Right out of the gate let’s ask — are these kinds of updates interesting to you? Meaning, just the general here’s some stuff I’m doing, here’s some things I’m enjoying, hey look, birds, bugs, and dogs. If they are, I’ll do more. If they’re not, I’ll do less, and also I’ll collect my many tears in little phials and sell them to various wizards, sorcerers, and magical ne’er-do-wells as a vital reagent for their mystical crimes.
Anyway, let the updates begin.
Dust & Grim, Delayed
I’ll have more info shortly about tour dates, but Dust & Grim is delayed two weeks due to *star shooting across sky leaving a rainbow behind* SUPPLY CHAIN ISSUES. What does this mean? Well! This means it will be coming out on October 19th, so please check your pre-orders and such accordingly. Pre-orders are especially useful right now to help guarantee you get a printed copy if you want one. You can nab signed/personalized copies from either Doylestown Bookshop or Let’s Play Books. You’ll know more when I know more!
Our Dog’s Butt Is Haunted
Our Frankencorgi Shepherd, Snoobug, has a haunted butt.
It has been haunted for a while by some kind of sinister butt ghost(s), and it has required occasional medical intervention on behalf of this haunted butt (scientific term: “infected anal glands,” I’m sorry, I know that’s not a term anyone wants to hear or think about, I hope you didn’t just eat breakfast), usually in the form of antibiotics. Which is where we are at, again. One problem: the antibiotics make her go fucking batshit for a little while — last time was only for a day or two. Day two of the course this time, oh my god, she became an entirely different dog. She’d fart, and then jump up like a ghost bit her ass, and then she’d instantly become Velcro Dog. She’s always sweet, to be clear, but she’s usually content to come in for a petting or two, then bail. And further, she’s always a little wonky, and there are places in our house she just won’t go — she’s never been in the downstairs bathroom, never in the laundry room, never ever jumped up on the couch.
Yesterday, she did all three. Without thinking, without reserve. We found her in the laundry room at one point. She followed my wife into the bathroom while she showered. I was on the couch, playing Deathloop (which is a lot of fun, if you care), and suddenly, BUTT GHOST, and she was crawling up into my lap. And she has never, ever done that in seven years.
This morning she seems a little calmer, so here’s hoping the meds are successfully exorcising the Anus Wraiths (who I saw open for Ministry in 93, by the way). Because failing that, the vet is recommending a very expensive operation, whiiiiiiich is not great. She already had to have some kind of “cold laser” procedure on her butt. The vet probably just made that up, didn’t they? Whatever. Point is, buy my books, because hahaha ow. Buy a book, help a dog. How nice.
I Make Pizza Now, I Am Pizza Chuck, Itsa Me, Chucky-o
Okay, I’m not really good at making pizza yet. But I’m getting better. I have an Ooni pizza oven, and I say this not as any kind of paid endorsement, but it’s fucking legit. It is as promised — you pop that thing on and fifteen minutes later, it’s 900 degrees. Like Walter White, it’s ready to cook. Pizza goes in on peel, ~2 minutes later, done pizza.
My preference is that Neapolitan-style crust, thin and chewy — my recent effort was the Babish recipe, and I usually like his recipes, but I either did something wrong or, ennh, I dunno. Gonna go with Kenji next, as his recipes are usually very reliable — his scrambled eggs situation was sublime. (Cornstarch, salt, and butter. Perfect scrambled eggs every time. Also, sans butter, works with omelettes, makes them amazing.)
It’s Heirloom Apple Season, Motherfucker
And I will be getting heirloom apples this year however I jolly well can. And instead of reviewing them on Twitter, which is a Hell Realm, I’ll talk about them here, because this place needs some appley goodness.
It’s Also Fall Migration, Motherfucker
It’s that time when all the Cool Birds leave their soon-to-be-wintry climes and fuck off south, which means it becomes Warblertown up around here (WHO RULE WARBLER TOWN, WARBLER ADORBLER RULE WARBLERTOWN), and of course it’s fall warblers, so they all look the same, the little bastards. But they’re great. Birds don’t give a shit about our stupid problems and they’re cool and we should try to make the world a better place, if for nothing else than birds and apples.
Remember, too, fall migration is time to turn out your lights at night.
Save the birds, save the world.
Hey, Get Vaccinated, You Jabronis
I don’t mean to get all “””political””” on this here Bird-and-Apple Blog, but PA just released their numbers, and 94% of their COVID cases are unvaccinated people. Now, I understand those numbers don’t likely include breakthrough infections that are mild or asymptomatic, because we do not test robustly, and people who only have mild symptoms may get no tests at all (especially during allergy season), but just the same, that still underscores the fact that those getting tested likely have serious enough illness to warrant the tests. What this means of course is that
WOW, WHOA, VACCINES WORK
IT’S NOT LIKE VACCINES ARE THE ABSOLUTE BACKBONE OF OUR CIVILIZATION OR ANYTHING OH WAIT, THEY TOTALLY ARE??
HEY, DID YOU GET POLIO LAST YEAR
HOW ABOUT SMALLPOX
WEIRD I WONDER WHY
I WONDER IF IT’S THESE *checks notes* AWESOME VACCINES WE HAVE
JESUS CHRIST GET VACCINATED
Ahem. I’m sure most of you very awesome people are already vaxxed! But if you’re not, hey, fix that immediately. It is likely to save your life. And here you might be saying, “Buh, buh, but why do care if I exercise my HEALTH FREEDOMS not to stick myself with the BILL GATES DEMON JUICE,” and here I’ll note it’s because if you get sick from COVID and end up in the hospital, you’re taking a bed that could go to someone whose disease is not their own fault. And if you’re not vaccinated, guess what? That’s your own damn fault. So let’s not choke the hospital system and bring it to its knees. Let’s free up beds for cancer patients and sick kids, not Johnny Covidtown who should’ve fucking known better and just gotten the FREE and HARMLESS vaccine that would’ve saved his life instead of ending it pain-throttled and alone on a ventilator shoved down his throat. Cool? Cool.
Pennsylvania: Tornado Alley!
Over the last couple months we’ve had two incidents of tornadoes ripping through our area — the first time, we had one tornado hit a half-mile north of us, and a second one hit a half-mile south. This past time, about three-four miles south of us, and in fact, it tore its way through my sister’s backyard, knocking down a line of trees. What a mess. Seven tornadoes on the first go, nine this time. BUT HA HA CLIMATE CHANGE ISN’T A THING, right? You know Pennsylvania, it’s known for its tornadoes. Probably. Maybe. Shut up.
Most Ted Lasso Hot Takes Are Bad, Actually
If not bad, then just plain silly. This is not an exhortation for you to like the show or for you to find it without problem, I just thought it odd that at the start of this second season, we were deluged with a barrage (or barraged with a deluge) of Bad Ted Lasso takes, ranging from the Wow This Season Isn’t Going Anywhere to The Show Is Bad And You Should Feel Bad For Liking It, all of which are wrong and bad and shhhh. Just stop. Let people like things. And also let a show do its thing before you judge it. Now that we’re deeper into the season, it’s really going some important places, and I want to go along on that ride. You don’t have to, but I think it’s pretty great. I want to let it have its say before I judge it. Also, Roy Kent forever, please and thank you. And Sam! And Rebecca! Yes. Anyway. Moving on. It’s also still okay if you don’t like it. Just don’t tell me about it.
Some Things Wot I Enjoyed Recently
The Murderbot Books, getting caught up on them — Martha Wells
McCammon’s Matthew Corbett books
Evil, on Paramount-Plus
Kid Cosmic, Netflix
Just finishing up Delilah Dawson’s The Violence, and whooooa dang
Premee Mohamed’s Annual Migration of Clouds
Cassandra Khaw’s The All-Consuming World
Infinity Train, HBO Max
Birds and Bugs, As Promised
Here are some birds and bugs I’ve seen recently (with more at Flickr):
Buy My Books Or I Die
The Book of Accidents is available, and primed for your SPOOKY SEASON needs. It’s creepy and it’s kooky, it’s altogether spooky. Coal mines, haunted houses, serial killers, maybe a demon, some interstitial realms. It’s a blast. Go get. Or I die writhing in the abyss. And leave a review, somewhere, pretty please? With a pick-axe on top?