rattfan: Quote from Seanan McGuire's Incryptid series (Incryptid quote Seanan McGuire)
rattfan ([personal profile] rattfan) wrote2017-06-29 05:36 pm

Perth calls this winter

It's cold now, by Perth's definition of chilly:  One needs to haul out the heater and wear actual pyjamas.  Well, a tracksuit.  Finland should feel quite comfortable when I get there in early August for the Worldcon in Helsinki, by which time Perth will be frigging freezing.  Yes, I know, heaps of sympathy from those of you in Canberra, or the USA or in Nordic countries already.  But as the Helsinki Complaints Choir laments;  your ancestors could have found somewhere more sunny to be, but they didn't.

I'm hanging out for my trip;  got the rest of this month and next month to go.  I'm doing some reading, that's one method of maintaining mental health.  I picked up Cat Sparks' Lotus Blue while at Supanova Comic Con last week.  The event was a severe disappointment apart from the chance to chat with Cat and also Alan Baxter, who were hiding behind tables piled with their books.  It's taking a while to get into the book but it is pretty good.  Cat mentioned a problem with the book's blurb, which calls it "A Canticle for Lebowitz by way of Neuromancer", two books apparently unknown to most of the fans who populate Supanova.  I think it's an age thing;  most of them seem to be in their 20s and below, so the other comparison with Mad Max means more to them.

One library book I've borrowed is How the Dog Became the Dog, which is an account of how dogs evolved from wolves (or devolved, which is my personal opinion, because who would want to create the chihuahua, among others) and includes a lot of recent scientific and archaeological research, making it rather heavy going, but fascinating if you actually want to know how this happened.  I was rapt to find that it included info about Konrad Lorenz, who wrote a very well known book called Man Meets Dog (1949, translated from the German in 1954) in which he described at length his theory that dogs came from both wolves and jackals;  different populations, that is, going into a lot of detail about jackal traits and wolf traits.  

I wondered about this at the time of reading Lorenz's book, since no one else appeared to agree - and most of the other stuff I read was more recent - but in this current book by Mark Derr, finally I find out, that towards the end of his career, Lorenz listened to recordings of jackals and wolves vocalising, and changed his mind!   Unfortunately for him,  Man Meets Dog - which I have an old copy of - is much more well known, so few folk know of the recantation.  

I'm looking forward to seeing Finnish wolves, at least in the zoo, though I understand the general view of them is not particularly enlightened and the wild population (which is basically Russian wolves) is subject to culling.

I restarted my Netflix account, because navigating around the pirate sites can be a pain and also they get hunted down and closed at regular intervals.  I've just watched two seasons of 12 Monkeys, which was pretty good once I got into it, though the time-travelling really messes with a person's head.  So long as the writers keep the whole thing straight somehow, that's ok with me.  Two seasons is all Netflix has right now, so I figured I'd wait till they got the rest, and checked out quite a few things which failed to hold my interest, until I got to Homeland, which I'm enjoying so far, four episodes in.

The rest;  well, plenty of gardening which is of interest only to me.  Trying to keep exercising.  Trying to write stuff.  I've a story on foot, Pylon!, which Leece prompted me to write, but I'm also dealing with trying to reduce my antidepressant, so things move slowly.  If anyone else wants to hand me a prompt, feel free, but my head is not being terribly obliging right now.  

I'm also considering getting some baby rats from an actual rattery (ie somewhere that has bred them with some care so they don't have lifelong health problems like my rescues have had) when I get home from Finland in mid August, but at the moment, anything beyond Helsinki and Worldcon is vague and indistinct.  Like the world when I remove my glasses.

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