She came to stay...

2017-04-29 16:02
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

It's just over two years since I wrote these three sentences, intended to be an entire one-off, for 3 weeks for Dreamwidth; and that turned into a world and nearly a million words, still going.

***

And in other business:

As someone who is not a grandparent, but is a retiree, I somewhat resent this suggestion that we are a 'reserve army' that can be despatched about the matter of revivifying villages and rural communities:

He would mobilise the “reserve army of grandads and grannies and retirees” and put them to work on “the cutting of grass, the repair of roads, the feeding of elderly residents, the maintenance of schools, the lopping of branches off dangerous trees”.

One of the by-products of having a fair number of years under one's belt is a tendency to sigh 'what, not another one?', when a book inspired by some famous case or person comes along: I had this sensation myself re a new novel about Lizzie Borden, and Kathryn Hughes rather wearily makes a similar point about latest work on the Victorian mesmerist Elliotson.

I think there is some middle ground between that feeling I sometimes have that 'surely everybody knows that already' about some subject with which I am overfamiliar but which is less well-known to the generality, and that thing I have whinged about before in which 'forgotten' actually means 'I hadn't heard of this/them before'.

tielan: (Default)
[personal profile] tielan
I wore the coat. Almost nobody noticed - there were about 300 people at the wedding, and the 'reception' was an afternoon tea with snacks. Plus, it was warm enough that I could take the coat off an hang it off my arm.

So we're good.

I gave them a quilt.

the summer meadow )

I also left them a note saying if they didn't like it, they were welcome to give it away to someone who did. I don't mind if people don't like the quilts I give them, but I should much rather the quilt be given away and used by someone than stuck in a closet because it's not to the recipient's tastes.

I'll probably keep sending them notes; I stopped writing to A about November last year. I didn't really know what to say or how to say it. But I'll write a few more letters this year - I have the notepaper and pens and inks and wax and seals - so that will be good. And maybe provide the opportunity for me to get to know N a bit better while keeping in contact with A.

Done

2017-04-29 13:03
ceb: (Default)
[personal profile] ceb posting in [community profile] qec
* trimmed honeysuckle
* helped H move
* picked up prescription for D
* oiled bike lock
* donated to the Russian LGBT Network (via All Out)
* donated to the ACLU
* washing

Worldcon
* emailed re spectroscopy display

BSFA
* prepped booklets for posting
glinda: fangirl and proud (fangirl)
[personal profile] glinda posting in [community profile] readingtogether
So, with the recent LJ exodus and the resulting flowering of activity over here on Dreamwidth, someone has decided to resurrect [community profile] three_weeks_for_dw to keep the momentum going. At the end of the last November Group Read there was a wee flutter of discussion about having more regular group reads - perhaps having one in May... So I was thinking we could jump on the bandwagon, have a wee round of attempting to read as many books that having been lurking on our shelves for ages, in the next 3 weeks and get some new members at the same time? (Maybe more people for the more traditional group reads that this comm was originally aimed at?) For extra fun/content we could even review the books we read for this in our own journals and tag them 'three weeks for dreamwidth' or 'three weeks'?

Anyone up for it?
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
the_comfortable_courtesan: image of a fan c. 1810 (Default)
[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

'Tis quite high time for me to convoke with Mr Q- concerning my affairs, and he comes call upon me one forenoon with a deal of documents.

Sure all goes exceeding well, I am very far from being brought to ruin. He also tells me that he is in some confidence that Chancery begin bestir about the matter of T-.

Why, says I, 'tis an agreeable thing to hear. I daresay Lady B- mention’d how prepossesst we were with the agent, should be entire happy to put any improvements into his hands, tho’ I have took a thought that Mr S- might go take a look at the place.

Why, says Mr Q-, do you have interest with Mr S- 'twould serve exceeding well. One hears he has quite brought round that fine Hampshire property that Admiral K- inherit’d, that had been a little neglect’d and not brought into the best modern ways of doing things.

'Tis so, says I. But, dear Mr Q-, I wisht ask your advice upon a matter – o, 'tis quite a little thing – but I am sure you would know how I might go about it.

He pats my hand and says he hopes that he will.

So, I open to him the matter of the livery stable and the prospect of its changing hands.

For, says I, at present 'tis exceeding well-manag’d, in good cleanly ways, 'tis a great consideration when one is on the same mews, for one does not desire stinks and flies - he nods – And furthermore, says I, altho’ the fellows that work there are somewhat boisterous in their habits, they are fine hard-working fellows and do not go behave undue coarse towards women – and having several young women in my household, 'tis a concern to me to protect 'em – and I do not hear that there is any hugger-mugger business goes on there – so indeed I find myself in some anxiety that 'twill be sold, and Mr Jupp, that has kept it so well these years, will be out of his place –

I see Mr Q- admiring my fine womanly sensibility over the matter.

Hmm, he says, steepling his fingers and looking at me over 'em. Sure one would need look at the books of the place, but I cannot suppose that a livery stable so very convenient to the Park does not make a very good thing out of it. 'Twould be a prudent investment, I confide.

He hmmms in silence for a little while and says, he dares say he may go discover whether the present owner purposes to sell as 'tis, and how much he expects to get for it. He may intend put it up for auction, but does he have a guarantee’d buyer, may conclude privately.

Why, says I, 'twould be an ideal thing.

He smiles and says he will put one on to the matter quite immediate, gathers up his papers, bows over my hand and says 'tis ever a pleasure to do business with Lady B-.

I have a pleasing consciousness of my affairs being in good hands and that I go about to resolve the problem of the livery stable and what may come to the Jupps.

I go up to the reception room, where my dear musickal friends have been rehearsing for my purpos’d soirée, and are now at a pleasing little nuncheon together. They greet me very effusive, remark upon how fine an occasion was Titus’s wedding, what an excellent young woman is Tibby and must be of the greatest advantage to him that she has such interest.

I say 'tis exceeding pleasing to see 'em unit’d at last for he has had a notion to her since first clappt eyes upon her when he join’d the household.

I can see that this is consider’d most extreme pretty and romantick.

I say to Herr H- that I hear that his sister, Frau P-, has bore a fine son?

Indeed, he says, is nam’d Wolfgang - but 'tis after some late comrade of Herr P-‘s, rather than Mozart.

And that Herr P- takes well to business and is greatly valu’d by Mr K-?

'Tis so, says Herr H- with the hint of a sigh.

Miss McK- snorts and says, what Franz does not say is that Herr P- starts showing very proud and desires rule over the household, thinks they should move to some place more befitting a fellow of his state –

Herr H- sighs and says, 'tis extreme distressing to Mutti, that has grown so fond of our little house. Also he goes treat her as if she were a housekeeper. And is not so kind to Gretchen as should be.

They all look at me, as tho’ I was some strega that might go wave a wand and turn Herr P- into a better husband and son-in-law.

La, says I, while may be better than lying on a sopha pretending to be at death’s door and eating up the household, for I confide he must be bringing in some tidy sum, 'tis sure not ideal conduct, and I will go think upon how one might bring him to some sense of better ways.

Herr H- looks embarrasst, and says he must be going, has a lesson to give, takes up his flute-case and musick-case, and departs.

What he does not say, says Mr G- D-, is that Herr P- thinks he should get a good steady position as a clerk, and doubts not that he has interest to procure him one. For he considers that Franz pursues a career that is both precarious and frivolous.

Fie, says I, he was keeping the family by his flute – well, and his sister’s going out giving German lessons &C – when Herr P- was doing naught but lye around being wait’d upon hand and foot.

Entirely so, says Miss L-. 'Tis not as tho’ he is playing on street-corners with a hat out for coins, is much in demand as a soloist, has a fine connexion for lessons, is a very sober hard-working fellow.

Well, says I, I will go think upon the matter. Sure 'twould have been better had Herr P- gone to the American wilderness and been scalpt by Indians, or perchance eat by bears.

They sigh, and start packing up their musick.

I sigh myself after they have depart’d, for altho’ 'twas entire proper that he marry’d Gretchen H- after beguiling her with his seductions, I could never suppose that he would of a sudden become an ideal husband.

But I must go dress to receive callers, for 'tis my afternoon when I may expect 'em.

When I at last confide that there will be no more, I desire Sophy to put me into my riding habit, and I will go take Jezzie a turn or two about the Park.

There is a deal of company about, for 'tis a fine sunny day even is there somewhat of a chill breeze. Comes trotting up to me the Freiherr von D-, that declares very fulsome that 'tis most delightfull to see Lady B- return’d to Town.

I say I see he still remains in Town and does not return to Bavaria. He laughs somewhat formal and says, why, there are very much worser places one may be sent in the service of one’s king, and sure 'tis a fine city here, tho’, he adds with a sigh, as I surely know, there are those come from Bavaria to reside here in order to plot sedition -

Why, says I with a smile, sure I apprehend that ‘tis so, even do I not store any of 'em in my own cellar.

He gives another bark of laughter, and continues, indeed he has no such suspicions, and the Graf von M- is said to still languish upon his estates very much out of favour (I should most greatly wish to hear what is come to Herr F-, but would not go interrogate direct on the matter).

He then goes on say somewhat of some ball that he and his compatriots go hold, and will send me a card, to which I respond with an amiable smile that I shall be entire delight’d, am I not already bidden elsewhere for the e’en.

(But meanwhile I confide I feel the stirrings of a contrivance.)

In the e’en I have been invit’d to a little supper party that the V-s go hold, at which I confide I shall see Jacob S-, that is in Town about various matters but that I have not yet had a chance to convoke with.

'Tis agreeable to be among this scientifick set, and there is a gentleman goes quiz me quite particular about Vesuvius. La, says I, I do not go bother volcanoes in hopes that they will return the favour and not bother me with some eruption, but a few years since when Lord R- and Mr MacD- came help me with the matter of my late husband’s collection of antiquities - 'tis now in the British Museum - Mr MacD- went climb Vesuvius as one may do – but o, I cry, I see Mr S- and I am exceeding anxious to hear how Mrs S- does.

So I go over and greet Jacob S- very hearty, and desire to know at once how Martha does, and does Deborah flourish? – and he smiles and says, dear Matty is exceeding well, considering, and indeed Deborah goes flourish.

We exchange some news of family and friends – the Admiral has writ most exceeding civil about this matter of his sister’s boy that desires a naval career, can offer him a berth - and then I give a little frown and say, you might know perchance whether there are any of Herr P-'s set from Munich – or am I mistook and was’t Nuremburg? – about Town at present?

Jacob says that tho’ he is not in that set himself, there are certain connexions, by way of family or common interests, and he confides that there are at present some several in exile in this land.

Only, says I, do they desire to go set up their ideal community in the American wilderness I apprehend that Reynaldo di S- does not go advance their purpose – I hear is consider’d a romantick revolutionary hero about Boston and is quite the lion that all desire see, and much admir’d by the young ladies of the place.

Jacob S- laughs and says, 'tis little surprize. But he dares say he may put the word about so that they do not raise their hopes too high.

And then Mrs V- comes solicit us to take a little supper.

miss_s_b: (Who: Pervy Brig Fancier)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
[community profile] fffc (Froday Fanfiction Challenge - named after Frodo Baggins, apparently, in case any of the rest of you have a slight discomfort over the name, like I momentarily did) are doing a fic challenege for May which is to write a single sentence fic. I can manage one sentence a day, right? And I used to fic loads. So maybe this is a softer way of getting back into it...

This is the prompt table I have chosen - there are 3 to choose from - and I'm going to do Brig/Benton because I'm a big ol' soppy.

never again forever and a day out of time everyday magic lost and found first job
rain breakfast school movie dancing weekend
opportunity inspiration photostudio colours friendship memories
feelings evening moonshine party future dreamer
dark adventure singing questions cats silence
hairyears: (Default)
[personal profile] hairyears
Here's an article from the Washington Post:

The GOP’s latest repeal effort just collapsed. The reason is simpler than you think.

Worrying, in many ways - it's a portrait of dysfunctionality and the neccesity of cognitive dissonance in Congress - but the good news is clear: Obamacare is here to stay  *

For all the bad news that we hear, there is this: reality can and does obtrude into 'post-truth politics' and I think that we should start to use the term 'pre-truth politics' from now on.






* I would welcome comments and additional links from readers in America: you are closer to the events, and better able to judge the veracity of your country's media.

(no subject)

2017-04-28 23:32
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Dear Not Prime Time Author,

I love all of these fandoms. Please don't take how much or how little I say as an indication of me caring more or less about a given one. I also don't tend to feel that there is one true interpretation of a given character, and I'm not given to OTPs. I'll try most pairings as long as they don't hit one of my DNWs.

I've mostly requested '& None' groupings

Past fic exchange letters can be found here: https://the-rck.dreamwidth.org/tag/dear+writer+letter

Likes and dislikes )

Chronicles of Narnia )

Phineas and Ferb )

The Pretender )

Rurouni Kenshin )

Sky High )

Weiss Kreuz )
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
[personal profile] feng_shui_house
Less than 500 words- it's not that I'm deliberately writing short (even tho the minimum is only 300 words) but once a story says all it needs to, it should end.

O eggs, never fight with stones

FMK: The Snow Queen

2017-04-28 20:28
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
So, it turns out The Snow Queen is not high fantasy and is a fairy tale AU. Oops.

About the only other things I knew going in was that I had really liked Vinge's Cat books (not actually books about cats, books about a dude named Cat, sorry), that she had at one point been married to Vernor Vinge, and that I was pretty sure that years ago I had heard a rumor that her husband was a total POS.

...turns out that I was unable to find anyone saying anything bad about Mr. Vinge, but her current husband is Mr. Banned-From-Wiscon himself, so apparently I have been thinking poorly of Mr. Vinge for years for no reason. Sorry, sir! See, this is why this stuff needs to be out in the open, not whispers.


Anyway, as for the book itself: it's well-written, I didn't hate any of the characters, the world-building and plot mostly hang together (at least until the very end, anyway), the concepts are interesting, there is no compelling reason I shouldn't have liked it, and yet I never quite managed to get into it. It isn't even that it's not my thing, because it *should* be my thing, and yet )

Anyway, short version: You could probably do a Snow Queen retelling that used the story in a way that worked for me (I should really get my hands on The Raven and the Reindeer) but this was not it; and I would totally read an entire novel about Ngenet and Jerusha (as long as Jerusha got to finally show a tiny bit of minimal competence which she never actually did in the book - a plot line about how she is unfairly treated as incompetent because she's a woman doesn't work if she never actually is competent); and I should have listened to my instincts and run when the summary on the back ended with "...the one man fated to love them both."

...interestingly I also read Makt Myrkranna today (having never read Dracula all the way through) which is also about a pretty, innocent young man who gets lured into the clutches of an ancient powerful beautiful cold devouring woman and her consort, and how his true love traveled across a continent to rescue him and save the world, but somehow I don't have any of the aforementioned complaints about it. A++ worldbuilding, dude does not let heterosexuality make his choices for him, lady makes reasonable choices based on the knowledge she has at the time and caring about him as a human being she is fond of who is in trouble.

I also read Pale Guardian, but I think that's actually the first Ashers book in which nobody ever has to rescue James, so it doesn't quite fit the set.

(eta: no, wait, Simon rescued him at least once in between Simon and Lydia repeatedly rescuing each other, nvm. On a motorbike.)

(I have been sick lying on the couch all day, which is why all the reading suddenly. Also I still have four more library books and two fmk waiting lalala.)

new raised bed

2017-04-28 19:33
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
Here is the start of my gardening blog. Let me know if the thumbnail previews are fine, or if you would prefer all pictures behind a cut.

So this spring I put in a new raised bed, which Neal built for me out of 2x4s. It's in the front yard, which has more sun and less exposure to dogs, but the dog deficiency means the feral cats my next-door neighbor feeds think it belongs to them.

I didn't dig up the grass, just put down a thick layer of cardboard,

set the box on top,

soaked the cardboard, to provide all the elements necessary to decomposition,

and filled it with compost.

The white tubes are the bases of a hoop cover. I have some smaller-diameter flexible pipe, bent into half-circles, whose ends go into the white pipes. Then I can put a big piece of UV-resistant polyethelene over the top, and have a mini-greenhouse.

Next step is to mulch. Usually, when you are choosing a mulch, the first consideration is "What do I have lots of?" and then you evaluate how well those things work as mulch:
- Does it shade the soil to suppress germination of weed seeds?
- Does it keep the soil cooler?
- Does it let water get to the soil?
- Does it slow down evaporation?
- How fast does it break down, and what does it add to the soil?
- Will it stay where I put it?
And so on. But for me, the second consideration is, "Will this make my lovely loose soil more or less attractive to the feral cats as a litter box?" So the first mulch I use is a few layers of brown paper that came as packaging material.

Here it is in the rain:

Right now it is covered with snow, but I don't have a picture of that.

More about mulching and planting next time.

wedding clothes question

2017-04-29 10:52
tielan: (AVG - maria2)
[personal profile] tielan
When my cousin T died, her widower asked her friends to come by and, if we weren't weirded out by it, to take any of her clothing that took our fancy before he sorted it out and gave it away to charity.

I wasn't weirded out - T was always beautifully put together, and for me wearing her clothing is a reminder of her style and her bright and bubbly personality - as well as her encouragement to me to push my limits in style. (I was pretty conservative in style until I hit about 30 and basically went IDGAF and wear more or less whatever I like.) So I took a couple of dresses that were not quite in my style, some jewellery, and a coat that was in a style that I particularly liked.

Today, T's widower is remarrying. A good woman, from what I can see, and trusting A's judgement of good character, and T was canvassing for a new wife for A as soon as she knew she was terminal. (I don't know if N was ever on T's radar, but they were friends at some point in the past.)

I guess what I'm wondering is whether it would be appropriate to wear "T's coat" to A and N's wedding today.

IDK.

Childhood Survey Meme

2017-04-28 16:49
penlessej: (Default)
[personal profile] penlessej
I just got home from sea for the week (back out next week Mon-Fri). I've got Fleetwood Mac on the record deck and a cold beer in my hand, so I am happy. I will post more about my adventures at sea tomorrow, for today you get this meme courtesy of [personal profile] viciousteeth.

Childhood Survey

What was your favorite tv show or cartoon?
When I grew up in Northern Ontario, Canada we only had two television channels. One was CBC (the state funded public broadcaster) and the second was MCTV (a small local station for pretty much all of Northern Ontario, yes *that* kind of local). Coming home from school The Simpson's was on, so I grew up on Homer and Bart. When I was younger, I enjoyed Bill Nye the Science Guy and as I got older a cool show for teens on CBC was one of my favourites called Street Sense (it was all about living on your own, growing up, sex issues, etc.).

What was your favorite song?
Tubthumbing by Chumbawamba.

What was your favorite toy?
My favourite toy was not actually mine, it belonged to my brother. We had a toy Andy and Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story and while I was older I had a guilty pleasure of really enjoying those toys. I thought it was cool how the company made the toys and they were the same from the movie. As I got older I had model ships that I used to enjoy playing in the pool with (morbidly I used to sink the Titanic all of the time). 

What was your favorite game?
Monopoly and still very much is.

What was your biggest fear?
Vampires. I used to have terrible dreams of them where I would wake up very scared and sweaty. These stopped in my teens.

What was your favorite fantasy or daydream?
Becoming an astronaut.

What was your favorite food?
Spagetti.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
An astronaut.

What was your favorite book?
10,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Charley and the Chocolate Factory.

What was your favorite movie?
Apollo 13 and Titanic (not for the love story, I was obsessed with the Titanic and loved the visual accuracy of the movie).


Who was your favorite author?
My first favourite author was Lemony Snicket, his books and use of the English language made my head spin in wonderful ways and it was the first time I was ever exposed to that sort of unleashed writing.

What smell instantly brings you back to your childhood?
The smell of the orange soap that my dad washed his hands with to clean the oil off when he came home. We use the same wash in the ship and instantly after someone uses it in the heads (washroom), I am brought back to home and him coming in the house and washing up before supper.

Who was your crush?
Her name was Jesse Overton. I also had a huge crush on my grade 6 health teacher.

What was your favorite subject in school?
English. I also really liked civics and history. This hasn't changed.

Who was your best friend?
Riley Brown, his parents were teachers at the school and he lived two blocks from it and we would go to his place for lunch. We were cool.

Who did you admire?
My garde 5 teacher Mr. Huchabies (we used to call him Mr. Hercules), I can still remember the day he taught about how the House of Commons work and how a bill becomes law. I trace all of my interest in history, civics and politics to this one day. I was fascinated by the idea of seats and a Speaker and the Queen. It was a pivotal moment in my life. He also used to give us sour blasters when we got answers right, which was awesome. But his breath was terrible (probably from eating too much candy now that I think about it).

What's the stupidest thing you can remember doing as a child?
My dad bought me a snow machine on my 12th birthday. That winter, my cousin and I were fooling around in a field with it and we set up a massive jump off of a hay bail. Thinking back now that was extremely dangerous and I could have really hurt myself (I remember flying off of the machine and landing hard on the ground, I could have broke my back or neck in the process).

What's the best summer break of your childhood?
My mother has kidney disease and was on a dialysis machine when I was a child (she has had a transplant now for over 14 years), so we never got to travel much as a family. Plus, we did not have a lot of money until my dad secured better employment while I was in my teens. One summer we went to Muskoka (just north of Toronto, Ontario) for a summer at a camp for people on dialysis. It was a cottage facility on the edge of a lake and it had a pool, games room with pool table, a shed full of canoes and kayaks. I had an amazing two weeks there that summer and met a girl too (we held hands in a boat one night and I was on cloud nine). I can almost remember every moment of that summer. I almost won a pool tournament that my dad put me in (I had never played before) and since then pool has become a bonding thing for me and my dad. Ironically, Meganne was one lake over (and knew of the place growing up) enjoying a similar summer at her family cottage.
miss_s_b: (Mood: Oh dear)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
This is because channel 4 are running a "How Autistic Are You?" test which is so cack-handed it would be laughable... if we didn't know that so-called experts are going to base things to do to us on it (why yes, Prof Baron-Cohen, I am thinking of you).

So just what is wrong with this test?
  • Before you even get to the test proper, it has several cock-ups on the demographics page.
    1. Under "sex" the options are "male", "female", "transgender" or "prefer not to say". Sex and gender are not the same thing and "transgender" is not a category any trans person of any gender would tick for their "sex".

    2. Level of Education is (oddly) ungranular. I know lots of people who did part of a degree but dropped out. There's no option for them.

    3. Scotland and Wales are not regions, they are nations.

    4. One thing all autistic people I know have in common is that inaccuracy really, really bothers us. If your test contains enough inaccuracies before you even get to the test proper that it's going to put most autistics off even starting it, you've got a problem.

  • Once you get into the actual questions there are further problems. Some examples:
    1. I would be able to taste the difference between apparently identical pieces of candy. - in what way are they apparently identical? Do they look the same? Are they different but in the same packaging? I need more specificity before I can answer this.

    2. "I would be able to tell the weight difference between two different coin sizes on the palm of my hand, if my eyes were closed." - I'd be able to feel the difference in size because the diameter of the coins would be different if they are different sized. But they might weigh the same if they are made of different metals; the question makes no sense.

    3. Part 2 is all about how good you are at telling how other people are feeling - I'm usually hypersensitive to this because I have taught myself how to do it. Long hard study of psychology texts. Pictorial studies of body language and facial expression. The questionnaire doesn't even consider if this is natural or a learned skill, though. I actually struggled to get past q 16 "I can tune into how someone else feels rapidly and intuitively" - quickly yes. Intuitively? Not in the slightest. But you can't pick "strongly agree" AND "strongly disagree" for the same question.

    4. "When I learn about a new category I like to go into detail to understand the small differences between different members of that category." - category OF WHAT? Again, this makes no sense whatsoever. Some things I am interested in; other things I am completely uninterested in. I don't know which of those this "category" is until you tell me more details.

    5. I usually concentrate more on the whole picture, rather than the small details. this is such a false binary. BOTH BOTH BOTH. Cthulthu, autism test designers, embrace the power of AND. Again, I really struggled to get past this question, and only did it to see what horrors lay beyond.

  • Hoo boy. And then we get to the results page. So, I scored autistic female on sensory perception, and autistic male on organisation (because YAY LETS GENDER EVERYTHING AND OFC THERE ARE ONLY TWO GENDERS). But because I am very good at the social skills it asks for (because I taught myself to be, remember), even better than most neurotypical people, it tells me I am neurotypical. In fact, beyond neurotypical. The typical neurotypical people are waaaaay to the right of me on the little chart. This is despite there being a growing body of research that shows many autistic adults, especially women, are hyper-empathetic.
Honestly, all of this could have easily been solved by having some actually autistic people involved in the test design. We're really, really good at nitpicking. It's one of our defining features. But, OfC, lots of autism experts see us as a problem to be solved, a disease to be cured, not a people with feelings and rights.

I'm not a problem.
I don't want to be cured.
I like being me.

All I ask for is to be treated as if I have the same intrinsic worth as my neurotypical fellows.
Is that really so much to ask?
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
The 5k obstacle course I signed up for is tomorrow.

So of course today I get sick.

I feel bad because I've already paid and I was planning to do it with my friend. But my body has very definitely done that "you've done Too Many Things so I'm going to make you sick enough that you stop!" thing that I recognize so well.

And I have done too much this week. But it's been worth it to keep Lib Dem stuff going, and it's been interesting. But man, even with 24 hours "off" between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday afternoon, it's taken a huge toll on me.

Not just in hours spent but being responsible and having to make decisions all the time is grinding me down. This is so the opposite of what I signed up for.

But things change, and things need doing, and done is better than perfect.

Done

2017-04-28 23:51
ceb: (Default)
[personal profile] ceb posting in [community profile] qec
* Eastercon
* BSFA awards
* snooker
* went to see Bring It On
* interview prep with X
* picked up pills
* ordered cutlery for I
* ordered present for [redacted]
* calendar faff
* posted parcel to V
* Bookatorium posts
* WGT reviews
* Leipzig faff, 2018 version (I kno rite?)

* emailed people about BSFA booklets

* lots of Worldcon stuff, assorted
* including actually sorting out the Design list
* and emailing people about shipping
* and recruiting a fan lounge organiser
* and lots of meetings at Eastercon

Currently reading: 2017

2017-04-28 23:44
ceb: (Default)
[personal profile] ceb posting in [community profile] bookatorium


And the Clarke shortlist is announced on 3rd May. Excitement!
ceb: (books)
[personal profile] ceb posting in [community profile] bookatorium
Nick Wood - Azanian Bridges
(BSFA shortlist)
ceb: (books)
[personal profile] ceb posting in [community profile] bookatorium
Tricia Sullivan - Occupy Me
(BSFA shortlist)

Nisi Shawl - Everfair

2017-04-28 23:40
ceb: (books)
[personal profile] ceb posting in [community profile] bookatorium
Nisi Shawl - Everfair
(Nebula shortlist)

Content Warning for slavery and (off-screen) mutilation in the Belgian Congo.
ceb: (books)
[personal profile] ceb posting in [community profile] bookatorium
Ada Palmer - Too Like the Lightning
(Hugo shortlist)

Cixin Liu - Death’s End

2017-04-28 23:37
ceb: (books)
[personal profile] ceb posting in [community profile] bookatorium
Cixin Liu - Death’s End
(Hugo shortlist)
ceb: (books)
[personal profile] ceb posting in [community profile] bookatorium
Yoon Ha Lee - Ninefox Gambit
(Hugo shortlist, Nebula shortlist)
ceb: (books)
[personal profile] ceb posting in [community profile] bookatorium
N K Jemisin - The Obelisk Gate
(Hugo shortlist, Nebula shortlist)
ceb: (books)
[personal profile] ceb posting in [community profile] bookatorium
Dave Hutchinson - Europe in Winter
(BSFA winner!)
ceb: (books)
[personal profile] ceb posting in [community profile] bookatorium
Becky Chambers - A Closed and Common Orbit
(Hugo shortlist, BSFA shortlist)
ceb: (books)
[personal profile] ceb posting in [community profile] bookatorium
Chris Beckett – Daughter of Eden
(BSFA shortlist)
ceb: (books)
[personal profile] ceb posting in [community profile] bookatorium
Mishell Baker - Borderline
(Nebula shortlist)
ceb: (books)
[personal profile] ceb posting in [community profile] bookatorium
Charlie Jane Anders - All the Birds in the Sky
(Hugo shortlist, Nebula shortlist)
tielan: (Default)
[personal profile] tielan
I always feel a little bad when a note from ff.net tells me that someone has subscribed/followed one of my stories. Particularly the ones from old fandoms - Merlin, Stargate Atlantis, Stargate SG1, and so forth.

I'm glad that you liked the story enough to want to see more, but...yeah, nope. Sorry. You'll be waiting a LONG time for that...

Mnemonics are handy

2017-04-28 17:29
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
[personal profile] feng_shui_house
I was out in the front yard when I saw a car parking in front of my house. I've become rather militant about confronting people and asking their intentions, parking-wise so they know I'm not a pushover. I went out and conducted my interrogation.

All very polite and friendly. The guy introduced himself as Arnold & we shook hands & I admired his upper arm tattoo (Polynesian appearing lady, surrounded by foliage & hibiscus blooms) & he said he was visiting someone across the street, which is fine, he's not making this his car's permanent home.

I usually can't remember people's names. But Arnold of the Arm Art! That I can remember.
oursin: Books stacked on shelves, piled up on floor, rocking chair in foreground (books)
[personal profile] oursin

How eBooks lost their shine: 'Kindles now look clunky and unhip'.

Which sounds to me a statement about 'at first it looked cool and cutting edge to have an e-reader, now everybody has one, meh'.

I.e. it's all about the lifestyle statements, which certainly seems to me to emerge like a miasma from all the to-do about books as lovely artefacts and saying something about the person:

#bookstagram, a celebration of the aesthetics of books, where books are the supermodels and where readers and non-readers can see cats and dogs reading books, books photographed in landscapes, books posed with croissants, sprays of flowers, homeware, gravestones and cups of coffee, colour-matched and colour-clashed with outfits, shoes, biscuits and in what can only be described as book fashion shoots. You just can’t do a shelfie with an e-reader.

No, but you can sit down and bloody read the thing, rather than poncing about making design statements.

We are in the same territory, I fear, as those interior designers who consider books as quirky objects and do not see shelves as things which should contain as many books as possible, fie upon your sea-shells and plants and framed photos taking up space.

Why mainstream publishers may be feeling the pinch on ebooks might possibly be because they price them like hardbacks rather than paperbacks. Okay, there are some authors whose latest work I would buy at that price, because I would buy them in hardback when they came out, and I am trying to reduce the number of books that come into the house.

(Stop laughing.)

And somebody please pass a) a sickbag and then b) a large codfish:

Once upon a time, people bought books because they liked reading. Now they buy books because they like books. “All these people are really thinking about how the books are – not just what’s in them, but what they’re like as objects,” says Jennifer Cownie, who runs the beautiful Bookifer website and the Cownifer Instagram, which match books to decorative papers, and who bought a Kindle but hated it. Summerhayes thinks that “people have books in their house as pieces of art”. One of her authors’ forthcoming works features cover art by someone who designs album covers for Elbow.

One is reminded of those arrivistes who bought tastefully bound volumes by the yard to fill up the shelves in the library in the stately mansion they had bought (or had built). NQOSD.

siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
[Content Advisory: Contains booze]

I just discovered, compliments of Groupon, the existence of the 1634 Meadery, up in Ipswich. How did I not know about this? Did you know about this? How long has this been there? Is this somebody I know? Has anybody tried any of their stock? Is it any good? Is it any good by Scadian standards?

This is less exciting to me now than it would have been 20 years ago, but, still, I'm amused and hopes it turns out to be a viable source. It would be nice to acquire a bottle when I felt like it, and without all the washing of glassware and standing over a hot stove and multi-month wait, so say nothing of the crying expense of honey these days. I wish them success.

In any event, Groupon has a deal on tours which includes a tasting.

ETA: And they have six varieties on the shelves of my preferred liquor store! I shall launch an expedition forthwith.

ETA2: Success! I scored a bottle of Pilgrim's Pride. Verdict: I've made better, but I've had worse. Not as Scadian-flavored as the tej they sell at Fasika, but definitely something I recognize as a proper mead and at 14.7% ABV it was clearly made in the Scadian way: as with drowning someone, you're not done until the bubbles stop coming up. This is no-saccaride-left-behind booze, and it kicks like a mule. $20 only gets you 500ml. The serving suggestions are either chilled or on ice, and I can see why. I, of course, tried it at room temperature, which at the time wa 76degF, and it has some unfortunate notes which are flashing me back to my undergrad meading days, a milder version of the tastes that caused me and my confederate to wonder if what we made was safe to drink*; those notes are probably suppressed when chilled.

* Okay, story time. My partner in crime and I got such a weird flavored result from our first batch of mead that we found ourselves wondering if we had actually managed to produce some variety of alcohol other than ethanol. Some of those are dangerous to drink, and we had no idea how any of them are made. So there we are in our dorm kitchen trying to figure out how to figure out what our little craft project consists of, chemically speaking. My collaborator is a chemistry major. I am, at this point in time, a materials science major, and say what is probably the most materials-sciency thing imaginable, something to the effect of, "If this were an metal alloy, we would be able to tell what was in it by the temperatures of its phase changes. You orgo types, do you have phase state diagrams for different alcohols vs H2O?" Now, presumably you can just go look that up off the internet; this was before the Web. She checked her textbooks, and didn't come up with anything. It being an engineering school, we then pretty much went door-to-door in the dorm asking if anybody had the reference data we needed; lots of people loaned us likely textbooks, and we pored over them, but no luck.

Now, as it happened, we were doing this on a Friday night, and, as it happened, the dorm was at that very moment holding a party on the ground floor. I don't know which one of us it was that got this bright idea: since we couldn't find the data we needed in references, we could derive it experimentally. We could take a sample of H20-C2H6O solution of known proportion – a Budweiser – and see what temperature it boiled at. My confederate had a candy thermometer. I went down to the party and grabbed a Bud.

(Note! I eventually realized that this wouldn't work, because we had two dependent variables, not one. My co-conspirator eventually realized that this wouldn't work because the candy thermometer was probably insufficiently precise to do the job. At least we only wasted a Bud.)

So there we are, in our dorm kitchen. The gallon apple cider jug which no longer holds cider and has the tell-tale U-shaped vapor lock sticking out of the cork in it is sitting on the kitchen table between my co-conspirator and I. The rest of the table is covered in textbooks all open to pages about the chemistry of ethyl alcohol. A saucepan of beer with a candy thermometer in it heats on the stove.

And the dorm Housemaster wanders in.

He's an affable gray-haired 70-something physicist, and I on no occasion before or after ever saw him on a floor of the building higher than the first. If you had told me he was no more able to climb stairs than a Dalek, I would have had no evidence to the contrary.

I am 19. My collaborator is 18. It's 1990. We freeze like two deer in a headlight.

"Are you girls studying on a Friday night? You should take a break. There's a party in the first floor lounge, you know."

And he wandered back out.

We never did figure out what was in our mead. An upperclasswoman who – perhaps crucially – was a biologist who liked to party hard, counseled us that if it didn't taste like something we wanted to drink, maybe we shouldn't be worrying so hard about whether it was something we could drink. Thus we resigned ourselves to the obvious and sadly fed it to the kitchen sink. Some weeks or months later, she actually found exactly the phase-state diagram we had needed and made me a photocopy; I may still have that piece of paper somewhere in my stuff.
ann_leckie: (AJ)
[personal profile] ann_leckie

So, I’ll start this out with a disclaimer: Adagio contacted me and offered to give me some tea for free if I would review it on Twitter. I am not one to turn down free tea, and I already buy tea from Adagio more or less regularly. And they’re the home of the Imperial Radch Tea Blends, so.

I had a gift certificate to work with, so I actually got three things–one that’s already a favorite, one that wasn’t the sort of thing I usually get but what the heck, and one that I threw in on impulse before I checked out.

I’m not much of a white tea fan. I mean, I don’t dislike it, but it’s usually been not my fave–usually it just tastes like faintly leafy hot water to me. But I got a sample of a white tea with my Manual Tea Maker No 1, and either that tea was particularly good and/or the gaiwan style brewing really brought some nice flavor out. So I’d been meaning to try another white tea in the Manual and see what I thought.

This is Adagio’s White Symphony. The flavor is very delicate–I found I got best results using a touch more than I would have for another kind of tea. I tried it just in an infuser for 3 minutes, and then I tried it in the Manual. It definitely stands up to multiple steeps, but it wasn’t noticeably more interesting in the Manual. This is also the first tea that I’ve found doesn’t do well with my tap water. I was unhappy with the first cup, which was the old “faintly leafy hot water” thing. Then I tried using filtered water and the results were much better. It tasted like a very delicate tea, instead of hot water pretending to be tea. Seems like my problem with white tea might be more about my tap water, and I’m looking forward to drinking more of this one.

This is the sort of thing you’d sip and think about how it tastes. It is not, IMO, a great choice for a hearty cuppa, or for waking up in the morning.

This is Adagio’s Fujian Baroque. It’s a reliable favorite of mine. It has a sort-of-maybe sweet, faintly almost-chocolatey flavor, with no astringency. If you find ordinary grocery store orange pekoe or black tea too bitter or astringent, you might want to give this a shot. This is one of a couple of black teas I try to keep around. (The other is PG tips, because sometimes you just want a strong milky hit of tea.) I personally wouldn’t put milk or sugar in this, but I do find that it’s a good first-thing-in-the-morning tea.

And the third tea!

This is Chestnut flavored tea. I was clicking around and saw some reviews for this. The idea struck me as somewhat improbable, and by and large I’m not that much into flavored teas, but the reviews were good, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong throwing a sample package into my order. It’s really nice! It has a sort of toasty, nutty flavor that complements the black tea really well. I will certainly add this into my regular rotation, because I like it a lot.

(Adagio has one or two improbably flavored teas–I ordered some Artichoke back when it was available and…it was odd. But I read the reviews–it had its fans. Also Cucumber White, which I used in one of my blends. That was interesting, and actually maybe I need to revisit it now that I’ve discovered that white tea is better with filtered water.)

Mirrored from Ann Leckie.

(no subject)

2017-04-28 13:00
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Four more PT appointments scheduled, two for next week and two for the week after. That makes two appointments for me, two appointments for Cordelia, and the election on Tuesday to deal with. I think that I'll wait to go vote until Scott gets home. There's unlikely to be a line at any point during the day. The only thing on our ballot is the sinking fund millage for the schools, and I'm inclined to think that functional plumbing and roofs that don't leak are important things for schools to have.

The week after next will have three appointments for me and one for Cordelia plus Cordelia's class trip to Cedar Point which will require getting up extra early. Two of my appointments that week are the same day and in the same building but at least two hours apart.

I ended up taking a cab home because I was too tired to deal with staying out any longer than I absolutely had to, not even to get myself lunch out.

And the troll has sent me six or seven new comments, still all on the same story. I haven't looked at all of them, but the ones I did were complaints about YMMV aspects of the story, specifically characterization. If those had come first, I might have assumed a genuine desire for conversation or at least no ill will.

If this goes on, these comments will contain more words than the story. It's also very clear when the troll has leisure time. The last two days, there haven't been comments before I left for my appointments but were when I got home. Two more arrived shortly after I got home today, so it seems to be a two or three hour window.

I'm kind of beyond the pointing and laughing stage. This is tedious.
musesfool: the middleman and wendy watson (let the loving come back to me)
[personal profile] musesfool
Today is our work Wine and Cheese party, but this year, we have to wear a name tag all day so people can learn who we are, and like Cordelia, I am not a name tag person. (me, I felt like saying, "you know who I am," but only because I've been here 8 years!) Ah well, for free wine, I guess it's okay.

And it's Friday, finally. Yesterday was fucking E N D L E S S. Why are the workdays so long and the weekends so short?

***

You know, I can't even be mad about that winning Ottawa goal last night. It was such a fluky goal and it was Karlsson and you know sometimes you just have to sigh about Swedes and accept it. I can be angry about the terrible inability of the Rangers to get out of their own zone, leading to the play where that kind of weird goal happens though. If Lundqvist gets out of these playoffs without murdering a member of his own team for lousy defense, he will deserve a medal. It didn't help that Anderson stood on his head, either. Ah well, tomorrow's another game. #LGR

***

Here are my answers to yesterday's meme, if you're interested:
= Homicide: Life on the Street
= Firefly
= X-Men Movieverse
= Star Wars
= Harry Potter
= Captain America
= Arrowverse
= The Middleman

That was fun!

***

Today's poem:

St. Deceiver in the Garden
by Jennifer Willoughby

As the women, we are sometimes
left to our own devices like sucking
up lint or writing haikus for famous
people until the bells call us back to
the circle of light. I don't know what
movie we're starring in today, the one
with fur-cloaked madman on campus
or the romantic comedy where the heroine
lives in a tree. The costumes are to die for—
chartreuse balloons with slits that split
to reveal an ancient version of our worst
hangover. We bang our erstwhile sexiness
like airport tambourines while craft services
ties two thousand starlings to the rafters:
they are playing the part of Nature and can
bathe in Perrier if they want. Periodically,
we take a break for raw carrots and chat
about past incarnations as Dancer at Xanadu
and Nurse on the Hospital Roof. The makeup
artist fixes our floribunda scars and says it
doesn't matter how much money you make,
the man you get is the man you hate.

***

(no subject)

2017-04-28 09:08
auguris: black and white photo of a keyboard and mug of hot coffee (working)
[personal profile] auguris
I followed up with my boss on the new guy: what the hell is going on with him, etc. She said he's just like that, some guys are like that, yadda yadda. Flat out said I don't ask, I tell, and I'm not going to change that. It hasn't been a problem with the rest of my crew and I'm not going to demean myself for some asshat who doesn't like women telling him what to do.

So yeah, I wasn't being paranoid, he has a problem with women and doing "women's work". Nice to have validation, I suppose.

Some Books I’ve Read

2017-04-28 11:06
ann_leckie: (AJ)
[personal profile] ann_leckie

So, there are a lot of books that strike me as interesting and I want to make time to read them, and also I get sent quite a few books by folks hoping I’ll read them in time to blurb them. Spoiler: I rarely am able to read things in time for the blurb deadline! But I still like to say something about books I’ve enjoyed reading. Here’s the latest batch!

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky

This won the Clarke last year! So I figured it’d be good.

It is good! I enjoyed this a lot. The last remnants of humanity find a terraformed planet! It was supposed to be seeded with primates who would be infected with a virus that would uplift them. There was an accident, though, and the primates never arrived. But the spiders were already there, so…

I enjoyed the onworld stuff from the spider POVs more than I did the stuff with humans on the ship. A lot of that was, I think, due to the constraints of setting and worldbuilding. I think I’d have some difficulty balancing those two settings, while also definitely wanting the inherent contrast they presented (heck, I’d probably want to set it up that way so there was that inherent contrast, to be honest, but the spiders were so cool that the ship humans were going to have to work awfully hard to compete). I highly recommend this book, even if you’ve got a thing about spiders. (Yes, actually, I am not a fan of spiders. I mean, I’m glad in the abstract that they exist, they eat bugs yay, the webs are pretty, biodiversity is good &c &c but on the level of the concrete and the specific, they have too many legs and are buggy and I would like them to stay far away from me please, thank you.)

Amatka by Karen Tidbeck

This isn’t out yet! You can read it starting June 27, and I recommend that you lay your hands on a copy. I managed to just miss the blurbing deadline on this, sadly, sorry!

This is a weird little book. Brilars’ Vanja Essre Two is assigned to visit the colony of Amatka to research what kinds of hygiene products they might want to buy. Nothing too weird about that, right? Except Vanja’s name, but it’s quickly clear that this is a setting in which it’s vitally important that everyone agree on what everything is and call it what it’s supposed to be called. Because otherwise…well, that’s where things start getting weird. I’d say more, but this is one of those books where the gradual unfolding of what’s going on is part of the effect and I don’t want to mess with that. It’s compelling and disturbing and totally worth reading.

Pilot Down Presumed Dead by Marjorie Phleger

All right, this is kind of cheating. This book was published in 1963, and I got it as a gift when I was 9 or 10 and I loved it. Read it multiple times. I mostly read SFF at that age, and was largely uninterested in non-SFF books, but this one was just super gripping. Basically, small plane pilot Steve Ferris gets caught in a storm and is forced to put down on a little uncharted island. Wrecks his plane and spends the rest of the book surviving, trying to get the occasional passing ship to notice him, and ultimately attempting to get back to the mainland under his own power. In retrospect, I think it shares a number of features with the SFnal books I was already reading–much if not all of the plot is problem-solving and/or bits of exploration and exposition.

A friend of mine is a Montessori teacher and a while ago we were talking about how she’s always looking for cool things to read to her Lower Elementary kids and I remembered PDPD and suggested that it might be just the sort of thing she was looking for. SPOILER turns out the kids are loving it.

I picked up a used copy–my original copy is long gone–and gave it a read. Took me maybe two hours. Its written very simply, but the descriptions are vivid enough that some of the images have stayed with me for forty years. If you know a ten year old (or thereabouts) who’s looking for a good, engaging read, this book is a good bet.

Mirrored from Ann Leckie.

Owen Cottage 1919 - 2017

2017-04-28 15:40
1ngi: (Default)
[personal profile] 1ngi
These Eyes Have Seen

Yesterday we laid my Grandfather, Owen Cottage, to rest in Birtin Cemetery, Outibridge following a service at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, Grenoside, Sheffield.  I loved him. He strived to be a good man all his life. I admired him for his many wonderful accomplishments and I was angry with him that he was so neglectful of my mother when she needed him most. He made the LDS church his family to the detriment of his own daughter. He endured the tragedy of nursing (and losing) his first wife, Mary, to cancer during my mum's teenage years. He was then widowed a further two times in precisiely the same way. First Ray - who spilt our family apart, and then Lottie who brought us all back together. He patted me on my head when I was tiny, tried to teach me as a teenager, argued with me as an young adult and in the last few years finally stopped lecturing me and clung to me whenever I was with him. I had a much closer relationship with him than I do my own father. I think a tiny part of me thought he would go on forever. The following is the eulogy I gave at the service:

Granddad's eulogy )

(no subject)

2017-04-28 08:52
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Yesterday was my last OT appointment, and it was shorter than my scheduled time because we'd covered everything on my list by forty minutes in. I got advice on a couple of things that are not currently problems but were big issues when my hands were at their worst. I thought I'd ask just in case they're ever issues again.

Blue Cab seems to be doing a better job of running the A-Ride than Yellow Cab ever did. Every pick up was within five minutes of the start of the scheduled time (they set a half an hour window), and the cabbies were all friendly. The policy has changed from the drivers having no obligation to help passengers reach the cab to them being required to provide assistance from door to door if it's needed. They're not allowed to go inside, but they're not dumping mobility impaired passengers in awkward places.

Today, I have what might be my last PT appointment but also might not. I rather suspect not. My current intention is to take a cab there and the bus back. I think that I'll take the inbound #23 and transfer to the outbound #22. The stop for the #22 is about 2/3 the distance from the house as the stop for the #23 and doesn't require climbing a steep hill to get home. It'll add about half an hour to my trip, but as long as things don't change, I think I can handle that.

I had anxiety issues yesterday afternoon and evening that I couldn't explain except that maybe I felt guilty for not managing to fit in all of my PT exercises. Some of those require lying on the floor, and I didn't want to do them within an hour or so after eating and really couldn't do them while the cleaning lady was here. I probably could have fit them in after she left and before dinner, but by then, I was having reflux issues that made lying down very unappealing. I did do most of the exercises that I could do sitting or standing, though.

I woke this morning with a headache, but food and caffeine seem to have gotten rid of it. I haven't done any of my PT yet because I want to have all of my energy for going out. I'm still very tired and kind of groggy. I don't think more food will help, and I don't have time to make more tea or coffee. I know there's a coffee kiosk somewhere in Taubman (or there used to be), but I don't want to do the walking required to see if I'm remembering correctly. Plus, there's no guarantee that more caffeine would do anything but make me need many visits to the bathroom which would be pretty inconvenient during an hour long PT appointment.

The GSA at Cordelia's school is doing a reading of I Am Jazz for the 4-8th grades today. It's a picture book, so the reading shouldn't take too long. They'll have a panel discussion afterwards. Cordelia's really looking forward to it. She'll be reading the book. I'm not sure if she'll be part of the panel or not. I don't know if any of the kids are out as trans, but with forty to eighty kids in each grade and nine grades, there's pretty sure to be a kid or three somewhere in the school who is trans even if they're not out. My guess is that the reason for having only 4th through 8th is a combination of space limitations and the attention span for the panel discussion and probably also that explanations that suit five year olds aren't going to work for thirteen year olds. That last probably could be dealt with by an experienced presenter, but this is all kids ages eleven to fourteen who've never done anything of the sort before.

*whistles*

2017-04-28 11:47
ceb: (spotty)
[personal profile] ceb
Just posted off my first Pay It Forward present (ref: http://ceb.dreamwidth.org/257205.html). [personal profile] venta look out!

gym membership

2017-04-28 13:33
mizkit: (Default)
[personal profile] mizkit

We found a gym we can get to on the bus, and in a moment of daring, got memberships.

The guy helping us was from Miami. He was fit and slim and gorgeous like he’s always been 190lbs. Says he was 240, 2 years ago.

(This commentary paused while Ted and I have an argument about how much the dude weighed. THE POINT IS HE LOST FIFTY POUNDS AND DOESN’T LOOK LIKE HE WAS EVER OVERWEIGHT.)

Anyway, the paperwork we filled out had a number of questions that Ted and I perhaps didn’t take quite seriously enough:

Gym form: what’s your current fitness level
Me (I actually wrote this): PPPFFFLLLBBBBTTT
Gym guy: lol, Irish trainers are gonna be like WTF?

Gym form: what have you been doing lately
Ted: eating my weight in Cheetos
Gym guy: not since moving here!
Ted: no, we found them here at–
Gym guy: DON’T TELL ME

A passionate discussion of love for ham-and-cheeto sandwiches ensued. :)

Anyway, the membership comes with a 1/w meeting with a PT for 6 weeks, and then bimonthly follow-ups, which is pretty cool. They also have (get this) a monthly social club and a bunch of other kinds of, like, actively community-building stuff, and warned us flat-out that if we start missing time at the gym they’ll call us up and be like “so, uh, what’s the deal, everything okay?”, which is awesome if true.

“You gonna start today?” asked our new Miami friend, who ended up in Ireland because he met a red-headed, blue-eyed Irish girl in Miami and followed her back to Ireland. They’ve been married 7 years and he’s lived here for 8. Also his sister moved to Anchorage a while ago and got married in Girdwood last summer and so he spent a week there and said he kept going on REALLY LONG runs without noticing it because he was gazing at the scenery and he’d be like “crap i’ve gone 10k already i better turn around” and he’s from a swamp but he never met mosquitoes like those ones before, jeez! :)

“No,” we said, “our son’s birthday party is tomorrow and then the buses don’t run so we’ll be on on the 2nd.”

“Great!” he said. “You can get it all out of your systems, eat cake and cheetohs, then come in and start new! Oooh. Except that’s right before Cinco de Mayo! Oh no! The tequila!”

“Nooo,” Ted said. “Oooh, nooo.”

We’re gonna bring him a little bag of Cheetohs for Cinco de Mayo, tho. :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

Reading notes

2017-04-28 11:33
wildeabandon: photo of me with wavy hair and gold lipstick (Default)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
Sophie's World, Jostein Gaarder
This was technically a re-read, but I'd forgotten virtually all the details. This is a history of western philosophy textbook in disguise as a novel, and does a pretty good job at both. There were occasional bits where I wasn't entirely convinced that the philosophy was being conveyed perfectly accurately, and it's quite likely that someone with a more in depth grounding would find more to disagree with, but as a high level overview, it certainly did the job of making me want to read more of the originals.

Xenogenesis trilogy (Dawn, Adulthood Rites, Imago) - Octavia Butler
I really enjoyed these - sociological science fiction set on and near a future Earth which has brought itself to the brink of destruction. The survivors are rescued by aliens, but as part of the rescue they are genetically modified to be infertile - descendants are only possible through interbreeding with the aliens, in an attempt to eradicate the human flaw of constantly seeking to build hierarchies and dominate. These novels are both great stories, and a powerful allegory for fear of racial integration.

Between the world and me - Ta Nahesi Coates
This is an autobiographical book written in the form of letters from the author to his son about the experience of growing up in a black body in America. His thoughts about the construction of whiteness as a means to enforce a hierarchy dovetail nicely with the ideas in the Butler trilogy. I found this fairly uncomfortable reading, as I expect I should have. It opened my eyes to some aspects of black experience that I'd been oblivious to before - in particular, the sense of all pervading fear, and the way that changes how you look at the world. Strongly recommended
miss_s_b: (Pratchett: Nanny Ogg)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Since today is Sir Pterry's 69th birthday, it seemed as good a day as any to remind you that Leeds Waterstone's (not as pretty as Bradford, but bigger and with more events) is starting a Terry Pratchett Reading Group. The first meeting is on Tuesday next week, and the first book to discuss will be The Carpet People. You have to sign up in advance to join in; I already have.

Maybe see a couple of you there?

Dodgy election graphs

2017-04-28 11:35
[personal profile] swaldman
It's a general election, so as usual we have a deluge of dodgy and misleading bar charts designed to persuade us to vote tactically in a direction that we might not otherwise. Buzzfeed has a nice roundup of some of this year's offenders, of which this one is sort of local (another part of Edinburgh):

Graph from the Scottish Conservatives, annotated to show how wrong it is

What I find interesting about this is that they go to lengths to demonstrate that the numbers themselves are correct (if not always relevant), citing sources for them and so forth. I assume this is because demonstrably false numbers would leave them open to charges of electoral fraud (am I right? Is this the reason?). So why doesn't the same apply to the graphs? Is there a technical reason, or is it more of a cultural feeling that pictures are less definite than numbers, or something? Anybody know?

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