In which we need your vote

There will be a post later tonight one way or another, I think.

In which I am supposed to be a tech person

This is my desktop setup:

You will note that TweetDeck is on the right, smaller monitor, and that Scrivener is on the left, larger monitor, which is also the actual computer. That’s how I want it.

Tweetdeck opens in the primary monitor nine times out of ten, and if there’s a pattern to that tenth time I can’t find the goddamn thing. Scrivener opens in the secondary monitor every single time.

I understand that this is very much a first world goddamn problem but it is driving me nuts. I assure you I have Googled the shit out of this and I cannot find a solution that actually works to getting those apps to open where I want them, so if one of you could Google it and post the first link, which will be something I have never seen before and will solve the problem immediately, I would appreciate it. This issue has clearly decided that it will not be resolved until I am at least moderately humiliated and fuck it at this point I’m fine with that.

(Note that any solution involving right-clicking on an app and going to “options” no longer works with Mojave.)

And because it’s probably relevant:

(I have no idea if anything nasty can be done with the serial number for my computer, but I figure let’s not take chances.)

#REVIEW: THE HUNGER, by Alma Katsu

For whatever reason, I’m reading a lot more this year than I did last year. I set last year’s goal at 100 books and only barely got past that at 106; I decided to dial it back a little bit this year and set my goal to 75, and I just finished the 70th book of the year last night, so I’ll finish my yearly reading goal before the year is halfway done.

Given that I’ve been on a book-every-day-or-two pace for most of June, the fact that it’s still notable how fast I devoured — pun intended — Alma Katsu’s The Hunger is pretty impressive. I couldn’t put this book down; it’s nearly 400 pages long and I finished it in less than a day. Even more impressively, The Hunger is a horror novel, and I tend to be kinda rough on horror novels. The scariest book I ever read was a nonfiction book about the Dust Bowl (I am not remotely kidding) and on the rare occasions that I find a horror novel that actually scares me I tend to promote them heavily.

You might imagine, given all of that, that a historical fiction about the Donner Party that tosses some supernatural complications into the story might be right up my alley, and man, you’d be all sorts of right. Don’t get me wrong; I think Katsu probably could have played this book perfectly straight and still written a hell of a novel if she’d wanted to, but taking what was already a nightmare hellscape of a setting and tossing in what isn’t quite a zombie story but is still certainly in the neighborhood ended up creating one hell of an engrossing story. Katsu bounces back and forth between half-a-dozen or so narrators from the caravan (which was, at the beginning, nearly 100 people strong) and from my brief research into the actual events of the time, does a decent job of keeping at least the important parts of her narrative close to what actually happened.

(I mean, monsters. She adds monsters. I’m pretty sure the monsters weren’t there originally. But it’s still decent historical fiction nonetheless, I think.)

So, yeah: this book is about terrible things happening to regular people, and some of the terrible things are kind of their own damn fault but most of them are because frontier-era America was legitimately dangerous as hell, and Katsu keeps the tension so thick for most of the book that you want to wipe it off your fingers when you’re done reading. She’s got a genuine gift for setting a scene and a hell of a talent for just keeping everything creepy; this book isn’t a jump-scare sort of thing, but the type of book that’s gonna worm its way into your head while you’re reading and stay there a while. There’s a good chance of seeing this one on my Best of 2019 list at the end of the year. Check it out.

Random Facebook PSA

I figured out something about Facebook, just a minute ago, that explains something that has been annoying me for months. I thought about sharing this on actual Facebook, but the blog post will get cross-posted there anyway so why not. Double blog day!

Anyway. Those of you who run Pages in addition to your personal site may have noticed something: Facebook helpfully informing you that your mom, or your wife, or someone else who you know good and goddamn well has Liked your page has commented on a post or something like that, and hey, wouldn’t it be great to invite those people to Like your page?

Well, sure, except they already do, and I know that, so please stop bothering me with this shit.

It’s one of those stupid things that gets on my nerves every once in a while– in other words, it’s everything about Facebook, an entire fucking ecosystem designed to do nothing but 1) allow me to have some small access to the lives of maybe literally five people who I’d completely fall out of touch with otherwise and 2) find endless ways to annoy me and/or utterly destroy society in the meanwhile.

I need to kill Luther’s Facebook page. This has been true for a while; my Clark Kent FB page has been gone for forever and is never coming back but those five people and the vague idea that the FB page drives traffic here has kept it around. I literally think about killing the page every day and don’t do it.

Anyway.

Here’s the thing I just figured out, since this wasn’t supposed to be an exclusively “bitch about Facebook” post: that list it’s drawing from, where it’s telling you to invite people to Like your page who have already Liked your page?

All of those people found your site on their own and were never invited to like it.

That’s why it’s repeating those names. It’s not comparing those people to the list of people who have Liked the page, it’s comparing them to a list of people who you have invited to Like the page. And if you never invited them because they are your wife and/or your mom and they did it right away when you first opened the page? Well, it’s gonna bug you about those people forever, as far as I know, because just because I understand why Facebook is doing the dumb and annoying thing it’s doing does not mean that the thing it’s doing is not still dumb and annoying, or that there’s any way to stop it from being dumb and annoying. It’s Facebook. Dumb and annoying are what it’s for.

But hey: at least I get it now. It’s stupid, but I get it. And so do you!

You may now go about your day.

Yikes

Photo by Jason Wagner.

Midwesterners are occasionally not very smart people.

I was starting to get ready to put the boy to bed last night when suddenly the civil defense alarms started going off. Normally the alarms don’t happen until after the National Weather Service has already kicked out some watches and warnings, and I hadn’t seen anything, so I posted a quick message to Facebook asking if anybody knew anything and we went about our business. It took maybe another 10 minutes for my phone to start blowing up, and even when it did, it was all “radar indicates rotation” type of stuff and no actual someone sees a tornado types of warnings. I feel like now that they’re doing “radar indicates rotation” as a threat level, we need a new word for that. Tornado warning always meant someone has actually seen a funnel cloud to me and I don’t know how seriously to treat your radar tornadoes.

Anyway, we didn’t go hide in the bathtub, and we didn’t go into the basement. I’ve been living in tornado-prone areas for 3/4 of my life and I can count the number of times I’ve actually taken shelter during tornado warnings on one hand. I have never in all that time seen one with my own eyes, and the last time we were having tornado warnings I was literally outside taking video on my phone because the clouds were cool.

I am not alone in this, mind you. This is a Midwestern thing. We are used to this shit– if anything, too used to this shit. By the time the warnings were really starting to show up, it was barely even raining at my house any longer, so we didn’t go anywhere.

So, uh, that building in that picture up there is maybe a five-minute drive from my house. It used to be a day care– not my son’s day care, but we’ve tried to get him in there a couple of times because it’s more convenient to where we live than anywhere else we’ve installed him. And it’s, uh, gone now, because tornado. Luckily said tornado was at 8:30 on a Sunday night so the building was deserted.

Maybe next time we’ll go hang out in the basement for five minutes.