Yes, Virginia, I’m still on Substack

Hard to believe, given my general pattern, but I seem to be doing pretty well with the three-posts-a-week format. I didn’t keep up with it as well when I was on the road two weeks ago, but the Substack app is for readers much more than writers and I just did not have it in me to write new posts on a phone browser. Half the time I was nodding off. The thing about bus travel is you seem to stop every two hours (and sometimes more often!) and about half that time they expect you to actually exit the bus even when you don’t need to. There is no way you’re going to get enough sleep like that.

If I had it to do over and had a few thousand more dollars I’d have broken the trip down into smaller chunks and then stayed at motels to take breaks at reasonable intervals. Road-warrioring in a car is bad enough but at least you have control of when you can sleep and you don’t have to worry about missing the car unless some asshole steals it.

But anyway, that environment wasn’t conducive to writing. So that was my big deviation from my usual pattern. I still need to write something for tomorrow but I’m lacking inspiration at the moment and may wind up just writing some fluff. I doubt anyone will mind. I don’t have that many followers anyway.

But here is my take on Pride that I posted yesterday.

I’m not against the idea of Pride per se. I get why it became a thing, but it has been turned into something darker and more ridiculous. People who would disagree with me or laugh that off tend to fall into two camps:

1. Those who only superficially participate in Pride for the attention and emotional validation, do not really pay attention to what’s going on, and feel they will be either inauthentic or a “bad ally” — depending on their sexual orientation — if they start to notice and question things;

and

2. Those who know exactly what I’m talking about and endorse it but don’t want a lynch mob coming after them. I wish I could promise that their mocking me or targeting me or whatever will 100% prevent said posse forming, but given how many parents are pissed off now, I wouldn’t take any bets. I only hope they go after the blue-haired straights who are actually hurting kids instead of the lesbian women and gay men who also don’t want those kids hurt but unfortunately are now force-teamed with ghouls, quacks, and perverts.

I don’t want to belabor the point here. Just go read the essay. There’s the link. I just posted it. Go.

Considering I haven’t even broken the 100-subscriber threshold yet, I have five paid subscribers. I suspect they have all seen me around Facebook — I know for a fact at least one of them is Facebook friends with me — and so it comes off a bit “Mom buying all my World’s Finest candy bars so I can win the boombox,” but it’s still nothing to sneeze at. One of the annual subscribers even saved me from losing my phone service earlier this year. (Thank you SO MUCH.)

I will say this: if any more people subscribe, the monthly sub does me a lot more good in the long run than the annual sub does. If I can get the monthly income up to about $200 to $300 a month, that’s me sorted on bills and baseline necessities. For the upper number, I would need 75 paying monthly subscribers because I see $4 and some change out of that $5 a month per subscriber. I can’t see that happening any time soon, but I wanted to math it up for you just so you can see for yourselves. The lower number is more doable, obviously: just fifty paying monthly subscribers. I think it’s doable, anyway, though it will take time.

So even if you can’t spare five bucks a month — and I won’t tell you what your own financial situation is — if you like what I write, sharing me around would help a lot. I get reposted inside the Substack platform, but that never goes very far.

You share the same ten memes every month. I’ve seen you. If you could stretch just that little bit farther, it’d be great, and it would cost you nothing but a few seconds’ time.

Hell, share it friends-only if you have to. I’ll understand.

Okay. I have to get back to figuring out what to post tomorrow. Toodle-oo.

More updates to the big man’s site

Small stuff, but a blog post and an editing of the Photos page and a NEW PHOTO ADDED OMG.

You will just have to find it. It’s not actually NEW new. It’s just new to the site. There’s a shortcut to find it if you can figure that out.

I added a little bit of snark and I probably won’t keep it, but that’s just my mood right now. Can everyone please stop fucking watermarking celeb photos that you didn’t actually take? Please? I’m begging you? Especially when it’s clear you’re a SanSan fetishist. Cringe.

I’m changing my approach a little bit with this stuff though. I will still link to sources but I’m going to host as much as I feel I can get away with actually on the fan site instead of relying on embeds. I don’t entirely like it, but several years back I experienced my embeds disappearing because someone changed the back-end code and I don’t know if that’s happened again, but I want to guard against it. Now, I’m not going to swipe every photo of Rory I see, but I’m gonna grab the representative stuff. And if anyone wants to sue me for that, you better get your lawyers ready because you’re gonna have to sue all of Instagram and Pinterest too. And MY lawyer’s gonna see that you do. If I can retain one.

But most people are reasonable about fan sites. It’s not like the big man is CEO of Disney. I’ll still link to sources when I know them, too. Hopefully, that helps.

What the fuck is wrong with Pinterest? I was trying to find the old story about him rocketing his ass down a snowy mountain because he was cold and impatient, and I had to sell the book it was in when I was about to leave Ohio, and Pinterest was the only place I’d seen it. I don’t think I saved it off of there? But anyway, the site’s fucked. I can’t load it, and when I googled the situation, turns out the site was having weird errors for days or weeks before now. Rut-roh. I never used it worth a dern, but for some reason I’d hate to see it go.

Oh well. Onwards and whatever.

Adventures in diabetes

So, after lots of years struggling with blood sugar issues, I finally got a type 2 diabetes diagnosis this past March.

Unfortunately, I was living with my father who believes all diet-related health ills come from eating large quantities of food and that what food you eat is irrelevant. So we basically had nothing around the house but meat, crap, and a few sorry little efforts at eating fruit and vegetables and usually those were canned. Fruit and vegetables don’t make people as healthy as we’ve all been told, but Dad buys into the idea, so his take on plant foods was a bit odd, considering.

I tried to cope with metformin but it really wasn’t doing anything. I wasn’t going to go on any of the shots. Turns out they slow down gut transit time and that’s going to cause a whole lot of other issues over time. I have diverticulosis anyway. Like, a ridiculous amount of it. Don’t wanna slow the food down.

I got my primary care clinic to prescribe me a meter and strips, and then I heard from the nearest hospital system about getting into a special diabetes program, so now I have two meters each with their own lancets and strips. The hospital’s meter talks to an app, which I find very helpful. I also learned I can get replacement strips off Amazon, which is also very helpful considering my current situation. Because I’m no longer in Louisiana, thus no longer on Louisiana Medicaid, thus I’m not in their program anymore. (They don’t know this yet. One more loose end I have to tie up.)

So, since I got to California, I have been transitioning over to a carnivore or mostly-carnivore diet. I leave it open to maybe eat nuts or maybe a little bit of fruit, and I count dairy as carnivore even if most of you don’t. But that’s where I am. And I’m annoyed. I tested for the first time in literal weeks and I’m in the 120s mg/dl. Long after breakfast. I haven’t been eating the nuts and fruit, either — I just mentioned that in passing. Hasn’t actually been in the diet.

I do drink coffee. I wonder if that has any effect.

I noticed back in Louisiana that if I’d gone out and had a really busy day delivering food, my sugar went lower. So maybe the answer is just to take a lot of walks. I am without a car now anyway, so I would have to walk anyway, but if it gets my sugar down, that’s a huge bonus.

I do need to start tracking my sugar again though. This is ridiculous. I at least need to see how my fasting sugar is doing. Sheesh.

If you are not diabetic yet and are still fucking around because “I’ll just go on meds if I go diabetic,” don’t do that. While you can still get to normal sugars, get your ass to normal sugars. And stay there. You’ll thank me later.

Administrivia: 28 May 2024

Trip to California was supposed to run from Sunday to Wednesday. I got delayed two days, so I got here Friday. Stuff’s going okay. Part of me wants to write it all up and part of me’s still in sort of a daze. (And anyway, I wouldn’t write it up here.)

Who on earth is now visiting me from Columbus, and who pops in from Dublin? Right, wait, I don’t know if I mentioned the visitor counter. There’s a visitor counter. Iiiiii seeeeeee yooooouuuuu. Sort of. Can’t see your name or home address. Definitely can see you’ve been by.

Not that the IP-parsing is always reliable about locations. I have not excluded my home IP address, so I can tell I’ve been here but… it thinks I’m in both Canada and in California. Make it make sense. I dunno. I don’t write these plugins.

[edit] Why the hell was my time set to Greenwich Mean? Ugh. Fixed it.

Did you hear about that football guy?

Yeah, I heard about him too. And if you follow my Substack, even for free, you’ll see my take on him coming up this Monday.

By that point I will be on a Greyhound headed west, so a bonus if you follow me is that you will be able to see my Notes about the trip. I’ve got the app installed on my phone and I AM NOT AFRAID TO USE IT, PEOPLE

Administrivia: 18 May 2024

If you follow my personal blog or my social media then you know I’m about to relocate for the second time in less than a year. If I had to sum up my situation it would be “I need to stop associating with late-stage alcoholics.” I have been working on my exit from Louisiana for a little over two weeks, and I leave tomorrow night, heading for what sounds like a much happier or at least safer situation. “Safe” in the sense that I will have breathing room to improve my situation without being treated like a criminal. I already have a game plan for when I get where I’m going, and things should improve fairly quickly if it works out, but I count on nothing. That’s the game plan, anyway. Plans don’t mean squat when the universe has other ideas.

I mean, as it is I’ve done a 180 from two positions previously adopted: I didn’t want a roommate and I never wanted to move to California. But my prospective roommate seems relatively sane — by my standards, which are the only ones that really count here — and that particular area of California has much nicer weather than here in Louisiana. More important is the having breathing room. I haven’t had that in two years and it was really messing up my life. Now let’s see what I can do.

So at some point my contact info will change — I will not be keeping my Ohio number either, as I need a cheaper phone service and I will just get a new number rather than port mine — and you’ll see that at the bottom of the page here. I need to adjust some other information that’s already changed, too. I’ll get on that now.

Wish me luck.

Almost done

I have almost all the articles moved (see previous posts), but it’s twenty minutes to five and I want to be out of here well before five. (I’m at my friend Carrie’s house right now.)

I will very likely do more soon, but I never make promises about that because we all know how I am.

This is not the end of it. I want to bring photos and videos in line with the articles, all in the blog-post section. I think I already mentioned that I doubt I will continue calling it a blog, but that’s not the most important thing right now.

But when I get it where I want it, it will be a lot like a scrapbook, which is the effect I want. Maybe even Rory will enjoy looking at it, I don’t know. It’ll need much more tweaking before I’m totally happy with it, but I’m closer to happy than I was.

Anyway. Gotta jet. Later, ‘gators.

Tag, you’re it

I am in the middle of moving articles on the fan site, and it’s going slower than I would like, and the reason it’s going slower is because I’m adding in tags so that the tag cloud will work.

I just want to get things MOVED, so I think at this point I will just move the articles, and then I will go back in later and add the tags.

If I add the tags. I’ll think about it some more but, given that the site has a search bar, I may decide to ditch them entirely. I’ll have to look up what effect that has on SEO, however, because even though that site lands on page one of Rory McCann search results on Google, so far it’s mainly the page about his love life, which I’m not even sure I want to keep. I’d like to see more stuff about Rory hit that front page instead of the spam you see in half the fucking results list. If the tags help my rating, great. If they don’t help, there’s no use keeping them.

Anyway, just wanted to share that thought process. Back to it. This should go faster now.

FYI, I’m going to do the same with the photos and videos and so on. I’m debating whether I even want to keep calling the blog page a “blog.” Not an important debate just now but, as I’m changing what goes there, I’ll want to consider it later. If anyone out there is hard-linking to anything I’ve got on the site, you may want to check in from time to time. I doubt it, but I’m covering all my bases here.

[EDIT] I can never seem to just wait to find something out. Turns out tag pages are bad for SEO. Okay, I’m killing the tag system AND the tag page. If y’all want to learn about something, the search bar will more than suffice. Glad I got that sorted out.

Yes, I know it’s back up

If you follow the fan site I run, you know it’s back up. But I didn’t want to leave things hanging here. I hate leaving loose ends. Even if it’s pointless to pick them up. Haha.

Rory’s been quite a bit more active on social media than we are accustomed to seeing him. It’s an open question whether people have been nagging him to update with the new TV show he’s doing or whether he decided on his own to post more often. I can’t even predict how long this will continue. I know he reads at least some of his comments because actor Cary Elwes (yes, the Dread Pirate Roberts his own self) has been commenting on his posts and at least once, Rory has replied. I can’t see the big man becoming an Instagram addict, though. He’s got too many interesting things going on in his life. No moss growing on that one.

I need to finish refurbing the site. It’s been in a state of limbo for a couple years now other than my occasional updates. I like to say it’ll never be finished finished unless Rory passes away or I quit, but I can at least finish moving things around like I wanted to do and then improve the header area.

And when I get that done will very likely mark the end of my running commentary there. Because it’s not MY site. Sure, it’s my site in that I own the domain and I pay for the hosting space but it isn’t about me. If people are curious, I’ll still be on the About page over there with a link to this site here. And then the commentary I was doing there, I can do here instead. Self-serving? No more than it is when I post about my personal shit there. Probably a lot less so.

I also need to put in some time on this site. It needs rearranging too. Probably won’t get to it today though. Can make no promises on how soon.

I actually am not sure where that will go. I have had some ideas about where I might like to take my life and I’ll not go into them here but Scotland’s involved somewhere. I need a thing that I can be interested in and happy about. I have too many things I’m interested in that I am not happy about. And those things do need attention, but they shouldn’t consume my whole fucking life, you know? But anyway, if I pursue the Happy Ideas, that site’s likely the first step. I want to play with it a while and then see what next steps are possible.

That was nice and clear. Like mud. Don’t worry about it.

Okay. Enough procrastinating. ‘Later.

Yes, the Rory fan site is down

I’m at the library in Jennings momentarily to catch a few things up and then I will be going to Lafayette, because all the money I earned last week went to insurance, not including $20 that went to gas before I found out Dad is willing to foot my gasoline expenses. I am not going to ask him for that every single time. For instance, today I had to find a gas station that “takes mixed tender,” meaning cash and debit in the same transaction, because apparently there’s one Jennings gas station that doesn’t. Don’t get me started. But I figure $20 in gas should see me through for a little while. I want an early day to maximize my chances.

That was $20 I needed to renew the domain name for Rory’s fan site. I had had it stuck in my brain that that domain name comes up for renewal on the 23rd because I could have sworn that was when I started the site in the beginning: the day before Rory’s birthday. Now, I get brain glitches. Have since forever, so I’m not going to blame middle age. So possibly I forgot the actual renewal date. But this hosting service also sneaks in ridiculous price increases, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility that they shifted the due date when I moved the domain from my old host to this one five years ago this coming August or at some other time. Also don’t get me started. I’m tired of games in general. Except the ones on my phone and laptop, and even those piss me off sometimes.

The upshot is that I had been planning to use today to earn the domain renewal money, and now I absolutely have to. My wiggle room is all gone.

Anyway. After finding out I had badly miscalculated things, I had $9 in cash that, had I been able to deposit it to my Chime over at Walgreens, I would have been able to use in addition to my existing Chime balance to have the domain name paid up yesterday. I was informed, after wasting gas I couldn’t spare to drive all the way to Jennings for the deposit, that Walgreens only accepts a minimum of $20 at a time. What the actual motherfucking fuck. I don’t remember if I have ever tried putting in less than that in the past and now the rules have changed or if I have always put in $20 or more and so this is just catching me unawares. I can’t even keep track of this shit anymore. Certainly Chime never warned me about it, either way.

(I am running out of reasons to stay with them. They’re not bad overall, just, I’m not seeing the benefit. Too much to get into here. You don’t care. Moving on now.)

So. BASICALLY. I need to go to Lafayette today, make $20, save the fucking fan site if I can, and if I can then fine, and if not, I’ll be in a good-signal zone and you’ll hear (read) my wailing and gnashing of teeth all the way over in fucking Belarus. Sorry about that. But you will know one way or the other by the end of the day. Look on my social media to keep up until I can post here again, because in my current situation social media is easier for real-time (or nearly so) updates. Instagram or Facebook. Could be either, might be both.

It’ll be a $40 minimum day, too, because I’m going to want to put gas back into the car after I have burnt it trying to save a website that maybe 50 of you a day ever look at. On a good day.

I did say, numerous times, that I will keep it going as long as I enjoy the situation. I still mostly do, so if I can keep it going, I will. But I’m also a-gonna grouse about bullshit, not because I enjoy grousing about bullshit, but because… well… it’s me. Sorry.

There is somewhat of a chance I may not be able to save the site. Depends on my hosting service’s policies. I know I already said that, but I want to make sure you read it and understand it. I warned you. I don’t know what I will do besides bitch endlessly if I fail to save it. If I think of something, I’ll let you know.

P.S. Tangentially related: The afanoficeandfire.com domain may be kaput forever. I like the IDEA of what I wanted to do, but I am not finding the REASONS to pursue it when I have more important things to do. This isn’t sour grapes; I really do have more important things to do, like rescuing the big man’s fan site and improving it, and also cleaning up the trainwreck that is my life generally, and various other things. I cannot keep all those balls in the air at once, which is why I’ve not done anything with the AFOIAF domain the entire time I’ve had it. Though admittedly part of my looking askance at the whole endeavor is I can’t see the point when Martin hasn’t even finished the fucking books. And, frankly, I’ve read the excerpts from The Winds of Winter, and… his writing “voice” is so different versus A Game of Thrones or even Dancing with Dragons that I’m actually not sure I can immerse myself anymore. I will try if he actually gets it published because I want to know what happens next, but I’d bet you the twenty bucks I wish I had right fucking now that it’s going to feel like a completely different story and also like I just wasted time I will never get back.

This is why you don’t wait literal decades between writing books in a series, kids. We had the same problem with Stephen King’s Dark Tower story. I have no doubt that a significant portion of the reading public does not notice the change in voice or tone or whatever and won’t catch errors. It might take me a few re-reads, but I do catch that shit. It takes me right out of the story, as surely as a misspelling or grammatical error does, and I found quite a few of the latter in Martin’s books as it is.

Shame. Shame. Shame. [ding]

My other issue with Martin (well… besides his unseemly fascination with big older men fucking little girls… someone please check his hard drive) is that he doesn’t have much theory of mind going for him. For instance: The reason the fandom debated for so long about which side of the Hound’s face got burned is because Martin didn’t think about what it sounded like when he wrote the sentence The left side of his face was a ruin. What he meant there was SANSA’s left as she faced Sandor and looked at his burn scars. That is not how most people parsed it, including me, because that is not how most people talk or think about right versus left as applied to the body. (I honestly believe the only reason the makeup artists got the burn side correct on Rory’s stage makeup was because they asked George directly. Or David and Dan did, and then passed the edict down to Makeup.) I’ve seen this sort of error before in writing, and Martin’s not the only one guilty of it — if you have ever seen a character say “I am from the nearby village,” you have just encountered this phenomenon — but between this and all the glaring errors with commas vs semicolons vs colons in Martin’s books, only the story itself kept me reading sometimes. When I read fiction, I want an immersive experience, not to be yanked back to reality every other paragraph because the guy I’m reading doesn’t know that “Myrish swamp” is not a complimentary comparison to female genitalia.

(Jesus Christ, GEORGE.)

It really is a good story. It probably could have stood to be in better hands. I felt the same way about the Twilight “saga.” I am loath to compare George R. R. Martin to Stephenie Meyer here, but that’s what I’m a-gonna do, because it is a fair comparison. Go ahead and hate me. I honestly can’t be fucked. Those of you who would be angry, incredulous, or mocking at what I have just said have no fucking idea what I’m talking about anyway. I learned long ago it’s pointless to have debates with unprepared people.

Also, if any writers out there would like to hire a last-minute proofreader to catch all the shit your previous editor(s) and proofreader(s) missed, I’m down. Beats the hell out of driving around Lafayette, Louisiana (and Breaux Bridge… and Carencro… and Abbeville… and Rayne) for six hours only to earn forty bucks if I’m lucky, let me tell YOU. My contact info is on this site. I won’t bite if you don’t.