Boo NPR?

Feb. 16th, 2017 12:07 pm
thistlechaser: (tree)
I'd like to be angry about NPR, I'd like to disagree with them. They're refusing to use the word "lie" when reporting about Trump lies, second story about it.

Definition of a lie: a false statement made with intent to deceive.

They make the point that, without looking into Trump's head, they can't know that Trump intends to deceive.

But what option does that leave? When Trump claims he won the popular vote, if that's not an intent to deceive, that leaves him being insane. (He cannot just be wrong about something so big.)

So, while NPR isn't incorrect in this, I think they're splitting hairs and doing a disservice in doing so. Call a lie a lie... or report Trump as being insane. One of the two.
thistlechaser: (cat talking)
No, not some awful (and cheap) de-meowing process at the vet. I ordered her a timed feeding bowl. For ages she's been driving me insane with meowing nonstop for an hour or more before it's time to feed her. Literally nonstop meowing, over and over, for more than an hour. Hopefully, by putting it on a timer, it'll make her stop associating me with the feeding process and might stop her from meowing.

Unless she starts meowing at it...

Admittedly I have a lot less patience for the meowing right now, because I'm in pain. It's really tricky dealing with painkillers, when I know I have to drive to work and function at work all day. Last night I was in pain most of the night, and ended up getting up at 3 AM, since it was too late to take another painkiller.

At least the weekend is coming. Her bowl should arrive tomorrow, and I can take pills whenever I need.

The only downside to the timed bowl is that she won't be eating out of the maze bowl anymore. This one, with the center circle blocked off, since she (and I) can't get the kibble out of it:

That was fun to watch, and it slowed her down nicely.
thistlechaser: (tree)
Ugh. It's 2 AM, I haven't slept a moment tonight, and I doubt that will change for the rest of the night. On Friday I pulled some muscle along/between my ribs. During the daytime it's painful but I can cope with it. The problem is that laying down makes the pain intense, which is hell on trying to sleep.

Dr. Google tells me that pulls of the muscles along the ribs are as painful as and treated the same way as broken ribs. They can take weeks to heal.

Because of my surgery, the only over the counter pain medicine I can use is Tylenol, which I think is about as effective as waving my hands in the air. I bet ibuprofen would be tons better (being an anti-inflammatory and all). Rules be damned, I'm going to get some tomorrow to use at night before I sleep. Tomorrow is going to be hell at work, and I have a lot of long, cold night left to go before it's time to go to work.

I wanted to give it a week before I went to the doctor (that seemed reasonable for a muscle pull). If the ibuprofen doesn't work, I'm going to go much sooner.

Ugh. So cold and tired and hurting. Going to bed should help all those things, but the moment I lay down, feels like multiple knives stabbing me. Just breathing hurts as well, but not that badly.

Ugh, darned body.

Edit: Going to see the doctor today. Ow ow ow.
thistlechaser: (Sigh cat)
Random LJ people: If you're going to defend the alt-right, if you're going to insult me in my own LJ, save yourself the effort of typing out your comment.

To save others from googling it, here's the link for banning folks from your LJ if anyone needs it:

Now especially, using "you liberals" and "a hater" as insults against me is especially funny.
thistlechaser: (Avatar: Zuko)
I love NPR (National Public Radio, like PBS for the radio). It's "smart people news" -- they'll spend as much time on a news story as it needs, not try to pigeonhole it into a 20 second window like other news stations/shows do. My alarm radio is set to NPR. I listen to it on the drive to and from work.

However, lately it's ruining my life. It's a constant reminder of not just how awful Trump is, but how bad America is. (The latest national poll says 53% of Americans support a Muslim registry. I swear to fucking god, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? SERIOUSLY, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU 53%?)

I keep saying I'm going to stop listening to it, but then I do anyway. Putting my head into the sand doesn't stop the things from happening (if only...). It would make me less angry/sad to not know about it, but I SHOULD know.

Yesterday UC Berkeley students protested a white supremacist coming to give a talk. (And side note, why the hell is the news media calling them "white nationals" instead of "white supremacists"? THAT DOES NOT HELP, THAT MAKES THINGS WORSE. CALL THEM WHAT THEY ARE.) Trump threatened to stop giving federal funds to the college for not letting the white supremacist speak.

Ugh. Now I'm getting all annoyed again.
thistlechaser: (tree)
Somewhere online I saw mention of a dark AU Zootopia webcomic, so with my love of dark things, I checked it out. While the art is a tad challenging at times, I love the story dearly. Check it out here.

I had thought the author/artist came up with the "tame collar" idea (all predators have to wear them, it shocks them if they let their emotions get too high). Supposedly it keeps them from going feral/attacking prey animals.

But that was actually originally how the movie was going to be! Check out this deleted scene (animation not complete in it), it's heartbreaking:

thistlechaser: (tree)
This feels like the longest winter of my life. Coldest, too. With my very limited heat, it's usually mid 50s inside when I wake up/get home from work. Gets up to the low 60s after the heat has been on two or three hours. Nowadays, 66 inside feels toasty warm!

Come back soon, summer!

thistlechaser: (Book with cat: sickening)
Video Game Plotline Tester by Michael Atamanov
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

This is probably the most poorly written book that I've ever willingly finished.

Originally written in Russian, it was translated and self-published here. I'm not sure how much of the bad writing was because of that and how much was the author's fault.

The book was broken up into two parts, interwoven with each other: Inside a game, and the real world. The plot followed a man who was hired by a gaming company to play a character in their game. (The details of why they would do that were neither believable nor important.) As with all of these litrpg books, the game was virtual reality, so the man was actually inside the game for most of the book.

The scenes inside the game were what kept me reading. I believed it as a video game, and it was as fun to read about as it would be to play.

The scenes outside of the game were awful. I did not believe a single word of the dialogue, nothing was realistic at all, and beautiful women got naked for the main character and slept with him for literally no reason. (One just happened to meet him for the first time coming out of the shower, accidentally dropped the towel she had had wrapped around her, and had NO ISSUES with just standing there naked having a conversation with a stranger.)

The whole book had that issue: Whenever there was a problem, the main character was just handed the solution. The end had a seemingly great twist, but a moment later the character was handed a solution and fixed/reset it all.

The author/translator used "literally" way too often. Like during a conversation, someone paused for "literally two minutes" to think. The other guy just continued the conversation as if the other person hadn't stared blankly for that long...

All that being said, it was still a fun story, but only because I like video games so much. While I cannot at all recommend this book, if I spot the second book around somewhere, I'd probably give it a chance.
thistlechaser: (Avatar: Zuko)
(This is more a tongue-in-cheek post than a real complaining one. I know this is less than a drop in the bucket when it comes to problems caused by him.)

I keep hearing such good things about the The Man in the High Castle series, but I just cannot make myself watch a show about a world where the Nazis won. It feels way, way, way too much like what's happening in the real world.

I still haven't gone back to watching Designated Survivor again either, because of RL political crap.

I am, however, SERIOUSLY enjoying the A Series of Unfortunate Events series. (Ruin that, Trump, I dare you!) The humor in it reminds me a lot of Edward Scissorhands. The only "downside" of it is that it's so good I can't multitask during it, so it's taking me forever to get through the eight episodes.

In the Pokemon GO world, something happened to my game? Or something. GPS drift is so strong at my work desk, I usually get credit for 2-3 KMs of walking. Today, though the drift seems just as bad (I'm watching myself walk through the building, out to the parking lot, across it, then back, all without leaving my chair), I'm getting not a single step of credit for the movement. I wonder if they somehow closed that loophole? I hope not...

And in other random news, I had a "nightmare" last night, but it was so silly I really was just amused by it. In it, I helped my father (dead RL) at his moving company (wasn't his job at all), and we went to do a move for some woman. Her house was less than knee high, yet somehow when you went inside it was as big as a normal house. "Supernatural" things started happening... but they were so minor it was just plain silly. Like plant roots poked up through the ground and started waving around. Normal plant roots, so a couple inches long and thin -- not exactly threatening! Plus, for some reason, I brought my cat with me to the moving job... My father and I got scared and ran off though, and on the way passed some "priests" (more like MMO priests than religious) who were coming to take care of the supernatural problems. One got in my face all like "This is MY job!" and I was happy to agree and let him take care of it.

I was amused by that all morning. OH NO PLANT ROOTS
thistlechaser: (Kuala Lampur)
You don't mess with park rangers.

The only up side to this whole mess America is in is seeing all the resistance people are putting up. I'm afraid it might not help much, but it's better than just rolling over.
thistlechaser: (Avatar: Zuko)
I'm watching the ABC hour long interview with Trump. Oh. My. God. He couldn't sound more insane and scary. He's actually getting worse. He's not surprising, but man is it scary.

Interviewer: "You said you'd do X, but X is against every international law and treaty."
Trump: "I don't care."


Semi, but not really, related, I started watching Homeland again. I stopped in season three, they killed off the character I liked best and so I didn't want to keep watching. Now, season six, it's pretty darned good! I might go back and either watch from the beginning again or just the seasons I haven't seen yet.
thistlechaser: (Book with cat: sickening)
Before the review: I decided to further adjust what counts towards a book in my count for the year. If I'm now keeping a running tally of my partially read books, why should a book I've hit the 50% mark of count as a full book?

So, to count as a full book, I have to reach the 100% mark of it -- completely finish it.

However, as I'm keeping a running total of how far I've gotten through abandoned books, I should get an overall more fair, accurate count of my reading total for the year.

This change brought to you by the letters G, S, and the fact that I had 72 abandoned books last year and gave myself credit for only one full book for all of them.

Lord of the Wolves by James Matlack Raney
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

This was an odd book. A "talking animals" story featuring wolves, but they were basically just people/humans. I have no idea why the author decided to make them wolves.

The alphas of the pack were called lords/ladies. 'Sire' and 'my lord' were used on a regular basis.
The wolves cried (tears) when they were upset.
The wolves screamed.

Even on top of that, the story was just not all that good. A litter was born when the sun and moon were both in the sky (which the wolves said happened only once in many generations...), which meant everything about the litter was different. The first was born twice as big as any other pup, with paws the size of a one year old wolf's (ow, that poor mother wolf). One was born with open eyes, able to see/process anything from the moment he was born. One had a super-powered sense of smell. One was beautiful.

And man, talking wolves are so bad at naming their pups. The pup with his eyes open was called Watcher. The super-smeller was called Windy (because she could smell any scent on the wind). The beautiful one was called Glimmer.

I was willing to go along with the story until the bad guys were introduced. Even more unreasonable characters, completely and utterly un-wolf-like behavior. Black/white characters, not a single shade of grey. (The bad wolf pack killed every single living thing in the forest...)

The whole story felt like the author took some famous fantasy story and rewrote it (poorly) with wolves as the characters, though I can't pin down which book this feels like...

I wanted to stop reading at the 40% point, but pressed on to the 50% point so I could get credit for the whole book, which is what made me realize I really needed the rule change. So thanks for that, Lord of the Wolves!

Point reached: 50%. Previous abandoned book total: 92%. New total: 140%. One book + 40%.

Currently reading: Video Game Plotline Tester, which for a self-published book translated from Russian is very, very good.
thistlechaser: (2 cats 1 cup)
While driving at lunchtime, I noticed a few gatherings of protesters. Silly me wondered what it was for (I knew people were protesting Trump in major cities, but this isn't in a city). After the third corner full of people, I was finally caught at a red light so I could stop and see well enough to read a sign and take a picture.

Cut for big size. )

Even as I was sitting at the light, the crowd was growing and growing. I bet by tonight it became an impressive thing, even in the cold rain.

And Halo Top! [ profile] teaandfailure you were TOTALLY right. It's so much like real ice cream! Safeway (major supermarket chain) is carrying it now, so I grabbed one of the last pints. Seriously, there were only five pints left in the whole case.

Down side: Expensive. $6 for a pint of ice cream.
Up side: EVERYTHING ELSE! I can't believe it's not real ice cream!

The price will keep me from eating it all in a sitting more than the calories (280 for the entire pint!).

I can't believe how good it is though! I got the birthday cake flavor one, but now I wish I had snagged the other four pints as well (two vanilla, one strawberry, and something else). Mmmmm. I'm going to try to make it last and have just a little a day.
thistlechaser: (Book with cat 2)
The Gold Farmer - Treasure Forest by Liam Arato
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Based on the story idea alone, I would have happily finished this book and given it a top rating. Set in the near future, most jobs were gone because everything was automated. MMORPGs were the most popular form of entertainment. Since rich people could pour lots of real money into the games (to buy game items for their characters), "gold farming" (making game money to sell for RL money) was the new most common job.

The story followed a successful gold farmer as he somehow got pulled from one VR game into a different one and trapped there. What a fun, perfect idea for a book! What a great match for me!

Unfortunately the writing was so subpar, the book was nearly unreadable to me. Tense changes within a paragraph, poor/repetitive word choice, etc. Just a poorly written self-published book.

Abandoned at 12% mark.

Paint Over the Stars (This Filtered Sky Book 1) by Letitia Glade
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

First off, the Amazon page for this book credits the author and "Richard Timmerman (Photographer)". For the photograph used on the cover. Odd...

I went into this book completely blind, and at first that worked out. Story opened with a teenage boy and his mother at home, when some kind of an attack happened. Part of their home was destroyed. Other homes around them were destroyed, vanished, or changed (parts missing but the rest in place, like the second floor of a three floor home gone, but the top floor still in place).

Right away I started thinking alien attack, and I was sort of right. The mother and son raced to reach his scientist father, who had apparently working on researching their attackers for ages. The mother got killed, and the story went downhill from there. The teenage boy, who was already bratty to the point of not being pleasant to read about, got much much worse. (Understandable, but that doesn't change the fact that I didn't want to spend time with the character.)

Then we learned what the attackers were: "Quads," so called because they were from the fourth dimension...

The attackers didn't interest me, I very much disliked the main character, so I gave up at the 42% point.

Abandoned book tally towards book count: 38 + 12 + 42 = 92%

Currently reading: Lord of the Wolves. At first I thought I'd give up on it (the wolves call the alpha pair Lord/Sire and Lady, and they're "married"), but I might stick it out.
thistlechaser: (Book with cat: On stack)
Iron Edge by P.S. Power
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

First off, "P.S. Power" is about the most unsubtle pseudonym ever.

The idea behind this story was quite interesting. A man is pulled back and forth between our world and a fantasy world. In our world he's an Iraq War vet, in the other world, he's in training to become the bestest fighter ever.

I really didn't like the tone of the book (felt very pro war/pro military/macho... P.S. Power.). The writing was also really quite poor. Then I read the author's About Me section on Goodreads and that explained it: He writes a book or two PER MONTH.

Abandoned at 10% in.

Dominion Over All by W. Bradford Swift
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Dominion Over All had quite a nice idea, too. A boy meets a magical talking cat and has to go on a quest for her. From Amazon's summary, the quest: "He must represent the Animal Kingdom before the United Nations' Conference on Global Warming."

Unfortunately the writing was very, very simplistic. Even for a story about a magical cat, it wasn't very believable. I checked others' reviews, and they said the same. I gave up on it at the 16% point.


Usually in my book count for the year I give myself one book credit for all my abandoned books. However, as I had 74 abandoned books last year, I think I'm selling myself short. Maybe I should keep a running count on percent finished on abandoned books and add it to the count that way... (I'd like to track page count instead, but the vast majority of my ebooks don't offer a real page count.)

So let's try that! Abandoned books so far: Count to a Trillion (12%), Iron Edge (10%), and Dominion Over All (16%) gives me a total of 38% so far.

I'm a little skittish about crossposting my less than positive reviews to Goodreads, since it seems authors are more active there... I've been just rating and not reviewing most of the ones I don't like.
thistlechaser: (Flames)
NPR has been hitting it out of the park for me lately. So many interesting things were talked about this morning!

First was a story about an English cathedral with a rather unique welcoming message on their door:

You can listen to the full story here: Link.

The second might be news only to me, as he's been on Conan now. Disturbed is a hard rock band, but the lead singer had been raised as a Hazzan (a Jewish person "trained in the vocal arts who helps lead the congregation in songful prayer"). He did a cover of The Sound of Silence, which is beautiful. He makes it sound like a more traditional religious song, his voice is so rich and wonderful:

thistlechaser: (Cat with book: Toy)
Count to a Trillion by John C. Wright
Rating: Disliked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

I try not to look at others' reviews until I'm done with a book -- I like forming my own opinions based only on what I read. The added bonus to that is that seeing what others thought is a fun reward for being finished with the story.

In the case of Count to a Trillion, it was such a relief to see others really disliked this book as well. In my short time on Goodreads, I've seen very few books with one star ratings. This book has many of them.

At first the story itself seemed interesting. Set in the distant future, the Earth was a mess. Some sort of plague killed off a whole bunch of people. The main character, a child, was quite interesting -- more intelligent than anyone around him, very gifted. But quickly the story became seriously muddied. We went backwards and forward in time, the dialogue was really 'off' to my ear, and this whole new ruined Earth really wasn't explained all that much (Why were lawyers gunslingers?).

I gave it two nights of reading, got to the 12% mark, before giving up.

Currently reading: Iron Edge, about a man who is being sent back and forth between two worlds without control or awareness when it will happen.
thistlechaser: (Cat with book: Toy)
Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
Rating: Okay (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

Sometimes rereading a book you loved works out, sometimes it doesn't.

I rarely reread books -- I have too many new books waiting to be read. And, in the case of Blood and Chocolate, this is my third time reading it.

The first time I read it, I loved it endlessly. However, a friend had read it based on my rec, and he hated it. Years later, I reread it to see if maybe he had been right. I still loved it. This third time reading it, it worked less well for me. I wouldn't at all call it bad, it's just the style of it no longer matched my tastes.

The story is about a teenage girl in modern times. A werewolf. Her family/pack gets driven out of their previous home, and they have to try to fit in to a new place.

She's beautiful to the point of "all men want her", thought that seems a werewolf trait from as far as I could tell by the story. The book follows her falling in love with a "meat bag" boy -- a non-werewolf, thus "not a person" to werewolf thinking.

Though it was a fast read, I stopped at the 20% point. To me, the book was a tad too heavy on romance and high school life, and not heavy enough on werewolves.

Currently reading: Count to a Trillion. I'm only a couple pages in, but loving it. The main character's voice has hooked me so hard!
thistlechaser: (tree)
Before my review, a couple Goodread things: Ugh. Only after I copied in 160 reviews did I notice their whole star system is wrong. WHY oh WHY do places weigh things towards the more positive? They have five stars, but the meanings of them are: Did not like, okay, liked, really liked, amazing. Out of five, there's only one negative! And it's as un-negative as they could make it ("did not like" instead of "disliked"). Why is it not evenly balanced on either side of the 'okay'? Not to toot my own horn, but like the system I use: Hated, disliked, okay, liked, loved. UGH.

Anyway, I'm Thistle there ( if you want to friend me.

It looks like I'm not going to get my earliest reviews copied over there. It was only mid-2013 that I started writing better ones, with ratings and not just one paragraph about the book in the middle of posts about other things. The earlier ones are generally just too messy to share there.


People of the Sky by Clare Bell
Rating: Loved (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

If you told me a book that included bestiality (is sex with insects still called bestiality?) and mpreg could get a 'Loved' rating from me, I would laugh at you. And yet this book did.

Set on an alien planet, a woman named Kesbe is delivering an old airplane. It crashes in a storm, and she encounters the planet's natives -- descendants of a lost Native American tribe who took to space to escape the problems of a dying Earth. Being of Hopi blood herself, she feels a kinship to these lost people, and tries to join their society.

There were so many interesting themes in this story. Accepting yourself (as a person, as a woman, as a member of a group). Love (LOVE LOVE LOVE! No matter the shape the other individual takes).

The characters were so realistic and believable. The "bad guy" (not really bad, just an interesting shade of grey) had motives that were completely realistic and believable.

The worldbuilding was jaw-droppingly amazing. The writing in all aspects was outstanding.

Rereading books I loved when I was younger is risky. Tastes change, and if I dislike the book on second reading, then that ruins my memory of it. Luckily, in this case, I think I liked it even more than when I was younger. The main character was an adult woman, and I could more easily relate to her now that I'm an adult as well.

I really, really wish I could have been rereading it for the first time though. I remembered some of the twists ahead of time, and knew how the whole thing ended. Still, this was one seriously enjoyable read.

It pains me to have to include that this book had any problems, but unfortunately it did have one: There were a couple dozen typos, misspellings, and grammar issues. That does not at all take away from my strong recommendation of this book.
thistlechaser: (tree)
Holy cow, this gave me such a laugh!

Hm, I seem to not be able to embed the clip directly here, so go to to listen!

Longer post coming soon...ish!


thistlechaser: (Default)

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