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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... )
Tags:
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... )
shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, surrounded by fey fire (b'z fire)
Friday, May 18th, 2012 23:02

So, I was lucky enough to get Basia Bulat's CD Heart of My Own this past Christmas. It's awesome, she's awesome, and anyone who's been following along at home for a while already knew that I would say that. =)

Here are two tracks of hers that I hadn't heard before the CD made its way into my hot little hands.

Vids behind the cut... )
shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, sitting down (b'z sitting)
Friday, May 18th, 2012 09:05

Ok, so.

Last night, I put up a poll here about language. A dear friend took issue with it, so I've pulled it down.

My goal is always to use language as a tool for inclusion -- that is to say, to make it clear that everybody belongs; as something that will bring people together instead of dividing them along the same tired, hurtful fault lines.

I didn't manage to accomplish this, so I need to engage in some self-education on the matter until I can. I screwed up, and I'm sorry.

Going to enable screened comments on this one, so if you want to say something to me privately, please feel free. =)

shadowspar: image of an alto clef (alto clef)
Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 23:45
Things that are maddening: when you have a Bach earworm stuck in your head, and all you can do for it is to play it yourself, since you're the only one that makes it sound the way you want it to sound.
Tags:
shadowspar: Pic of Kurama holding a rose (kurama - rose)
Monday, May 14th, 2012 20:37

I will not play at tug o' war.
I'd rather play at hug o' war,
Where everyone hugs
Instead of tugs,
Where everyone giggles
And rolls on the rug,
Where everyone kisses,
And everyone grins,
And everyone cuddles,
And everyone wins.

:Shel Silverstein

shadowspar: Pic of rolling pin and dough w/ caption "That's how I roll" (that's how I roll)
Sunday, May 13th, 2012 01:16
  1. Having to purée bananas by shoving them through a tiny handheld sieve a tablespoon at a time really sucks. The tamis that's on my gift wishlist is getting bumped up in priority.
  2. Even if you manage to remember all the ingredients for the nifty new cupcake recipe you're making for the first time, and all the ingredients for the icing you'll be using as well, forgetting that you've run out of cupcake liners still means a late-night run to the 24-hour grocery store.
shadowspar: Picture of Sailor Venus with caption "Love and Beauty Shock" (sailor venus - love and beauty shock)
Friday, April 6th, 2012 14:36

I like this, as an introvert myself, and a parent of another.

Linked by [personal profile] marina.

How to care for introverts graphic; transcript follows

  1. Respect their need for privacy
  2. Never embarrass them in public
  3. Let them observe first in new situations
  4. Give them time to think; don't demand instant answers
  5. Don't interrupt them
  6. Give them advance notice of expected changes in their lives
  7. Give them 15 minute warnings to finish whatever they are doing
  8. Reprimand them privately
  9. Teach them new skills privately
  10. Enable them to find one best friend who has similar interests & abilities
  11. Don't push them to make lots of friends
  12. Respect their introversion; don't try to remake them into extroverts
shadowspar: Pic of rolling pin and dough w/ caption "That's how I roll" (that's how I roll)
Saturday, March 17th, 2012 22:56

Ok, so, I made this tonight: an interesting crustless cheesecake that doesn't taste anywhere near as much like white chocolate as one might think.

Cheesecake:

  • 2 ea 250g pkg cream cheese, softened
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 6 sq Baker's white chocolate (total 170g), melted
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 2 ea eggs (we used powdered egg replacer; it worked well)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Topping:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp sugar

Preheat oven to 450℉.

Beat cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice together until smooth. Add melted white chocolate, sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Beat until well combined.

Pour batter into a lightly greased 8½" springform pan. Bake at 450℉ for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 250℉ and bake 30-35min more. Beat together topping ingredients, spread over cheesecake, and return to oven for 5 more minutes.

After removing, run a knife around the sides of the cheesecake; let cool completely before removing sides of springform pan.

Refrigerate at least 5 hours and preferably overnight. Optional garnishes: white/chocolate curls, fruit, fruit coulis.


That being said, it was good, but nowhere near as fantabulous as this relatively-easy no-bake chocolate cheesecake we made earlier in the week. I used some leftover oreo crumbs we had on hand in place of the crushed-up digestives, and the result was highly awesome. That's going to be my go-to cheesecake recipe from this point forward.

shadowspar: Profile shot of Kurama's face (kurama - profile)
Sunday, March 11th, 2012 13:41

Today marks exactly one year since the Great Tōhoku Earthquake and Tsunami (東北地方太平洋沖地震).

Even though I am a long way away from Japan, both in terms of distance and in time, I still think of the country as my second home, and I still shed tears to think about what befell the wonderful people of my adopted country that day.

shadowspar: Picture of ouendan (\o/)
Monday, March 5th, 2012 10:52

While in the process of attempting to flood the backyard rink last night, I managed to hit myself in the face with the end of a garden hose hard enough to draw blood.

Yea, truly I am one to accomplish things which other people did not even consider possible.

shadowspar: Audio cassette tape with crossbones, made to look like a jolly roger (tape pirate!)
Tuesday, February 21st, 2012 15:34

I really wish all the story headlines, tweets, etc, floating around about how the administration at UofT and Western knuckled under to Access Copyright could be rewritten from

Canadian Universities Submit to Completely Dumbass Copyright Agreement

to

Two Canadian Universities Submit to Completely Dumbass Copyright Agreement

We are not all cowardly dumbasses, and in fact, I would venture to say that the majority of us are quite wroth with the doubtless small number of administrators who approved this deal at a small number of admittedly major Canadian universities.

shadowspar: Pic of rolling pin and dough w/ caption "That's how I roll" (that's how I roll)
Saturday, February 18th, 2012 23:15

Admittedly nowhere near as good as proper risotto, but also takes approximately 1% of the effort of making proper risotto.

  1. Heat up a bowl of leftover rice in the microwave.
  2. Throw in a knob of butter or margarine and stir.
  3. Dump in a goodly amount of grated parmesan and stir.
  4. Omnomnom.
shadowspar: An angry anime swordswoman, looking as though about to smash something (Default)
Saturday, February 18th, 2012 19:35

So, a little while ago, CBC Radio's Q spoke with Clara Hughes about how she's been affected by depression. Here's the audio (38MB mp3).

For folks who may not be familiar with her: the inimitable Ms. Hughes is an Olympic cyclist and speed skater. With six medals, she is not only one of the most decorated Canadian Olympians of all time, she's also the only person ever to have won multiple medals in both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games [cite].

Calling all assholes who think that people with depression are lazy good-for-nothing layabouts! Put that in your pipe and smoke it. Booyah.

shadowspar: An angry anime swordswoman, looking as though about to smash something (Default)
Monday, February 6th, 2012 13:40

So, over the holidays, I was looking for a place to post my Christmas cards. Though I knew the location of a few mailboxen, and while I was sure that they are all over the place, I realized that I didn't pass one anywhere in my daily routine.

When I got a moment, I had a look on the Canada Post website, figuring they'd have a map or at least a list there. No such luck, which seems strange -- you would think for sure that they keep records of all of their mailboxes in some kind of GIS or other.

Happily, there is a collaborative Google Map where people can contribute in an attempt to enumerate all the mailboxes in Canada. For some reason, though, my additions didn't take -- maybe the map has hit the maximum number of placemarks or some such? Only one thing to do, of course -- make my own map of mailbox locations for Sault Ste Marie.

Cut for those uninterested in postal trivia... )
shadowspar: A viola on a purple flamed background, with the text "viola hero" (viola hero)
Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 15:16

I have to hand it to my teacher; she manages to make every lesson productive even if life has prevented me from having gotten any practice time in the past week.

I'm actually starting to be able to play music in some semblance of proper time when sight-reading a new piece. Exciting! Also having the fledgling beginnings of being able to read ahead in the piece while playing, which is also Very Good News.

Still being gently reminded to grab hold of every tune and play it LIKE A BOSS. Music sounds better when played confidently, even with the occasional missed or slightly out of tune note! ^_^;

Tags:
shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, sitting down (b'z sitting)
Monday, December 12th, 2011 19:04

I realized something last week while chatting over in the #dreamwidth-bitch IRC channel. When it comes to things people share with me, I don't really have an overshare zone. I mean, I watch what I say & try not to expose people to stuff they don't want to find out about. But incoming? I can't remember the last time someone tripped my TMI-meter. I may have had one at some point but I think I lost it somewhere along the way.

Maybe this has something to do with having been on the internetz for 15 years or so and being exposed to the kind of frank honesty that a lot of folks evince online. Even back before the days of blogs, I remember some people displaying a combination of self-knowledge and frank honesty that I really envied. ISTR reading one person's homepage, whence they described their typical day; it began with something along the lines of "Wake up, have a wank, get out of bed, ..." and I did a double-take, not because I found the disclosure that they were having a wank shocking or upsetting -- I didn't in the least -- but that they were forthright & open enough to put that fact online in public for all to read.

People have sex, periods, gross bodily functions, sordid histories, inappropriate fantasies about the people in their lives, and embarrassing moments at the supermarket. That's life! In all of its bodily and erotic and sometimes unflattering and imperfect glory. While the specifics are going to vary, these kinds of things happen to all of us in some way, shape, or form. So while I respect that not everybody wants to hear every last glorious detail of my sinus cold or ice-cream induced digestive difficulties, if there's something you want to get out in the open, don't feel compelled to hold back on my account. I'm only human, and I'm willing to bet you're only human too.

shadowspar: Pic of Kurama holding a rose (kurama - rose)
Saturday, December 10th, 2011 11:02

The ever-wonderful [personal profile] dingsi nominated me for the love meme that's currently going on courtesy of [personal profile] littlebutfierce. If anyone feels inclined to add a nice blurb, I would certainly be quite flattered, but even better, maybe you'd like to nominate someone else or send them a bit of joy? [personal profile] jjhunter has the index if so. =)

shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, sitting down (b'z sitting)
Thursday, December 8th, 2011 00:32

<firestormink> Dear streetcar, whenever you are ready.
<@shadowspar> @firestormink don't worry; when the streetcar finally comes, I'm sure it will show its contrition by bringing three more with it.
<@firestormink> @shadowspar They travel in packs, for protection, and to hunt.

Also, like [personal profile] inoru_no_hoshi mentioned in IRC, we need a qdb for twitter. =)

shadowspar: Picture of Rick holding a can of blue Jolt soda (jolt!)
Friday, November 11th, 2011 13:33

First thing. For those who use vim but might not have known about it: vim has a feature called digraphs which gives you a way to enter letters with diacritics (eg ä), symbols (eg ✓), and other characters that aren't on your keyboard. It does have its idiosyncracies, but it's fairly reasonable once you start to toy with it a bit.

How it works: first, enter the compose key, which by default is Control-K. Then enter the two characters of the digraph, and you'll get the single character that's defined in the digraphs table for that particular combination.

So, for instance:

  • Ctrl-K + o + -ō
  • Ctrl-K + e + :ë
  • Ctrl-K + c + ,ç
  • Ctrl-K + o + C
  • Ctrl-K + P + d£
  • Ctrl-K + 1 + 2½

The command :digraphs will show you everything in the digraphs table.

Last thing and the point of all that preparatory context above: there is a terrible problem with the set of digraphs as it ships with vim. Clearly the sequence < + 3 should compose to the character ♥, but it doesn't by default. To remedy this horrible shortcoming, add the line

digraph <3 9829

to your vim config file. (9829 is the unicode decimal identifier for the character ♥.)

Tags:
shadowspar: Cap badge of the Royal Canadian Artillery: A cannon with motto: Ubique / Quo Fas Et Gloria Ducunt (RCA cap badge)
Friday, November 11th, 2011 10:25

I opted not to go to the Remembrance Day service today. Instead, as is my custom, I'll have a small private memorial wherever I am at 1100.

I remember that "supporting the troops" includes valuing and honouring them enough not to order them into battle save for the gravest of circumstances. War is a last resort to address an extraordinary problem when all other means are exhausted, and we do ourselves, our soldiers, and the rest of the world the gravest wrong should we think it otherwise.

I remember that "supporting the troops" includes doing everything in our power to help them and their families when they're injured or killed while serving. Just as sure as we put them into harm's way, we're responsible for what happens to them when we do.

I remember that "supporting the troops" includes making our military a supportive place for them to serve. Threats from without are enough to worry about without having to worry about threats from within.

I remember that the soldiers of old embarked on what they considered a noble enterprise, and were thrust into unimaginable hardship and suffering as a result. I honour their memory and their sacrifice by upholding the freedoms they fought for.

I remember that war is a consequence of us failing at the central tenet of basic humanity; at treating other people as fellow human beings; of recognizing our commonalities and reaching out to one another as equals and friends.

And finally I remember that Never Again is not just a catchphrase, but a call to action.

...and all that means so much more to me than a bunch of longwinded speeches by blowhard politicians who've never been there and likely never will.

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: Pic of rolling pin and dough w/ caption "That's how I roll" (that's how I roll)
Sunday, November 6th, 2011 01:56

There is a Rant, Gentle Readers, that I have long avoided subjecting you to; a Rant about how Certain Persons, helpful though they may be, invariably fall upon my Domestic Goodes, steal them away, and turn them to Ends such as Home Improvement, from whence they never return. I speak, for instance, of having all Laundry Baskets and Plasticware Disappear from the Laundry Room and Kitchen, respectively, only to make their reappearance in the Storage Room or Garage, having there been Converted to Storage Containers; or of Finding one's Prized Corkscrew, long having Vanished from the Kitchen under circumstances of Great Mystery, bravely serving in the Shed as an Opener of Painte Cans, and covered in Various Wondrous Shades of Latex Painte therefrom.

Tonight, however, I am not Ashamed to say that I had My Retribution, in that I had opportunity to Abscond with an unattended Painte Tray, and turn it to mine own Devious Ends; namely, the Storage of Rags having been Used for Cleaning as they wait upon the Chance to make into the Laundry for Washing. Vengeance!

shadowspar: Textual icon: "Home is where the <3 is. Dreamwidth" (DW: Home is where the <3 is)
Friday, November 4th, 2011 01:41

The ever-wonderful [personal profile] zarhooie has just posted one of them there friending memes. Go check people out! Get some new friends! (Erm...)

Tags:
shadowspar: Members of the band B'z, surrounded by fey fire (b'z fire)
Tuesday, November 1st, 2011 00:56


Shaye - Happy Baby on YouTube.

Shaye was a three-woman supergroup comprised of Kim Stockwood, Damhnait Doyle and Tara MacLean, each amazing musicians in their own right. "Happy Baby" was their biggest hitting single, but there's a lot more to recommend them. Their rendition of On and On is surreal and awesome, and Lake of Fire, the title track off of their second CD, is tantalizing and seductive and just plain amazing.

shadowspar: Picture of Kurama lashing out with a rose whip (kurama - rose whip)
Thursday, October 27th, 2011 16:58

Checked in on LiveJournal just now on account of their latest security fail, and elected to delete my account there rather than keep it hanging around. I don't use it any more, so it doesn't represent anything more than a potential liability anyway.

I'd considered doing so (and really should have done) a while back when it was pointed out to me that they'd started running really obnoxious ads, like full-page / interstitial ones, or banners with scantily-clad imvu anime icons. No, I don't see that stuff myself (I've not touched the site in the past 18 months, and I run NoScript anyway, which means most of the crap doesn't load), but it still bothers me when they put stuff like that next to my smiling face and the words I wrote. I still like the people on LiveJournal, but the antics and long history of fail of LJ Corporate, not so much.

Thanks for coming out, LJ.

shadowspar: Pic of rolling pin and dough w/ caption "That's how I roll" (that's how I roll)
Thursday, October 27th, 2011 00:48

Obscenely rich, completely vegan. An excellent way to get tofu into those who profess to loathe it. We had a family friend proclaiming how horrid tofu was as he was working his way through his third slice of this.

(This is a very slightly tuned-up version of a recipe in the Rebar Cookbook. Said cookbook is Full of Good and Wonderful Things, and I will not stop plugging it until everyone has a copy. =)

Crust:

  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup spelt flour (or unbleached white flour)
  • ⅓ cup toasted cashews (or substitute whole-wheat flour)
  • ⅛ tsp salt (omittable)
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp powdered ginger
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla

Filling:

  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2½ boxes extra-firm silken tofu
  • 1lb dark chocolate
  • ⅛ tsp salt (omittable)
  • 2 tsp espresso powder (optional)

Crust:

Preheat oven to 350℉. Grease an 8" springform pan.

Place sugar, flour, cashews, salt, cinnamon & ginger in a food processor. Whiz until finely ground. Add shortening; process until well blended. Turn out into a bowl; add oil & vanilla. Mix well. Press the mixture into the bottom of the springform pan. Bake for 15 minutes; set aside & let cool.

Filling:

Drain the tofu; purée in a food processor until smooth. Add sugar, vanilla & salt; mix well. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Fold the melted chocolate into the tofu mixture & mix thoroughly.

Pour the filling over the baked crust. Bake for 35min or until firm. Cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate overnight before serving. Omnomnom.

shadowspar: Profile shot of Kurama's face (kurama - profile)
Thursday, October 20th, 2011 16:13

Home sick today. (No, not that kind of sick. Strongest thing I drank yesterday was root beer.) Thankfully only "stay home from work and don't make everyone else sick" kind of sick, not "flat on my ass incapacitated" sick.

As much as I was tempted to curl up in bed and try to get into reading h/c fic, closing up the computer and sleeping through the morning probably did more for my aching head, throat, and stomach. =)