rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
No, a literal one, not (just) metaphorical. I had to Google to be sure. Reality is getting way too on-the-nose lately.

Also: TPM: Trump Denies He Said ‘Israel’ When He Shared Israeli Intelligence With Russia

That's right: while in Israel, Buttercup spontaneously confirmed for the press that Israel was the source of the uber-classified intel he shared with the Russians without the Israelis' permission, but he thinks it's all fine because he didn't say the word "Israel" while in the room with the Russians (just, you know, now, on TV, in front of the entire world, in case the Russians had any remaining doubt about where the intel came from), so that's okay.
[personal profile] swaldman
David Davis has reportedly threatened to walk out of negotiations if the EU continues to demand a £100bn exit payment. Lots of people are banging on about this sum of money, on in various countries, for internal political purposes, and in all cases... ARRGH.

Leaving the EU is a long term choice. That payment is a one-off. Yes, it's a lot of money. If you believed the £350m/week claim, it's five and a half years' worth of membership. More realistically it's a bit under eight.  Ignoring other economic impacts of brexit, even with a £100bn payment, after a maximum of eight years we're better off. (no, this doesn't take account of inflation, NPV, etc.. I don't care.)

This is the STUPIDEST thing of all the possible things to be arguing about.

Bored Panda eats up Hours

2017-05-22 13:50
feng_shui_house: me at my computer (Default)
[personal profile] feng_shui_house
LINK BAIT! OMG, I have no resistance. So... after 3 hours wandering after intending to look at JUST one page I saw linked on my flist, here's a few of my favorites.

Feel good news about an incredibly lucky little seahorse.
http://www.boredpanda.com/girl-rescues-seahorse-cheeto/

Feel good news about a campaign to increase condom use in London by turning graffiti into funny public service messages.
http://www.boredpanda.com/man-paints-condoms-graffiti-penises/

Wow, this guy never wanted to learn Photoshop, so he took MS Paint to new limits, and then wrote and illustrated what sounds like a fun, quirky book, about a summer camp with monsters and a bunch of rebellious teenagers having a great time.

Lots of large pics from the book to admire.
http://www.boredpanda.com/microsoft-paint-ebook-illustrations-camp-redblood-pat-hines/
musesfool: diaz & santiago are skeptical, part 2 (how you like me now)
[personal profile] musesfool
I dreamt that I attended a wedding and Ian Holm, Ian McKellen, and Ewan McGregor were also guests, and the entire bridal party (...wedding party? can it be a bridal party if it's two dudes getting married?) was dressed as French sailors (i.e., navy and white striped shirts, high-waisted navy trousers, and berets!). Then LION from Steven Universe showed up. I still don't know who was getting married, though.

Then I woke up and emailed myself a completely unrelated story idea that is feasible but gosh autocorrect makes trying to read those written at 2 AM while half-blind emails difficult. Luckily, since the idea is basically "these characters bang for ~reasons" there wasn't much figuring out to do. *snerk*

This morning, I had one of those eye migraine things, which made me late for work since I didn't feature taking the stairs down into the subway with the vision in my right eye going all fractal, so I waited until it passed. I don't get them very often but they are freaky when I do. And for the first time, today's has left me with a headache. Or maybe it's the weather. Sigh. Monday being Monday, I guess.

***

American Gods: Git Gone
spoilers )

Brooklyn Nine Nine: Your Honor & The Slaughterhouse
spoilers are beloved by mothers )

At some point I'll catch up on other tv shows, but it didn't happen this weekend. Sigh.

In other tv news, [personal profile] skygiants is watching The Clone Wars, and has a fun recap of the first ten episodes here. If I'm stuck having feelings that aren't annoyance and dislike about Anakin Skywalker, I'm going to drag as many people down with me as I can. I am just saying. #i hate that i have ~feelings about darth vader now

***

Cambridge North

2017-05-22 16:53
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
We went to visit the new north cambridge station, and had a lovely trip to Ely. I hadn't realised we'd actually got to the opening so it was a pleasant surprise.

Overall, it looked really nice, clean, modern, a little artistic, if it works out practically I'd really enjoy using it.

In many ways well provided, like having a lift fairly central and not buried off somewhere, despite a few flaws.

There were some nice touches, like mains and usb charge points in the waiting room, although I did feel, if you're going to add any, why add only four, why not put them round the room? And why not put them next to a shelf?

I wasn't sure quite what trains I was hoping for, there aren't the ones Liv and ghoti had hoped would exist, and for now the connections seem annoyingly inconsistent, but any trains at all from North Cambridge is really nice. I think as I get used to having it available I will find it's really handy; ambling there on the bike puts a train trip in the "why not" category not the "sigh, I suppose so" category even if it doesn't save that much time overall.

My biggest worry was that it would instantly become as busy as the old station, taking a lot of the traffic from north cambridge, and making chesterton into more london commuter belt, and not be able to handle that traffic, but other people seem to think that wouldn't happen. Presumably there is *some* plan for expansion if necessary by people who know (there is still something to be built next to the station judging by the empty lot).

Blogiversary

2017-05-22 16:08
liv: Stylised sheep with blue, purple, pink horizontal stripes, and teacup brand, dreams of Dreamwidth (_support)
[personal profile] liv
I note in passing that it's 14 years to the day since I started this blog, 6 years on LJ and 8 years on DW. That's a lot of writing and a lot of conversations. I've made just over 2000 posts in 14 years, and I think the average length is only a little under a thousand words, so somewhere between 1.5 and 2 million words and that's not even counting comments. I was really not expecting either the site or my interest in blogging to last as long as 14 years, but I'm really glad you're all still here.

I still don't have a good way of making an offline archive of DW; the program LJArchive is timing out because, I think, my DW is just too huge, and it doesn't have a way of downloading one bit at a time. Does anyone have any recs?

It's also coming up to the end of my 7th year of working at Keele – I've finished teaching and only have exams to go through before this academic year is over. It's a pretty awesome job in lots of ways. Our senior people like to point out that there have been over a million consultations when patients have been treated by Keele-trained doctors in the ten year history of the medical school, and I've contributed to the education of quite a high proportion of those doctors.

And it's the 20th anniversary, give or take, of my leaving school. I have signed up to attend the reunion next month; I'm not entirely sure that was a good idea, but I am at least somewhat curious to see if I can pick up some gossip from anyone who isn't on Facebook. I don't think anyone is going to be surprised that I'm an academic, that's what everybody was predicting when I was going around convinced I was going into school teaching. But they might well be surprised that I'm married and poly.

Anyway, now I'm going to catch a train from the new exciting local to my house station.
melannen: Commander Valentine of Alpha Squad Seven, a red-haired female Nick Fury in space, smoking contemplatively (Default)
[personal profile] melannen
I keep trying to write up my response to Castle in the Air but basically I really liked it a lot and it was great, also there was a very angry kitten, and the things I want to talk about it end up being complicated structural/worldbuilding questions that go beyond just this book. So I think I will just do a short three things capsule and save the drafts for more pondering:

Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones )

Contrast this to the other YA series I finished in the last couple weeks, Laurence Yep's Dragon of the Lost Sea series, which has been my nemesis since I was about nine because the library had ONLY THE THIRD BOOK, which BEGAN AND ENDED AT CLIFFHANGERS, and twenty-five years later I had still only managed to find one of the others, plus Yep kept publishing books with "Dragon" in the title that were super-realistic stories about the Asian-American experience and I am sure they were great and all but they did not have actual DRAGONS in them so that was a terrible bait-and-switch, Mr. Yep. Anyway I finally went wait, I am a grown-up and a librarian now so I can just ILL them if I want.

Dragon of the Lost Sea by Laurence Yep )

I also read Captain Blood for FMK yesterday! It is another one that I really liked, and tbh I liked it too much to want to think about it in a critical way as opposed to a squee way. So here are three things for it too:

Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini )

Also despite 1922 Captain Blood was way better on both race and gender than the community theater production of Peter Pan I went to see a friend in yesterday, so, you know, that was a thing where they had elementary school kids wear feather headbands and say "ugh" lot, it definitely was.

Last weekend I also saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Dr. Strange, because I have the best friends.

Guardians of the Galaxy )

Dr. Strange )

Also I now really really need the story where Thor is fucking his way though all the Infinity Stone bearers. I may possibly even need to write it myself. ;_;


Let's see, what else have I been meaning to post about here? Oh! I did read Makt Myrkranna and Pale Guardian, did I post about them?

Makt Myrkranna, the early Icelandic Dracula translation, managed to be a better Dracula story than Dracula, I think. Vilma was great. Also possibly helped by the fact that Iceland has much more of a living tradition of revenants, maybe, so it felt more like it was part of a vampire tradition? IDK. Also I apparently now know enough Icelandic that I could immediately tell when the translation footnotes were screwed up and referenced to the wrong part of the text.

Pale Guardian was the new Ashers novel. 1) That continues to have the best vampire worldbuilding I have ever encountered, and she always follows it to the logical conclusion and makes it work, and she made it work on the front in WWI too; 2) The way James just accepts the fact that the London vampires basically treat him as one of their own at this point was really good character development? 3) He REALLY needs to catch up with the other two and realize he is in a poly triad not a poly V already.

...and that is probably enough.

Before I leave for Iceland on Sunday I still have both Becky Chambers books and two FMK to read and also to decide whether to actually read that Falco book I checked out right before I read the last one and she made it weird, or return it unread.

(no subject)

2017-05-22 10:33
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I'm glad we went to the viewing. We hadn't seen Mary and her husband (also named Scott) for quite a long time. Mary shared a house with Scott and his brother during college, and her husband moved into that house when my Scott moved out.

We spent most of our time talking to a third college friend, Jim, who also lived in that house and who is Mary's cousin. Jim's kind of responsible for me and Scott meeting in the first place. We mostly talked games. He's been playing that Pandemic version that can only be played once but that takes a couple dozen longish sessions to get through. He says it's a lot of fun and very difficult to master. He compared the monetary investment to buying a videogame that one only expects to play once or twice. He also commented that he's pretty sure that the reason his tabletop RPG group is stable is that none of them have kids. Which makes sense.

We picked up dinner at Plum Market on our way home. Scott got a salad and some mac 'n' cheese. We got some sushi for Cordelia and seem to have chosen well enough for her to eat it all. I got an assortment from the hot buffet. Most of it was just barely okay. There's one dish that I took a small amount of that turned out to be really, really good, but I was worried that it might have hidden dangers for me or even just have flavor I didn't like. If I'd been able to sample it first, I'd probably have taken just that and the steamed vegetables.

Scott is expecting to have to work late tonight, so he stopped at the center and cancelled Cordelia's PT appointment for this evening. The last time she was in, the therapist said that she might be ready to be discharged, so the hope is that we won't need to make up the appointment. I did mention that it was feasible for me to get her there and home again, but Scott wasn't keen on that.

I see my primary care doctor on Thursday. I need to make a list of things to talk to her about. I suspect that my difficulties sleeping will end up high on the list. Those are at least 50% scheduling (family obligations, medications, meals and reflux, Scott and Cordelia needing to be able to do things that are mildly noisy but enough to keep me awake) issues, but there's a good chunk that relates to the c-PAP and even more that relates to anxiety and to other physical issues.

Talking about sleep and schedules for my own benefit )

I just looked at the list of WIP that I used to follow on FFnet and discovered that I haven't checked on any of them in almost five years. I didn't realize it had been that long since I was reading fic regularly enough to keep going with that. I didn't have a FFnet account at that point, so I just kept an offline list with the url of the most recent chapter and the date of the last update. After two or three years of no updates, I'd gradually stop checking (unless the story was just that good...).
oursin: Photograph of a spiny sea urchin (Spiny sea urchin)
[personal profile] oursin

But, in lighter news, I have been spammed by another dodgy journal, which seems to think I am a woman physician and wants me to be on its editorial board. I do wonder what kind of a journal it is when it wants not only a CV but a photo from applicants...:

[L]ooking for prominent physicians in the field of Women's Health, to be a part of the editorial board to convey finest clinical resource and increase scope for best clinical understanding.

The journal is looking forward to peers with top academic aptitude whose judgment is highly regarded within the journals main discipline.

I think judgement will be highly regarded in ignoring such solicitations.

Ironing: done.

Online check-in: done (also I managed to improve my seat somewhat without actually paying and arm and a leg for the upgrade).

So, anyway, general status: wibbling.

(no subject)

2017-05-22 08:01
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is still struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and hasn't been cleared to return to work, thus can't earn money to cover basic living costs, let alone the bills they've received, including a recent rent increase. They are frequently running out of money for gas to even do odd jobs for pay. You can read more and help out here.

Help For Free:

[profile] florentinequill linked to The PRIDE Study, the first large-scale, long-term health study of people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or another sexual or gender minority. You can read more and sign up to participate here.

Housing:

[tumblr.com profile] darlingarmadillo's third roommate is moving out and she's seeking a new roommate for a three-bedroom condo, bedroom unfurnished, two cats, in-unit laundry, workout room, near the Howard stop in Chicago; $750/mo. You can read more and get in touch at her craigslist posting here.

News To Know:

[tumblr.com profile] zorilleerrant linked to the upcoming Static Shock Appreciation Week, to celebrate the television show Static Shock and the comics and other media the character appeared in. Appreciation week starts on May 29th, and you can share fanart, fanfic, meta, and other commentary on the character, including themed daily posts. You can read more and spread the word here.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
tielan: (AVG - maria)
[personal profile] tielan
So my time of unemployment comes to an end. 'Twas nice to lay in bed until all hours, to relax and mosey on through the day with little thought for what needs to be done tomorrow, to do quilting and gardening and cooking and writing...

Alas, all things must come to an end, and tomorrow I shall be trying the full commute in to the city - walk to the bus, then train, then walk there and the reverse to get home. It will be dark when I arrive home, and may very well be darkish when I leave in the morning.

--

I picked up a pinch-hit for [community profile] fandom5k with, oh, 10 days to write it.

title: rhythm of the rails
summary: Someone has to pick up the pieces.
tags: Post-Captain America: Civil War (Movie), On the Run

[archiveofourown.org profile] sunspot asked for Steve/Maria and I nearly signed up just for that, and then the request turned up on the PH list and I just decided I'd write for it. I wrote about 3000 words to the next chapter of the MCU fusion into SGA, but then chose to change direction and I'm happier with this one than I was with the SGA fusion! It's complete, but there's the possibility of more. (There's always the possibility of more.)

--

I've come to realise just how many WIPs I have lying around the place - of the cliffhangery kind. There are really quite a lot of them - and in all honesty they're actually only the merest fraction of stories that I have on my HD.

I've managed to drag Maria's section out for slightly complicated, but she sure didn't make it easy! And now I have to walk the delicate, edged line of Natasha's fear and possessiveness through a political and personal mire. *sigh*

But Bucky should be easy, right? RIGHT? *facepalm*
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

Wait, what, lib dems?

2017-05-22 10:52
[personal profile] swaldman
I just had a flyer through my door from the lib dems, vaguely pretending to be a regular newsletter as ever (though it only ever appears around election time). Under the heading "Voting Labour won't stop a hard Brexit" it says,

"The only party that will give the British people the chance to reject the deal eventually negotiated by the Tories is the Liberal Democrats".

Errrr. Surely, if the Tories are in power then the referendum that the LDs want won't happen? And if the LDs are in power, then the deal won't be negotiated by the Tories[1]? Either the person writing this leaflet hasn't thought it through, or it's an implicit announcement of a desire for another Tory/LD coalition.

[1] Except insomuch as the die is probably already largely cast from Tory behavior to date.

Destroyer

2017-05-22 09:38
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
Andrew wrote a book! Set during the second world war, it's a novel about Alan Turing, Aleister Crowley, Ian Fleming and Dennis Wheatley who combine math, magic and espionage in what ends up sounding like one of Wheatley's novels.

This sounds like the last kind of thing I would read normally, but I really enjoyed it! (And I'm not just saying that because sales will help pay our bills!)

(no subject)

2017-05-22 09:00
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
thelist )

A song to drive to. I don't drive, and we don't have a car, so driving only happens when we want to go somewhere difficult to catch a train to, which is not very many places. Anyway, it's a long trip with children, we play music to make the children happy. And the children's music that we like the best is Go! Go! Go! a band that plays between the programmes on Nickelodeon.

This is Blue Sunshine Day.

Single-issue parties

2017-05-22 07:39
[personal profile] swaldman
I've observed before that in England, the SNP tends to be seen and portrayed as a single-issue party that's entirely about independence. This is, of course, not remotely true (although possibly it was in the past, before the days of the Scottish Parliament?). In Scotland, in my limited experience, there has been a more nuanced understanding. But this general election campaign has turned weird up here.

In England, the Tories and Lib Dems are trying to make it a campaign entirely about Brexit, while Labour are suddenly deciding they ought to do something left-wing after failing to oppose the Tories for two years and are desperately trying to ignore Brexit. But for Scottish Labour and the Scottish Conservatives, all of this is forgotten. They have become single-issue parties here, and their single issue is "no #indyref2". They have made their entire campaign revolve around broadcasting how scary and nasty the SNP are and alledging that the SNP has only one policy and that it's independence, despite it being very clear in Scotland that this isn't the case. Possibly they're both having to do this under orders from London, with London understanding Scotland about as well as usual? There's not a mention of Brexit, except from the SNP - who are trying to make this election about everything other than #indyref2 at the moment. Sturgeon has a delicate tightrope to tread, given the significant number of people who voted Yes and Leave.

Or possibly I'm misreading things. The SNP certainly isn't popular in all quarters here (show me a party that's been in power for ten years that is), so perhaps a campaign of "we're not the SNP" is strategically sound. If cycnical and depressing as hell.

NB - I didn't see last night's Scottish leaders' debate, so this isn't a comment on that. Apparently it turned into a debate on devolved matters, and so was pretty much irrelevant to the current election...

Bingo for Tic-Tac-Woe

2017-05-21 18:56
feng_shui_house: animated bunnies yawning text OMG plot bunnies! (Plot Bunnies)
[personal profile] feng_shui_house
EDIT: Moderator suggested that if I was going for a Blackout, I should not claim the Column, so I could get a blackout banner instead. I'm only 3 mini-fic away, so I'll try for the blackout.

Theoretically, I could have achieved a column with 3 fic, BUT, naturally the prompts that cooperated were spaced all over the 3 by 3 board, so it was only with my 6th fic that I made a Bingo.

On the bright side, that means I'm 2/3 of the way to a Blackout. And I even have a vague idea of what I could do for the WildCard using one of the prompts I wasn't given.

Indiana Jones and the Cursed Skull A bit over 1,000 words, gen, crossover/fusion with Avengers.

It's absurd how much research I did for this little ficlette. :^)

Now I have to hunt up the rules for posting to the community...
calissa: A low angle photo of a book with a pair of glasses sitting on top. (Mt TBR)
[personal profile] calissa

Children of the Different, S.C. Flynn, Earl Grey Editing, books and tea, tea and books

Published: September 2016 by The Hive
Format reviewed: E-book (mobi)
Genres: Dystopian YA, speculative fiction
Source: Author
Available:Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Book Depository ~ Booktopia~ Kobo ~ Smashwords

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Nineteen years ago, a brain disease known as the Great Madness killed most of the world’s population. The survivors all had something different about their minds. Now, at the start of adolescence, their children enter a trance-like state known as the Changeland and emerge either with special mental powers or as cannibalistic Ferals.

In the great forest of South West Western Australia, thirteen-year-old Arika and her twin brother Narrah go through the Changeland. They encounter an enemy known as the Anteater who feeds on human life. He exists both in the Changeland and in the outside world, and he wants the twins dead.

After their Changings, the twins have powers that let them fight their enemy and face their destiny on a long journey to an abandoned American military base on the north-west coast of Australia–if they can reach it before time runs out.

Children of the Different is a post-apocalyptic fantasy novel set among the varied landscapes and wildlife of Western Australia.

I’m always keen for SFF set in Australian landscapes, so I had high hopes for Children of the Different. Unfortunately, I found it somewhat disappointing.

The surreal aspects of the story was one of the strengths of this book. It is set in both the real world and the Changeland, a kind of dreamscape. I enjoyed the diversity of the scenery within the Changeland, which ranges from desert, to caverns, to road tunnels.These scenes are mutable in the manner of dreams, changing with little warning. However, as with dreams, there’s always a sense of underlying rules and logic.

Each teenager who passes through the Changeland emerges with special abilities. I particularly enjoyed how these manifested in Arika. It struck me as a bit unusual and watching these transformations from her perspective was very effective. I also appreciated that the use of her abilities came at a price, though this was something that could have been given a bit more weight.

The story did become repetitive at times, retreading old ground as first one twin, then the other is captured by the various parties seeking them. Despite this mirroring, it seemed to me that Arika was often a more passive character than her brother. She is the first to be captured and prevented from rescuing her brother. She is unable to resist her captors in the way that Narrah does and must literally go with the flow. This seemed more or less a trend with all the female characters. who were generally outnumbered and (with the exception of Arika and Toura) don’t really seem to do much.

There was also other questionable representation. I was disappointed to discover the only explicitly Aboriginal character had a history of drug and alcohol abuse.

The romance elements were completely unnecessary and felt tacked on. Although this part of the plot had been foreshadowed to some degree, this foreshadowing lacked emotional engagement and was therefore ineffective.

Overall, Children of the Different had some interesting ideas but was ultimately let down in its execution.

Mirrored from Earl Grey Editing.

Culinary

2017-05-21 20:19
oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
[personal profile] oursin

Bread made during the week: a brown wheatgerm loaf that seems somehow a bit bland.

Saturday breakfast rolls: basic buttermilk, 50/50 strong white/white spelt flour.

Today's lunch: sea bass fillets marinated in whisky + avocado oil + tayberry vinegar + salt & pepper, and smoked over hickory chips; served with garlic roasted purple sprouting and tenderstem broccoli, oven fried sweet potato chips, seasoned with garam masala, and fine asparagus healthy-grilled in pumpkin seed oil and sprinkled with elderflower vinegar.

andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
I was reading the poor reviews of Alien: Covenant and thinking about Ridley Scott. And then ended up watching The Martian with Jane, as she hadn't seen it, and was reminded how great he is at his best. So I figured I'd go through his filmography and mark them up for enjoyment factor.

Blade Runner: Gorgeous. And the plot works. And it has some great moments. And nothing which made me furious. But it's a bit too cold for me. I don't love it, but I am glad I've seen it.(About four times now, in an attempt to like it more.) 6/10
Alien: Amazing realisation of a fictional future. Fantastic design. Lots of iconic moments. Hangs together really well as a film, and I'm glad I saw it at the cinema a couple of years ago. 8/10
Legend: Very silly. Doesn't quite work. But Tim Curry is really, really good in it, and it looks beautiful, and I can forgive it its weaknesses. 6/10
(Thelma and Louise I feel bad for not having seen. Sorry!)
Gladiator: I didn't buy into the hype, and it felt overly glossy. Nicely made, and a better movie of its type than we'd seen in a while. 6/10
Hannibal: I really wanted to like this. But he managed to make a film about a charismatic serial killer dull. I literally wondered _during_ the film how he managed to make it so dull. 3/10
Matchstick Men: A fun romp that I solidly enjoyed at the time. The characters are having so much fun I couldn't help but join them. 8/10
Kingdom of Heaven: A Ridley Scott movie I enjoyed _more_ than most people. It felt like it had been hacked up though, and I wasn't surprised there was a directors cut. Which I will someday see! 7/10
Prometheus: A film I despised more because it could have been amazing than anything else. But sadly it fills me with rage. 2/10 (4/10 if you include the fun I had reading meta about it later.)
The Martian: An incredibly well made film that was dramatic, and gorgeous, and funny. I wish there were more films like this. Slightly _too_ many thing go wrong for me, but it's nigh perfect. 9/10

Dogskull Etc

2017-05-21 14:26
tkingfisher: (Default)
[personal profile] tkingfisher

Lord, there's so many things I keep meaning to blog about and then I get distracted. And then I'm like "I must blog about this thing!" and remember that I didn't blog about the other thing and then it just becomes easier to go play Dragon Age for awhile.

But! Dogskull Patch is still mine!




After careful perusal of the house, it's best treated with a bulldozer, I think. Clearing out the junk--and there is so much junk--is just not feasible with my available manpower. Also some large animal has been inside. I choose to believe that it is a dog. Thinking about the alternative sources of the poop in the corner is a little more than I wish to deal with.

Also, the house has bees! There is a feral hive living in the wall (and maybe the attic) of honeybees! Which I think is actually REALLY REALLY COOL, since there aren't supposed to be very many wild hives in NC anymore owing to colony collapse. A Master Beekeeper and his apprentice are supposed to come out and investigate the possibilities of getting them out, since I flatly refuse to destroy a honeybee hive, even if it's holding up work.

This weekend we took out a lot of little weed trees. There's some hundred-year-old white oak that will be touched over my dead body, but some of the scruffy Carolina blackcherry (edible but unexciting) and the privet and five million loblolly and blackjack oak seedlings can come out. My buddy Krin went through the aerial photos going back to '79 and figured out that the back forty (or I guess back five, in this case) had been harvested at least once, which would explain why all the pines are growing like that.

I've been reading up on the local soil and poring over historical maps. This sort of thing is weirdly fun for me, but it's a bit late to switch careers to agronomy and also my agent would nail my head to her wall as a warning to other authors. There is a TINY patch of "silt loam" in this chunk of the county, and Dogskull Patch is literally sitting square on top of it. (And when I say "tiny" I mean "my neighbors have only a couple yards of it, and the back 40 is something else entirely.") When I was excavating some holes, I was very puzzled by the dirt--it was incredibly fine, almost like ash. It reminded me of porcelain clay. Apparently that is what "silt loam" is like.

(It's on the high point of a low hill. Not that you can really tell, in the middle of the woods, but a chunk of Dogskull is literally the highest point, by a couple feet, of the surrounding area. I'd guess that's why the silt is still there, and didn't get carried off by erosion.)

According to the county soil maps--and I had no idea that the geologic surveys ran so precise!--Dogskull Patch and environs is "prime farmland of state concern." I assume that means "If anyone cared about dirt the way that dirt should be cared about, they would beg to keep Dogskull as farmland, not vanish under tract housing." On the other hand, it was a tobacco farm, and tobacco farming is REALLY hard on soil. So at best guess--beautiful soil treated cruelly, now with a load of trees.

I must remind myself that it has taken care of itself for many years now, and that anything I can do to help is merely a bonus. I am not saving it, except perhaps from developers. I am merely improving small bits and making it more itself. Otherwise the monumental SIZE of the task and the sheer weight of responsibility would crush me flat. (My buddy Foxfeather advised me of this, and I am grateful. It was excellent advice.)

So, we took out some of the trees and dragged them over close to the property line to build a hugulkultur bed there. A large enough one will function as a berm and I can plant trees on the far side to help block the line. I'd like to put in a seriously gnarly hedgerow there, maybe with some Osage orange. Hedgerows are great habitat and the orange is one of the few more-or-less-native plants that will potentially keep out feral hogs.

But that's awhile in the future. Everything is in the future. Meanwhile, in other news I work on the next Hamster Princess, have no idea what to work on for my next T. Kingfisher (there's at least two novels and one novella that aren't too far off, but none of them have hit a tipping point in my brain) and am suffering the massive productivity loss that is afflicting most of the creative people I know in this political climate. Also my stepfather keeps having heart attacks and winding up in the hospital with increasingly dramatic pulmonary failings--"THREE aortic aneurysms! Two blocked arteries! How are you ALIVE, sir?" but is about as interested in human company as the aforementioned feral hog, so I am in the grim stage of waiting by the phone to hear that he has finally keeled over so that I can swing into action. This is horrifically stressful, but he's nearly eighty and has certainly earned the right to die alone while fly-fishing if he so chooses, and for all I know, could still outlive me.

(I am at that stage where I do not feel guilty about thinking such thoughts, nor am I feeling guilty about not feeling guilty, but, in somewhat meta fashion, am feeling vaguely guilty that I am not feeling guilty about not feeling guilty. "If I was really a good person, I would at least question that I am not at all guilty about this!" This is a complex emotional knot best severed with hard manual labor and tequila.)

I am writing this while sitting out in the garden. My beloved backyard garden is really shining this year. I am proud and grateful to it. It exudes peace, and for once I can actually appreciate that, instead of rampaging around trying to change bits. I think it's mostly done (ha ha) and while I have lots of things to tweak, stones to add, etc, the bones are all there and not likely to change tomorrow, so I can sit and relax in it and admire the beans and the iris and the potatoes in their grow bags.

Anyway. Life keeps keeping on.

Fic announcement

2017-05-21 14:32
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Title: The Shadows at Her Will
Fandom: Harry Potter
Rating: E
Length: 11,819 words (four chapters)
Pairings: Tom Riddle/Ginny Weasley, Harry Potter/Tom Riddle/Ginny Weasley
Characters: The above plus Charlie Weasley
Warnings/Tags: Noncon/rape, Dark Ginny Weasley, Femdom, Alternate Universe - Canon Divergence, Alternate Universe - Dark, BDSM
Notes: The story diverges during The Chamber of Secrets. The first two chapters are gen. The last two are not. There's a decade and a half time skip between. The Tom/Ginny is consensual and doesn't start until she's of age.
Summary: Tom was quite sure this wasn't how things had been supposed to work, but in the end, he wasn't unhappy about it.

The fic at AO3.



Title: Nothing False and Possible
Fandom: Chronicles of Amber
Rating: M
Length: 10,834 words in one chapter
Pairing: Luke/Merlin
Warnings: Dubious consent, Ambiguous/open ending, Merlin in female form via shapeshifting, Cousin incest, Light bondage, Discussion of forced pregnancy, Discussion of death and torture, Technically adultery
Notes: Part of the House of Sulfur and Mercury sequence but definitely stands alone.
Summary: Merlin searches for a way out of the cave where Luke has trapped him. Seducing Luke seems like a potentially viable option, but it keeps getting more and more complicated.

Fic at AO3.


Title: No Decisions to Master
Fandom: Chronicles of Amber
Rating: E
Length: 1,476 words
Pairing: Luke/Merlin
Warnings: Noncon, PWP, Toture, Psychological Torture, Non-consensual bondage
Notes: This is a side story for The Fruit of Our Intents and marks the low point for Luke in that. The low point went on a long time, but this is typical. Can be read without having read The Fruit of Your Intents and isn't necessary for reading and understanding that. Luke POV.
Summary: Merlin has fun with Luke. Luke doesn't enjoy it nearly so much.

Fic at AO3.



I've also added chapters to We Are Where We Began if anyone's following that. I'm at nine chapters for that now and have no idea when I'll find the end. There's a pregnancy (Merlin in female human form) and a child resulting from it. Just in case that's something you very much do or don't want to read.

(no subject)

2017-05-21 12:58
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I managed to get my laptop mostly charged last night, so I'm going to post while I can.

My recipient for the Fandom5K pinch hit never commented or gave any indication of having read the story. Now that the authors' names have been released, it looks like they must have defaulted because there isn't a Fandom5K work listed on their works page. I had been wondering because it looks as if they normally comment on gift fics. Of course, I had also wondered if I'd somehow stepped on an unstated DNW. I still don't know either way. The story hasn't been particularly popular anyway.

Cordelia is not going to the play that we expected her to go to. Her friend canceled. My suspicion is that her parents waited too long to get tickets and that the show sold out. I'm not sure what we're going to do with Cordelia this afternoon. I don't want to leave her alone for hours and hours (it's an hour to the funeral home, so that plus however long we stay plus getting home and probably plus us stopping somewhere for food or something). I'm going to see if she's willing to invite the friend she would have gone to the play with to come and visit.

I slept most of yesterday. Well, for certain values of slept. I'm not sure what else to call it. I woke relatively frequently and, each time, found I'd lost track of a significant chunk of an hour. I didn't really wake up until after dinner, and I'm not sure what did it then. I slept late this morning, too, and still kind of want to close my eyes and drowse. Maybe I should send Scott to Wendy's. A double with cheese usually wakes me up pretty thoroughly.

I'm eying another fic exchange but hesitating because the writing period overlaps entirely with NPT (and because I haven't managed to start my NPT story yet). I may just see if I can treat or offer a pinch hit. A story for the exact right prompt usually writes very fast.

I am way, way behind on answering comments. I may still get to some of them, but many are probably going to drop into the abyss of me having meant well. I apologize for that.

Cordelia's watching The Return of the King now. I'm not sure if she's actually enjoying it or if she's simply determined to finish. It's not the sort of thing she usually watches.

The mother who's trying to organize a party for the eighth grade class is frustrated because only fifteen families have responded. There are only forty kids in the class, so fifteen families is more than one third. That's actually pretty spectacular as such things go. I think she's hoping for more because some of what she wants to do is likely to be expensive. One of the places she's looking at is $100 an hour for a minimum of three hours. I favor the outdoor option-- Renting the shelter is $50 for the entire evening. But the outdoor option makes music more of a challenge (some shelters have electricity, and some don't), and she wants a photobooth. It's also likely to be hot by mid-June.

But $50 plus some for entertainment and food is doable for fifteen families. I don't think $300 plus is so much. I also think that food may be easier to deal with for the outdoor option. The indoor site has kitchen facilities, but it's not a huge space, and I don't think it would easily accommodate different families making their own food or a potluck buffet.

I like the idea of a party. These kids have been together for three years, and they're going to scatter to many different high schools. I don't think more than ten of them are going to any one school. I'm not even sure as many as ten are going to any one school.

Scott replaced one of our bedroom outlets yesterday. It had gotten dangerous, and it was one that we knew clearly how to cut power to. (What's on each circuit breaker is kind of random and really hasn't been thoroughly mapped.) I'd like to replace other old outlets in the bedroom, but those are harder to access than this one.

We had a power surge when the electricity came back on Friday that fried all of Scott's electrical lawn care equipment that was charging in the garage. He's not sure whether those are repairable or not or how much repairing them would cost relative to replacement. He specifically mentioned the leaf blower and the trimmer. I don't recall him saying anything about the mower.

I have no idea why the leaf blower would have been charging in May. We're not likely to want it until September or October.
sally_maria: books top and bottom, with text "I do not understand the concept of too many books." (Books - Too many?)
[personal profile] sally_maria
I've been reading a marvellous history book, "Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts" by Christopher de Hamel.

The author takes us on a tour of the libraries of the world to visit 12 of the most famous, beautiful and interesting medieval manuscripts. He describes the history, previous owners and adventures of the various volumes but also provides verbal descriptions as well as plenty of pictures, talking about the things that you can see only by looking at the original. He's obviously an expert, with a genuine love for his work that comes over - an enjoyable person to spend time with. It's a hefty volume, but I highly recommend it.

One thing I had no idea of was the connection with 1970s aftershave adverts - if you're as old as me, you'll probably remember this Old Spice ad. :-)



I knew the music was Carmina Burana, but I had no idea it was based on an early 13th century manuscript of the same name - a large collection of songs in Latin and German, that inspired Carl Orff, the composer of the music I knew... Unlike most of the manuscripts, which were copies of existing texts, this was almost certainly the original compilation of the songs, recorded from ones sung across southern Europe for over a century.

(no subject)

2017-05-21 08:42
skygiants: Jadzia Dax lounging expansively by a big space window (daxanova)
[personal profile] skygiants
Having temporarily taken a break from lengthy space operas about terrible wars within ongoing franchises after finishing DS9, [personal profile] innerbrat and I have now started watching through Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I'm going to try to stop to write up about every ten episodes for anyone who is interested in following along on this moderately lengthy journey.

For the record, going in, here is my knowledge of The Clone Wars as picked up via tumblr osmosis:
- there are clones
- Anakin has an apprentice named Ahsoka and we all love her
- Obi-Wan might have a romance with a planetary leader because that's just what Jedi do, apparently
- there is a Complicated and Tragic plot about Ahsoka's ruined relationship with the Jedi order that allows her to survive to appear in Star Wars: Rebels

That's it! That's all I know. Other than what happens in these first ten episodes of Season 1 )
musesfool: hardison/parker/eliot = ot3 (your desire for explosions and larceny)
[personal profile] musesfool
I said this on Tumblr last night, but that frequently feels like shouting into a void, so I'm going to say it here too, in the hopes that casting it out into the universe means it will shortly appear on the internets for my reading pleasure:

There should be a Leverage/Timeless crossover, where the Leverage crew gets hired to infiltrate Mason Industries ("Let's go steal a time machine!") and they have NO IDEA that the time machine is real, so they are in for QUITE A SHOCK when Parker accidentally sends herself and Lucy back to the Gold Rush or something. Of course, when they discover Rittenhouse it becomes "Let's go steal history!"

I feel like Eliot and Wyatt would have run into each other before (surely something very distinctive will be mentioned, or perhaps that's in regard to Flynn, whom Eliot would also know and dislike immensely), and Jiya and Rufus know Hardison from somewhere online (or maybe MIT?), while Lucy and Parker would just be super awkward when they got stuck in the past together. Parker might learn a few interesting if non-pertinent historical facts, and Lucy might learn how to crack a safe.

Someone who is not me should totally write that! :D :D :D

In other news, I meant to link to this the other day and forgot in all the househunt excitement: wonderful Kaz/Inej fanart by [twitter.com profile] mimiscribbles. His bare hand! Their linked fingers! Her knives! The twin "we're going to fuck you up" expressions! <333 #otp: we never stop fighting (Thanks to [personal profile] umadoshi for the link!)

***

Aaargh!!

2017-05-21 12:20
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] davidgillon

One of the things we did while I was up in Durham was set up lasting Power of Attorney for my sister WRT my mother, with me as reserve. The forms were much longer than we expected, about 42 pages of print-out in the end, which caused a problem as my sister's ancient inkjet laboured to get that printed, with the end result I had to make certain everything got signed in the the right place and the right order before breakfast on the morning I was catching the train down to Kent.

That's now come back to haunt us slightly as, while the financial one was fine, they're saying there was a missing signature on the medical one, which means that primary decision making will rest with the doctors rather than us if my mother is unable to make decisions. Now if we missed a signature I'm damned if I know where it was, I caught two that weren't covered in the notes on what to sign, but there's not a lot we can do to argue about it. So £84 down the drain.

Apparently if we move quickly (the next couple of days) we can get the problem resolved (for a bargain price of only £42), but my mother has slightly thrown the cat among the pigeons by declaring tht if it came down to it she wouldn't want resuscitation anyway, which is the most likely scenario for needing medical PoA rights (to object to an unwanted DNR), and my brother-in-law has pointed out that even without a medical PoA in place for his mother the doctors always ran everything past him anyway. 

So given that, and needing to respect my mother's expressed wishes, my sister wants me to figure out if there's actually any point in chasing after the medical PoA. Which would be easier if I hadn't had a sinus headache for the last three days. Can anyone think of a scenario where we might need medical Power of Attorney outside of objecting to a DNR?

davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] davidgillon

Well, actually about six months worth of reading, since the last of these appears to have been in early December.

I'm not certain what I ended up reading around Christmas, I may have a poke around and see if my Kindle will tell me, but the New Year started on a bit of a tangent. I used to be fairly current on modern naval stuff, partly as a spin-off from the job, partly from personal interest, but that had gradually drifted over into a focus on between-the-wars stuff. Until January, when for some reason I can't recall, possibly just a news report or something else that caught my eye, I took a look, realised how out of date I was, and decided to bring myself back up to speed. Mostly I've been doing it through online stuff, but I've also been buying and reading a lot of stuff for the Harpoon naval wargame rules (written by techno-thriller author Larry Bond), which works to sieve down a lot of information into a condensed form. So that's been one thing, and has probably consumed several hundred hours - realistically that's more than I wanted to spend on it, but I do tend to obsess, and obviously that ate into time where I might have been reading fiction.

Spinning off from that (or possiby vice-versa?) I re-read all of 'The Last War', an ongoing web-based alt-history based on the Berlin Wall not falling and a NATO-Warsaw Pact conflict in 2003. I used to read it regularly (it has its own Yahoo group), but hadn't followed it actively in years. It now stands at somewhere over a million words to date, and he's only a couple of weeks into the war.... Very detailed, in the style of Clancy's Red Storm Rising, and wryly amusing for his habit of using TV characters for a lot of roles - so, for instance, you have Dirty Harry Callaghan as head of LAPD running their response to KGB-initiated rioting, and David Woodward's Callan acting as control to a rather nasty assassin. It gets truly bizarre when you have different characters played by the same actor running into each other, as has happened on a couple of occasions.

In fact big re-reading projects pretty much sums up the year to date. Reading Charles Stross's 'The Annihilation Score' led me to re-read the entire set of Laundry Files books up to that point (I'm still behind as 'The Nightmare Stacks' has just dropped down to a price I'm prepared to pay). I thought I'd reviewed the Laundry Files, but I've just checked and apparently not, so I'll leave those for now and come back to them en masse. As a spin-off from reading the actual Laundry books I also bought and read the RPG based on them, plus several of the supplements.

After that I had a bit of a reading hiatus, so deliberately picked up something I knew would be a light read to get myself started again just before Easter. That was the first book in Mercedes Lackey's Collegium series, which is a new timeframe in her Herald books. That turned into seven books in five days, all five of the Collegium series, plus the first two of the three book Herald Spy series. I slowed down a bit for the last of them, then decided I might as well re-read the entire series as the collections were cheap on Amazon. So that's another three trilogies: Arrows of the Queen, The Mage Winds and The Mage Storms (which I thought I hadn't read, but had). Annoyingly I can't find my copy of 'By the Sword', which lies between Arrows and Winds, and is probably my favourite of them all. And annoyingly it doesn't seem to have an ecopy available. I'll probably go on to read the Owl Knight trilogy, and maybe the Griffins prequel trilogy, I'm fairly sure I haven't read either before, but, like the Laundry Files, I'll probably cover all of these in a separate post. I have lots of thoughts, some favourable, some very much not.

And the most recent thing I've re-read is Mary Gentle's 'Grunts', which was an utterly bizzare turn for the author who had just produced the gorgeously gothic 'Architecture of Desire' etc. 'Grunts' is the story of what happens when great orc Ashnak of the fighting Agaku, plus a few of his nestmates and a couple of amoral halflings, are sent to rob a dragon's horde of weapons during the run up to the final battle between Good and Evil. It turns out the dragon was a militaria collector, and his entire horde is weapons the like of which the orcs have never seen, an entire hollowed-out mountain stuffed full of AK-47s and M-16s (not to mention tanks and gunships and worse). The dragon's dying curse is that the thieves will become what they steal, and the stuff they steal includes a complete set of US Marine Corps manuals. In just a few pages the Orc Marines have staged a fighting retreat from the plains of faux-mageddon and are figuring out what to do with themselves. If they can just stop magicians spelling their weapons into not working then they have a weapon against which magic has no defences (yes, that's a bit chicken and egg). They're orcs, they don't mind being cannon-fodder, but they much prefer being cannon fodder that wins (and they've had more than enough working for Dark Lords). That sends Ashnak and a few of his best orcs off on a quest to get the required talismans, which brings them back into contact with the two halflings, and their mother; which sets up unending emnity between Ashnak and the sons, and a rather more complex relationship with their mother. And then a whole lot more stuff happens: war crimes, election campaigns, alien invasions, and war crimes trials, and if no one actually says 'peace through fire superiority' then it's a concept the Orc Marines would understand perfectly (well, apart from the peace bit).
 

I remember thinking 'Grunts' was wonderful when it first appeared, but re-reading it a quarter of a century on I can see its flaws (and realistically I suspect I've changed a lot in the past 25 years). Some of the humour now makes me wince. Yes, they're Orcs and “naterally wicious,” (to borrow a line from Dickens), but beyond the pratfalls and the humourous fraggings those really are war crimes (and rape humour) we're being asked to laugh at. And more fundamentally, there's something a little incoherent about the narrative. It's basically Ashnak shooting his way to running the planet, and it is reasonable that we get the final battle between Good and Evil out of the way quickly, as it's a story about winning the peace, but the major portion of the book seems to be more 'and then this happened' than any clearly plotted progression. There's some nicely handled character progression - an elf who turns into a perfect Orc marine while stuck in an Aliens scenario, for instance  - but there's also what looks like it should be a major character arc around an actual US Marine, only for it to be over in four randomly scattered scenes.

I still like it, and it was innovative when it was written, but it hasn't aged as well as it might and if things still make me smile, then it's more often a guilty smile than I'm comfortable with.

kotturinn: (Default)
[personal profile] kotturinn
Very flopped choisya
I suspect that the all-day rain on Wednesday softened the ground sufficiently for the top-heavy growth to overwhelm the roots. There's no breakage to the stems but it's definitely loose in the ground. It's done this once before, as can be seen to the right of the photo below
close up of choisya stems
but that time it had layered itself, so I was able to cut it right back and let the layering grow into the version that's just sat down. This is not the case this time.

I've had it in mind that it was reaching the end of its healthy life-span, the last couple of years it has definitely had more die-back, and that I needed to Do Something about it and about the snaggly mess that is the lilac (that was already rather a snaggly mess when I moved here back in 2001 and hasn't got any better with the years!) to its left. Then I've been turning my head away and going "la la la" as neither will be easy to deal with. You see, Do Something really means extract and replace, with some adjusting (that means widening) of the border so that they don't have to go so tight up against the fence and can grow up rather than, as is especially the case with the Choisya, diagonally. Dealing with the top growth shouldn't be too hard (famous last words?!), but getting even some of the roots out is going to be a different matter altogether (I suspect a degree of ouch-ness).

What will I replace them with? Now, you see, I like both Choisya and Lilac. So - yes you guessed. It's going to be more or less a like-for-like. I need to investigate a bit to see if I can get a lilac that will top out at a lower level than the current one as pruning tall shrubs doesn't get easier the older the critter gets.

So Plan A is deal with top growth of Choisya today, and possibly some roots. Stare slightly anxiously at lilac and deal with that on the installment plan over the next couple of weeks. Fortunately I think widening the border can be postponed until later this year (or even next) as their replacements should have a couple of years growth before they really need the wriggle room. I'd better get going hadn't I?

Gets me every time.

2017-05-21 10:39
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Dancing in the sand)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
thelist )

A song that makes you dance:

(no subject)

2017-05-21 10:38
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] lotesse and [personal profile] nilchance!

(no subject)

2017-05-21 01:01
staranise: A star anise floating in a cup of mint tea (Default)
[personal profile] staranise
I went and saw Beauty and the Beast tonight, and actually really liked the LeFou storyline? Score one for thoughtful, nuanced analysis over premature angry judgment by a high standard of moral rectitude.

Grrr! Again! Really?

2017-05-21 04:22
davidgillon: A pair of crutches, hanging from coat hooks, reflected in a mirror (Default)
[personal profile] davidgillon
Looks like I've got another blasted sinus infection - that makes at least 4 so far this year (plus several bugs which didn't hit my sinuses). Which is a bit worrying as my sister tends to get them near constantly through the winter and I'd prefer not to go the same way, thank you!

I initially thought it was just the weather had turned cold on Friday, but mid-afternoon I turned really feverish and ended up sleeping under the quilt on the couch from 4 through to 11 (on the plus side, 7 hours sleep is as much as I've had at one time in the last fortnight, so unexpected bonus).

I thought I'd kicked it when I woke up feeling okay, but it was just lulling me into a false sense of security and the sinus headache kicked in once I left the house. I had planned to get lunch over in Rochester, but the parking was abysmal. On the two streets I favour for giving me reasonable access to the high street in the chair there were probably five spaces, two thirds of one here, half of one there. Some of it was probably just circumstances, but at least one guy was deliberately taking up two spaces (parked outside the private school - sense of entitlement in action?) There probably wasn't any point in checking the actual pay car parks for spaces at that time of day (plus the traffic to them is regularly a nightmare), but I might have found somewhere a little further out, however I was feeling decidedly cranky by that point, so I gave up on lunch and went to grab some shopping from Asda.

On reflection I should have realised Asda was going to be irritating. It was mid-afternoon on Saturday and everyone was out doing their weekend shop. Plus the wheelchair shopping trolley isn't nearly as manouverable as the standard versions*, which means people are constantly in my way. But I couldn't help noticing that it was the same three people who kept getting in my way - especially a woman who was wandering around with a phone glued to her ear and paying no attention to anyone else whatsoever. This was not a good combination with cranky, headachey me.

I survived and got home again, and promptly fell asleep on the couch once more. I've been awake since midnight, playing XCom to occupy myself. I'm feeling (very) mildly headachey, and now I think of it I notice it there's a bit of tinnitus going on as well

Dear Sinus Bug, Bugger Off!!

* 4 casters means a standard trolley can move on the diagonal to move around people. The wheelchair trolley-wheelchair has six casters between chair and trolley, and two non-castering main wheels on the chair, which means you have to turn 4 times to get around people, pivoting the trolley about the chair, and with a full trolley that's quite hard work.



(no subject)

2017-05-20 17:28
the_rck: (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
I am currently without a way to charge my laptop over the weekend. During the week, I can use Cordelia's cord, but she's using it now and has been all day.

This time, Scott broke my power cord. It will be Tuesday or Wednesday before a replacement arrives.
musesfool: azula, angry (you wouldn't like me when i'm angry)
[personal profile] musesfool
I am so excited about buying this apartment that I have 1. willingly spoken on the phone for no necessary reason other than just to squee about it, and 2. reactivated my Pinterest account and spent several hours pinning potential furniture and other decorating things. I really dislike how Pinterest works (why is it so difficult to get to the original non-Pinterest link to see the thing in its original habitat, i.e., with a price and description etc.) - I feel about it the way many of you probably feel about Tumblr. Which isn't to say I don't also loathe Tumblr, because I do, but at least I know how it works. With Pinterest, I'm always like, what the fuck is happening here?

ANYWAY. I discovered that there is such a thing as the Azula Living Room Collection, and I may need to buy a couch and chair from it. PRECIOUS MURDER PRINCESS SOFA. <333

I also discovered ridiculously pricey writing desks and accent mirrors that don't even list a price so who even knows how expensive they are? Not that I wouldn't purchase them if I had unlimited funds! Needless to say, I found much cheaper but still snazzy versions of most things as well, so once I know this is actually happening (and when), I will be able to buy a new couch and, eventually, a dining set, among other things.

Even as I'm trying to manage expectations, I am excite!

***

Dear Cis People

2017-05-20 21:00
hollymath: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymath
I am never going to listen to you about whether something is transphobic.

There is no number of cis people saying "that's not transphobic" who will convince me.

Trans people are the best judge on what is harmful to them. And we as cis people are really not.

This point is also true for listening to white people on what's racist, or men on what's sexist, or monosexuals on what's biphobic...but today we're talking about transphobia because something got tweeted that a cis person said was skating too close to a slippery slope of transphobia and so of course the first thing that happened was a load of people I know to be cis mocked her and told her it definitely wasn't, why couldn't she take a joke (as if being a joke was proof it's not transphobic, because those are two circles that never overlap in a venn diagram, right?).

I have been assured by cis people that all kinds of things that hurt trans people are not transphobic. This is partly because most cis people don't know what transphobia is, but also because people in dominant social categories still think you have to be intending something in order for that thing to happen: if the reasons for doing something aren't transphobic, they think the thing cannot possibly be transphobic.

It doesn't work that way. Intention matters a lot less than impact, and since the impact of transphobia is (almost*) never on cis people, it doesn't matter how many of cis people laugh at you and tell you there is no way that thing is transphobic. We have no idea.

White people have no idea about racism. Men have no idea about sexism. Cis people tend to have no idea about transphobia. They don't have to, it's not as important to their survival, so they just don't.


* With a few exceptions like when cis butch-looking women get followed into ladies' rooms by cis men who think the women are trans.

a tumblr grouch

2017-05-20 20:37
kaberett: Photo of a cassowary with head tilted to one side (cassowary)
[personal profile] kaberett
is there a current way to get it to disgorge a list of all the tags you've ever used? I'm running searches but not managing to turn up anything relevant to the current site layout.

(no subject)

2017-05-20 09:29
subbes: Logo of the Democratic Socialists of America (democratic socialism)
[personal profile] subbes
CWA members are out on strike from AT&T this weekend because AT&T refuse to give workers a living wage (while the CEO made over $23 million in 2013).

Please don't shop at AT&T this weekend or cross the picket lines

Striking workers appreciate your support and help - to find a picket near you, check this site.

If you can't make it to a picket to support the workers, you can send a letter to the AT&T CEO from this page.
oursin: Painting by Carrington of performing seals in a circus balancing coloured balls (Performing seals)
[personal profile] oursin

Sometimes there are projects and commitments that occupy a significant part in one's life, but when they are over, one heaves a sigh of relief and goes off humming 'My chains fell off' to oneself.

In other cases, one thinks, what? what am I going to do now? even if, for the duration, one has been entirely aware of other things nibbling at the edge of one's consciousness that need doing.

Even if it's not entirely over.

(In fact, after I completed the first draft of The Biography, there were rounds of editing it down, followed by all the fun stuff of publication such as copy-edits, proofs, the marketing questionnaire, etc: but still, it was a significant moment.)

One wonders if Arnold Bennett ever had this feeling, or whether he just went banging on to the next thing, whether it was another novel, short stories, journalism, non-fiction, or his diaries.

(I remember seeing an adaptation of Anna of the Five Towns at the Vic c. 1970...)

***

And, I think, completely unrelated, Rome has a problem with wild boar; wolves mingle with surburban Germans; mountain lions frequent LA. All around the world, city life seems increasingly conducive to wildlife. (I was, wot no lionesses whelping in the Roman streets?)

copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Some saturdays, you’re just destined to cook. I got up to make breakfast and found myself, twenty minutes later, making patties from last night’s leftover risotto while the turkey meatballs cooked in the pressure cooker.

I don’t normally buy boxed mixes for rice or beans and now I remember why – at work this week someone left out a couple of boxes of risotto with a “free to good home” sign, so I took a box of chive and butter. It’s not bad, exactly, it’s just that the box mixes tend to have way too much seasoning in them, and I always forget not to stir in the whole packet. It’s not bad eating exactly, it’s just that the seasoning kind of overwhelms. But the box said you could take leftover risotto, form it into patties, eggwash and breadcrumb it, and pan-fry it, and the pan was still hot from making a few turkey burgers with the leftover meatball mix that didn’t fit in the pressure cooker, so I figured might as well. Having run out of beef, the rest of National Hamburger Month will involve risotto burgers and turkey burgers. 

Anyway, the macaroni’s cooking in the sauce I just cooked the meatballs in, so mac and meatballs are also on the menu, and later today I’ll make some hardboiled eggs. 

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Weekend Recs

2017-05-20 11:02
miss_s_b: Peter Falk as Columbo saying "just one more thing" (Fangirling: Columbo)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
If you're not a Lib Dem (or political activist of another stripe) then I have heard that weekends are a time for relaxing. I vaguely recall this being the case from before I got into politics... Anyway, it seemed to me that the weekend might be a good time for a recs post.
  • Book: Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. If you grew up in the 80s, this book is such a powerful kick up the memories. If you didn't it's probably less so; similarly, if you're less of a music geek than me, you might bounce off it. With those caveats in place, though, this is one of my favourite books of the last few years.

  • Film: They Live (1988 - John Carpenter). Laugh at the 80s guitar 'n' synth rock soundtrack. Giggle at the crazy conceit of it. Try to stamp down the growing paranoia that we are actually living in that world right now...

  • DW account: [personal profile] hollymath, whose posts are always thoughtful, often thought-provoking, and full of love and humanity.

  • DW comm: [community profile] weekly_food_challenge. Yeah, I know, it's one of mine. However! I feel like we passed a benchmark this week: someone I don't know posted a recipe, and it was good! It feels like a proper (albeit small) comm now, and not just me and some of my mates recipe-swapping.

  • Other website/blog/twitter/tumblr/RSS feed: Postcards from the Frontiers of Science (on DW as [syndicated profile] lewis_and_quark_feed). Utterly hilarious yet strangely compelling blog about the travails of teaching neural nets various things.

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