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  1. This started out as a "Not Happy" thread post that kinda got away from me. I hope @John-Wayne doesn't mind me using his quote as the epigraph, if it's a problem, let me know and I'll remove it.

    I've been watching a lot of restoration videos lately, where people buy old semi-junked machinery and tools at swap meets and flea markets and restore it to new or better-than-new condition. I find it relaxing.

    But youtube thinks it's related to trapping mice. Kept suggesting mousetrap, rat trap videos until I finally broke down and watched one.

    Rats and mice are pests. They can be a health hazard. The idea of live-trapping them and releasing them into the countryside to be owl-food as God intended is impractical.

    I recognize these facts.

    But the way the poster had rigged up a stun-gun to a coil of wire inside a cage they could get into and not out of, and the terrified hopping about as they sought to avoid the pain, the desperate squeaking, the twitching and spasming as their bodies finally completed the circuit, the flames that began to spring from one little beasty's paw, none of this horrified me as much as the comments section...

    ...where the braying crowd, unprompted, denigrated animal rights activists and vegetarians and recommended points of particular agony with lip-smacking glee.

    When I'm dictator, we'll bring back the gladiatorial games, but there'll be no TV or internet broadcast.

    Live audience only.

    And the "performers" will be chosen by lottery from the ticketholders.
  2. I was trying to find the most current version of The Arc of a Rainbow (Chasing the Rainbow from the story contest), but I found the very first day's writing on it instead, with the prompt at the start:

    Very first Niagara.png
  3. Eight years since the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown.

    It was my day off, vacation time, I was sitting at my computer doing something, gaming, whatever, when the world started to sway gently back and forth. I looked up at the light cord, because that's where you look, dizzy spells and trucks going by don't cause penduluming, but there it was, swinging gently.

    Earthquake, but not a bad one.


    It just kept going on. Usually these things last a few seconds, but this one just kept going and going.

    Six minutes, I found out later, although I don't think I felt all of that.

    I was over 700 kilometers from the epicenter.

    But still, it rumbled and rocked for a while, and I went back to my game. Earthquakes happen here, there's that pause when you decide if you need to be worried or not, and then you go on.

    It was nearly three in the afternoon, I didn't check the news. Why bother?

    Met Mrs. A for dinner at a local izakaya pub, and looked up at the TV.

    There were burning houses being swept inland through the rice paddies, and the numbers at the bottom of the screen were talking about dead and injured.

    I picked up my phone and emailed my family back home while Mrs. A checked on hers.

    Everyone was okay, but whatever plot armor you think you have in your life is useless when the sea comes calling.

    The video below isn't mine, and it's definitely not for younger or more sensitive viewers. It's safe to assume that almost anyone you see who isn't within arm's length of the camera didn't survive.

    Per Wikipedia, that's 15,896 of them.

    And 2,537 still listed as missing.

    Watch as much as you can stand, or don't. You won't be a better or worse person either way.

    And no, I don't like the title, but it's accurate.
    Moon, Some Guy and paperbackwriter like this.
  4. <Two sets of HANDPRINTS wind along a beach. The sky is dark with clouds. Camera cut to a MAN, early 40's, staring at the sea. The wind ruffles his hair>

    VOICEOVER: "It just doesn't seem to be as easy as it used to, does it?"

    <A an attractive WOMAN, smartly dressed, sits on a sofa, petting a CAT. Her attention seems elsewhere>

    VOICEOVER: "You never needed to think about it before."

    <A CHILD, at the top of a playground slide. Looking surprised, the CHILD sneezes>

    VOICEOVER: "Why did things have to change?"

    <A golden retriever DOG settles down on a rug in front of an empty fireplace. Its expression seems wistful>

    VOICEOVER: "It doesn't have to be this way. Glybertol can help."

    <The FAMILY, on the sofa together, happy, watch the fire crackling warmly in the grate. The CAT and DOG briefly sniff each others noses. DAD ruffles the CHILD'S hair, then the MAN and WOMAN turn to the camera>

    IN UNISON: "Thanks Glybertol!"

    <CLOSEUP on the CAT, who begins to groom the DOG'S ear>

    VOICEOVER: "Ask your doctor if Glybertol is right for you"

    WHITE TEXT flashes rapidly over the screen: Glybertol™ is for prescription use only and may not be right for you. Consult with your doctor for possible interactions with other medications. Glybertol™ is not recommended for children between the ages of five and eight, people with allergies, people suffering from depression, nausea, headaches, or skin conditions such as eczema. Glybertol™ should not be taken by expectant or nursing fathers, professional seamstresses, military personnel below the rank of E-4, or reality show contestants. Possible side effects include, but are not limited to, depression, nausea, headaches, and skin conditions such as eczema. If you are a father and you conceive while taking Glybertol™, please consult with your doctor and/or an entertainment lawyer from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, or your country's national equivalent. Glybertol™ is not presently approved for use outside of the United States of America and its territories, but can be obtained legally without prescription in Canada, Luxembourg, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Glybertol™ does not endorse or condone medical tourism. For more information, consult with your local board-certified moxibustionist.