Day 291 – Destination: US

75 – America’s 100 Best Adventures

Once upon a time I really wanted to visit America. All over. And I guess, to be fair, I still would like to but there are so many reasons holding me back from even the idea.

And no, it’s not “because that’s where the Americans live”.

In the mid-90s I was really hoping to travel there sometime. See New York in winter because of all those movies where they have the big Christmas tree up in winter. See Washington because of the West Wing. California, because… just because.

There was something in right after the turn of the millennium though that changed all that. There was an event that more so than ever before turned the country inwards and fearful. Made it do all kinds of stupid things. Made it less welcoming.

Frankly, I don’t care too much what I might look like to their scanners. Or what a single serving of whatever radiation is involved might do. And I tend to avoid doing anything suspicious that would make the border crossing more uncomfortable than it has to be. But there is something that just inherently rubs me the wrong way about the mindset that would invent the need for all this theatre.

And let’s not even start with the startling gun violence stats. I mean, I’m not actively afraid, because as high as the numbers are, the odds of being involved in something are still reasonably negligible. But it gives me pause that the usual measuring-stick of “is it as dangerous as driving a car” is about to no longer hold for gun violence in the US.

And I’m also not prejudiced against the people. I hear many good stories about their hospitality to visitors… although that might also be favoured by the fact I would be travelling-while-white. Texas, as much as it’s a red-red state and has a lot of people in it that I’d have political differences with, is also known to be one of the most hospitable places in the US.

But I don’t think anything could outweigh my discomfort at the state of the place.
There is a certain unpredictability moment-to-moment about the place.
I’d be on edge for my whole holiday.

One thing I might consider though is flying into Canada, and then crossing just far enough into America to get to New York and Washington. But time might even be running out on that option now that Canada seems to be rapidly stripping away its own common sense. Maybe I should just focus on getting that time machine, because that would solve so many additional problems.

Day 271 – Cats! On the Internet!

95 – The Top 100 Cat Blogs

I Am the Shadow
I Am the Shadow

Cat pictures are like catnip to internet users (to mix some metaphors).

I wasn’t surprised to find a top-100 about cats on the internet… as much as I was to find a top-100* for blogs dedicated just to cats. It’s a bit like discovering 100 volumes written by R. R. Martin on just Daenerys alone. Not an unpleasant discovery, nor an outright disturbing one, but something that makes you wonder if there wouldn’t have been a more productive outlet for all that effort.

Unperturbed
Unperturbed

The list is adorned with more than a few examples of blogs written from the cat’s perspective. It’s an interesting conceit, and entertaining when well executed… but also hardly novel at this point. Just now, I briefly considered starting a blog from the perspective of our cats’ food bowls, favourite lounging spots, or the litter tray. Or maybe all the above?

That Hand... My Head... NAOW.
That Hand… My Head… NAOW.

There was also more than one blog dedicated to the review of pet accessories. I’m afraid to look on YouTube, because I suspect there will be a pet-accessory-review-by-cats-themselves channel. Let’s call this Rule 34-B of the Internet… if it exists on the internet, there is a cat version of it on the internet.

Obie Halfie
Obie Halfie

The list also has a blog of cats-with-synthesizers pictures … which we’ll call Rule 34-C of the Internet… no matter how narrowly you define the sub-topic, there are sites dedicated to cats in connection with the selected sub-topic.

Amber Halfie
Amber Halfie

The blog that I liked the most on the list though is “Stuff On My Cat“. I have no idea where people find these patient cats that allow stacking of multiple items… but I do know a few owners that are going to get violently murdered in their sleep (just look at those eyes!)

Catroissant
Catroissant

Most important in all this though; because the internet loves cat pictures so much, there is really no way to go wrong with a cat-post. So this can be my contribution to the decline of modern society for the week.


* Note: the link at the top has in fact only 23 blogs, but some further research has shown the existence of many more blogs in this CATegory. I have no doubt the total easily eclipses 100.