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Showing posts from November, 2019

#spoiledratupdate!

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I have new rats! Meet Durnik (above) and Barak (below). In accordance with internationally-recognized Rat Law, these little widgets are now the exact geometric center of my entire universe, and will be treated accordingly.

These guys are re-homes, about a year old. A short list of things Barak and Durnik like:

Each other.Humans.Food. Conspicuously absent from that list is 'other rats'. Which was a problem, because they were brought on as companions for an only whose rat-bro had sadly passed away. From what I gather, the singleton is happy and friendly and also ADHD in the form of a rodent. So while Barak and Durnik were settling down into being asshole teenagers (~6 months, for rats), Attention Deficit Rat would basically land on their heads at random going HAY LETS GO RIDE BIKES!!!11!!! or whatever the rat equivalent is. Barak would go JESUS FUCKIN Y U CHOO ON MY HED AGIN?, Durnik would follow, and it would all end in a loud obnoxious 3 am boxing match. The household ended up…
First things first, a bit of administrivia: Those of you who have been around for a while may remember that I run an "advent calendar" for the month of December. The winter holidays are two solid months with a heavy emphasis on belonging and family. I have a lot of things to say about those concepts, most of which are not what anyone wants to hear while they're wrapping presents and roasting turkeys. I queue up a bunch of fun things instead and hole up to drink until January.

This year I'm doing things a little differently. While the advent calendar will be running on the public blog -- this year it's folk tales from around the world -- the regular blog entries will be running on my Patreon for anyone who cares to pledge $1 or more. Because I'm sometimes rubbish at posting on a regular schedule, my Patreon runs on a monthly model, rather than per-piece, so if you pledge $1, you'll never be charged more than that.

You are, of course, welcome to give me as …
My response to extended periods of stress is to distract myself by cramming new things into my head. I had a terrible semester at college once and front-loaded the entirety of the sci.electronics.repair FAQ into my brain. It wasn't useful at the time, but I can repair the shit out of a VCR now, so I assume I'll use it someday. I am so overloaded I am about to claw my own face off, so naturally I am teaching myself Hebrew.

I've been using Duolingo to do it, which is frankly a very bad idea. (I should really be using Ha'Ulpan, which is where you'd typically go for a crash course in Hebrew before emigrating to Israel, but that costs money, so no.) Duolingo is billed as a way to teach yourself a language, which it is not. It is a way to memorize a bunch of interactive flashcards. This might be effective for people who don't care how language works -- which is most people -- but it's awful for people like me, who hang all of their memorization off of a framework…