Random (but not really)

Monday, September 7, 2020

Labor Day 2020


In Memoriam: Healthcare Workers Who Have Died of COVID-19

Almost half of COVID-19 workers’ comp claims filed by ‘essential workers’ have been denied by insurers (Aug 29, 2020)

Homeless essential workers face greater risk of COVID-19 (August 26, 2020)

In our database of 167 confirmed frontline worker deaths, 21 medical staff, or 13% of the total, were under 40, and eight (5%) fatalities were under 30.. (11 Aug 2020)

Assaulting a worker who’s enforcing masks is now a felony under a new Illinois law (August 10, 2020)

238 members of the United Food and Commercial Workers union have now died of the virus, president Marc Perrone said on a Thursday press call. Nearly 29,000 have been exposed to the coronavirus, or are currently ill. That figure includes workers in the retail, meatpacking, health-care, and food-processing industries who make up UFCW’s 1.3 million members. (June 26, 2020)

Average Stock Clerk, Grocery Store Hourly Pay: $11.13/hour

Textile Mills









Triangle Shirtwaist Factory



Chimney Sweeps



Come all of you good workers,
Good news to you I’ll tell
Of how the good old union
Has come in here to dwell.


My daddy was a miner
And I’m a miner’s son,
And I’ll stick with the union
‘Til every battle’s won.

Breaker boys working in Ewen Breaker Mine in South Pittston, Pennsylvania, 10 January 1911, from a 1908-1912 series on...

They say in Harlan County
There are no neutrals there;
You’ll either be a union man,
Or a thug for J. H. Blair.


Oh workers can you stand it?
Oh tell me how you can.
Will you be a lousy scab
Or will you be a man?




Upper Big Branch


child labor today 1

child labor today 2

child labor today 3


child labor today 4




Just a reminder what we’re celebrating today.

Written by Michelle at 6:00 am      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Holidays,Politics  

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

The Books of August

I don’t even time anymore, really. Because it’s now September, but still March, and I am definitely feeling like Billy Pilgrim.

Good thing there are books.

Four new releases this month (ie books that came out in 20200 which is impressive, except I have far more new books sitting unread on my kindle.

Lady Mechanika La Dama de la MuerteI am not sure if it was just me, but there wasn’t a lot I loved this month, but there were some things. I read three Alissa Johnson books, including beginning a re-read of her Thief-Takers series, which starts with A Talent for Trickery.

R. Cooper‘s Jericho Candelario’s Gay Debut was a sweet and lovely story about a man who has raised his siblings and helped raise his niece and now doesn’t know what to do with himself, and isn’t quite sure if he’s actually fallen in love or not.

And the other things I particularly liked was Lady Mechanika: La Dama de la Muerte by Joe Benitez et al. This story is set outside the timeline of the rest of the series AND is set during Dia de los Muertos. I really REALLY like this series.

Romance, Historical

A Talent for Trickery (2015) Alissa Johnson (The Thief-Takers) 8.5/10
A Gift for Guile (2016) Alissa Johnson (The Thief Takers) 8.5/10
Practically Wicked (2012) Alissa Johnson (Haverston Family) 8.5/10


Killing in C Sharp (2018) Alexia Gordon (Gethsemane Brown) 7/10

Mystery, Historical

A Murderous Relation (2020) Deanna Raybourn (Veronica Speedwell) 6.5/10

Romance, LGBT

A Talent for TrickeryJericho Candelario’s Gay Debut (2018) R. Cooper 9/10
Think of England (2015) KJ Charles 8.5/10
Vincent’s Thanksgiving Date (2014) R. Cooper 8/10
Taxes and TARDIS (2012) N.R. Walker 7.5/10
The Sugared Game (2020) K.J. Charles (The Will Darling Adventures) 7.5/10
A Gentleman’s Position (2016) K.J. Charles (Society of Gentlemen) 7/10
Starstruck (2014) L.A. Witt (Bluewater Bay)
A Very Henry Christmas (2017) N.R. Walker (The Weight of It All)


The Fifth Elephant (1999) Terry Pratchett (Discworld) 7.5/10

Fantasy, LGBT

The Engineer (2020) C.S. Poe (Magic & Steam) 7/10


18 Tiny Deaths: The Untold Story of Frances Glessner Lee and the Invention of Modern Forensics (2020) Bruce Goldfarb 5/10


Lady Mechanika: La Dama de la Muerte (2017) Joe Benitez, M. M. Chen, Peter Steigerwald, Beth Sotelo, Beth Sotelo 8/10

And the numbers!

I read a paper book this month! It was a comic, of course, but still! Paper! And only six re-reads, which is half as many as last month (though I also read fewer books this month).

Trade Paperback: 1
eBook: 16
Multiple Formats: 1
Re-read: 6

Lots of romance this month, mostly because I still need that HEA. I just can’t deal with a lot of angst, and I really can’t take anything that ends badly.

Fantasy: 3
Mystery: 6
Romance: 11
Boinking: 11
Historical: 8
Non-Fiction: 1

Three whole male authors this month!

Male: 3
Female: 4
Initials: 8

And as I’m still reading a lot of MM stories, I have a lot of male leads. And since I’ve read a lot of historical, lots of white people. But there was at least some minority rep.

Male: 9
Female: 5
Ensemble: 3
White: 12
Minority: 4
Minority 2ndary: 1
Straight: 8

And that’s what I read in August. Did you have any good escapes this month?

Written by Michelle at 6:06 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading,Monthly Round-Up  

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Hiking WV: Cacapon State Park

Looked at the weather Friday and discovered the Eastern Panhandle was out only option without a high chance of rain.

So off to Cacapon State Park we went.

Location: Cacapon State Park
Trail: Overlook Trail (partial)
Distance: 5.9 miles
Elevation: 2100-2289 feet

At Cacapon we drove up the mountain and did the Overlook trail. Unfortunately, we didn’t hike anywhere near as long as I had hoped, because my ankle was bothering me. But it was still lovely to be in the woods.

This is from the overlook.


You’re hiking along the ridgeline for a bit, but there is never a clearing to get a good view of the valley below.


We also stopped just outside of Berkeley Springs, at the top of the mountain where you have this lovely view of the Potomac.


Written by Michelle at 7:28 pm      Comments (2)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Traveling WV: Berkeley Springs (Bonus: Pawpaw Tunnel)

It was rain all over the state Saturday, so since the orchard people haven’t been at the Morgantown Farmers Market, we decided to find a WV orchard and get our peaches from there.

It was a scenic drive, with a stop at Berkeley Springs and the Pawpaw Tunnel.

I realized we’d never been to Berkeley Springs during the summer when the pool was open–there were a lot of people in the area.

But it was lovely, and I was mostly able to avoid people.




And the Pawpaw tunnel.


Written by Michelle at 7:09 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Photos,State Park / Forest,West Virginia  

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Hiking WV: Otter Creek Wilderness

This was our first decent hike since I broke my foot, and although it wasn’t steep, and I was extremely cautious on rocky terrain, it was a good hike.

Also: I can’t believe we hadn’t hiked here before. We did an out-and-back on part of the Otter Creek Trail, and it was my favorite kind of trail–along the creek almost the entire way (we were never out of the sound of rushing water).

Otter Creek Wilderness
Otter Creek Trail (partial out-and-back)
Distance: 8.0 miles
Elevation: 1809-2093 feet (446 ft gain)







Written by Michelle at 9:08 pm      Comments (1)  Permalink
Categories: Hiking,National Park / Forest,Photos,West Virginia  

Sunday, August 2, 2020

The Books of July

This year.


The Weight of it AllSo what did I read this month? It was mostly re-reads, and the new books I read were, sadly, really not my thing.

So one new-to-me book that I really enjoyed was The Weight of It All by N.R. Walker, which is a M/M romance set in Australia about Harry, who gets dumped by his long term boyfriend for being too old and too fat. Harry sets out initially to try to change himself to get his ex back, but quickly decides the weight he needs to lose was that of his ex and trying to be what other people want him to be other than who he really is.

It’s lovely.

Other than that, the re-reads were excellent.


The Story of the Stone (1988) Barry Hughart (The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox) 8.5/10
Discworld, City Watch
Guards! Guards! (1989) Terry Pratchett 9.5/10
Men at Arms (1993) Terry Pratchett 9/10
Feet of Clay (1996) Terry Pratchett 9/10
Jingo (1997) Terry Pratchett (Discworld) 7.5/10

Guards! Guards!Romance

Teach Me (2019) Olivia Dade (There’s Something About Marysburg) 7.5/10
Take a Hint, Dani Brown (2020) Talia Hibbert (The Brown Sisters)

Romance, LGBT
A Lancaster Story
Kneading You (2019) C.S. Poe  8/10
Joy (2017) C.S. Poe  8/10,
Color of You (2017) C.S. Poe  7.5/10
The Weight of It All (2016) N.R. Walker 8/10
Knit Tight (2016) Annabeth Albert (Portland Heat) 7/10

Romance, Historical

Haverston Family
Nearly a Lady (2011) Alissa Johnson 8.5/10
An Unexpected Gentleman (2011) Alissa Johnson 8/10
Tempting Fate (2009) Alissa Johnson 8/10
McAlistair’s Fortune (2009) Alissa Johnson  8/10
Destined To Last (2010) Alissa Johnson  8.5/10
Daring and the Duke (2020) Sarah MacLean (The Bareknuckle Bastards)

nearly a ladyAnd the stats!

All ebooks and mostly re-reads, as previously noted.

eBook: 18
Total: 18
Multiple Formats: 5
Re-read: 13

Oddly, I didn’t read a single mystery this month. I can’t remember the last time that happened.

Fantasy: 5
Romance: 13
Boinking: 10
Historical: 7

Mostly female authors, but rereading Discworld is giving male authors a showing.

Male: 4
Female: 10
Initials: 1

Only one female centered book this month, and not a lot of racial diversity; I classified the Discworld books as white, because in some of the books he pretty blatantly parallels white western society and our reactions to “the other”.

Male: 7
Female: 1
Ensemble: 9
White: 12
Minority: 4
Minority 2ndary: 1
Straight: 9
LGBTQ 2ndary: 2

And that’s July. Did you read anything particularly good recently?

Written by Michelle at 5:01 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading,Monthly Round-Up  

Monday, July 27, 2020


I decided to play the Ripped Bodice’s Summer BINGO.

Here’s my card as of today:

Ripped Bodice BINGO

And here’s the list of books:
The Color of You, CS Poe
Daring and the Duke, Sarah MacLean
It Takes Two to Tumble, Cat Sebastian
The House in the Cerulean Sea, TJ Klune
Behind These Doors, Jude Lucens
A Seditious Affair, KJ Charles
Kneading You, C.S. Poe
Destined to Last, Alissa Johnson
An Unnatural Vice, KJ Charles
Knit Tight, Annabeth Albert
McAlistair’s Fortune, Alissa Johnson
The Color of You, C.S. Poe
Blank Spaces, Cass Lenox
Joy, C.S. Poe
Upside Down, N.R. Walker
The Ruin of a Rake, Cat Sebastian
Death in D Minor / The Color of You, Alexia Gordon / C.S Poe
As Luck Would Have It, Alissa Johnson

Written by Michelle at 7:43 pm      Comments (0)  Permalink
Categories: Books & Reading  
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