November 2015

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Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 20:10
The Krotons must have been the first Troughton story I ever saw. It was shown as part of the BBC's "Five Faces of Doctor Who" repeats as part of the show's 20th anniversary. I didn't, to be honest, remember a lot about it beyond the two Gonds stumbling out of the machine (the first to be disintegrated and the second to be rescued) in part 1, and the Doctor and Zoe being zapped for mental energy in part 2.

More under the Cut )
Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 13:20
You know, the best trailers are a form of benign trolling. Some of those cuts were ... VERY strategic, just sayin'.

So, you know, speculate madly, I sure intend to, but keep in mind that they want to mislead us, yeah?
Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 17:46
where I will abruptly realise that one of the men I love simply does not know something that so thoroughly permeates my experiences of the world that I barely even think to mention it.

Content notes for misogyny and gender policing and violence and all that good stuff.

Read more... )
Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 11:26

I have not posted in forever. EVER EVER EVER.

I have had so much happen in the last week it's ridiculous and I kept thinking I need to post this! Have a record! And then I didn't. But it's okay.

On 18 November (last Wednesday), Brent and I woke up to the house flooded. Not whole house flooded, but a nice chunk. At least it was restrained to the sunken living room and the laundry room and the back canning kitchen and the shop. over 200 gallons were shop-vac-ed out of the house. That's a shit-tonne of water.
pictures here! be aware, there's feet. )

I am SO FREAKING MAD about this. We have to rebuild the wall so that it doesn't come through anymore.

And on 11 November, my brother-in-law Thomas and nephew William managed to get my brother's tombstone up. It only took two friggin' years for the VA to get us the tombstone. (No, I'm not bitter. Why do you ask?) John's tombstone )

I got that picture the next day, and I had to go spend my lunch break in the bathroom crying. It hit hard.

Then 19 November, I came home from work (knowing that Brent was on his way to Texas for a big SCA event) and found FRIGGIN' MOUSE TURDS ON MY BED (no, not sharing that picture). I was so irate. I rampaged for a bit.

And now I'm fighting with a Google Spreadsheet. I'm not enjoying it.

The turkey is brining for tomorrow. My mom and dad are coming down. This is going to be ... interesting.

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 12:30
Snaffled from ars technica

Stanford researcher Mark Jacobson likes to take current thinking about renewable energy and supersize it. Rather than aiming for 50 percent renewables, like California is, he has analyzed what it would take for each of the 50 states to go fully renewable. It would apparently involve so many offshore wind turbines that hurricanes headed toward the States would be suppressed.

I feel like that's an unalloyed good, am I missing something here?
Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 16:02
As some of you will aready know, [personal profile] rachelmanija is dealing with some very stressful stuff; she could use some good h/c recs. This is the recs accumulation post.

She says:

I like old-school "lost and injured in wildernesses," "held hostage," "poisoned," "race to get to medical care," "post-action breakdown" "adjusting to being a civilian with bonus PTSD," that sort of thing - I like when the hurt is serious or life-threatening, there's some action, and plenty of comfort at the end. Sholio and Dira Sudis write the sort of thing I like, and of course my Werewolf Marines books are the exact sort of thing I like.

I like canon recs too but already know Sharpe, Dick Francis, Lymond, Hornblower, Modesty Blaise, Eagle of the Ninth, Leverage, Star Trek (any iteration) Star Wars (ditto), Percy Jackson, Pern, Kushiel's Dart, Benjamin January, Attack on Titan, X-Men (especially anything but First Class, but I do also like First Class. I just prefer the comics and first two movies). Would love any fic recs in those canons or probably any book or anime fandom. Like, anything that's ever appeared in Yuletide probably has sufficient context.

For fic, if the story's really great I'll try anything. But I'm picky about MCU (don't like infantilized Bucky, have irrational hatred for Coulson), don't like SGA, Sherlock, or Teen Wolf, and don't know Hamilton, Homestuck, or Steven Universe. Finally, I'm neutral on rape recovery - it's not a plus but it's not a back button either.

I like touch starvation, people feeding each other or helping each other to walk or carrying each other, huddling for warmth, washing each other or washing their hair. And a minimum of vomit.
Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 23:30
1. It's raining! Probably not much or for long, but it's nice.

2. Tomorrow is my early day and I'm not looking forward to that, but I am looking forward to coming home early, so hopefully I won't have to stay late! (Plus it is nice to get in there and get stuff done before there's a bunch of people bothering me.)

3. We had the most hilarious kitten moment tonight. I really wish we had been filming! Chloe was up on the shelves by the mantle and she can jump from there to the love seat now, so she made the jump just fine, and landed next to Carla's foot and then was just super startled by the foot! She just paused in shock for a moment, with this horrified look on her face, and then jumped up onto the back of the love seat. Describing it just really can't do it justice. If we'd been filming, we would have had a hit cat video on our hands for sure.

4. Apparently some people are trying to bring back Glitch? It's called Children of Ur now and if you sign up with the same username you can even have your old avatar! It's really slow and buggy right now and not especially fun to play, but omg I am so excited about the idea of this game coming back!
Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 02:26
There are YouTube socks! They are not tube socks, alas.
Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 15:22
I just heard that Cynthia Robinson has died. Link to obit when I have one. ETA: It took way too long for me to remember the existence of Wikipedia, which had two links: Billboard's obit; Rolling Stone's obit.
Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 16:08
How to remove album artwork from iTunes 12?

Because I can't seem to get it to stay deleted, which is displeasing me mightily.
Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 17:09
The Fanlore page now has some links to most of what's been happening and some good summaries, for anyone who's not already aware.

I am still trying to figure out what to say publicly, but I am also desperate to talk about it, in between being really nervous of hearing stuff dragged back up that will really upset me. I'm mostly healed from the previous incidents, but not entirely.

I'm tentatively hopeful but still slightly cynical at the moment. Matty and LO (Atiya) are great people and I look forward to seeing what they'll do. They're not perfect people, and fandom's idealisation-devaluation cycle is vicious. A clean slate is easier in some ways than changing a culture when you're a minority, but there are bits of problematic culture that have been spread across the org for so many years that I really doubt they're all gone, so I don't think the Board is the only problem culturally or ethically, let alone in any other way.

I haven't linked it from the Fanlore page as I know she doesn't want the whole of Metafandom descending on her, but [personal profile] recessional's commentary is interesting, for any mutual friends/network who hadn't spotted it yet.

I have been sick for the past five days, I'm exhausted and everything sucks, I still have dayjob to do, chores to do, and a pile of fun stuff including Dreamwidth coding that I'd like to get to at some point. But I've gone and volunteered to share my knowledge on the finance side, because institutional history can help, provided you can prevent it perpetuating bad culture.
Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 15:33
This is my first code tour in quite a while. [personal profile] kaberett's contributor weekend got me back into things, as well as featuring amazing macaroni cheese. Hooray for several new and/or returning people! \o/ (Warning: British spelling ahead.)

Code Tour, 5th - 22nd November )

25 total issues resolved
Contributors: [ profile] azurelunatic, [ profile] cesy, [ profile] chrisboyle, [ profile] hotlevel4, [ profile] kaberett, [ profile] kareila, [ profile] ljacob, [ profile] me-and, [ profile] ninetyd, [ profile] sgsabbage

Thanks to our new contributor [ profile] chrisboyle.
Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 09:51
I seem to be plotting, with enthusiastic help from [personal profile] staranise, a Flashpoint/Rivers of London crossover.

I assume I'm looking at, like, five readers here, and I'll probably end up getting four of them to help beta, but the heart wants what the heart wants, which in this case seems to be Ed Lang attempting to grapple with the logistics of a situation involving fucking magic, seriously? while Peter Grant and Thomas Nightingale are stuck kibitzing via Skype and can't usefully do any actual spells.

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 09:12
This was actually sort of an impulse, created while doing other things, so the quantities and times are a bit imprecise, sorry. It was sort of inspired by a jam Mel made a few years back with a piece of venison and a lot of onions that made me think that sweet and savoury was a taste thing I could get behind after all, but I wanted to do one with more fruit and no meat plus, you guys, I have a lot of dried fruit in my pantry and wanted to do something other than put it on oatmeal.

A handful of prunes, chopped smallish.
A scant handful of dried currants.
About 8 green peppercorns, cracked up in a mortar with two pieces of dried garlic (they were selling dried garlic at the Ukaranian festival this summer and you guys, it is amazeballs. Sharp and rich and just generally fun to play with.)
An enthusiastic glug of dry sherry
A slightly less enthusiastic glug of balsamic fruit vinegar.
A small glug of fruit juice to bring the liquid level up (I used cherry/cranberry, because it was sitting on the table when I was flailing about looking for ideas)

Cook it for several hours covered on very low heat (I have a tiny crockpot, which is what I used) wandering past and tasting it occasionally and when the vinegar starts to taste a bit sharp turn it off and add

One onion, carmelised.

Let it sit for a couple of hours while you do other things. Put it on stuff.
Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 08:15
1) Rather late: [personal profile] fairestcat and I were in Rossland with my sister and Mom for Thanksgiving proper, so we did it this weekend, having luckily been able to get Meletor and her delightful Man up here for four hectic, awesome days.

Mel and I took over the kitchen and did Interesting Things with food, ably supported by our long-suffering spouses, who variously drove us to two grocery stores, organised the table, did a million dishes, rescued the bread when the kitchen, being cold and dry, killed the first round of yeast dead, chopped things, reminded us of things, hugged us, tasted things, stirred things, consoled us when things did not go as planned and had to be rejigged on the fly, ate and praised our efforts, and did a million more dishes while we sat around dazed drinking port and high-fiving each other hysterically while exclaiming WE DID THE THING. As one does.

Mel's rabbit pilaf was the hit of the night and my savoury jam wasn't too bad either. There were two kinds of squash and [personal profile] fairestcat's amazing brussel sprouts and I did a slightly experimental pie that was nearly exactly right (condensing all the fruit worked well but I needed a fraction more liquid) and we ritually harvested the last kale from the bathtub and [personal profile] fajrdrako and [personal profile] reyl and his awesome daughter Em came and helped us eat it all and it was an excellent Thanksgiving/Harvest Festival meal.

Monday we had to take Mel and James to the airport, which was exceeding sad.

2) In other news we got a fancy dehumidifier with a HEPA filter, and the difference is shocking. I confirmed on this trip that no matter HOW clean a space is, if it's damp it WILL contain enough dust mites to make me ill, so when I got home to a week of rain we splurged. I'm rationalising it on the grounds that with the price of Advair what it is we'll save the 300 CDN back right quick, and honestly I think that's true, and that's before we compare the health effects of spending it on steroids versus spending it on not needing steroids.

My other big discovery of this year is that allergy attacks = inflammation and fluid retention/production which = increased pain. I have usually tended to have less pain and fatigue while out in the mountains and then collapse on arriving home but I guess I thought it was adrenalin followed by a crash. Nope.

When I walk into a place I react to, on what was a good pain day, I can reliably predict that my back and shoulders will start to hurt twenty to thirty minutes later. I now have a whole new theory of that whole "my knee tells me what the weather is going to do" thing.

I pass this on for what it's worth to folks with both allergies and chronic pain.

3) Pursuant to my policy that snow is not permitted before my birthday, I am snarling feebly at the extremely fluffy white rain outside today. Fortunately I have to do a bunch of cleaning, so am saved from actually going out to encounter it in person.

4) As of December 15 I will, for the first time in some time, no longer be married to a member of the OTW board. In the meantime, yes, I AM pointedly ignoring the current rash of posts on the topic, and intend to continue doing so.

I may at some point alter the policy I have had since [personal profile] fairestcat first joined the board back in whenever of publically having No Opinion Whatsoever about the OTW's workings, but frankly it's extremely restful so very likely not.

I'd like to continue to believe that you are all the kind of people who, upon reading that, will NOT feel compelled to leave me a comment designed to bait one of us into engaging. Please assist me in maintaining this innocence.

5) I have no original or useful thoughts about current world affairs, and if Afghanistan and Iraq taught me anything it's that there's really not a lot of point in arguing unless you can arrange to do so in front of policymakers anyway.

My immediate response and current plan is that I am going to call the local Red Cross and get myself back on the Disaster Relief roster and see what classes I can do. Because things are uncertain (things have always been uncertain) and when bad shit goes down in the world there is always room for more people who are willing to show up with tea and blankets and sandwiches, or organise the procurement and delivery of same, and freely give them to those in need, without qualification.
Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 00:29
Purple got snagged by lb and Mr. Netflix for lunch today, since lb and Mr. Netflix were the only representatives of the department actually in the department for lunch. Thus it was that I did not see Purple in person until it was time to go home.

I managed to wait until we were outside to apologetically point out that I would be having a worse time than expected for the next couple weeks because I'd trained pretty hard on Bearded Purple, so Beardless Purple was essentially a stranger (with, for bonus points, a smile a hell of a lot like Figment's).

It's going to be a super weird couple weeks. I'm going to be double-taking a lot.

lb had immediately given him shit upon seeing it. Purple did mention his reason for doing it, and it's a reason I fully endorse beyond the "dude, it's ... your beard? and you're the boss of your beard?" position ... but dang, I still have a hard time recognizing him without it. Despite having known him for quite some time without it, I still learned his face with it due to his directory picture.

<lb> I think we should give him some beard products
<lb> beard products are a hint to beard harder
Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 09:30
From an email received by Matryoshka who has been masterminding everything:

I am pleased to confirm that your paper "Formal Verification of Ethical Choices in Autonomous Systems" has been accepted for publication in Robotics and Autonomous Systems.

This was originally a journal special issue version of our 2013 TAROS paper: Ethical Choice in Unforeseen Circumstances, but via a long and tortuous story its become more of a standalone extension of the work in its own right.
Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 00:19
1. We braved Costco today to get a turkey breast (they have already cooked ones with no bones in) and we also got a couple other things we needed and now hopefully won't have to go again until after Christmas, because wow, it was horrible.

2. I played a bit of both cooperative multiplayer and the battle stages in Triforce Heroes and it's pretty fun. It can be really frustrating, though, because there's no way to actually talk to other players, so if someone is being stupid, there's no way to tell them what they need to do. I definitely wouldn't want to play the whole game this way, but just as a way of doing some of the bonus challenges to get extra materials for new outfits, it's fun.

3. We had a delicious dinner tonight of steak, broccoli, and cheesey potatoes. There's lots of leftovers, too, especially the potatoes.

4. I did less translating than I'd planned today, but I did get some done.

5. The kittens have been so cute lately! Chloe has this new thing where instead of being super aggressive about people food, she is instead suuuuuuper casual, like, who would even think she is interested in your food? I'm terrible to encourage her, but she's so cute I always end up giving her a bite or two.

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 00:47
From Fred Clark over at Slacktivist:

The title of the post at Joe.My.God is “Donald Trump Tweets Racist Lying Graphic.” The title of the post at Talking Points Memo is “Trump Retweets Inaccurate Statistics About Black Murder Rate.” Joe gets that right. Josh gets it wrong.

This is a side effect of our belief that even those of us who aren't in a court of law can't call something racism unless we can prove what was in someone's heart, can't call something lying unless we can prove they were 100% certain they were stating an untruth.

Trump's tweet (screenshotted in that Joe. My. God. post, TW for repulsive racism, and I'm not going to alternative text it because, sorry, can't bear to) is quite obviously racism and lying. I can't prove the lying, certainly; I have know idea what Trump believes is true. The racism is patently obvious, though; I challenge anyone to come up with a believable fanwank under which a tweet like that (in the context of Trump) isn't prima facie evidence of racism. Racist intent and racism in his heart, even, although I think asking for evidence of either of those is always a bullshit way of avoiding discussing effects.
Monday, November 23rd, 2015 21:42
First day at work = AMAAAAAZING, even though I am also so intimidated and not sure what my job actually consists of yet and I haven't even heard of half the agencies we make our main referrals to and I am going to spend the four days until my next shift studying the crap out of the paperwork I took home. Because this is my struggle. These are my stakes. This work feels right and the values and the attitude are all exactly right, I'm really valuable and experienced here, I believe in what we're doing, and the while I'm afraid I'm going to have to plunge in unprepared and screw up and ask for help, that's not actually a deterrent.

I may start drinking caffeine again, because I need to be a lot perkier. We'll see if I can. When I stopped drinking it last spring it was because my heart would race in the middle of the night; at the time I was intensely stressed and anxious. Maybe now that I'm a lot more chill I can do it again.
Monday, November 23rd, 2015 18:45
Re-reading Lirael. It's even more hilarious and indulgent feeling than Sabriel. The first 10% of the book is all 14-year-old Lirael sulking and contemplating suicide because she hasn't gotten her special talent and doesn't fit in and no one understands her.

Then she gets to be an assistant librarian, creates a magic companion dog, and learns three shape-changing shapes: ice otter, russet bear, and barking owl.

Barking owl... bwahahah!

I love her adventures in the library.

I'm reminded of some other teenage librarian book but can't remember what it was.

Note that she also basically has selective mutism (because it is traumatic that she can't talk about the special skill that everyone else has that makes her not fit in)
Monday, November 23rd, 2015 20:35
I was given A Sixth Sense while on a work visit to Schlumberger's research centre in Cambridge. It is a biography of Henri-Georges Doll, the brother-in-law of the two Schlumberger brothers who founded the company, and the key technical and scientific mind behind the company's development of well-logging techniques upon which its success is, in part, based. It must be said, I went into it with fairly low expectations, reasoning that any history a major global company gives you as a freebie is going to have more than a little of the hagiography about it.

I was pleasantly surprised. As far as I can tell it is an honest attempt at a biography, since adopted by the company, rather than something commissioned by them. That said, it is clear, especially in the later chapters, that the necessity to keep on the right side of the Schlumberger family in order to access records means that some aspects of company politics have had to be alluded to in passing, rather than examined in detail. Pierre Schlumberger's time as the head of the company was presumably troubled, but this is visible only as a few passing references to a difficult personality and then his sudden removal from control. Doll himself suddenly ceases to have active control of the Ridgefield Research centre that he founded, and moves to Manhattan to become chairman of the board but, it would appear, is a chairman in name rather than actual fact. He commented ruefully that decisions were made and apparently signed off by him without his even being aware of them. The politics behind this demotion dressed as promotion are not discussed.

Where the book is excellent though is in discussing Doll's early years of technical innovation, as he seeks develop the use of electrical resistivity to help locate oil-bearing layers in exploratory bore holes. As well as being a discussion of scientific discovery, this is an interesting look at the conduct of science in a commercial setting, where the need to be profitable (or at least solvent) has a strong bearing on the direction and pursuit of research. All this plays out against the backdrop of Europe in the first half of the 20th century, including an ill-fated collaboration with Russia (which ultimately ends when the head of Schlumberger's Russian branch is arrested, his fate at the hands of the regime only finally revealed decades later) and the company's flight to America and participation in the American war effort.

It is a flawed book, but its flaws are those of historians constrained by their sources and the wishes of the living, not of writers for hire for a global corporation. As gifts in corporate goodie bags go, this was pretty classy.
Monday, November 23rd, 2015 11:07
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 23rd, 2015 09:58
We had to put Brandy to sleep this morning -- heart failure leading to blood clot that blocked off circulation to his back legs. It was a very easy decision, at least, and he was perfectly fine up until suddenly he wasn't and then it was over an hour and a half later.

RIP, monster. You were an asshole, but you were our asshole, and you were a great cat.

(Please no quotes from the rainbow bridge poem with your condolences, if you don't mind!)
Monday, November 23rd, 2015 09:51
Previously unread.

This is the fourth (and final, so far) volume in the Rogue Agent series. It takes place a few months after the end of the previous volume, starting very "in media res", then jumps back a week or two to tell us the story of how we got to the opening.

All in all, eminently readable. The comedy stays dialled down, but it's still hovering in the background. We're treated to a display of political intrigue, with magic and subterfuge duelling magic and wit on the scene of international politics.

I'd definitely recommend starting earlier in the series, but I suspect it's eminently possible to enjoy this as a free-standing book (although it's probably richer for having more background).

The one down-side is that there's no more books published and I would dearly like to read more in this series.
Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 23:30
1. I'm soooooo tired for some reason (I'm not sick, but maybe fighting off the sickness that everyone else has), but I have tomorrow off and I'm looking forward to resting.

2. It was really hot this weekend (almost 90!?) but is supposed to plunge down into the low 60s later this week, with maybe rain for Thanksgiving.

3. Tonight's Brooklyn Nine-Nine was great. This season is really on a roll!
Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 21:09
I got through all this running around on trains and cabs and staying out all day beautifully just on the one tramadol in the morning and some coffee. I did also have a beer with dinner. No vicodin necessary. Pleased! I am not destroyed. This is a good sign for my ankles.

Moomin's play was very amusing. They all looked great in kilts and knee socks. Moomin curses the kilt for being confusing to put on and take off with pins and the shoulder strap thing and some mysterious underneath part. (They all wore shorts). Brigadoon is very sexist and a bit stupid. There should be a Brigadoon 1,000,000 A.D. fanfic where the characters from the future present (while the Brigadoon people are 30-years-from-their-beginning) are intelligent giant rats and squid-roaches and Brigadoon is tropical and covered in active volcanoes and they instantly die from inhaling the pure methane atmosphere or something or if not, fall in love with the giant squids.
Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 19:32
We're updating the site momentarily! Once the dust settles, please let us know if anything isn't working as expected. I'll edit the entry here if we confirm any issues.

Update, 21:45: All done!
Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 18:28
During the first Hunger Games movie, I kept being grossed out by media tie-ins for cosmetics (even though the film skipped the book's awesome hair removal scene, it's still pretty judgmental about cosmetics) and fast food (because ew). Tonight I've just seen three Catching Fire car ads, and I can't even. The series, and particularly the second half of the third book, are about toppling the comfortable upper and upper middle classes from their exploitative lives of conspicuous consumption! That's the point!

I mean, I can go off for a while about how the third book undercuts the strength of the message (of the systemic ignorant exploitation inherent in comfortable well-off industrial modernity, and how a long term revolutionary force works by years of groundwork followed by appointing a camera-friendly face) by turning victory into something that can be achieved by pitting a spunky hero against an evil villain. But the point is, unless the movie is drastically different from the book, toppling das kapital is kind of the basic premise.
Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 18:10
Sometimes you find a new fanfic author you really like, who pulls you into a new pairing, and you're 70K into a 100K+ story before part of the twist involves the brain-damaged slowly-weakening sibling dying.

So, you know, fuck it all.
Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 11:36
Very bad ankle pain since Paris, not really getting better. But I am reasonably functional most days with the walking casts. By mid to late afternoon though I start crying and feel incapable and just waiting for when I can take ambien and sleep. At best that happens more like 7pm so I get through my work day. But, i am getting out of the house at least once every few days. Not painkillering up too much, at least, not every day. I am about to start putting a little painkiller ration into a weekly pill box so I will know how much I'm taking, if it's every day, etc. And a written record too.

Yesterday, both kids were here which was just lovely (and won't happen again until January, or maybe a Fakemas afternoon). I try to appreciate it when it happens even if they are just hanging out playing minecraft while I feed and clean up after them. Only 1.5 years more of Moomin living at home (!!!) I am starting to pray atheistically that he will go to Berkeley.

Anyway, we dug up the new dirt around the front yard tree with trowels, put in our tiny palisade edging, and planted things. It looks super nice. Satisfyingly!!! they were not complaining or lazy and were both kind of into it. Zond7 came out and dug for a bit too. I am aiming for everyone feeling somewhat invested in keeping the sidewalk looking nice. I have some evil plans to build another little bench on the north side of the tree with 2x4s and make it super nice!!!

So, then, despite my plans to chill out and then cab to berkeley to buy a mattress....complicated timing of everything.... we instead all four piled in a cab to my sister's. I took a tramadol in preparation for more car riding and going up her giant steps. Up the steps, lovely time with family, her 3 cats bopping around, everyone bustling or loafing as their temperaments require. My sister came with us to buy the bed, since she has had a great mattress for the last 10 years from this place!!! Zond7 and I decided pretty quickly and got a bed frame which i'm super excited about as it is especially pretty. The headboard is a section of a giant madrone log and has a sort of line where the young sapling must have been. Or maybe madrone tree vascular systems just look like that. It looks like a network diagram or some sort of electronics circuit and also made me think of the napoleon's march chart in the Tufte book. I think it will make me happy every time I look at it. The bed was $4000 total which is basically my quarter's bonus (yes.... raking it in) Every quarter I think I will save the bonus, and instead this year I went on 2 vacations and bought a mattress. WORTH IT. This time of my life I am living high. So!!!!! New bed, super comfy, I practically live in the bed so it better be good!

We then had to haul ass home (another 30 dollar cab ride) so Moomin could go off with his dad to be in the 2nd night of the school musical. I was crying in pain again, and drank half a beer and took 5mg vicodin and 100mg gabapentin. This helped quite a lot and I felt cheerful for the first night in weeks, and was even hobbling around without the boots a little. I fell asleep easily and stayed asleep until Dashboard the Foster Cat brought a mouse up into our bed at 6am. Oh cat. Please kill the mice. Food not toy.

Dreamt that I was in Paris suspected of blowing things up and could not explain since I can't speak French. At the same time I had a sort of cinematic view of a guy who was really blowing things up with a giant radio antenna he would stick out of his window. I was doing a lot of having to quickly pack my suitcase but it taking forever in the dream. Anxiety dream I guess.

Reading, I went through a book of Garth Nix short stories and really enjoyed them. Better writing than Sabriel. I went back to read Sabriel again anyway, and it's making me laugh super hard as it is so indulgent feeling of gothy teenagerness! I love that! Even though I don't really like Sabriel herself or any of the characters, and am not gothy. But it cracks me up. Really.... you are basically in handbell choir and have a demon cat and can sense death. OK. A bandolier of handbells. LOLLLLLLLL. I admire the setup of being condescendingly best at everything in boarding school and then just breezing off from school with everyone's total permission, then going back to be the hero of everything (and dramatically killing off some of your schoolmates and favorite teacher as you suck the magic out of them or whatever.) And, getting royalty and swords and sorcery PLUS a sort of romanticized bunch of ... happy and ready to die World War One soldiers. Plus a sentient glider plane. What. Also, the villain turns into two extra demon kittens that barf up more magic rings. What an excellent use of kittens. Can't remember if they ever turn up again in the sequels. Didn't her magic boyfriend or husband die at some point but they stay married and even have zombie magic babies? I am going to have to re-read the whole thing now. None of it really makes any sense and that doesn't matter at all.

I was reminded while re-reading this (as there is a minor character named Horayse) that it took me till I was like 35 to realize that Horace (greek) = Horus (egyptian god). Mind blown! Doesn't it seem amazing and weird that thousands of years later, in the US halfway around the world, people still get named after Horus?

Today I went out to get cat litter and some groceries, happily blew up ingress portals, and then laid in bed recharging all my portal keys. I am not too far away from finally leveling up to level 12. I think in December or early January. It's absurd how much I still enjoy this game.

Ada and I placed more bricks from my sister's house and she helped me bring up laundry and groceries. Then I rested some more (this blogging counts as resting) with my feet up.

Now, for a bath, compression socks, walking casts, and we Caltrain down to Moomin's school to see the play. we are meeting my parents and sister there. I plan on another tramadol and then when I get home a vicodin and ice.

Work pissed me off on friday afternoon as someone emailed a giant public list with a thing that on one level is a reasonable question, but didn't need to go to everyone and the not-very-subtext of it was that what i do all day in my job is useless and a bother to everyone. Uh yeah fuck off. So cue a bunch of dudes abstractly batting around that my entire team's work is pointless. Oh, I'm pissed! But, I am trying to keep level headed and take from it whatever turns up that may be useful, in expressing the frustrations of developers who want a faster release process, which on the whole I agree with. and what we do is somewhat more intuitive than otherwise and a bit scrambly because our test automation has not kept up with actual development. (no one's fault really). And I think what I do is quite helpful. I'm just annoyed because I have felt this position has got me more respect and now that is undermined in a stupid way. I also thought this particular guy and I had a fine working relationship. NOt sure if it is worth explaining anything to him now. Maybe after a couple more days. He sees a good bit of his part of the process but not the scary overview my team sees.
Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 19:46
Perfect late-fall dinner: burrata ribollita. Especially with the crunchy pancetta.
Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 13:03
We are planning to do a code push in about six hours, around 5pm Pacific time.

Most of the changes with this push are cleanup and small backend fixes, but we also have a new journal style called "Pattern" with 24 themes for you to choose from, and most excitingly, QuickReply has now been enabled for journal, day, and network views.

We'll update again to let you know when the code push is in progress!
Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 14:33
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Frosty morning. #latergram
Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 13:50
So, I will hopefully write up a longer and more detailed review of Strange Horizons later this month, so meanwhile here are some scattered thoughts.

Briefly, this show had flaws - structurally and content-wise - but I enjoyed it a LOT. I felt like it was about 90% where it needed to be in terms of my enjoyment, which is significantly more than any MCU project so far. Ultimately I think the lacking 10% was the polish and pretty-ness that felt like it reigned in the material, but my god. MY GOD. A superpowered heroine who doesn't wear heels, or dresses and doesn't rely on her sexuality to get things, and whose narrative doesn't elevate that mode of femininity over any other. A show where the hero is damaged and fucked up and antisocial and occasionally an asshole, and still, always trying her best. A show where women are allowed to be wonderful and terrible and everything in between. MY GOD.

spoilers )
Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 01:59
So, while browsing Facebook links on my phone this morning, I came across possibly the most beautiful piece of news I've seen in months.

New Nerve Drugs May Finally Prevent Migraine Headaches

more info here and some speculation )
Saturday, November 21st, 2015 23:23
I just spent an hour wrestling with my pretty new iPhone, a green 5c gifted me by a friend; it's been fabulous in many respects, but when I wanted to listen to my audiobooks on it I found that they had disappeared from my Music app entirely.

After an hour I found out what no one in the Apple support forums seemed to: that while I could in no way make the books reappear in the Music app, no matter what sync options I checked, they could appear... in the Books app.

And then I heard my mother saying, as she did when I was eight and had to resort to searching the mitten drawer for my mittens, "Don't you hate when things are where they're supposed to be?"
Saturday, November 21st, 2015 01:00
1. I've got three days of sleeping in coming up!

2. Today I actually woke up a bit before my alarm, so I was able to eat something before work.

3. A lot of our ordering at work is messed up because of Thanksgiving next week, and I totally spaced on an order today that, if I hadn't gotten it in today, would have meant we wouldn't receive anything until December 4th. But thankfully the person at the main store who consolidates all our orders for this vendor emailed me a reminder this afternoon and I was able to get it in just under the wire.

4. Figured out why I was no longer able to get any internet on my 3DS and fixed that. I think I might try multiplayer in Triforce Heroes, just to see how it goes.
Saturday, November 21st, 2015 01:12
There is a whole list of circumstances under which it's not hypocritical moral bankruptcy for Jews to be opposed to the immigration of people from dangerous situations, including but not limited to war refugees, including but not limited to Syrians.
  • The Jews in question have not yet reached the age -- often in the early tweens -- in which most schools teach Twentieth Century History.
  • They live in Bizarro Htrae with Bizarro Krypto and Bizarro Lois.
  • They are under the misapprehension that the intention of the baddies -- whether it's "genocide" vs. "kill or convert all Shia Muslims" (which is different from genocide how?) vs. "drug lords are wandering around my town lighting people on fire for kicks and giggles" vs. "queer people get murdered in my country at astronomical rates" vs. "there's a whole lot of cholera everywhere" -- has or should have any relevance to the person at risk. These folks are not morally bankrupt only because surely as soon as the logical flaw is pointed out to them (that is, life isn't more worthy of being saved simply because the murderer is more grand scope in their villainy) they will hopefully change their minds.
  • They think attempted genocide against Jews is different, and that's not morally bankrupt because look over there, a monkey!
  • They have been poorly educated and think immigration opponents who successfully kept Jewish refugees out of the US and other non-endangered nations during the Holocaust made arguments out of cackling anti-Semitism, instead of using chillingly familiar arguments about how people coming from those countries were unassimilating Bolshevik anarchists, look, here's this tragic story of a dude shot by anarchists last week, so obviously all those undesirables are Bolshevik anarchist murderers.

From Congressional Debate on Immigration Restriction, the debate aroung the passing of the Emergency Immigration Act of 1921, the act which, together with the Immigration Act of 1924 was responsible for the pitiful number of refugees the U.S. took in during World War II:
quotations are from a time machine )
Saturday, November 21st, 2015 02:28
I keep forgetting to mention, but if anyone doesn't have plans for Thanksgiving, we are hosting and would love to have you! We will also be having our usual New Year's Eve gathering.
Friday, November 20th, 2015 20:30
this is what reference glitter looks like:
Friday, November 20th, 2015 14:24
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Hey @EFF, you were looking for #censorship on #socialmedia?
Friday, November 20th, 2015 08:40
Which is, of course, why I will do it again.

So, terrorism, big scary shit. That's rather the point of it, it is essentially "political discourse by instilling terror". It works, if we let it. But if we mostly go "meh" and let it not affect us (apart from the unfortunate dead and wounded), it may not stop, but it will eventually lose effectiveness as a method of political discourse.

The whole "step up the security, investigate everyone, militarise the police" is letting it work. I mean, that is essentially what they want. Make people (some, or all) sufficiently unhappy to cause them to join their cause. Well, that or "pull out of $FOO, and we'll stop". But that's also never worked.

The historically clearest example of that is probably the Baader-Meinhof Gang (or the "Rote Armee Fraktion" as they also called themselves, one of the reasons I am still slightly "huh" whenever I see someone refer to RAF), who went on a terror spree throughout mostly Germany, but with excursions to a variety of places around Europe (including a failed attempt at kidnapping a Swedish politician, foiled by pretty much pedestrian police investigatory work, rather than Magic Crypto-Defeating Stuffs). Their stated reason was to militarise the police and step up the level of surveillance and imposement (that's not a word, but it totally should be) of power from the state, so as to user the populus into a popular uprising for the Greater Communist Good.

What ISIS/Da'esh (or whatever the fuckwits call themselves this week) seem to be trying to do is to step up the surveillance and pressure on muslims across the free world, so as to make them decide that moving to Syria and work for the Greater Caliphate Good. Will it work? Only if we let it.

I guess what I am trying to say is "while it's hard to ignore things like this, at least let's not go completely batshit crazy, shall we?".
Friday, November 20th, 2015 00:12
1. I didn't really do much today, but I had a nice relaxing day off.

2. We got the stuff to patch the holes in the dining room wall and to scrape off the peeling paint. I had been hoping to get that ahead of time so I was able to work on it today, but we didn't get it till this afternoon, so it will have to wait till my next day off on Monday.

3. Carla roasted a chicken last week and made stock from the bones yesterday, then today we made chicken soup. It was so good!

4. I can't remember if I mentioned it or not, but on my last paycheck I got double paid and I've been waiting to hear from HR how they're going to handle this. Well, I finally heard back from them today and it looks like the easiest thing would be for me to keep the money and then they just take out half of the overpayment from each of my next two paychecks. I'm glad to have it finally settled so I don't have to worry about not knowing exactly how much money I actually have in my account, but even if I try to keep it in mind, it's going to be a nasty shock seeing my next two paychecks with so little money. :p

5. The kitties were so cute today!

I was trying to get a picture of Chloe playing with Molly's tail, but got this instead. Molly wants to play with the camera!

Snugglin'. I was tiptoeing close to get a picture and so afraid they would move before I could get a good shot, but they were pretty conked out. (And now that it's time for us to go to sleep, they're racing around the house, of course.)
Thursday, November 19th, 2015 20:15
Step one: get symptoms (palpitations, etc) and take the day off work to shake it off.

Step two: a couple days later, go to work even though you're not feeling very good

Step three: get more severe symptoms, including shortness of breath, and call the advice nurse

Step four, the glamorous bit: call 911 and get wheeled through campus by EMTs to the waiting ambulance

Step five: ?

Step six: PROFIT!

Spent most of yesterday and today in the hospital. Yesterday, they told me I was no longer in a-fib as I'd been when the EMTs got me.

Then they told me I had blood clots in my lungs.

Then they said never mind, no you don't, maybe in your legs.

No blood clots in my legs.

They think maybe I'm having more episodes of my heart conditions (SVT & A-fib), so they're going to put me on a monitor for a couple weeks to make sure.

Not fun, but I'm home, happily, and watching reruns of Columbo. It could be worse.
Friday, November 20th, 2015 03:29
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Bleu, blanc et rouge. #tricolore #boston #bridge #night
Thursday, November 19th, 2015 13:02
I've previously written about Canonical's obnoxious IP policy and how Mark Shuttleworth admits it's deliberately vague. After spending some time discussing specific examples with Canonical, I've been explicitly told that while Canonical will gladly give me a cost-free trademark license permitting me to redistribute unmodified Ubuntu binaries, they will not tell me what Any redistribution of modified versions of Ubuntu must be approved, certified or provided by Canonical if you are going to associate it with the Trademarks. Otherwise you must remove and replace the Trademarks and will need to recompile the source code to create your own binaries actually means.

Why does this matter? The free software definition requires that you be able to redistribute software to other people in either unmodified or modified form without needing to ask for permission first. This makes it clear that Ubuntu itself isn't free software - distributing the individual binary packages without permission is forbidden, even if they wouldn't contain any infringing trademarks[1]. This is obnoxious, but not inherently toxic. The source packages for Ubuntu could still be free software, making it fairly straightforward to build a free software equivalent.

Unfortunately, while true in theory, this isn't true in practice. The issue here is the apparently simple phrase you must remove and replace the Trademarks and will need to recompile the source code. "Trademarks" is defined later as being the words "Ubuntu", "Kubuntu", "Juju", "Landscape", "Edubuntu" and "Xubuntu" in either textual or logo form. The naive interpretation of this is that you have to remove trademarks where they'd be infringing - for instance, shipping the Ubuntu bootsplash as part of a modified product would almost certainly be clear trademark infringement, so you shouldn't do that. But that's not what the policy actually says. It insists that all trademarks be removed, whether they would embody an infringement or not. If a README says "To build this software under Ubuntu, install the following packages", a literal reading of Canonical's policy would require you to remove or replace the word "Ubuntu" even though failing to do so wouldn't be a trademark infringement. If an email address is present in a changelog, you'd have to change it. You wouldn't be able to ship the juju-core package without renaming it and the application within. If this is what the policy means, it's so impractical to be able to rebuild Ubuntu that it's not free software in any meaningful way.

This seems like a pretty ludicrous interpretation, but it's one that Canonical refuse to explicitly rule out. Compare this to Red Hat's requirements around Fedora - if you replace the fedora-logos, fedora-release and fedora-release-notes packages with your own content, you're good. A policy like this satisfies the concerns that Dustin raised over people misrepresenting their products, but still makes it easy for users to distribute modified code to other users. There's nothing whatsoever stopping Canonical from adopting a similarly unambiguous policy.

Mark has repeatedly asserted that attempts to raise this issue are mere FUD, but he won't answer you if you ask him direct questions about this policy and will insist that it's necessary to protect Ubuntu's brand. The reality is that if Debian had had an identical policy in 2004, Ubuntu wouldn't exist. The effort required to strip all Debian trademarks from the source packages would have been immense[2], and this would have had to be repeated for every release. While this policy is in place, nobody's going to be able to take Ubuntu and build something better. It's grotesquely hypocritical, especially when the Ubuntu website still talks about their belief that people should be able to distribute modifications without licensing fees.

All that's required for Canonical to deal with this problem is to follow Fedora's lead and isolate their trademarks in a small set of packages, then tell users that those packages must be replaced if distributing a modified version of Ubuntu. If they're serious about this being a branding issue, they'll do it. And if I'm right that the policy is deliberately obfuscated so Canonical can encourage people to buy licenses, they won't. It's easy for them to prove me wrong, and I'll be delighted if they do. Let's see what happens.

[1] The policy is quite clear on this. If you want to distribute something other than an unmodified Ubuntu image, you have two choices:
  1. Gain approval or certification from Canonical
  2. Remove all trademarks and recompile the source code
Note that option 2 requires you to rebuild even if there are no trademarks to remove.

[2] Especially when every source package contains a directory called "debian"…