They did say they were going to refund me the nonsense overdraft fee they charged me, which was what I originally called about, but the deeply unhappy person I spoke to's manager apparently instructed them to scold me for "misreading" the website. Yeah, I don't trust you people.
Judy has ten hours left in a Kickstarter to fund a novella (or two novellas if it hits the bonus threshold) about horses and magic in Arizona. Go fund the second novella!
Some images from the retreat are on LJ.
My first Yuletide, I wrote for hyperfocused, a crossover between Zenna Henderson's People stories and Doctor Who. I would never have thought to write that on my own, but I really enjoyed the process. Reviewing the stories was fun as I hadn't read them in quite a while. (I didn't review Doctor Who because I didn't then have access to any episodes.)
I enjoy Zenna Henderson's People stories because they're about people who are fundamentally decent. The conflicts tend to be quiet. I like the personal relationship with the deity that the characters have and the simple phrase that calls these people to action-- "There's need." The characters aren't perfect. They feel fear and uncertainty, but they persevere anyway.
I first read the stories when I was in high school. I'm not sure if the books were my mother's or if they were books that my father left behind when Mom kicked him out. I think Mom is more likely because those books don't really seem like Papa's sort of thing. At any rate, the books pretty much immediately became mine. I was really pleased when the Science Fiction Book Club put out an edition that collected all of the stories in one place, including the ones that hadn't been in the two previous books. (And I was fairly upset when my copy of that book got water damaged by a problem with our kitchen sink. I need to replace it. It's still readable, but it's a bit warped.)
I had some trouble with depression in high school, and books like these helped because they gave me hope for a better world. The characters seemed like people I might know instead of like fantasy figures, in spite of their powers. They seemed possible.
I also got all of Scott's and most of Cordelia's Christmas presents wrapped. I couldn't wrap the Crocs or the camping pad. Scott, when he got home, dug out a gift bag for the Crocs, and we decided that the camping pad won't get wrapped. We'll just scrounge a bow for it and put it under the tree as is. There will still be a couple of things to wrap for Cordelia, but they won't arrive for a day or two yet, and they're books, so they'll be easy to wrap after she goes to bed Christmas Eve. I just have to keep her distracted enough that she doesn't try to buy the books in question. (She just finished reading Divergent and is eager to get the next book.) I'm hopeful that having friends over tomorrow and Tuesday will help.
Scott was pretty much exhausted when he got home. Twelve hours will do that, especially when eight of them involve pulling carts. He did some present wrapping himself after he'd showered and changed. He got his father's present wrapped and the presents for our local niece and nephew. He still hasn't mailed the package going to Seattle. He wanted to buy a gift card for the older niece and thought it would be bad if the package arrived before the gift card. I suspect the gift card will arrive before Christmas, but I see no way the package will unless we pay to overnight it.
Today, Scott needs to buy the present for his mother (and, I assume, wrap it). Cordelia and I have a Girl Scout meeting. Scott is planning to run errands and wrap my present while we're gone. He also needs to finish designing the photo calendar for his parents. All the others are done and sent. Unfortunately, the calendar for his parents is the most challenging because they want pictures of so many different people. Scott says it will be hard to keep from having half a dozen photos per month.
bosonator is home as of Friday. He's one of those "like he was never gone" friends, although at the same time I'm overwhelmingly glad to see him because it's been so long, and very glad we get to keep him at our place for a few days before Ginny arrives. Both of them in town at once! *^^*
Now it's time to put in a couple hours of work on my current rewrite, but this afternoon there'll be holiday baking, and tonight I think there's going to be Leverage. *^^*
Anime News Network has the first revealed artwork for the upcoming My Love Story!! anime. *^^*
"The New Sailor Moon anime has changed" shows the (drastic!) differences between the broadcast and Blu-Ray art for Sailor Moon Crystal, with lots of screencaps.
Via several people, "How a Nickelodeon Cartoon Became One of the Most Powerful, Subversive Shows of 2014 ". [Spoilers for the Korra series finale, including in the actual link.]
Via a few people, "The 40 Most Important Corgis of 2014".
Via Facebook, "Capybara hot springs are back: Rodent-friendly onsen now available all over Japan".
juniperphoenix posted about The Complete Enneagram: 27 Paths to Greater Self-Knowledge, a new-to-me Enneagram book that sounds very interesting (by which I mean I've already bought a copy).
Via seananmcguire, "The 5 Things a Massage Therapist Will Probably Tell You to Do to Stop Hurting".
blythechild posted some photos of Toronto's snowfall in 1944. Eep!
Via Facebook, winter fox photos by Roeselien Raimond.
Via alisanne, optical illusion graffiti.
Via rashaka, a website that translates the time of day into hexidecimal color.
Via yohjideranged, Cast in Bronze performing Carol of the Bells. I'll echo the Wikipedia quote yohjideranged included: "Cast in Bronze is a musical act, notably including one of the few portable carillons, a musical instrument consisting of 23 or more tuned bells. Mounted on a frame, the instrument is played by striking with fists and feet wooden levers that are wired to each bell’s clapper. Due to their enormous weight, carillons typically reside in towers or other permanent structures."
--Korean artist Na Young Wu drew a variety of Western fairy tale characters in manhwa style (with Disney influence on some of them, plus the inclusion of Elsa from Frozen).
--"4 Teachings of Jesus That His Followers (Almost) Never Take Seriously".
I just caught her standing in front of the cabinet with her teeth on the key trying to turn it.
Our cat has figured out that keys open doors.
(I'd just accused him of looting cultural property when, as a sidequest, his character discovered and dug up something identified as a Mayan Stone.)
Sent from my Apple ][+
Well, this may be a new low, even for Siberian tax collectors.
The Itar-TASS news agency (via the BBC) reported in August that cотрудники Томского управления Федеральной службы судебных приставов, не найдя у должницы другого имущества, наложили арест на четырех породистых котят. In other words (English ones), officials of the Federal Bailiff Service (Tomsk Department) "arrested four kittens" as security for a 40,000-ruble debt. In this particular case, the owner had failed to make payments she owed to a company pension fund, so this wasn't a tax debt, they were just seizing "property" to satisfy a judgment.
But the BBC also reported that tax collectors in Novosibirsk got someone to pay 12,000 rubles in back taxes by threatening to seize four of his cats:
When bailiffs arrived at the student's flat, they initially found nothing of value worth seizing—that is until they spied the British Shorthair cat he was holding and three of its kittens running around the place. "Because the animals are pedigree and expensive, the representative of the law decided to place the cat brood under arrest," Interfax quotes a statement from the region's court marshal's service.
Their link to the Interfax report is broken, but in this case I'll go with it anyway given the BBC's generally good reputation and the difficulty of independently researching alleged Siberian cat-brood seizures.
Nor are cats the only animals being taken hostage by Russian officials, according to another Interfax report, this one from Krasnoyarsk and dated just a few days ago. There, bailiffs were trying to collect on a 20,000-ruble judgment for an unpaid utility bill. Apparently seeing nothing else worth grabbing here as well, "[o]бъектом внимания судебного пристава стал кот британской короткошерстной породы по кличке Ясмин и пушистый домашний кролик," or in English, "they became interested in a British Shorthair cat named Yasmin and a fluffy pet rabbit." (I know just enough Russian to be confident that the report's describing the pet rabbit as "fluffy," not talking about "Fluffy the pet rabbit.") They nabbed both pending payment of the debt.
While Russia really has come a long way, the "related stories" box at the end of the Interfax report suggests that the economy still has a long way to go because bailiffs and tax collectors are clearly still taking whatever they can get.
But if you go to my lair, all the hatchlings (and in case they grow up shortly, that includes the green-range wildclaws) are up for grabs. Just send me a Crossroads request for 1 T.
Ayala, green-range Imp lady, is up for grabs too.
I will have two extra kids on Monday and Tuesday. I volunteered for that, but I was at least half hoping that their parents wouldn't take me up on it. My main plan for Monday and Tuesday is baking some more. I was going to do some of that this afternoon, but I don't really feel like washing the necessary dishes (mixing bowl, measuring cups, and baking pans). I need to call my mother today to ask about one of my recipes because I wrote down everything but the size of the pan it goes in. Trying to bake in in a 9x13 pan when it goes in an 8x8 would be untenable. I also need to look for a bar recipe that appeals to me that uses butterscotch chips. I suppose I can make the recipe on the back of the bag and just do it as bars, but I'd like to see what options I have.
I baked three sets of bars yesterday-- chocolate chip bars, brownies, and blackberry jam bars. I got all the chocolate chip bars and the brownies into my big plastic tub. I got about two thirds of the blackberry bars into a much smaller tin. We only have two or three more small tins, so I'm going to be scrambling to figure out how to store what I make Monday and Tuesday. I do plan to send some cookies home with the two kids who'll be here then. They're Muslim, so they don't celebrate Christmas, but I figure cookies are welcome any time.
Scott got home at a reasonable time yesterday and showered pretty much immediately. We had an early dinner and headed north to Scott's sister's place. She wasn't going to be home because she had a party to attend with her church group. As it turned out, her husband wasn't home when we arrived, either. I would have been comfortable leaving Cordelia alone with her cousins for half an hour or so until her uncle arrived, but she asked us to stay. She and Scott played cards with our niece.
After our brother-in-law arrived (with pizza), Scott and I hugged Cordelia and went. We stopped at an Arby's on our way to the highway and got milkshakes. Arby's milkshakes are nice and thick. That's good in one way because they stay frozen even to the end. It's bad in another way because getting anything up through the straw takes a lot of effort. Both of us had sore tongues by the time we finished our shakes.
Scott went to bed almost as soon as we got home. I stayed up another two maybe two and a half hours. I did nothing particularly noteworthy during that time.
I also need to edit my Yuletide fic to reflect comments from the first beta reader. I'm waiting to hear back from the the second beta reader. I don't feel any great need to hurry because I won't post the edited version of the fic until I have both sets of comments. I am wishing I was writing in something besides TextEdit-- I can't get the search function to work there, so I'm going to be skimming the fic, looking for key words, to find the points that the first beta reader has suggested changes.
I slept a lot later this morning than I expected to. I didn't get up until quarter after eleven. That really throws off my medication schedule for the day. Oh, well, I'll muddle through.