July 2016

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Saturday, October 1st, 2016 16:10
I have two divergent thoughts about work today:

1. Something that folks who have never lived that service industry life don't seem to realize is that no matter how nice something smells (frex: bacon, donuts, apples, cucumbers, roast chicken, brie, corned beef), you get tired of smelling like that item pretty fast. Even though I'm fond of bacon, I am not fond of being bacon. Ugh.

2. Work today was so, so satisfying. Competently turning out beautiful food in next to no time is a skill. Working with an entire team of people who do that? Scratching some deep soul itch.
Saturday, October 1st, 2016 14:07
Read this (the quoted bit is just a selected highlight):

it’s understandable to me that far-leftists dislike voting for a candidate with more moderate views than theirs. and, again, were this any other election, i would sympathize to some extent with a protest vote against clinton.

however, donald trump is a fascist.


i do not say “fascist” as a more exaggerated way of saying “bad person”. it is a specific term with a specific definition. ted cruz is not a fascist. marco rubio is not a fascist. ronald reagan was not a fascist.

donald trump is an authoritarian, rising to power on a wave of racism, bigotry, fear, and hate. he has deliberately created a cult of personality around himself and his name. he encourages his followers to use violence against his enemies, and intends to level police violence against his political enemies and certain minority groups.

i am a jew.

i want to make it clear: i am not personally afraid of donald trump. while many of his followers, like david duke, are virulently antisemitic, his platforms do not focus on my people as america’s enemies. i will be affected by his homophobia and his sexism, but not by his anti-mexican or anti-muslim sentiment.

but while i am not personally threatened, i am personally involved. there is a fascist running for president of my country; i am a jew. this fight is my fight. this man is my responsibility. no fascist will ever come to power again.


I don't know whether Donald Trump is actually a fascist in his personal beliefs, or is morally and politically vacuous enough that he's happy to make use of the fascist playbook, but it doesn't matter: the result is the same.

(And if you imagine Trump is so vacuous that he can't do any real harm, that he'll just throw a tantrum and leave for a golf course the first time things don't go his way: imagine all the people who'll ride to power on his coat-tails. If he's not running the show, imagine the people who will be.)

I am scared shitless. The polls (when I can bear to look at them) are horrifically close.

At the very least, we are looking at the USA potentially electing as president your very own home-grown Vladimir Putin.

If you have the ability to vote in the US elections and you plan to do anything other than vote for Hilary Clinton, you are directly and knowingly taking a step to make it more likely that Trump becomes president.

And if that's what you really want to do, I don't want to know you.
Saturday, October 1st, 2016 11:00
ChaoticMUX is located on chaotic.mit.edu, a 25MHz Sparcstation IPC
running NetBSD-Sparc.

Your super-friendly hosts are Kareila, LITE, Aldar, Jaena and sTiLe.
(There's also Alierak, but he claims to be evil and asocial.  Humor him.)
Your just-as-friendly helper staff are Cyric, Soreth, Bobby and zLaNa.


I've retold the story of how Chaotic began dozens of times, but as the years march on and the experience recedes further into the dimness of memory, I'm still struck by how much of our lives has been informed by the simple coincidence of coming into possession of a friend of a friend's spare hardware at that particular time, the summer between our junior and senior years at MIT. [personal profile] alierak got his first sysadmin experience on that old crufty box; today, he administers hundreds (thousands?) of machines at his day job. I jumped at the chance to run my own social chat/game after two years of playing on others; twenty years later, I lead development on another project with a similar background, a social site founded by people with a vision of how to take familiar software and move it in a new direction. I even still hang out on IRC with a far-flung crew of like minded people - really, not so much has changed after all.

I also like to tell the story of how ChaoticMUX is where teenage Mark & Janine met and fell in love, as well as many others (there are at least three Chaotic babies I know of). Janine was the one who dragged us all to LiveJournal, which eventually led to Mark co-founding Dreamwidth... everything is connected.

If I had a wish to spend today, it would be to let everyone who ever spent time there know how much I appreciate that experience. So many people told me that Chaotic was a home for them, a place to belong when they didn't fit in anywhere else. I'll always be grateful for providing that.
Saturday, October 1st, 2016 11:27
This is primarily just a collection of links, pointing to some of the current activities of the Digital Publishing Working group. I'm posting from the conference where I can't dictate, so I'm not adding much context. But please feel free to ask me questions.

To begin with, here's the briefest of introductions to the core standards body: The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). There rest of my presentation covers the accessibility activities of the Digital Publishing Interest Group (DPUG IG). I'm an Invited Expert on DPUB IG, and I'm a co-chair of the DPUB IG Accessibility task force, with Charles LaPierre of Benetech.

You can follow many of the activities of the DPUB IG on the W3C blog, category digital publishing, RSS, [syndicated profile] dpub_w3c_feed.

Tags:
Saturday, October 1st, 2016 14:00
book list )

Linear extrapolation ends up at just shy of 98 books by year's end. I am at a point where I can't say if that's accurate or not, but it sounds kinda low. On the other hand, there's plenty of things that clamour for my time as I gently commute to and from work, so, maybe?

Only one (#69 of the year) this month is, AFAICT, eligible for Hugo nomination in the coming year.
Tags:
Saturday, October 1st, 2016 11:15
[I am using The Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills Workbook. DBT is a form of therapy that was developed by Marsha Linehan who would diagnose her 17-year-old self with Borderline Personality Disorder (CN for graphic discussion of self-injury, suicidality, and institutionalisation at that link).]

There are two intended audiences for The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook. The first is people who are in dialectical behavior therapy (either group or individual) and need a workbook to help learn the four key skills. We also wrote this book so it could be used independently by anyone who struggles with overwhelming feelings.

Read more... )
Saturday, October 1st, 2016 01:17
1. I didn't actually sleep much later than usual, despite not going to bed until five-ish, but I had a nap this afternoon that left me feeling pretty refreshed, and tomorrow I don't have to be at work until late morning, so I can sleep in.

2. I went in to work for a little bit this evening, but just like an hour to see how things were going. I was very close to getting sucked in to staying the rest of the night (not for any urgent reason), but thankfully Carla was grilling and had already gotten the grill started, so I had a good reason to resist.

3. I finished another book! I've only got three more to meet my goal for the year, and there are three months left, so not only does that sound pretty doable, I'll probably end up reading more than that.

4. I managed to get two more chapters of manga posted today. That's twelve chapters this month. Not bad!

5. I got soooo many cute pictures of Molly today.

Saturday, October 1st, 2016 05:54
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.

Grey gloves for J


I’ve been on a bit of a finishing spree, pulling out older projects. This one technically isn’t finished yet, since I’ll be putting a finger cover to make them convertible gloves, but since I gave them to J to try out in case it’s cool while he’s traveling east I figure they’re finished for now!


These were started in the spring, but abandoned when it got too warm for them to be useful. It’s still too warm, but I wanted to make sure they were done before it actually got cold.


Pattern: Line by Line mittens. This is a bit of a silly pattern to use with a solid grey yarn, but I had a copy (I think maybe it was a giveaway once?) and it has a size that’s suitable for J. Since this wasn’t a surprise, I got J to choose how long to make the fingers, so it’s not exactly to pattern.


Yarn: Misti Tui from Misti Alpaca. Sport weight, chains of thin alpaca. This is the same type of yarn I used for my Easy Kitty Hat. It’s probably not ideal for gloves, but it’s so soft and easy to stuff in a pocket that I thought J might enjoy some gloves out of it and offered to make them.


I don’t know if I’d recommend it for gloves in general because I doubt it’s super hardy, but so soft, and if they got worn out it’s not too hard to patch them up or make more.

Friday, September 30th, 2016 22:07
What are you currently reading?
Right now, nothing. I don't think I have either a book or a manga open.

What did you recently finish reading?
I finally finished Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! Storywise, I enjoyed this a lot. I just really wish it had been a novel rather than a script.

Spoilers )

I'd love to see the play if they ever make a DVD release of it.

What do you think you'll read next?
No idea. I need to choose something. And like, actually set some time aside for reading. I haven't even been reading before bed lately.
Friday, September 30th, 2016 23:02
We are planning to do a code push around 21 hours from now, at approximately 6pm Pacific time on Saturday, Oct 1.

Here's a partial list of changes that will go live with this push, apart from the usual minor tweaks and bugfixes:


  • Selective Screening, a new feature that lets you screen comments from a particular user.

  • Two new journal layouts with one theme each: Gold Leaf/Elegant Notebook and Venture/Radiant Aqua.

  • Six new themes for Heads Up, and seven new themes for Corinthian.

  • The minimal spacing between line elements in the list of success links on Foundation pages has been restored.

  • Punctuation marks in message subjects will no longer be overescaped.

  • The admin pages for the translation system are now hidden from anonymous viewers, to avoid scaring unsuspecting search engine users away from the site.

  • The text messaging feature has been removed from user profiles.

  • The email notification worker is now less likely to misbehave.


We'll update again to let you know when the code push is in progress!
Friday, September 30th, 2016 22:23
Poll #17685 Bill Weld's nightmares
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 9


Bill Weld's bedtime musings attacks are:

View Answers

"If that ludicrous Vermin Supreme-loving clown show had put me at the top of the ticket, we'd stand a chance of winning."
2 (22.2%)

"If Hillary doesn't get her act together am I going to have to drop out of the race and endorse her?"
2 (22.2%)

"Dammit, Jesse Helms, if you hadn't been the bleeding edge of the radical right revolution back in '97, I'd be a happy ambassador emeritus right now."
3 (33.3%)

"Don't do drugs, kids."
1 (11.1%)

[I like to press polls but I don't follow U.S. politics.]
1 (11.1%)

Friday, September 30th, 2016 19:21


Title: Koi-iji: Love Glutton
Original Title: こいいじ (Koiiji)
Author: Shimura Takako
Publisher: Kiss
Genre: Josei
Status in Japan: 4 volumes, ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Migeru
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: 31-year-old Mame has been in love with her childhood friend Souta ever since she can remember. Despite multiple rejections, her love has stayed constant. It's become a habit more than anything, but is it one she'll ever be able to break and get on with her life?

Chapter Summary: Mame's first date with Kawada-san is going perfectly, until...



Chapter 9: Out of Africa




Title: Musume no Iede
Original Title: 娘の家出 (Musume no Iede)
Author: Shimura Takako
Publisher: Jump X
Genre: Seinen
Status in Japan: 4 volumes, ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations + muge (vol. 1 by muge & anonymous)
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: When Mayuko's mom announces she's getting remarried, Mayuko runs away to live with her dad and his boyfriend. This heartwarming slice-of-life series follows Mayuko and her family and friends as their stories interweave.

Chapter Summary: Mayuko's dad's boyfriend's sister comes to visit...and makes a surprising announcement.



Chapter 10: Even When I'm Old
Friday, September 30th, 2016 19:32
My laptop Penguin has been declared Too Expensive To Fix by the Apple store guys. They said I could keep using it with an external keyboard for as long as it would last, but that if I did that I better keep my updates current. I hear you, Apple guy.

(He also told me that I'd missed three years of OS updates because every time I clicked "update ALL", I wasn't actually updating ALL, because who would expect ALL the updates to update if you click a button marked "ALL updates" amirite? Instead click this image that looks like a header, not like an update button! Silly plebe Apple customer, you are so adorably ignorant.)

So I'll try the external keyboard and see how effective it is. If it's slow and clunky to the point of frustration then I might be getting a new computer. But if it's workable, it's a better, if awkward, solution.
Friday, September 30th, 2016 18:31
Every few months, I run through [site community profile] changelog compiling a list of who has been contributing patches to our code repository, with the understanding that this is not a competition, or any sort of "high score" list. It's intended as a guide for casual developers, to discern not only our most prolific contributors, but also those who have contributed to the project most recently and therefore would be more likely to provide a timely, informed response to development questions. That is why the list is sorted by "Latest" instead of "Changes".

In general, one commit on Github equals one point in the "Changes" column, but fractional points are awarded for collaborative efforts — the most common example being a new S2 theme, where usually half credit is awarded to the theme author and the other half to the person who converts the theme into a code patch. Due to the nature of development, some changes are massive contributions of new code, and others are tiny tweaks; there is no correlation with the amount of effort involved. We are grateful to everyone who helps to improve Dreamwidth, in ways large or small.

I last compiled this list at the beginning of April. Since that time, we have welcomed five new contributors: [github.com profile] dfabulich, [personal profile] phidari, [personal profile] wohali, [personal profile] pinterface, and [personal profile] onlyembers. Congratulations and thank you again!

  #  User                      Changes     Latest
  1. kareila                      1030     Fri Sep 30 19:09:51 2016 UTC
  2. woggy                          17     Thu Sep 29 22:26:43 2016 UTC
  3. momijizukamori             224.16     Thu Sep 29 19:58:05 2016 UTC
  4. onlyembers                    0.5     Thu Sep 29 19:58:05 2016 UTC
  5. pinterface                   15.5     Sat Sep 24 00:19:48 2016 UTC
  6. wohali                          1     Wed Aug 31 14:12:26 2016 UTC
  7. hotlevel4                      52     Fri Jul 15 22:39:55 2016 UTC
  8. kaberett                       44     Thu Jul 14 14:59:58 2016 UTC
  9. mark                        552.5     Mon Jun 27 04:24:47 2016 UTC
 10. phidari                         2     Sat Jun 18 21:14:12 2016 UTC

 11. cesy                        29.83     Sat Jun 18 15:28:34 2016 UTC
 12. chrisboyle                     15     Sun May 15 12:08:22 2016 UTC
 13. me_and                         36     Sun May 15 11:33:08 2016 UTC
 14. dfabulich                       1     Mon Apr 25 19:53:40 2016 UTC
 15. alierak                      19.5     Sun Apr 10 22:41:50 2016 UTC
 16. azurelunatic                    8     Mon Mar 28 05:54:30 2016 UTC
 17. srukle                          7     Wed Mar 23 16:44:54 2016 UTC
 18. sgsabbage                      17     Wed Feb 24 20:45:39 2016 UTC
 19. sophie                         58     Sun Feb 14 18:19:32 2016 UTC
 20. ljacob                          1     Sat Nov 07 12:13:45 2015 UTC
The rest of the list... (159 total) )
Friday, September 30th, 2016 18:36
The Romans (apocryphally, at least) shared a its researcher with Carry On Cleo. I'm not sure if this is true, I doubt that Doctor Who had the budget for a researcher. But there is definitely something "Carry On" in the DNA of this tale of intrigue and shenanigans in ancient Rome.

More under the Cut )

In the end, I felt most of The Romans was a miss. Comedy is difficult to do well, and even harder to pull off when you want an element of genuine peril in your story. Doctor Who in the 1960s had neither the rehearsal time nor, I suspect, the expertise to pull this off. However, as a story, it has its moments of genuine charm and gives us a view of the Tardis crew we rarely get elsewhere.
Friday, September 30th, 2016 09:59
This old computer of my mom's is actually fine for my needs, thankfully. It gets pretty slow if I have too many programs or tabs open, but I can deal with that for the short term. ETA - All right, it's too laggy to effectively work on my RAship job, which involves multiple tabs, multiple spreadsheets, and usually at least one word doc open, with a lot of switching. Boo.

Which just goes to show that if I do need to get a new computer, I shouldn't be looking at the top of the line. I'd like just a basic laptop that can take a beating. (Unfortunately I'm really attached to iCal--and a planning/calendar app that I actually use is worth its weight in precious metals.)

Computers are much cheaper in the States, you'll notice, if you accidentally go to apple.com instead of apple.ca.

My "genius" bar appointment is this afternoon. They've always been really good to me, fixing my old computer, which is a 2012 Macbook. It's completely out of warranty so I don't know what kind of cost I'll be looking at, but. We will see. Tangentially, I despise planned obsolescence.

Now to work.
Friday, September 30th, 2016 04:10
1. Today was another ridiculously long day (18 hours!), but it actually ended up being shorter than I'd feared (I was anticipating over 20), so yay? And I don't think I need to be there for anything tomorrow, so I think I'm going to take the day off.

2. I posted manga this morning and have two more to post tomorrow. I didn't get everything posted this month that I wanted to, but I did get a lot!

3. I love this picture of Molly. She looks so casual.

Friday, September 30th, 2016 11:59
Reread.

First (UK) book in the (first) Merchant Princes trilogy (US: hexalogy, first two). This is one of those odd books that feels hard to place in a sub-genre nicely and cleanly. It's a portal fantasy! It's near-future dystopia! It's near-future techno-thriller with SFnal elements! It's urban fantasy (well, maybe not, actually)! It's a biting criticism of various politics!

All of that. None of those. At the same time. Having read both of the volumes this was split into when it was published in the US, I am really happy that Stross was given a chance to merge them back into essentially their original shape ("new and improved", from what I understand). While there are basically two halves to this book, they work better when laid out in internal chronological order than shoe-horned and re-shuffled to fit the "no mammoth books!" directive that caused it to be two books in the US.

It's also, essentially, a pretty good read. Our intrepid hero is Miriam Beckstein, tech journalist (bio-chem sub-category), who's just stumbled on a Big Scoop. And by "big", I mean BIG. This is the once-in-a-lifetime, write-your-own-job-description, chased-by-all-employers kind of story. One that may actually cause protective custody to happen between "published" and "all things caused have settled down".

Then she gets fired. Not long after, she (literally) finds herself in a world she never knew existed (remember, I did say "portal fantasy" up above?) and things, from there, spiral out of her control in the most fascinating way.

edit managed to mis-remember the actual book title, fixed.
Tags:
Thursday, September 29th, 2016 23:43

Hello, good people of docs! I come to you today bearing tidings of a new feature that is scheduled to go live on the site in the next few days. It is called Selective Screening and there's a post up in [site community profile] dw_dev describing how it works.

In order to explain this new functionality to our users, I believe a new FAQ is needed, with a title like "What is Selective Screening?" that explains what it does and how to use it. It doesn't have to be anything major; something similar to FAQ 58 would be quite sufficient.

I believe the following FAQs should also be updated to mention the feature and/or link to the new FAQ:

  • FAQ 9: How do I control who can comment on my journal?

  • FAQ 59: What can I do about unwanted comments?

  • FAQ 120: What are Dreamwidth's new features?

Thank you for your help!

Thursday, September 29th, 2016 23:52
I've just merged [personal profile] woggy's code for the new Selective Screening feature! I'm planning on making it live on the site in the next couple of days, but in the meantime, I encourage you to test it in your development environment and let me know if you have any feedback. Here is how it works:

There are three console commands that govern who is subject to selective screening in your journal or community. They are screen_set, screen_unset, and screen_list and they are very similar to the related console commands for banning users. The maximum number of users you are allowed to apply selective screening to is 500 per journal/community.

When a user is subject to selective screening, all of that user's comments in the affected journal/community will be automatically screened, regardless of what the entry's screening settings are. The affected user is informed that their comments are being screened when viewing the reply form. The user's screened comments are like any other screened comments and can be manually unscreened, receive screened replies, etc.

This feature was requested back in 2012 and I am excited that it has been implemented!
Thursday, September 29th, 2016 22:56
Current book: The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman. Interesting reading because it's so very much where I live, especially at a shelter helping immigrant women whose stories I only hear in the most fleeting detail. It's about a refugee family whose "medical noncompliance" for their daughter's epilepsy left medical professionals baffled, enraged, and exhausted; even years later, the professionals Fadiman talked to could recall this case in particular in exquisite detail, their love and concern for the little girl and their very mixed feelings about her family. The chapters of the book alternate Lia Lee's case history with essays on Hmong culture and history and the Lee family's place within them. The latter aren't approached from the modern lens of trauma research--which makes sense, since the book was written 1992-1997 and it's still an emerging field, especially so far as the medical and cognitive effects of trauma are concerned--but it's a lot of food for thought once I put those glasses on.

It reminds me that when I was providing a lot of therapy to a lot of different clients (& may those days return soon!) some of the most useful questions I could bring to bear were, "Why do you think you're having these problems?", "What do you think will help solve them?" and "How do you imagine this therapy will help you?"

In other words, the cats are getting along even more. Yesterday Emily came upstairs to explore the cousins' apartment, which she does from time to time, and she and Isobel sniffed nose-to-nose before Emily so much as growled; today she came upstairs, didn't growl at Izzy once, and was very reluctant to leave when I came downstairs. Then Gallagher came into my apartment--my brother Pat has moved upstairs into Mom's spare room, and the external door is through his bedroom, so after he goes to bed around 9pm I leave my door open so Izzy and Gally can come through my kitchen to be let into the foyer, thence to go through Mom's internal door--and spent some time wandering the apartment, and although Emmy moved around in stalking-mode to keep a very sharp eye on him, she offered him no actual hostilities.

Work on the bathroom floor continues slow and imperfect, but ultimately satisfying. Here's a picture.
Thursday, September 29th, 2016 23:56
It's just come to my attention that I may have unintentionally portrayed myself as an Australian-Danish woman in Australia to some people looking at my Dreamwidth - namely, those who look at other journals in their own style. (Which you can do by setting the "Journal Pages Shown to You" box on this page, or by putting "?style=mine" at the end of a journal URL.)

The story is that this text (describing myself as someone I wasn't) was in my custom text module in my style. Since my style doesn't actually use the custom text module, it didn't show up for most people viewing my journal, including me. However, while previewing a style for someone else, I noticed this description and thought it may have been accidentally hardcoded in the style, so I let them know. As it turns out, though, the problem was on my end. Oops.

I guess I must have been testing styles at some point with someone and may have needed to use the custom text module to see how it looked. My guess is that I then left the text in there unintentionally, and never noticed until now because it doesn't normally show up.

I sincerely apologise to anybody who I have accidentally misled. While I am not going to detail what the text read (or whom the text actually described - even if I could remember) out of privacy concerns, the text did portray me as being in several underprivileged groups to which I do not actually belong.

To be clear, I am a white 34-year-old transgender woman living in Scotland in the UK. I am not currently employed and am living with my parents. My hobbies mainly revolve around the computer, including making music. I have a mild ataxic cerebral palsy, but no other physical diagnosed issues.

I don't know how long this text has been up, as I don't remember the last time I edited that part of my style, but I just deleted it. Once again, I am extremely sorry if I misled anyone. This is completely my fault and I cannot apologise enough for appropriating (even unintentionally) things to which I have no right.

Thank you for reading.
Thursday, September 29th, 2016 08:34
Since there's an anime of this coming up soon, I've had a lot of requests to speed up the releases. In the past I always said no, because I knew the cleaner/typesetter wouldn't have time for another chapter per month, but I'm now working with someone new, so from now on we're going to be trying to get out two chapters a month instead of one.



Title: All Out!!
Author: Amase Shiori
Publisher: Morning Comics
Genre: Seinen
Status in Japan: 9 volumes, ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Azumi-san
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: Gion Kenji is short and perpetually pissed off about it. Iwashimizu Sumiaki is tall but timid. Although it's bullies that bring this unlikely pair together on the first day of high school, it's the rugby club that will make them friends.

Chapter Summary: In a battle between the two biggest players and the two smallest players, who will win...?



Chapter 11: What We Were Taught
Thursday, September 29th, 2016 11:10
Many of you have probably already seen this, but I urge you to read this completely straight-faced review of Hitler: Ascent 1889-1939, by Volker Ullrich in the New York Times, by my new hero, [twitter.com profile] michikokakutani.

Obvious content note is obvious.
Thursday, September 29th, 2016 02:14
1. Well, I went in to work thinking I would probably have a long day, and then it ended up being ridiculously long, but thankfully I was able to get out of there before I had to pick up Carla at the airport (which was midnight, by the way, so that should tell you something). There is actually still stuff going on, but since I had to go to the airport and have to go in early tomorrow, too, my assistant manager agreed to be the one to stay until 3:30am or whenever they get this finished (the produce guy comes in at 4:30am, so if nothing else, my assistant manager can go home then!).

2. Carla is home safe and sound!

3. I should have some more manga to post tomorrow. *crosses fingers*

4. I have sweet kitties.

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 21:30
Probably because I have three academic degrees and then worked in a university as a postdoc, I still center my life around September as beginning of the year. This year doing so that way feels especially odd because September is the one month where no one in my household is traveling so it's less busy rather than the usual school year of more busy, but it also feels apt because I'm settling into new stuff at work.

But let it not be said that because I'm out of school I'm not learning. I'm actually even signed up for two classes:


1. I signed up for a two-session spinning course at my local yarn shop. The instructor is a friend from the Saturday knit group and I'm super excited because I've watched and listen to her teach so I know she'll be great. I absolutely positively do not need a new hobby, but learning new things is fun!

2. I also signed up for a free online course in a subject I know nearly nothing about: "Osteoarchaeology: The Truth in Our Bones". Why? Because Kathy Reichs novels and crime shows have no doubt left me with a jumbled impression of how bone identification works and I like random real biology and science in my life (a hazard of being raised by biochemists). I plan to watch the first few lectures and decide whether to stick to it, which is something a friend taught me to do with courses when I was an undergrad and it's the one thing I wish everyone knew to do because it lets you try a broader range of things.

If anyone else wants to watch lectures and chat with me about them, I find I stick with these things more if I talk about them with someone, so hit me up for class gossip!

Other than that, I've been doing some more new-years-resolution type stuff:

a. I've been finishing up some work-in-progress knitting things that got shelved for various reasons, and it's strangely satisfying. Hopefully I'll get some time to do some pictures soon and write those up.

b. I bought a new band for my fitbit and am trying to be more serious about using the data it gives me to walk more and sleep more. It's not going super well because my schedule is so random right now, but I'm working on it.

c. I changed up all my subscription boxes, stopping Birchbox, Jimmy Beans Beanie Bags and trying to stop Yarn of the Month (although apparently I didn't get the email out correctly because I got a shipping notice). They're all great subscriptions, but they all piled up over the summer and I think I'll let myself enjoy what I have for a bit.

I did, however, sign back up for the Jimmy Beans Big Beanie Bags, which turned out to be a sanity saver for me several times because it meant I had small kits on hand when I was going somewhere without much notice and needed an easy thing to do. So the plan is to do that up to when the Rose City Yarn Crawl mystery-a-longs start in January and then decide if I need more or I need a break. :)

d. I'm back in work choir and am looking for some better ways to do vocal training, because Christmas music has a lot of high soprano parts and I'm a mezzo soprano with a lousy range that I know I can improve if I work at it. Advice and technological learning help much appreciated! I'll probably start with some Rock Band sessions, since I'm way out of practice from the summer.

It's a good start to a new year, even if it isn't a new year exactly!
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Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 17:53
Of Somewhat Southwestern Soup

(Quantities are kind of a judgement call, but for 3-5 people:)

Chicken broth, one box.
Chicken thighs, diced, roughly one per person, or one breast for two people or the chicken leftover from last night.
Can of black or navy beans, undrained, or a couple of cups of cooked black beans with their liquor.
Can of tomatoes, diced
Frozen corn, maybe a handful. Maybe two.
Fairly tough greens (spinach disintegrates), chopped fine, as many as you want.
Onions and garlic, dried or diced, a ridiculous amount.
Ground ancho pepper, about a tablespoon.
Cayenne pepper, about a half teaspoon.
Black pepper, about a half teaspoon.
Oregano, about a teaspoon.
Cumin, at least a tablespoon.
Salt, maybe, carefully.
Tortilla chips, or corn tortillas, or flour tortillas.

Combine everything but the tortillas/chips, simmer for an hour. Longer if you want.

Pour over tortillas/chips.
You can also add:
Grated cheese, on top of the tortilla chips.
Cilantro, diced, on the chips.
Green onions, on the chips.
Toasted cumin seeds, on the chips.
Ground chipotle pepper, if you want hotter smokier soup.
Cooked rice, instead of tortillas/chips.
Veggie broth instead of chicken and skip the meat.

There are lots of ways to make this fancier, but I tend to end up making it quickly, on impulse, usually because someone's sick or in pain or just out of cope.
Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 11:52
You know that thing where someone reminds you of something it's your responsibility to do, and you feel resentful because you were GOING to do the thing, and they should trust you, and also get off my back...but at the same time you can't be angry because they are right and you forgot? Yeah, that thing.
Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 19:36
Reading: The Silent Stars Go By by Dan Abnett. It's a Doctor Who novel and I expect it will feature Ice Warriors since they appear on the cover. All the chapter titles are lines from famous carols. I'm only about a chapter in so I can't really deliver any kind of verdict. I bought it because [livejournal.com profile] fififolle was sufficiently impressed by Abnett's Primeval Novelisation that she bought some of his Warhammer novels (despite not playing Warhammer at all) and enjoyed them sufficiently to write fanfic for them (albeit Primeval AU fanfic, IIRC) which I thought was pretty impressive. He wrote The Story of Martha which I wasn't so taken by, I must admit, but that wasn't in a standard format so I was interested to see what he made of something more straightforward.

Watching: Lupin III Part 4 which we are much enjoying. To be honest I think I'm enjoying it as much as Part 1 which was my favourite of the earlier versions (though I know many people prefer Part 2). I'm a bit bemused by the Italian co-production aspect though. It's very odd to have all these Lupin stories based in Italy rather than in Japan+exotic locations around the world.

Listening: It's mostly been Zombies! Run! episodes recently since I wasn't able to listen for a while and so created a bit of a backlog. It is much the same as always, though with the observation that 5 seasons into the storyline, they are very much downplaying the zombie threat aspect in favour of something more like a political thriller.
Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 11:05
I've reduced the number of available slots this week because I'm aiming to get a code push lined up for Saturday Oct 1, so I'm trying to keep my schedule around that clear for code review and incident triage. But feel free to let me know if you have something that needs feedback before then!

The medium that I've chosen for scheduling office hours is a site called Sign Up Genius. It is pretty easy to use in my experience, and all of my kids' teachers use it for conferences, parties and such. You don't have to have an account on the site to sign up for time slots, which is pretty great - just give them your email address. They will send you a confirmation and a reminder, and nothing else. But if for whatever reason you have trouble claiming a time slot using that site, you can also comment here and I can take care of it for you.

I am only doing signups for a week at a time, because that's about how far in advance I can be fairly confident of my availability. Each week will start on Friday, and I'll post the signups for the following week on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Each signup slot is scheduled to run 90 minutes, but since they're non-adjacent, it's OK if we need to go longer. Anything Dreamwidth-related is fair game: we can talk about code you're writing, code you want to write but don't know how to proceed, code someone else wrote, or things that don't involve code at all (I hear such things exist). My only request is that you don't take more than two slots in a single week, to make sure there is enough of my time to go around. Of course, you're still welcome to catch me on IRC at other times if I seem to be around, and PMs are open 24/7. :)

Here's the link for my available meeting times for the seven-day period starting September 30:

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090D45AEAD2DAAF94-office13
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Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 14:40
I know basically none of you care, but the Black Sails content will probably continue to spam you for a bit longer. At the very least until I'm done watching Luke Cage this weekend, lol.

So, I didn't really realize for a long time after I started watching Black Sails that it was a direct fanfiction of Treasure Island in the way that Wicked is a fanfic of The Wizard of Oz.

When I discovered this I became doubly amused that a children's story was given this very dramatic, adult treatment, and since I rarely get to share the media I like with my parents I decided to delight them with this info as well, which resulted in a hilarious talk with my dad.

(Family lunch, everyone's at the table.)
Me: So, that Black Sails show? Apparently it's a Treasure Island fanfic! It's all the same characters!
Dad: O_o really? That seems... odd. Isn't that a children's story?
Me: Yeah. Well, this show is a prequel to the story, and like, remember the fearsome Captain Flint to whom the treasure on the island belongs? Well in this version he became a pirate because England took away his boyfriend.
Mom: O_o really?!
Me: Yes!
Dad: Well, I guess they're going for an Achilles/Patroclus thing? I mean warrior going mad after losing his male lover is a famous Classics trope.
Me: Actually! Funny story about that. The most recent English language film about Achilles and Patroclus portrayed them as cousins.
Mom & Dad: O_O

Bwahaha, oh Troy. The gift that never stops giving.
Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 00:02
So my healthcare provider attempts to provide world-class service. They try.

... They are trying, yes.

Now, I'm one of those people whose ability to take incoming calls from unknown/untrusted parties is significantly variable, but never great. I'm generally completely unable to take calls before I've properly awakened. If something needs to be communicated with complete clarity and without error, telephone is the worst way to do it. Text is far preferable. That's without even counting in the PTSD... (two terrible phone jobs and one ex-friend having an extended breakdown culminating in serious self-harm. do not recommend.) My sleep schedule is terrible, and there's no guarantee that I'll be coherent before noon, even if I'm awake, without a different medication setup than the one I'm currently on.

They have a website where you can ostensibly manage various parts of the information that is distributed to all of the departments which interact with you. You would think that you'd be able to update your name, honorific, and telephone preferences there...

... and you would think wrong.

99% of the departments who interact with me start their relationship by ignoring the note that says NEVER CALL THIS PATIENT, and ignoring the note that says THIS PATIENT'S NAME IS [INITIALS], and calling me at 9am or shortly thereafter, with a cheerful "Hi [wallet first name, mispronounced]!"

So I put in a request that maybe there should be some place on their fucking website where I could manage preferences for things like DON'T FUCKING CALL ME, EVER.


At 4:50 pm on Monday, more or less, my phone rang. It was Member Services, who had some questions, like, who exactly was it who was calling me? EVERY DEPARTMENT EVER. But Member Services and Marketing didn't call me? MY DOCTORS, EVEN WITH THE BIG NOTE ABOUT NOT CALLING ME. EACH SEPARATE MEDICAL DEPARTMENT. But not Member Services? Because this got sent to Member Services. LOOK I WAS JUST TRYING TO SEND A SUGGESTION ABOUT HOW YOU COULD IMPROVE THINGS, WHY THE FUCK COULDN'T YOU EMAIL ME. But email's not secure? YOUR DOCTORS HAVE THIS NIFTY THING WHERE THEY EMAIL OUT A NOTICE AND I LOG IN TO THE WEBSITE AND READ THE MESSAGE. IT WORKS JUST FINE. Oh. We don't have that. WELL MAYBE THEY SHOULD GIVE IT TO YOU.

Apparently eventually I answered all the questions.

... Except then Tuesday, right while I was waiting for an optometrist, THE PHONE RINGS. IT'S THEM AGAIN. WHY ARE YOU CALLING ME; THIS IS IN FACT A BAD TIME; PLEASE EMAIL IT, WHATEVER IT IS.

... And naturally, dealing with the phone call then? Made me actually incapable of dealing sensibly with the optometrist. WHICH IS WHY YOU MOTHERFUCKERS NEED TO STOP FUCKING CALLING ME.


... seriously. When someone has submitted a grievance about PEOPLE CALLING WHEN THE NOTE SAYS NOT TO CALL, who the *fuck* thinks "Oh, I don't understand this ... I should call them to clarify!"????????
Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 00:01
1. I was hoping to go home a little early today because the next three days are going to be super long (including one day which is actually supposed to be my day off!), but instead I worked like eleven hours. >_< But! Because I know it's going to be a long day tomorrow, I'm going in a little late, so I get to sleep in a little.

2. It was definitely a little cooler today than yesterday, and I had the fans on all day while I was at work, so the house wasn't too bad when I came home. It's supposed be a lot cooler tomorrow and then back into the 70s for at least the next week or so, so that's good!

3. I finished translating another chapter! (Possibly the last translating I do before the end of the month, what with the next three days being super busy, including one day where I won't be home until 3am at the earliest...)

4. Look at this ridic Molly tongue!

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 10:46
Yesterday I had a minor encounter with adventurous milk, and as a result the M key on my keyboard has gone wonky. The most reliable way to get an M is to type 7. I don't know either.

Of course I immediately wanted to buy a new computer because I wish all problems could be solved that way. But instead I made an appointment to get it fixed--which was a real challenge, considering every time I tried to log in to the online booker, I got three million Ms, or else zero Ms, in my password. Finally I had to use [profile] zulu_mom's computer to do the booking. The soonest I could get it looked at was Friday. Fortunately, [profile] zulu_mom had a backup laptop sitting in a box! So now I am typing-enabled again, hooray.

I've set up a guest account on her puter which gives me the happy feeling of configuring a new computer, even though hers is very old and slow. It still works fine, I think--I have yet to really push it, though. We'll see once I open Ye Olde Microsofte Worde.

Anyway, so I am behind, because I am always behind, and I will never not be behind. But at least I'm behind and able to type the letter M.
Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 15:59
Why Britain should play the long game with its Brexit strategy
It is depressing to think that any chance we may have of remaining in the single market probably depends on the rise of far right parties across Europe.
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The civil service must keep calm and carry on with Brexit – but can it?
Interesting, though I would say clearly biased, viewpoint from a former civil servant.
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Robots versus immigrants: which group would “steal” the most British jobs?
Included largely because this is such an obvious question to ask/link to make and yet it had never occurred to me before.
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How can we engineer our cities to protect against the threats of the 21st century? | CityMetric
Included for the entirely unremarked upon factoid at the end that Manchester is the most "resilient" of the 12 cities they looked at. In other respects this reads a bit like a piece of marketing for city analysis and design services.
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Theresa May committed to introducing 'Alan Turing law' and pardon gay men convicted of 'gross indecency' | The Independent
I was always rather uncomfortable with the campaign to have Alan Turing pardoned. The use of the service he rendered to the country as part of the argument suggested that, in some sense, his service compensated for his homosexuality when, in fact, the argument should have been that the conviction was unjust irrespective of Turing's actions and service. I felt that if a pardon were given it should be given to all those so convicted so I'm glad to see steps now being taken in this direction.
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How much more trouble will the three Brexiteers cause for Theresa May?
The article makes the point that Davis' remark about the improbability of the UK remaining a member of the Single Market is very much considered as obvious by most in Westminster. I'm surprised that Boris' remark that Article 50 will be triggered early next year isn't considered equally obvious given what I understand about the timings of various electoral cycles. Still, as a remainer, I at least can enjoy watching the Brexiteers getting told off.
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Rise in 'freebirthing' suggests women feel midwives and doctors are ignoring their needs
Complicated thoughts around this one, including both the observation of the well-known effect that over-rigid adherence to safety procedures can have the negative effect of essentially driving people away from them altogether and that, while I have no complaints whatsoever about my treatment in hospital when giving birth, the experience didn't bear a great deal of relation to the "woman-centric" birth-plan specific story we'd been told in ante-natal classes.
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Removing gender bias from algorithms
Interesting both from a machine learning point of view and from the point of view of how language can reinforce stereotypes.
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Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 12:33
So, work is being even gross-er than usual (it'll only get worse in October, and then maybe, MAYBE get a little better towards the end of November, in my estimation) and the moving-to-a-new-place is looming (and I'm a bit paralyzed, like a bunny in headlights) and I am of course (OF COURSE) getting kind of sick (because everyone is) and desperately trying to keep up my health on the one hand and continue swimming to keep my back from getting fucked up on the other hand and...

Black Sails, friends. Thank god for garbage television to keep me occupied, with all my favorite tropes and settings.

I mean, to be fair, there is a drastic difference in the level of fail between S1 (so far) and S2-3. Like, night and day. Thank god I didn't stick with S1 originally because it's been 5 episodes out of 8 and almost every single one of them has had a moment that made me want to burn down humanity. The only thing that's been genuinely fun is tracing the mindfuck they were doing with Flint and his lady love. So many delicious details the show sowed to make their romance seem completely textbook before flipping everything on its head in S2.

Flint and Miranda in S1 )
Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 00:52
1. It was ridiculously hot today, but very dry, so it didn't feel as awful as it might otherwise have done. (The poor kitties were clearly unhappy with the heat, though.)

2. I got the house vacuumed (so much cat hair!) and also got a lot of scanlation stuff done.

3. I posted manga!

4. I woke up to sweetie kitties in my bed this morning.

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 00:11
I'm still looking for someone to clean and typeset this series with me. If you're interested, please let me know! I will be able to get it out much faster if I'm not doing everything myself.



Title: You Will Hear the Voice of the Dead
Original Title: 死人との声をきくがよい (Shibito no Koe wo Kiku ga Yoi)
Author: Hiyodori Sachiko (Uguisu Sachiko)
Publisher: Champion Red Comics
Genre: Shounen
Status in Japan: 8 volumes, ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations + HotCakes
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: Sickly Kishida Jun has the ability to see ghosts, but in his opinion, it's a stupid power and nothing good ever comes of it. Considering the number of grisly situations he seems to find himself in after the ghost of his childhood friend Hayakawa Ryoko starts following him around, he may have a point.

Chapter Summary: Kishida's cousin wants to photograph the ruins of an abandoned amusement park with a gruesome history. What could possibly go wrong?



Chapter 3: The Ferris Wheel of Death
Monday, September 26th, 2016 20:09
The other day, I wondered what had become of Sir Gareth, an old boyfriend. When I knew him, Sir Gareth was a postgraduate physicist, a member of the Arthurian society, and his sister was married to the local Lib Dem candidate. Some weeks after we started going out my father regaled me with a garbled story about how said candidate had turned up on his doorstep, persuaded him to rejoin the party and mentioned, in passing, that his wife was called Louise and wasn't that a coincidence. Sir Gareth was entirely mortified by the whole thing.

Anyway, Sir Gareth happened to have a very distinctive surname so it was not difficult to translate my idle wondering into substantive action. I thus discovered that his wife (who has given simply loads of interviews that appear all over the Internet and, TBH, I'm not sure why I'm continuing to use a synonym here since they would probably welcome the publicity - the company in question is Honeybuns) started a baking business while studying for a PGCHE and expanded it when they moved to Guildford when Sir Gareth got a programming job there. In 2003 they bought a farm in Dorset, Sir Gareth gave up programming and joined the team and now they run a bakery business in circumstances that sound distinctly River Cottage. They sold gluten-free "mini-bites"* and I thought these, given the back story, would amuse my mother as a birthday present.



This is my Mum, with her gluten-free mini-bites in their refillable tin**.


* In fact my mother, who read all the literature that came with them, has now discovered that all their products are gluten-free and there is a gluten-free cookbook. She is quite excited by this. Given the hundreds of interviews all over the Internet, I'm sort of surprised I missed this fact.
** We were all deeply impressed by the concept of a "refillable" tin. What innovations will people come up with next?
Monday, September 26th, 2016 10:38
'Ladies' Is Gender Neutral, by Alice Goldfuss (2016-09-15). "I hope this has opened some people’s eyes to what it feels like to be excluded, and how something so simple as a shirt that fits can make an impact."

My Childhood Was Appropriate For Children, by Annalee for The Bias (2016-09-23). "Bisexuality is perfectly appropriate for children, because many children are bisexual. Treating bisexuality as an ‘adult’ topic? As if it’s a deviation kids couldn’t possibly understand? That’s what’s not appropriate for children."

Valuing chronically ill graduate students, by Sarcozona for Tenure, She Wrote (2016-09-22). "None of my colleagues would ever say to me that they think I shouldn’t be a scientist or that chronically ill and disabled students should be barred from academia, but when there isn’t (adequate) funding for sick students, chronically ill students are effectively excluded from academia."

ADHD Tipping Points: Why people with ADHD suddenly seem to fall apart, and what you can do about it, by Emily Morson for Mosaic of Minds (2016-09-15). About why people with chronic illness (whether that illness is categorized as mental or physical) often seem to function normally up to a point, then fall apart during adulthood -- writte about ADHD, but I think it can apply just as well to C/PTSD and probably many other illnesses.

[CW: rape] Cockblocking Rapists Is A Moral Obligation; or, How To Stop Rape Right Now, by Thomas MacAulay Millar for Yes Means Yes (2013-10-20). Lots of good points in this, including the importance of noticing boundary-pushing, and this: "What can people do with unsubstantiated accusations? Quite a lot, actually."

Two pieces on the trash fire that is Out magazine's decision to profile professional harassment campaign organizer Milo Yiannopoulos:

Occupy Wall Street, five years on: fire in the dustbin of history, by Laurie Penny for the New Statesman (2016-09-17). 'Being on the left is, in some ways, an exercise in learning how to fail. Of course, all resistance movements eventually fail, because those which do not succeed in overhauling the existing order invariably become the existing order. Wilson, writing as Bey, reminds us that the Temporary Autonomous Zones are, by their nature, ephemeral. “Such moments of intensity give shape and meaning to the entirety of a life. You can't stay up on the roof forever — but things have changed, shifts and integrations have occurred — a difference is made.”'

Take the Cake: Fat Fury, Fat Love — Claiming 'Fat Space' In Activist Communities, by Virgie Tovar for Ravishly (2016-09-08). "I too feel intense pressure to be perpetually kind, patient, and educational whenever I write or speak about fat discrimination and body image. Often, I do genuinely feel kind and patient and educational. The problem is that when I don’t feel that way, I am expected to bypass feelings of anger or disappointment in favor of sublimation, with the idea being that this sublimation benefits me/all people (since I am a subset of all people)."

Why I Quit My Job To Live Off My Private Wealth, by Fiona Pearce for Reductress (2016-09-20). "Life is about choices, and you only get one life to live. The only way to take control of your destiny is to decide how you really want to spend your time—which is why I chose to quit my job and live off my vast personal fortune."
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Monday, September 26th, 2016 11:51
Reread.

Taking place not that long after The Winter Long, it starts with some complications. These generate more complications, when Toby ends up being sent as the diplomatic emissary from Mists to Silences (the kingdom bordering Mists to the north), to try to avert the war that Silences just declared. There's, thankfully, a three-day grace period before hostilities begin, so there's a sliver of time trying to fix things before things go war-shaped.

Main problems being that Toby is perhaps not the most diplomatic person around. And Silences is very traditional, in that they really do not like changelings, or fae with animal traits. Or a whole slew of things that are exemplified by Toby and gang.

This is a series I liked at the first read and it holds up to re-reading remarkably well.
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Monday, September 26th, 2016 00:50
1. The ants got better for a bit but then SO MUCH WORSE, so I finally tried the suggestion of putting the catfood plates in a dish of water and it seems to be working. Also has the bonus of catching 95% of food scraps in the water, making for less cleanup. (Molly likes to stick her hand in the food and eat off her hand, which is super cute but doesn't work particularly well with cat paws, so a lot of food gets outside of the bowl.)

2. It was hot today and supposed to be even hotter tomorrow, but then is supposed to drop pretty dramatically in a day or so, so I'm really hopeful this is just one last heat spell and not the start of a super hot autumn like last year.

3. The second half of the week is going to be sooooo busy, but at least I get tomorrow off. I'm looking forward to sleeping in and relaxing.

4. Look at this sweet sleepy Chloe.

Sunday, September 25th, 2016 23:31
Vague-yet-true: a taste of something longed for and hoped for is often enough to soothe the aching spirit.
Sunday, September 25th, 2016 16:23
Sunday: A day of catching up and chores.

Monday: We tried a new format for group meetings at work. This was a brainstorming session in an attempt to identify possible collaborations. Somehow I had ended up in charge of it (on the theme of links between Verification, Planning and Learning). I think it went OK, though discussion did flag in a couple of places. I'm not sure if it will lead to anything though, at least based on the crickets that have responded to the follow up email. B. went to York in part because he was examining a PHD on Tuesday but also to see various family members so they could wish him a happy birthday.

Tuesday: Met with boss and another RA to brainstorm a new approach to a paper we have spent a year failing to get published. Celebrated B's birthday with steak and wine. Between us G and I gave him a Queen bass guitar book, a screwdriver and a roleplaying book (courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] philmophlegm and the excellent Shop on the Borderlands). He seemed pleased.

Wednesday: Y9 Introduction Evening at the school. These events are desperately dull, though at least this year we were spared the Internet Safety talk (do not allow your child anywhere near a screen for more than an hour per day) in favour of "useful twitter accounts you should follow". G will only be allowed to take 9.5 GCSEs - I predict much agonising.

Thursday: Considered spending the day working on various papers, but instead continued to wrestle with debugging an implementation of a planning algorithm, with which I have been wrestling for some time. I will need to get to the papers next week.

Friday: Got my hair cut. Played with LEGO Robots. Decamped the family to Oxford to celebrate my mother's 80th.

Saturday: Took my mother out for High Tea to celebrate her birthday.
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Sunday, September 25th, 2016 10:39
I spent my weekend doing basically nothing (well, talking about Black Sails and colonialism with [tumblr.com profile] zorana on chat, and then talking about Black Sails and various kinks in a tragically aborted phone conversation with [personal profile] tevere and then talking about Black Sails and pirate tropes with J on the phone - there was a lot of talking about that show with friends who are also in Asia.)

But work is making me feel gross these days - my boss has introduced drastic changes and no one knows what it will mean yet, really, but it's entirely possible I and my entire team have been de facto demoted, which sucks, and I already feel like responsibilities are being taken away from me and people are talking about quitting, and there's so much gossip and backstabbing and everyone being uncertain and looking out for themselves and trash talking quietly in dark corners and just... ugh. Ugh ugh ugh. Such a gross working environment and not much prospect of things ending well, and my back is still fucked up and leaving this job is still not an option and it's just... worrying and gross. :/ I've gotten so used to the independence I enjoy, to mostly setting my own schedule.

Anyway, between this and the anxiety about moving and the new apartment and the hellishly busy week that's coming up, I slept very little last night. I mean I stayed at my parents' for the weekend, which meant I had to get up before 6am to have any prayer of getting to work in less than an hour, and I didn't go to sleep early enough and then couldn't really fall asleep properly, and well. Today I am a barely animated corpse at work, and my ability to handle the complex grossness is even lower, and my appetite is all screwed up due to lack of sleep, and well.

This morning after getting to work dressed like a clown (not really, but in my own internal estimation) from the tidbits of things I have at my parents' I drove to [personal profile] roga's and showered and changed and read fic for like 10 minutes and felt altogether more human when I came back to work. But still just... too exhausted to handle the day.

Anyway, I spent the weekend immersed in Black Sails. I haven't had the luxury of downloading TV and movies in months (moooooooonths) since I lost my computer upon moving out of my previous apartment, but being at my parents' and them having an essentially "disposable" machine (my dad reformats that PC every few months anyway) meant I could download ALL THE SEASONS and watch in luxurious high quality on my ipad screen instead of streaming the episodes (especially inconvenient considering I like to skip past bits a lot).

Anyway, I've now watched all of S2 and S3 and now I'm going back to watch select bits of S1, lol. I have to say, S3 is probably the most competently written and DEFINITELY the most competently made season (wow some parts of it were BREATHTAKINGLY directed and shot - I completely understand now why most of the people I know IRL who watched this show are fellow film school grads), as demonstrated by the fact that it managed to hold my interest despite having maybe 10% of the gay that S2 did. (This show's politics are still atrocious though and I can only avoid getting angry at it by focusing entirely on the pretty.)

spoilers for canonically queer pirates )