First Day of Autumn

Today is the September equinox, or the “official” first day of Autumn. The actual September equinox is the moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator, which happens at 6:03 p.m. (US Pacific; 9:03 p.m. US Eastern) this year.

One fun fact is that the spot where the sun crosses the celestial equator heading south is called the “First Point of Libra,” but thanks to axial precession it’s actually in the constellation of Virgo, now. There’s also an old wives’ tale that we’ll have 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night today due to the equinox, but that’s not actually true.

At any rate, starting today, it’s Fall. Get some cider and hot chocolate, break out the sweaters, and get ready for the temps to start falling and the leaves to start changing.

Books I Read in August 2022

Not a huge fan of the Wayward Children books, as it turns out. They’ve won a bunch of awards, including a Hugo for Best Series or some such this year, but they’re not my cup of tea. They’re pretty obviously for younger readers, for starters. Heavy on the telling not the showing, kind of light on plot. Didn’t care for them.

The Law was fun, a short little side-trip into the Dresden universe to see what’s up since the last book.

Sympathy for the Devil was surprisingly good. I’ve really enjoyed The Orville anyway. The book is built off a script that didn’t get used during the most recent season due to plague/timing problems, I think. Kind of a shame – I’d have loved to see it on the TV show.

After having watched The Sandman on Netflix, I decided to go re-read the comics. I have no idea how to count a run of comics. There are 75 of them, but y’know, comics. Not a ton of reading happening. It was fun to revisit them, but I had completely forgotten how butt-ugly the art was for a lot of them, particularly the first couple dozen or so. Ug.

I also chewed through the most recent October Daye novel. It was fun, light reading.

  1. Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children Book 1), Seanan McGuire
  2. Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children Book 2), Seanan McGuire
  3. Beneath the Sugar Sky (Wayward Children Book 3), Seanan McGuire
  4. In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children Book 4), Seanan McGuire
  5. The Law, Jim Butcher
  6. The Orville: Sympathy for the Devil, Seth MacFarlane
  7. The Sandman, 1-75, Neil Gaiman (comic books)
  8. Be the Serpent (October Daye), Seanan McGuire

Stop spreading Trump’s BS

Please. I’m begging you. Stop screenshotting Trump’s BS and reposting it everywhere. You’re just helping him disseminate his lies and propaganda to his audience. I get how some of his trash is newsworthy. The guy is being investigated for like 600 different crimes right now and it’s worth mentioning when he incriminates himself. But like, write a news article. Use the text to debunk and explain his BS. Please.

Hurricane Katrina

Today’s the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Jesus, what a horror show that was.

On the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina (8/29), I’m reminded of not only the destruction of my home and community, but also that the experience radicalized me. I was 17 at the time. These events below, personally and systemic, shook my worldview.

– Chris Dier. Read the thread on Twitter.

There’s a lot of just really awful stuff to remember about Katrina. Christ, just the shit that went down in the Superdome, and the horror stories that came out of that…

But one thing that sticks out to me about the weeks afterwards is the incredible callousness of the conservative people I dealt with day in and day out back then. Back then I managed evening shift at a diner-type restaurant that was a local favorite for the religious conservatives that filled the town where I lived. And the things I heard these people say, oh my god.

I remember one in particular, a 40-50 year old white guy, part of an absolutely rotten Baptist group we used to get in every week, who explained to me in sneering, sanctimonious tones about how he would have just left and not been in that situation. I said something about how a lot of people were trapped there and couldn’t get out for various reasons, but he brushed me off, explaining that the problem was that all those people were just lazy.

By which he meant, of course, that they were poor and/or people of color, and a fine, upstanding, well-to-do white man like himself would never have been so morally suspect as to be trapped in a hurricane.

It’s the complete inability to empathize with anyone who isn’t exactly like them that always catches me off guard. And even with people who are like them, if those people haven’t done things in the exactly correct way they get no empathy. It’s like some kind of weird conditional sociopathy.

It’s been almost 20 years, and the memory of those conservatives and their inability to see other people as human beings has stuck with me. It’s a kind of brokenness, like this particular combination of privilege and good fortune just rots the empathy out of them.

Photo: Hurricane Katrina on August 28, 2005. Photo by NASA.

Luxury apocalypse bunkers for rich idiots.

For some reason when I popped onto YouTube today, my front page was a bunch of Tiny Homes/Weird Homes stuff. Oddly, quite a bit of it was of the “Why Tiny Homes Actually Suck” genre. It’s super weird. I haven’t been googling anything to do with these topics lately or signing my email up for anything that should be returning these topics, so I’m not sure why YouTube is suddenly all about it.

Anyway, one of the things sitting on my front page was this video about luxury bunkers for rich idiots made out of missile silos by other rich idiots.

View on Youtube.

For starters the only thing I could think of while I watched this video was Rapture from the first Bioshock game and how it turned into a festering broken hellpit basically immediately.

But the other thing I kept wondering is like… how on Earth is this supposed to work?

The owner/operator of this thing is being all secretive about where this particular bunker for rich idiots is, but at one point the guy is talking about how it can handle tons and tons of volcanic ash, because if the Yellowstone super volcano goes, they expect just mountains of ash in their location. Between that and the fact that a lot of those empty silos are in flyover states, you know this bunker is probably in the middle of nowhere.

The bunker was built with a nuclear apocalypse in mind, but… Okay, so, you’ve sold these condos to super rich nimrods, the kind of people who can literally just jump in a jet at any moment and go somewhere. But you don’t get very much warning about nuclear Armageddon, and this thing is has to be a couple of hours of flight time from anywhere the super rich are likely to be, right? Not to mention time to prep the plane and time for the people to get their own junk together.

And even if you do get some warning and get everything together in reasonable time, how easy is it going to be to hop in a plane or helicopter and fly, even if you’re super rich? How much flying are you going to get done with nukes raining down, or about to be raining down? Not to mention that they’ll probably ground everything immediately like they did for 9/11.

Obviously nobody’s living in the bunker right now. So you’ve bought this dumb thing with the idea that you’re just going to up and go there if the End Times suddenly pop off?

I don’t know, man. It just seems like an easy way to part fools from their money, to me.