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Saturday, August 23rd, 2014 08:38
Originally posted at http://puzzling.org.

Me learning to ski a couple of weeks ago is a weirdly long story, beginning in 1998.

In 1998, I was in the final year of high school, but because of my ludicrous and I now think in some ways ill-advised academic program, I had already completed 9 units of study of the required 11 minimum for the Higher School Certificate and was only doing 8 more. (The reason I now think this was ill-advised is beside the point, but in short, I should have risked a slightly lower university entrance score in return for just completing the entire thing in a year early in 1997, and not spent so much energy on doing 1½ times the required courses for absolutely no long-term benefit.) So it was not completely out of the question to head off to New Zealand for a week in winter.

My sister Julia and I were both working retail at the time, and my parents offered us half the price of the trip if we saved the other half. We duly did so and thus embarked on all the mysterious preliminary rituals for a snow trip (getting fitted for gear and such before leaving) and flew to New Zealand with a small group of fellow pupils. It wasn’t my first extended trip away from my family by any means, nor my first plane flight: in the preceeding year, I’d done two fortnight long nerd camps and flown by myself to Sydney a few times to take part in a selective university-level philosophy course for high schoolers. But it was my first international trip, and my first trip between time zones.

The trip was basically a disappointment in several ways. First, I think in retrospect that the supervising teacher, who went every year, must have been frustrated at the social dynamic. There’s good odds that when you take a small group of teenagers out of their usual environment and hierarchies and give them something to do, they behave much more like adults. But it didn’t really work like that. Unless I’m forgetting someone, in terms of age, there was myself in Year 12, Julia in Year 10, and six or seven other girls all in Year 11. All but two of those were part of a group that even I, a year older and not really in need of knowing their class’s dynamics, recognised as the core of a notoriously cliquish group of princesses. We were staying in a lodge in Methven, and they grabbed their own dorm room with unseemly haste and proceeded to have nothing to do with the likes of the rest of us. We made shift for ourselves, but it was still less than ideal.

Second, most importantly, most of us really struggled to learn to ski. The teacher explained the setup to us, and pointed us at the trail guide and the longest beginner run that we were all going to ski with him at the end of the week, and it wasn’t to be. Or at least, I don’t recall how the princesses did, but of my dorm-mates, one was a natural, already turning parallel within a day of starting, one I think wasn’t and other than participating in lessons took to spending most of the day reading in the bus, and Julia and I weren’t much chop either. I think I was the worst. It was the first time in my life that I got pulled aside by an adult to be complimented for trying really really hard, as distinct from succeeding at all. (As I recall, the instructor was quite emphatic about this: he’d never seen anyone work so hard at it. Subtext: at least, not without learning anything.)

With hindsight: here’s what happened. First, I hadn’t even finished growing at this point. (I finished really late for a woman, when I was 18 or 19.) Physically, I was enormously tall and stretched out like gum. My brain and body were not well matched at the time. Second, this was the dying days of non-carved skis. If you were buying yourself skis, they were carved. If you were renting them, at least at Mt Hutt that year, they were still long narrow flat fence-posts. Thirdly, and most importantly, I just didn’t lean forward enough to stop my skis crossing in front. That last the instructor really ought to have picked up: it’s the most common failure mode in beginning skiing. Perhaps he did and I just never learned quite far enough forward to believe him.

The setup was much the usual for beginners: there was a very shallow first day slope and then over to a short but slightly steeper slope to get the technique down. And that’s pretty much where I was done. On, I think, the second last day, still believing that I’d celebrate with a run down the much longer ultimate beginners’ slope the following day, I grit my teeth and just figured that more hours were more better, went higher up a second short beginners’ slope, and went down it, falling at every single turn. I am pretty sure that I spent the best part of two hours snow-plowing cautiously down in one direction, trying to turn, falling over, retrieving my skis (the bindings were pretty loose), pointing myself in the other direction, spending ages knocking snow out of the soles of my ski boots and skiing in the other direction. Two hours, two baby slopes. Not one successful turn. Lots of crying and self-pep talks. Presumably my growing exhaustion and cementing bad technique were hindering me by then.

I don’t even know what got me back on the slopes the last day. Probably the money I’d spent on it. The last day brought the backhanded compliment about my work ethic (albeit true, I am bad at quitting things), and, crucially and a bit cruelly, the actual breakthrough I’d wanted the day before. For whatever reason, I decided to lean forward to what I considered a ludicrous degree, and which was probably barely acceptable, I pointed my skis downhill, I lost all fear, and I skiied to the bottom (if I am remembering correctly, more or less without attempting to turn) and stopped myself. And then I got back on the pommel, rode up, pointed myself down the hill again, and did it again.

It was exhilarating; I can still feel how happy I was about it.

And then there was absolutely no time to do it a third time because it was time to return my skis, get back in the minibus, ride the nailbiting drive back down to Methven, and fly home to Australia knowing that, probably, I was capable of skiing and would find it rather fun.

And then I didn’t return to the slopes until 2003 and, when I did, I made the regrettable decision to switch to snowboarding.

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 22:39
Midafternoon nap times three:
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Friday, August 22nd, 2014 18:12
sick with a stupid end of summer head cold. left work at lunchtime
yesterday. came in today anyway because i had too much to do. got dizzy and
wobbly around lunchtime today -- not sure if dehydrated or decongestant +
coffee, or what.

i was told yesterday they were going to stipulate my testimony for a case.
imagine my surprise (or, you know, not) when the ADA called at noon -- can
you be here in an hour and a half? so i killed an hour and a half at court
this afternoon.

it's after 1800 on a friday, and i 'm still at work. probably another 20-30
minutes to go. fnaaaaargh. whine. etc.
Friday, August 22nd, 2014 23:36
Let's talk about things that are not how my life is falling apart.

Outlander. You are all fired for not properly introducing me to this show.

go to your contracts and leave the orgies to me )
Friday, August 22nd, 2014 22:45
Well, it seems my life was destined to fall apart around this time of year after all.

Two years ago in September I moved into an apartment in the city, all on my own, for the first time. At the same time I fell and dislocated my shoulder, and almost immediately after that my grandfather died. It was a busy, hectic, depressing, miserable period.

Last year around the same time I got suddenly kicked out of my apartment, with barely a month to find something new, while doing grad school exams and trying to plan a month-long holiday in a foreign country where I'd be traveling alone. It was... unspeakably stressful. I looked for apartments every single day for nearly 5 weeks and then had to pack and move in a matter of days. While doing exams, working full time and trying to plan a trip abroad.

This year, I've spent a month in limbo, living in a miserable arrangement with my roommate because she decided to leave the lease early, then at the last minute we found someone to replace her, who 10 days later told me she won't stay to sign the year-long lease (she'd been technically subletting for the month). We talked, I made arrangements, started trying to frantically find someone new, and then this girl told me that no, she's staying. She wouldn't do that to me, she'll sign the lease and give me a few months, at least.

This this morning she called me again and said she won't be staying after all. The reasons don't matter, I think she's a grade-A asshole but that is utterly useless either as data or as an emotion. There's nothing to be done. In a week I won't have anywhere to live.

As usual around this time of year, I'm also trying to arrange travel. (I'm very, very grateful for the ability to travel, but planning it always seems to fall on an already stressful period.) So for the next week I'll need to pack all my earthly belongings, try to sell my furniture (which I only bought in the first place because this girl assured me she'll be signing a lease), and then... move into a life of terror and misery.

I'll move back in with my parents, and try to crash with [personal profile] roga during the week, to minimize how much living with my parents is going to fuck me up physically (my body can't handle 3 hours of driving a day) and mentally (not a single weekend has gone by in the last two years when I didn't think thank god I no longer live with my parents). It's going to be an utter, miserable mess. 3 weeks into September I'll go abroad, come back in November and start apartment hunting again. WHAT JOY. I have not had enough of that over the last two years, definitely!

I just... I don't even know how I'm going to make all of this happen. My parents are still on vacation in France, which sucks pretty bad. It's not even that I miss their emotional support - though I am sorely lacking that as well lately - it's that my mother would snap me out of it somehow and help me be practical and do things instead of sitting here mostly consumed with shock and sadness.

I know this isn't the end of the world. These things happen, people survive and move on. But I just feel... incredibly upset, in this bone-deep way. In a way where all of this is making me have feelings and thoughts that even I know aren't really rational. Like, how am I such a loser that this keeps happening to me? Am I just incompetent, or incapable of making friends, or just fundamentally unsuited for living on my own? Am I asking the world for a beating by daring to live this life I'm not meant for? Immigrant girls like me don't get to have apartments in the city while working low paying jobs. 90% of my friends and cousins live at home, certainly none of them moved out when I did. Am I trying to have something I don't deserve?
Friday, August 22nd, 2014 12:07
So... in New Orleans, Egon was given a gris-gris bag to attract love by Marie Laveau (or her zombie/ghost/whatever).

Yesterday, I opened the Elements Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells, which includes a lot of Voodoo and Hoodoo charms, among others, and accidentally fell on the Love Spells section.

In which they had one that was for a mojo bag, in red cloth, that one should wear over the genitals (or close to) in order to attract lovers, as in... people to have casual sex with.

Where does Egon put the gris-gris bag at the end of that issue of the comic? In the front pockets of his pants!!

I just started laughing my ass off, my man was all: "What is wrong with you?" and I had to explain the joke, because my head gets into weird places sometimes, and LOL, I made the link right away and DIED. Because I could totally imagine them stopping at a road stop/rest area and the ladies just flocking to Spengler... and him being all "o_O... Go away..."

I was sorely tempted to take a picture of the text of the spell, a screen grab of the frame where he slips it in his pocket, and send it all in a tweet to Burnham going "Really? LOL!" but didn't.
Friday, August 22nd, 2014 10:50
That someone is planning on getting the company you work for in trouble, but you know it's legal, even if you disagree politically with it, should you report them?

I overheard the ticketing department's supervisors planning to report our company because, since our payroll department is all in Toronto, they aren't bilingual and can't communicate with them in French. The two supervisors are fully bilingual, though they make small mistakes, I hear them talking with staff from the Toronto office on a daily basis.

Instead of going through our internal lingustic affairs committee, they are going straight to the government office (one of them is emailing the OQLF, as I am typing this) that polices such things. Which will likely mean a fine, which, for a company our size and that is struggling to get out of debt from previous owners doing stupid things, will probably impact revenue.

This does not help the fact that we have had one single raise in the last 6 years. And by raise, I mean, that was the single time my pay went up by anything. This company does not automatically index our salary with the rise in cost of living. You get a raise, or you don't. Heck, minimum wage has been going up faster than my salary has in the last 6 years. We even have an inside joke with my lunch crowd, that, if this keeps up a few more years, they won't have a choice but to raise us every year, because we will effectively have dropped to minimum wage.

Getting the company fined for language shit that could be handled internally and for every little thing you disagree with is not helping any. And I wouldn't even be surprised if employees in other provinces got raises during that time and we didn't because we just cost them too much.

By the way, this was not a discrimination thing, it was just the person in Toronto apologizing for not being bilingual and asking the person in Montreal if they could send their question again in English so they could help them easier.

Sigh.
Friday, August 22nd, 2014 07:24
I think I might start doing these in the morning of the next day rather than last thing at night? idk, that has the potential for me forgetting more things, but it's not like I don't forget plenty of things even when I do it the same day, and leaving it for last thing before bed means sometimes I'm just too tired to do it (or if I do, I'm so tired I can't think of anything).

Regardless, here is yesterday's post!

1. I got another hour of overtime, and I also didn't feel bad about leaving when I did because there are so many people there helping out that I really wasn't needed (though there was plenty of stuff I could have done).

2. Things are really coming along on the remodelling and the store looks really nice! We're supposed to be finished by today, but I don't know how finished we actually will be.

3. Favorite Coworker got promoted to fulltime! I'm really excited about this not only because I think he totally deserves it, but also selfishly because that way he'll be much less likely to quit and find a better job. XD

4. We live about half a block from Santa Monica College, which has a huge number of students and nowhere near enough parking. When I was in high school, a guy randomly approached my mom to ask if he could poy to park in our driveway, and she said yes and this continued for several years as his two younger brothers both went to SMC and used our driveway after him. Then when I was in college a friend of mine from high school paid to park in our driveway, and later a friend I made in one of my Japanese classes did the same. But it's not something I've really thought about in years. However, today a woman came around leaving fliers door-to-door asking if her son could park in someone's driveway for $50 a week. Irene happened to be there right when she came, and agreed, and the woman already wrote us a check for $200 to cover the first month! So we will be getting some much needed extra money for renting out something we don't even use. I think even if this woman's son doesn't continue after the coming semester or once he's done with SMC, I will try putting an ad on Craigslist or something and seeing if we can't continue this indefinitely.

5. We tried a new restaurant last night, a little Hawaiian-themed burger place just a few blocks away called Shaka Shack. It was really good!
Friday, August 22nd, 2014 00:49
Sexual orientation vs. the MythBusters

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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 22:43
Dearest Ativan,

I hate to scold you, since I love you so. But the past few days of panic have been extremely rough.

Taking one of you didn't help, so I tried a second pill later in the day (4hrs later maybe?).

The good news is the panic went away.

The bad news is you replaced the panic with what I can only describe as a stoned-high-acid-trip. Driving would have been panicking if I wasn't too "aduh?", though thankfully I was able to pay attention and drive home safely. Then I laid around the house a bit trying to recover from the sluggish haze of "Forget it man, PILLOWS", but that just resulted in my brain unloading a series of bizarre hypothetical scenarios.

I finally gave up and played Sims 2, which I hope stopped the "What if we could, PICK OUT DREAMS. OR EMOTIONS" shit for good.

But now I'm not taking the trazadone because trazadone's a special snowflake and with extra Ativan, I don't want it having a party in my system. And I need that med to SLEEP.

Let's not do this again, Ativan. I like being functional. Or at least not a stoned-high-acid-trip zombie.
Thursday, August 21st, 2014 22:26
Forgot to say that the whale watching was great. I was not seasick at all. I stood up a lot and felt quite at home!!!!
Friday, August 22nd, 2014 00:31
On tumblr I often reblog things mindlessly. I was thinking about that the other day when I went to take a picture and my camera battery had died. I didn't really care. The act of wanting to take a picture and taking out the camera was enough. It's not like I look at my pictures often anyway. There are too many and I have moved on. But I still like taking them.

The camera is more about signifying that the moment is there and important and interesting and beautiful. 

And yes, I can experience that independently of the camera. And yes, I see no harm in taking the camera out. 

But it's as though the camera has become part of the experience of appreciating a moment. 

I hardly ever take pictures with people in them though. For some reason that feels too personal. Asking seems absolutely audacious. Tacky. I don't know. But everyone always appreciates that person who took all the photos and shared them. 

C's mother thinks I don't like having my photo taken. I've told her a couple times I'm fine with it, but that hasn't stuck. I /like/ being in pictures with people. It means I was there and important and included. I am kind of sad I'm in so few photos these days, and that they're often self-initiated or selfies. 

When I reblog something, it's almost a way of appreciating it, I guess. Sometimes there are other reasons - wanting a particular friend to see it  (*even though I don't really advertise my tumblr to friends, a few are there and I value their presence but it's not like... a main way of communicating and is almost hidden from most people), wanting to store it for easy retrieval later, my word-porn project. But again, it's not something I scroll back through later appreciating.

I'm glad this space still exists for thought and reflection though, even as transiency consumes so many other e-spaces. I miss Facebook being a place for real interaction. The news feed has turned into a literal feed of news - people sharing articles and stories instead of their lives. I guess it's all in how you use it, but yeah. 

A very sweet boy in the west has continued to write me platonic love letters and I am terrible at returning this amazing gesture because it is too fucking real for me.

I want to stay up all night walking around, sitting at the river for awhile, and talking the whole time with easy silences and honest laughs. 
Thursday, August 21st, 2014 23:05
It has now been three weeks since the concom came to and announced their final decision on the Frenkel case. Which was important and needed to be done quickly (much more quickly than it was, actually, but that is not germane here).

However, the greater questions of member safety, trust, transparency, and so on are still awaiting any sort of public action from the concom. Frenkel was eventually banned from Wiscon, yes. But it took over 14 months, several huge missteps from the concom, and an incredibly painful process for the victims.

I'm quite interested in seeing that never happen anymore, and would like to know what steps are currently being taken to ensure that the next time a bad actor acts badly at Wiscon it doesn't take over a year of suffering on the part of the reporter. Because that's a big drag, and a disincentive to reporting.
Thursday, August 21st, 2014 18:52
Today I weighed up what I had to do and considered: no kids to care/shop/cook etc. for till the weekend, no meetings past 10am, work stress pretty low right now. It was sunny even in the early morning. This is what I have been waiting for all summer to go to the beach or basically, anywhere at all that isn't my usual haunts. I would like to use my bit of extra energy not to clean the house, do laundry, or shop or even go do physical therapy or go to the pain clinic. It is time for a Very Mild Adventure!

I plotted a little and then took the J and N to the beach, worked and had lunch from a cafe. The train wasn't too bad, though it took an hour. Lunch at Beachside (food not as nice as it looked, no wireless, but outside tables) Then worked from the Java hut or whatever it is, and then once it got really sunny scooted across the Great Highway and went up to where there is a sidewalk (opposite the windmill at the corner of Golden Gate Park).

I walked a little way into the sand next to some sand dunes thinking maybe i could establish myself in some way looking at the ocean.

Sand is good for challenging all your small different muscles in your ankles and knees. Like with the whale watching, I could feel things happening in my ankles that were exciting but scary. Either I'm re-damaging them in horrible ways, or I'm breaking adhesions or scar tissue in there deep down. I can move my ankles better in the last couple of weeks, bending them further up. and have been icing them at least twice a day (often all night)

I could not get very far into the sand and the beach is very huge. I thought how I am lucky to get to do this and felt congratulatory for at least getting to the beach twice this summer at all (once with the kids to Aquatic Park which is super easy access and narrow) and glad that I picked a good day that was sunny and warm. Then suddenly felt sad like I could not bear the pollyannaish being glad thing. It is true I am lucky and can feel appreciative and yet I also have the horrible thought every time I do something that maybe this is the best it gets and I will never get any further onto a beach, or with walking, or whatever, and everything will get more difficult. Still, whatever, right, because I am also lucky enough to cope well with it and have a ton of support, skills, privilege, job, etc. to make things extremely pleasant and easy. And, a month ago I could not have done this as I was still too exhausted and weak from not being able to eat/gastritis/esophagus or whatever it is. Fuck, 2 weeks ago I was also getting over a cold and was hapy just to be carted along on yatima's errand. (which was great... and took us to the presidio and beach side both... but i was decrepit.) So obviously I felt happy to be able to have an independent outing and my usual pride in being bad ass enough to go across town in my tiny scooter. Take that, FEAR. I felt in planning it that I was brave enough to do it because the scooter will fit into a car and I could call a taxi which woudl actually come get me, if I got so tired that taking two trains back was daunting or if I hurt myself by accident.

BUT I thought, well here I am alone at the beach in a desolate spot. No one is looking. Perhaps I could just have a brief cry about it all. I felt some grief and loss. I wished i could have been at the beach on the east coast where my family was a few weeks ago, and there would be beach roses instead of eternal west coast ice plant/sea fig. Everything would smell "right" and would be lovely though sad in other ways. Mostly I just wished I could climb around and run around in the sand and go down to the water and feel more free to explore as I very much like to do. I cried a bit for when we were at bean hollow last week with my dad and I couldn't go look at the tide pools with moomin though I really wanted to. At least he did what i told him and went without me and had a good long look at them on his own. OK. So I cried on the beach for 10 minutes and felt very self indulgent. I wished I could just be in a sad mood for the rest of the day. I thought how nice it would be to have a strong drink or be on the super duper drugs they shoot into my veins when I get my back injections. (I think some combo of valium and other things) Then I felt better and went back to the cafe and worked some more and got a VERY crowded train home.

I am still kind of weepy to be honest.

I plotted future trips and thought it would be nice to go out again but allow much more time, and go all the way up to cliff house and the nature center/overlook/gift shop/coffee bar just above Sutro baths. Or even further and scooter all along the walkways around the point whatever that is called which I haven't been on for years.

It was a tantalizing but not really satisfying beach trip.

I'd like to go to Moss Landing but have a magic dune buggy to go out along the beach and also be able to kayak through the slough there without hurting the hell out of my hands. Not sure if I could really do it anymore. Maybe in a tandem kayak. An could it be an invisible dune buggy so I could chill the fuck out and get in and out of my wheelchair without 800 people staring at me and stuff.

I talked a good long while with a guy whose mom had a stroke and has a jazzy, at the train platform behind the safeway. he was very nice and we discussed the intricacies of scootering. She needs a joystick controller really and more stabilty than a travelscoot but there could still be smaller powerchairs (she is small) that fold up. Also, an off duty muni driver at the java hut talked with me a while about his wife who has MS and another kind of large scooter that she has trouble fitting anywhere. She would like something more portable but insurance will not pay. She could handle or nearly handle something like my scooter. I got him to drive it around a little bit to try it out. Also, I talked with many, many other people from kids to surfers to random slightly limping older ladies who all liked the scooter and thought it looked cool and wished they had one to play with or get around better on. I should keep count. I always have slightly ambiguous grumpy feelings about the people who seem to approve of me extra because I take up less space and "look cool". Thanks but how about if I didn't, would you just hate on me or what. I try to take it as best as possible and I also utterly don't mind children who are like HOLY SHIT I MUST DRIVE THIS FUN TINY MOTOR TRICYCLE THING while their parents are scared I will be angry. Hahahhaa.

Day of Feelings!
Thursday, August 21st, 2014 19:26
Today I did a lot of dishes. I feel virtuous. I also secured a new cat tree for Emily to the wall to make it more stable. This required one L-bracket and two screws of different lengths, and that left me in such a to-do of constantly changing bits and drilling and reversing and anchoring and forever losing what I needed, despite having specifically obtained a tupperware to put all my hardware in. ADHD is a pain in the fucking ass.

Vancouver Island is magical. There are PLUM TREES and PEAR TREES that are PRODUCING FRUIT!!! In Alberta the only fruit trees are crabapples, so the roadside turnouts in summer are thick with "BC Fruit" vans.
Friday, August 22nd, 2014 01:04
Dear Lyrica,

I actually like you. You've done great things for me, and while I am tapering down and trying to get off you, it's not because you don't work for me. You've helped me through the most godawful anxiety with minimal side effects, and that's great.

But you sure would like me to be dependent on you, wouldn't you? I try and taper down and oh, suddenly sleep problems, extra anxiety, irritability. I know it's not my GAD strengthening again, because I know every time it evens out after a few weeks.

LET ME SLEEP.

Yours crankily,
Awake in Wakefield.
Thursday, August 21st, 2014 22:30
Brief - hands didn't like me much!

Aaaand that's me done, because I'm not posting my notes for What is I?, because I gave up in disgust and left early it was so bad.

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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 22:28
This was great, but again my laptop ran out of battery power partway through. The thing that really got to me about LonCon in contrast with OSBridge (... aside from the bit where OSBridge was actually better at inclusivity, by and large) was that unlike OSBridge LonCon3 didn't have extension cables everywhere so people could charge during talks.

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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 22:26
This is one where I got bored of everyone being white dudes and rapidly stopped typing.

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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 16:26
Dear fexofenadine,

I know I was just at WorldCon, but I don't seem to have con-crud. And I started taking you on Monday. Which means that the fact I just slept 13 hours, managed to sit up for 90 minutes, and now want to crash out again... I'm looking at you. Don't get me wrong, it would be nice if you sorted out the lungs shit, but this is not acceptable.

yrs trly etc etc

(PS if any of you have experiences with sedative effects of antihistamines and this one in particular, and consequently have feelings about whether it's worth sticking with, I'd be super-appreciative.)
Thursday, August 21st, 2014 14:37
post-tags: instagram, crosspost The #sunrise this morning was amazing.
Thursday, August 21st, 2014 07:17
This is crossposted from Curiousity.ca, my personal maker blog. If you want to link to this post, please use the original link since the formatting there is usually better.

I backed this cute little thing on kickstarter called the Microview, which is basically a teensy arduino with an oled display attached. It was too adorable to pass up: I’ve wanted a little programmable necklace for a while, and this meant that project would be really easy to build.


My MicroView (Adorable Arduino with OLED display) My MicroView (Adorable Arduino with OLED display)


I’ve been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the MicroView and it finally came today. So I popped open the instructions page and the first thing I see is a big apology. Uh oh…


So I check my email and sure enough, there’s an email about a big problem. Short version: they sent out a whole pile of units without bootloaders, so it runs the demo but won’t run any new code. Both of my MicroViews, it seems, are in the affected batches. More details here:


https://www.sparkfun.com/news/1575

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1516846343/microview-chip-sized-arduino-with-built-in-oled-di/posts/959475


So that’s disappointing, but they’re shipping out replacement units, and I suppose I can wait a bit longer to play. It’s not like I don’t have other toys to play with.


But here’s the super awesome news: it’s possible to dissect the unit and fix it!


So… with a bit of hacking, and assuming I don’t break anything, I may have double the number of MicroViews by the time this is done, and I’ll have had an excuse to dissect my new toys.


I’ve never been so pleased about receiving a defective product. :)


In the meantime, I guess I can play the tutorial game:


MicroView running the tutorial "game": Connect a jumper between pins 5 and 8 MicroView running the tutorial “game”: Connect a jumper between pins 5 and 8

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 21:35
1. I don't have the greatest sewing skills, so usually when my jeans get a hole in the crotch it's beyond what I can repair, but this time it was actually just a long straight line so I was able to sew it up and now they're good as new!

2. I went in to work for a few hours today, but still got to relax in the morning.

3. Irene grilled a tritip this evening after I got home, and we had that with cheesy garlic biscuits and broccoli and it was all very delicious.
Thursday, August 21st, 2014 02:40
So much for the coding I was doing.
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Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 21:28
Just a quick note: through some combination of magical finances and sheer determination, I am going to be on the right and proper coast (aka New England) from 25-30 September. I'll be in Albany visiting my grandmother for the weekend, and will have the bookend time in Boston. I will let folks know more details about plans etc when I have them hammered out a bit more. I suspect that there will be a group dinner somewhere gluten- and fish-free, but I'm not sure what day that'll be happening. Probably Thursday.

Anyway, consider yourselves notified!
Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 16:42
On Monday of last week, the Mac Mini in my home office lost the use of its internal hard disk. I knew it was just a matter of time, since its external hard disk had to be replaced almost two years ago, but it was a blow nonetheless. After briefly considering whether to try to pry the thing open to replace the internal drive, or to just buy a newer computer, I realized I could plug in yet another external USB drive and restore onto that. At this point it's starting to resemble a Frankenmini with all the various disks and devices it's got plugged in. But the internal CD/DVD burner drive still works, and that's a big plus considering none of the current Macs come with media drives any more.

Last night I got a message from my mom saying that her iMac wouldn't turn on. I went over this morning with a spare power cable, which worked, although upon reflection I realized it might have also been the plug on the power strip that went bad. She's going to replace both, grateful not to also be looking at buying a new computer right now.

I'm half-wondering if one of the laptops is going to blow up next. My MacBook Air has been remarkably trouble-free for almost 3 years now.
Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 15:03
No, not ghosts... but TRIGGER WARNING: My friend worked with a dead animal. As in kept bits for drying.

Cut for potential grossness )

I've grown too squeamish to do something like that myself (though I used to dig into animal bisections with glee in biology, they were so fascinating), but at the same time, I am all tingly and excited because she's the first of my friends to work with dead things.
Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 18:46
I skipped transcribing most of Ellen Kushner's contributions because, right, it got to the point where she said a thing and I growled so loudly about the racism that everyone sitting near me collapsed in giggles. Also, if you've caught me complaining about the guy who described himself as a "straight white male" and "the prototypical reader"? Yeah, that was this one. However, if you ignore whitey it was a proper fantastic panel.

Read more... )
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Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 10:43
I'm looking after a kid who's enrolled in daycamp this week. *leisurely stretch!* On my way back from making the drop-off, I stopped at my house to pick up more tea, and also to give Emily a ten-minute cuddle session. :D

Meme! Pick a number between 1 and 40 and I will answer a question about my writing it corresponds to on this list.
Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 12:20
Do y'all have favorite poems for hope in bleak times? Calls to action or just seeing glimmers of light?

I need something to stave off constant rage blackout.

ETA: My usual goto is Gerard Manley Hopkins, "Carrion Comfort"

Carrion Comfort by Hopkins )
Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 10:29
In regards to a small town on the Labrador border who wants to leave Quebec and join Newfoundland-and-Labrador because the larger cities with services that are there are geographically closer to them than any comparably-sized city in Quebec, and where the population is 80% Anglophone...

"They should just leave because they are disrespecting us by living in English."

Wow. Just wow. What people do in their private lives is none of your business. Please remove your sorry bigoted ass from my country and go back to fucking France, if you don't like that Canada is bilingual. Oh, but, that's right, most Sovereignist Quebecois don't even like the French to begin with because they see them as stuffy, snobby people who think they are better than people in the former colonies (which isn't true, but it's true that they don't always understand Quebec's dialect and react to it accordingly because it's not French!).

Wow, I must be the lowest of the low to this dude. I'm Francophone and I live in English, LOL! Oh, no, wait, that just means I'm colonized and am letting myself be oppressed! Therefore I must be pitied.

Can I punch this guy in the face?

That attitude is why my future kids will never set foot in a French school, and I can get away with that, because my man also didn't go to French school. :P
Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 08:56
Almost losing Mom in June makes me think that now is probably the time to start asking her to teach me how to make some of the following:

Tourtière which is similar to Montreal-style but uses beef, veal and pork instead of just pork. I think that would count as Suroit-style.

Meatballs-and-pigs' legs stew (sounds gross, but it's delicious).

Her blade roast recipe.

Her meat macaroni recipe.

Sugar pie (pie crust in general, again, because I forgot how) and pecan-maple-butter pie.

My mother regrets not asking her mother for her suet pie recipe (yes, you read that right, that is both a heart attack and diabetes waiting to happen), and I don't want to have those regrets later.
Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 14:01
What Are You Reading Wednesday:

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?
According to the all-encompassing wisdom of Goodreads, I'm still going on the French of A Little Princess (little progress this past week) and Perrault's Contes. I've got just a wee bit of Yasmina F-J's monograph to finish, and have started a collaborative monograph entitled 'Thinking Through Chrétien de Troyes'. Oh, and I'm working quickly through Thomas' Tristan. My leisure reading at the moment is Barbara Baynton's 'Bush Studies', which I'm finding fascinating - every bit as good as Lawson, entirely different to Patterson, and why don't I have a collectors edition of HER stories to go with theirs?

What did you recently finish reading?
LOTS OF THINGS. For work, Reddy's 'The Navigation of Feeling', Hunter (ed), 'Love, Friendship and Faith in Europe 1300-1800', and Lisa M. Gee 'Friends: why men and women are from the same planet' (mediocre). For funsies, 'Fat is a Feminist Issue' and Sedaris' 'Me Talk Pretty One Day'.

Proper reviews will show up in later posts - see below for catch-up reviews from last fortnight.

I gave up entirely on two books: 'The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas', which wasn't, it was an annoying panegric to Gertrude Stein's social circle; and 'Baby Remember My Name: New Queer Girl Writing', which after 3 stories failed to hold my interest. I would've liked it at 15, or even 20. But I'm bored with narratives in which the protag's identity is the only thing that matters, and with excessive use of second person in lieu of actually establishing bases for the reader to identify with the protag.

What do you think you'll read next?
Lots of reading for article-fixing purposes. Not sure about fun. What's fun?




Reviews of books finished July 27-Aug 5 214:

Closer To Home: Bisexuality & Feminism by Elizabeth Reba Weise

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was a book I very much needed to read. As with all the other 20th c bi writing I've read lately, it did annoy me for its almost total ignorance of trans* issues or even existence. HOWEVER. Good for bi-feminist thinkyface )


The Best Australian Poems 2013The Best Australian Poems 2013 by Lisa Gorton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This was good, and many of the poems were good - but I found the A-Z by title organisation offputting and lazy. My engagement with this book dropped drastically when I finished my Poem a day for 2013 project, but that does not mean I didn't enjoy it all the same.


The Grey King (The Dark is Rising, #4)The Grey King by Susan Cooper

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Delightful, as usual. It was interesting to see Will both on his own, and more confident than in book 1. His dawning awareness that the 'light' are as manipulative as the 'dark' is also interesting, although I doubt the series will push that too far. I liked Bran as a character, and the weight the narrative gave to him and his father.

There were very few women in this book. That was a bit of a bummer.


Almodis the PeaceweaverAlmodis the Peaceweaver by Tracey Warr

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Oh now THIS was delightful. Reasonably realistic historical fiction, wahey! )
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Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 10:29

Originally published at Growstuff Blog. You can comment here or there.

If you’re anywhere in the vicinity of Melbourne, Australia, please join us for a Growstuff working bee on Saturday, August 30th, at the Electron Workshop in North Melbourne.

We’ll be working on all aspects of the Growstuff website, crop data, and community. Whether you’re a coder, designer, writer, tester, data wrangler, or a gardener with experience to share, we would love to have you there.

We’ll be at it all day, and you can show up for part or all of it depending on your availability or interests. From 10am-12:30 we’ll be working, then breaking for lunch and some social time, and working again from 2-6pm. We’ll have all sorts of jobs to be done, for people with all skill levels.

There’s more information on the Growstuff wiki, including transport, accessibility, and information on the work we’ll be done. If you’re planning to attend, please register so we know how many people to expect!

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 01:24
Purple's reaction to Kat's suggestion about the rice paper word scramble, divided between bakeries, was pure crowing delight.

phone was grumbling about the state of the espresso machine and how people don't clean the steam wand. Somehow, and I'm not entirely clear on how, this briefly turned into an Infocom-style text adventure based in the kitchen.

My manager is back! I told her the tale of the Fellow vs. Helpdesk, and the runaround that involved three business days, and one business weekend. Including the part where if you didn't know who he was already, you couldn't look up who he was via the usual tools, because his login was that hosed. Though if you knew who his manager was (a C-level exec) you could find him that way... I also told her about the lunch during which "one of my boys" had sat a table over from some dude.

It turns out that I have more patience for this system than my manager, who basically just wants it to go away quietly, or otherwise cease to cause her trouble.

My headset has been acting up, and redialing Kat instead of the last person called (Nora).
Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 21:05
1. I got two hours of overtime today.

2. Yesterday we didn't really do much in terms of the remodelling at work, but today all the head buyers came from the main store and really started moving everything around. I think it's going to look really good once we get it done (which is supposed to be by the end of the week, since we have a grand reopening thing planned this weekend XD).

3. Lately we've been getting this Tillamook peanut butter chocolate ice cream and it's so good!

4. I got my own work email address today and also a security code for the store (this Saturday will be my first time closing on my own). I'm also getting a work phone, which is actually kind of annoying in that it's one more thing to put in my pocket, but also makes things seem more official. :)

5. I'm going in tomorrow on my day off, but probably just for four or five hours.
Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 22:27
I've been afk for several hours, the perpetually-open

https://twitter.com/SoulRevision/lists/fergusonjurnos

and

https://twitter.com/SoulRevision/lists/ferguson

tabs in my browser were sitting at several hundred new messages each when I fell down in front of my screen, and I am too tired to try to catch up. Al Jazeera America tells me that there's another dead young black man in St.L city proper, that there are protests forming in the Riverview neighborhood, and that the media and protesters have been cordoned off into separate areas in Ferguson.

And my goddamned idiot Governor is refusing to order the JACKASS that happens to be the DA for the area to recuse himself, even though we all know he's incapable of being anything vaguely resembling unbiased.

Just.

A hundred years from now, may the historians hold my idiot elected officials' feet to the fire the way I'm planning to in the midterm elections.

Because good gods. This is like an educational video on What NOT to do when your citizenry are justifiably outraged at the murder of one of their children.

My icon's never felt so damned appropriate.
Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 21:02
I'm doing pretty well on my resolutions around productivity (although not today, sigh) but I feel disconnected (because I am deliberately disconnected for nineteenish hours a day). I wish it made writing easier. It makes writing possible, although if I don't have another human being watching over me I am likely to malinger (today I read a novel), which makes me feel like a small child with no willpower--you know that marshmallow test they give to four-year-olds? I would fail that marshmallow test. I would stuff my face with marshmallows the second the experimenter's back was turned.

I still like the story. I still like the characters. Some interesting situations have developed. But it's going so slowly and I write maybe 300-900 words on a good day, and they are such first-draft words, and I don't know. Even when my energy is good and my motivation is good, it feels like very little progress.

And I miss commenting more on my flist, or updating, or anything, but when I finally get internet back I just want to read everything while my eyes glaze over.

But I am turning on the SelfControl again because there will be zero words tomorrow if I don't.
Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 01:16
I just updated LWPx::ParanoidAgent and Net::SSL on the Dreamhacks server - something that I've needed to do for some time. In the process about seventy bajillion other modules that they relied on needed to be updated, too (mainly to do with HTTP/SSL stuff) so the following modules (and any submodules included in their distribution) are now at their most recent (and the links given lead to the exact versions installed from CPAN):

23 different distributions in total )

As this is rather a lot of modules, some of which can be core to various things that the codebase does, you should restart your Apache if it's currently running; there may be errors otherwise. Also, it's possible that the update of these modules might somehow cause brokenness in some areas on the Dreamhacks server; please do comment here if that's the case (or open a GitHub issue).

(Please note: This only applies to brokenness on the Dreamhacks server. Nothing has changed on dreamwidth.org, so any issues there should be raised in a Support request as usual.)
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Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 19:11
“We have all known the long loneliness, and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.”
― Dorothy Day from The Long Loneliness: The Autobiography of the Legendary Catholic Social Activist
Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 23:26
dear citalopram

we have had a great relationship for 3 years. you brought me back from the brink. i fought hard to get another 10mg for you. that 10mg changed my life. i felt able to get out and about and take on the world. i was happier. i was less anxious. i felt i could deal with depression when it tried to bring me down. but. but that 10mg came with add ons. why the dry mouth? i've never had that. i wake up every day with an aching throat, it not during the night with my throat hurting. if i drink lots to try avoid it i have to break my sleep to pee. then there is the fact that the 10mg means i don't sleep as well anyway. i sleep lighter. i hear everything. also, i retain water now. i gained weight. it isn't much and i know i can lose it but i'm sad. i watched those numbers for years. you didn't do this to me before. why, over 10mg.