May 2nd, 2015

Venus

Still worn out.

Today's bike ride was hot. I'll be grateful for these temps in July, but right now I'm just not acclimated. The last 5 miles of the ride were a struggle, and I've been tired ever since. Looks like tomorrow will be more of the same. :(

We watched a Tiny House Nation episode tonight, which was advertised as being about a Steampunk home. Unfortunately, the prospective owner couldn't seem to distinguish Steampunk decor from an industrial-salvge raid, and the results were ugly and depressing. Think "lots and lots of rust." So much unrealized potential. :(

By contrast, here is a really cool and famous Steampunk house on wheels that I just covet for no good reason whatsoever. It would be like having your own really cool traveling clubhouse.

I finished the 3rd book in Jasper Fforde's YA series. By the end, all three of the female characters sounded much the same (and older than their years), but OTOH... it's interesting that Fforde's two main series both have female protagonists, which is rare for a male writer, and these are dry-witted, intelligent women who are fun to read about. His other books include Shades of Grey which theoretically is supposed to someday have a sequel (which was targeted for release in 2012 and has not yet been written), and two "Nursery Crimes" novels whose main characters are book detectives Jack Spratt and Mary Mary. I'd love to have him write more in that series. I'm still wavering on the Pratchett book, and there's a Jeffrey Deaver (not a Lincoln Rhymes mystery) I'd hoped HalfshellHusband would vet for me... and now he's hoping for the reverse.

Tomorrow? Bike ride (but shorter), and possibly launching an offensive against the porch spiders with the shop vac. One of the little devils is suspiciously full-bodied, black, and shiny, and that's a bigger issue than the web mess and festoonment of dead bugs...

Venus

Also...

If you thought yesterday's reference to spiders seemed to have a "dogwhistle" tone to it, you were right. The audience there was other people who also live in hot, dry places.

For reasons of nefariousness coincidence, we usually can only see a spider's back, not its underside. Once you've seen enough black widows, though, you become familiar with the overall shape and sheen of them, and any spider that looks like that is almost certainly a black widow. If it's brown, it might be a brown widow—or a mutant on its way to becoming a black widow, so kill it anyway!

I seriously hate how plentiful those little monsters are around Sacramento...

This got me rememering again this morning that, while it is a lovely book and a classic, I sometimes feel (unpopular opinion alert!) that Charlotte's Web is also primarily pro-spider propaganda. If you don't believe me, ask your friendly neighborhood arachnophobe. Yick!