Caturday – Sleeping it Off


Four of our cats had a big binge on catnip. Sansa made it to another room before going comatose but these three fell where they partook of the noble herb. And a few minutes later I took this photo. Such degenerates.

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Steampunk Movies – A Void Unexplored


I like Steampunk stuff – the books, the fashion, the comics, and the general DIY aesthetic of it. Hell, even the fantasy series I’m working on borrows from the genre. But it’s odd that a movement with as big of a following as steampunk enjoys has yet to produce more than a couple decent films.

We watched Victor Frankenstein last night and for a while it showed some imaginative spark. My wife ended up liking it better than me but I suspect it was more because she liked the chemistry of James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe. I just looked at the world-building, the plot, the potential in the source material, and found the whole exercise wanting. And it happens again and again. Hollywood pinches this and that from steampunk but it never quite commits fully.

I think the only film that succeeded (and that’s a relative term) was Guy Ritchie’s first Sherlock Holmes film. As a straight Holmes film it was an atrocity. But as a swashbuckling steampunk adventure, it worked pretty well. Of course having Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law as Holmes and Watson does give a director a leg up but Ritchie’s manic energy seemed to work well with all the gears and contraptions and brawling. It didn’t please the Holmes purists but I don’t suspect anyone involved in the picture cared about that.

But has there not been another decent movie in this realm. I scanned a few lists of the supposed “bests” and man, there were a lot of mediocre to bad movies on that list. Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen was a masterpiece but the movie based on it was a crime against God and man. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow was breathtaking to see but the plot actually hurt. The Wild Wild West is simply one of the worst movies ever. And it goes on and on. No one seems to get it right.

It’s not for lack of material. For example Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker would be an awesome film. It even has zombies in it. Zombies! And goggles, gaskets, and a tunneling machine that rivals all tunneling machines. Did I also mention zombies? And there are countless others graphic novels and print novels. George Mann’s Newberry & Hobbes series has a few ripping yarns that would transfer to film easily. So it’s not like Hollywood would have to craft something out of nothing. But instead we get Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Give me a fucking break.

A few years ago I whined about the lack of decent science fiction series on television. And was rewarded by a spectacular adaptation of James SA Corey’s The Expanse on SyFy. So maybe that’s the answer. Someone needs to make a series on one of the cable networks (forget broadcast, I saw the Dracula piece of shit on NBC and it was ridiculous) and pronto. So come on SyFy. You’re my only hope.

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Caturday – Excuse Me, This is My Bed Now


Carjo is in this continual project of compiling and condensing recipes. That is her main activity on her computer. Well that and being Miss Social Justice Warrior on Facebook. But yesterday while she was working on apple recipes, someone decided that the warmth from her monitor was a good thing. Cats. I can’t even.


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I Only Do This Because I Love You


We are in day two of a winter storm system. It spins churns on the radar like a blue tropical storm and it is not moving off like most storms do. We did not get as much snow as some parts of North Dakota but we do have high winds and that means drifting. That’s not good for small dogs with stick legs.

The storm started yesterday. The cats, who up until now were still insistent on going out, were somewhat pissed off. Luna and Sansa made a couple of aborted trips out but they were very short and they came back to the door directly, wet and indignant. Today they’ve all found their day beds and are locked into that winter stay-inside-gain-weight mode.

The dogs are another matter. When snow began to accumulate they were¬†apoplectic and anxious. Pippin stands maybe just under a foot or so but he’s got little Pomeranian legs. Not exactly bred for snow drifts. Merry, our Chihuahua from California, is even less so. So yesterday afternoon I went out and shoveled off the deck, the steps, and then carved out a couple paths into the yard. That got both dogs off the deck to do their business. But by late last night it was drifting in again, filling in the paths I carved out and burying the steps. By this morning the entire deck was covered by a foot of fresh blown snow.

I let Pippin out right quick this morning because he was up and ready to go as soon as I got up. He couldn’t navigate through the drift but he moved down along the shelter of the sliding glass door where it was only an inch or two deep, then relieved himself with a heroic thirty second pee. Then I got dressed and went outside.

The snow by our back steps had drifted up about knee level. I pushed the snow off the deck and cut a path through to the backyard. Then I dug a couple ten foot swaths into the yard and linked it back to the steps off the deck. I moved the snow off the deck steps and carved out a few paths on the deck. That should last at least a day. I think.

We’ve had a remarkably mild fall. This was the first serious storm and according to all the predictions we’re going to get smacked upside the head again and again. And I will go out again and again, carving dog paths in the back and front yards, clearing the way for legs too thin and too short to contend with the North Dakota winter. I will do this out of my Scandinavian-Midwestern sense of duty and I will do this because I love those two little bastards.

And the cats will sleep in their day beds and dream of spring.

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Caturday -Expanding Our Options


A few years ago I used to  post photos of the three large cats that slept on the bed in the man cave. Those old behemoths are gone now, buried behind the garage where the sun always shines warm and bright. Now the younger generation is finally taking up the gauntlet.

I’m not sure what took them so long. I suspect it’s that Arya, the queen and ruler of the pride, has finally given in to letting them sleep here at night and now they consider it prime real estate for afternoon naps as well. I don’t care about their ever-evolving politics. I’m just glad I’ve got cats sleeping in the office again.

Sleep well kids. Snow is coming in tomorrow.


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Beer – Kind Contributions


Money has been extremely tight here and I went for about a month without beer. If you know me well that’s an extreme sacrifice. Nonetheless, due to the contributions of friends and family, the drought is over.

Sierra Nevada – Celebration Fresh Hop IPA
Bell’s Christmas Ale (Scottish Ale)
Deschutes Black Butte Porter
Bell’s Two Hearted Ale (IPA)
Surly Furious (IPA)

And if I pace myself that should get me through New Years.

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Let Your Weird Light Shine


Of course, when you’re the only weirdo in the village you have to make it shine even brighter. I’m working on that.

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