October 2014

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Friday, October 31st, 2014 12:38

My Mando kit is ready for Halloween, if not ready for any kind of serious trooping. I have all my body plates (chest, gut, pauldrons, collar) on my vest and attached with magnets. I had no idea hand sewing through pleather was as difficult as it was. I hate that fact that if you mess up, it shows the holes. But it's a Mar'yce prototype, so I will rejoice and be happy that I have a vest that fits me. I need to get to the Tractor Supply and get some thin aluminium sheets and make my knees and thigh plates as well as some glove plates and boot plates. That's six plates I need to make. I think I'll be picking up some tin snips as well, because I don't think the Dremel will like cutting through that too much. Brent fixed my helmet with some epoxy, so I think it'll hold together for tonight. I hope so. I'm going to wear my not quite broken in Docs for this which I may regret tomorrow. They keep beating the backs of my heels into pulp.

Speaking of heels, I turned a heel on a sock! Linda's sock now has a heel. It has a gusset and a short row heel. I have to finish up the last part of the heel turning and then it's on to the cuff. That'll be a bit of knitting and I have to remember to end the cuff with a bit of ribbing so it's not all one bind off, it's got a stretch to it. Ugh, ribbing. I picked up The Knitter's Companion by Interweave Knits. Such a helpful little book. I haven't looked at the DVD yet, but the diagrams! They're so clear and easy to understand. My mother-in-law was surprised that I didn't have the book - I guess because every time she'd come over, I had checked the book out from the library. Hm! I had her sit with me when I had to figure out short rows and her explanation helped, but doing it with someone who knew how to do it and could say, 'Wait, you forgot to wrap' helped more. Now I think I get it. Row counters are SO HELPFUL. So are stitch markers; they tell you which needle is needle one. :D

You know what's odd? My spam. It's, say, 80% home improvement type of stuff. New windows, solar panels, weather tight doors. The rest of it is the typical spam stuff - hair restoration, male enlargement, that sort of thing. Why is most of my spam home improvement stuff? Dunno, but it'd be interesting to find out.

I bet the rest of this day draaaags by. I hope it doesn't, because I'm ready to go to Baton Rouge and see Linda and her crew and do some candy giving out!

Friday, October 31st, 2014 12:27
Connor's last minute Emmet costume came out reasonably well, although I did the stripes with foil tape and I don't think they'll hold up past the end of the day.

When I wasn't sewing or reading or watching baseball this week, I was playing The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, which I found at the library. I enjoyed the exploration and puzzle-solving aspect of it, but after trying and failing about 10 times to defeat a particular dungeon boss, I'm giving up and sending it back unfinished.

I also got to go to the zoo yesterday with Will's class. It was a nice day, but I was completely exhausted by the end of it.

Heather is out of town this weekend for a college reunion, so I'm on call for dog walking duty until Tuesday or so.
Friday, October 31st, 2014 17:25
Book list )

Linear extrapolation to year's end says 146 books. That's on the orde of 12 books per month remaining and this does, on a superficial glance, seem reasonable. If it'll happen is, well, a bit early to say. However, there's travel planned for both November and December and travel is a typical "drives the book count up" trigger.
Friday, October 31st, 2014 15:25
Insight would be appreciated but mostly I'm writing this down this time so's I have it when I come back to this after the weekend. ;)

Read more... )
Friday, October 31st, 2014 08:21
via http://ift.tt/10EbrT6 at October 31, 2014 at 03:00AM:


tranquil as a forest, but on fire within.

#I’m sorry is that a mulan song on a melinda gif set#OH MY FUCKING GOD IT IS#REBLOG REBLOG REBLOG#melinda may#better than your faves#fuck me this is genius#agents of shield
Friday, October 31st, 2014 07:13
via http://ift.tt/1tYg6LK at October 31, 2014 at 02:00AM:













Fun Story: My director kept telling me and my tenor sax buddy to play softer. No matter what we did, it wasn’t soft enough for him. So getting frustrated, I told my buddy “Dont play this time. Just fake it” 

Our Band Director then informed us we sounded perfect. 

To my readers: “p” means quiet, “pp” means really quiet. I’ve never seen “pppp” before haha.

On the contrast, “f” means loud, and “ffff” probably means so loud you go unconscious.

I had ffff in a piece once and my conductor told me to play as loudly as physically possible without falling off my chair…

Me and my trombone buddies had “ffff” and he sat next to me and played so hard that he fell out of his chair.

The lengths we go for music.

Okay yeah so I play the bass clarinet and the amount of air you have to move and the stiffness of the reed means it only has two settings and that is loud and louder, with an optional LOUDEST that includes a 50% probability of HORRIBLE CROAKING NOISE which is the bass equivalent of the ubiquitous clarinet shriek.

One day, when I was in concert band in high school, we got a new piece handed out for the first time, and there was a strange little commotion back in the tuba section — whispering, and pointing at something in the music, and swatting at each other’s hands all shhh don’t call attention to it. And although they did attract the attention of basically everyone else in the band, they managed to avoid being noticed by the band director, who gave us a few minutes to look over our parts and then said, “All right, let’s run through it up to section A.”

And here we are, cheerfully playing along, sounding reasonably competent — but everyone, when they have the attention to spare, is keeping an eye on the tuba players. They don’t come in for the first eight measures or so, and then when they do come in, what we see is:

[stifled giggling]

[reeeeeeally deep breath]


The entire band stops dead, in the cacophonous kind of way that a band stops when it hasn’t actually been cued to stop. The band director doesn’t even say anything, just looks straight back at the tubas and makes a helpless sort of why gesture.

In unison, the tuba players defend themselves: “THERE WERE FOUR F’S.”

FFFF is not really a rational dynamic marking for any instrument, but for the love of all that is holy why would you put it in a tuba part.

This is the best band post 

Everyone else go home

Oh man, so I play trombone, and we got this piece called Florentiner Marsch by Julius Fucik, and we saw this

which is 8 fortes. We were shocked until,

that is 24 fortes who the fuck does that

Who does that?

This guy. Take a good look - that is the moustache of a man with nothing to lose.

Julius IdontgivaFucik

More like Julius Fuckit

this post just kept getting better and better

This is my favorite post and always will be.
Thursday, October 30th, 2014 22:57

Title: Yasha
Author: Yoshida Akimi
Publisher: Flower Comics
Genre: Shoujo
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Molly
Status in Japan: 12 volumes, complete
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: Twelve-year-old Sei lives a normal, quiet life on a small island in Okinawa until one day a strange man who seems to know his mother shows up and tries to kidnap him. After that, nothing is normal or quiet in this sci-fi thriller from the author of Banana Fish.

Chapter Summary: Amamiya tries to use Rin to get into Sei's head--literally--but things don't quite go as planned.

Chapter 24
Thursday, October 30th, 2014 22:31
1. Alexander came over this evening and we watched some Gravity Falls and Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

2. Irene found a therapist with the LA Gender Center and had her first session Tuesday. They offer therapy for all trans people, not just gender-related therapy, and by seeing an intern she was able to get a lower cost.

3. She was really wiped out after work that day, so I took the bus up to the Center with her and just waited while she had her session. It isn't far away but we weren't sure how bad traffic would be so we left really early and ended up getting there early, so we stopped and got tacos from a truck on the way there from the bus stop, and then the Center turned out to be above an awesome little Persian bakery so we got dessert there.

4. And speaking of her job, today was her last day. She worked several days this week as a bagger and really enjoyed working there, but she's just having too many dizzy spells for a job that requires her to be on her feet and moving around all day. The dizziness has been a problem for a while, but has been getting worse recently (though it has gotten better since the really bad days she had with the bronchitis). The good thing is while she was there she made a good impression on her manager and so might be able to go back once the dizziness is taken care of.

5. Covered California is supposed to be opening to new applicants in November, so hopefully we can get Irene on insurance really soon so she can actually go to the doctor and find out what's causing the dizziness and get it taken care of!
Thursday, October 30th, 2014 18:59
One of the quirks of my way of moving through the world is that having someone beside me to do things makes it easier for me to deal. I can take the world in bite-size chunks instead of getting bogged down in the big picture.

But for this sort of thing to work, I need to also cultivate relationships that have a component of, "Hey, friend, I want to do this thing, but I don't to do it alone. Would you like to go to this thing with me? It promises to be cool!" I also need to focus on putting one foot in front of the other and learn how to not get lost in myself when I do try something on my own.

Which is why I'm sitting at home blogging instead of out viewing the Krewe of Boo parade, even though I love parades more than just about anything else ever. Too many little hills made a mountain.
Thursday, October 30th, 2014 21:37
Previously unread.

Assorted maths. Light on the theory (but it's a pop-sci type book) but quite interesting on the whole.

If you like maths and/or Simpsons (or Futurama, trhere's maths in that as well, who would have known) this may well be an interesting read.
Thursday, October 30th, 2014 21:31

More Jain tech, more Ai conspiracies, some heavy action, an unhealthy dose of subterfuge and quite a lot of Horace Blegg (and Ian Cormac).

This is the fourth in the Agent Cormac subseries.
Thursday, October 30th, 2014 20:36
Currently Reading: Harry Potter et la Coupe de Feu, lis par Bernard Giradeu. Nothing much else that's making any progress.

Recently Finished:

Harry Potter et la Chambre des Secrets: Character voices still annoying. Ron and Harry even stupider than I remembered. If Mr Weasley left his car outside, he was going to COME BACK FOR IT. Wait for him to do so, you idiots. Also, did it not occur to you that *a whole ton of people trapped on platform 9 3/4* is a problem you should alert someone to?

Harry Potter et le Prisonier d'Azkaban: Character voices less annoying this time! Rejoice!

Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy, #3)Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I think I need to get used to the fact that I will never agree with SRB about what is a good ending to a disturbing dubiously-consensual telepathic love bonding plot, and just embrace the fact that I adore all the twists and turns along the way.

Also: family! Snark! Sarcastic lesbians! Yes good. These books are nowhere near as compelling as the Demon's Lexicon trilogy, IMHO, but they are delightful and I shall read them again.

Marvel Superhero Team-Up anthology: This was full of lulz, from the hilariously homoerotic (Cable and Deadpool visit Intercourse, PA, and lie to one another) to the almost-incomprehensible-without-backstory (something involving Black Panther, hot girls, a white guy, and aliens) and the utterly absurd (three vikings looking like they walked out of Asterix comics try to rescue a maiden's imperilled fiancé and get into several fights. The maiden finds her own fiancé. One of the Vikings, known as somethingorother the Vast, defeats people by virtue of superior body mass). I kinda liked a complex X-men episode which I didn't understand (Wolverine is angry at some guy for breaking some girl's heart and therefore gets him into a fight?), because two of its less-explored bits involved lady superheroes having angst and either comforting one another, or fighting robots. The manpain and bar fights were unnecessary, more ladies crying and smashing robots please.

Also, I am pleased to report that Wolverine informed us that standard NYC business insurance covers superhero damage.

For work, I just finished Silence, a delightful 13th c cross-dressing romance. It's great! The contrast between the prologue, a passionate romantic story involving a guy who killed a dragon and a girl who cured him, and the main plot, in terms of treatment of marriage, sexual and romantic attraction, and... well, women, basically, is fascinating and will go into thesis.

To Read Next: For work, a chunk of the Vulgate Estoire Merlin, which I spent several days trying to track down (ie, i knew it EXISTED, but not what title it had been published under or when), and finally succeeded thanks to archive.org. For funsies... perhaps Burial Rites, which Jo has loaned to me.
Thursday, October 30th, 2014 12:15
Kind of forgot it was Wednesday yesterday because I had work...

What are you currently reading?
Currently reading Kimi ni Todoke 21. It's cute, as usual. I'm wondering if the series is going to end with graduation or if it will continue after high school. The former seems more likely, though I hope if that happens there's at least an epilogue or something set in the future.

What did you recently finish reading?
I finished reading the first three volumes of Shingeki no Kyojin: Before the Fall and was disappointed to realise it was not a three-volume series! D: Somehow I had thought it was complete, but apparently not. So now I have to wait for the next volume! It's nowhere near as good as the main series, but I definitely liked it a lot more than the Levi backstory.

I also read the most recent issues of Lumberjanes and Ms Marvel, both of which continue to be excellent, and the first issue of the Sleepy Hollow tie-in comic, which was okay. Really I need to get caught up with this season of Sleepy Hollow to get back in the mood, I think.

What do you think you'll read next?
No idea. Right now I'm trying to get stuff read that's already on my phone, because something I loaded on there is really HQ and taking up a ton of space, so I need to get stuff off there.
Thursday, October 30th, 2014 11:35
Marco Zehe writes "Apps, the web, and productivity" about his experience with improved accessibility/usability of native apps over web apps on mobile. My experience in many ways mirrors his, although I would go further and say I have found the same thing on desktop.

For example, I honestly did assume that once I was forced by a job to use Gmail, that I would discover features of Gmail that outweigh the power and accessibility of a mail application. I understand that I am a change-averse Luddite, and suspected that using Alpine my primary mail reader in this day and age was indicative of a slight flaw in my character.

But now that I have been using Gmail with some regularity, it has become abundantly clear to me that no webmail client I've used (Gmail, roundcube, web Outlook in accessibility mode or in rich mode) has the speed, power, and accessibility for me of using the dedicated mail application.

Marco boils his reasons for switching to native apps down to less clutter and latency . I'd say both of those are issues for me as well, just as much as simply saying "accessibility" -- although they are both inextricably tied to accessibility for me.

A cluttered screen -- especially a screen with one of those damn non-scrolling JS banners taking up screen real estate -- is one that requires more scrolling, which is inherently difficult to do without a mouse. Even on desktop, my monitors are smaller and my fonts larger than they used to be, and the design of web apps has gotten less streamlined, substantially, over the last few years.

Meanwhile, the annoying wait-till-it-loads aspect of the web app is a lot more annoying when I am waiting for mouseless browsing to see all of the page elements so it can put actionable links next to them. It's a lot more annoying when I can't start interacting with the page until it is fully loaded, unlike a mouse user who can start to move the mouse towards the expected area of the page.

Ultimately, it comes down to a combination of both spoons and basic UX. Like a lot of computer users with disabilities, the extra cost of using the computer is high enough for me that every aggravation that gets thrown in my way is one more blocker that possibly prevents me from being able to work at all. And as for basic UX, well. Like a lot of techies, I'm used to the power and speed of the keyboard-based environment. I honestly have no idea how people used to a powerful, lightning-fast, terminal-based mail application become comfortable with the clunky latency of webmail.
Thursday, October 30th, 2014 13:44
I don't care what people think, it is not the job of anybody at work to
keep up with the money of employees. The employees are supposed to keep
up with their own hours, their own money and where that money goes if they
have direct deposit.

Am I asking too much? I would also appreciate not being yelled at for
something that I have no control over. I don't control when your direct
deposit gets canceled nor do I control when it activates. I just give you
the information I have. QUIT YELLING AT ME.

This post has been brought to you by a day full of being yelled at by
Thursday, October 30th, 2014 16:32
Today I have not yet got out of bed for more than 10 minutes at a time.

small victories )

really really todo: rinse out the dishwasher filters
Thursday, October 30th, 2014 07:24
I'm not a huge fan of Hacker News[1]. My impression continues to be that it ends up promoting stories that align with the Silicon Valley narrative of meritocracy, technology will fix everything, regulation is the cancer killing agile startups, and discouraging stories that suggest that the world of technology is, broadly speaking, awful and we should all be ashamed of ourselves.

But as a good data-driven person[2], wouldn't it be nice to have numbers rather than just handwaving? In the absence of a good public dataset, I scraped Hacker Slide to get just over two months of data in the form of hourly snapshots of stories, their age, their score and their position. I then applied a trivial test:
  1. If the story is younger than any other story
  2. and the story has a higher score than that other story
  3. and the story has a worse ranking than that other story
  4. and at least one of these two stories is on the front page
then the story is considered to have been penalised.

(note: "penalised" can have several meanings. It may be due to explicit flagging, or it may be due to an automated system deciding that the story is controversial or appears to be supported by a voting ring. There may be other reasons. I haven't attempted to separate them, because for my purposes it doesn't matter. The algorithm is discussed here.)

Now, ideally I'd classify my dataset based on manual analysis and classification of stories, but I'm lazy (see [2]) and so just tried some keyword analysis:

A few things to note:
  1. Lots of stories are penalised. Of the front page stories in my dataset, I count 3240 stories that have some kind of penalty applied, against 2848 that don't. The default seems to be that some kind of detection will kick in.
  2. Stories containing keywords that suggest they refer to issues around social justice appear more likely to be penalised than stories that refer to technical matters
  3. There are other topics that are also disproportionately likely to be penalised. That's interesting, but not really relevant - I'm not necessarily arguing that social issues are penalised out of an active desire to make them go away, merely that the existing ranking system tends to result in it happening anyway.

This clearly isn't an especially rigorous analysis, and in future I hope to do a better job. But for now the evidence appears consistent with my innate prejudice - the Hacker News ranking algorithm tends to penalise stories that address social issues. An interesting next step would be to attempt to infer whether the reasons for the penalties are similar between different categories of penalised stories[3], but I'm not sure how practical that is with the publicly available data.

(Raw data is here, penalised stories are here, unpenalised stories are here)

[1] Moving to San Francisco has resulted in it making more sense, but really that just makes me even more depressed.
[2] Ha ha like fuck my PhD's in biology
[3] Perhaps stories about startups tend to get penalised because of voter ring detection from people trying to promote their startup, while stories about social issues tend to get penalised because of controversy detection?
Thursday, October 30th, 2014 08:07
via http://ift.tt/1zhAFom at October 30, 2014 at 03:00AM:





Ok, lets break this down nice and simple.

Formaldehyde is from the purification of the vaccine. 99.9% of which is removed. The reason it doesn’t give a dosage is so minuscule that it can’t be measured without going into picograms. That’s one trillionth of a gram. You breathe in more formaldehyde by driving down a busy road than in a vaccine.

Thimerosal is NOT elemental mercury, It is a molecular compound made up of carbon, hydrogen, mercury, sodium, oxygen, and surfer. This is used as a preservative for the vaccine. Thimerosal is used in a variety of other things, like tattoo ink, facial creams, nasal sprays. It’s toxic to humans only in fairly large quantities but highly toxic to aquatic born organisms like infectious bacteria. In short, it makes sure you don’t get salmonella from a stray bacteria from the chicken embryos.
As for the dosage of the Thimerosal. That is the most laughable point in this post. It says 25 mcg, that’s micrograms, or one millionth of a gram. To put this in perspective, a dollar bill weighs roughly 1 gram, the average human eyelash is around 80-90 micrograms. The box also says that it contains a 5ml (milliliter/cc) vial which leads me to my next point.

A little simple math and we find out that 25 mcg = 0.00003 ml and a little more math we find that 0.00003 ml is 0.00006% of 5 ml. Let me put this another way. By the age of 5, an American child weighs about 50-55lbs and their body contains 55 mcg of Uranium. I don’t see any kids running around with radiation sickness, so I think they’re safe with a preservative in them.
TL;DR: This is like saying you don’t want your child eating their baked birthday cake because raw eggs were used to make it and you don’t want your child getting salmonella from it.


not vaccinating your children is child abuse and it should be illegal.
Thursday, October 30th, 2014 07:20
via http://ift.tt/1wI1Hmc at October 30, 2014 at 02:00AM:

Were you ever able to name one hero who was happy? No.
Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 17:54
A little while back Steve Klabnik mentioned something on Twitter that's been on my mind a bit lately. It's about the right-wing political movement in tech, including some alarming neo-fascist outbursts.
Steve wrote this:
Thinking about it, the far right has never been as powerful and overtly supported in tech as in this current moment.
Between GamerGate, Weev, and Moldbug, it's not even a "conservative tendency" or something, but outright fascism.
I'm not sure what a 'tech antifa' would look like, exactly, but it's sorely needed.
-- @steveklabnik October 18, 2014

I've been meaning to write some about this for a while, and now seems as good a time as any.
long discussion of right-wing in tech )
Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 17:01
I joined the board of directors of the Free Software Foundation a couple of weeks ago. I've been travelling a bunch since then, so haven't really had time to write about it. But since I'm currently waiting for a test job to finish, why not?

It's impossible to overstate how important free software is. A movement that began with a quest to work around a faulty printer is now our greatest defence against a world full of hostile actors. Without the ability to examine software, we can have no real faith that we haven't been put at risk by backdoors introduced through incompetence or malice. Without the freedom to modify software, we have no chance of updating it to deal with the new challenges that we face on a daily basis. Without the freedom to pass that modified software on to others, we are unable to help people who don't have the technical skills to protect themselves.

Free software isn't sufficient for building a trustworthy computing environment, one that not merely protects the user but respects the user. But it is necessary for that, and that's why I continue to evangelise on its behalf at every opportunity.


Free software has a problem. It's natural to write software to satisfy our own needs, but in doing so we write software that doesn't provide as much benefit to people who have different needs. We need to listen to others, improve our knowledge of their requirements and ensure that they are in a position to benefit from the freedoms we espouse. And that means building diverse communities, communities that are inclusive regardless of people's race, gender, sexuality or economic background. Free software that ends up designed primarily to meet the needs of well-off white men is a failure. We do not improve the world by ignoring the majority of people in it. To do that, we need to listen to others. And to do that, we need to ensure that our community is accessible to everybody.

That's not the case right now. We are a community that is disproportionately male, disproportionately white, disproportionately rich. This is made strikingly obvious by looking at the composition of the FSF board, a body made up entirely of white men. In joining the board, I have perpetuated this. I do not bring new experiences. I do not bring an understanding of an entirely different set of problems. I do not serve as an inspiration to groups currently under-represented in our communities. I am, in short, a hypocrite.

So why did I do it? Why have I joined an organisation whose founder I publicly criticised for making sexist jokes in a conference presentation? I'm afraid that my answer may not seem convincing, but in the end it boils down to feeling that I can make more of a difference from within than from outside. I am now in a position to ensure that the board never forgets to consider diversity when making decisions. I am in a position to advocate for programs that build us stronger, more representative communities. I am in a position to take responsibility for our failings and try to do better in future.

People can justifiably conclude that I'm making excuses, and I can make no argument against that other than to be asked to be judged by my actions. I hope to be able to look back at my time with the FSF and believe that I helped make a positive difference. But maybe this is hubris. Maybe I am just perpetuating the status quo. If so, I absolutely deserve criticism for my choices. We'll find out in a few years.
Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 11:11
Not updating while I was on vacation has gotten me out of the habit.

1. Last night there was the night running marathon in Tel Aviv, [personal profile] roga and I went to see some of it and I got half of a free Balkan Beatbox out of it! And also a lovely walk by the river, which was chillier than I expected.

2. Yesterday at lunch my coworkers had a conversation that basically amounted to "Jerusalem is terrible, why would anyone want to go there, nothing good ever came from that city, you couldn't pay me to live there, let's just pretend it doesn't exist." I will never stop being amused by Tel Avivians' hatred for Jerusalem (and vice versa). Personally, I hate Jerusalem and you couldn't pay me to live there because I can't remember the last time I took public transport in the city without a random woman on the bus taking me aside to talk about my cleavage.

3. I am thinking of doing NaNoWriMo this year! This is almost entirely due to [personal profile] yifu's influence, as she lives outside Europe/North America and does NaNo every year and it seems to work very well for her in her writing career. Seeing her enthusiasm every year has convinced me to give it a try, and this year is the first when my schedule sort of allows it. (Sort of. We'll not speak of grad school which I need to sort out.)

I'm going to use it to write the porn novel. stuff about writing )
Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 08:13
via http://ift.tt/1tgSkI2 at October 29, 2014 at 03:00AM:


Things I learnt today: During WW1, MI5 used Girl Guides to send secret messages. They used Girl Guides because they quickly found that Boy Scouts couldn’t be trusted and were’t efficient enough.

“At the start of the war Boy Scouts were also used. But it quickly became clear that Girl Guides were more efficient because they were less boisterous and talkative.”

the boy scouts were too gossipy, so they used girl guides as spies instead this is probably the best day of my life
Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 07:10
via http://ift.tt/100VogO at October 29, 2014 at 02:00AM:

I can’t tell you how much that last GIF is my favorite Jim Kirk expression.

That is the I Have A Migraine, The Bureaucrats Are A Pain In My Ass, I Hate This Job This Week, And I Am In NO FUCKING MOOD For Your Snark, *Leonard* expression.
Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 01:22
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!)
Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 15:02
spoilery thoughts, brief because battery is not high )

Anyway I don't want to over-read into the politics of the series because I feel so many people are busy careful interpreting its politics that it's not being read as what it actually is, which is an (awesome) space opera which is no more or less political than David Weber or Orson Scott Card or Lois McMaster Bujold or any fantasy of space battle glory.

So brief thoughts on narrative structure )
Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 14:45
     Travel to a conference
plus laptop power cord kablooeying a few hours before takeoff
plus waiting for overnight delivery of a power cord
equals a lot of time to read actual books.

My non-spoilery thoughts on Ancillary Sword come down to this: I was checking Twitter during my reading breaks, and much of my Twitter stream is Ferguson-related. I wondered how much the parallels I was drawing were me forcing an interpretation, though some of the commentary on respectability politics seemed overwhelming. I had some vague impression that Ann Leckie was Australian.

Until I finished the book and read in the biographical note that she's from St. Louis, Missouri. Which, as [personal profile] cnoocy pointed out, needs to be interpreted in the light of a book's creation cycle, but is still very telling to me. (The more obvious ideological metaphors are to colonialism -- though reducing this series to ideology is stupid, which hasn't prevented a bunch of illiterates from claiming it's making some kind of feminist separatist statement -- but the arguments Breq hears are certainly used in more domestic issues, as well as post-colonial ones.)
Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 14:48

Yesterday was my birthday! I am 10951 days old as of today. It was a good birthday, with lamb chops and asparagus for dinner and 7x7in Post It notes as a birthday present, along with beer. My Husbandthing knows me. Yay.

I've been talking with [personal profile] woggy about Yuletide and I might, just might, offer to write for it next year. I'm not sure what I'd offer, but I can definitely find some tiny fandoms to write in. I can do tiny fandoms.

My ear has healed up nicely from when I had some troubles with earrings and the ear lobe. I'll not go into detail, but suffice to say it was unpleasant. Highly unpleasant. Ouch. But now I'm back to having ten holes total as opposed to just seven holes total. Why do ear lobes have to hurt so much more than cartilage?)

The church's Trek or Treat is this Wednesday and I'm planning on going. I won't be running, but I will be cheering on those who do run and having fun at the carnival afterwards. I hear there might be a cake walk! (Seriously, I am such the 70-year-old granny who knits and rocks and does church cakewalks.) I'm rather excited about it. I was thinking about going to the Grand theater and watching Frankenstein with Benedict Cumberbatch and Johnny Lee Miller, but that's the same day as the Trek or Treat and it was yesterday as well. I'll get to see it again at some point. But I bet it's really good.

I managed to get all my biometric crap done for the insurance. I just need to get Brent's done now. Uuuugh. Apparently my LDL is a little higher than they like? This is the same company that says I'm at risk for bad health because I don't participate in enough exercise a day. I think thirty minutes of heart pounding bike riding a day is good for someone with osteoarthritis in their ankles, thank you. I do need to go do a long ride one day on the Trace, though. That'd be nice.

I find myself wishing I could set my voice activation for my phone to something besides 'Okay Google Now'. Maybe 'Sporky to Enterprise!'

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 19:40
I was rather concerned that The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances would be the first real test of NLSS Child's resolve to watch through new Docotr Who. She bugged out of Listen very rapidly, claiming it was going to give her nightmares, and this was the story that launched Moffat's reputation for creepiness.

In fact, I think she thought the whole thing was charmingly amusing.

I did take the precaution of warning her in advance that the story had a reputation for being scary, but also that it was the first Doctor Who story in which everyone lives (I decided not to get into a discussion about the nature of the fictional characters in The Mind Robber). However in the end I think it was the fact that The Empty Child relies more on a sense of creeping menace than what NLSS Child refers to as "jump scares" that meant she coped with the whole thing with equanimity. She enjoyed the general humour of the conversations and, I think, was largely oblivious to the creepiness.

Captain Jack, oddly, wasn't as much fun as I recalled though I was possibly being influenced by NLSS Child's air of mild disapproval (a con man! and he should know Rose has a boyfriend!). I think this is probably a case of familiarity with the character masking how surprising he seemed on first introduction.

The story remains remarkably solid, proving new Doctor Who's ability to sustain a narrative over 90 minutes. Moffat clearly can put together a plot that works in a much more satisfactory fashion than many of Davies' (which tend to rely on spectacle and jargon to keep the mechanics of the story moving) which makes it doubly disappointing that he's failed to do this so often in recent years - presumably a result of the pressure involved in running the whole show. It was worth revisiting this to recall how good his writing can be.
Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 11:56
I had just become really contented in my decision to break up with you.
Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 14:13
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Google Inbox: part of the cult of #InboxZero. (Can't recall the last time I did that.)
Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 12:38
I am really pleased with what I'm putting up on [tumblr.com profile] speculumannorum these days. I had a bit of a hiatus after the breakup, but I've taken tons of great photos lately.


photos, yo )
Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 14:50
So, Strange Empire. A show set in Canada in the 19th century, essentially a "wild west" show, feature a boat load of women protagonists. Only one of the three main women is played by a white actress, afaik. THERE IS NO WAY NOT TO BE EXCITED BY A SHOW LIKE THIS.

How could you ever ruin a show like the show I've described? IT CAN'T BE DONE! but no, apparently, slowly but surely, you can take everything I've ever wanted in a show and water it down with rape culture and average-to-terrible writing until it's just... a sort-of watchable mess?

spoilers for the first two episodes )
Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 08:09
via http://ift.tt/ZVniuO at October 28, 2014 at 03:00AM:





man how yall gonna contour a nail


so that’s why you liked this post..
Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 07:04
via http://ift.tt/12YxIM5 at October 28, 2014 at 02:00AM:









Female pilots edited out of the Star Wars movies.

I saw the tweets about this today, and I was like oh yeah, I remember hearing about that.

And then I saw the pictures and just— wow. What it would have meant to have these women in the movie, all this time. I can’t properly articulate it but it’s hitting me unexpectedly hard.

Wow thats a shame, even a nice old lady too.  These Space Valkyries  should have been left in.

They really should have.

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I lived, ate, and breathed Star Wars from age 2 until 2005 when RotS finally beat the enthusiasm out of me, and I have NEVER, EVER in all my reading on behind-the-scenes and makings-of heard of these shots. It’s a shame there was no relaunched edit of the original trilogy they could have slipped these in OH FUCKING WAIT THERE’S BEEN LIKE 3 OF THOSE NOW.

Fuck. FUCK. Whoever decided to edit out and bury these needs to french kiss an angle grinder.

I want to see the old lady in the A-Wing. Seriously, it’s like, she’s somebody’s grandma. Some kid in the Outer Rim Territories got greased by the Empire for seeing something she wasn’t supposed to see, and her grandma, the bush pilot, decided “Fuck this, I’m gonna strap on an fighter and make the Empire fucking PAY for the moment it decided to fuck with MY FAMILY.”


These are quickly being put into the “always reblog” category.

Whenever there is a war, there are women who are warriors. Then they get erased from history. Happens in real wars and fictional ones alike.

The two younger A-Wing pilots were there, but given men’s voices. My understanding is that all four of them were scripted to die in the film, and Lucas was worried people would be offended that women were dying in the space combat. (Apparently there’s no such issue with feeding an abused alien slave girl to the Rancor.)
Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 01:14
Did I mention that we're supposed to be moving this week? We're supposed to be moving this week.

The following happened today:
  • The Farmer and I presented ourselves for a final walk-through of the house he's excited to rent. Absolutely nothing that the owner promised had actually been done, and the doors didn't even have door knobs or locks. I repeat, no working locks in New Orleans. We had a car full of stuff, which we declined to unload. The real estate agent looked embarrassed as we walked through the house, making a list of everything that needed to be fixed before we could move in. Then, on the way out, we found out that I can't even close the front door.
  • Not 30 minutes later, a friend sent me an urgent text, bemoaning the fact that the other side of her duplex is opening up the last week of the month. It's a good price in a good neighborhood with a good layout.
  • I contacted her landlord and laid it on thick and sweet.
  • I contacted the real estate agent who is trying to fill my house, asking if we could have an extra month. As luck would have it, the folks who wanted to rent our house starting on Monday? Backed out two hours before I asked for an extra month.
  • My landlord called me, drunk and flirtatious. He flattered me up and down, begging us to stay. No, sir, we aren't staying...but we're grateful for the extra month.

    So. The stars aligned, and we might just get our wish of a lovely house in MidCity after all. Wheeee! And I don't have to move this week after all. Whew!
  • Monday, October 27th, 2014 21:25
    1. I went in for four hours this morning because I not only needed to finish up my own ordering, but also needed to help the new drinks buyer order and answer questions for the other buyers who are now having to order from unfamiliar vendors due to all the American and non-Japanese Asian stuff going into their departments. I went in at seven because I had walked up with Irene to her job (they put her on a shift starting at seven and the bus doesn't run then and it's still dark) and then just carried on to work because it's almost halfway there. It was nice to be there that early and get a lot done before customers were in.

    2. There was no new Simpsons or Brooklyn Nine-Nine last night so Irene suggested we do a Brooklyn Nine-Nine rewatch and I have to say, even just having watched these episodes a couple weeks ago, they are still awesome. XD (I'm glad there's a new episode this coming Sunday, though!)

    3. We had ants in the kitchen this morning, but they seem to have gone away. *crosses fingers*
    Monday, October 27th, 2014 15:18
    I have a fantastic conference to write about, and an amazing wedding to go to next week, but:

    Between Gamergate, the shootings in Ottawa (and all of the legal/social reactions), Jian Ghomeshi's sexual assault/harrassment scandal*, some friend drama, and my social/work related anxiety around posting to FB right now (basically I get a message and freeze then don't answer for a week, then do so in a burst of guilt), the internet is just... making me really tired and sad and angry lately. 

    *Basically I just want to link to/quote [livejournal.com profile] castlemew 's tumblr/FB for all of my opinions on it because she says what my brain wants to say except smarter and funnier. Also this.

    Meanwhile, I had an uncomfortable situation recently that I want feedback/help on, but the subject is taxing and /hard/. 

    I was with a female friend (B) and the father of another friend, and the father said kinda inappropriate stuff: immediately calling B "CUTE", hugging her even though they've never met before, and suggesting I "take his wife back with me instead, and leave B" while his wife was right there. (This father also privately congratulated my SO on dating me because I'm hot. Which, I mean, yes obviously, but, it's a little weird given I'm his daughter's friend?)

    Anyway, I didn't know really how comfortable B was. Especially because while B has great english skills, she sometimes has problems with new accents, so she might not really have understood everything that was getting said. And on that trip she had already had to deal with people yelling slang at her on the street which she didn't understand, to the point where she didn't feel safe doing the 30 min walk to our hotel. 

    So I basically just tried to get us out of the place as quickly as possible (I was picking up some of the daughter's belongings for her), and get on the road. Later I hinted at the weirdness to the daughter, but when she asked if he had really creeped B out, I kind of went back on it a bit because it's not comfortable telling anyone their loved ones creeped other people out.

    When trying to assess the situation in my own head, I found myself thinking the words, "Well, B never said she was uncomfortable..."

    And that's when I really knew I had a problem. Because those are the words of the patriarchy programmed into my brain, and I know all the problems with them.

    Because obviously, B wasn't really in a position to say she was uncomfortable - even later privately in the car it probably would've been just as difficult as me telling my friend. (who probably is already super familiar with her dad being uncomfortable, and likely face-palms everytime he meets he
    So now I'm trying to think of ways I can respond better to situations like this. One obvious one is asking B how she felt privately because that'd just be a decent-human-being thing to do, and could validate her if she WAS feeling sketched out. 
    But also responding in the moment... how to get over the "let's just pretend things are fine and smooth this over and laugh at this stupid joke but then later HATE you" programming. Like, how do you actually do that? Especially in moments where it is literally a split second reaction. Stupid jokes, or people going to hug you when you're not into hugging, or sayin eyebrow-raising things then flowing on with conversation like nothing happened. 
    It's constantly one of those "DAMMIT I SHOULD'VE SAID/DONE SOMETHING" things for me, and how do you get better at saying/doing something? Especially in group situations where you are potentially not going to have back up, or are going to be the recipient of a "c'mon we were just joking" . 
    I want steps, and action plans, people. 

    Monday, October 27th, 2014 14:10
    1. There are really no words for how tired I am today. I've been teetering on the edge of a migraine for days now. Yesterday I was at work for 12 hours (9am-9pm) because my department was producing an event and my boss wanted everyone to be there, even though I didn't actually have anything to do. Which is to say, I didn't get to enjoy the event (a series of short lectures) but I did get to stand outside and help out with bringing a paper bag or telling people where a building was occasionally.

    So, a 12 hour day on the FIRST DAY OF THE WORK WEEK. Kill me now.

    2. In addition to this, stress hit me like baseball bat once I went back to work, so now I can't sleep very well either. It was like, I came home from vacation and I was sleeping fine - the kind of deep sleep that doesn't mind light or outside noises, the kind where I get woken up by my alarm instead of the other way around. And then, after my first day back at work, it was like a wave. Suddenly I can't fall asleep, I wake up in the middle of the night, I wake up before my alarm. Anxiety and stress.

    It's not work, specifically. It's the shock of getting back to full working days, yes, but it's also anxiety about my degree (which is currently a clusterfuck IDEK how to untangle), it's the fact that I still don't have an apartment so I feel like I don't have my own space (I mean, [personal profile] roga's guest room is lovely but it doesn't feel like My Bedroom, because it isn't, and I just feel like I'm living in limbo which stresses me out).

    3. In happy news - one of the supermarkets next to [personal profile] roga's place is closing, so they're having a 20% off everything in the store sale. Today's the last day and I plan to go in there and buy all the frozen seafood they might have left, basically. I mean the rest of their prices aren't amazing - the store is already so expensive that 20% off is basically the price you'd get at a cheap supermarket anyway - but seafood is harder to find and usually the stores selling it are more expensive to begin with, so.

    4. In even happier news - Australian coworker is gone *_______* Apparently he left while I was on vacation, and didn't even CC me on the goodbye email he sent everyone, lolol. With him gone and French Coworker on maternity leave until January, the department is actually an OK place to work in all of the sudden? At least socially? It's pretty amazing. I don't have to worry about how to avoid communicating with coworkers who are going to be epic assholes to me and then worry about how I'm going to hide that avoidance from my boss.

    In other news, I talked to my dad in NYC the other day and when I mentioned my job basically the first thing he said was "you need to change jobs already. You outgrew that place a long time ago." And he's right, but I can't think about that with my clusterfuck of a degree and while I don't have a fucking place to live. I just can't.

    5. The weather has been lovely lately. Last week it was chillier, but this week we're back to the kind of weather where I just walk around in super thin shirts with short sleeves. I've been back from Europe for two weeks and I've gone to the beach (and into the water!) three times in that time. It's been absolutely wonderful, and I only hope this weather lasts for one more beach/pool visit.