Odd Ends

I’m a bit discombobulated today for some reason. Not that there’s any thing to be discombobulated about, I just am. It’s just one of those odd off days where nothing quite fits properly – and when you’re of the Odd persuasion and don’t really fit that well in the first place, those days really aren’t fun.

What passes for normal here continues to pass for normal: I work from home, the Husband’s job is currently stable until the end of next year, the cats are cats. Of course, their fuzzy royal highnesses insist that things are done their way whether it’s useful or convenient or not. They are Cat and must be obeyed, after all.

I’m not sure where the heck the year went. It’s cool enough in the mornings that I need a light sweater and slippers, but pleasant by the middle of the day even though summer seemed like it would be with us for a good long time. And yet, this whole business has been going on for 6 months. I really feel for the poor sods who found themselves without employment because of it, even as part of me wants to make noises about retirement damn it.

After all, there’s another birthday coming up, which will bring the grand total to 53, and yeah, I’m tired. I miss having energy and feeling rested, even though I haven’t really experienced either since I was around 15 and became narcoleptic. And people wonder why I say I’m lazy? (I am. I want to do it once. Right.)

So, chat away, anything is on topic, and I’ll try to drop in and respond reasonably well – although most likely outside work time. Oh, and cat pictures are and will always be relevant.

21 thoughts on “Odd Ends

  1. I’m still recovering from a triple whammy of environment and immune system. I’m almost back to normal, but my ears and sinuses don’t want to resume their proper function (i.e. return to not being noticed.) You’d think slightly-stopped up ears wouldn’t be such a “big deal,” but they throw my balance just a bit off-kilter. It’s a good analogy for 2020. Even when everything seems to be right, like when I’m out walking at 0600, there’s something slightly hinky, off-balance, not quite what it should be.

    1. Ugh. You have my sympathies – that sounds like a truly nasty combination.

      The one that drives me insane is the phase of recovering from a cold where the inside of my ears itch.

  2. About a two weeks ago it went from “WAY TOO HOT” to only “summer” so I started getting some things done around Chez Phantom. Widened the mote, fed the alligators, polished up the frickin’ lasers, things like that.

    This week, obviously, the leaves are turning colour and I can see the warm-enough-for-work weather slipping away. Barf. Stupid Canada. 😡

    1. I’m probably only a few weeks behind you on that front. It might be south Pennsylvania, but in the last 4 weeks or so it’s gone from “need the air-conditioning” through “need the fan” to “damn cold mornings, where are my slippers”. Hopefully it will stabilize there for a bit, because I really don’t feel like dragging the heat out yet.

      Such is the price of living somewhere with four distinct seasons, I guess.

  3. This is the morning of “I give up and call professional help.” The plumber was quite amused when I told him “So I got to this point and realized my knees aren’t 20 anymore, and called for help. I do expect a $40 ‘customer tried to fix it themselves’ line item on the bill…” clearly that joke carries over from wrenching on airplanes to plumbing just fine!

    After this, at least one thing in the house will no longer be a little wonky, but fixed *right.*

    1. I suspect that joke applies to pretty much anything, really.

      Some things I’m willing to try for myself. Others, I call in the professionals.

  4. anything is on topic


    Oh, wait, I try not to be the one dragging that nonsense here. (Okay, I’m bad at not being that guy, but I make an effort when I remember.)

    Anyone have any thoughts on viewpoint characters with unusual sensory perceptions? I’m not talking about ordinary disorders, stuff that exists in the real world like synesthesia, etc.

    How would you handle a character that is human, and perceives things normally impossible for humans, that are real in the context of the story world? I’m basically willing to cheat about whether the characters have a real sensor that can physically detect whatever it is, and perhaps also about the sensor processing done by the brain.

    1. I have a character in an upcoming novel (when I finish the current set of what’s looking to be five books) who has a super-sensitive nose. On the order of a dog. You know; where you walk into the kitchen and think not ‘stew’ but lamb, barley, moldy carrots from the root cellar, too much rosemary, the garlic was bad, and why are there stale breadcrumbs? Or, I can smell the man you were with five days ago.

      The sensory overload started him drinking heavily by the time he was fifteen.

    2. Ah, the Pinky Pie effect!

      Named for the one character I’ve seen it done well with– I still can’t tell if the character is supposed to actually have a form of ESP, or if she’s just mildly crazy and has plot armor due to Rule Of Funny.


      IRL, my husband got very upset a bit over a month ago, because he was going out to his car to drive home and after he sat down, he flat out broke down crying. Not normal. Got himself under control and called me, called is parents, I called my relatives…nothing.
      Yes, we felt silly, but also still spooked.
      A week ago, happened again, on his way to work. When he got there, found out he’d gotten a phone message– one of his cousins was just given two weeks to live.

      Had started having seizures all of a sudden a few weeks before.

      Take a wild guess when the doctor had said “you should get this specific medical test done, I don’t like the symptoms I’m seeing.”

      1. For the right kind of work, Rule Of Funny is perfectly legitimate.

        And for your husband’s thing… I can’t say I’ve experienced the same, but I have had something close. When my first cat was on her last legs at 19 – she had cancer and was reaching the stage where she was just miserable most of time – my parents wouldn’t tell me when they were taking her to the vet for the last visit. I was in the middle of a choir practice and just suddenly wanted to cry. It hit out of nowhere and took me a while to control. Later, I found out that was when she would have been given the injection.

        I think if you’re closely connected to someone and something is intense enough, you can get the echoes. Sod if I know how, but you can.

      2. I’m sorry to hear about your husband and his cousin.

        What is the Pinkie Pie effect? I remain happily oblivious to most popular culture so I frequently don’t know what anyone is talking about.

    3. Pretty much anything with magic where the character is aware of magic can do that – although I usually describe it as a kind of synesthesia thing because it’s bloody hard to describe any sort of extra sense in a meaningful way. ESP is also a candidate for that.

      I’ve got to mention the weirdest version I remember coming across: it was what initially read as human-like critters who would form threesomes that somehow merged and gained extra senses by it. Gradually what came out of it was that when the threesome merged they went from something that wasn’t precisely corporal to something that was very close to normal human. Alas, I don’t remember anything else about the piece.

      1. Are you thinking of Isaac Asimov’s novel ‘The Gods Themselves’? The middle section is about ‘soft’ aliens, gaseous in form. A group of three ‘melt’ and metamorphose into a the ‘adult’ form with a ‘hard’ shell. There’s plenty of sex but it’s all alien. They’re in a parallel world interacting with our own world.

        1. That could be the one. It’s a long time since I read it and the three becoming a single organism is all I really remember.

    4. I’m doing a story with a character who can smell ‘odorless’ gases like carbon monoxide and methane; can taste ‘tasteless’ compounds like thallium sulfate; can feel radiation; can see in twelve colors when she wants to, including three infrared and two ultraviolet. She can enter a state of accelerated subjective time, with ‘tactical vision’ which shows important details more prominently than the background.

      All due to a combination of genetic engineering and nanotech enhancement.

      I’m working on Chapter 13 and she hasn’t found any of that out yet. She has lost all of her memories and is still learning about herself, as well as the world around her.

    5. It’s an interesting question. If someone figures out the things that are sensitive to infrared/ultraviolet in other animals and adds them to human eyes, would we see new colors or would the existing spectrum be “squished” to make room for redder reds and violeter violets? Does it make a difference if it is done to an adult or if one is born that way? How much of seeing is hard-coded and how much is trained?
      I think for a story, either way would work fine. After all, no one really knows. Maybe some research on the computer aided vision for blind people research would be helpful.
      BTW: Keep in mind the difference between active and passive sensing. X-ray vision isn’t possible unless one carries around a source of x-rays. Seeing radio-spectrum might very well be (e.g. all the cell towers look like street lights). There are also side-effects. If one sees radio-spectrum as “light” and it’s bright, one might very well stumble into things that are radio-transparent but solid – much like birds flying into windows.

  5. > I want to do it once. Right.

    My Dad once questioned one of my car repair sessions, which he deemed overkill. I told him I couldn’t afford to fix it twice…

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