July 24th, 2017
ashtoreth: (lioness that snarls)
posted by [personal profile] ashtoreth at 10:11am on 24/07/2017
 What can I say about this year?

It's been moderately better than last year, but still with creative and energetic lulls that seem more depressing than normal.

And cruel.

I finally had ideas, motivation, and time when what did I discover... Photobucket is full of bullshit and fuckery, and wants to charge ransom prices to 3rd party host images. You know, I could go with $40 a year. $400, uh, no, not happening.

Fortunately, a beautiful friend has gifted me space at Pan Historia to get my account there back to normal. I'll be wrangling things there to my satisfaction and rippling down through the DW accounts.

So, please pardon the blood, dust, sweat, and tears. I'm redesigning while the boys in the lab work on combustible lemons.


posted by [syndicated profile] astoriareddit_feed at 01:42pm on 24/07/2017
the_gneech: (Default)
Harold of Acholt worries about his father, the Thane
Harold of Acholt worries about his father, the Thane

When you prep for the players to zig, they always zag. Continuing from part six...

We're finally caught up to the most recent game session! With game world firmly built out and chock-a-block with adventure hooks and sidequests, a firm campaign direction ("Escort Xerlo to the Eye of the All-Father"), and brain-eating enthusiasm infinitely better than the floundering avoidance I started with, I was excited for the characters to head into Rohan Hestelland. It was a four-day hike from Tyvalich to Hierandal, the capital of the realm, which was summarized in a paragraph because it mostly consisted of staring at grass for hours on end.

The first order of business on arriving in Hierandal was looking up Piotr Zymorven to ask him about his father's sword. They found him in a tavern... )

Well my dear readers, reskinned wyverns are still CR 6. A party of six 5th-level PCs and their CR 7 stone giant ally piledrived Svartjaw so fast that Lord Alden and his son didn't even get a chance to draw their swords. Lord Alden was quite upset by this apparent anticlimax to what he had expected to be an epic last hunt that would be sung of by the bards and so on... until Rina pointed out that the tracks they'd been following had a very distinctive tread missing three toes on one foot– and that the monster they had killed did not.

Svartjaw, it seemed, was not the only one of his kind.

Furthermore, examination of the bear revealed that like the displacer beasts in the previous session, Svartjaw was also wearing a collar with a token on it, in this case an emblem of Nerull the Reaper, a dark god of death and murder from eastern lands. There was still hunting to be done before dawn. The session ended with Lord Alden giving the order to mount up to continue the hunt, darkness and the forest be damned.

And with that, the campaign summary is up to date! The next session will begin with the PCs attempting to find Svartjaw's lair and confront the source of its evil. Will Lord Alden survive his last hunt? Time alone can tell.

-The Gneech
Mood:: 'nerdy' nerdy
location: Ginger Court

Posted by Mey

Jasika Nicole, Jazz Jennings, Laura Zak, Shadi Petoski, and Tyler Ford open up about the joy of working on Danger & Eggs and what it would have meant to them when they were younger.
posted by [syndicated profile] autostraddle_feed at 12:00pm on 24/07/2017
fox: cartoon drawing of oven with single bun in it (bun in the oven)
posted by [personal profile] fox at 09:40am on 24/07/2017 under ,
Yesterday the prince was eight months old.

He is crawling everywhere and transitioning easily from crawling to sitting and back again. He pulls himself up to standing effortlessly when he's holding our hands (we're not pulling him - just providing passive resistance) and is working on it using various furniture items, but he's never confident they won't move or his feet won't skid, assuming he can get his feet oriented properly in the first place (50/50). And our coffee table has a lower shelf thing that he can grab and pull himself up most of the way but he usually senses that he's about to bump his head on the top of the table so he stops. (Yesterday he did fetch himself a clunk up there, poor kid. And the night before last he was sitting up and reaching forward for something and before I could see what happened he'd pitched right over and bonked his forehead on the floor. Both of these happened when he was getting tired and probably therefore pretty uncoordinated. Still not so fun for him.)

He babbles constantly and it's probably frustrating to him that we mostly don't understand what he's saying. I think I recall from my college and grad school days that by this age he understands language pretty well and as far as he's concerned that's what he's producing, but to us it sounds like "da da da da da AAAAAA" and that could mean anything from "I love Daddy" to "how many times do I have to tell you there is poop in my pants," so - there's progress to be made. :-)

We have mostly (knock wood) conquered nap time. His naps at home are often no more than about half an hour, but he does at least seem to understand that nap time is a thing, so the epic struggle is mostly behind us. Only took four months. Whew.

No teeth yet. Every couple of weeks he has a medium-strength meltdown that we can't explain so it's hard to solve, but so far it's generally been either an ear infection or an overload from working on a new skill (sitting, crawling, etc.). One of these times it's going to be teething, but it hasn't been so far. Drooling buckets, though. Buckets.

He likes to give us hugs and kisses, but he accomplishes this by grabbing onto whatever he can reach and pulling us toward his open mouth. So I took out my earrings, as I may have said before, because he'll grab a whole ear but his little fingers occasionally got hooked in the hoops and nobody wants that kind of tugging. He grabs eyebrows, so you have to close your eyes fast or get a slobbery thumb right in the eye socket. He noms my chin or my cheekbone (or my knee) as though he were nursing. Or teething. He strokes my hair when he's resting his head on my shoulder, which is sweet, but he grabs it and sucks on it whether it's in a ponytail or not, and I've had almost no success convincing him mommy's hair is not a snack. I may end up cutting it soon after all. (I'm trying to do less "no, no" and more affirmative redirection. "We play with the toys, not with the floor coverings" when he pulls up the corner of the interlocking mat and puts the interlocking bits in his mouth - or when he puts the fringes of a rug in his mouth that has been on one floor or another for 20 years. "Gentle hands" rather than "No no ow." And so on.)

His favorite foods are bananas and applesauce, and he also enjoys pears, mangoes, sweet potatoes, peaches, and peas and tolerates carrots and cantaloupe. We've got prunes in reserve in the basement for when we need them, but he doesn't eat those regularly. (He likes them fine when he does eat them, though.) Next experiment is chickpeas, with which I made a very pasty baby starter hummus yesterday (no garlic, no tahini, just chickpeas and water and a tiny bit of olive oil); if he hates them we'll make hummus out of them for the grown-ups, but I'm optimistic that he will like them fine. And then next: more complex proteins! I've got my eye on chicken.

Once in a blue moon I am monumentally frustrated by this kid when e.g. he bites me while nursing or he keeps squealing and I can't work out what will make him knock it off or he (rarely anymore) wakes up crying at night and can't easily get back to sleep. But mostly he is marvelous. The way he turns toward us when he falls asleep in our arms and tucks his little face into our shoulders is - well, it's what I've always wanted. From time to time I look at him playing with his dad and I could burst into fragments from how happy I am that I have this husband whom I love and who loves me and this kid whom I adore and they are also so nuts about each other. The pair of them are simply the best things that have ever happened to me. I always hold him (the baby, I mean) for a couple of minutes after he's finished nursing at bedtime and just look at him, but sometimes I think I could hold him all night. (NB the times I have considered that I might have to hold him all night have not been wonderful times.) The way he loves us is - literally, according to the actual definition of the word - awesome. When I'm completely exhausted it's sometimes helpful to remind myself that more of the time I'm overwhelmed with joy.
weofodthignen: selfportrait with Rune the cat (Default)
posted by [personal profile] weofodthignen at 06:24am on 24/07/2017
Posting in haste from work - internet still not fixed. It continues hot, but it does cool down at night. On work days, when I sleep in the afternoon and evening, the dog sometimes stretches out on the floor in front of the fan rather than endure sharing the bed with me.
selenak: (Rachel by Naginis)
posted by [personal profile] selenak at 02:22pm on 24/07/2017 under ,
In which there's pay off for severa storylines, hooray! And flashbacks.

Who are you? )
location: Bad Wiessee
Mood:: 'excited' excited
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
posted by [personal profile] copperbadge at 07:48am on 24/07/2017 under
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Anon reminds us that the 2017-18 school year is coming, and [tumblr.com profile] positivelypt has a post up with links to wishlists for underserved classrooms. You can check out the list, give, and reblog here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.


Help For Free:

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] globalsextrendsproject, who are working on an independent research projected aimed at establishing whether there are global trends in stimuli for sexual arousal and the content of sexual fantasies. You can read more and reblog here or fill out the form here. I took a quick breeze through the form and it's primarily short-answer rather than multiple choice, once you get past the demographic stuff.


Activism:

[tumblr.com profile] stabulous has a post up about Welcome Blanket, a project initiated by the Smart Museum of Art in Chicago and anti-Trump craftivists. They are asking people to send handmade blankets to be exhibited at the Smart and afterwards distributed to refugees and immigrants arriving in the US. The hope is to create 3200 blankets to equal the length of the wall Trump wants to build across the US-Mexico border. You can read more at the link above, and find out how to participate at the official site, which includes activism resources whether you want to actually send in a blanket or not.


News To Know:

[personal profile] brainwane linked to Creative Commons, which is offering grants of up to USD$1000 for small projects ("Salons, campaigns, translations, e-books, printing, collaborations, and more") which grow the global commons. They want help increasing discovery, collaboration, and advocacy towards their mission. You can read more and apply for a grant here.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] dr-kara's new comic available on ComixOlogy, [Super]Natural Attraction! Kara is well-known to me as a groovy artist who does cool stuff so while I haven't read this yet I wholeheartedly recommend her work. She has a rebloggable post about it here and you can buy and read it 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.
posted by [syndicated profile] bruce_schneier_feed at 11:39am on 24/07/2017

Posted by Bruce Schneier

The US Army Research Agency is funding research into autonomous bot swarms. From the announcement:

The objective of this CRA is to perform enabling basic and applied research to extend the reach, situational awareness, and operational effectiveness of large heterogeneous teams of intelligent systems and Soldiers against dynamic threats in complex and contested environments and provide technical and operational superiority through fast, intelligent, resilient and collaborative behaviors. To achieve this, ARL is requesting proposals that address three key Research Areas (RAs):

RA1: Distributed Intelligence: Establish the theoretical foundations of multi-faceted distributed networked intelligent systems combining autonomous agents, sensors, tactical super-computing, knowledge bases in the tactical cloud, and human experts to acquire and apply knowledge to affect and inform decisions of the collective team.

RA2: Heterogeneous Group Control: Develop theory and algorithms for control of large autonomous teams with varying levels of heterogeneity and modularity across sensing, computing, platforms, and degree of autonomy.

RA3: Adaptive and Resilient Behaviors: Develop theory and experimental methods for heterogeneous teams to carry out tasks under the dynamic and varying conditions in the physical world.

Slashdot thread.

And while we're on the subject, this is an excellent report on AI and national security.

naath: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] naath at 01:29pm on 24/07/2017
16.One of your favourite classical songs

To stretch 'classical' rather a lot...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXFSK0ogeg4

oh fortuna, Orf
sovay: (Haruspex: Autumn War)
I do not think after all that I have read Nicholas Stuart Gray's The Apple-Stone (1965); I think I have just read a lot of E. Nesbit, Mary Norton, and Edward Eager, all of whom are obviously in the DNA of a novel about five children—the English narrator and his two sisters plus their Scottish cousins who are known collectively as "the Clans"—who find a strange, ancient, sentient power that brings magic into their lives for about a week and then moves on, leaving mostly memories and just a few things changed for good.

"One touch from me animates the inanimate," boasts the Apple-Stone, the "small, bright, golden ball, about the size of a marble" that assisted in the birth of the universe and gave rise to the myth of the Golden Apples of the Sun; the children find it on the highest bough in the orchard, like a Sappho fragment come to life, and they make enlightening, foolish, dangerous, and kind use of it over the next twelve chapters until it returns to the earth to sleep and restore its power and find another apple tree to bloom from, decades or centuries hence. Most of their adventures have a comic slant, as when they animate the decrepit hearthrug to settle a bet over what kind of animal it came from and never find out because they spend the day having confused their "Lambie" with an actual escaped leopard prowling the moors, or have to play detectives for a lost glove weeping bitterly over being separated from its beloved right hand ("I'm deeply attached to it. I love it"), or create an intelligent, talkative, opera-loving sheep about twice the size of a Great Dane for reasons that make sense at the time. Sometimes the comedy turns spooky, as when they accidentally animate a feather boa and get Quetzalcoatl, who not unreasonably expects a sacrifice for incarnating when called, or an episode with a formerly model rocket triggers an international incident and science fiction, or the narrator discovers an unexpected and unwanted affinity for night flight on a witch's broom. An interlude with an effigy of a Crusader constitutes the kind of history lesson that would fit right into Kipling's Puck of Pook's Hill (1906), as some of the children have their romantic illusions punctured and some come away with an interest in astrology and medicinal plants. And the two weirdest, most numinous chapters are the reason I can't be one hundred percent sure that I didn't read this book a long, long time ago: the life and death of the Bonfire Night guy that is partly the sad, passionate ghost of Guy Fawkes and partly a pyromaniac patchwork of the five children whose castoffs and imagination gave it form (as it explains in one of its more lucid moments, "Everyone is a mixture, you know, and I'm more so than most") and the introduction of new magic when the weeping gargoyle off a nearby church turns out to be the stone-trapped form of a medieval demon named "Little Tom," a wild, ragged, not quite human child in tricksterish and forlorn search of a witch to be familiar to. Both of them gave me the same half-echo as Eleanor Farjeon's The Silver Curlew (1953), again without any of the language coming back to me. I might run it by my mother to see if she remembers bringing it home when I was small. On the other hand, it might just be that I know [personal profile] ashlyme and [personal profile] nineweaving.

The Apple-Stone is the second book I've read by Gray and The Seventh Swan (1962) almost doesn't count, since I know I read it in elementary school and all I can remember is that it upset me more than the original fairy tale, which I suspect means I should re-read it. I like this one a lot, non-magical parts included. We learn early on that the parents of the English family are the puppeteers behind the popular TV show Ben and Bet Bun and absolutely none of their children think once of bringing the Buns or the Foxies to life because they find the whole thing desperately embarrassing. (The Clans' parents are rocket scientists and the narrator envies them deeply. "We're fond of our Mum and Dad, and hope they may grow out of it in time.") The children as a group are a believable, likeable mix of traits and alliances, differentiated well beyond obvious tags like Jo's academic crazes or Nigel's artistic talent or Douglas' belligerence or Jemima's imperiousness or Jeremy's daydreaming. They fight almost constantly with one another—the Clans especially, being composed of one Campbell and one Macdonald, are engaged in the kind of dramatic ongoing feud that is half performance art and half really blowing off steam—but close ranks immediately against outsiders, even supernatural ones:

"But I must tell you straight, gentles, that I can't do much of the true Black Art," said the gargoyle. "I'm not one of the great ones. I was never aught but a very little 'un. Horrid tricks I can manage," it added, boastfully, "like makin' folks squint, or muddling their minds, or twisting their tongues so that they stammers and stutters—"

"I c-can do that without your help!" snapped Nigel, going red.

"And I'm muddleheaded enough for everyone," I said, quickly.

"No, you're not!" said Jo, fiercely. "And Nigel only stutters when he's away from his home." Then she turned on the gargoyle. "You'll do no horrid tricks, do you hear? We're not sorcerers. We brought you here to help you."

The creature was still changing during all of this . . . Its hair was long and black, and tangled. Its ears were still pointed, though not as huge and batlike as before. It gave us a scornful grin, and said, "Many sorcerers don't care to admit to it."


If you have not read this novel, you can probably tell by now if you're going to like it. The Nesbit it reminds me of most is The Enchanted Castle (1907), but it feels like itself and it feels like its own time, which is equally important. I am actively sad that the near-fine UK first edition I saw at Readercon cost sticker shock—the library copy I just finished reading is the American first edition and the illustrations really didn't work for me. (I'm sorry, Charles Keeping! Your work for Alan Garner, Mollie Hunter, and Rosemary Sutcliff was great!) Maybe sometime I'll get lucky at the Strand. In any case, the text is what matters most and that I recommend. It is good at the strangeness of things that are not human and it never risks making even the cute ones twee. It's good at children's priorities and the ways that not being an adult doesn't mean not seeing the world. I didn't quote much of a descriptive passage, but I like its language. Anyone with other favorite novels by Nicholas Stuart Gray, please let me know.
Music:: Against Me!, "All This (And More)"
sueworld: Heart (Default)
posted by [personal profile] sueworld at 11:15am on 24/07/2017


Hits it's mark at every turn and gets the period vibe just right. Can't wait to see it. :D

Will be posting again properly soon. :)
kerravonsen: Crafty: a medly of beads (craft)
posted by [personal profile] kerravonsen at 07:39pm on 24/07/2017 under

Yes, YOU. Not the invisible person over your left shoulder.

Do you like subtlety, secret messages, and geekiness?

Read more... )

Do you like unique works which are impossible to replicate?

Read more... )

Do you like being able to interact with the artisan?

Read more... )

So have I convinced you yet?

conuly: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] conuly at 03:10am on 24/07/2017
New type of soft, growing robot created

On Teaching, but Not Loving, Jane Austen

The 19th-Century Lithuanians Who Smuggled Books to Save Their Language

When Young Chinese Ask, ‘What’s Your Sign?’ They Don’t Mean Dragon or Rat

How Checkers Was Solved

'Super Producer' Donates Gallons of Her Breast Milk to Feed Other People's Kids

Balls Out: The Weird Story of the Great Truck Nuts War

The Lonely Lives of Dolphin Lice

Lemon juice has long come in containers shaped like lemons.

When Girls Studied Planets and the Skies Had No Limits

A Search for the Flavor of a Beloved Childhood Medicine

North Dakota’s Norway Prison Experiment

What's It Really Like To Work In A Prison Goat Milk Farm? We Asked Inmates (The issue isn't the work, it's the pay. Pay them actual minimum wage. If you don't want them to use that money, require them to save most of it for when they are released. Even if you don't want to pay them, it seems obvious that not doing so drives down everybody else's wages.)

Cooling the tube – Engineering heat out of the Underground

The Kitten Rental Program is Saving Lives (It's all in the marketing ♥)

When New York City Rioted Over Hamlet Being Too British

Sean Spicer stole a mini-fridge from White House staffers (One can only hope they are now able to reclaim it.)

In South Sudan, a child soldier long thought dead comes back

Schumer, Gillibrand Co-Sponsor Senate Bill That Would Make Boycotting Israel A Felony (Oh, ffs. You can have a perfectly rational reason for criticizing specific policies taken by the Israeli government without hating or even disliking: Jews, Israelis, and/or the modern nation-state of Israel. And I voted for these people! Oh, uh... don't read the comments. Sheesh.)

Israel's struggle to integrate ultra-Orthodox and Arabs raises economic fears

Disabled and disdained: In rural America, some towns are divided between those who work and those who don’t

For Ethiopia’s Underemployed Youth, Life Can Center on a Leaf

How smugglers use trucks with sometimes deadly results

Protecting our children from climate change might take more than just cutting emissions
renay: Pink pony with brown hair and wings on a yellow background bucking hind legs in the air. (Default)
Welcome to the second half of 2017, which will go by in what feels like three weeks but will also feel like 19 years thanks to Political Shenanigans. Time is weird! Luckily, we have books to get us through it all.

I always enjoy looking at all the books I may read, even the ones that I'm going to have to make hard purchasing decisions about. Out of my anticipated books last time, I've read 10. For a lot of them I'm waiting for them to cycle out of the new collection and into general at the library so I can enjoy all the things I check out for a full, glorious month. I suspect I won't get to some of these until 2018 when my library buys all the late-year release books and cycles the others out of new. I love my library, but I wish the new book check out time was longer than two weeks. Two and a HALF weeks would help me. Alas, alas.

I have my eye on a ton of science fiction IN SPACE this time around. Some of these I suspect I'll buy if my finances work out so I can use them for my space opera challenge. Read more... )

What great-sounding books have I missed? What's everyone else looking forward to?
hollymath: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] hollymath at 08:16am on 24/07/2017 under
[personal profile] magister has just watched the new Doctor Who trailer next to me, and then I go look at my DW reading page and about three different people have shared it there too. Ha, I know good people here.

I was actually talking with James about this yesterday, I said I was mad it has Bill and this First Doctor-playing guy who's name I can't remember, and it has Capaldi, and maybe Missy? And this is great because I'd watch them all the time, but a shame because I feel like what's the point of the rengeration episode we just had, which didn't even have a regeneration in it? We could've had a lovely normal story instead of having to have two whole episodes full of doom about the Doctor dying.

It's been a generally pretty doomy season anyway, something I complained about all the way back in "Oxygen." Maybe I'm a big wuss (okay, I am a big wuss) but I do not want bleak right now. I don't want to watch people getting treated worse than they deserve or dealing with circumstances beyond their control. If I wanted that I could read the news or talk to a lot of my friends or indeed think about most of my goddam life.

I'm mad about what happened to Missy and Bill, and I hope though I'm not holding my breath that the Christmas episode will go some way to fixing that.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
posted by [personal profile] jhameia at 12:12am on 24/07/2017 under
I had such dreams today! That I would go to campus early in the morning, spin Pokestops and replenish my Pokeballs, and catch pokemon and take a long enough walk to hatch more eggs!

Except, I went to bed at like 3am, so this was not a thing that could happen. By the time I got to campus, it was 11am, and dissertating was derailed in favour of writing an application for an internship that I think will be fascinating as an opportunity. At some point a friend of mine came to campus to help me take down an Articuno. We found three other people to join us, but even then, we couldn't take it down. And my battery was dying, so I couldn't play the rest of the day. Fickle phone!

I left campus late, had a late lunch, and then slept for like three hours. Couldn't even bring myself to take my evening walk. It's a little past midnight now and I am going to restore proper sleeping habits and good sleep hygiene so I can function tomorrow.

I will swim tomorrow. I will also try to see the doctor, or at least make an appointment. And I will pay my rent and request a lease renewal.
yatima: (Default)
Bad Indians opens with a line so good I'm angry I didn't write it myself: "CALIFORNIA IS A STORY. California is many stories." Deborah Miranda is a member of the Ohlone-Costanoan Esselen Nation, and this angry, loving book takes a knife to all the lazy and superficial versions of the California story. Of the history unit all Californian fourth graders (including my own two daughters) are required to take, Miranda writes: "[T]he Mission Unit is all too often a lesson in imperialism, racism, and Manifest Destiny."

A nonlinear collage of prose, poetry, pictures, transcriptions of interviews and more, Bad Indians can be hard to follow, but the effort pays off when the events of Miranda's life take their place in a precisely drawn and nuanced historical context. "The original acts of colonization and violence broke the world, broke our hearts, broke the connection between soul and flesh. For many of us, this trauma happens again in each generation," she writes. And: "I love my father. I hate my father. He died alone, in a hospice facility."

This book is essential reading for anyone who cares about the indigenous peoples of California, their present and their possible futures. Strong content warning for descriptions physical and sexual abuse of children, among many other horrors.
niqaeli: cat with arizona flag in the background (Default)
cathrowan: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cathrowan at 11:27pm on 23/07/2017 under
Tonight at Daravara, 3 excellent singer-songwriters teamed up. Colleen Brown ("love songs"), Kimberly MacGregor ("hate songs"), and Amy Van Keeken ("weird zone") took turns at lead. This was concert five of five in their mini-tour and they'd had time to polish up the backup and harmony vocals. I'd heard Colleen Brown on CKUA, but this was the first time live. There is something about her alto that just hits a sweet spot for me. A fine evening.
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased
jamethiel: A tiger is sprawled flat-out (Pooped!Tiger)
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
posted by [personal profile] mdlbear at 10:12pm on 23/07/2017 under , ,

It's been a stressful week. The worst thing to happen, of course, was Jordin Kare's death on Wednesday. Friday we went down to Seattle both to check on the apartment, and to look for a kitten at Cat City. There were some wonderful ones, but they were all on hold. We went on a wild cat chase up to Lynnwood, only to find that the kitten we'd wanted to meet had been adopted while we were on the road.

The second pod was unloaded yesterday, mostly using hired muscle. It filled an appalling amount of space in the garage (I set up the plastic shelves down the center, and there are piles (mostly of book boxes) next to it. So there's that.) I had a bit of a meltdown this morning upacking mostly kitchen stuff, including the Peter Rabbit plate that I'd had as a kid, and realizing that we didn't have nearly enough room for even the reduced amount of stuff we brought, and concerned about money, and, and, and,... The usual stuff that happens when the brain weasels go out to play with the black dog.

We currently have two boxes of stuff to give away, one for my daughter who has just gotten engaged, and a largeish pile for G.

However, despite the stress, our first full week here has mostly been pretty good. Colleen's new caregiver, G", is working out quite well. (Glenn is G; our previous housekeeper, Giselle, was G'. This one is named Gina, so, ... After her I'm switching to subscripts.) Molly, our Chevy Bolt, is finally getting fully charged every day or two. (I am somewhat amused by the fact that she sends me a text when she's done charging. Molly is not amused by being mistaken for a wallboard anchor.)

Our beds are here, but we're waiting until after the new floor is in (Tuesday) to set them up, since moving them would involve taking them apart and setting them up again -- not worth it.

Our cats are at least not fighting; we're still keeping them separate until we can (hopefully) re-introduce them. We've bought a couple of Feliway pheromone diffusers - one for the main area of the house, and one for the room we plan to use for the re-introduction.

I have also replaced the ionization fire detector nearest the kitchen with a photoelectric one. Ionization detectors are sensitive to open flames, and we have a gas stove. Bad combination.

Notes & links, as usual )

Music:: live, this afternoon at the fair
Mood:: ok
location: Whidbey Island
sovay: (Lord Peter Wimsey: passion)
posted by [personal profile] sovay at 12:55am on 24/07/2017
I did not make it to the last day of Necon due to circumstances falling through, but fortunately [personal profile] handful_ofdust was flying back to Toronto from Boston, so I took the time-honored Sunday combination of very slow buses, trains, and shuttles out to Logan Airport and had a splendid time hanging out for two hours before her flight, even if I still miss being able to walk people to their gates and wave them off onto the plane. We had dinner and talked about everything from neurodiversity to Orson Krennic, Imperial Poseur; I came away richer by a binder of DVDs (through which [personal profile] spatch is happily poring as we speak: "We could watch Moana! You know you've also got Deathgasm? Ooh, Night of the Comet. Logan, that's good") and a Gemma-made necklace of amethyst, pearls, gold and amber glass beads, and a frosted-glass pendant that used to be an earring. Coming back, I foolishly thought it would be faster to cut over to the Orange Line at Downtown Crossing and that is how I spent forty-five minutes asleep in a sitting position on a bench at Sullivan Station because there were no buses and I was very tired. The air was cool and smelled like the sea. The cats came and curled up with me in the last of the sunlight when I got home. Worth it.
Music:: Against Me!, "ProVision L-3"
posted by [syndicated profile] xkcd_feed at 04:00am on 24/07/2017
dr_tectonic: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] dr_tectonic at 09:47pm on 23/07/2017
Committee Meetings
At the Inclusivity Board meeting Wednesday before last, I volunteered for the committee that is sorting out how we communicate with city council and other entities. This resulted in a committee meeting at one member's house last Wednesday, and another one this coming week, and in me spending a chunk of this weekend writing up what we decided, and I would have said "foolishly volunteered" because it's not like I'm swimming in spare time lately, but I felt like this is exactly the kind of thing I wanted to contribute to the Board, and that getting it right matters, so here we are. (The solution: organizing our communications around the scale of the issue, and identifying whether it's a board-level, individual-level, or committee-level issue. And then impedance-matching the incoming message. Everything else follows naturally.)

Thursday Food Trucks and Gaming
The HOA has arranged for food trucks to come hang out in the parking lot near the (other) swimming pool on alternate Thursdays evenings, so Thursday of last week Jerry and I wandered over there and got teriyaki on a stick for dinner. Kinda pricey, but very tasty. Afterwards we went to Floyd's for game night and played a couple boardgames. Can't remember what the first one was called, but it was sorta like a sword-and-sorcery-themed 7 Wonders with buying cards and choosing actions instead of drafting. I liked it, but I won, and that usually helps give a favorable impression... For the second one we finally got to play Kanagawa, the Japanese mural painting game. Also fun.

Triple-R Brunch
Sunday we went to a housewarming brunch at Ray & Ron & Rich's new place, which they've been in for a while now but which I hadn't yet seen. Got a house tour. Socialized with bears, including Joe B., who I normally only see through work. (We only talked shop a little.) I was good about not eating baked goods.

Spirit Island
Having worked a long day from home on Friday and spent Saturday doing lots of wedding prep (q.v.), after the brunch on Sunday I was out of cope for actually doing anything productive, so Jerry and I played a two-player game of Spirit Island, which finally came in the mail. (I kickstarted it ages ago, and it was much-delayed in getting here.) It's a cooperative anti-colonization game, and there is a lot of game there. It solves the alpha-player/quarterbacking problem with simultaneous play and giving each player enough to manage that there's no hope of keeping track of all of it. We weren't even playing the full game and I thought it was meaty and satisfying. I enjoyed it enough that on Monday night I went over to the Nevilles' and played it with them, too. It's got a stupid amount of replay value, and I'm looking forward to exploring it.

Work
The last couple weeks have been spent fighting fires, mostly in the form of provisioning data for other people's projects so that I'm not the bottleneck. Satisfying in the sense of providing good service (sometimes getting that lovely "OMG you are amazing" feedback, when it turns out I can do in 10 minutes what would take them a day or two to do), but a little unsatisfying because I haven't even touched my main project in ages. At least I had the sense to completely punt writing a 3-page short paper for a workshop in September rather than making myself crazy trying to get it done in a day and a half.

Wedding Prep
Preparation and planning progress proceeds apace. We're in good shape, but man are there a lot of things to do. We ordered rings today! My mom had the excellent suggestion of going to the jewelry counter at Wal-Mart to find out what our ring sizes are without pressure from commissioned salespeople. (Jerry went ahead and got an inexpensive silver ring to wear while practicing.) I got some new nice dress pants without cargo pockets. (Also new socks.) We went up to NCAR last weekend and figured out how various things would fit into the actual space. We have roughed out the ceremony itself and some of our vows. We got a portable bluetooth speaker that puts out a LOT of sound, and this week the little in-line amplifier that will hopefully let us plug a mic directly into it arrived, but of course, we have to get yet another plug adapter before we can test whether it actually works... (But if not, we'll just talk loud.) We've been spending lots of time on the choreographed thing, which is coming along nicely. Oh, and of course nagging reminding stragglers to RSVP. So many things done, and yet so many still left to do! I don't know how people who haven't already been together for at least a decade manage to get married.
ironymaiden: (washington)


good times.
sgamadison: (Default)
kevin_standlee: (Rolling Stone)
posted by [personal profile] kevin_standlee at 08:45pm on 23/07/2017 under ,
It's a good thing that I didn't need to go down to the Bay Area to work this coming week, because late last week we discovered that the right rear tire of the Rolling Stone was flat. On Friday we learned where the jack and lug wrench are hidden in the storage compartment. We could have used the tools Lisa has around the property (they're a little easier to use), but Lisa said (and I agreed) that it would be better if I learned how to do it myself on the road without support.

The jack is a screw type (not hydraulic), and you need to have some boards to put under it, because it doesn't really have enough lift to get the tire clear. My arms were very sore once we got it up to where we could remove the tire. The lug wrench was relatively easy, and I was able to break loose the eight lugs that hold the tire in place and get it off. I wrestled it into the back of the Astro and we took it to Big O Tires in Sparks where we bought the tire in the first place.

The immediate problem turned out to be a nail in the tire, which they fixed; however, they also told us that the wheel rim must have failed and it would not hold air. We took the wheel and unmounted tire back home with us, because with that diagnosis, we would need to buy a new wheel. When we got home, Lisa put some boards under the tire-less wheel and lowered it onto the boards, as pictured below.

Taking the strain )

Yesterday, Lisa examined the wheel rim and said that the diagnosis must be wrong, because the piece they said had failed isn't something that holds air anyway. It's a solid one-piece wheel, not the two-piece type used in some vehicles. We could have taken it back to Sparks tomorrow and asked them to remount it under the tire's warranty, but instead I took it Hanneman Service down the street and paid them $17 to remount it. This evening, we put the tire back on and we'll let it sit for a while and see if it holds air.

It's a good thing I don't have to drive it as often as I did when we first bought it. However, even so, we know that the vehicle (repairs and all) has more than paid for itself versus the cost of even cheap-by-Bay-Area standards hotels, when the fleabags in Fremont are charging $99/night and selling out. Nevertheless, even though I'm now officially 100% Work From Home, I have commitments (medical and dentist appointments, SFSFC and Worldcon meetings) that will take me to the Bay Area several times a year, so we'll need to keep the Rolling Stone in "warm storage" and run it periodically to keep it usable when needed.

If I do get a flat out on the road, I may well call AAA though. They have jacks in their trucks that are easier and faster to use. I'll only resort to the hand-crank jack in an emergency.
location: Fernley, Nevada
Mood:: 'tired' tired
dr_tectonic: (Simon & me)
posted by [personal profile] dr_tectonic at 09:20pm on 23/07/2017
Jerry and I saw Baby Driver this afternoon. It's good! And definitely one to see in the theater; not only are the visuals scoped for a big screen, the soundtrack matters a lot, so you want to see it in a venue with a good sound system.

Spoilers behind the cut )
musyc: Silver flute resting diagonally across sheet music (Default)
posted by [personal profile] musyc at 11:26pm on 23/07/2017
A fly buzzing somewhere nearby but not somewhere findable is An Abomination Unto Nuggan.
jerusha: (birthday)
posted by [personal profile] jerusha at 10:05pm on 23/07/2017
Happy birthday to three of my oldest friends: [personal profile] caliente_uk, [profile] frenchani, and [personal profile] zanthinegirl! I hope you all have a wonderful day and wish you an even better year to come!
morgandawn: (Art Noveau Blue)
Posted in full at: http://ift.tt/2uOLmCL on July 23, 2017 at 07:49PM

Tags:IFTTT, Fauxthentic History, DWCrosspost

Tumblr post (this is likely a reblog, and may have more pictures over there)
July 23rd, 2017
reccer: excited candy is excited (Default)
reccer: excited candy is excited (Default)
voidampersand: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] voidampersand at 04:05pm on 23/07/2017
Here are my thoughts on the Hugo ballot for Best Novel, 2016:

All the Birds in the Sky, by Charlie Jane Anders (Tor Books / Titan Books)

I love this book. It is not long, but there so much in it. It is a modern fable, pulling in tropes from all kinds of pop culture: fairy tales, comic books, movies and cartoons. At the same time it is seriously realistic. The world is going to hell in exactly the same ways that ours is, just a little bit faster. People are (mostly) sympathetic and mean well but they are imperfect and success is often beyond them, especially as the world's problems become even more daunting. The tone is wry but not cynical. Things seem to be heading towards a conflict between magic and super-science, but the different schools of magic don't see things the same way, and the different groups of scientists and technologists are often competing instead of cooperating. But it's still worth trying. And it's worth trusting other people even when there is no way you can imagine how or why you can.

A Closed and Common Orbit, by Becky Chambers (Hodder & Stoughton / Harper Voyager US)

I found out that it is a sequel to The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet so I read both. The worldbuilding is good, especially the aliens are truly diverse. It presents a vision of the future that is mostly positive. It reminds me of James White's classic SF. But the characters are just kind of what they are, and there are some structural issues. It's uneven. A Closed and Common Orbit is better written, and it has two really great characters with compelling stories. Along the way it raises some very interesting and subtle questions about morality (vs. legality), friendship, and personhood. In other words, don't underestimate this book, just because it's a fun read and it's nice.

Death’s End, by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu (Tor Books / Head of Zeus)

I really liked The Three Body Problem. I started reading The Dark Forest and bounced off the prose in the first chapter. It was so clunky. I picked it up again recently and was able to make headway. I plan to finish the trilogy presently. I didn't feel any urgency to finish it before voting because the first book in the trilogy already won (deservedly), and the third book would have to be amazingly good in order to justify awarding two Hugos to what is really a single work in three volumes.

Ninefox Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee (Solaris Books)

The common question about this book is if it is really science fiction or merely fantasy. I am squarely in the it's science fiction camp. Space opera as a genre requires faster than light travel in order to maintain its traditional plot pacing (which happens to be exactly the same as 19th century steamship stories, go figure). Faster than light travel is bogus science. So are force fields, blasters, phasers, anti-gravity, teleportation, and so on. Yoon Ha Lee invented a fresh and new form of bogus science to power his space opera. He gets to do that. Go him. I think it's a lot of fun. The space opera is set in a grim dystopian interstellar empire. Not fun. I've read some other reviews where readers were bummed out because it was so grim and the characters were so constrained by the system. I didn't read it that way. The system has a lot of cracks in it, including a really huge one that maybe we'll learn more about in the third book. Many of the main characters are wild cards. Unexpected things happen. Overall, I think it's one of the most innovative and interesting space operas in recent years.

The Obelisk Gate, by N. K. Jemisin (Orbit Books)

I think the The Obelisk Gate is good, but not at the same level as The Fifth Season. It reveals some things about the Earth that are very big, but we have to wait for the third book to see anything climactic (as opposed to climatic). The middle book is more about developing characters and moving the plot along. Unfortunately, the key character developments are sad, or creepy and unpleasant. At least the sad developments are very weird and leave at least a smidgen of hope. I am waiting for the third book and we'll see what happens.

Too Like the Lightning, by Ada Palmer (Tor Books)

Too Like the Lightning is a dazzling and enthralling debut novel that is also unreliable and contrarian, sometimes even infuriating. Or maybe it is just Mycroft Canner, most reliable of servants and most unreliable of narrators. On the plus side, it's a science fiction novel set on a near future Earth where nobody is hungry, there are no wars, and politics are based on the fundamental principles of the Enlightenment: rationality, order, justice, humanism, enterprise, and compassion. On the minus side, decisions seem to be made by a very small number of elite leaders who are very much in bed with each other (except the utopians are snubbed for some reason), and it seems about to fall apart. What seems like an ultimate love letter to the Enlightenment could turn out to also be a devastating critique of it. Enough has been revealed in the first book to make it clear that it does not stand alone.

Novels I nominated:

Everfair, by Nisi Shawl (Tor Books)

This is a book that needed to be written and I am glad that Nisi wrote it the way she did. The steampunk movement imagines an alternate past where the second industrial revolution was accelerated to extraordinary heights and at the same time somehow was shared in an egalitarian way without colonialism, racism or sexism. Which of the two imaginations is more unrealistic is hard to say. Nisi tackles both head-on by establishing a 19th century high-technology utopian settlement in the Belgian Congo. It works because the settlers are not just technically skilled, but also radical socialists, the kind of people who would really try to create a steampunk utopia, and to fight King Leopold II. (It helps on the super-technology side that the Congo has major sources of uranium.) What I really liked about this novel was how the native African characters were just as empowered and important as the settlers. Also, as one would hope with radicals, just about every possible unconventional relationship that could occur does, and the love and care in these relationships is a great strength.

Arabella of Mars, by David D. Levine (Tor Books)

A delightful, strongly feminist, alternate-cosmology planetary romance that riffs on Jane Austen, Patrick O'Brian, Jules Verne and Edgar Rice Burroughs. Featuring a plucky heroine, a dashing captain and his brilliant mechanical sidekick, and a motley crew of tuckerized SF writers and fans. What more could you ever ask for? Okay, maybe it starts a bit slow. But it really gets moving soon enough, and the ending is fantastic. Now that it's won the Andre Norton Award, it is officially certified as suitable for corrupting the minds of our youth. But there's no reason not to corrupt your own mind too, it's good for all ages.
sineala: (Avengers: Welcome to NY)
posted by [personal profile] sineala at 09:59pm on 23/07/2017 under ,
In fandom-related news, in case you are not breathlessly following the various SDCC announcements, Marvel Comics finally announced the last of the post-Secret Empire comics... a Cap comic. A Cap comic by Waid & Samnee!

I think a lot of people who don't generally read comics are mostly just thrilled that Steve won't be Hydra and that Nick Spencer is off the book. And I think people who do generally read comics are thrilled because it's Waid and Samnee. They had what were apparently good Daredevil and Black Widow runs recently (I've never read them) and Waid is currently on Avengers (which is decent but not spectacular) and Champions (which is mediocre)... but everyone really likes his Cap.

I have never read Waid's actual Cap run -- although I guess I could, because it's shorter than I thought (v1 #444-454 and v3 #1-23) -- but I have read the Cap/IM '98 Annual (as have all 616 Steve/Tony fans), Sentinel of Liberty (a fun miniseries), Cap #600 (the story about Tony buying Steve's ID card), the Avengers x.1 mini recently (Kooky Quartet! so much fun!), and of course the Man Out of Time mini that obviously everyone loves and that I think we have all decided to rec to everyone as a great place to start reading Steve & Tony comics. So, I mean, he's got a good grasp on Steve's character (and especially, I think, on classic Steve), so I am... optimistic. (I know, I know, we were all optimistic about Bendis taking over IM and now Tony's dead and his characterization has gone in weird MCU directions, but... I am somehow more optimistic? They're BRINGING THE HEADWINGS BACK.)

In MCU news, I am mostly just thrilled that my fave JANET VAN DYNE is going to be in the universe (even if I am eh about the casting and still sad she'll never be a founding Avenger now) and also that the Captain Marvel movie will be Carol fighting Skrulls in the '90s. (I like how fandom is already taking bets as to who has secretly been a Skrull.) I thought MCU didn't have Skrull rights but maybe that's just the Super-Skrull. Maybe it'll be the Kree/Skrull War? I guess we'll find out.

Fannishly related to the above comics news, now that it's officially open I guess I should mention that [personal profile] kiyaar started a Discord chat server for 616 Steve/Tony, membership 18+ only. There are a lot of dick emoji. And a weekly book club -- we're kicking things off with Man Out of Time in honor of the Cap announcement. More information (and the server link) is available here.

I owe a bunch of people comment replies/emails (sorry!), but I should probably just say that if you liked the story I posted yesterday, Caz drew some art for it and it is BEAUTIFUL. EEEEEEE.

(Now I just have to finish my Anniversary Zine story ASAP. *deep breaths*)
quirkytizzy: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] quirkytizzy at 08:42pm on 23/07/2017 under
The night ends in a private bliss. A hot bath, meds to let the hot water sink into every pore, and music as haunting and beautiful as what shivers down the darkest hallways of my soul.

It's exhilarating, cathartic - to have it just be you, the water rising, and alone as this apartment gets. (One closing door in the entire place - and that place is the bathroom.)

Jesse gets worried. He'll check on me, I assume to make sure I'm not painting the walls red with my blood or else have fallen asleep in the tub. (Though I do love to lay in the tub once the water has been drained, cooling off on the still warm but not concrete cold porcelain.)

Sometimes that's all I need to chase the demons away. Be alone, be in hot water that soothes like softly felt fire, and to hear what speaks to the sorrow.

I can sleep with some sort of peace now. And at the end of the day, that's truly all I want.
archangelbeth: Bleach's Captain Byakuya, three-quarters view. Captioned: sigh (Sigh)
posted by [personal profile] archangelbeth at 09:38pm on 23/07/2017
Here's hoping it'll make it to the car place tomorrow! (I turned the car on this evening -- after going nowhere all day yesterday -- and got a "grindgrindgrind." I paused, tried again. She started. The clock had reset to 1:00. Um. Mm-kay. I wasn't going far, so spouse could rescue us, and I hoped that it was just that I hadn't driven her all day yesterday. Went and got gas. She ground a little (didn't lose the clock) and started. Got dinner nearby. Re-started car and she groundgroundground a little less than the first startup, but more than the second, and lost the clock back to 1:00 again.

Pretty sure that's "battery does not hold charge; replace battery" indication. ...crap, I'm gonna hafta reset the radio buttons AGAIN. *headdesk*

Tomorrow is ALSO fun because of multiple doctor appointments -- spouse has one pretty far away, and I have one nearby, and there's going to have to be Dropping Car Off, and depending on how the weather is, I might wind up walking back home or something. -_-

Well, we'll see. (Might need a jumpstart tomorrow, depending on how bad the battery is being.)

Have sneaking suspicion I have the kid's -- and spouse's -- stomach bug now, which has Queasiness After Eating. Maybe I should take a ginger pill.

Havva Quote
GM: The woods are dark and creepy and...oh never mind, you all have low-light vision.
RANGER: We do?
GM: You have darkvision.
RANGER: Oh. Huh. Yeah!
--http://tkingfisher.dreamwidth.org/1488336.html


INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )
conuly: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] conuly at 09:09pm on 23/07/2017
I used to pick at my scabs until they bled, and then pick at them again once they healed up. I used to pick at peeling paint - I've mostly stopped that habit. But what I really like to do, really really, is get the peeling bark on trees that exfoliate like that. I've been known to cross the street and then stop for five minutes at a time to get at the London Plane trees on my block.

If I think about it much, when I think about it, I generally would attribute this sort of thing to being autistic. I mean, I'm sure there are plenty of people who aren't autistic who do this too, but probably not many who go out of their way to do it for fun. I could be wrong here, of course.

Which is where this gets interesting. I went out to bring my mother her coffee, and before I went in I spent a few minutes with our crape myrtle. And my mother said I was just like her mother.

My mother has a very complicated relationship with me and autism. On the one hand, she swears she knew when I was a small infant. On the other hand, she is eager to downplay any signs of autism that I might ever bring up - especially if they're traits shared with anybody in the family other than her father, who really was undeniably autistic. Either she denies that the traits exist, or she denies that they're quite strong, or she denies that they have anything to do with autism whatsoever. (There are some things she can't do this to, like the topographical agnosia, but otherwise she gives it the good ol' college try!)

So for her to criticize what I'm pretty sure is an autistic trait, and attribute it to her mother instead of her father - well, I could've used this as a segue into my ongoing attempts to speak with her on the subject of the broader autistic phenotype, assortative mating, and our family. But given recent events, I decided instead to talk about exfoliating bark and how I'm sure the reduction of dead bark will decrease the risk of a forest fire in our backyard.
sartorias: Mei Changs (MC)
posted by [personal profile] sartorias at 06:22pm on 23/07/2017 under
The next three episodes are a minor arc: the first two end mid-conversation. This is the arc that got me obsessed with the show—not only was the emotional dimension compelling, but I was catching Mei Changsu in the act of greatness, showing us how he does it. And the conversations about the past, about political expediency and loyalty and so forth resonated to the backs of my eyeballs, all the more considering the daily news here, focused on politicians from whom absolutely nothing can be believed or trusted, whatsoever. Nothing. It’s such a horrible, helpless feeling as we watch the limits of democracy tested, that watching a show in which people with good intentions slowly gain agency to the benefit of the innocent pretty much took over my life for the duration.

And it helps that the actors are all so gorgeous, the clothes jaw-droppingly beautiful, the sets all places I would dearly love to live in myself.

Anyway, Marquis Xie is shaping up for a major power play, thinking that he is maneuvering behind the scenes while his targets fumble in the light of day. But as yet he doesn’t know that he is quietly being outpaced, step by step . . .
Read more... )
teaotter: (Default)
malkingrey: ((default))
posted by [personal profile] malkingrey at 09:17pm on 23/07/2017
In spite of all their bureaucratic overhead and so forth:

They aren't there just for the big-ticket, wide-screen, 24/7-news-coverage kind of disasters, the ones that wake people up and make them open their pocketbooks. When somebody's house burns down to the ground in a tiny rural town, it's the local Red Cross who get called on for the pillows and blankets to get them through the night, and the spare clothes to get them through the next few days. And those pillows and blankets and spare clothes don't collect and store and distribute themselves.

(This post brought to you by the structure fire today over in Dummer -- Dummer being a small town near Milan, which is a small town near Berlin, NH. And by "small" I mean tiny: population 304 as of the last census. Not exactly the sort of place that makes the national news, or particularly wants to.)
shadowkat: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] shadowkat at 09:08pm on 23/07/2017
Hmmm...note to self, just because you delete something, doesn't necessarily mean it disappears.

Although I do it a lot. Mainly because I'll re-read the comment or think about what I posted and go, frak. I did not mean to say THAT. I meant to say THIS. But someone will totally think THAT. What to do? DELETE! DELETE!

OR, damn, that didn't come out as well as I thought it did. Note to self, sugar warps the brain.
malkingrey: ((default))
One: Why do forms meant to be filled out by hand always have spaces far smaller than the length of the information to be entered in them?

And two: Why does my handwriting -- which was perfectly dreadful even back in the days when I was using it regularly for something besides signing my name to checks and official documents -- inevitably deteriorate, when tasked with filling out a form in a legible manner, into something which makes chicken scratches look good, and which furthermore suggests that the writer is more than a little deranged?

(I know, I know. Self-consciousness strikes again. But it is annoying.)

And three: Why has Plushy Grey Basement Cat taken to walking heavily across my keyboard and causing my screen to fill up with typos and weird commands, when she has never exhibited this behavior before in gtykl?:†all the time she's been living with us?
Like that.
Mood:: 'cranky' cranky
shadowkat: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] shadowkat at 08:31pm on 23/07/2017
1. The Great British Baking Show...this episode was pastry. And I felt sorry for the bakers.
Also, who makes Bakewell Tarts? I've rarely seen them and never had one. I've had marzipan tarts. But not with that horrid icing on top. Seriously. Everyone knows how to bake or should know how to bake a Bakewell tart? Maybe if you are British and in your 70s.

But I adore this show. And it made me cry this week...Val is such a lovely lady. She said she just bakes with love. And does it to share her love with others. And she's always so upbeat regardless of how well she does. Not that competitive and brings others up.

2. fannish about television -- alas, I'm not really. Nothing is really grabbing me. And the one show that did...got cancelled and didn't have enough episodes. Also...I think when you binge the entirety of a series at once, as opposed to watching it as it airs...the whole fannish bit melts away faster?

I've tried with Doctor Who. But it has so many problems. That said, it may turn around for me...I rather liked a good portion of this season. Much better than the previous season. And I did like the River Song arc. So, the change in Doctors or new Doctor may change my take on it and make it more interesting for me, while simultaneously getting rid of the things that irritated me about the series and kept me from investing in it on an emotional level. Don't know. This season was certainly better than last.

The trailer to the Christmas episode is quite brilliant.

3. Will -- uneven so far, but the play writing bits still fascinate. How Alice convinces him to adapt plays from books or borrow ideas from others, as opposed to coming up with his own. In a way his talent lay more in adaptation that in coming up with new and clever ideas. Also, love how it shows the collaborative nature of the work, and how much Alice influenced him and in a way co-wrote The Two Gentlemen of Verona.

4. Broadchurch -- the third season is better than the second, which I couldn't get into and found unwatchable. So far, I've found compelling despite the subject matter. What works is we have a normal, not beautiful, somewhat ordinary, older woman sexually assaulted. Usually in these shows, it's a pretty young girl, who is model pretty. Or a lead character. Here, it's a new character and I think that works better. Also they don't show the assault or fetish it, which helps. Too many shows fetish it.

Jodi Whittaker, who plays Beth Latimer in the series, I've been watching closely, curious to know what she'll do with Doctor Who. She seems a bit earnest. So don't know. But then that is the role of Beth Latimer. I can't remember her in Venus. I'm pretty certain I saw it, but the movie clearly wasn't memorable. I sort of wish Olivia Coleman had gotten the role. I rather like Coleman, she does world-weariness well.

I have to admit I can't understand half of what Tennant says. His accent is thick. And he mumbles. Same problem with a good portion of the actors. Latimer, I can at least understand. She enouciates and doesn't mumble. That was actually my difficulty with Tennant as Who, I couldn't understand half of what he said. He speaks fast and mumbles.

I keep putting on the close-captioning. In Broachurch, I rewind and sort of guess. Do however love what Tennant does with his face. Now if he'd just not mumble, it would be great.

5. It was either edit this post or write a new one...The Mary Sue keeps posting rather cool things to look forward to in the pop culture world. Such as

* Thor Rorganork, which has a great villain in Cate Blanchett's the Goddess of Death. Except I thought Doctor Strange was supposed to be in it. Don't see him in the trailer.
But the film looks like a lot of fun, with a buddy team up of Thor and Hulk.

*The Star Wars episode 8 trailer looks phenomenal.

* So too does the trailer for "The Gifted" which wonders what would it be like to be born a mutant in a world where the X-men and the Brotherhood may not even exist any longer? Focuses on lesser seen and known mutants such as Lorna Dane (Polaris), Thunderbird (John Proudstar, the Native American mutant), Eclispe, and Blink. Also stars Amy Acker and Stephen Moyer as humans.

* And..the Black Widow trailer. I didn't know they were doing a Black Widow film. It looks official not fan made.

* Apparently Marty McFly is coming back to save us from the Doofus in 2016-17. Will he succeed? Yes, there's a Back to the Future IV coming out. The mind boggles.

* They have actually adapted a film from one of my all time favorite children's books, A Wrinkle in Time -- which appears to have a good cast. And the trailer looks brilliant, unlike A Bridge Over Terribetha, which was a weak film.

* There's some concern over "The Defender's" which may focus a bit too much on Iron Fist, because of The Hand being the principle villain. I don't know about that...the Hand is actually also the main villain in Daredevil. I think Daredevil will be the center of it. Which is as it should be.

* They are apparently doing a film version of Cloak and Dagger, which I think are from the DC verse. Not sure about it.

* The Inhumans could be interesting...it's focusing on Medusa and Black Bolt, from the 1980s comics. Looks a little cheesy though.

Interesting, a lot of the comic adaptations and book adaptations, with a few exceptions, seem to be from the 1980s...which I rather love. Apparently my generation has some nostalgia for the 80s?

* Apparently Ben Affleck had a falling out with the new Batman director, so they are kicked Affleck to the curb...after that movie is done. Which..hmmm...how does that work with Justice League and other films in the franchise, exactly? Won't people notice a recast? Speculation is that Nightwing aka Dick Grayson will take over. Considering I liked Grayson in the comics and the 60s television series, I'm okay with that. Also he had a more interesting back story -- child of two acrobats, who were killed in a circus accident. So, a trained acrobat. Also, with Nightwing, you could potentially do a romance between him and Batgirl. (I've grown weary of Batman, finally. He's been over done. Superman has too, but not as badly as Batman.)

* And oh dear, I really need to catch up on The Expanse, don't I? They already have the third season trailer out.
darthfangirl: the twelfth doctor (Default)
posted by [personal profile] darthfangirl at 07:55pm on 23/07/2017 under
I just want to say that I'm really happy about the last person who shows up in this trailer (spoilers, obviously):
https://youtu.be/dNx9bzq1p4g
Mood:: 'hopeful' hopeful
alexxkay: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] alexxkay at 07:32pm on 23/07/2017 under

Girl Asleep is a delightful recent entry in the sub genre “girl on the cusp of womanhood who is confused by her changing life (and body) and learns to deal with it via a fantasy universe”, like Labyrinth and Mirror Mask. (I’m sure there must be more examples, but I’m having difficulty recalling them. Anyone want to add to the list?)

This particular girl, Greta, is growing up in Australia in the late 1970s. This is, in itself, more than a little fantastical, and the boundaries between the real and the visionary remain porous throughout the film. (I particularly liked the “integrated captions” for the scene changes, such as focusing on a bucket of fried chicken with a logo on the side reading “later that day”.) Her mother means well, but doesn’t understand her introvert daughter. Her father is little better, and over indulges in dad jokes (and an impressively 70s ‘stache). Her older sister is clearly thinking about moving out and has a dangerously sexy boyfriend. The family has moved to a new town, so Greta has to deal with the new school and all that entails. The only kid at school who seems to want to be friends with her is incredibly dorky (and adorbs). But a gang of archetypical “mean girls” also offers her membership – with unclear but intimidating strings attached. And then mom takes it into her head to invite all her little classmates to Greta’s 15th birthday party. The horror, the horror!

The party starts out okay, but piles stress upon stress until either reality or sanity fractures (there’s enough ambiguity that you may have your pick). Greta becomes lost in the woods, which are inhabited by wonders, but also by Big Bad Wolves. (And a friendly huldra. Don’t see too many of them around…) It all comes to a head in a climactic battle that I was quite charmed by, alternating seamlessly between hair pulling and pillow fights on the one hand, and advanced martial arts movie moves on the other.

The story had its genesis as a stage play, but the film fully embraces the possibilities of its new medium. While the film doesn’t seem to have a huge budget, it used that budget to excellent effect, creating many beautiful and memorable images. What I think it brings most from the stage is a “theatrical” sensibility, where the creative staff are willing to trust the audience’s suspension of disbelief, presenting images that work on multiple levels simultaneously, and respecting the audience’s ability to interpret. Both Kestrell and I were reminded of the excellent work of Lifeline Theater in Chicago.

It’s available on DVD and on Amazon video. Highly recommended.

conuly: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] conuly at 07:29pm on 23/07/2017
It was a little abrupt, but with all this that's going on I simply couldn't wait any longer. I'm just happy I didn't have to leave them at a shelter. I really think individual care is best for them right now - and that was what they weren't getting from me recently. (Also, boy, those kittens ate a lot, and produced a lot of poop as well! Two small kittens, and they were going through three or four cans of cat food today! The larger size, too, not the mini size.)

They went to a vet before going to their new foster home, and according to the update I got they are in comparatively great health - no FIV, no feline leukemia, and mostly recovered from earlier infection. Unfortunately, the one eye will not improve much from how it is now (there seems to have been some trauma, not just an infection), but the vet said it shouldn't affect her too much either. That's all we can hope for, and not that surprising.

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