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Thursday, November 20th, 2014 23:18
1. So glad to actually have two days off this week. For the past month or more I've been going in for at least a few hours on one of my days off, but this week I actually managed to stay home both days!

2. My mom came over today and we got KFC. (Delicious KFC + someone else paying for it, yay!)

3. I got some songs translated and actually updated my lyrics website for the first time in months.
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 22:30
I am not allowed to blow things with genitals at Purple. Leaves are okay. Leaves don't have genitals. Leafs, as in the hockey players, are right out. At a distance of greater than a quarter-mile, the likelihood of an exact fix is low enough as to render nearly any angle allowable. At a distance of a quarter-mile or nearer, direction again becomes important.

It took us at least five minutes to wind the conversation to a point where I was no longer laughing too hard to drive.

Purple had parked in the other direction, and asked if he could bum a ride back to his car if I'd like him to walk me out. So that's what we did.

I managed to trip on a perfectly flat section of floor in the cafeteria. Purple finds skirts impractical and feels no need to wear them.

"Cousin Purple" is having Thanksgiving with his one friend's family.

The day was transcription, punctuated by someone's network switch going spare and getting its internet taken away. Plus the inevitable fallout from same: the "oh my god I can't reach this tool it's a network problem" and the "holy shit, how do we report an outage" and the "let us contemplate the ways in which our communication between Engineering and IT is fucked" conversation -- it was a bit of a busy day.

I explained in very small words to an IT manager (on behalf of a #VirtualH and #adventuresofstnono compatriot) why the fuck whitelisting email addresses in the tool that blocks email from unfamiliar addresses and furthermore mangles unfamiliar links, will not work for the purposes of having unfamiliar links in logs from strange servers included as text attachments not being fucking mangled by the mangler. Fuck.

Apparently my arguably passive-aggressive means of getting our friend the person incoherently in charge of the helldesk software (3rd tier, I think) to admit that a function went away, is to ask her to explain how such and such a task is accomplished with that set of permissions.

Today was my second time walking an engineer through a really poorly designed form in a way that didn't make the engineer feel stupid, but did hone the rage and hatred of everyone involved. (The first time was Mr. Zune. The 0th time was me vs. the helpdesk.) I am particularly acrimonious about this particular form as this is one of the ones where my usability concerns have been basically brushed off. It's one of the things where using it as it comes naturally is not how it's intended to be used -- if you leave any text in the terrible field before hitting the search icon because your first attempt has failed, the text in the terrible field will invisibly filter the results in the popup. And there is no way to clear the terrible field from the search popup. It makes strong-minded engineers frustrated past their safety-release-valve thresholds, and it makes me incoherent with rage and hatred, and pathetically grateful when the engineers agree just how terrible it is.

It turns out that Dolohov, as he is played in Alternity (the little bits I've seen, as I'm still intermittently catching up with Year 1) makes my inner submissive look thoughtfully around for the kneepads. (Kneeling is good for many purposes, not just the ones that would make Purple look sternly at me and ascertain that I was oriented correctly away. It was only when [personal profile] woggy mentioned a thing that I realized that this would have that implication.)

Purple swears he will remember the Catching Fire disc tomorrow.

Fishie is the perfect child because she loves the jellybeans I hate.

The guy who isn't usually at the burrito station cannot wrap a burrito properly. Jokes about his popularity amongst stoners ensued.

NaNo: not going so great (haven't really had the energy). I'm feeling OK about it.
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 20:10
So people have been talking about "I want a [mental health] Downswing Party but don't feel mentally well enough to host one" at [personal profile] recessional's journal, so I thought I'd ask:

Does anyone feel well enough to host a Downswing Party on their journal and make sure all the commenters play nice/people don't get forgotten?

While I'm at it I'll also remind people that ALSO, [personal profile] kaberett's love meme has nearly 700 comments, and is still accepting nominations for another week and a half. :)
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 20:02
More PT this week. I am successfully doing the sets of exercises every day.

I still have the flu, tired and vaguely sick, fever varying between 99 and 100, yet am functional. Way more functional than when I wasn't sick but was having a flare up of joint pain. As I think this over I am undoing some hidden levels of blaming myself and worrying that it's my fault or I am specially wimpy or malingering. It is obviously not my fault and I'm tough as nails.

Also maybe I am just not hit that hard by it since I did have a flu shot.

I went out for an hour to the HRDA office party (figuring not contagious if I've had this for nearly 2 weeks) then home again and to bed.

Tomorrow, beta 11 release (specially extended for a week) And then to pain/insomnia therapy and then I will chill out and have a nap. If i feel up to it will go to stef's party. Then swim on the weekend. If I can work up to 2-3 times a week consistently it will be amazing

The portland work week hotel for 1st week of december has a pool. I am going to resolve NOT to try to go out to dinner with people. if i can last the work week sitting up and paying attention and getting back and forth to the hotel it will be ok. d. is going with me and will just work from the hotel. that is amazingly comforting as I won't be stuck and without help if things go wrong physically. and he is super comforting and good to come home to.

I can't tell right this minute if my ankles are stretchy-good hurt or actually hurt. But i ache al over . the PT today was partly some sort of weird pilates machine . and like 20 miutes of lying there trying to move just my lower abdominal muscles, which I am still not sure actually exist. holy crap that was difficult and exhausting. but awesome.
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 18:15
I feel the need to note that when Mom was here helping me, an ongoing refrain of hers was, "BELIEVE THE PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET. THEY LIKE YOU. BELIEEEVVEE THEEEEEM."
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 16:44


Timestuck Rose (ver. Journey to the Centre of the Earth)

Teslacon 2014

Cosplayer | Photos | Design

blah blah more testing blah

Thursday, November 20th, 2014 08:51
The end of the semester is a particularly boring time to be updating, which is why I haven't been, much. Every day is more RAship work and lecture prep and lecturing and then I come home and try to keep up with chores...

Things I am excited about!

- I have been joining and organizing a lot of write-offs and boot camps. It's really helping me progress with the novel. Today I have signed up for three hours, and I'm hoping to edit one scene and finish another, and then submit another chunk to my supervisor. If I could finish the first third of the second draft by the end of the semester that would be really good.

- Next week I am going to paint an accent wall with [profile] zulu_mom. I enjoy painting and we've chosen a dramatic sort of red, just for this one corner of our living room. Should go well with our red furniture, and set off the dark wood of our shelf/cabinet thing. (And hide the places where I patched the drywall after taking down some shelves.)

- I have only three things left to mark! One reading quiz, one research essay, one final exam. Today maybe I can start putting together the rubrics that will help me mark faster.

- Soon, soon I will make & freeze all the food.

Man, even writing this list I feel like I'm just repeating myself. I need time and space to think about new/different things. Um...it's warmer today? The cats, especially Maddy, have been very snuggly lately--maybe because it's winter. Maddy comes under the covers in the night and purrs and purrs. Chelsea's transformation into a lapcat continues apace: when she wants to sit with me, she's learned to navigate the laptop, and also to bump my hand imperiously when the scritches stop for some inexplicable reason (like that I want to scroll while I'm reading...).

Mostly I am treading water and keeping up with things. Oh, that reminds me: I want to buy some swim passes and do more movement/exercise once the semester's done, and swimming would suit nicely.

Maybe also I can start thinking about Christmas shopping. I have already bought one thing for my parents, but once I have time to stop and think, I'll be able to put together some ideas for everyone else.

Er, anyway. Hi everyone! How is your November treating you? Only one more month of increasing darkness. I'm looking forward to the light coming back.

Also, keep prompting me for the December meme if you want! list of topics so far )
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 03:12
Sleep: there was something large and mechanical doing something noisy and mechanical to the lawn or something. It started up around 8. I spent too long awake, so I reset my alarms. Consequently I was later in to work than I planned. It was work's observation of Thanksgiving at lunch. Purple's team opted to go together, and early. I went in apparently just after he had gone out, based on the timestamps. The turkey and gravy and such were tasty enough.

Hooray transcription.

Partway through the afternoon I headed for the bathroom and then sort of jumped back while apologizing, because the door didn't swing freely and I was afraid there was someone on the other side, and it was making a terrible noise. Then I realized that no, it was just making a terrible noise because it was broken. So I filed a ticket; the phrase "flatulent elephant seal" was employed. I linked it in #cupcake for Mr. Zune's delectation. radius inquired whether Alaska was particularly well-equipped with flatulent elephant seals. If it is, it's not my parts of it. I then made a very ill-advised but informative trip to YouTube.

I was not incorrect.

I fetched dinner from the cafeteria at the top of the hill and advised Purple that if he was hungry in the next hour-ish, to ping me. He did, and we enjoyed a pleasant interlude, complete with discussion of exactly what would go into the cat-buttering assembly line construction app (at least a dollar's worth of greased feline hilarity).

Patting Purple on the head is not a valid life choice.

We returned to our various pursuits: I transcribed, Fishie tried to wrap her head around a Python quirk, and Purple beat his head against some very unhelpful compile errors.

[personal profile] azurelunatic: The statement "programmers are enormously clever fuckheaded dumbasses" is almost always true, and some asshole had to invent the language.
[personal profile] eveandriss lol
[personal profile] eveandriss well, that makes a lot more sense now actually...

Purple did not disagree.

A substantial amount of swearing later, Purple had got things working and was also fucking done. He showed up looking sleek and stylish and company-branded in the jacket, and we wandered out into the damp and leaf-strewn night. He had in fact been just thinking that perhaps he needed something for that middle state between flannel-or-equivalent and puffy teal grouse mode, and then, serendipity! The hackathon hoodie was a pullover, and Purple and I have similar feelings about pullovers (no). Usual engineer-level swag is the ugliest t-shirts known to man, and they'll take two, so they can look terrible twice as often.

I suggested that the default state of the shirts was perhaps not the ugliest shirt known to man, and began attempting to contextualize "The Situation" and his ab-window shirt. Purple started giggling when I got to the ab-window, and lifted his shirt to briefly expose a moderately hairy bear belly. He felt that no manager in the company would be particularly pleased with an Unfortunate Situation shirt. "If one guy does it," I started, and fairly shortly we were both on the Group W bench plotting exactly how much spray-tan you'd need to outfit a couple-ten Unfortunate Situations.

He's got an early lunch with his team tomorrow. I have to get gas (a little ahead of schedule). Catching Fire is in the offing. (Me borrowing the movie, not actual fire.)
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 10:49
So, last night I watched Wadjda, the film Saudi Arabia is submitting to the Oscars this year (for the first time ever). I've wanted to watch it since it was originally released, when I watched an interview with the director, Haifaa Al-Mansour, the first woman to direct a feature film in Saudi Arabia. I'm very happy it's now been around long enough (screened in Israeli cinemas last year!) that I can relatively easily find a copy of it online with subtitles.

I loved this movie a LOT and I recommend it to everyone. The very simple summary is that it's about a 10 year old girl growing up in the suburbs of Riyadh and her quest to buy a bicycle. She faces adversity in the form of reluctant shopkeepers, lack of funds, and parents and teachers who disapprove of a girl riding a bike. It's a movie that's lighthearted and funny and at the same time heavy and serious, forever fluctuating between the two. It's incredibly well made, with the script, the acting, the cinematography all being top notch. (I particularly loved Reem Abdullah as Wadjda's mother and Ahd Kamel as the school principal, they were both mesmerizing every moment they were on screen.)

It's difficult for me to talk at length about movies I loved, especially without spoilers. I will say that I loved Wadjda's personality, her unrelenting ambition and entrepreneurial spirit, her stubbornness. Part of the reason Wadjda wants a bike is so she can race her friend Adbullah and win, and I will say the friendship between these two 10 year olds won me over in ways I didn't expect. At first I thought the movie would be subtly shipping them, and I was disappointed we had to have a het romance subplot in a movie about 10 year olds, but instead it just showed them being genuine friends, supporting each other, knowing each other deeply and appreciating each other fully.

more meta thoughts, not spoilery )
Thursday, November 20th, 2014 08:12
For the past few months, I have been playing the Assassin's Creed series on the Playstation. The first part was... not good, but AC2 and AC2:Brotherhood more than made up for it. Loved the gameplay, the story, almost everything.

Since I played AC2:Revelations previously, I have now started Assassin's Creed 3, which is set in America before its independence and I am finding it very annoying so far.

* I didn't at all care about the character I played for the first few hours and never really understood who he was and why I was doing the things I was doing
* That despite an estimated half of my gametime so far being spent watching cutscenes. I am not making this up, there was a mission yesterday where I ran to a house, knocked on the door - cutscene - walked to the stable 50 meters away - cutscene - walked back to the house, knocked, then claimed for about thirty seconds and went back to the stables - cutscene - fight - cutscene. I'd really rather be playing..
* The missions are sometimes really hard, especially the optional goals. How am I supposed to not lose 50% of my health if a wolf attacks me right away? I had to replay a mission more than 10 times yesterday and at that point it's just frustrating.

I think I'll give it a few more hours, but the next part (Black Flag) is already waiting for me at the post office. Where I can't get to at the moment because of the plague, bah.
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 20:08
Oh ugh, I just realized it's hockey season.

To quote [personal profile] recessional: "I will get progressively more and more sour about the NHL from now until the summer, and by May I may be cursing it. If you're not aware, hockey is the pathological rape-apologizing toxic masculinity sports religion of my upbringing and current living situation, and I will be bombarded by it day in and day out in all public venues until someone wins that damn Cup. This is just a thing that is going to happen."

Unlike my squicked feeling about most RPF, hockey RPF (hockey aversion aside) makes me happy especially because it probably upsets some of the people featured in it. Because the amount of misogyny and homophobia going on in hockey culture cannot be believed.
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 18:16
I swear to god I am going to finally hit the point where my annoyance at ITTT overwhelms my lack of motivation, and write integration code for Paul Fenwick's Exobrain to access tumblr and DW, because ITTT can't handle photo posts on it's tumblr channel, and it can only trigger on every post or on a simple word-match for it's RSS channel. Which makes trying to crosspost my photo-heavy cosplay posts basically impossible.

It'll have to wait until I'm not crying inside over C, though.
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 14:59

I'm a new developer (emphasis on the new). I'm trying to expand my skillset in programming and open-source works. I've been told you guys have a great community and are very helpful to newcomers. Please, if you have any tips, resources or suggestions send them my way.

I'm interested in front-end work, graphical interfaces and the like. I have some experience in java, python, html and css. I'm good at photoshop/illustrator as well if there is any need for something along those lines.

Specifically, I've tasked myself with converting the birthdays.tt code to run on foundation. Here's a question, where do I find the birthdays.tt page to see how it looks now?

Thank you very much and I look forward to learning and helping.

Thursday, November 20th, 2014 09:40
If I recall correctly, there's a bot that assigns github issues to people if they say "claimed" or similar in the issue comments.

Can someone point me to the code/setup/whatever for that bot?
Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 15:00
Something to muse on. Should We Change for the Sake of our Relationship?
"All relationships change the people who are in them.

Nobody goes through the fire trial of romantic love and comes out the same on the other side.

In fact, I would argue that for a relationship to last in the long-term—i.e. for two differing individuals to do the hard work of unpacking their own souls so they can better understand each other and live together in harmony—healthy change is essential.

So I believe a more fitting question would be, what is healthy change, and what isn’t?

Healthy change:
  • Brings you closer to understanding the truth about yourself.
  • Leads you to confront your darkness, and figure out how to deal with it.
  • Leads you to recognize detrimental thought patterns and attitudes that sabotage your own potential for fulfillment.
  • Can be extremely difficult and painful in the beginning, but rewards you with the power of self-knowledge and the joy of self-actualization.

    Unhealthy change, on the other hand:
  • Makes you feel disconnected from your true self; your identity becomes what you think your partner wants you to be.
  • Makes you more fearful of, and insecure about, the dark places inside you.
  • Leads you to smother, repress or ignore your own needs.
  • May bring you temporary, superficial gratification, but becomes increasingly painful and difficult to sustain."
  • Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 20:10

    This is for some values of series the first "not in a specific series but still polity" books. It essentially describes the first few while (months, I guess) of the Prador War. And describes things alluded to in the "Agent Cormac" series.

    If you've read and remembered any of my previous Polity bookmemes (rebiewlets?), take the "this is milSF and you will either hate it or not" as given.
    Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 13:53

    -My Pinterest emails are going wild. Someone's discovered something they really like on my DIY/Crafty board and I am getting all the emails about it. Fifty or sixty emails, I mean. That's a lot.

    -Mom got bit by a dog on Sunday. It looked bad then, but it's even worse now. I'm very worried about her and her bite. She sent me pictures and I am very, very concerned. She tells me that she went to the doctor and got antibiotics, yet I still am concerned after seeing these pictures. Hrmph.

    -My lemon tree and tomato plant have come inside! Now we must brave Birnam Wood 'ere we reach the kitchen. The lemon tree is even blooming - and it looks like it might have some fruiting bodies. I hope for at least one lemon. Just one.

    -I am packed for BAM! I am looking forward to it. I kept waffling on whether or not I was going to go, but I am going. I have packed plenty of warm things and figured out what we're taking for food. Now we just need to go get the food that we don't already have - the jerky, the nuts, the fruit, some additional sandwich stuff. We leave tomorrow and Giata, Ruby Herald, is camping with us. I think I should pack my gorget for waterbearing/fighter support, though.

    -I have hit six workouts! Three weeks, twice a week. I'm pleased with myself and happy that the trainers understand my limitations and work with me because of them.

    I think that's it for now.

    Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 14:11
    Decant circle: Anniversary. There's also a few spots left in Ligeia, and I'll combine shipping. (And/or hold for the Yules that should be coming out any day now.)
    Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 18:55
    Quote to sum up my most fun conversation today: "He only died once!"

    (As much as I would love it if my stepdad had come back to life since 2008, it's just not scientifically possible. You'd think seeing the death certificate once would be enough though…)

    PS, hello neglected blog friends, I'm going to Finland, and trying to get free money out of organisations to do so is exactly as difficult as you might expect.
    Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 12:21
    I appear to have read enough books in the past week to warrant a post today, rather than my usual fortnightly update.

    What are you currently reading? Love in the Time of Global Warming, which hasn't get *grabbed* me. Plus a few things started and languisihing: House of Leaves, in particular. Still working through HP4 in french audiobook.

    What did you recently finish?
    Agnes GreyAgnes Grey by Anne Brontë

    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

    I rather liked this - I found Agnes a sympathetic and admirable character, and enjoyed watching her grow in strength and certainty.

    I wasn't entirely impressed with the conclusion, however. I felt like narrative threads were left unresolved - the discourse on education, for instance, left hanging by the entire disengagement with the actual running of the school. Agnes' lack of friends was resolved by her finding a suitable husband, rather than by she and her mother establishing themselves in the school and their new town.

    Stone Butch BluesStone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg

    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    Well *that* was a lot more compelling than I had expected. By the title, and the cover design, I had sort of expected something very... blokey. Jack Kerouac for dykes. Routine dismissals of women/femininity. An emotionally unengaging narrator.

    There were elements of that - Bring your butch woes to the femme's laps! - but more complex, and throughout the novel that element was more deeply interrogated than I had expected. At key points it was possible to distinguish between the *narrative/authorital* ethic and the protagonist's - eg, I was pretty sure one was supposed to see that Theresa was right about 'Butches need women's lib' even as we saw why Jess was never likely to darken the doors of a campus meeting.

    I wasn't expecting to read this in one sitting and weep over it, but I did.

    I would not recommend this book if you're already feeling pissed about toxic masculinity, though.

    Raising Steam (Discworld, #40)Raising Steam by Terry Pratchett

    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    This was great fun, but somehow lacking. The 'train is a live goddess' idea didn't seem sufficiently developed, for one thing. The whole train chase lead to a bit of an anti-climax in Uberwald. Some surprise twists were not foreshadowed at all - there was little of that 'OH so that's what that side reference was!'.

    I liked it. Were it not that it was Pratchett I would perhaps have adored it. I do like what he's doing with the goblins, and I hope the goblin underground railway turns up later on. But it reads like... good Discworld fanfiction? By someone who can imitate Pratchett pretty well but isn't as funny or as brilliant. I feel mean saying that - he's doing a great job for someone with a degenerative neurological disorder! But there we go. He's past his prime. I hope for more world-building in the absence of super sparky narratives.

    What will you read next? Honestly, not sure. Whatever comes to hand?

    Ed: and yep, I finished Stone Butch Blues a day and a bit before hearing about Feinberg's death. Nice timing, huh?
    Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 11:46
    It's now Wednesday, my body temperature is still above 38°C, my lungs are trying to escape my body through my mouth and when I do something strenuous and dangerous such as getting up I almost faint. My intellectual capacity is barely large enough for watching Netflix (Voyager, Deep Space Nine, and 30 Rock).

    Somehow I think tomorrow will see me paying a second visit to my doctor instead of returning to work.

    And the cats are nowhere to be seen. Ungrateful little furballs.
    Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 02:48
    02:51 Tuesday, 18 November, 2014
    In the Simply Not Allowed files, radius is not allowed to feed Outlook Web Access to a clockspider, due to the disapproval of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Clockspiders.

    22:16 Tuesday, 18 November, 2014
    It's starting to get chilly in California. The ginkgo leaves have turned the same vibrant yellow as I am used to seeing on birch trees, but I'm not allergic to ginkgo that I know of. I haven't had a vat of poolwater upended into my sinuses. Purple loves that color on the trees, and so do I. It's not quite the time of year where Purple breaks out the puffy teal jacket that, when described, makes Steph think of a grouse puffed up against the cold, but it's getting closer. *pauses for a moment to soak in the mental image* (Think http://www.jeffsundin.com/fishing-pictures-2013/ruffed-grouse-1024x780.png except more blue, with a hood.)

    Wanted to wake up early. Didn't. Went to work, vaguely early. Freaked out about car despite swift assessment last night that it was likely to be safe to drive at least to and from work until Friday. Did a little further reading up. Easiest possible problem/solution: loose gas cap. Anything else = trip to the mechanic on Saturday & pray that it's cheap.

    I came in to find my chair was stacked with jackets. It was in fact stacked with four jackets, instead of 2. One of the A-Team had excess swag, which he was distributing via the A-Team first. I claimed one for myself.

    Located the thought-lost greeting cards in a box under some print cartridges, while searching for the spare tape cartridges for the label-maker, because Mini McCoy had a new dongle and didn't want to lose it (again).

    Went to lunch. Due to timing, Purple wound up at the other end of the table. Had some fun conversation with the Rollercoaster Tycoon and Lennon Glasses Guy and some of the others about Office Space, productivity, task-switching, and structured procrastination (building in part from the previous day's conversation). I did not sing The Housewife's Lament, but it was a close call.

    Slightly before that, Rollercoaster Tycoon had said something equivalent to: "Reddit is awesome for that. Reddit is awesome for EVERYTHING." I could feel myself pulling up to my full seated height. It was only in my imagination that my hackle feathers smoothed down along my neck and bushed out at my shoulders, just as I was the only person who had just come directly from the context of that Barbie computer engineer book. "If you're a dude," I said. (On Twitter, Sass mentioned that this qualification applies to a lot of things. As does "If you're straight." "If you're white." "If you're able-bodied." Etc.)
    Here is a photo of a very busy rooster in full aggressive retreat. He will kick the hell out of you as soon as you turn your back. He also looks as though he should be carrying a briefcase, Steph says.

    To his credit, the conversation did not go a lot of the places that it could have gone. Read more... )

    I am still the person at lunch who is happy to settle questions (like, what is that flag on that guy's jacket) (the Cross of St. George) with the internet. In my culture, constant connectivity in the place of primary socialization is a means of including people who cannot be physically present, rather than excluding oneself and one's cherished local people from each other. (I was able to exclude myself from the people I didn't want to spend time with as a kid and teenager reasonably well with books. Headphones and an iPod aren't all that different.)

    It's been a wacky day for my manager, running late to everything. I grumbled about Barbie and bad books. (Hooray fanfiction.) She grumbled about evil developers (who, clearly, are in the business of building evil. And also unaffordable housing in San Francisco.) As we trailed back to our usual digs, I inquired as to jacket size. She does not generally partake of company swag as she is a Woman of Size and therefore most of it does not suit. However, this one? EXCELLENT. She may now smile upon the Attempted Labswiper (as it was he who had the extra jackets).

    I saw a passing email from someone who was running late to something because of a meeting which involved Bite Me, McMansplain, and Brutus Cochin. I shuddered. I prepared a small cup of jellybeans, random other fruit candies, and a tequila lemon drop.

    Brutus: the famous Roman historical figure: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Junius_Brutus_the_Younger
    Cochin: a feather-footed bantam chicken. Illustrative of the breed's general shape and stance, though they come in many patterns: http://cdn.backyardchickens.com/4/4b/4bf94cec_4382_p1011779.jpeg
    (in summary, the guy's a backstabbing cock.)

    lb had a talk at an internal conference today. He has also had The Plague, and been out for the past week-and-change. Purple and Mr. Zune and I walked up to the general area to congratulate him on the talk, and to get ice cream. On the way back, we spotted a hawk up in the top of a redwood. Purple said hi to it. I inquired after Purple & Mr. Zune's jacket sizes. Purple was a match.

    Madam Standards is joining the emergency response team. I showed her where my gear is, mentioned that "the blond guy" (Mr. Zune) is also on said team, and showed her the map.

    Yay transcription. At least one more day, depending on how many interruptions I get. (Today, they were legion.) In between bursts of transcription, Fishie talked more about her interest in programming. She'd thought her dad sent her the online Java course link because he knew it, but no, apparently he had just been fucking with her, and hadn't thought she'd take the bait. Now she is taking a Python intro course, and is delightedly using the notebook that wound up in The Bag. Also the highlighters. This is the first year she's highlighted her notes. Potential mentors have been popping up out of the woodwork. [personal profile] kaberett has waved a helpful hand. Purple offered a few slices of time. I didn't specifically have any longish-term assignments that I meant for her, but if Fishie was looking for some, I had a Perl-based project with some nice babydev bugs... Then Sophie had things to say. ;) We shall see whether this results in Fishie showing up in the #dw channels eventually.

    My disc-based media player takes blu-ray. I conveyed such to Purple. I also conveyed, awkwardly, that I would in fact very much like to see Mockingjay in the theatre, I was in favor of some form of group trip (assuming I didn't get stuck at the mechanic's), and I was vaguely averse to seeing it alone. (I had found the book chock-full of low-level triggers. Thanks, Shawn-related likely-PTSD!) Purple was uncertain whether or not R would enjoy this movie, as his predictions about her taste are spotty. *sings the not-a-date song loudly while retreating into the ladies' room*

    Purple's officemate Mr. Bananas has jacket envy now. He had been in search of a new jacket, and apparently that variety is a bit of a hot item. Purple radiated a bit of smugness. He must wash it before attempting to wear it, or court hives. We do not wish hives upon Purple, particularly as we are not allowed to blow bees at him.

    There are not many of the strawberry hearts left in my bowl of Runts candy. Purple has decided that the purple ones are edible. The orange ones are all right. The green ones -- he is sad that the green ones are no longer lime. (Om nom nom lime.) He turned off the lava lamp and we wandered out into the parking lot. I saw a car that was probably R's and waved goodnight. There are at least two little white cars of that style and vintage. The reason Vash has disambiguation charms from every side is because there are so many little white cars of that style and vintage. I have been roommates with two of them.

    Purple declared that this time, he would stick around to make sure that I was able to leave. We talked cars a bit. Every couple days he checks his car to make sure that the check engine light is only the same two codes as usual. But other than that, it's a good car. (I patted it reassuringly. He laughed at me.) The "don't do that" with Vash and hills resulted in other "don't do that, then" discussion, with that tender spot on my left wrist that hurts when I whack it on something. "On a sharp corner, perhaps?" Purple asked. "Actually, it's more of ... 8D ... an edge case," I said. (Groan. Well, mutual grinning and giggling and discussion of how terrible that was.) He poked at his own wrist searching for the pressure point he was thinking of, then gently traced the bones of my not-sensitive other wrist to point to the spot. I agreed that this was a legit pressure point, and that would hurt, but -- I reached for his hand -- *that* was the spot I was talking of. Bodies, man!

    After we bade each other goodnight, I marched over to Vash and checked his gas cap. I screwed it back on. "BINGO!" I yelled to Purple. He teased me a bit, then waited to zoom out of the parking lot until I was definitely following.

    I managed to be That Guy this evening: the laundry room in the half-basement of my building has just been renovated. What I did not realize until I had walked it off my shoe: the tacky substance that I stepped in seems to have been paint or something. So the brand-new linoleum has a contrasting color of paint in tasteful little spots in every place I stepped until it ran out of tack. The counter was not replaced, and the NFC chip stickers under the counter were not removed, so I have my 35 and 45 minute timers readily available as usual.

    Then I got sidetracked looking for bird pictures.
    http://blastoid.deviantart.com/art/Chicken-79873796 (pretty lady!)
    Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 23:02
    1. I'm really enjoying the weather lately. It finally feels like fall!

    2. I actually had some time to kind of get caught up on some stuff at work. Amazing!

    3. Our router has been slowly dying for a while, which is no surprise as we got it when we first got FiOS, which was like six years ago, and that's ancient in router years. I didn't think at this point that Verizon was likely to offer us a free replacement, but they did, and also sent it with next-day shipping, so we got it today! We've yet to set it up, but I think Irene's planning to tomorrow while I go to work. Looking forward to having working wireless (especially since we use it so much with the Apple TV).

    And I'm still taking questions for the December meme. Ask me anything!
    Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 17:55
    People in Toronto! The Canadian International Television Festival is on, and There's a free sneak preview of Camp X. Anyone willing to go and report back on it? :D?
    Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 14:41
    "those are the more bread and butter cancers of the kidney"
    Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 21:59
    So, I am really, really not pleased with where my writing is right now. I mean I'm not pleased with anything - the fact that I can't find an apartment, the fact that I keep hiding my head in the sand about my grad school disaster situation, the fact that winter is fucking coming and both of the above are still true - but there's also writing, which I'm not doing at all, which I do not like.

    I miss writing, I need to do it, it's fun. I have two big fiction things I need to be working on: yuletide, and my original porn novel. I haven't written anything for either, and both feel stalled and unapproachable and I need to get some writing done while I'm not doing those two just to stay in some kind of practice.

    So, I'm not doing the December posting meme, but I'd like to do the thing where I post a short story every day (under a 1000 words, say).

    So, I'd like to collect 10 prompts, and write stuff for them.

    This is super scary (hence, kind of exciting) for me because I am always terrible with prompts and terrible with writing, and I want to post these with minimal editing to get over my "not this isn't good enough!" thing, so. I realize no one cares about original stories under 1000 words, so it would be more about you doing me a favor, but.

    If you have a prompt - gimme? I might write it, or it might jar me into writing yuletide and/or original porn, so you know, I'd be grateful either way.

    Prompts can be anything (except specific fanfic prompts): porn, objects, quotes, scenarios, colors. It can be something random you thought of or elements from a story you'd really enjoy reading, or a photo, or whatever.
    Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 11:16
    I linked to some of these posts in 2013 and in 2012. It bears repeating.

    Alyssa Caparas (2011):

    I hate what TDoR has come to represent: a queer ‘holiday’ for embracing the narrative of fear; fear of violence, fear of death, self-stigmatization. The co-opting of POC trans women of a very-particular-background’s experiences as those of the ENTIRE trans community, regardless of race, class, or whatever. It’s a day to remind us all why we need to be afraid all the time and I think it’s a bunch of bullshit.

    The large majority of people on the lists of the dead are NOT middle class white transwomen or men. They’re lower class PoC & PoC sex workers. I find it incredibly dissrespectful when white, middle, & upper middle class transpeople claim the narratives of transwomen of color & sex workers experiencess as their own. I’m sick of seeing Transbros at TDoR co-opting the narrative of transwomen’s experiences, internalizing them, and feeding those narratives back to everyone, then high-fiving each over how radical & edgey they are. I’m sick of being a Transwoman at TDoR and feeling marginalized by all the gender hipsters who’re there to bump up their scene cred.
    (emphasis author's)

    erica, ascendant (2012):

    because trans identity is so caught up in Caucasianness, a new problem emerges with both the claiming of dead trans people of color altogether: if we weren’t “trans enough” in life, why are we suddenly being counted by the same people who wouldn’t have us once we’re dead? it’s because the idea that it’s dangerous to be trans has to be sold somehow, given that cis people generally ignore violence against trans people regardless of what color we are, and i do have no doubt that it seems like a good idea to use all these names. the trouble is that when this happens without any discussion of race, class, and how violence is often linked to certain types of work, reading our names uncritically is appropriative and using the deaths of people you didn’t care about in life as a vehicle for activism in death. i get that this has to be sold as a concept because cis people are often willfully ignorant that we’re getting killed out here. thing is, there are ways to sell this concept and be conscious of the racial/class/social politics involved herein. i see what the point of TDoR is in terms of public relations, but it isn’t so invaluable that the problematic things about it should go unchecked.
    (emphasis author's)

    Monica Maldonado, 2012

    The truth is, the Trans Day of Remembrance is a day of political grand standing, using the deaths of trans women of colour as a numbers game to buy someone else’s pet project sympathy for votes, dollars, or attention. It’s a day where trans women of colour have greater value dead than we do alive.

    We all too often hear that this day is a day where we must not let the deaths of these women be in vain, but this just underscores the transactional nature of these women’s deaths, most of whom fought no war. They lost their lives not in valour, but only as a result of being women in a world filled with gendered violence. They lost their lives because — all too often — our society casts out the disenfranchised and marginalized, no longer calling the huddled masses and tempest-tossed to our communities with heartfelt calls of liberty and virtue.

    We should gather to mourn the dead, not conscript them into a battle they never had the privilege to fight while living. It pains me to stand here and remind you that these deaths, of our brothers and sisters and wives and husbands and daughters and sons, that these deaths are senseless tragedies that remain a black mark on society. These deaths are signs of a systemic, institutional, social, economic, and political failure to care for our most vulnerable and marginalized populations. But what may be worse, is the crude politicising of these deaths serves no cause more than that of the same vanity we decry.

    Edited to add: Monika Mhz, 2013 (video):

    The reading of each mispronounced name that usually happens, mostly from extracontinental locations, acts as a drop of emotional currency for the pimps feeding the masses hungry for misery pornography and serves validation upon their fears. I want to be clear that all fear is real, and I sympathize deeply with the way that events like this -- the general climate of fear, nonlethal violence, and broader aspects of discrimination felt by our community can impact our lives in real ways, regardless of whether or not our risks truly match. But if we are to move forward in creating the change, if we are to move forward in ending the lethal, nonlethal, discursive, institutional and cultural violence that plagues our society, if we're to forge a future where trans women of color's lives are cherished and we don't find reason to feel that we must need to look over our shoulders every waking moment, then we have to be willing to have a real discussion about the violence that faces our community.

    fake cis girl, 2013

    The dead are us. They’re trans women of color trying to live their damn lives. They’re killed by partners, by clients, by random encounters on the street. I mean, seriously, the silence of white trans people when Islan Nettles was beaten to death walking down the damn street, and even worse the attempts at victim-blaming, were truly horrific…including some invective hurdled about how walking around in the hood comes with such risks. There is such a severe disconnect that part of what would help is that if white trans people in general listened to us this one day a year it could be a catalyst, or so I try to believe. Our realities include much more than how we’re seen in the TDoR list-of-names format: dead people. We are so much more than that, and our realities might be uncomfortable to the “trans community” or maybe, just maybe, the “trans community” will see us as something more than just a list of names of dead people and a bunch of inconvenient bodies and realities to dismiss in life.

    Morgan Collado, 2014:

    Trans Day of Remembrance is filled to the brim with the names of murdered Black and brown trans women, but is a single evening of remembering enough? And what does it mean that TDoR doesn’t explicitly talk about race and is often dominated by white people? Here in Austin there’s this tradition of calling the names of the dead and then having an audience member sit in a chair that represents where the dead trans woman would sit. The seats are always filled with white people and non-trans women. What do our deaths mean when our bodies, our lives, the physical space we take up, is appropriated by white folks? How can I mourn for my sisters when the space set up for that mourning is so thoroughly colonized? And how can I even see hope of living a full life when I don’t see myself reflected in what is supposed to be my community?

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to honor those women who came before us, those women murdered by colonial patriarchy. But it seems like more often than not, the queer community at large is content with just remembering. We only hear about trans women after their deaths. And even our deaths are not our own. A week doesn’t go by without a white queer citing the deaths of trans women of color as the evidence of how oppressed they are. These stats are often used in service of their own assimilation; meanwhile, they’re happy to leave us out in the cold. We don’t even have dignity in death, nor the ability to decide what it will mean for us.

    fake cis girl (2014):

    TDoR generally sees trans women of color as acceptable losses as a central part of the minstrel show that it is. You can’t have a list of dead trans people without it mostly being dead trans women of color with a significant scattering of disabled trans women, too. This common thread between trans suicide and homicides of trans people is no accident, because the violence of rejection may not be the same force of violence that comes from a killer’s blade, but it’s violence nevertheless, and that violence drives some people to suicide. That violence, unlike the violence of a killer, is tolerated and even encouraged in our community. From Ryan Blackhawke’s since-deleted libelous comments complaining about last year’s version of this article to Andrea James’ harassment to the exclusionary nature of the only spaces trans women have (spaces like Ingersoll) comes this violence, and it needs to stop.

    TDoR is still broken and still fails trans women of color. Gwen Smith still keeps the list manicured and controlled for whatever political purpose she’s aiming for, refusing to discuss race on the official site of TDoR itself, a day Ms. Smith continues to claim to “own”, and she hasn’t shown any willingness to change the reprehensible fact that deaths in custody don’t count when trans women are frequently targets of police harassment which disproportionately affects trans women of color, which leads to the logical conclusion that we’re more likely to be victims of police and governmental violence.
    Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 02:50
    Still working out my exact Thanksgiving plans.

    There's a love meme over at [personal profile] kaberett's, with nominations open until the end of November. http://kaberett.dreamwidth.org/331001.html

    I'm not formally doing the December Posting Days thing, because that sort of schedule-thing and I usually get awry of each other, but if anyone has things that they would like me to hold forth on for a bit, I could probably do a thing.
    Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 02:33
    00:12 Friday, 07 November, 2014
    Wednesday morning was not super good. iTunes vs. my Wallet Name rant is forthcoming. After I stomped back to bed after that, the banging and drilling started up. My building is within easy rusting distance of the ocean. Management has had various repair crews through to replace rusted-out metal and crumbling bits of wood. Tuesday, they were working on the apartment above mine first thing in the morning. Wednesday, it was my patio's turn. The banging and drilling was very structurally close, but I did sleep through a lot of it.

    22:50 Friday, 07 November, 2014
    Every now and then I look at my forearms and go "damn, that's nice!" at my muscles.

    00:07 Monday, 17 November, 2014
    I am seasoning the new frying pan. I am also doing some tidying of my kitchen closet.

    Housekeeping. )

    22:54 Monday, 17 November, 2014
    Lunch involved a nice debate about multitasking, personal projects, and the workplace, with the Rollercoaster Tycoon and Purple. Good times!

    First I disappeared into my email, then I got together some of the stuff for the second round of contact sheet updates. Quite understandably, several of the team don't know their desk phone numbers, and reading the display and writing it down sounds like work. And then there was some of the hardware questions, as some of the team is updating their computers and they need the bells and whistles also. And then it was time for a coffee refill, so I cruised into the kitchen, noticed what R was drinking, and then we chatted about the document she was writing. She had to run when she realized the time.

    I am becoming the de-facto hub of information on the team's registered software, such that the Randomizer feels that I hold all such information. (This is a dangerous assumption, but it's a thing which I can start doing.) There were some questions from the Polka-Dot Researcher, and the Dogesitter came to our mutual rescue. I located the information and put it in my all-containing document.

    Purple swung by at this point: R had pinged him while we were having tea, but he had arrived a bit too late. I introduced him (as my partner-in-crime, $NAME the Purple) to the polka-dot researcher. (My team has enough $NAMEs that I am okay with letting my teammates know that I label them.)

    I worked on transcription and fielded fishquestions. To fishie's slight surprise, she has got done most of the major work of the semester. Because fishie always has to be working on something, her current for-fun class is an introductory course in Python. Fishmum is going to have to install Python on a home machine to attempt to keep up. Purple seems pleased with Fishie's initiative. Fishie has sussed out that many non-software-engineer fields involve coding-in-self-defense when you have to build your own tools (and at this juncture I mentioned [personal profile] kaberett's Geology Code, which pleased Fishie as a real-world example) and therefore she would like to be prepared to have a job in the real world, which means picking up dev stuff is an advantage.

    Purple walked me out. The third Hunger Games movie is out. I have not yet seen the second. Purple will let me borrow it. My player does do blu-ray. I may proposition him to accompany me to see the third one, since it sounds like we're both interested.

    Vash needs to see the mechanic soonish again. Woe.

    Instead of doing things which might have been more productive, I alphabetized my BPAL. I could have also done a few loads of laundry, since I think the laundry room has been returned to vague functionality.
    Monday, November 17th, 2014 22:30
    1. Finally got Irene and Alexander caught up on Gravity Falls tonight. (We watched like six episodes.) Of course there's no new episode this week, just our luck, but it looks like there's one next week!

    2. I had a nice relaxing day off yesterday.

    3. Tonight we had a delicious dinner of broccoli, mustard mashed potatoes, and roasted chicken with thyme and onions. It was all so good! *_*
    Monday, November 17th, 2014 21:55

    HOWTO Use the Dreamwidth API

    DW endpoint: "https://www.dreamwidth.org/interface/xmlrpc"

    Invoke LJ.XMLRPC.getchallenge on the endpoint, receiving something like...

    "auth_scheme" :STRING "c0"
    "server_time" :INTEGER <epoch time>
    "challenge" :STRING "c0:1416283200:2410:60:4QoGWOXV0uB9gBaZ0LB0:5a1901a0feccabcb30fbe6e85878f758")
    "expire_time" :INTEGER <epoch time>))

    Pick challenge out, md5_hex[0] the challenge concatenated with the md5_hex of the account password; call the result response.

    response = md5(concat(challenge, md5(password)))

    Then, for function in the API, invoke LJ.RPC.function using auth_method = challenge and auth_response = response.

    Proceed as appropriate for said function

    [0] .. digest in hexadecimal form. The length of the returned string will be 32 and it will only contain characters from this set: '0'..'9' and 'a'..'f'.

    Monday, November 17th, 2014 20:37
    I'm an atheist and introvert, with partners who care about as much as I do about holidays, so in general, we don't do anything for any holidays, especially since the kid left home.

    The only holiday I have any love for is Thanksgiving. It's a food holiday, not strongly religious, and about gratitude, my favorite state of mind.

    Funnily enough, I like approximately zero traditional American Thanksgiving foods. No matter. I love to cook, and to feed people, and no one ever minds if I add in a few side dishes I do like.

    When I was a kid, I was the only one of my mom's four kids who had any interest in cooking with her, so we did T-day together. She did the meats, gravies, and stuffing. I did the sides and pies.

    I'm excited that Mom is up for doing it that way this year. She's doing turkey and ham, stuffing and gravy. I'm doing the following, with asterisks by the items I don't hate:

    roasted Brussels sprouts

    sweet-potato casserole, which I've never made, but which James likes

    *potatoes Dauphinoise (I don't care for mashed potatoes, and Mom consented to replace our traditional potatoes and corn with this)

    *maybe rolls, maybe not

    canned cranberry sauce, which Mom considers essential

    *Mama Stamberg's cranberry relish

    relish tray of celery, *olives, and *sweet gherkins

    pumpkin pie

    lemon meringue pie (the thing I make that Mom likes best)

    *Marie-Helene's apple cake
    Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 15:21
    If you haven't seen it, a lot of people are taking suggestions to write a post on a suggested topic every day in December. There's no way I'm posting every day in December. No way.

    But I'll post once a week in Dec/Jan. I still have three topics left over from the last time I did a topic meme thing, so I've already filled those in on more or less random weeks. Suggest other topics and a week for them in comments.

    Stuff I could write about is included but not limited to: computational linguistics, computer science, computer programming, theoretical linguistics, software engineering, open source software, doing a PhD, research ethics (as an amateur), starting a business, running a business, my pregnancy and birth experiences, parenting babies, parenting toddlers and preschoolers, recreational scuba diving, being 6'4" tall, growing up in regional Australia, hating Lego (fuckin' Lego).

    One caution: honestly, I'm not super-emotionally available to write about feminism these days. You can ask about it but I'm more likely to say no to those topics.

    Weeks )

    ETA: I've unlocked most of my previous topic meme answers over the years.
    Monday, November 17th, 2014 18:22
    I am of two minds about the December meme: on the one hand, I really do want to encourage myself and others to post more here, and I LOVE answering questions about things I'm interested in, which include mememe. On the other hand, part of me doesn't want to ask people to do my homework for me, as it were.

    Mostly, I am thrilled with this idea, though, so please pipe up if you feel like it and not if you don't.

    I will post every day in December, about anything you suggest. I will answer every question, no matter what it's about. If I decide to filter a response, I will note that in a public post so you can ask for access if you want.

    Some things people sometimes want to ask me about include the following, but I seriously have no appreciable conversational taboos.

    • atheism
    • polyamory
    • bisexuality/queerness
    • cooking, especially for special diets (vegan, gluten-free, FA, low-fat, etc.)
    • temping
    • the Green Party
    Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 11:52
    Ehhh whatever, let's give this December meme a shot. Give me topics to post about in December (ETA: and pick a date for me to post them on). I can't 100% guarantee I'll do them promptly (there's a chance I might be taking an honest to god vacation for a few days sometime in there) but I'll do my best.

    Some things you might want to ask me about, as hints:

    * travel and living in other countries
    * running events
    * open source and related topics
    * feminism and related topics
    * moving to a smaller town
    * domesticity/food/textiles
    * life story/history
    * favourite X

    list of days )
    Tuesday, November 18th, 2014 10:11
    Originally posted at http://puzzling.org.

    I’m the next host of the Down Under Feminists’ Carnival! Here’s the call for submissions:

    The next edition of the Down Under Feminists Carnival is planned for 5 December, 2014 and will be hosted by Mary at Hoyden About Town or perhaps puzzling.org, as circumstances permit. Submissions to mary-carnival [at] puzzling [dot] org.

    Submissions must be of posts of feminist interest by writers from Australia and New Zealand that were published in November. Submissions are due on 2 December at the latest, but it’ll be easier on Mary if you submit sooner rather than later. So submit early and often, please, and spread the word!

    Submit away, please!

    Monday, November 17th, 2014 17:45
    Mondays, every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

    (And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)
    Monday, November 17th, 2014 16:33

    BAM is this weekend and I am getting prepared for it! There's supposedly going to be a Beer and Brats sort of social while we're there, so I'm going to bring some beer to be social with.

    I need to get some stuff to get ready, but I think I have enough warm stuff. I hope I have enough warm stuff.

    I, Brent, Linda and her gentlemen all went to the Louisiana Renn Fest this weekend. I got a parasol with rats and Owls on it! Isn't it neat?

    Monday, November 17th, 2014 13:05
    It's getting close to the end of the semester and I keep counting down to things. Three more weeks, eight more lectures to prep and deliver! Two more reading quizzes to mark--one stack of which is in front of me at this very moment. Then the research essay, then the final exam, then FREEDOM!

    Four more weeks of RAship, so forty more hours.

    In one week I will buy a deep freezer! And paint an accent wall!

    Two more weeks of baby classes, four more weeks until the little guy is considered full term. Then the nebulous five weeks between "full term" and "overdue" when any day could be The Day.

    A deadline on Wednesday for a chunk to my supervisor. A personal deadline to reach a certain point in the narrative before the end of the semester. Three writing boot camps scheduled for this week!

    There are many many things that need doing in the interim. Stupid interim.

    Like Christmas shopping! And baking casseroles! And continuing to unpack...nobody's completely unpacked before they've lived somewhere three or four months, right? Because we are still working on that. A lot of these things are fun or at least satisfying, but it does make for very long to-do lists.

    Hey, since I am counting days, how about that December talking meme? I will ramble on any of the above subjects! Or on reading, or writing, or things I am fannish about (mostly The Good Wife right now, also Korra up until mid-season-three). Prompt me and I shall post!

    But while I wait for December, I will work on being productive...

    to do )
    Monday, November 17th, 2014 20:15
    I'm really, really broke, and I need to work my way out of it. So I'm gonna tentatively offer commissions again. Because I was very bad at delivery last time for one or two people, I do not want payment up front.

    The sort of thing I'm offering to make is really simple stuff. I'm willing to do a certain amount of design work, but I really can't do anything complex right now. So we're talking hats, scarves, amigurumi, gloves, baby blankets. That kind of thing. Here's some samples of my work:

    -Fox hat. (My own pattern, based on someone else's design.)
    -Hedgehog. (My own pattern and design.)
    -Squirtle. (Someone else's pattern.)
    -Scarf. (Someone else's pattern.)
    -Ripple lace gloves. (Someone else's pattern.)
    -Teddy bear. (My own pattern, based on a sketch.)
    -Doctor Who keyring. (Someone else's pattern.)
    -Snakey. (Someone else's pattern.)
    -Kobo case. (My own pattern.)
    -Puff stitch Kindle case. (Someone else's pattern.)
    -Tiny bunny. (Someone else's pattern.)
    -Yoda. (Someone else's pattern.)

    1. Tell me what it is and how much you're willing to pay me for work on it, not including materials.
    2. I'll tell you whether I'm willing to do it, and if I will, if I can do it with yarn in my stash (and what that yarn is, if I know -- e.g. merino, acrylic, etc). If I can't, I'll price up the yarn I need.
    3. You send me just enough to buy the yarn, and I do that.
    4. When the item is finished, I send you a photo, you agree it's okay, you send the rest of the payment, and I mail the item to you.
    5. Materials will cost you nothing if it's something non-specialised from my stash.
    6. I do not promise delivery by Christmas! But I will give you an idea of how long I think it'll take me and where in the queue something is.

    If you want to get into contact with me via email instead of by commenting here, thebrightspark(at)gmail(dot)com.

    In addition, my partner is offering to knit simple things like socks, gloves and hats for material costs, with the payment for the work going to me. Simple stuff preferred; more intricate stuff would obviously cost more. I definitely recommend her socks made with silk yarn, for example, for people with circulatory problems like Raynaud's disease. They're sturdier than the ones you can buy in packs, and produce a less slippery effect. If you're interested in something like that, email ehlyah(at)gmail(dot)com to arrange it.

    Feel free to share this post with anyone you think will be interested.
    Monday, November 17th, 2014 13:34
    So I have some friends visiting, and they have a different friend visiting, and she was craving Ethiopian food, so my friends asked the internet (... in the basement at work where there is internet). They found Kokeb and it is great. It is so, so good.

    It is run by auntie, right, who cheerfully self-described to us as "bossy auntie". Auntie went to university in Ethiopia and had her first daughter there, moved to Bulgaria and had her second child and became sufficiently fluent in Bulgarian to work for the Bulgarian government, and then she moved to London and set up an amazing restaurant. As far as we can tell it's an entirely one-woman show; like, she will take orders, check that everybody's ordered everything they want with cheery warnings that if you don't get in now you'll be waiting for a while, and then disappears out back until reappearing Some Time Later with food.

    There were four of us; we paid under £40 including tip for Plenty Of Food and also tip.

    ... food. Food. The "hot and spicy" was well within my tolerance; we had weekend-special-wot (shiro - chickpeas), fule (delicious fava bean thing), ayeb be-gomen (delicious cheese thing), and lots of misc veg - misor wot (red lentil), alicha kik (yellow lentil), spinach, fosolia & carrot (I was so excited about how they use the correct green bean word), ye-atiklt wot (potato carrot misc veg thing), and four injera (delicious sour bread product). We inhaled it all and it was brilliant and we were so happy and it was so good. Like, I cannot do justice to how happy we all were about putting it our faces. I think my absolue favourite was the yellow dal or possibly the fosolia&carrot but I would really not want to have to pick just one thing.

    ... and as we were leaving auntie hugged us all!! She did not do that to all the customers but like friendpeople semi got into an auntie-off with her and she clearly decided to adopt us a bit? The food was brilliant & she was wonderful & just -- yes, yes I will be going back.

    The only thing to be aware of is that she has a fairly strong preference for you to phone ahead so she knows how many injera to make each day so she doesn't run out (and also that the card machine is currently broken so she is cash-only) (and that it is an entirely one-woman show so service is not as fast as it might be if, you know, there was more than one of her) but aaaaaaaah need to find an excuse to go back asap. With company. The better to order EVERYTHING rather than being restricted to just one or two dishes. (Four people seems to be optimum - that way you can get pretty much every veg item on the menu and have the right amount of food without making auntie stick tables together.) So, you know, volunteers? ;)
    Monday, November 17th, 2014 13:19
    1. December Days masterpost is still collecting links! I am really looking forward to reading all the awesome stuff people are putting out. (In comments [personal profile] theladyscribe notes that they're hosting a friending meme, if you want to go play!)

    2. I've still got some days available! Feel free to go prompt. (And even if it looks like I won't have days free, go for it - I can drop topics from people who've got two, or combine similar ones, etc.)

    3. Love meme continues! I just unscreened about 60 comments (including one new nomination) that came in over the weekend (hometernot is still hometernot, but switchover to new ISP happens on Sunday...) I am going to try to get my act together to start leaving comments for you. <3 If you would like to be nominated but are feeling edgy about participation, by all means PM me and I will do the thing for you!

    4. [personal profile] sebastienne, the boything, and my housemate conspired to gift me a bunch of dinosaurs - two origami ones, one sheet of stickers - which were scattered artfully around my desk at home when I got it. :-)
    Monday, November 17th, 2014 12:13
    [profile] kabarett wanted an update about the historic trams excursion day, Nov 2nd. The problem with this is that my modus operandi for transport history has been to enjoy the pretty and rely on a certain gentleman to have the relevant geeky information. If I am going to keep up this hobby I may need to actually learn and remember details of engines and so on. Hm.

    Here is a tram from, I think, the 50s-80s:

    I think it is this motorcar with an orange paint on, but I am not certain. I did not ride on it.

    I did ride on this tram:

    I believe it was in use from 1902 until the early 1970s.
    More photos, minimal commentary )
    Monday, November 17th, 2014 12:07
    It would be very good for me to talk about something other than my to-do list and my breakup. I can't possibly do 30 posts, but please to be giving me 4-6 prompts. Be aware that if you ask something TMI I might answer it under access locks.

    Monday, November 17th, 2014 20:46
    This is a crosspost from Infotropism. You can comment here or there.

    I often hear that making an event more accessible, or even providing information about accessibility, is “too hard” for event organisers. I contest that.

    I make basic efforts toward accessibility for almost every event I run, mostly in the form of documentation, and it’s not that time-consuming or difficult. I estimate I spend about 20 minutes on it for a small event at a new venue, and less than five minutes if we’re running a second or subsequent event at the same place. It’s hardly anything in the overall scheme of things.

    Handy accessibility documentation checklist

    • Make a section on the event page titled “Accessibility”, and under that heading, note the physical access to the venue, including:
      • What floor is it on?
      • Is there an elevator to higher floors, or do you have to use stairs? Does the elevator require a key?
      • Do you need to go up or down steps anywhere between the entrance and the space where the action is taking place (eg. one step at the front door)?
      • Is there a separate accessible entrance? Where is it?
      • Is there rough ground to cover (eg. steep pathways, gravel)
      • Are there buttons to automatically open doors into the venue?
      • Is there a wheelchair-accessible toilet?
    • Also under “Accessibility”, make some notes about the style of the event and the content that will be delivered, with attention to how accessible it would be to hearing- or vision-impaired attendees, eg.
      • Will there be a speaker? Will the speaker’s words be transcribed/available in written form, such as handouts or slides?
      • Will materials be made available online, or minutes or proceedings posted, after the event?
      • Will any video or audio materials be transcribed or interpreted?
    • Also under “Accessibility”, mention any dietary needs, common allergies, or other health considerations:
      • If food is provided, what dietary requirements will be met automatically (eg. vegetarian, gluten free, and nut free)? If an attendee has other dietary requirements, who should they contact and by what date?
      • Especially if the event is a private home, are there any pets that people might have allergies to?
      • Are there any other materials that may cause allergic reactions or other health problems? Any environmental factors that may have health implications? Eg. fumes, noise, extreme heat, flashing strobe lights.
    • Provide an email/phone contact for any accessibility related enquiries not already covered by the above.
    • Under “Transportation”, note ways of getting to the venue, including:
      • Car parking – distance from venue, costs
      • Bicycle parking – indoor/outdoor, secure?
      • Public transportation – nearest routes/stops, time of first/last service
      • Ride sharing – especially for areas with poor public transport coverage, are there arrangements for people to share rides? Where should someone ask to find a ride, or offer a ride? (eg. Facebook group)
    • Under “Children”, note the following:
      • Is the event suitable for children? (Eg. mention if it will be unsafe)
      • Is there childcare provided?
      • Are there facilities for baby changing, feeding, etc?

    Here’s a sample for an event I recently attended, based on my recollection of the venue and proceedings, and a little bit of online research:


    Physical accessibility: The workshop will be held on a rural property. Part of the workshop will be held up a steep and narrow flight of stairs. The rest of the workshop will be held around the property, with rough ground and unfinished paths between different areas. Access to the toilet is via a rough path and a few stairs. This event is not suitable for people with wheelchairs/scooters and may not be suitable for others with mobility impairments.

    Workshop content: The morning speaker will provide written/illustrated notes covering most of the workshop material. No other transcription/interpretation is planned.

    Allergies: Due to the nature of the workshop and the ourdoor venue, people with seasonal or animal allergies may wish to medicate accordingly.

    If you have other accessibility needs or inquiries, feel free to email (email address).


    There is ample car and bike parking onsite.

    There is no public transport to the venue.

    Ride shares can be arranged via our Facebook group (link); please post there if you are able to offer a ride, or are looking for one.


    For safety reasons, this event is not suitable for young children; older children/teens may attend under the supervision of an adult. No childcare will be provided.

    Babies may be changed in the bathroom at the main venue. Refrigeration/heating for baby food are available in the kitchen.

    I timed it; that took me 25 minutes to research and write, and I was eating dinner and watching TV at the same time.

    For future events at the same venue, simply copy-paste and make changes as necessary. It should take less than 5 minutes.

    You may think that this hardly counts as “making your event accessible”, since so much of it is simply stating the lack of accessiblity, but even that much information is such a huge step above what most events provide that people will thank you for it.

    Besides, awareness is most of the battle. Once you get in the habit of thinking about these things for every event, you’ll start to notice if you’re excluding people from attending. You might not have intended to exclude them, and done it without thinking; that’s pretty common, and most of us start out there. Now you’ll be more conscious of it, and you can begin to think about what further steps you could take.

    At the very least, you’ll have saved a potential attendee from having to email a stranger (or worse, post on a public forum), disclosing a bunch of personal information just to find out whether they can attend or not.

    Here are some examples of other events that provide accessiblity information:

    • AdaCamp Bangalore — this is an event I’m organising remotely, at a venue I’ve never seen, in another country. I still managed to provide this information without too much difficulty, by sending a list of questions to someone local and having them walk through the space.
    • Wiscon is a science fiction convention held in the same hotel year after year. They have managed to build up an amazing set of accessibility resources over the years.

    And a few quick “don’ts”:

    • Don’t make people email you with any/all accessibility requests; it puts the onus on them, rather than you, and can invade their privacy. Take the effort to answer the most likely questions ahead of time.
    • Don’t hide the venue’s location from attendees unless absolutely needed for privacy reasons. At the very least, give the general location to within a kilometre or two, and let attendees know as promptly as possible after they register. Knowing where an event is to be held is an important piece of information to help people make decisions.
    • Don’t use offensive language around disabilities. Avoid “handicapped”, “crippled”, “sufferer/suffering”, “victim”, “wheelchair-bound”. Usually-safe terms include: “people with disabilities”, “mobility/visual/hearing impairment”, “wheelchair/scooter user”, “mobility aid”.
    • Don’t get defensive when people ask you to make your event more accessible. Listen, take their suggestions onboard, and honestly weigh the costs (in time, effort, or money) against the benefits (wider reach, greater diversity, and simply doing the right thing). Consider whether you make a partial effort to solve some of the accessibility problems, for a lower cost. If the tradeoff simply can’t work given the resources you have, apologise in a straightforward way, and say you’ll keep it in mind for the future (ideally at a specified date).
    • Don’t put the onus on people who require accommodations to educate you, to advocate for accessibility, or to do all the work toward it. They have enough on their plate as it is, and they don’t want to have to put in so much more effort than other attendees, just to be able to take part in an event. Make it easy for them to attend, and then once you’ve got them engaged and excited, perhaps they will choose to volunteer as an organiser.

    This is still a learning process for me, as it is for most people. I know I’ve done a crap job of this in the past, but I hope I’ll do a better job in future. If you have any suggestions about how I can improve the way I approach event accessibilty, please feel free to contact me.