

Very true. I live in a rural-ish area and for a long time people were bad about dumping animals out here. Not specifically on our porch, but in the general area, just driving out here and dumping them off. Better than what they could have done... sort of, given that they could just as easily get hit by cars as find a new family, but at least they had a chance. As more people move out here it seems to have lessened, but when it was still happening, that's actually how we got two of my childhood pets. One kitten (old enough to eat solid foods, but still very small) who had been living in the woods until we lured him onto the porch and caught him with a humane trap and one dog who showed up on the front porch for shelter from an ice storm. Cats still roam around here, but given their *cough* round bellies, I think they have homes and are just allowed to wander.
Man, I cannot state quite how angry people who "set their pet free" make me.:rant: In what universe is that ok? If you can't take care of an animal properly, don't have an animal to begin with, or be responsible enough to find them an alternative home. Seems pretty freaking simple to me. It's not the animal's fault you're an unequipped piece of... something I found in a public restroom at a bus station. So don't just assume that they'll be able to fend for themselves in the wild. A domesticated animal has about the same ability for that as you do for navigating yourself from here to Jupiter without a spacesuit. Just don't.

That is exactly how we got our pup too. Friend of a friend found him wandering their neighborhood, almost literally skin and bones (and muscle, I suppose; he's always been able to pull me down the street). We have a theory that some people got him for their kids as a Christmas present (because Oh My God he must have been just the absolute CUTEST thing in existence as a little bitty puppy, and I'm forever going to be a bit sad I missed that phase) then realized he was a hell of a lot of work and they weren't cut out for it. Which - fair. But the correct response to that is not simply out of sight, out of mind. There were times that first summer with him that I worried we'd made a terrible mistake too and I couldn't handle it. But we put in the work and, while he's still a monster, he's gotten a lot better, and I love him soooooo much.

Sigh. Ok, rant over, because now I'm just thinking of the pup asleep spread-eagle all the way across the spare bed in the next room with all his feet up in the air twitching...
 

Brightdreamer

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Hooray for unburnt homes!

Monday, just past noon, and so far not a lot done today. Somewhere between post-writing, post-book reading, and post-end of Lucifer slump, and haven't really engaged the gears again to start new things (though I am still rewatching Expanse; want to take another run through S6 Lucifer, too, but not just yet). About to make myself exercise, then I should do a little site work and maybe poke at some old stories and see if any would be good fits for any markets out there. (The places I see tend to want them shorter than I write, though...)

--

And it's Tuesday morning, and it's not often I say I'd rather be at work, but I'd rather be at work...

Long story involving miscommunication over a virtual doctor visit for Dad, and various computer Issues (in no way helped by his dementia and tendency to poke and pick at things), and of course everything's going wrong... and at some point we need to hit a store.
 
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E.F.B.

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Well, the last couple days have been... interesting. Saturday night, we noticed the water in the house had gotten brown and was not running well. We have well water and use a water softener system to clean it up. Sometimes some sediment brownness still leaks through but that doesn't usually have anything to do with the water pressure. Got up Sunday morning and the water pressure was even worse. Like, the toilets were taking 10 minutes to refill and the sinks were trickling. Didn't have time to deal with it on Sunday so we called the plumber on Monday. He comes out, checks everything, thought it was fixed because of course it was running better while he was here. One hour later it's back to trickling. (Guess it's like having all your symptoms go away when you go to the doctor, only to come back.) So, we were getting kind of stressed. It was just enough to make the low-simmering stress over mom's upcoming surgery boil over and we all had a bit of a mini-meltdown last night. We'd called someone else to come out this morning and see if there was something wrong with the well pump itself, but then we woke up this morning and the water was running full blast and crystal clear, and still is.

The only thing I can think is that on Saturday, California had an earthquake, and it wasn't until after that that the water went brown for us. Yes, sometimes our well water does slosh because of earthquakes, even ones across the country. (It's science, yo. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.sc...org/article/quakes-cause-faraway-sloshing/amp ) Maybe it managed to slosh up a glob of sediment goo that was bad enough to slow the well pump until it cleared itself out last night? Whatever the reason, we're just glad to have water again.

Currently out and about for some of mom's pre-op appointments. We're really going to be tired of doctors by the time this is over...
 

Brightdreamer

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Plumbing issues can be a pain in the pipes, for sure...

And it's later on Tuesday, and the day has pretty much gone as one might expect a day that starts off on the wrong foot to go. Got held up at Walgreen's because we were behind someone in the drive-thru line who appeared to be getting COVID tests for the kids, one of whom flat out refused to cooperate; I have not seen a mother that furious in ages. And the store didn't have half of what we wanted. Plus Mom's still having major energy Issues, which do not make for fun shopping trips. And then more of the computer Issues (I wound up just paying for a year subscription for Malwarebytes on Dad's mini computer, because he was getting upset by how it bugged him and he needs the blasted thing because he keeps having spyware issues and crud... anyway, easier to cough up the 40 bucks for something with a decent track record than keep having to fool with the blasted thing every other day... so fingers crossed that's dealt with for now.)

Mergh... Now I have to wheel a broken chair and and old microwave down to the trash heap, because we're finally getting the trash truck out to haul it away (hopefully) tomorrow morning.
 
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Friendly Frog

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Got home from travel, after a weird three-hour delay on the ferry for some serious weird shenanigans that involved the police and an ambulance that left with the lights off. You'd think weird stuff like that would at least make the local news or cause a twitter message here or there, but I can't find any mention of it online. So strange.

Have since been shadowed and stuck under two cats who are uncharacteristically clingy. Not the first year they've been at the pension so I'm not sure what's gotten into them. I swear we should have named the young one Velcro.

Decided I had recharged enough of my batteries and with weather forcasts dry this week, I should tackle another corner of the garage (hasn't been touched for 30 odd years) and clean it out and maybe even be able to toss something and make a liiiitle bit of room (that would immediately be taken in by other junk and crap, yeah I don't know why I bother most of the time but...)

Bad idea. Bad idea. We knew there was a leak in the back corner, though thought we had fixed it. Turned out it gotten a little more serious than that. Talk about rotten timbers and holes in double-bricked walls you can see through and some serious stability issues if this saw another winter. *sigh* I sense some serious repairs in my future.

One way I'm glad we've caught it now. But the other way... all I wanted was to toss some old crap! At least I got to smash an old cabinet. But the water had so warped and rotten it, it just went 'splat', and was almost was no fun at all. *mope*

Hello Cantina, I'm back! The house didn't burn down, the town didn't burn down, our ski resort apparently only half burned down... Miracles (and a whole heaping pile of extraordinary firefighters) all around!!
So glad it worked out for you guys!
We'd called someone else to come out this morning and see if there was something wrong with the well pump itself, but then we woke up this morning and the water was running full blast and crystal clear, and still is.
Glad to hear the water's cleared up but I can sure understand the frustration of calling somebody, have your issue disappear for a moment, and as soon as the visit/call is over, have the issue resurface!

I wound up just paying for a year subscription for Malwarebytes on Dad's mini computer, because he was getting upset by how it bugged him and he needs the blasted thing because he keeps having spyware issues and crud... anyway, easier to cough up the 40 bucks for something with a decent track record than keep having to fool with the blasted thing every other day... so fingers crossed that's dealt with for now.)
:Hug2:Sometimes the easiest way to pay is with money. I hope it helps with his computer issues because spending hours having to fool with computers to find out what's wrong with them, that's a time sink alright nobody needs.
 

Brightdreamer

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Wednesday afternoon, and the junk pile is finally, finally gone! (It's been there since... yeesh, at least March. Mom kept saying she'd call "next weekend" to have it hauled away. I finally made it a request for my birthday, because it was piled around my danged workshed so I couldn't even go out there without feeling like I was walking into a junkyard, which so did not go with the "creativity" vibes I was going for... couldn't even clean the thing out this summer like I'd wanted to, because junk pile... but it is gone now!)

Work existed.

Still picking a story to poke at for possible submission, and still gathering a few places to possibly submit to. And I just finished an audiobook, so I got that review posted. (It's the first time I've actually boosted playback speed because it just... plain... was... not... going... anywhere...)
 
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tianaluthien

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Good morning!

*deposits muffins on the bar* (the plate automatically refills when it's empty, so help yourself. No nuts.)

I am le tired this morning, but having skimmed the page: I am happy that, in spite of Things(tm), everyone is safe and more or less healthy. ♥️

Life has been happening here, I'm still working from home which makes me feel like I have less time to myself, even though I have zero commute. It's weird and exhausting. I hit another emotional wall this weekend and ended up taking Monday off to get some additional me time.

As a result, things started moving on the novel!!! I brainstormed, I researched, I made a graphic I'm very proud of (thank you, Canva lol), and my brain is screaming at me a little less because it's progress. It's been stewing but things have been nuts, so I haven't been doing anything, and it's really started to depress me. So I'm trying to make some changes so I can at least work on the thing consistently, in some fashion.

Anyhow. I suppose I should be working (bah). Take care, everyone.
 

E.F.B.

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Still picking a story to poke at for possible submission, and still gathering a few places to possibly submit to. And I just finished an audiobook, so I got that review posted. (It's the first time I've actually boosted playback speed because it just... plain... was... not... going... anywhere...)
Heh, see, I *always* boost playback speed since I tend to only get to listen to my audiobooks in bits and snatches. If I didn't boost the speed at least a little it would take me forever and a day to get through the longer ones. Back when I listened on my MP3 it would only boost them to 1.5x speed (which it claimed was 2x, but really wasn't). Once I started listening on phone apps, I typically keep the speed at 2x if the story is good. If the story is slow, or maybe hits on my anxiety triggers like with really bloody violence I didn't know was there, I'll boost it further just to get past those bits.
Good morning!
TIANAAAA! *GLOMPS* Yay for progress on novels!


Well, yesterday was interesting. The good news is that I launched my Jungle Book themed Etsy collection, which can be looked at here if anyone wants to see teh shinies: https://www.etsy.com/shop/EruvandiCrafts?ref=seller-platform-mcnav&section_id=35387509 (there was a vine scarf, but that sold fast and I'll have to get more yarn before I can make another one)

The bad news was that mom realized she had a sinus infection and had to go get an antibiotic.

Also, we snagged lunch at McDonalds and they gave me a MOLDY bun. Yes, that's right, I opened the box and there was a green spot of mold on the bun. We take it back, ask for a not-moldy one, the woman at the window tells the guy in the back to make sure to check the bun before he puts it on, hands it to us, we open the box, and there's MORE MOLD. Hand it back to the woman and she's like "ERMAGERSH I TOLD HIM TO CHECK!!!!" So the third time, she checked it herself and made sure there was no mold. Um, thank you? We called the complaint number and made the manager aware that they might want to be more careful about such things in the future. And also, throw out that batch of buns.

ALSO, our AC went out last night. When it's hot and muggy and the ACs running a lot, this slime stuff can build up in the tube that drains condensation, thus blocking it and shutting off the system. Seems there's not much they can do to stop it from happening at all and lots of people's systems go down during the hot and humid parts of the summer. The fix it people won't be able to get to us to flush it out till this afternoon. Thankfully the temps went down overnight and we slept with the windows open. At least until I got jolted awake by a 4 am thunderstorm going KABLOOEY!!! and I had to close my window to sleep through the storm. Also had to cover da beagle's head with the quilt so he couldn't see the lightning as it was keeping him awake, too.

Today, I shall attempt to FINALLY finish my first editing pass of IDTC. I've cut words, y'all. I've cut lots of words.
 

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Good morning!

*deposits muffins on the bar* (the plate automatically refills when it's empty, so help yourself. No nuts.)

</snip>

Silently slips in, sneaks off a banana chocolate chip and a triple chocolate muffin, sets a thank you note on the plate, skitters away, leaving only a trail of slightly manic sounding giggles.
 
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Cobalt Jade

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some serious weird shenanigans that involved the police and an ambulance that left with the lights off.
That sounds like someone died on the ferry and the ambulance was taking the body to the nearest morgue. No need for sirens then!
 

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That sounds like someone died on the ferry and the ambulance was taking the body to the nearest morgue. No need for sirens then!
Or the paramedics realized that the "emergency" was overreaction. It happens.

Not an EMT or paramedic myself.
 

Brightdreamer

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Thursday afternoon, and I spent all day wishing it was Friday so I could get an extra Saturday. (We're doing a family Thing Saturday, and those are almost always tedious affairs where I mostly stand around while Mom and her siblings talk in circles about the same frellin' things. So I want a me-Saturday and a them-Saturday, separate.)

At least the new audiobook isn't as tedious as the previous one. (Characters who exercise agency, and a book that doesn't feel compelled to delve into metaphysical crud about the nature of the universe and the insignificance of individual life... will wonders never cease...)
 

MaeZe

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My brother had his second retina detached yesterday. They fixed it and apparently did a better job than the first one which has never healed properly.

My other brother had both his retinas detach, a year apart, not that long ago. Both his healed properly.

There can be a hereditary component so it's worrisome. But at least I know they are fixable if it happens.
 

Brightdreamer

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Retinal detachment sucks. That happened to Dad some decades back; Mom always blamed our old rototiller, which was one of those "walk on the tines" models, for contributing. Instead of the "spot weld with the eye laser", his doctor used a "rubber band around the eyeball" to fix it, which seems to have worked. (Dad was a drafter, so I believe the rationale was that the spot-weld might cause small blind spots whereas the rubber band thing, which I gather is not so common, did not.)

I'm a little paranoid about it happening to me, as well, given family history and general crudtastic luck.
 

E.F.B.

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In the continuing drama that is this year, dad managed to trip on the top step and fall onto the porch on his way into the house last night. He was pretty upset, but the good news is that falling like that kept him from breaking anything like back in 2018 when he fell and smashed up his left shoulder bone. He did sprain some muscles pretty bad, though. But the other good news is that because he was laying on the porch, mom and I were able to get him in a sitting position on the steps and he was able to stand up from there. Unlike 2018 when he was flat on concrete and we had to call an ambulance so the medics could pull him up by his belt because no one else had the strength to get him up.

His twin brother actually also fell down in his own home a few nights ago (and did have to get hauled up by medics.) And guess what happened in 2018? Uncle had a fall before dad did. They do know they don't have to be twins in everything, right? Oh, and you know how else this mirrors 2018? Dad fell down the day before we were planning to go to the state fair that year. Guess where we were planning to go today and probably aren't now because he's too sore? 😑 Just when I thought we'd have one fun thing to do before mom's surgery.

Well, let's hope he heals up enough that we might be able to go before the fair is over. Or if not, maybe mom and I can at least go long enough to go see if I won anything. Having worked on one of my crochet afghans literally every night for a year, I'd kinda hoped to see it on display and hopefully with a ribbon.
 
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Friendly Frog

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Sorry to hear so many family members suffering medical issues. :Hug2:

Tiana! :hi:
That sounds like someone died on the ferry and the ambulance was taking the body to the nearest morgue. No need for sirens then!
Which was our reasoning, although it doesn't explain entirely why all passengers were kept on board for three hours and the captain tersely accounced only well into the delay that there had been an incident at night and that the gendarmes had taken control.

We thought maybe the incident had taken place in the car hold which would explain why no one could leave yet. But the garage is normally off limits to passengers during transit, meaning it would need to have been a crewmember. If there was a clean-up to be done, might explain why it was over an hour after the ambulance left that people were allowed off.

*sigh* We'll probably never know just what happened.
 

Brightdreamer

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*sigh* We'll probably never know just what happened.

*cue X-Files theme music*


Friday afternoon, and someone else actually started dinner, so I have nothing much to do between work and consuming dinner. Got the car vacuumed, at least. (Was going to wash it, but decided not to bother.) And I have a book review to write up, of a significantly better audiobook than the last one.

Tomorrow will probably be lost to a family Thing. I might be able to visit a bookstore and get lunch out of the deal, at least, but it's going to mostly be Mom and her siblings yammering to each other while I try to read my Kindle in the corner.
 

A large christmas tree with lights outdoors in the snow, with a snowman, houses, and children