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Language Is A Virus From Outer Space

There are some really neat video game concepts out there right now.

My favorite active Kickstarter is for Tangiers, an ostensibly stealth/exploration game that looks to me like the Whispering Vault met the Brotherhood of Dada from Doom Patrol with maybe a side of Pontypool.

You play an outsider to the world, an entity with a singular, enigmatic goal - to find and dispose of five other beings. Your arrival here has fractured the world; the city that these other beings resided in is now broken into shards across a broken, bleak landscape.

You must infiltrate these cities, searching to discover your marks - investigating both precisely who, and where.

Keeping to the shadows is to be encouraged - reality here is a fragile place. Your interactions with the world cause it to fall apart. In homage to Burrough's cut-up technique, the world collapses and rebuilds itself the more you interact with it - future areas rebuilt with the fragments and personality of places you mistreated. From this every play-through will, subtly or drastically, be unique to you.

Just the promo material they have is amazing. The landscape is distorted and it's unclear to me whether that distortion is because of the alien perception or because of the reality warping effect, or both. The people are distorted as well. You can steal the very words that people are saying and use them later as weapons or traps. Yes, please.

Another fresh take on stealth mechanics is The Novelist, in-progress on Greenlight, where you play a ghost haunting a house who can read thoughts and step into the memories of the inhabitants and influence their behavior. This one's not on Kickstarter, but the Greenlight page has an interesting link to an article about the economics of being an independent video game developer.

Tangiers is in a pretty good field, too. There's also Lioness, an experimental and existential game with a very stylish for pixel-art aesthetic.

For more solid reality, there's Lacuna Passage has the brilliant mechanic of trying to be as realistic as possible for Martian exploration -- they're using photographs from the rovers for their landscape, and putting actual HUD elements into your character's suit. Peripheral game elements like the camera and journal and map are on a tablet. Sound is attenuated in the thin Martian atmosphere, so it sounds like it will be spooky and lonely as you try to survive after a crash, as well as uncover the disappearance of the first manned mission to Mars.

There's the goofy-yet-charming Dungeonmans, a roguelike with the persistent element that if you survive an adventure you can improve the academy that trains your future Dungeonmans/Lady Dungeonmans. This one features a surprisingly playable alpha demo and has some really fun spell elements; I haven't tried the melee or archer options yet but they also have a skill tree for your character, and progress on one character improves future characters. I'm kind of astonished that this one hasn't hit its goal yet and it has only five days to go; did Rogue Legacy go through Kickstarter, too, causing roguelike fatigue? It seems to me like the two games are different enough and have some differences in the strategic gameplay that would make them distinct.

Liege is a sprawing JRPG-style game with painterly backgrounds and more mature themes, though it doesn't sound like it wants to stray into the grimdark trap, but instead take a more mature and multifaceted look at civil war. It features simple-yet-tactical positional combat that is all on the same map, so there aren't any disruptive cut scenes. I'm hoping this will hit a sweet spot of story and tactics; often a game that's rich in one is short on the other. It is also very pretty in a stylized way, with hand-drawn art and a palette that's more realistic than in most games of this type.

Then there's Project Maiden, which reverses the normal platformer trope by having you start out with godlike powers and choose one to lose at every level. "Like Zelda in reverse." I suck at platformers but this is such a tasty idea and it's a puzzle-platformer and I can sometimes get through those, and it looks like it's going to have a lot of heart, and I like the music. One of the cute things here is the developer will pixel-paint backers into the game as named characters or antagonists. Three days to go on this one, and if he funds then he'll give the game away for free to everyone.

In the games that already exist category, Brad just started playing FTL today and is admiring all of the many things that can possibly go wrong with a spaceship.



So I've still been sick; I kind of punted on a few weeks. But I also feel a little more with it. Still walking the dog(!) I missed my new meds one day and felt too bruised and sore to manage it, which is a good indication that their effect is less subtle than it feels like. I also climb the big hill with a lot more ease now. I still have monster crashes so I think they don't touch fatigue or post-exertional malaise (I'm having a big one like clockwork starting midmorning and running past noon, plus an occasional bonus baby one in the early evening; I am definitely at a busy place in my crash cycle.) But my mornings go smoother, and I do my walks better, and I don't feel like I have to pry myself up with a crowbar to get out of bed or like I've stiffened into a chair like an ice cube freezing into an awkward stuck shape. This is really nice. I have a concerning side effect (not in the red flag "Call Doctor Immediately" list but enough to be concerned about if it continues) that I am keeping an eye on, that might prevent me from ramping up. I'll talk to my doctor this week if it persists, since I'm supposed to ramp up again after this week.

We're still planning on going to GaymerX, which is looming up (next weekend, eeee). We have a dogsitter for that one but not for Depoe Bay. We're worried about putting him in the kennel because it's a chaotic environment and he gets injured so easily; we had a long time healing him up from the last injury he got in day care, and then he was coned for what seemed for eternity for the "minor, one day in the cone" (ha!) dewclaw tear. Poor doggo is not made of very sturdy stuff, and he moves so fast and doesn't look where he's going. It's been very nice to have him in fine fettle again, and I want to keep him that way. Probably some of this is also reaction to Jack -- his cancer got bad while we were on a trip. Moose had a cancer blow up on a trip, too, though he made it through that. Part of my hindbrain is telling me with sincere irrationality that travel is bad for dogs. Despite all of the successful trips we've made with dogs. Anyhow, the dogsitter we have for this one knows him and likes him and lives right upstairs and will take him in with her dogs at night, so he'll have a fine time. I just wish she were around for the next one!


Still very ill and not getting much done, but I've started a new medication that may help. I had a few side effects the first week, but also reduced pain and a wee bit more energy in the mornings. In the second week the side effects went away but the benefits remained. I'll be pushing it up another notch next week. I'm supposed to expect perhaps a 30% benefit, but I've been so flat that any benefit would be greatly appreciated.

I've also gotten the technology that allows me to walk the dog! It's a long lead that I can loop around myself, with a sliding ring so it acts a bit as a slip knot. I wear it cross-body like a purse and it gives me some "reins" that I can use to absorb the shock of all of the bouncing and lurching. He can still yoink me around if I get inattentive, but in general it's a great arrangement; it gives me enough leverage that I'm not worried he's going to pull me over, and it lets us use the greyhound collar instead of the halter, which is far more comfortable for him. I'm going to try out a harness because if he is going to insist on pulling, I'd rather him pull on parts of his body better suited for it; we'll see if I still get the leverage with a harness. Shopping for a harness led me to the world of skijoring and bikejoring, which is very tempting! But I am just not cut out for it. Maybe if I see a scooter with GOOD BRAKES on deep sale. If he had my weight to pull it would slow him down to manageable speeds, but he'd still get a great workout. But I'm going to go more moderate with a simple belt arrangement, and hopefully he will be one of the dogs that a slightly springy leash helps discourage pulling with, rather than encouraging it. (I am sort of betting not, but we'll see.) This should work better than the long leash, which is anchored above my center of gravity and asymmetrically, and less flexible so less shock absorption. But for now I'm enjoying being able to walk him at all, even if it's hard. I'm certainly getting a better workout this way.

Other than the walks I've been very flat; I am usually completely out of it by ten or eleven. But the mornings are nice.

About Time (More on Reader Migration)

So I've been leaving it to the last minute because I was trying to figure out where Newsrob was heading... looks like NewsBlur for now, but maybe Feedly later.

I finally got around to looking at my star situation. Looks like it wasn't as bad as I feared; I was mostly using it to tag stuff when I was offline and couldn't stuff it into a bookmark service, so it tended to be relevant but also fortunately there wasn't a lot of it, as I periodically cleared my starred items and just had the latest batch to archive. My bookmark services aren't incredibly organized, but they still all function. So I just made a 'Starred' folder on Instapaper and loaded anything that seemed still relevant into that. I never used tags on Reader so now I don't have to mourn their loss.

I've been poking The Old Reader and Feedly -- the Old Reader has a completely irritating tic where if you can't remember where you've categorized a feed, it doesn't tell you and you have to hunt through all of your folders to find it if you want to move it. Feedly has gotten a lot less awful since the last time I saw it, so it's pretty clear they've been listening to their users. Neither has any way to export OPML that I have yet seen, so they are both roach motels. The Old Reader digs back deeper into feeds than Feedly/Reader do, which is both good and bad: Reader had cut me off when I went on a long sick reading hiatus, so I just lost a lot of stuff, which played merry havoc with things that need to be sequential like webcomics. (I've been rereading them manually, a bit at a time.) But now I have even more unread posts. Feedly is still syncing with Google so doesn't have that issue, and will presumably drop all of the older stuff anyhow.

Newsblur already contains an OPML export. I haven't tried the beta version of Newsrob with it yet because that will require fiddling. Greader does talk to Feedly, and I used to use it for things that Newsrob didn't handle well. But Newsrob is still my favorite because of its ability to do per-feed configuration of full web page articles, which fixes a lot of feeds that are malformed in various ways -- if it only gives an excerpt or is buggy, it follows the link and shoops that down, which means I can read the original web version offline. And read the skimpier and cleaner version on the less buggy apps. (Some I like to read both; the article in the stripped down feed version, and then click through to read comments, since the comments aren't always up to date on the cached article.) Newsblur's android clients are a joke, so now I'm thinking it was an advantage for the Newsrob team to pick Newsblur as the back end -- it adds a good client to a back end that sorely needs something nice on the Android front, whereas Feedly already has its own magazine-y thing as well as gReader talking to its API. Newsrob also promises that it will talk to other APIs. They're doing a three month OSS experiment and if the author likes the way it goes, then it will open permanently.

Anyhow, despite leaving it until the last moment I'm not losing all of my feeds, which is a big relief. And now I've recovered my starred items. But I am not perfectly sanguine because Feedly and The Old Reader are currently roach motels for feeds, and I am not yet certain that I will get Newsblur running in a way that satisfies me, though if it does that will probably be the one I wind up on. (I'm not committing until I feel like I am well-covered, but I'm happy to pay for both client and service once I think it will suit my needs.)

I'd love to take a closer look at tinytinyrss but I just do not have the functionality to handle all of the infrastructure for it -- I don't have a LAMP server lying around or the energy to get one running or maintain it. Fever is likewise out of my league and also the smart sorting would probably drive me to distraction; I want my feed queues to act like queues and not have any smarts. It does sound cool, especially if it can be toned down, but I do not have anything like the brain power to adapt to something so different, but I don't think it offers offline support anyhow, and I love being able to read offline and have my changes sync back up when I'm back on the network. I want a more or less drop-in replacement for Reader with offline support; anything else is gravy.


Stuffs and Media Report

Mostly I have been flailing, yes, but I've been chipping away at the giant stack of distractions, and trying to get some done. Prepwork for the trip, and doctor's appointments, and some other crunchy chores, and a side-track into the roguelike space exploration game FTL (which is quite good.)

Media, because Google has been assaulting my eyeballs with their new UI, so I have to really limit time there now unless I develop a fondness for migraines; I've been catching up on my reading and watching a lot more video than usual:


Grimm: Season One just came live on Amazon, and my general impression is really good. If Werewolf had been toned and worked like this, I would have been so very much all over it. (Even if it wasn't so much about integration issues, but just built around these themes and power levels.) It's mostly very well-written with the occasional gaffe, and the relationships are really good. Portland is a nice setting even though they get an awful lot of murders (an occupational hazard for cities hosting shows about supernatural homicide, of course.) There are lots of good subtle bits that indicate they thought it through, though that makes some of the gaffes more puzzling. Anyhow, quite enjoyable. We have plenty of other things to watch, though, so we're not going to spring for season two but instead wait and see if we can get it free.

Downton Abbey: Love it! We're partway through season 2.

How To Train Your Dragon: Quite enjoyable, though I was distracted by a super snugglesome dog during a lot of it. The dragons were adorable too. It was no Brave, but it had a lot of fun characters and flying scenes.

True Grit, the Coen Brothers version, which I was just watching idly but after ten minutes I realized that Brad really needed to see it too -- after fourteen-year-old Mattie Ross finished bargaining her way into a stake so she could hire a bounty hunter to chase her father's murderer.

Outnumbered, another thing expiring pretty soon on Prime, a short British sitcom about parenting, mostly. The first show is mostly them trying to leave the house to get to school. I liked it but it's also rather discomforting so I didn't get Brad for this one.

Who's Minding the Store, with Jerry Lewis. Another soon-to-expire. Gender-roleiffic! Women are much better off if they aren't the ones who run things! It still manages to be sweet and funny, because Jerry Lewis is very funny, with a lot of slapstick and a surprisingly funny extended vacuum cleaner run amok scene. His character reminds me of the story of the boy who went forth to learn what fear was. While he's not fearless per se, he has some of the fool's immunity.

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, with Cary Grant and Myrna Loy. There's a fool in this one, too, but seriously lacking immunity. This has great comedic timing and warm chemistry, and given all of the repairs we had to do last year hit a little close to home....

I also have been half-watching a lot of youtube.


Jun. 12th, 2013

This year so far is fired; I've been relentlessly ill and tired; I'm having almost as much trouble getting anything done as I was when my foot was broken, which is ridiculous. I'm not really sure what to do about it; I have a referral to a gastroenterologist from my sleep doctor, so I guess I keep on with that. (He thinks I may have reflux; I'm not so sure.) He did also check my iron and my stored iron was low normal and my free iron was out-of-range high, so I have no idea what that means. My thyroid has been on track so it's not that; I just suck. I've been acting a little lactose intolerant, too, so I think the glutening I got around my birthday is taking its time to heal. It'd be really depressing if one slightly mis-floured supposedly GF cupcake in November is making me this continuously ill.

On the PLUS side we are almost kind of sort of getting our ducks in a row as to stuff we're doing this year -- the family trip for example we at least have on our radar. Still have to figure out where we're staying en route as it's a two-day drive. But we have certainly perpetrated worse planning. (Thankfully everyone else planned the Ashland trip, which was good as we saw so many plays there! I got distracted from my writeup of that, but overall it was just wonderful.) But this time I'm trying to get the task manager to remind us to do things in advance, but sort of staggered out into smaller tasks so we don't get overwhelmed. I'm trying to make the task manager work for us and not smother us in all of the gazillions of things we really ought to have done already and just are too tired to do, so we'll see if I can walk that line. It talks to the calendar and contacts now, at least, which has been really helping. (Now we can easily pop over to the map or phone number straight from the task notification... sweet.)

The big puzzle is going to be dog sitting. Our neighbor can cover some of the times but is gone for some of it. He's gotten injured at our normal boarder, and he has really thin skin (literally!) so we just aren't sure they are up to him. A shame because he adores playing with them, but he gets lost in the chaos of all of the dogs there, so we want a sitter instead.

Media This and That

I had a flare-up today and finally started being able to move around again and I said 'nnng' and Chance raced in to check on me and give me lots of snuggles. Good dog! Though yesterday when I finished making lunch I caught him curled cozily up on my spot on the bed. Not so good dog! Just lots of flare-ups lately, plus bonus whole-leg and arm cramps; I blame the recent foggy weather as I've been good about taking my magnesium.

Recent media:

Hawkeye -- I haven't really liked very much Marvel; the only other run I can think of that I enjoyed was the Miller run of Daredevil. It's probably not a surprise that Hawkguy is in kind of the same vein: more street level, crime-fighting, martial artistry, etc. This comic is very, very, funny, and isn't afraid to cut up the narrative order so it can have fun back and forth cut scenes, and it doesn't answer all of the questions immediately; it lets you wonder, and it makes good use of repetition and theme. It's done in a stylish de-saturated low-color palette that has a lot of purple (yay, purple!) and art that manages to pack a lot of detail into not a lot of lines -- like the frame that managed to show how Clint's tux was rumpled, but that he still looked good in a tux. Naturally rumpled, that guy. It has lots of silhouettes and iconic art, and even some diagrammatic art, with lots of cute little jokes in it but it's not so fiddly that my eyes cross trying to see it all. Anyhow, I really like lots of things about it, especially Kate Bishop, who is also Hawkeye. I don't read a lot of comics right now, but this one was definitely worth making an exception.

Solar Storms by Linda Hogan. This is a bad-memory reread because I spaced out on the first reading and couldn't remember enough of it. It has a lot of lovely description in it so I am happy to be reading it again even though it's also sort of familiar.

Water is a movie about widows in India in the 30s, with the viewpoint widow being a child whose husband died before she was old enough to go live with him, so she never even knew him before she was sent off to live a life of poverty with the other widows. It plays on some Bollywood tropes (only a little dancing, but a lot of singing) but only to make it extra heart-wrenching. It's very beautiful but very sad.

Justified is on Amazon Prime, which since we accidentally got we have actually been making use of. If they keep adding TV shows then I think it will keep being worth it (we haven't gotten Netflix streaming yet, but that would be the alternative.) We're in the beginning of Season 3 and still like it. Definitely a lot of violence, but a lot of good characters, too. I found a movie about Harlan County coal miners (the series is set there) so added it to our Netflix queue.

Nero Wolfe I can't recall specific titles right now... kind of popcorn books but there's a lot of delicious phrasing in them. They're not all great but I've liked all of them and I like the characters a lot. I don't bother trying to solve the mysteries so they aren't very brain-testing.


Some Amount of Things Make A Post

Not much has been happening while under the influence of massive sleepination (I have been sleeping a LOT) but I have gotten a few needful things done and I have read some books.

  • Root canal part 2: Again, not as bad as I thought a root canal was supposed to be. Kind of like getting a tedious, shove-y, filling. Probably the worst part is having the x-rays taken, because it triggers my gag reflex to have the film card positioned the way it needs to be positioned, and even for that they slapped on a little numbing gel and presto, it was easy. I still need to get a crown because it's on a back molar, but the root canal part is done.

  • Many walks! I have been making it out to walk every day for... um... a few weeks now. Which is good, as I was missing occasionally before that. I am still very low energy but I like seeing some improvement. Mr. Dog helps me put on my shoes every morning, which only makes it take three times as long as it ought to (but I get more snuggles in, so it works out.) I still need to lure myself with coffee, but the cafe is still a decently good walk away, so it works out.

  • Redemption in Indigo -- this is a book that reminds me of Nobilis. It features creatures that could easily be written up as Powers (or also as angels, or trickster spirits, or....), with their different perspectives on humanity, and a mortal woman who perseveres despite being put into overly vexing circumstances.

  • Velveteen vs. the Junior Super Patriots -- I think this is my favorite Seanan McGuire book yet. The combination of cynicism and lightheartedness just works really well for me, and while she experiments with style in the early stories, she quickly finds a suitable voice. The relationships are what really makes it work, and I really like rooting for the quite downtrodden Velveteen. This is definitely not shiny four color comics, but it's not gratuitously grim and gritty either; it's often very funny as well as poignant.

  • After the Golden Age -- Thematically this would go with the above; this book opens with the completely ordinary daughter of two superheroes being kidnapped for the umpteenth time. She's bored with the process by now. Despite being cast as the automatic damsel in distress by so many villains, she wants nothing more than to get out of the shadow of her parents, and she figures out ways to use her completely mundane abilities to help out.

  • Agyar -- I remember reading this a long time ago but not really being able to finish it because I strongly disliked the narrator. I still do, but was able to finish it this time. There are some things I like about it this time around (it's a great example of an unreliable narrator), but it's not my favorite Brust.

  • The Language of Flowers -- The main character has turned 18 in the foster care system, always feeling abandoned and let down... sometimes triggering a crisis in foster homes so that she can reject them first so she doesn't feel the pain of rejection herself. She relates to people based on a dictionary of the language of flowers that she found, and learns how to form relationships using that as the basis. It tells the story of child-her living with the woman who came closest to being her adoptive mother and the adult her struggling to find a place for herself.

  • The Hammer -- I really liked this, which is good as I ended up reading it twice because I completely could not remember it after the first reading. Not that it's unmemorable, but I've been so sick my memory is on the blink for this one. In fact, this has been long enough in my "read" stack that I'm having trouble remembering all of the particulars. Darn it. That's not much to go on. Anyhow, flintlock guns play a role, as does a drop hammer for a forge. And nasty Machiavellian revenge plots. And um... yeah, I liked it but can't completely recall why.



So despite adjustment issues and overall surprise at how a dog can be *that* energetic, Chance is actually settling in very well. He makes good company for me during the day, because he likes to sleep very peacefully for most of it and then he wakes up in the evening and pokes and pokes and pokes me and if I do not rouse, he climbs onto me on the bed, so he is basically training me to get up and move around more. I do not always appreciate this but I do think it is good to keep to a schedule, and he does help with that in a way that alarm clocks really do not.

A couple of walks a day seems to keep him from bouncing off the ceilings; typically he gets a nice brisk exercise walk with Brad and then a slower less brisk cafe walk, usually with little training bits all along the way, with both of us. On good days Brad gives him a bonus walk in the evening as well. He is responding well to his emergency recall training; in class he came to it even though the teacher was feeding him something yummy. (We waited until he seemed very intent on the food to call him, so it was a fair test.) We haven't tried any hard tests of it "in the wild" out of fear that it would undermine his training there, but we are scheduled to do a moderately difficult one this week. I still wouldn't bet on it against chasing a squirrel; his prey drive is just incredible. But we are working with him on doing attention exercises after he has seen a squirrel dart off, with some success, so these things do improve with repetition.

He's also just very cuddly; I am probably spending a not inconsiderable amount of my "up" time just cuddling him, because he'll take it as an opportunity for some scritching, and that's just not a bad thing to be spending time doing. He loves being brushed and even mooches for it sometimes, so I am brushing him regularly and it seems to be very good for his skin and hair; he actually may need brushing more than Jack and Moose did because of his allergies; his coat is nice and silky now with the regular attention, and it's so easy on him that it's not much harder than simply petting him; he is no work at all to groom and will even present different sides for grooming.

He sleeps through the night now! This is a huge relief. This may change next winter if we get mice in the house again, but we'll be better prepared for it if so. We ended up using a combination of confining him away from parts of the house where the mouse were under the floors, putting down cayenne to keep him from snorfling/scrabbling at the corners, and using an air filter as a white noise generator to mask the wee beasties. The other day, Brad saw a cat proudly trotting by with a mouse in its mouth and, while I should undoubtedly feel rather sorry for it, all I felt was relief that there was one less mouse to come hide in our house.



I apparently no longer bother to post wrapups, which were boring and I wasn't doing much of anything anyhow. I am having attacks of the sleeps again. Sleep doctor sent me to get my iron and ferretin checked, and referred me to a gastroenterologist. My BiPAP is now working very well, at least... no leaks and apnea events are now in normal range, and I am using it a lot because I can. But the continuing aerophagia is a concern.

My current obsessional ingredient is chia, which I was actually aware of before it became the latest "superfood" because it's a salvia with edible seed that can be harvested pretty easily by hand, so it cropped up during my interest in edible plants, though I never actually got my hands on any back then. Now it's easy to find, so I'm trying it out... especially after I tried a drink with it and thought it was very tasty and realized that I could pay a lot less if I hydrated it myself.

It can be eaten plain and is a mild and nutty-tasting small seed, a little like poppy seed only oval instead of round.

The cool or perhaps evil thing about chia, depending on your tastes, is that when you soak it, it gels up. This gel is slippery but not slimy or sticky, rather like a soft gelatine, and it comes off rather like very tiny boba in boba tea. People who like boba tea, or basil seeds (which I haven't tried yet but now want to), or jelly bits in their drinks, will probably really like it. Even people who don't might -- texturally it comes off more like pulpy orange juice than boba. And unlike boba it's not pure starch; I *like* tapioca, but it's hard to justify as a daily or near-daily food. A very fine treat, but a staple? I seem to do better on complex carbs. Chia was reputedly used as a pick-me-up food for messengers, and it is in fact filling, both because it has a good amount of fat, protein, and fiber, and because the gelling makes it more physically bulky. I do find it more satiating than the same calories of soda, juice, or even of milk. I like it well enough that it helps me drink enough water during the day; I tend to under-hydrate so I can get a kick start on drinking enough by mixing a tablespoon of chia into a pint jar of water with a little flavoring. So far I've tried cucumber, lemon juice, lemon juice and a little honey, a little balsamic vinegar, and gari in various drinks. I think it would be very nice in iced tea, too, reminiscent of boba tea. It is probably a healthier snack than many of the things I snack on, while being interesting enough and nice tasting enough to also count as a treat.

I've also been making simple puddings out of it. The puddings are a lot like small pearl tapioca pudding (though finer in texture) and are lovely in that they require very little prep: simply mix it up and let sit for at least ten minutes, though they get stiffer if left overnight, and will also benefit from a good stirring or shaking after the initial gel has been released to keep the chia from clumping. I've been using milk, dried fruit, nuts, and sometimes spices or cocoa in these, and mixing two to three tablespoons per cup of milk. (I'm still tweaking the ratios for stiffness.) These make a decently filling and very easy breakfast.

I believe that, like flax seed, you can use it as an egg substitute for vegan cooking, or to replace xanthan or locust bean gum in gluten-free baking. Unlike flax seed it doesn't spoil quickly, and it has a nicer texture, and it's digestible even if eaten whole, so there isn't all of the grinding.