Spending most of the day offline, but a few things to highlight:

Amazon's Deal of the Day nets you the complete Seinfeld on DVD for $39.99 (44% off).

Speaking of things about nothing (see what I did there?), The combo pack of The Neverending Story and Where the Wild Things Are on Blu-Ray is $7.89, which is actually cheaper than buying either movie separately.

For PC Gamers who somehow don't have it, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Legendary Edition is $10 (75% off) for the digital edition.

And Amazon's once again got a book coupon, this time for $5 off a $15 purchase, using promo code GIFTBOOK. And yes, all the big core D&D books qualify and most are already on sale (down from $49.95 to $29.95), and there are good deals on some other systems (like Pathfinder), too. And, of course, there's the slew of "regular" books that qualify for this as well. The point is, cheap books.
Today's a touch hectic, but it seems that just about every deal from yesterday's post that wasn't a Deal of the Day is active, so yay!

Only three deals I had time to highlight, but they're all pretty solid:

The major Deal of the Day will nab you either the Extended Edition Lord of the Rings Trilogy on Blu-Ray for $26.49 (78% off) or the Extended Edition of The Hobbit Trilogy for $38.99 (61% off). As some of you know, I'm decidedly NOT a Tolkien (on paper or screen), but some of y'all are, so enjoy!

I am a James Bond fan, though, and the Ultimate James Bond Collection on Blu-Ray/Digital for $99.99 (33% off) is a hell of a nice deal (note that Spectre is now included in the set).

And in the "luxury beauty" section of Amazon, you can spend $50 and get a $25 credit for more from the same section.
I'm short on time today, so only a handful of items that have caught my eye:

(From previous days, the $2.99 Marvel Masterworks sale has finally ended, but active deals include the free audiobook of Invisible Man, the huge Queen Games sale (which was supposed to be one-day-only, but is still going) which includes Alhabra, Escape, Fresco, Kingdom Builder, and a lot more, The Best of Michael Swanwick for $2.99, the Calphalon Nonstick 10-pc. Bakeware Set, the Calphalon 6-Piece Nonstick Bakeware Set, the T-fal 12-Piece Ultimate Hard Anodized Scratch Resistant Titanium Nonstick Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator Anti-Warp Base Dishwasher Safe Oven Safe PFOA Free Cookware Set, the Pyrex 3-Piece Glass Measuring Cup Set, Saw: The Complete Collection, Exploding Kittens: NSFW Edition, and the Kindle edition of The Living Dead.)

One of today's Daily Deals is on Classic Board Games and Toys, with huge discounts on Mastermind, Chutes and Ladders, Yahtzee, Trouble, Magic 8-Balls, Clue, Candy Land, Spirograph, and a lot more. This is a really good one if you've got folks in the elementary school range.

Elsewhere in toys, the K'NEX Education - Simple and Compound Machines Set is $25.39 (53%off), while the K'NEX Education - Intro to Simple Machines: Gears Set Engineering Education Toy is $17.89 (55% off), and the K'NEX Beasts Alive - K'NEXosaurus Rex Building Set is $12.24 (51% off). A decent amount of other K'NEX items are on sale, although there doesn't seem to be an officially announced sale of any sort.

Another daily deal is on the DEWALT DCK421D2 20V MAX Lithium-Ion 4-Tool Combo Kit, 2.0Ah for $249 (25% off, and a solid $100 below other vendors). I'm not particularly handy, as anyone who knows me is aware, but some of y'all do like this stuff.

It's a little late in the season, but there's also a one-day sale on Fila Puffer Jackets for Men and Women, $34.99 each (down from $120).

In kitchen goods, the Hamilton Beach Belgian Waffle Maker is $17.99 (36% off, about $8 off other deals), while the larger Hamilton Beach 4-Piece Belgian Waffle Maker is $22.85 (33% off, about $9 below other deals)

The Glasslock 18-Piece Assorted Oven Safe Container Set (basically similar to Pyrex storage) is $25.99 (42% of, and about $30 off other sellers).

In movies/TV, Kingsman: The Secret Service is $8.49 (35% off) on Blu-Ray/Digital (but most places are selling it for above the $12.99 list price), and Game of Thrones: Season 1 on Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital is $39.99 (50% off).

Both Dredd and No Country For Old Men are going for $3.99 each for Blu-Ray/Digital packs (Dredd also gets you the DVD and 3D versions).

And finally, for Prime members only, the ION Audio Tailgater Portable Bluetooth PA Speaker with Mic, AM/FM Radio, and USB Charge Port is on sale for $69.99 (about $45 off other deals including shipping). The regular price of $99 is pretty decent (it'll still save you $15 or so), but the Prime deal makes this special.
Deals from yesterday that are still good include the $2.99 Marvel Masterworks, the free audiobook of Invisible Man, the huge Queen Games sale (which was supposed to be one-day-only, but is still going) which includes Alhabra, Escape, Fresco, Kingdom Builder, and a lot more, and The Best of Michael Swanwick for $2.99.

The Kindle Daily Deal today offers 14 different books for $2.99 each, including Stephen King's excellent (and Edgar-winning) Mr. Mercedes, James Lee Burke's The Jealous Kind, and Nobel Laureate Bob Dylan's Chronicles: Volume One.

Another daily deal will nab you the Simply Calphalon Nonstick 10 Piece Cookware Set for $89.99 (33% off, about $50 below other dealers). If you've been reading me for a while, you know of my love for Calphalon cookware (nearly every piece of cookware we own is Calphalon, Cuisinart, or Rachel Ray), and it's not just because the brand sounds like a Transformer.

Not a daily deal (AFAIK), the superb John Joseph Adams anthology The Living Dead is $1.99 on the Kindle.

Speaking of Calphalon, the Calphalon Nonstick 10-pc. Bakeware Set is $61.44 (39% off, and about $40 off other vendors), while the Calphalon 6-Piece Nonstick Bakeware Set is $26.99 (10% off, but really about $16 below other vendors after shipping).

In other kitchen items, if you prefer T-Fal, the T-fal 12-Piece Ultimate Hard Anodized Scratch Resistant Titanium Nonstick Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator Anti-Warp Base Dishwasher Safe Oven Safe PFOA Free Cookware Set is $82.06 (about $30 off other deals). And the Pyrex 3-Piece Glass Measuring Cup Set is $12.03 (about $2 off other deals, but still a nice deal for the set).

If you're a fan of super-high-end noise cancelling headphones, the Sony H.ear on Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphone in Charcoal Black are $199 today only (43% off other sellers).

In movies and TV, Star Trek Beyond on Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital is $12.99 (68% off), and is actually surprisingly good, unlike the previous movie in the series. Saw: The Complete Collection is $11.99 (52% off) on Blu-Ray (not as nice as the $9.99 deal a few days ago, but still damned cheap for seven movies). And the Ong Bak Trilogy on Blu-Ray is $9.99 (57% off).

And finally, in board games, Exploding Kittens: NSFW Edition is $16.99 (32% off). It's not a great game, per se, but I did have a lot of fun playing it.
Pretty much all the previous deals are dead, as is always the case at this time of the year. The exceptions: the 6-Quart Instant Pot, still on sale for $68.95 (43% off), making it cheaper than the smaller version, and the $2.99 Kindle editions of Marvel Masterworks (which also work on Comixology).

I'm not sure why, but the Audible version of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man is free. Really. So grab it.

There's a HUGE one-day sale in board games, with Queen Games items at 50% off and more, including ridiculous discounts on Kingdom Builder and Alhambra (both the regular and Big Box versions), as well as Parfum, Escape Zombie City, Fresco, Greed, and a lot more. Definitely worth grabbing if you like any of these games.

One of today's Daily Deals is on Back to the Future: The Complete Adventures on Blu-Ray/Digital for $39.99 (50% off). This includes all three movies and the full cartoon series (as well as plenty of extras).

Also in movies, you can nab a Blu-Ray pack of Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II for $9.99 (33% off list, but about 50% off other sellers), and Beetlejuice for $5.86 (41% off).

The Marx Brothers Silver Screen Collection (with the best of their films -- The Cocoanuts, Animal Crackers, Monkey Business, Horse Feathers, and Duck Soup -- is $35.27 (41% off) on Blu-Ray, while the lesser (but still fun) The Marx Brothers Collection (with A Night at The Opera, A Day at The Races, A Night in Casablanca, Room Service, At the Circus, Go West, and The Big Store) is $21.98 on DVD.

Kindle Daily Deals today include both Michael Swanwick's Not So Much, Said the Cat and any of Max Allan Collins's Disaster Series Mysteries for $1.99 each.

Also cheap on the Kindle: The Best of Michael Swanwick for $2.99, Kij Johnson's The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe for $2.99, Chuck Wendig's Invasive: A Novel for $2.99, and Alastair Reynolds's The Iron Tactician for $3.99.

In video games, Tales from the Borderlands is anywhere from $14.99-19.99 for the entire package, depending on your system.

In beauty supplies, there's both a beauty sample box for $11.99, and men's grooming sample box for $9.99, with each coming with the same amount of credit (so you get $11.99 or $9.99 back to spend on other beauty supplies). Both of these are for Prime customers only. As with any deals involving credit or rebates, it's worth checking to make sure the original deal's up your alley even if you forget to use the credit.

In educational toys, the Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Discovery Kit is $16.04 (54% off), and the Scientific Explorer My First Mind Blowing Science Kit is $10 (58% off).

And finally, in books for kids, Diary of a Wimpy Kid # 11: Double Down is $7.92 (43% off).
First, let me start with my annual "can we stop using that term" request. We no longer live in an era where people are without internet all weekend, and only get connectivity when they come into work. Also, nothing should be called "Cyber" anything, and that's been the case since Mark Silvestri's terrible Cyberforce came out nearly 25 years ago.

Anyway, as to deals:

First, leftover deals from previous days worth highlighting:

The most important previous deal that's still active is the $10 off $25 Book Coupon with the code HOLIDAYBOOK (full details at the link). This one expires on Tuesday, and pretty much covers all physical (non-Kindle) books in the store.

Other previous deals still active: Amazon Echo for $139.99, Echo Dot for $39.99, digital editions of Marvel Masterworks for $2.99 each, $5 magazine subscriptions, and Entertainment Weekly for $10, Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice for $8.99, Home for $3.99. Oh, and all the kitchen, DVD, board game, and book deals from yesterday (including 7 Wonders!) are still active!.

New deals just for today include:

400+ Kindle Books for $3.99 or less! The best choice here is M.R. Carey's The Girl with All the Gifts, but you can find authors like Emma Donahue, Nicholas Sparks, Karin Slaughter, Neal Stephenson, George R.R. Martin, Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling), Joe Hill, Pat Conroy, and a lot more! Some of those books are as low as $1.99, too.

Amazon's also got Kindle Unlimited for 25-40% off their usual price (depending on the length of service). Note that this now includes audiobooks and magazines, which makes it a hell of a nice deal.

The Dash Buttons -- Amazon's one-click buttons for reordering household items -- are on sale for $.99 today with the coupon code "CYBERDASH," and you get a $5 Amazon credit the first time they use them. Note that there is now a Cheez-It Dash Button, which is the greatest idea ever, as I run out of Cheez-Its way more often than I run out of Tide.

Another daily deal is on the Jurassic Park Collection (with all four movies) on Blu-Ray with digital copies as well for $19.99. That's either $5 per movie, or $10 per movie for the ones you'll watch more than once.

While yesterday's PS4 deal is dead, the Battlefield 1 Special Edition Bundle Xbox One is $254.99 (a solid $70 off other prices), while the 2TB Gears of War Edition is $399 ($45 off other deals).

In daily Kitchen Deals, if you want something more powerful than the lower-end mixer in yesterday's post, the KitchenAid KL26M1XER Professional 6-Qt. Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer is $219.95 (60% off). And it's a gorgeous item to have in your kitchen.

And the five-quart version of the Instant Pot, which some folks (like [personal profile] zarhooie) have been raving about, is on sale for $49 (46% off). It's a combo pressure cooker/slower cooker, etc that's supposed to be amazing. The 6-Quart version is also on sale for $68.95 (43% off).

In fitness, there are huge sales on both Garmin and Fitbit activity trackers, with the Fitbit Flex 2 for $59 being the most tempting of them for me.

In gorgeous coffee-table books (and remember to use that coupon!), Dalí: Les Dîners de Gala, which looks awesome, is $35.99 (40% off), and Atlas Obscura is $17.50 (50% off).

In cheaper books, the paperback of The Book Thief is $3.89 (70% off, the price paperbacks were when I was first buying them).

More good movie/TV deals: Season 1 of iZombie on Blu-Ray for $11.21 (72% off), Glengarry Glen Ross on Blu-Ray/Digital for $4.99 (53% off), The Big Lebowski (Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital) for $7.99 (60% off), Dredd on Blu-Ray/DVD/3D/Digital for $3.99 (73% off), and all seven Saw movies on Blu-Ray/Digital for $9.96 (60% off).

In board games, Codenames is $9.10 (54% off, about $5 off other deals). Forbidden Island os $10.19 (15% off, but about $4 below other sellers really), Ticket To Ride - Europe is $28.04 (44% off, and about $10 off other sellers), Jenga is $7.99 (15% off, but about $8 off other deals anyway), and Hungry Hungry Hippos is $8.67 (61% off, about $5 below others). And in the best deal, Paris Connection is $14.99 (77% off, and about $25 off other deals).

In toys for the kids, the Fisher-Price Imaginext Shark Bite Pirate Ship is $30 (40% off, about $8 below other sellers), and the Fisher-Price Imaginext Walking Croc & Pirate Hook is similarly cheap, $15.99 (20% off, but $6 below other sellers). And the Radio Flyer Deluxe Steer and Stroll Trike is $39.52 (44% off, about $20 below others).

There's also a huge Hasbro sale, with discounts on Trivial Pursuit, Furby, Nerf, My Little Pony, Disney Princess, and other lines.

And if you spend $100 on Amazon toys anytime (in one purchase) before December 31, you can get the Gund 2016 Plush for free!

And finally, in video games, Red Dead Redemption GOTY Edition for the PS3 is $10 (67% off), and still a great game.
The most important previous deal that's still active is the $10 off $25 Book Coupon with the code HOLIDAYBOOK (full details at the link). This one expires on Tuesday, and pretty much covers all physical (non-Kindle) books in the store.

(Other previous deals still active: Amazon Echo for $139.99, Echo Dot for $39.99, digital editions of Marvel Masterworks for $2.99 each, $5 magazine subscriptions, and Entertainment Weekly for $10, Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice for $8.99, Home for $3.99).

The PS4 Pro is on sale for $339.99! That's $60 off other prices (and I suspect this is one that'll sell out quickly).

A Kindle Daily Deal today gets you Mira Grant's Parasite for $2.99.

Lots of kitchen deals:

The Creo SmartGlass 3-qt Baking Dish is $23.99 (about $13 below other deals.

The Proctor-Silex 4-Quart Slow Cooker is $12.23 ($9 below other deals), about as cheap as a basic four-quart cooker will get.

Likewise, the Hamilton Beach 10-Cup Food Processor at $29.85 is $9 below other deals, and dirt cheap for a food processor, and the Black & Decker 5-Cup Coffeemaker at $11.99 is $5 off other deals (although five cup's a little small for me).

The Hamilton Beach Flip Belgian Waffle Maker with Removable Plates is $25 ($7 off other deals), and the Hamilton Beach 4-Slice Long Slot Keep Warm Toaster is $28.92 ($18 off).

I've never used a standalone roaster, but if you're a fan, the Oster 22-Quart Roaster Oven with Self-Basting Lid is $40.49 ($21 off other deals).

The OXO Good Grips Two-Fold Grater is $12.99 ($5 off other deals).

And in nonstick cookware, the Rachael Ray Hard Anodized II Nonstick 14-Inch Skillet with Helper Handle is $33 ($11 off other deals), the Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware, Omelette Fry Pan, 10-inch and 12-inch Set, is $41 ($13 off others), and the T-fal Specialty Nonstick Dishwasher Safe Oven Safe Jumbo Cooker 5-Quart Saute Pan with Glass Lid is $19.99 ($8 off).

In movies/TV, season 1 of Narcos is $8 (54% off) on Blu-Ray (same price on DVD if you prefer).

Just in time for the holiday season, Krampus is $$4.99 (78% off) for the Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital combo. Other cheap Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital combo pack options: Spotlight ($6.99), The Peanuts Movie ($5.99), Crimson Peak ($6.99). A regular Blu-Ray of Gone Girl is on sale for $5.99.

Bad Santa, which was on sale earlier in the week on Blu-Ray, is $1.99 (60% off) on DVD.

In video games, Tomb Raider for the PC is $4.99 (75% off).

In board games, Castle Panic is $18.46 (47% off, and about $10 off other dealers after shipping), 7 Wonders is $23.79 (52% off, about $12 off other deals), and Tokaido is $22.09 (13% off, but $9 off other deals because Amazon has it with a lower list price).

And finally, in gaming-related books, Volo's Guide to Monsters is down to $29.97 (40% off), and because that's still over $25, it's eligible for the HOLIDAYBOOK coupon, so you could snag it for $19.97. A nice holiday grab for the D&D person in your life (note that other D&D books, like the Dungeon Master's Handbook, are also on sale at really good prices).
The most important previous deal that's still active is the $10 off $25 Book Coupon with the code HOLIDAYBOOK (full details at the link). This one expires on Tuesday, and pretty much covers all physical (non-Kindle) books in the store.

(Other previous deals still active: Amazon Echo for $139.99, Echo Dot for $39.99, digital editions of Marvel Masterworks for $2.99 each, $5 magazine subscriptions, and Entertainment Weekly for $10).

One of the Deals of the Day is the X-men Universe 9-Film Bundle (containing all six X-Men films, both Wolverine films, and Deadpool, all on Blu-Ray) for $59.99 (70% off). Deadpool and the two Wolverine movies will also include the DVD copies, and all but The Wolverine include digital editions, too

The "Ultimate Edition Blu-ray + Theatrical Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD UltraViolet Combo Pack " of Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice is $8.99 (75% off). Of course, none of the bonuses or the cheap price changes the fact that you're stuck with a mediocre Zack Snyder film, but at least you'll have it in many versions, and it's pretty.

Speaking of high-quality summer blockbusters no one asked for, the Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital combo pack of Independence Day Resurgence is $8.99 (55% off).

The Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital combo pack of Home is $3.99 (84% off). And the Blu-Ray edition of Easy A is $5.75.

On of the Kindle Daily Deals is Ian Tregillis's The Mechanical for $2.99. This is a really good book, you guys. First in a trilogy, dealing with the nature of free will, robots, and an alternate history in which the Dutch have used technology to conquer the world.

Also cheap on the Kindle: Louise Penny's latest, A Great Reckoning for $2.99 and Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon for $1.99.

In video games, Madden '17, NBA2K '17, FIFA '17 are $29.99 (50% off) each, and Dragon Quest Builders (for PS4 only) is $40.19 (33% off) as a digital edition.

In kitchen goods, the Good Cook Set Of 3 Non-Stick Cookie Sheets is $10.99 (about $6 below other sellers), something I needed to know because our previous cookie sheets look like they need replacing.

And finally, the Rachael Ray Hard Anodized II Nonstick 14-Inch Skillet with Helper Handle is $27.75 (72% off, and about $19 below other sellers). A lot of other items in the Rachel Ray nonstick line are on sale, too.
is the reviews and questions/answers about this Trump Hat Christmas Ornament. Fucking priceless trolling against the man intent on destroying our fucking country.
(Note that yesterday's deals on magazines and Marvel Masterworks are still active.)

Amazon's in full Black Friday mode, but a few things that stand out:

Bad Santa (unrated director's cut on Blu-Ray/Digital combo pack) is $3.99. And man -- both Bernie Mac and John Ritter were in this, and that makes me sad that they aren't alive for the sequel.

The Echo is $139.99 ($40 off), and the Echo Dot is $39.99 ($10 off). Both have been on my "cool gadget I want but probably don't need" list for a while. There are assorted deals on other Amazon devices, too (mostly the low and mid-range items), if you want tablets, TV devices, e-readers, etc.

And finally, for the next few days, you can save $10 off $25 worth of books with the coupon code HOLIDAYBOOK!
I haven't been as immersed in Amazon pre-holiday deals due to, you know, the country falling apart, but there are a few things worth checking out today:

One of the Kindle Daily Deals is Robin McKinley's Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast for $1.99.

Also on Kindle, all of the Marvel Masterworks editions are going for $2.99 each (and work on Comixology, as well, making this a better deal). These are the digital versions of the huge and expensive hardcovers Marvel's been producing, and are great ways to dive into a lot of great stories.

There's a Black Friday deal on $5 Magazine Subscriptions, with a lot of solid choices, including The New Yorker, Esquire, Sports Illustrated, Food and Wine, Wired, Family Circle, and more (with some also getting you the digital editions on top of the regular magazines). There are also decent sales on a bunch of other magazines (Entertainment Weekly for $10 being the best of those).

In Kitchen stuff, the Vikilulu Ceramic 6-Inch Chef Knife with Non-Slip Handle is $9.95 (67% off).

The Lodge 7-Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven is $44.79 (61% off, $30 below other deals, and worth it because free shipping on cast iron is a steal).

And in toys and games aimed and the kids, Headbanz and Uno Attack at $7.99 each (about $6-10 less than elsewhere).
In the comments to my post a couple of weeks ago, the topic of escapism came up. I'm a big believer in having some outlet from stress (whatever the source of stress might be), and I figure it's not a bad idea to share some of mine. I'll be making posts with books, movies, TV, and games that I've enjoyed recently, but figure I'll start with podcasts. I'm deliberately limiting myself to ten, because I do not have the patience to write up the 40+ ones I listen to on a regular or semi-regular basis (in no particular order):

Offshore -- This is an absolutely riveting new podcast from Honolulu Civil Beat, exploring (in its first season, at least) two murder cases in Hawaii -- one from a few years ago, one from before it achieved statehood -- with some significant parallels. It's not a whodunit -- the killer is known in both cases -- but rather, an examination on the effect of imperialism on Hawaii and the abuse that Hawaiian natives deal with even today. Really great reporting and storytelling

You Must Remember This -- Karina Longworth's incredible set of stories about old/classic Hollywood has covered everything from Charles Manson's time in Hollywood to the rise and fall of MGM, with major episodes on tons of stars, both eternal and faded. Her most recent series was a six-parter on Joan Crawford, and the show's on hiatus until January, but there's a ton of material to catch up on.

GE Podcast Theatre -- The only fiction podcast I listen to. In spite of the name and sponsorship, this is the only podcast that actually has no ads or interruptions. Season 1 (The Message) was a really well-done story about alien contact and language with a couple of nifty twists. The second (which is only two episodes deep so far) is about a man whose late wife's personality has been recreated from her social media posts (but is nothing like the Hayley Atwell Black Mirror episode), and is very solid and utterly different from the first season so far.

Outside Magazine -- I don't think anyone would confuse me for an outside person, but the magazine of the same name has done really good stuff with their "Science of Survival" podcast series, including a look at how extreme cold would kill you, how the heat index affects border crossing, and a three-parter on an investigation into a Bolivian plane crash that was hampered by altitude sickness. Surprisingly great journalism from a source I'd probably have never noticed if it hadn't been pointed out to me.

Lexicon Valley -- This has now been taken over by John McWhorter, who I know some folks aren't a big fan of, but I've really liked his run on the show. He's done interviews and deep dives into everything from Shakespeare's readability, emojis, spelling reform, and more. He's wonderful at noting that language constantly shifts, and comes down pretty heavily as a descriptivist while still being willing to listen to folks who disagree with him. If you like language, you should listen.

Gastropod -- My favorite food podcast, bar none. Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley do a great job of telling long stories about everything from oysters to mezcal to the revival of Native American cuisine. They're funny, their guests are great, and they recognize that food-related podcasts can dive into subjects beyond just how something tastes or gets made (the same can be said about another of my favorite podcasts, the Sporkful, but Gastropod does it slightly better, imho).

Dan Carlin's Hardcore History -- this is barely a podcast at this point, as Dan's episodes are 3-6 hours long each, and appear every few months or so. He does epic dives into epic topics, including the fall of the Roman Republic, a history of the Khans in Mongolia, etc. Older episodes eventually get put up for sale, but it's worth grabbing new ones for free when they're released.

Presidential -- This one just ended, but was a great podcast from the Washington Post, focusing on each president, one per week, leading up to the election. I still haven't listened to the final episode (on Trump), and might never bother, but the ones leading up to it (including the ones on folks I can't stand) all still offer a huge amount of knowledge. Guests like Karl Rove (on the McKinley one) and John Linnell (on the James K. Polk one) offer a change of pace from more expected (but still great) folks like Delores Kearns Goodwin, David McCullagh, and Bob Woodward.

99 Percent Invisible -- Theoretically a podcast about design, it's really a podcast about whatever Roman Mars and his team of brilliant nerds research, and episodes have covered everything from the way the Shift in baseball has evolved to Legionnaire's Disease to urban foraging. Really just one of the top-notch podcasts you can find, and one I always listen to right away.

Lore: The best way I can describe this is "99 Percent Invisible, but only for local myths and legends." It's great storytelling combined with the sort of hauntings, ghost stories, and local faerie tales I've loved for ages.

I listen to a ton of other podcasts (I have a whopping 95 in my feed, although a few are ones on hiatus that likely will never return, like Movie Date), and am happy to offer other recommendations (and hear yours; I'm always adding more, and occasionally culling some from my feed). But these ten are all good ones if you want something fun to listen to, for whatever reason.
"We'll come out with our fists raised
The good old boys are back on top again
And if we let them lead us blindly
The past becomes the future once again"
Sleater-Kinney, Combat Rock







Much of circuitous journey through my Stages of Grief in response to the election has been on Twitter. But I do have some thoughts that go beyond 140 characters. These are still random thoughts, though, not something meant to resemble a coherent essay.

1. Needless to say, I'm not happy with the result. And while I'm pissed at a lot of folks/institutions over it, in the end, I have to be pissed at the American people as a whole. We should have done better.

2. While I do think there were things Hillary could have done better, campaign-wise (the lack of attention to MI and WI as polling tightened there and Trump campaigned there was appalling), I also fucking HATE the idea that the winner should be the better campaigner, or the person who checks some magic box that has nothing to do with governing. The idea that we as a nation made this appalling choice because some folks weren't properly pandered to? Fuck that. If Hillary lost WI or MI or wherever and would have won those states with more visits (or fewer from Trump), then the election was decided by voters who are willfully ignorant and self-absorbed to the point of it being pathological. That says something sad about our country (and probably the world, in light of Brexit). We've long been taught that education fights ignorance, but I'm not sure anything fights willful ignorance.

3. Beyond my own group (white males -- more on that identification later), I'm not included to talk about groups that had lack of turnout that might have helped change things. It was an issue (and speaks again to the willful ignorance issue above), but until white folks (and white men in particular) get their house in order, complaining that more PoC should have voted seems like throwing one big fucking rock in the middle of a glass house.

4. Onion piece: Man Wearing ‘Jewmerica’ T-Shirt Never Dreamed He’d See This Day. Yeah. One of the "great" things Trump wants to help bring back is outright antisemitism. While I suppose that having the opportunity to experience the fear my grandparents experienced might be interesting for some values of that word, I'd be pretty content to not have to do that, thank you very much.

5. I've been saying this for months on Twitter, but I wanted to repeat it here: Trump might be vile and an asshole, but he is absolutely fucking mainstream for the Republican Party. Actually, he's to the left of most of the core, including his running mate and most of the folks he beat in the race. Awful as he is, Pence or Cruz or some of the other folks out there as bad if not worse, both for their horrid views (Pence's stance on homosexuality is every bit as appalling as Trump's on immigrants) and because they actually have some knowledge of how to use the political system.

6. I do wonder about whether the Republican Party will overcome the issues that divided it this year. I think it will, not least because they're in power, and want to exercise it. It's not unreasonable to suggest it already started happening, Marco "Little Marco" Rubio's decision to run for the FL Senate (against his own promise, and for a job he basically left derelict) probably helped Trump carry the state. I suspect that the folks who really criticized Trump will either still find a way to overcome their distaste (McCain), or not matter (all Bush family members, Glenn Beck, Romney, etc -- a lot of folks not currently a part of the system anyway).

7. Speaking of the Senate, that's as disastrous as the presidential race, of course. I've seen some folks ague that at least everything that goes wrong will be clearly laid at the feet of the Republicans, but the problem with that argument is that a lot of shit will go wrong.

7.5. Could people who should be smart enough to know better please stop posting the meme about how the last time the Republican Party controlled the House, Senate, and White House, it led to the Great Depression? It's literally been less than ten years since the Republicans controlled all three (and yes, they screwed things up big time then, too, just not at the Depression level; also, comparing political parties today to ones in 1928 is moronic, unless . With so many legitimate things to criticize, making shit up (and mindlessly passing on memes based on shit people make up) isn't necessary.

8. I've seen a log of false equivalency bullshit out there, essentially telling LGBT people, Latinx folks, Muslims, and others that this is no different that what people dealt with under Obama. That's ludicrous, of course. There can be laws that are passed that go against my core values, and which I find appalling and likely to make the world a worse place (like, say, W's entire environmental platform); likewise, there can be laws I like that someone on the other side might find a horrifying and personal overreach (like gun control bills). But none of these are the same as laws (or politicians advocating laws) that explicitly deny humanity to people like Pence's belief in conversion therapy, or Trump's press to ban Muslim people from the country.

9. A friend wrote on FB, "A clarification, paraphrased from something I just saw on twitter: when I say that if you voted Trump, you aren't my friend, I am not saying I hate anyone. I'm saying that based on that vote it sure sounds like you hate me." I think that's one of the best summaries of how folks are reacting, and why folks who are getting upset at people getting upset need to maybe simmer down. Incidentally, I'm seeing most of the "calm down" talk coming from the ranks of the white cishet left, not the right.

10. A different friend wrote on FB, "There will be those of you who don't understand these feelings nor their depth. And there is more than likely no way I can get you to understand. If that describes you, know that this isn't the place to ask "Why?" or tell me I shouldn't feel this way. Answering the former is exhausting and the latter is trolling." That applies to me, too. If you're genuinely incapable of understanding, please step back for now.

(Both of the FB writers are on LJ, but I'm reluctant to tag them and associate separate accounts unless they want it.)
One of Amazon's Daily Deals is on Queen Board Games, with deals ranging from 25-70% off a bunch of solid games, including Alhambra, the Alhambra Card Game, Kingdom Builder, Paris Connection, Chicago Express, Escape the Curse of the Temple, and more! Some really good bargains here (I'm a sucker for both Alhambras). Note that in some cases, the list price given is already way low (Escape the Curse of the Temple is normally over $50, even though Amazon lists its starting price as $39.99).

And one of today's Kindle Daily Deals is Doctor Strange Vol. 1: The Way of the Weird (the first five issues of Jason Aaron's run) for $2.99 (and it looks like Kindle comic deals are now fully integrated into Comixology). This Doctor Strange fellow sounds interesting, and I'd love to see them make a movie out of him, maybe with a good focus on his journey to Tibet and the time he spends there, which is canon, of course.
My fantasy football team is not doing well this year.

But this week, I'd actually gotten things close. And after the 1PM games, both my opponent and I had one player left each. And then, about ten minutes before kickoff, my remaining player, Ty Montgomery, was ruled out of his 4:25 game. And I had no one else on the bench at WR who could step in. I scrambled and grabbed Mohamed Sanu off the waiver wire (dropping Matt Asiata in the process, which I'm NOT happy about). I figured even a point or two might be better than nothing.

Sanu got 84 yards of passing, and scored a touchdown, for 14.4 points, the highest non-QB total on my team.

So at least my dreadful team will improve to 3-5 after this week. All luck, but I'll take it.
Amazon's Kindle Daily Deal is on dozens of Thrillers and Mysteries, including Sue Grafton's X, Joe Hill's NOS4A2, Straub's Ghost Story, Blatty's The Exorcist, Wecker's The Golem and the Jinni, Lumley's Necroscope, and more all for $2.99 or less.

(Yeah, last-minute notice on a one-day sale. But too many good books not to post.)


(Yes, three LJ posts in one day. Making up for missing two months. I do NOT want to abandon this journal, dammit.)
So I've started playing Kingdom of Loathing again, after about six months on hiatus. And because it's how I roll, I jumped right into Nuclear Autumn, the current challenge path, on hardcore.

That was not the smartest thing I've done.

For folks who haven't played KOL in a while, the NA challenge path is their take on Fallout, and restrictions include no access to NPC stores (all destroyed), gradual radiation sickness lowering your stats, and a mutated digestive system that means you can only consume food and booze with a 1 fullness/drunkeness, and both food and drink cap at 3.

The rad sickness is bad (although it's offset by the ability to mutate and develop some nifty skills), but it's the last change that's really painful. Turngen is really, really limited. Like, I had maybe 50-55 adventures a day total for the first few days of the run. So it's been slow. As in, I've been at the run for almost a full month.

And when I finally beat the level 12 quest, I realized I'd forgotten to do any diving into the Daily Dungeon, which means a minimum of three more days before I can actually beat this and ascend. Sigh. On the plus side, once I get to the Sorceress, I'll beat her with ease, given where my stats are right now.

That said, I still love the game, and the next run will be better, partially because each challenge path run makes the next one easier (opening up new levels in the Fallout Shelter in this case), and partially because I'll avoid some of the stupid mistakes I made.