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shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, sitting down (b'z sitting)
Sunday, February 23rd, 2014 22:45

So my inlaws have this coffee machine.

Read more... )
shadowspar: An angry anime swordswoman, looking as though about to smash something (sabre - angry face)
Thursday, February 13th, 2014 21:54
While clearing out my stash of old writing/blogging, I found this lengthy comment that I wrote back in November. It's a reply to the 2.39x1014th round of clueless dudes opining on why there are so few women in STEM without bothering to have done even the most preliminary of research.

Might as well save this reply for posterity; dollars to doughnuts says I'll have the chance to roll it out again all too soon.

Here's an archived version of Mika Schiller's post, if for some reason you are wont to subject yourself to it.
Comment body... )
shadowspar: Picture of Kurama lashing out with a rose whip (kurama - rose whip)
Monday, December 30th, 2013 08:22

I am just now starting to come up to speed on the Ani DiFranco / plantation retreat thing, but...

If somebody says that a given person's slaves were "probably well treated for the time", and the insidious depravity of that statement doesn't immediately thump you on the head, perhaps this quote will help put it in perspective:

The cells of the Inquisition were, as a rule, large, airy, clean and with good windows admitting the sun. They were, in those respects, far superior to the civil prisons of that day.

That from the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica's article on Thomas Torquemada[trigger warning].


Further reading

shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, sitting down (b'z sitting)
Friday, December 6th, 2013 23:13

A little while back, I was asked on twitter: if tech conferences are, for women, an experience that's dangerous at worst and uncomfortable at best, how do we go about fixing it?

This is rather a big question—basically akin to "how do we eliminate sexism in society?" Conferences are a microcosm of the larger world; they transmit most of its problems and amplify some to boot. That being said, I'm certainly happy to outline what I think some reasonable starting points for allies might be.

Read more... )
shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, surrounded by fey fire (b'z fire)
Monday, November 18th, 2013 23:40

I can't even verbalize how well listening to THE BLUE HEARTS suits night like this.

Lyrics & my translation )
shadowspar: Cap badge of the Royal Canadian Artillery: A cannon with motto: Ubique / Quo Fas Et Gloria Ducunt (RCA cap badge)
Monday, November 11th, 2013 11:00

We got a sudden cold snap here in the Sault overnight, which reminds me of this story from back in the day.

For us, remembrance is a very abstract thing. Up there with ideals like heroism and valour.

Sacrifice is a very concrete thing. Like trying to get your goddamn frozen boots onto your feet yet again. Or being halfway around the world and years away from your loved ones, in a reality so far removed from your past life that it might as well be a different universe. Being sick every day. Or in pain, or worse.

It's a lot to think about as I sit here and watch the snow and wind blowing outside.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, sitting down (b'z sitting)
Thursday, November 7th, 2013 18:44

A friend on twitter asked us to recommend interesting conferences, so I looked through my notes to see what I had. One event that I'd made a note to check out further was KalamazooX. The focus of the event is on "soft skills", so I was kind of surprised when I couldn't find a Code of Conduct on the site. The "What people are saying" section, on the other hand, made me raise an eyebrow:

"I've discovered @kalamazoox is a hidden gem. Today was like a braver, more profane set of dev-oriented TED talks. Lots of passion and humor."

"In a time where organizers are censoring speakers and their content, @mjeaton and @kalamazoox is a bastion of freedom. He is a luminary."

"@mjeaton @kalamazoox believes in the open exchange of ideas, however uncomfortable, and trusts humans to think, collaborate and create."

To be sure, though, I asked the organizers if they had a Code of Conduct via twitter, and got this reply:

@shadowspar We do not have a published code of conduct. Our entire conference is about communication, respect and passion.

I parse this as

We don't feel as though we need a code of conduct, because we have a "culture of respect".

Read more... )
shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, sitting down (b'z sitting)
Tuesday, November 5th, 2013 17:45

Trigger warning for rape culture & extensive enumeration of the abuse people get for reporting rape, assault, and the like.

Read more... )
shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, sitting down (b'z sitting)
Sunday, October 27th, 2013 04:12
...wow! Big learning experience during tonight's evening festivities. If someone wants to hit on me, here are two good ways to get our interaction off to the worst possible start:
  1. be completely shitfaced drunk; and
  2. offer me a drink by offering to give me an actual beverage that is already in your possession. (Your intentions may be completely aboveboard, but I have no idea where that drink's been or what might be in it.)

*boggle*
shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, sitting down (b'z sitting)
Friday, October 25th, 2013 09:57
When I see a comment I feel is slamming me personally, here's how I deal with it.

I identify the problematic behaviour that's being called out.

I try to honestly and searchingly reflect on how much I manifest that behaviour.

If I do evince that behaviour, then I think about what I can do to improve.

If I can honestly say that I've substantially banished that behaviour from my life, then the comment doesn't apply to me, and I let it pass.
shadowspar: A incorporeal undead creature floating in midair, with sharp claws and an evil grin (Wesnoth: Shadow)
Thursday, October 24th, 2013 22:57
TW/CW: discussion of MRA bullshit rhetoric. No one literally no one as in not one single person needs to read that crap.
Here be douchebaggery... )
shadowspar: Picture of ouendan (\o/)
Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 22:44
When [staff profile] denise mentioned that putting up a news post causes the servers to send out hundreds of thousands of notifications, I thought to myself, "Wow, do we really have that many users? I should go and check the stats page!"

...aaand then as soon as I opened the page, I was all like OMG, THAT PAGE IS BEING GENERATED IN PART BY MY CODE NOW. :D :D :D
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shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, sitting down (b'z sitting)
Thursday, April 18th, 2013 15:50
Before raking yourself over the coals and beating yourself up with a rousing chorus of, "Why the hell can't I get this thing working!?!", the preliminary question you need to ask is "Has this thing ever worked at all?"

The answer is apparently "HELL NO" more often than one might expect!
shadowspar: A stylized cartoon of a cup of coffee beans, with the words SERIOUS COFFEE (Serious Coffee)
Monday, March 11th, 2013 00:52

Just because I know I'll want these numbers later without having to spend 60sec to get them out of bugzilla:

  • effort-minor: 409
  • effort-medium: 329
  • effort-major: 70
  • !effort-tag: 12
Tags:
shadowspar: Picture of ouendan (\o/)
Friday, March 8th, 2013 20:34
Trying to repurpose the in-law's ancient WinXP machine by installing Debian on it.

The BIOS is too old to boot from USB.

The CD-ROM drive won't open on its own, and doesn't seem to recognize the contents of the Debian install CD, even after booting Windows.

None of the usual methods to boot Linux from a Windows partition are working for me. Take one last stab at getting grub4win to work for me, then reboot the machine, exasperated.

The CD-ROM drive suddenly decides to clue into Debian install CD that's been sitting in it all the while, for like the last dozen reboots. O_o ... woot!

I was damn sure that I was heading for PXE territory for a while there! :D
shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, sitting down (b'z sitting)
Thursday, March 7th, 2013 18:49

Unruly beings are as unlimited as space;
They cannot possibly all be overcome.
But if I overcome thoughts of anger alone,
This will be equivalent to vanquishing all foes.
:Shantideva

shadowspar: Picture of Rick holding a can of blue Jolt soda (jolt!)
Thursday, February 28th, 2013 23:46
I am honestly not at all a big fan of the big pharma companies. The fact that they spend much more money on marketing than R&D is loathesome, and some of their marketing practices are reprehensible at best.

That being said, I am long tired of the assertion, either implicit or explicit, that if I choose to treat a condition I might have with medication, that I am somehow "selling out", or better yet, that I am merely a guillible, brainwashed pawn of "Big Pharma".



Big Pharma on Youtube.


Dr Glenn Richie: "I'm not willing to keep my cancer cure under wraps just because the government tells me to. I'll call my congressman." (grabs phone)
Ben Hayflick: (snatches phone away) "You just don't get it, do you." (slams phone down)
BH: "Who do you think runs Congress? Big Pharma! It's the big pharmaceutical companies, Glenn, that make all the big decisions!"
BH: "Big Pharma paves your roads. Big Pharma delivers your mail. Who do you think teaches your kids how to read, teachers? Try again. Big Pharma!"
BH: "Big Pharma took us to war in Vietnam, synthesized crack, and killed Kennedy. Big Pharma came from outer space, invented Ben Franklin, started a little company called 'The Internet'. And polluted the ocean with high-fructose corn syrup!"
BH: "We're everywhere, Glenn. Even this..." (grabs pill bottle) "...is Big Pharma."
GR: "The heart medication I give to my patients? Nooooo...."
BH: "Now, hand over the cure, Glenn! And start enjoying the soon-to-be-free public wi-fi, courtesy of Big Pharma!"
GR: "I'll pay for my own wi-fi, thank you very much!"
BH: "Let me put it to you this way, Doctor Ritchie! If this gets out there, you'll be suffering from an acute case of cancer yourself!" (cocks revolver) "Bullet cancer."
BH: "Ha, ha, ha....bullet cancer."
shadowspar: Pic of rolling pin and dough w/ caption "That's how I roll" (that's how I roll)
Sunday, February 17th, 2013 14:42

Filling:

  • potatoes
  • cheese or cheese-like substance

Peel, cube, boil and drain potatoes.
Add cubed cheese, cheeze whiz, or what have you, while still hot, so as to melt the stuff.
Wait a bit to let the cheesy stuff melt, then mash it all together.
Add a bit of salt and a lot of black pepper. Stir well. Adjust to taste.

Dough:

  • ~ 3 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • ~ 1 cup water

Mix together, turn out, and knead.
Roll out fairly thin and cut into squares.
To pinch perogies, first roll up a ball of the filling then place it in the middle of a square. Fold over to form a triangle, then pinch the edges together to seal.

To cook: Boil about 5 min. They're ready when they all float to the top of the boiling water. If you like them crispy, you can then pan-fry them.

To freeze: place them on trays, with a bit of space between them, and stuff them in the freezer. Once they've frozen, you can take them off the trays and freezer bag them. (If you just bag & freeze them, they'll stick together.)

My parents & grandparents usually served these fried in butter or bacon grease, with fried onions and bacon on top, and a generous dollop of sour cream on the side. That being said, there are untold numbers of variations. This recipe's pretty easy to bend to your whims, and perogies are traditionally peasant food, besides. If you want to make perogies filled with shallots and paneer, or refried beans and salsa, or whatever, go for it! The Perogie Police will not show up with a warrant for your arrest. The Perogie Preservation Society will not picket your house. Seriously. =)

shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, sitting down (b'z sitting)
Thursday, February 14th, 2013 22:14
Probably one of the best things I've ever done for my health, mental, physical, or otherwise: establishing 10pm as The Time After Which No More Productive Things May Be Initiated.

Laundry piling up? Kitchen table overrun with junk? Recycling begging to be taken out? Too bad. Protecting my sleep is too important, and after having run all day since tumbling out of bed at 6:30am, I don't think one hour to myself is too much to ask for.
shadowspar: a cartoony erlenmyer flask filled with a magenta substance; text: "science!" (science! erlenmeyer flask)
Friday, January 25th, 2013 11:31
Ok, so if you take a placebo for pain relief, it will actually have some analgesic effect. This, I already knew.

What I didn't know, though: naloxone (Narcan) will block that placebo-induced analgesic effect. O_o
shadowspar: Pic of Kurama holding a rose (kurama - rose)
Sunday, December 23rd, 2012 08:04
To whoever it is who just anonymously gave me a month's worth of paid time -- thank you! <333
shadowspar: pixellated 8-bit image of a quill pen and ink jar (writing)
Friday, November 30th, 2012 21:41
I would like to register a complaint with whatever the hell vendor manufactured my brain. The damn thing keeps locking up on what should be the easiest damn piece of writing I've done all day.
shadowspar: Picture of Kurama lashing out with a rose whip (kurama - rose whip)
Wednesday, November 21st, 2012 00:35
FWIW: not only is this stuff super-crumbly and hella messy, it also makes hardwood floors slippery as all hell. As proof of which, witness the complete feet-out-from-underneath wipeout my 4yo daughter had tonight.

If your kids get some of this headache-disguised-as-modelling-compound for giftmas, do yourselves a favour and throw it right in the trash.
shadowspar: Cap badge of the Royal Canadian Artillery: A cannon with motto: Ubique / Quo Fas Et Gloria Ducunt (RCA cap badge)
Sunday, November 11th, 2012 00:32

War is a catastrophic event and there are no more ardent peacemakers than those of us who have experienced it.
:Ian Townsend, Secretary-General, British Legion

Going to be on the road for Remembrance Day today. What'll be going through my mind? That, ironically enough, the pacifist folks who are often derided as being unpatriotic and anti-military oft seem to be the only ones doing one of the most benevolent things you can do for the troops -- namely, asking the questions, "Do we need to go to war?" "Is battle the appropriate solution for this problem?" "What do we hope to achieve by 'sending in the troops'?"

We honour our soldiers and our fallen heroes by refusing to allow their service and sacrifice to have been made in vain.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

shadowspar: A viola on a purple flamed background, with the text "viola hero" (viola hero)
Tuesday, October 30th, 2012 14:07
Wow, it's been the better part of a year since I posted one of these. Ooops. <_<;

I've had a whole bunch of stuff going on in my personal life that's made it difficult to get in much practice. Despite this, my shifting is coming along shockingly well, at least relative to how much time I've managed to put into it. Starting to work on Bach's Minuets #s 1 and 2 from the first Suzuki book. They actually sound pretty good once I get everything together.

It's frustrating to feel like I could be progressing a lot faster if I actually managed to get organized enough to put more time in. Hopefully things will improve in the coming months, and I'll manage to do just that, so I can take off like a rocket. ^_^;
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shadowspar: An angry anime swordswoman, looking as though about to smash something (Default)
Sunday, October 28th, 2012 23:20
It seems like the folks at the NWS receive a fair deal of latitude when it comes to writing their public weather bulletins and warnings. Here's a good example, pointed out by [personal profile] synecdochic.

All-caps warning text... )
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shadowspar: pixellated 8-bit image of a quill pen and ink jar (writing)
Friday, October 26th, 2012 22:20
Maybe it's because I'm getting old and cranky; maybe it's the surfacing of impulsivity that I didn't feel I had, but -- as of late, I'm finding I have very, very little patience for screencasts, presentations, podcasts, and the like, unless they are very, very on-point vis-a-vis something I'm interested in at the moment.

I can read something like 450 words per minute. I'm not going to sit through 100-150wpm speech for very long to figure out if I'm interested in what's being said, especially if I can find the topic explained better elsewhere in text.

People in the tech world seem increasingly wont to use multimedia as the primary or even sole form of documentation for everything from software libraries to consumer websites, a practice of which I am not enamoured. [personal profile] skud wrote up an excellent blurb about such things over in the [community profile] growstuff wiki.
shadowspar: An angry anime swordswoman, looking as though about to smash something (Default)
Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 23:59

I've worked with computers and software almost all of my life. The tech industry has created a lot of amazing things, and we continue to crank out more of them every day. (I mean, we pretty much bumble through the actual development and testing process, but in the end we kind of get things to mostly work. Usually.)

One place where I truly think we are falling down, though, is bridging the gap between the technologies we create and humanity as a whole. We build social networking tools without considering what kind of behaviours and societal norms they'll encourage. From a place of relative privilege, we may be oblivious to how our creations can be turned to disturbing ends. The choices we make determine whether new technologies will work for the benefit of all, or deepen the many inequalities that exist in our world.

One day, I hope to engage in my own research, looking how people change when they're using or building software: how the norms set by technologies and technical communities influence people's behaviour; why people seem to so readily commit acts or omissions online that they might consider unethical offline.

I don't think I would know that this kind of research career was even possible if it wasn't for danah boyd.

If you've read much anything about online youth, especially when it comes to topics like bullying, social media, and privacy, you've almost certainly encountered her work. Her extensive writings span a dizzying number of facets of online interaction, identity, and culture. Especially on the topic of youth, Her research has often shown that the "conventional wisdom" surrounding how people use the internet is baseless and mistaken, with obvious ramifications for technologists and policymakers alike.

I really don't get the impression that academia in its current incarnation makes it very easy to engage in this kind of cross-disciplinary research -- inquiry that's not only valuable, but profoundly important if we are to build out the future in a way that makes things better for all of humanity. danah has shown not only that this work is meaningful and that it's worthwhile, but also that it's possible to make a brilliantly successful go of it, and that's something for which I'm very grateful.


Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging about women in science, technology, engineering and maths. You can find more information at the Finding Ada website.

shadowspar: Picture of ouendan (\o/)
Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012 10:27
The Disney busses at WDW show their destinations in the front window like most any other, so you see busses marked MAGIC KINGDOM, EPCOT, POP CENTURY, etc etc. Some other ones aren't marked with destinations per se, but their purpose is pretty obvious -- things like VIP CAST MEMBER, TRAINING, etc.

The thing that's been piquing my curiosity to no end ever since getting here: some of the busses are marked JASMINE. Huh, what? It's not like Jasmine is riding around in them. I figured it was some kind of semi-secret tour bus, maybe Keys or Backstage Magic or something, but that doesn't make sense when you see JASMINE busses tooling around at 11pm.

Finally broke down and asked a cast member last night. JASMINE means that the bus is going out of service for any reason. Kind of figures, what with Disney wanting to keep up the illusion that everything is always magically perfect and nothing ever breaks or goes offline. =)

Mystery solved!
shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, sitting down (b'z sitting)
Sunday, September 16th, 2012 10:26
Deadline expires; NHL locks out players

"NHL season could be abandoned due to labour dispute." I feel like this isn't even news any more.

My feelings are the same as always: don't feel bad for the owners, all of whom are independently wealthy, to say the least; don't feel bad for the players, the NHL salary minimum is something like $500,000. Even the fans can suck it up. The people who're really losing out in this are folks whose livelihoods depend on the league in other ways: journalists who cover it; folks who run the concession stands at the games, and everyone in between.
Tags:
shadowspar: An angry anime swordswoman, looking as though about to smash something (Default)
Sunday, September 9th, 2012 11:04

Something that dawned on me while I was writing this piece on bug chaining -- ever run into software where your experience was being controlled by bugs, and not the software's features? Sometimes things get so bad that you feel like you're being kicked from one defect to another instead of piloting your own way through the software.

To me, that feels almost exactly like the difference between the slings and the flippers being in control of your pinball. ^_^;

shadowspar: An angry anime swordswoman, looking as though about to smash something (Default)
Wednesday, August 29th, 2012 15:26

I got a pair of Merrel Waterpro Maipos way back in the day. While they were the most amazing shoes in the history of ever in terms of fit and foot comfort, they were the the worst ever in terms of durability; they started coming apart after I'd only worn them a couple of times. I kinda wonder if they were only intended for light/occasional use, like being worn while canoeing or some such? Anyway, ideally I think I'd like something similar except built to last. The breathe-y mesh sides were awesome for keeping my feet happy -- usually a full day wearing something like dress shoes is enough to make the footwear-interior-environment pretty swampy, and travel days where you're on your feet and in your shoes for like 18 hours at a go are even worse.

The runners I've been wearing since haven't really been cutting it for me in terms of fit, function, or fashion, and the latest pair is almost dead. So...time to muckle onto some new shoes. As per usual, the stores around here have little to nothing I'm interested in, and since I'm not making any shopping trips in the very near future, it's off to the internets we go. Here are a couple of candidates...

Que pensez-vous?

shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, sitting down (b'z sitting)
Thursday, August 9th, 2012 23:41
Rape, Rape Culture, and Creepiness )
shadowspar: image of an alto clef (alto clef)
Tuesday, August 7th, 2012 00:25

...when you finally figure out the name, and from thence the lyrics, of a tune you've been hearing since forever. Oftimes, the song turns out to be almost exactly unlike the mental image of it you'd formed in your head. Sometimes the two are so incongruous as to be completely absurd.

To wit: Funiculì, Funiculà. Here's Andrea Bocelli singing it. Assuming you don't speak Neapolitan, listen to the performance first, then head over to the Wikipedia page and see what this uplifting, noble tune is an ode to. =)

Jamme, jamme 'ncoppa, jamme jà,
Jamme, jamme 'ncoppa, jamme jà,
Funiculì, funiculà, funiculì, funiculà!
Jamme, jamme jà, funiculì, funiculà!

shadowspar: Picture of Kurama lashing out with a rose whip (kurama - rose whip)
Thursday, July 19th, 2012 00:24
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2012/07/18/f-vp-pittis-volcker-rule-banks.html

As if banks hadn't stooped low enough and done enough goddamn evil things
already, a US Senate investigation has revealed that HSBC has laundered billions of dollars for Mexican drug cartels.

A friend of mine is fond of saying, "When this kind of stuff happens in Africa, we call it corruption!" Funny how that epithet never seems to get applied to white-collar criminals over here, even when they steal more money than half the states in Africa could ever dream of having at their disposal, eh?

Signpost: cross-streets, Crooks Rd & Corporate Dr

shadowspar: a cartoony erlenmyer flask filled with a magenta substance; text: "science!" (science! erlenmeyer flask)
Saturday, July 14th, 2012 07:57

If you're at all a science geek -- and quite possibly even if you're not -- this thread about lab mishaps is both profoundly amusing and profoundly edifying.

Couple highlights:

(Found via Maciej.)

shadowspar: Picture of ouendan (\o/)
Wednesday, July 4th, 2012 23:13
  • Chanced upon a 24-hour grocery store that had a half-dozen huge aisles full of imported-from-Israel kosher food, and
  • remembered that bissli was the canonical-ish Israeli snack food that [personal profile] marina had mentioned a while ago.

Pizza bissli == can haz. *crunch* *crunch* *reaches for a glass of water*

shadowspar: The flag of Canada (Canada flag!)
Sunday, July 1st, 2012 21:09
  • gun salutes
  • O Canada in both official languages, with a fly-by by the Snowbirds on the closing note
  • fresh lemonade
  • one million of your closest friends
  • Canada Day Free Hugs! from several different fellow Canadians!
  • calling in a rooftop fire in Byward Market to the Ottawa fire department! (folks in the building had it mostly out by the time they got there)
  • Lunch: Veggine poutine! and bleu cheese & garlic veggie burger! at Zak's Diner
  • Le Diable aux Corsets getting a nice round of applause for doing a sound check at Major's Hill Park. =) (They were playing snippets of this song.)
  • Two very tired kidlets.
  • Fireworks!
shadowspar: An angry anime swordswoman, looking as though about to smash something (Default)
Thursday, June 28th, 2012 20:46
[pinboard.in profile] shadowspar

Finally gave in, on account of I'm going to be doing a lot more reading in the next while to compile articles that I'm writing, and I need a good way to keep all those links squared away. =)
shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, surrounded by fey fire (b'z fire)
Monday, June 25th, 2012 16:35

Well, the moon is broken / and the sky is cracked
Come on up to the house
The only things that you can see / is all that you lack
Come on up to the house

All your cryin / don't do you no good
Come on up to the house
Come down off the cross / we could use the wood
Come on up to the house


Sarah Jarosz - Come on up to the house on Youtube.

shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, surrounded by fey fire (b'z fire)
Monday, June 25th, 2012 10:33

Brought to you by my discovery of the Transatlantic Sessions.

If you put a bunch of skilled, motivated people in a room together with a minimum of structure and organization, you can witness some amazing results. In tech we get a hackathon or an unconference. In music we get a jam session.


The Transatlantic Sessions are a project of BBC4 Scotland that brings together folk musicians from both sides of the pond. They've been called "the greatest backporch shows ever", and it shouldn't come as much surprise to see Celtic and American trad musicians gel so well, given the amount of crossover in the styles' origins.

Unfortunately the BBC site seems to be kind of shite when it comes to actually describing or showing what the whole thing is about, so instead I give you some starting points to browse on Youtube. There's a lot of really, really amazing music to be found.

shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, surrounded by fey fire (b'z fire)
Wednesday, June 20th, 2012 23:07

Another post I'm writing reminded me of this. Best breakup song in the history of evar, hands-down.


Sarah Harmer - Don't Get Your Back Up on Youtube.

shadowspar: image of an alto clef (alto clef)
Friday, June 15th, 2012 00:46

[staff profile] mark pushed out some neat new functionality that's at a rough test stage, so I'm just posting this to help poke at things. However, as a nice side-effect, you all get a neat little bluegrass jam I've been listening to as of late. =)


Alison Krauss & Union Station w/ Sierra Hull - Cluck Old Hen on Youtube.

shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, surrounded by fey fire (b'z fire)
Monday, June 11th, 2012 00:48

I love the pointedly outlandish juxtaposition that's a not-uncommon feature of J-Pop and a lot of Japanese humour. The lyrics to this one are actually a rather touching love song.


SamboMaster - 世界はそれを愛と呼ぶんだぜ (Sekai wa Sore o Ai to Yobun da ze - "The World Calls That Love") on Youtube.

shadowspar: An abstract rainbow gradient (rainbow: evening shower mist)
Monday, June 4th, 2012 22:38

This place can actually be extraordinarily beautiful. (When you're not choking on fumes from the steel plant or being suffocated by some of the small-town attitudes, that is.)

These were shot near the Roberta Bondar Pavilion, a huge permanent tent on the waterfront downtown, right next to the St Mary's River.

A rainbow arching over Roberta Bondar Pavilion in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario.

One more pic... )
shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, sitting down (b'z sitting)
Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 01:30
Stopped at a gas station in northern MI today and went to use the restrooms.

one door: KINGS
other door: QUEENS
me: *confused*
shadowspar: Profile shot of Kurama's face (kurama - profile)
Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 16:29

Two CL-415 water bombers attack forest fire Kirkland Lake 8.

So, the extraordinarily mild/warm and dry weather we've had here in Northeastern Ontario and Northern Michigan means that it's our turn to have a summer of extraordinarily high forest fire danger.

Here in Ontario, we've been under a Restricted Fire Zone order since 16 May, which prohibits all open burning.

On or about 20 May, somebody decided to start a campfire in a popular recreation area near Kirkland Lake anyway. That fire is now Kirkland Lake 8, currently the third-largest fire in the province. It's burned 2,326 hectares (about 5,800 acres), an area around 12km long and 2km wide (7½ x 1¼ mi), and got to within 3km/2mi of the town of Kirkland Lake before Fire Rangers put the brakes on it.

That's not even the biggest fire in the province. This distinction belongs to Timmins 9, seventeen times bigger at 39,518 ha (97,651 acres). The fire season is just getting started and we've already seen twice as many fires as an entire average year.

On the other side of the border in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, the Duck Lake fire near Newberry and Tahquamenon Falls is at 21,694 acres (8,780 ha). If the winds shift the right way you can smell the smoke from here. It's about 50 miles (80 km) to the west of us.

With all this going on, surely there is no way somebody can fail to be aware of the extreme fire hazard that the current situation presents. However, police have been laying a steady trickle of charges against people starting campfires, bonfires, and the occasional fool who burns down a couple of houses.

Thanksfully, rain has fallen over the last day or so, so things seem to be improving. Kirkland Lake 8 is Being Held; enough progress has been made in Timmins for them to lift their state of emergency, and the fire crews working on the Duck Lake fire should be able to make good headway today on account of the improved weather.

The town of Kirkland lake has some dramatic photos up, courtesy of one Perry Kong. More under the cut.

Photos of Kirkland Lake 8... )