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Thursday, May 28th, 2015 09:39
[ profile] squirmelia and I are organising a Computer Anonymous meet up at the St George's Tavern in London on 3rd June. More details:

Computer Anonymous:

London group:
Thursday, May 28th, 2015 08:28
via at May 28, 2015 at 03:15AM:

How to properly break the 4th wall
Thursday, May 28th, 2015 07:42
via at May 28, 2015 at 02:30AM:
Thursday, May 28th, 2015 06:53
via at May 28, 2015 at 01:45AM:
Aries at their best: "I love you my life is amazing I love everyone. hugs for all."
Aries at their worst: "I hate my life I hate you let's kill everyone."
Taurus at their best: "Let's have a giant cuddle puddle with everyone I love people"
Taurus at their worst: *eats the entire refrigerator including the metal* "My life is over"
Gemini at their best: "wow I'm fabulous. do you see how perfect I am? I'm the new Beyoncé"
Gemini at their worst: "you know I could kill you?"
Cancer at their best: "has anyone ever told you how beautiful you are? wow can I be you? I love you. I love you all" *blows kisses and throws flowers everywhere*
Leo at their best: "wow I'm so perfect I'm beautiful."
Virgo at their best: *feminist rant* "I love everyone wow"
Virgo at their worst: "actually I hate you all. now I need to go clean my fucking room and cry"
Libra at their best: *signs entire musical soundtrack*
Libra at their worst: "nobody loves me. you don't love me. he doesn't love me. my mum doesn't love me. my cat doesn't love me. my goldfish doesn't even love me."
Scorpio at their best: "I'm a fucking goddess my life is perfect"
Scorpio at their worst: "I hate myself my life is over"
Sagittarius at their best: "heheheheh" *does something stupid* "wow I'm HILARIOUS"
Sagittarius at their worst: *kills you and drinks your blood*
Capricorn at their best: "I hate all of you" *evil smile*
Capricorn at their worst: "I hate all of you" *emotional breakdown and sobs for the next year*
Aquarius at their best: "unicorns are real dude I swear. everyone is so beautiful. can I paint you? you're gorgeous and so am I!"
Aquarius at their worst: *sobs* "I hate earth. that's it, I'm moving to Mars"
Pisces at their best: "I'm so cute. so kawaii. wow I'm an angel and so are you. hehe"
Pisces at their worst: "murder"

it seems that scorpio is always either all the way or not at all.
Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 21:15
The robot table was delivered to Manchester Earth Sciences today and will hopefully make its way to Cheltenham over the weekend.

Meanwhile I have trained some minions (which included my boss, so possibly minions isn't the right term) and taken a delivery of T-shirts which turned out to be for the Department of Law and Social Justice. I continue to live in hope that the team will all match next week, although there are only two days left for the T-shirts to put in an appearance.

Here is a photo of Hedy Lamarr, after which one of the lego robot dinosaurs is named. I had to explain to minions that she co-invented the frequency hopping spread spectrum system that underpins modern Bluetooth and Wifi communication. It's interesting that I tend to think the stories about the various female pioneers in Computing are somewhat overused as part of the general drive to encourage more women into the subject and yet then I find out that actually most people haven't heard them. I particularly love the idea that she teamed up with an avant-garde pianist in order to prevent the Nazis jamming allied ship-to-torpedo communication because obviously the team needed to improve the US torpedo technology should consist of a Hollywood actress and an avant-garde pianist - it sounds more like the premise for a spoof spy show than something in real life. I'm wondering if I should ask for Hollywood actresses vs. Nazis for Yuletide this year. I also love the idea that the patterns of frequency hopping used in their original system are based on piano rolls (because, of course).

I think they had all heard of Grace Hopper though B. hadn't. I forgave him because he's only a biologist.
Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 14:47
[personal profile] theleaveswant reminds me that it is Bruce Cockburn's birthday.

Come, let us glory in his talent together:

Last Night of the World (lovely live version with good sound).

When it's Gone it's Gone (Audio only)

I don't know why I can't get the embedding code on the iPad, and I have to Do The Things and don't have time to chase it down, but if anyone grabs them for me I'll edit the post. *looks cute*

ETA: dep't of Be Careful What You Ask For — here is Bruce Cockburn, in Afghanistan, being presented with a rocket launcher.

Weirdly, this was the second time somebody tried to give him one. The first time was apparently from the trunk of a car at a show in Washington state. He declined politely.
Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 18:56
Previously unread.

This is the second of N Twenty Palaces books. Like the first one, it's a fast-paced read, wit hhorrible things, happening to horrible and less horrible people. Nonetheless, there's good reading to be had and there's some more insight into Ray's personality and psyche.
Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 08:58
I don't often give talks about Rust, but I was in Tokyo recently during the Rust 1.0 release and figured I'd drop in on the Mozilla Tokyo office release party. I figured they'd try to make me talk about something, so I prepared a lightning talk. As is typical of my Rust-project communication style, I presented in point form. This is the contents of the talk:

Five lists of six things about Rust:

  1. Six ways Rust is fundamentally different from how it started

    1. Borrow checker subsumed most other safety mechanisms, lots discarded
    2. Much more static: monomorphization of sizes, glue code, and static trait dispatch
    3. LLVM: strengths (amazing optimization) and weaknesses (narrow semantics)
    4. Between these two points, maybe 100x faster at runtime, 100x slower to compile
    5. Grammar, resolution, dispatch, type system much more complex, expressive
    6. Adopted standard C platform stack, threads, ABI, linkage, mangling, unwinding

  2. Six ways Rust is fundamentally the same as how it started

    1. Safety through memory ownership and isolation, no global GC, no aliased mutable state
    2. Default immutable, algebraic data types ("ML in C++ clothing")
    3. Focus on dense memory layout, interior allocation, minimizing pointer chasing, vectors over lists
    4. No global namespace, everything module scoped and crate relative
    5. Support for standard tools: gdb, perf, dtrace, objdump
    6. RAII, dtors, idempotent uncatchable unwinding ("crash only")

  3. Six things we lost along the way

    1. Typestate system
    2. Effect system
    3. Function complexities: parameter modes, argument binding, stack iterators, tail calls
    4. Language-integrated runtime for tasks, channels, logging
    5. GC pointers, task local GC (yes, rustboot had a real mark/sweep)
    6. Dynamic, structural object types

  4. Six things we gained along the way

    1. Lambdas, with environment capture
    2. First class borrowed pointers -- not just parameter modes -- with explicit lifetimes
    3. Traits, with associated items
    4. Hygienic macros beyond just raw syntax extensions
    5. Multiple parallelism modes beyond just actors (ARC, fork/join, SIMD)
    6. Cargo,, a huge vibrant community!

  5. Six things I'm irrationally, disproportionately pleased by

    1. Rich patterns: slice patterns, range patterns, or patterns
    2. Novel consequences of move semantics: static freeze/thaw, iterators that consume their containers
    3. Rich syntax extensions: compile time regular expressions, SQL statements, docopt
    4. Novel embeddings: postgres and python extensions, crypto libraries, kernels in rust
    5. C++ ballpark on benchmarks
    6. A 1.0 stable release after nearly a decade of work

  6. (Ok, maybe my pleasure at some of these is rational and proportionate..)
Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 09:47
"What artists and prisoners have in common is that both know what it means to be free."
-- James Baldwin

As of today, Chelsea Manning has been in prison for five years for doing right by her country. Freedom isn't free. In the article, she writes that five years ago, she was "considerably less mature". She is a day short of seven years younger than me. Five years ago she was 22 years old, unimaginably young.

Maybe the world needs more young people who don't fully understand "the potential consequences and outcomes of [their] actions". Isn't that what the abstract idea of fighting for your country is about -- the recruitment of people too young to comprehend the consequences of death, or of being alive and unable to forget what you saw? Fully aware of consequences or not, Chelsea Manning did the right thing, knowing at least on some level what the cost could be to her as a trans woman, when so many people with so much less to lose did not do the right thing. I ask myself if I could do what she did, and because the terms and conditions of my life are such that I'll never have as much to lose as she did in 2010 and does now, I don't and won't know the answer.

Maybe it's no surprise, even, that a trans woman gave this gift to us. I know how deep the need to know the truth can go when you're brought up in a world that seems to be built on lies. We as trans people all come from a world like that, even those of us who only have the fuzziest sense early on that we're being lied to about who we are. To paraphrase (IIRC) Katha Pollitt, social change is made by people who can't stand the way things are any more. It's not made by people who are well-served by the world as it is.

Likewise, maybe Manning was better prepared to give up her freedom for the sake of exposing an unjust war because she knew she was never going to be free anyway. They say freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose, but maybe those of us who have never felt free, who never had the illusion that the world was going to be full of people who'd walk hand in hand with us on our journey to self-actualization, are actually the most free. We may be afraid of a lot of things, but we do know that freedom -- for us -- won't arise from fear of rattling the cage we were born in.

The world needs people like Manning, but people like her don't need to sacrifice their freedom for a world that is often unworthy. Chelsea Manning made that sacrifice anyway. Let's not forget. Let's hope for her freedom and for all of our freedom from fear, violence, and lies.

standing on the firing line,
leaving all the others behind,
running to the fray,
going where no man will go,
running to confront every foe,
On another good dying day.
-- Bob Franke
Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 08:17
via at May 27, 2015 at 03:15AM:




Let’s say you wanted to glue fabric to wood, but what do you use? What about glass to paper? This to That lets you choose two things you want to glue and lists what types of glue is best. (Because people have a need to glue things to other things!)

This is an incredibly awesome site.  Go check it out!


I am having way too much fun with this for no particular reason.
Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 07:47
via at May 27, 2015 at 02:30AM:

Favourite Animated Shows → Live Action: [1/3] Avatar the Last Airbender 

AKA what the film could have been if it was made by someone who actually gave a shit about the source material 
Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 06:53
via at May 27, 2015 at 01:45AM:


IHust wiOke upmy whol hOUSSe

I’m telling this story again b/c fuck it but anyways I was playing D&D and one of my friends went “brown bear brown bear what do you see” and on cue three of us turn to him and like, death metal screech “ALLLL”.

The dude goes completely pale faced. I saw true horror in his eyes. 

He didn’t know the joke.

So apparently dude just had three of his best friends demonically screech at him for no goddamn reason.

I do not think I will ever cause that level of sheer terror and confusion ever again in my life.
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 23:07
This is currently the top story on the Linux subreddit. It links to this Tweet which demonstrates using a System Management Mode backdoor to perform privilege escalation under Linux. This is not a story.

But first, some background. System Management Mode (SMM) is a feature in most x86 processors since the 386SL back in 1990. It allows for certain events to cause the CPU to stop executing the OS, jump to an area of hidden RAM and execute code there instead, and then hand off back to the OS without the OS knowing what just happened. This allows you to do things like hardware emulation (SMM is used to make USB keyboards look like PS/2 keyboards before the OS loads a USB driver), fan control (SMM will run even if the OS has crashed and lets you avoid the cost of an additional chip to turn the fan on and off) or even more complicated power management (some server vendors use SMM to read performance counters in the CPU and adjust the memory and CPU clocks without the OS interfering).

In summary, SMM is a way to run a bunch of non-free code that probably does a worse job than your OS does in most cases, but is occasionally helpful (it's how your laptop prevents random userspace from overwriting your firmware, for instance). And since the RAM that contains the SMM code is hidden from the OS, there's no way to audit what it does. Unsurprisingly, it's an interesting vector to insert malware into - you could configure it so that a process can trigger SMM and then have the resulting SMM code find that process's credentials structure and change it so it's running as root.

And that's what Dmytro has done - he's written code that sits in that hidden area of RAM and can be triggered to modify the state of the running OS. But he's modified his own firmware in order to do that, which isn't something that's possible without finding an existing vulnerability in either the OS or (or more recently, and) the firmware. It's an excellent demonstration that what we knew to be theoretically possible is practically possible, but it's not evidence of such a backdoor being widely deployed.

What would that evidence look like? It's more difficult to analyse binary code than source, but it would still be possible to trace firmware to observe everything that's dropped into the SMM RAM area and pull it apart. Sufficiently subtle backdoors would still be hard to find, but enough effort would probably uncover them. A PC motherboard vendor managed to leave the source code to their firmware on an open FTP server and copies leaked into the wild - if there's a ubiquitous backdoor, we'd expect to see it there.

But still, the fact that system firmware is mostly entirely closed is still a problem in engendering trust - the means to inspect large quantities binary code for vulnerabilities is still beyond the vast majority of skilled developers, let alone the average user. Free firmware such as Coreboot gets part way to solving this but still doesn't solve the case of the pre-flashed firmware being backdoored and then installing the backdoor into any new firmware you flash.

This specific case may be based on a misunderstanding of Dmytro's work, but figuring out ways to make it easier for users to trust that their firmware is tamper free is going to be increasingly important over the next few years. I have some ideas in that area and I hope to have them working in the near future.
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 23:25
1. I got a lot done at work today.

2. I may have to work overtime a bit tomorrow to get everything done that I need to get done, but I don't think I'll have to go in on Thursday.

3. I got some translating done this evening and even posted some manga!
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 20:00

Title: Himegoto
Original Title: ヒメゴト~十九歳の制服~ (Himegoto~Juukyuu Sai no Seifuku~)
Author: Minenami Ryou
Publisher: Big Comics
Genre: Seinen
Status in Japan: 8 volumes, complete
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Audrey + Krim
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: This is the story of three college freshmen with secrets: Yuki, aka Yoshiki, a boyish girl who gets off on wearing her old high school uniform skirt; Mikako, who acts innocent around her classmates, but at night pretends to be a 15-year-old and has sex for money; and finally there's Kaito, who's obsessed with Mikako to the point of dressing up like her.

Chapter Summary: Mikako invites Yoshiki over to visit, but first she has to get rid of Sho!

Chapter 39: Temptation
Chapter 40: Falter
Wednesday, May 27th, 2015 00:27
Content note for minor medical misc on this one, folks.

tada )

todo )
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 22:52
Read more... )

This post brought to you by having hit the point in the evening where I'm picking fights on tumblr.
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 20:25
... or more specifically, for reasons which this margin is too small to contain, got me to buy myself a dinosaur chocolate mould/ice-cube tray, and made me dinosaur chocolates with ludicrous ganache. And then there was ganache and a paintbrush over, and so I have spent this evening tentatively experimenting with, you got it, making dinosaur chocolates.

My housemate appears to find it both entertaining and charming, however, that I am the kind of person who will exclaim NEVER AGAIN WILL I BE FORCED TO RELY ON MAINSTREAM CHOCOLATIERS FOR CHOCOLATE DINOSAURS like it's, er, completely normal.
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 13:28
Still working on the sleep training. Today is a better day; any day with a two-hour nap is a better day.

It's cool and cloudy and spit-spit rainy out. The youngling is sleeping in his crib, so I can have my laptop on my lap! I have two kitties enjoying naps nearby, though with ears pricked for the moment when I say it's lunchtime.

Just doing some reading, feeling pretty good. Wanted to document it!
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 17:10
Comme des Garcons Series 2 Red: Sequoia. This goes on good cognac (and nothing else); during early stages of drydown develops an undercurrent of rotting wood and loam. It turns into hot sap and soil and a slightly crunchy layer of conifer needles underfoot on a hot day; it is glorious and therefore, naturally, discontinued. I will be keeping an eye on eBay for bottles of this.

+4 )
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 08:19
via at May 26, 2015 at 03:15AM:


you are a shared secret kept between cupped hands;                                   you are the first drizzle of spring, the laughter-filled nights of summer.

(there is static in your head and in your heart— breathe,                                      and remember that you are more than what your reflection tells you.) 


longing paces circles in your heart.                                                                       the want for more thrums just under your skin,                                                     and in your blood there are a thousand wolves howling,                                     necks craned back in prayer to the moon.

(you are not a monster for wanting more than what has been offered to you.)


count the stars,                                                                                               and count the distance between where you are and where you want to be.

(just because icarus fell doesn’t mean you will.)


stand beneath the night sky and let the wind run cold fingers along your arms;   let the air scrape your throat with each inhale,                                                   let it sit in your lungs like something precious.

(the night sky is deep enough to get lost in. just like life. just like you.)

                                                                                                                               you are not atlas, and they are not your responsibility.

(the weight of your world is heavy enough without trying to carry other people.)


one day, you will wake up and realize that you are happy,                                   and you should be around to see it.

(darling, you do not need to have it all figured out now.)


you are the nostalgia of swing sets;                                                                     you are the smell of petrichor,                                                                             you are a childhood lullaby, only half-remembered.

(who you want to be is never out of reach.)


close your ears to them—                                                                                     your dreams are no one’s but your own,                                                             so never let them take that away from you.

(you have a star within you, and it burns bright.)


you are not an island;                                                                                           you are the sky, and when you hurl down lightning and rainfall,                           you are not hurting only yourself.

(please treat others the way you wish to be treated.)


those memories are stamped onto your eyelids, I know;                                     but, when they come to you, unbidden, in the night,                                           do not cringe. do not cry. do not waste your time regretting.

(you are not who you were then.)


take down their pictures;                                                                                     delete their numbers from your phone.

(your garden is dead, dear; do not waste your love on corpses.)


you are the sting of tears;                                                                                     you are the first snowfall of winter, the burnished golds of fall.

(believe in yourself the way you believe in others.)

—to the signs: you are loved, you are loved, you are loved.  | e.c.s

just because Icarus fell doesn’t mean I will.
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 07:32
via at May 26, 2015 at 02:30AM:


Baby goat to cheer you up!

Sassy goat attitude!
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 06:59
via at May 26, 2015 at 01:45AM:


I wonder when exactly it was that Star Trek stopped being perceived as light, fluffy, not-really-legitimate sci fi that ~housewives~ liked and started being seen as serious nerd business that girls had to keep their gross cooties off. 

Also when did the Beatles start to be remembered as rock legends rather than a silly boy band teenaged girls liked?
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 09:08
I look forward to the day when I resign myself to never ever having my living situation figured out long term.

Meanwhile, I'm having a dilemma about an apartment. Don't think there's any advice anyone can really offer, but writing it out might help me sort through it I guess.

6 month lease )
Tuesday, May 26th, 2015 02:00
There is a whole lot of Sad going on, not least because The Glorious 25th Of May; it's very tedious; so for this particular round of 2am Misery just have some flail about Orphan Black 3x06.

Read more... )
Monday, May 25th, 2015 20:13
I finally got around to framing and hanging [ profile] firin's prints, which I've had for a while. There was some excitement involving the discovery that American centimetres are (like everything else) larger than British centimetres*. At the moment they are hanging in our stairwell which is badly in need of a lick of paint (and has been since we rewired the house in 2007) but we've stalled a little in confusion about getting the hall windows replaced because our listed building status trumps fenster regulations but few tradesmen are prepared to take the risk.

The Prints )

As a bonus I also have photo of the print I gave claraste as a thank you for catering B's birthday and which very nearly made her cry.

Claraste's )

As a side note [ profile] firin has concluded that, due to circumstances beyond her control, the business in its current form isn't sustainable and she's having a clearance sale at her Etsy shop.

*B. has pointed out that, in fact, it isn't that their centimetres are larger, it's that when they label something 35x50cm they actually mean 14x20 inches.
Monday, May 25th, 2015 09:46
Saw this movie late, after unfortunately consuming quite a lot of hype despite avoiding clicking on spoiler cuts, and now writing my review late, after most people have written theirs.

you will be shiny and chrome )

Finally, outside the cut, for anyone who enjoyed Furiosa in this film, allow me to strongly recommend Kameron Hurley's book God's War, the protagonist of which is extremely similar to Furiosa. My favorite non-spoilery quote about her is:

The world could burn around her, the cities turn to dust, the cries of a hundred thousand fill the air, and she would get up after the fire died and walk barefoot and burned over the charred soil in search of clean water, a weapon, a purpose. She would rebuild.
Monday, May 25th, 2015 08:35
via at May 25, 2015 at 03:15AM:



#my favorite Tom Cruise role ever

#turning a small child into a vampire so your lover will be forced to co-parent with you and won’t leave you: get on Lestat’s level

I keep waiting for a gay vampire movie but then i remember Interview with a Vampire happened and literally it cannot get any more homoerotic camp than Brad Pitt being all “omfg I’m reborn as a denizen of hell” while Tom Cruise basically serenades him with the music of the night 
Monday, May 25th, 2015 07:43
via at May 25, 2015 at 02:30AM:
“Sometimes, burning bridges is the only way that can prevent you from going back to places you should never have been in the first place.”
- (via suchvodka)
Monday, May 25th, 2015 00:20
1. Not only is tomorrow my day off, but Memorial Day is one of the company's paid holidays, so I get paid to not go to work. Woohoo!

2. I had some nice cuddle time with Heidi in my sweater tonight while watching TV.
Monday, May 25th, 2015 06:52
via at May 25, 2015 at 01:45AM:

“You’re a brave girl. I’m so lucky to have seen you grown.”


Every time I watch this movie I cry. Ugly cry. With snot.
Sunday, May 24th, 2015 19:30
This was my day!

Notary for passport form
handed off noisebridge docs
got z. his package
put all the jars of coins in the garage ready to be coinstarred
got my data off an old laptop onto a 1TB hard drive
hired a guy to come move the fridge and the kids' bunk bed
mopped behind fridge
scrubbed out freezer
bought cleaning supplies to scrub freezer etc
cleaned out the kids' beds, which were nastily full of trash, dust, cables, old socks
gathered up 5 loads of laundry
mailed c. to ask her to come do all the laundry tomorrow
ordered new checks
paid bills
threw away a lot of papers
looked for a.'s keys (failed to find)
looked for m's wallet (also failed)
z. came over
the guy who is treasurer for NB came over
a. came back home from her mom's and i fed her dinner
emailed people about work thing, worked a bit

A very responsible day. I think I did too much scrubbing and walking. I laid down in between doing everything at least. The house still overwhelmingly has crap all over the place.

I am trying to look for some WisCon posts and reading a bit of the tweets but am just too domestically overloaded to feel engaged.

The fabulous bit of the day is that I did get a lot of my old data. WHEW.
Sunday, May 24th, 2015 15:49
Previously unread.

It is with some sadness that I read this book. Pratchett's books have been an important part of my life, in many ways. So that makes me sad. Another thing that makes me sad is that it feels as if Terry's illness is noticeable in the work. It is not bad, but I have this nagging feeling that perhaps it isn't as good as it could be.

That aside, if you have, on the whole, liked the Discworld books, especially the Moist von Lipwig ones, you will probably enjoy this one as well.
Sunday, May 24th, 2015 08:25
via at May 24, 2015 at 03:15AM:

“Starbuck to all Vipers, do not fire.”
Sunday, May 24th, 2015 07:58
via at May 24, 2015 at 02:30AM:

Bismuth crystal.
Sunday, May 24th, 2015 00:30
1. I usually bring home quite a lot of free meat from work these days, but today I got what is probably the best catch ever: almost half a pound of tuna sashimi that is "sale" priced at like $38 pound. For free! No discoloration or anything. So we made tuna tataki with it and it was SO GOOD.

2. Not only did I get a decent amount of stuff done at work today, I also did some translating this morning.

3. I remembered to do my weekly report on time. (It's supposedly due Saturday nights, but I never have time to actually do it at work, and a lot of times I mean to do it when I get home but then forget.)
Sunday, May 24th, 2015 07:06
via at May 24, 2015 at 01:45AM:

“A Cat’s Guide To Taking Care of Your Human” 
Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 21:26
Listening to how he plays piano, blowing my mind. He makes glenn gould sound like a soulless prancing robot pony. I am listening again to beethoven sonata in d major (pastoral) which i played the hell out of in high school (painfully learning bar by bar so i know it really well to listen to) and rhodes is so brilliant with it that I am feeling embarrassed for my attempts to emotionally interpret it. crap! he plays bach so well i'm in tears! good stuff.
Sunday, May 24th, 2015 03:43

Saying the design ‘evolved organically’ is basically a fancy way of saying 'I made everything up as I went along’ or 'this is completely and utterly BS’d’, all of which would be true. 

I started with some really basic concepts - I wanted a veil, I was leaning towards a hair bun, and I wanted a lot of green, mixed in with blacks, whites and silvers. I initially looked at medieval/early Renaissance designs, because that’s where Sollux and Karkat’s designs had their roots, but everything was too loose and blocky. I also discovered how absurdly hard it is to find the right shade of green, which kind of cut down on how big things could be.

I stumbled across this lovely fanart of Kanaya and had the mental argument of 'but Victorian designs are so overused for steampunk’ versus 'but it works so well!’. Because it really does - things can be impecably tailored and covered in trim while still being very Proper. Kanaya isn’t the rebel that Porrim is. I put the bustle together using this tutorial from American Duchess, and then the petticoat and actual skirt were me visually dissecting Truly Victorian’s Four-Gore Underskirt and Petticoat pattern drawings because I wasn’t going to pay $14 plus waiting for shipping for a pattern that is basically a bunch of rectangles. I made the dubious choice to do stitch-lines in silver metallic thread on the black I had because next to terieri’s Eridan I felt woefully underblinged.

The jacket is made out of two yards of dupioni from Silk Baron that I ordered all of a week and a half before the con, and then had to over-dye tint because it was too blue. The base pattern started out as the top to this awful Southern Belle outfit, which I re-cut the neckline on to be higher, and modified the shape of to be similar to this pattern for a cuiraisse bodice (which I did convincingly enough to fool gothichamlet into thinking I’d used a TV pattern). I also did about a million rounds of fitting, because this was going over a corset, and had to look properly tailored. Someone - either terieri or pyropi - suggested doing puff sleeves, and while I didn’t feel like going full-out mutton-sleevee, I did incorporate some looseness in the shoulder, with the bonus of NOT HAVING TO FIT THE SLEEVE, aka my least favorite part.

The overskirts were basically 'shit I need sommething to break up these huge blocks of color SHIT I dyed that green unevenly I need something else’ along with 'ugh all these beaded trims are expensive and ugly, wait we have four yards of silver bell and bead trim at the house’. The green overskirt was inspired by TV’s waterfall overskirt, and the white was inspired by this lovely draped asymmetrical skirt, which I couldn’t quite capture myself, but loved, along with a touch of this design for the trim.

In short I have no idea how I managed to pull this off before Katsu, nevermind having it look good.

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 13:15
some days are just a sleep training failure and that's okay
Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 19:15

Cheltenham Science Festival continues to consume most of my attention. This is me painting the "robot table" the lego robot dinosaurs will be on. The idea is that there should be some "water" and a "path" which the dinosaurs can follow to find the water.
Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 22:38
Originally posted at

It’s been alternatively sunny and cloudy in our last week in our current house. Dark clouds gathered and thunder rumbled as we heard that second hand furniture buyers are booked up into June, and can’t come and help us with our nice wardrobes which we’d be sad to trash. The sun shone and birds sang when the friends we had over for dinner on Thursday turned out to be moving in the same week we are, only to an apartment with absolutely no storage whatsoever, and they would take our furniture from us. Little rainclouds descend every time some unreliable jerk from Gumtree fails to pick up stuff from our front porch. And so on.

Overall, at the moment we are proving to be a cheap way for other people to furnish. Earlier today two weedy young removalists came today and effortlessly hefted our sofa bed, bookcase and barbecue to Julia’s place. (I got to assume the risk of transporting the gas bottle for the barbecue; that they don’t do.) Our older bikes are off to Bikes For Humanity. Our largesse is getting down to a cheap white cupboard and some plastic outdoor chairs. Thank goodness.

Tonight the up and down reached amusing proportions. Because we will now have a cross-suburb childcare run to do, we’re considering buying a car again after several delightful years car-free, and tonight Andrew did our first test drive for a car on sale by a private seller. All went well with the drive, fortunately, well enough that we took the vehicle identification in order to run the standard checks. And so we sat in a McDonalds running the history checks… to discover that it had a write-off history. I guess there are situations where I’d buy a repaired write-off, maybe (although for the last couple of years that hasn’t even been a thing that’s possible to do in NSW) but buying from a private seller who didn’t disclose it isn’t one of those times. Then on the way home, A had such a nasty cough that we had to stop the car so that Andrew could take her out and hold her up so she’d stop sounding like she was choking on a fully grown pig. She was overtired and frantic and he had to fight her back into her carseat. Then we made it another couple of kilometres before I shut V’s window using the driver controls… right onto his hand, which he’d stuck out the window.

V’s hand is fine. A can still inhale. We don’t have a car that’s a undisclosed repaired write-off. Sunny day.

Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 07:23
So, [personal profile] elisem stopped by on her way to Balticon, and we mutually enabled each other: she got me and [personal profile] sarah hooked on Ingress (more info on Wikipedia, since the website is not at all that informative; the pithy explanation for it is "It's a game of virtual capture the flag"), and I got her hooked on Bush Whacker. \o/

Sarah's already level 5 and I'm already level 4. This is apparently a Very Fast Progression, given that we both signed up on Thursday, but I have infected Sarah with a bit of my "that escalated quickly" attitude toward life, so. :)

(If anybody wants to start playing, let me know, I'll send you an invite.)

We are both playing for the Resistance. Baltimore is apparently a heavily Enlightened town, which means plenty of tasty, tasty AP. Last night we were out wardriving (Sarah driving the car with me double-fisting both our phones hacking the portals we were passing to get the loot from them) and on our way back home, we thought, hell, let's capture the portals nearest our house. So we pulled into the driveway of the church nearby -- many of the portals are churches/museums/memorials/sculptures/etc -- and managed to take it down. As we were pulling out of the parking lot, a car came tearing in and two minutes later the portal was green again. We made someone leave the house at midnight to come recapture a portal. It was kind of the best thing ever.

We are leaving tomorrow for a five-day cruise in the Bahamas. I am looking forward to seeing what portals we find on our way. :D
Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 07:35
A reminder, there's about a week left to get your pull requests in if you want to come to Open Source Bridge with us!

I will be out from tomorrow through to 29 May (going on a cruise with limited internet access), but I'll handle registration, hotel, and flights for everybody when we get back.
Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 08:27
via at May 23, 2015 at 03:15AM:
Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 07:42
via at May 23, 2015 at 02:30AM:


90% sure mcgonagall retired the day she sent out james sirius’ hogwarts letter because no fucking way she is teaching a boy named james sirius potter

#a boy named James Sirius Potter#whose mother was a Weasley#a boy who was a mixture of Potter Evans and Weasley#raised on stories of the Marauders and Fred and George#and his mother and father and their friends#a boy with a map an invisibility cloak and probably no sense of personal danger#yep sign me up for retirement
Saturday, May 23rd, 2015 06:51
via at May 23, 2015 at 01:45AM:


when your child comes to you and says “this is something that makes me uncomfortable and unhappy and makes me not want to spend time with you” and you respond with a 20 minute speech that boils down to “deal with it because life sucks” you have no respect for your child and you need to change your parenting tactics

i made this a month ago and the worst thing about it is that so many people can relate
Friday, May 22nd, 2015 22:35
1. I get to sleep in for three days in a row! Looking forward to that.

2. We had pizza for dinner tonight and I got Hawaiian, which I haven't had in a while. It was so delicious!

3. Tomorrow is the end of the pay period and I got most of the time card corrections entered today. Aside from any mistakes there might be tomorrow (hopefully none), I'm all done. I have to say, while there are things that annoy me about Kronos, it does have some advantages over TimeForce, the main one being that it doesn't take ages to enter changes.

4. Apparently Heidi was very interested in birds today. So interested, that she noticed them from her nest all the way across the room from the window and got up and went over there to see them (just needed some help getting up on her window seat) and actively watched them for a while.

Bird-watching kitty )