screenshot of unhelpful amazon sizing chart

I hate to knock the people at Stanley, but when I'm deciding between a 5-oz and 8-oz flask (to give my kid as a stocking stuffer), the chart of "10 liter to 60 liter backpacks" is not really great.


a Close Encounters puzzle box

Writing about a goofy Advent-like puzzle-countdown thing I did as a kid, and remembered one of the puzzles I did it with, and searched the internet, and there is nothing not on the internet, apparently. Would've been better as a panoramic shot of the whole mountain, though!


  • close encounters of the third kind
  • advent

GODDAM CARTOONS: if you sometimes post on social media about politics, and you post a contextless “HOLY. SHIT.” on Sunday night, that’s gonna mess with your followers!

[update: i was in a bad mood. edited and followup-deleted.]

  • This is where I get unfollowed by everyone
  • So I didn’t put it elsewhere

A horrible idea I had last year: a sort of Advent-like daily snark about the Sharper Image catalogs I was getting in the mail. I just got a second 2019 S.I. catalog; guess I'll do it again...


What I Read in November 📚


  • Midnight Riot, Peter Grant. Last month, I said of The Municipalists, “Loved the premise (sort-of Laundry Files humor-tech but focused on civil infrastructure instead of Cthulhu.)” This is even more like the Laundry Files, supernatural-wise… but without the tech. Or the humor, really. Saw this recommended by a Londoner and with the very detailed descriptions of London neighborhoods and transport, maybe being a Brit is required context. DNF but strangely, would recommend.

  • In Xanadu, Lavie Tidhar. A short story that is hopefully a prologue for something bigger. AIs and interplanetary computer hidey-holes. Fun. (read free @ Tor)


  • Medallion Status, John Hodgman. I’m going to automatically 4- or 5-star anything from the Judge on principal. I think I might’ve liked Vacationland, his last, a little more than this one, but then we saw him perform “Vacationland” as a live performance, so maybe that’s tilting the scales a little. Also: the hook that organizes this book is airplane travel, and I intentionally held off reading until I was on a plane. Length of book and flight matched almost perfectly. I was 5 pages from the Acknowledgements when the row in front of me started de-planing. If I hadn’t been pinning my stepson into the window seat, I’d have let the remaining passengers skip me, sitting there for another 3 or 4 minutes, to finish it up, just because. Also also, I got a retweet from JJH. Fun.

Travel today wasn't really bad, a single flight with a not-too-early departure time, everything went fine. Still, I feel exhausted and I need to integrate a couple of beers into my bloodstream to wind down.


Somehow I missed mix the other day, but now that I'm at a new property maybe I'll do better.

(This morning's game: trying to remember the famous printmaker whose Central Park ice-skating scene was the basis of a 2-sided puzzle we had as kids.)

((Marshall came up with it before Google: Currier & Ives))


Rich is on the move... Flight doesn't leave until 2p; hopefully, the backups elsewhere won't have a knock-on effect on our flight. Also, there's a storm front between here and Dallas, no way around it. Gonna be bumpy.



screenshot of an offer from YouTube Premium. I've never bitten on their Free Month offer; today they emailed me a Free Three Months offer. I copied the code and clicked the link... to a Free Month offer and no option of plugging in a code. Just confirm your CC details and click for one free month.

Fuuuuck youuuuu!

edit: what a mix up.


Forgot to use company yesterday, but I did post something so I guess my streak is alive... assuming my trick back on the 4th works...

Anyway, today's prompt is secure and I am secure in the knowledge that I will soon be company at my sister's house in Dallas.