July 2016

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Saturday, July 30th, 2016 00:58
1. I was at work for about twelve hours today, which sucks (and even more so that I could have stayed for hours and hours more and still had stuff to do), but now it's the weekend and even though I work on weekends, since Saturday and Sunday are my late days, I usually only work eight or nine hours, unless I specifically get called in early. (It's easier to leave when the store is closing up than when it's still open and there's stuff to be done!)

2. Despite the fact that we are constantly in a state of Shit Happening at work, there is some good stuff going on, too, and for every "are you fucking kidding me!?" moment, something else seems to go right, so it all sort of balances out.

3. I have sweet kitties.

Friday, July 29th, 2016 15:43
... goddamn cancer.

His boundless enthusiasm and creativity were an inspiration, and he was a delight to hang out with. The first instructions my manager at Virtual Hammer gave me were to check with her, or some other sensible adult, if my grandmanager gave me instructions that didn't seem to make sense. He operated by throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what stuck. His capacity for idea-throwing seemed to have no end. And yet we are come to the end of it, now. The world is less awesome, today.
Friday, July 29th, 2016 17:05
Find it here.

Quoth our clever and talented organiser and mod :


There was one original fic, and three streams of remixes, if anyone would like to make guesses as to the order of the streams and/or the authors of the fic, please have a go in comments. No prizes past bragging rights, but I would consider checking the archive numbers of the fic cheating.

Go forth, enjoy, comment!

(This is a little late due to anticipated rl on my part)

Reveals of order and authors 5 August.
Friday, July 29th, 2016 00:18
1. We went to see Ghostbusters this morning and it was SO AWESOME. I saw the original when it first came out and while I liked it at the time, it was never a huge favorite like it seems to have been for so many people, so while I was looking forward to the remake, I didn't think I would love it, but I really did. It was just great. I loved the characters and I laughed out loud so many times.

2. The script book for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child comes out in a few days (on July 31st, of course) and I just went and preordered the Kindle version so I will have it the day it comes out. :D Everything I've heard about the play sounds really cool, so I'm looking forward to it a lot.

3. I had a pretty relaxing day off.

4. Molly spend pretty much the whole evening chilling on my desk.

Thursday, July 28th, 2016 19:14
What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading vol. 3 of Amaama to Inazuma, which continues to be in the "cute but not in love with it" category for me.

Bookwise, I'm a couple chapters in to The Westing Game, which I read several times as a kid, but remember virtually nothing about. I saw [personal profile] thefourthvine tweet about it the other day and was like, oh hey, I remember liking that, and here we are.

What did you recently finish reading?
I finished several things!

I finally finished For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood. Overall it was interesting, but I really got bogged down in the detailed explanations of how to implement his suggestions in the classroom. Obviously that would be a real plus to readers who actually are teachers (whether in the "hood" or not; honestly a lot of his suggestions are just good strategies overall in terms of getting students more engaged in learning rather than just straight up lecturing to them), but for me it was slow going. Also it really did feel like an academic text, rather than something aimed at laymen, and as such just wasn't as engaging to me.

I also read Fallout by Gwenda Bond, a YA novel about teen!Lois Lane getting her start in journalism. It was a lot of fun, but I kind of wish it had left out Clark Kent as her mysterious chat buddy and just focused on her and the friends she makes at her new Metropolis high school. It looks like there's a second book out in the series, and I'm definitely going to pick that up at some point.

Mangawise, I finished up Tetsugaku Letra, a short (6 volume) series about a boy who takes up flamenco dancing after a chance encounter with a girl who is about to throw her dance shoes away because she's too tall and awkward for dancing. The boy was about to throw away his basketball shoes because he's no good at basketball, and instead they trade shoes. At first he just sticks her shoes in the shoe cabinet at home, but a couple years later he happens to see her playing basketball, now the star of her team, and using his old shoes as a good luck charm. This prompts him to take her dance shoes out of the cabinet and finds they are just his size, and he decides to find someone to teach him flamenco dancing. It was pretty cute! (It looks like it's been fully scanlated at Batoto.)

What do you think you'll read next?
No idea! I'm not really near the point of picking something else yet.
Friday, July 29th, 2016 01:32
Max, rubbing his hands together fiendishly – or Craft-ily?
Thursday, July 28th, 2016 18:32

I haven't posted here in a while. Life's been very very busy. A lot of the stuff that isn't mine or Brent's is out of the house now, or consolidated into two-ish rooms and the enclosed-garage-turned-shop. It helps! It really does. Now we just have to figure out flooring and the like.

This is the idea for the gigantic living room. It's an epoxy floor covering, very durable. It's going to take four kits to cover all of it.

This is the idea for the unused foyer and the gaming room (which is what used to be the dining room). We're not sure about the rest of the house, but it's definitely not going to be carpet. We have cats. I have long hair. Not a good idea.

I went to the podiatrist yesterday. It was a referral visit from my usual nurse practitioner, Lisa. She's super.

medical information under this cut. Be aware! )

Thursday, July 28th, 2016 20:16
So, following on from the book list and the assorted things I've filed erratically under the embodiment tag over the years ...

Anyone have interest in a comm to discuss, well, this sort of stuff?

For people who are interested in/curious about/like reading about movement practices (and other miscellaneous somatic practices) which may or may not be "sports"), and in thinkiness about how they affect/are affected by our experiences of being in bodies?

I'd want it to be a place where people can share and compare experiences (and books and films and random thoughts) across disciplines. I want to know how my experiences with climbing relate to other people's experience with ballet, or yoga, or Brazilian ju-jitsu. Or long walks. I want to hear from people who don't do a particular movement practice any more because of reasons. Or why a particular practice conects for a particular person. I want a place to discuss how mental illnesses affect/are affected by our movement practices, or how we juggle movement practices with mobility impairment or chronic pain, and what all of that means for ideas of "fitness", and how/if we do these things in bodies which aren't "ideal" or don't fit conventional standards for "sportiness". I want to talk about gender, obviously. And what it means when we have sports injuries or do activities involving some level of risk, or other things which are not considered "healthy". And whether ballet pointe shoes are or aren't like climbing shoes, and how one learns to fall in all the different activities that involve falling, and all the possible cross-activity forms of geekery, as concrete or theoretical as we can manage.

ALL THE THINGS.

Anyone else possibly interested?
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Thursday, July 28th, 2016 11:39
Are the answers to this thread reflective of the current state of accessing entry comments via an API? Or has anything changed? (In particular, [staff profile] denise mentions a possible new API designed in the 21st century.
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Thursday, July 28th, 2016 11:32
Previously unread.

Continuing the Young Wizards series. By my rough estimate, this is the fifth book in the series. Or sixth. Something like that.

Anyway, this is a delightfully ambiguous title, in that there's one, two, three or possibly four wizards that it could apply to. Depending exactly on how you interpret it.

Events from Wizard's Dilemma definitely reverberate throughout the entirety of the book, exploring things like "sorrow", "coping mechanisms" and the like. There's also a continuation of exploring "inner spaces", if that makes sense.

As always, eminently readable.
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Thursday, July 28th, 2016 00:28
1. Long day at work, but I have tomorrow off!

2. I posted manga! There's just one more that I want to squeeze in before the end of the month and I'm hoping to get it done tomorrow.

3. We had some really delicious watermelon tonight. (Actually we've been having delicious watermelon fairly often lately.)

4. We now have two different boxes with crinkly packing paper in them and the kitties love them so much.

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 23:37
This is the first week since I started posting office hours that I haven't had anyone sign up. Hopefully that means you're all off having fun doing other things for a bit! I know I am. :)

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 July 29:

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090D45AEAD2DAAF94-office6
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Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 21:37


Title: Koi-iji: Love Glutton
Original Title: こいいじ (Koiiji)
Author: Shimura Takako
Publisher: Kiss
Genre: Josei
Status in Japan: 3 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 decides it's time to move out and make a fresh start.



Chapter 7: Love Actually
Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 13:56
[personal profile] topaz_eyes very kindly offered to beta for me, and sent me her notes, and from long and fruitful acquaintance I know they will be thoughtful and useful, and I am currently...not opening the document.

This is not unlike how I have several semesters' worth of teaching evaluations that I have likewise not opened.

I write this here in hopes of getting over myself.

ETA - Have started making the easy changes! Rah rah.

ETA2 - Made a cut, well-spotted superfluous detail, but I rather love it, so here it is: Awww Wilson & Amber sitting in a tree. )

ETA3 - Ha, I did rather overdo it with the exclamation points, didn't I.
Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 19:44
When I first stumbled across The Story of Fester Cat, on Amazon I think, I was equal parts interested and dubious. I'm very fond of cats; I have mixed feelings about Pauls Magrs' work; and I was concerned about the twee potential of a memoir written from a cat's point of view. The book opens with a critique of another cat memoir in which the protagonist looks down upon its owners from heaven, so this last point was clearly a danger Magrs was well aware of.

The story starts with the final week of Fester's life, an artefact I think, of the way the book was written. I got the impression those first chapters were written in the immediate aftermath of his death as a coping mechanism and only after that did Magrs go back to write the rest of story. It shouldn't work, but somehow it does, in part because the book is meant to be a celebration of Fester Cat and dealing with his last week at the beginning means it does not have to be the end of the book itself.

It is very much the story of Fester Cat as imagined by Paul Magrs. You get the impression that Magrs was very much a watcher of the local cats even before Fester took up residence in his house. The opening sections give names and characters to many of them and, within reason, flesh out Fester's life as a stray. Later on Fester often discusses Magrs' own thoughts and feelings but, necessarily, Magrs' partner Jeremy remains a more shadowy character.

It is, essentially, a cat's eye view of two men settling down properly for the first time. There are ups and downs but it is coloured by lazy summer days spent in the garden or curled up on someone's lap. It is full of the details and rituals that surround Fester and infused with their love for him and the central place he assumes in their life. At the end of the book, I had to go and do a bit of concerned stalking to establish that they now appear to have been adopted by another cat, Bernard Socks. So someone feline is still keeping an eye on them.

It is, frankly, often twee in places but somehow it works, possibly because it is written from the heart.
Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 13:21
If I decide to check out Gail Carriger's books, should I start by reading the Finishing School sequence or the Parasol Protectorate sequence? Or something else? Or does that reading order not matter?
Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 13:50
This post doesn't require anyone to step in and solve a problem for me. I solved the problem I had before posting, all on my own! The problem is not that the phone made a noise: it is that the phone ONLY made a noise. I know that if I wanted to, I could use Android Pay to avoid having a card near my phone. I don't want to. Thanks!

I recently got one of those phone cases with slots to keep cards in it, in a bid to not lose my travel pass again. I actually got it two weeks ago, after temporarily losing my pass in my bedroom, and it was the process of looking for the pass to put it into the phone case a few days later that I realised I'd lost the pass more permanently…

For the last two or three days, just the last few days, a notification sound has been intermittently bugging the hell out of me - familiar, but not familiar enough that I could identify it. It never generated a message in the notification shade, and I couldn't for the life of me figure out what it was.

Until a moment ago, when I slipped my contactless debit card back into one of the card slots, which at the time was folded back against the back of the phone, and my phone made the noise again.

Now, I've had my debit card in the phone case for the whole time I've been using the case, barring times when I'm actually using the card, because my travel pass uses similar technology and card readers tend to get confused if they get signals from both at once - but remember: this noise has only been happening for two or three days. (But it happens every 5-10 minutes when I'm using my phone, which is a lot, so it's been driving me UP THE FUCKING WALL.)

Anyway. The sound. The sound, it turns out, is the sound my phone makes when it thinks I'm trying to do something with NFC, but it hasn't been able to read the NFC thing properly.

WHY ISN'T THERE A NOTIFICATION FOR THIS? Why is there no written message saying "Sorry, that failed, please try again"?!

This has been annoying me for DAYS and it could have been SO EASILY solved if only there was something other than a *biddlyboop* that means ABSOLUTELY FUCK ALL except that my phone made an unidentified noise. FFS.

Oh, yeah, and *biddlyboop* does not sound like an error tone. Where's the doom and gloom? It doesn't sound like something went wrong, it sounds CHEERFUL.

So. My debit card is now back in my wallet. And I have a small request for software/UX/whatever designers: please, for the love of cake, if you want to tell me about an error, please, YOU NEED TO ACTUALLY TELL ME ABOUT IT. A notification to say "That didn't work". (What if my phone was on silent, for one thing?)

The cheerful sound I can cope with. Really, that's not a big deal. Except when it is your ONLY means of telling me "computer says no", in which case: DON'T DO THAT.

I'm not a UI expert, I admit, but seriously, is this not obvious?!
Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 02:04
Last night my shower head sprang the kind of leak at the places where it screws together that you really can't ignore. I turned it so the leak was at least going into the shower instead of the ceiling, and determined that I was fucking going to Home Depot and getting some teflon tape and a goddamn new shower head thingy.

After the doctor.

My sleep schedule has been fucked up lately, a little more than usual. But I managed to get enough sleep in two chunks so that when morning-ish hit, I was vaguely well-rested, if rather more inclined to get chatty about stuff on IM than usual.

I can recommend tunic-length loose tops for ultrasounds where you don't have to take your shirt off. They give you a modicum of body-modesty that doesn't involve juggling a drape.

Read more... )

The imaging techs don't get to discuss any of your results with you. That's for the doctors. So I was absent any more practical information about what was going on, but slightly less physically comfortable due to some of the joysticking about in my nethers.

I had changed back, left the department, and was nearly in the bathroom when my phone started ringing. It was an unfamiliar number, but also a 602 number, and so I answered it.

It was Dawn! I had kept trying to get in touch with her, but her phone kept going straight to voicemail, so I'd finally resorted to leaving a message on Facebook, where there were signs of life.

She had bad news. She'd intended to call me last night, but there had been a death in the family. I told her my twolocked biglocked items of news. And now I have her new number.

My phone has been chewing through battery unfortunately quickly lately, but I called [personal profile] norabombay anyway, and we chattered about things. Then I picked up a new showerhead and some teflon tape at Home Depot, and came home.

I'm having a bit of a hard time this week, and I don't think it's going to get much easier until sometime late next week, at which point it will be differently hard.

Purple and I discussed dinner, but he was kind of stressed (presentation, and he hates making slides) and tired, and I was just drained, so we called a pass. Tomorrow, maybe.

For the past couple days I'd not been using the bouncyball as my desk chair, and the lack of motion had been beginning to get to me. I've noticed that in part due to the bouncyball, stairs have been easier for me when I've had to encounter them! This is good, and I will continue to watch for improvements.

Purple continues to be a voice of reason to me on a good many issues, and I deeply appreciate it. He also refuses to serve as chaperone. "In my day you couldn't even talk while dating!"

I had an interesting conversation about preferences in smut with more than one friend, more or less simultaneously. The juxtaposition was amusing. Read more... )

After that entertaining conversation, it was just about time for bed, at which point I remembered that I needed to fix the shower.

Fortunately, unscrewing everything, applying new teflon tape, and screwing it back together proved to fix all of the things. I could wish for such an easy fix on many more. I guess I take the unneeded new shower head back to Home Depot in tomorrow's errands or something.
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Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 00:38
1. I did not get to sleep in today at all and in fact was awakened by a work call at 6:30am because the person who usually opens the store didn't show up and other people needed to be let in. D: At least it just turned out he had forgotten to set his alarm, and not something more drastic. And I got to go home again right away and didn't actually have to stay and work. I'm really glad I live close enough that I can do that.

2. Tomorrow is Wednesday but I don't have to go in to work at 6:30 because the person who opens the store on Wednesdays is back from Japan!

3. It definitely felt a lot cooler today. I don't think there was that much of an actual difference temperature-wise, but the house actually feels pretty decent.

4. I finished reading another book! That's nine this year and it's still only July. Last year I read ten, the year before that two (an all-time low), and the year before that only three, and then ten again the year before that. In 2011 I read 24 books, which I don't think is going to happen this year, but I could probably easily do twenty. I've already read more manga than last year, too.

5. These kitties just keep on being so cute!

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016 01:36
Enjoyed hanging out with our Texas relatives these past few days, but like most visits it was over far too soon. However, they also have a week-long school break at Thanksgiving, so it is looking likely that we will visit them then.

Saw the new Star Trek movie with the usual suspects and enjoyed it a lot. I'm more likely to rewatch it than the previous films in the reboot series. If you've seen it, you can probably guess why. (Hint: soundtrack.)

I found one of my desired PS3 games, Kingdom Hearts 2.5 Remix, at the library, so I started playing Birth By Sleep. I also watched the included movie of cutscenes from Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, which I started playing on the DS but never finished. The KH universe is complicated, but eventually I will figure out what the heck is going on. I have resorted to taking notes.

Speaking of the library, I have discovered the books of Leigh Bardugo and am reading them all as fast as I can. More details at [community profile] kareila_books for the curious.

The rest of my week looks to involve more book-reading and game-playing, but I also need to do some back-to-school shopping for the boys. Connor's sneakers are trashed and Will's jeans are about four inches too short.
Tuesday, July 26th, 2016 20:10
On a technicality, by Eevee (2016-07-22). About the need for both rules and trusted leadership in communities.

Firing Roger Ailes and exiling Milo Yiannopoulos isn’t going to fix much of anything, by Sady Doyle for Quartz (2016-07-22). "The truth is that harassment and abuse are never about individual people; they’re about structures. When we help the victims of harassment, the solution should not be to deal with a single offender; it should be to deal with all the people who enabled the problem to exist and refused to solve it until it reached a critical mass."

Reddit is still in turmoil, by Kate Conger and Megan Rose Dickey for Techcrunch (2016-07-21). Reddit is a trash fire, as a business and not just as a community.

What Science Says To Do If Your Loved One Has An Opioid Addiction, by Maia Szalavitz for FiveThirtyEight (2016-07-19), and for a somewhat different take, a Tumblr post: "...drug addiction, across the board, actually has the best prognosis of any mental illness without any treatment whatsoever."

How about some mixed corgi puppies? The Australian shepherd and golden retriever mixes are my faves.

How ‘Political Correctness’ Went From Punch Line to Panic, by Amanda Hess for the New York Times Magazine (2016-07-19). "In [Trump's] campaign, 'P.C.' is no longer just a joke, or a slick rhetorical tool for riling the base. It’s the shrewd recognition of a dark aspect of white American psychology: That many experience being told not to use certain words as a kind of violence."

I’m With The Banned, by Laurie Penny (2016-07-21). On Internet trolls and "weaponized insincerity": "Milo is the best player here. Like Trump, and like a lot of successful politicians in this postmodern circus, they channel their own narcissism to give voice to the wordless, formless rage of the people neoliberalism left behind. They offer new win conditions for the humiliated masses. Welcome to the scream room. There’s a cheese plate."

Your pipeline problem is that you’re not doing anything to reach the pipeline., by Kieran Snyder (2016-07-21). "If you’re looking in the same places, sourcing and talking to candidates the same way year after year, and not getting the results you want, it doesn’t mean that there’s a pipeline problem. However, it does unequivocally mean that your particular approach has roundly failed at tapping into whatever pipeline exists."

The Coming War on ‘Black Nationalists’, by Yohuru Williams for The Nation (2016-07-20). Everything old is new again: "To be clear: The black lives movement unapologetically focuses on the dignity and worth of black lives. The careless and dishonest way Duffy, Giuliani, Clarke and others chose to frame that movement creates a context that shifts attention away from the very police practices that nonviolent protesters are demonstrating against. "

Republican Convention 2016 Attendees Are Searching for Hot Gay Sex on Craigslist, by Nicolas DiDomizio for mic.com (2016-07-19). Of course, eh?
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Tuesday, July 26th, 2016 20:54
Previously unread.

Fourth of Duane's Young Wizards series. I guess I could talk about what the dilemma is, but I feel that is part of the thing that makes the book what it is, the experience of exploring the title.

Anyway, there's at least one dilemma, possibly more, answered in one or more ways. There's heavy stuff and I would not say that it is clear that the book has a happy ending, even if it's not quite as sad as it could possibly have been.

All in all, eminently readable, even if I would not file it under "happy, shiny, innocent fun".
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Tuesday, July 26th, 2016 17:28
As ever, I have got behind on posting about events. I knew the end of May and early June were going to be hectic with trips to Dagstuhl, Bristol and Cheltenham all happening in short order, but somehow things never really let up and it was only last week that I began to think life was beginning to get back to normal a little.

Last year Cheltenham proved to be a major undertaking which swallowed a good part of my time for four to six weeks for, I felt, somewhat dubious returns in terms of actual engagement with the public. This year we were actually approached to participate, rather than volunteering via various contacts which was nice. The Research Councils were jointly sponsoring a marquee with a space theme (the Space Dome) in order to capitalise on all the excitement around Tim Peake.

We took the decision that we would participate for half the week. The Space theme meant we wouldn't have to alter the Lego Rover activity in anyway to make it work with the marquee theme and I thought that three days would actually be considerably easier than six to manage in terms of the number of volunteers required etc. Instead of taking a team of eight people, some of whom only did a few days, I took a team of two. I worked them pretty hard but over three days that didn't actually exhaust anyone. Apart from the discovery that we didn't have enough hotel nights booked, everything went pretty smoothly and the amount of preparation needed in advance was minimal.

I think our stand worked a lot better as well. This was mostly a case of the additional programming work that had taken place over the summer. Thanks to some money from the STFC we'd hired a student to implement the activity on Android tablets, rather than on laptops. But I think the practice we'd had running the activity at various local events during the year meant we were much better at actually moving children at the stand beyond the "drive a robot" stage and into discussions of sensors and programming and so on.

It still cost in the region of a couple of thousand pounds to do, so if we get asked in future we'll have to think about budget and what we get out of it. I think it is fun, is a good experience for the PhD students who help out, and raises our profile as a public engagement activity. I think we did better in terms of actual engagement with science this year, but I find it hard to evaluate how much value we actually deliver in those terms and I continue to think that school visits are more worthwhile on that front. All in all I think the costs versus the benefits are fairly borderline. I certainly think we'd need something more (which might involve broadening our stand to include more of the robotics work at Liverpool or some such) before I'd contemplate putting the resources into a whole week.
Tuesday, July 26th, 2016 16:20
Poll results inform me that nanila, jamethiel, bedlamsbard, rymenhild, monksandbones and wyldeabandon all report that the crossposted images PRIOR to the doughnut do not show up on their reading pages; Nanila and monksandbones report the doughnut shows up (but huge).

It can't be browser settings re: external images, because monksandbones sees the RSS feed images fine and they have the same source.

Meanwhile, *I* have no trouble seeing them from my reading page. I got [personal profile] kayloulee to check, and she also has no problem seeing the pre-doughnut photos. It can't even be freak hemisphere-based image problems, as both Jamethiel and K are in Aus.

Can I ask if any of you are subscribed to copperbadge on DW, and if so, do you see images on HIS crossposts?§
Tuesday, July 26th, 2016 13:33
Life has been... yesterday I woke up and the water felt like acid against my eyes. There's a level of exhaustion where your eyes start to ache without the ability to tear up anymore. It's not a good thing when that level of exhaustion is where you are on the first morning of a work week.

Yesterday I went to sleep at 9:30pm and today woke up... merely human levels of exhausted. Like, yawning through work, mild headache, difficulty focusing tired, instead of about to collapse tired. Sigh.

Anyway, I have nothing to report or update, so instead let me just share some cool things.

1. I saw a rec for this story on twitter and it's turned out to be absolutely amazing. Part fanfic, part poem, part parody, part original SFF: Especially Heinous: 272 Views of Law & Order SVU. Ostensibly it's a short reaction/reivew/summary of every episode of L&O: SVU that's ever aired, but really it's... something else entirely. A factual description of what happens on the show, and a description that has nothing to do with the show at the same time. Over the seasons it develops its own plot, with its own AU and shipping, and the ending is straight out of fandom's greatest desire.

It's difficult to summarize this story, or to pick one except to demonstrate all that it is. I'm torn between quoting something profound and something hilarious, since this story has both. The hilarious bits are mostly one-liners, strewn like punctuation. I literally laughed out loud every time I hit one. But I'll have to quote a sequence without them:

“Misleader”: Father Jones has never touched a child, but when he closes his eyes at night, he still remembers his high school girlfriend: her soft thighs, her lined hands, the way she dropped off that roof like a falcon.

“Chat Room”: Convinced that her teenaged daughter is in danger from cyber predators, a father takes a crowbar to the family computer. He throws the remaining pieces into the fireplace, strikes a match. His daughter complains of a light head, a burning in her chest. She calls him “Mom” with tears in her voice. She dies on a Saturday.

“Contact”: Stabler discovers that his wife believes she saw a UFO, back when she was in her early twenties. He lies awake all night, wondering if this explains the memory loss, the PTSD, the night terrors. His wife wakes up weeping and screaming, on cue.

“Remorse”: At night, Stabler makes a list of the day’s regrets. “Didn’t tell Benson,” he scrawls. “Ate more burrito than I had room for. Misspent that gift card. Hit that guy harder than I meant to.” His wife comes up behind him and rubs his shoulder idly before crawling into bed. “Haven’t told my wife today. Will probably not tell her tomorrow.”


Just. READ THIS STORY. It's so good. It's part essay, part fiction, part fanfic, and wholly wonderful.

2. One of my friends who started out as a nail polish blogger has been quietly making jewelry for the last few years, and now, finally, has launched her own store on Etsy. I'm super excited about this because she is, like me, a child immigrant, and getting herself to a place where she could admit to being an artist and taking a risk has been pretty huge. Anyway, this is her store.

The jewelry is all pretty affordable and she ships worldwide. For me highlights include: this Slytherin owl, sunflower bracelet, rose guitar pendant and the steampunk owl.

And of course, if you know people who might be into this kind of jewelry, spreading the word would be appreciated.

3. So I've recced [archiveofourown.org profile] emungere's fics here before - I think I've read her Hannibal stuff dozens upon dozens of times by now - and now I'm reccing her original fic (which I... don't think I've done before? Maybe I have). She's about to release the 4th book in her original series, and so for a day the first book was free on amazon. However I am a giant failboat who's been buried under stuff and I didn't realize this was happening until it was too late to fit it into a post.

So, Songs You Know By Heart is now 0.99$, which I think is still a pretty sweet deal. I enjoyed this book a lot, it deals with a lot of weird issues regarding consent and does so reasonably well, I think. If you want any spoilers I'm here for that, of course.

4. Two small things happened lately that made me think the universe doesn't ENTIRELY hate me. A few days ago in one of my mad dashes in between a billion things, I had to go to the pool (therapy for my back, which is now on a very specific schedule since I have a therapist for a while), and when I got dressed after swimming -> hot tub -> shower, I found a clean pair of underwear in my pool bag. I cannot describe from a gesture from above that was. I hadn't packed it! Because I forgot, as usual. My pool bag is like 50% clothes and objects that I really should have taken upstairs and washed but keep forgetting. And here! A clean pair of underwear! O_O I felt blessed.

And then today, my building at work, which is a pokestop, had a lure module plugged in by someone who wasn't me. I went to buy a soda and spent like 20 minutes sitting on the porch catching pokemon. It was SO GREAT. Which is to say, [personal profile] inkstone has started [community profile] pokestop! For all the Pokemon Go gamers who are on DW.
Tuesday, July 26th, 2016 00:58
1. Carla has been wanting to get a tent to try sleeping in the back yard when it's really hot and we got one and it arrived today and I set it up and she seems very happy with it! (That also means I get the bed to myself, which is nice!)

2. I finally got the house vacuumed today and it feels (and looks!) so much nicer. The noise of the vacuum bothers Carla and the cats, and holding the vacuum hose makes my hand/arm hurt (yay RSI), so we've been trying to get by with just sweeping, but it's really not the same.

3. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning, which means I'm going in to work late, which means I get to sleep in a bit.

4. I've been having Triscuits and hummus a lot lately and it's so tasty. (And an easy meal for when it's hot and I don't feel like cooking.)

5. Look at this sweet Molly face!

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016 00:42

Every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)
Sunday, July 24th, 2016 23:25
1. Day off tomorrow! I'm looking forward to that.

2. I finished a book last night!

3. Look at this cutie Molly! We left the packing paper in this box that came the other day and they just love how crinkly it is when they get inside.

Sunday, July 24th, 2016 19:11
The crusader equivalent of 'are we there yet' was to realise they were somewhere foreign and start killing people a bit.
Even if they were not in fact on the same continent as there, yet.


From [personal profile] beccaelizabeth here.
Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 23:47
1. My hand is pretty much healed. Still a bit of a scab on one the deepest part of the cut and it's a little tender, but I'm really pleased with how quickly it's healed overall.

2. Busy day at work, but I feel like I got stuff done (and didn't have to stay late, though I almost never do on weekends, since I work until closing).

3. So glad I got my hair cut. The heat and humidity have been that much more bearable.

4. Look at this cutie Chloe peeking under the bathroom door!

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 21:28
Hello hello, once again it's July and I have read a GREAT BIG STACK OF BOOKS.

Currently reading: Ben Aaronovitch, Foxglove Summer; Meanjin 75.2

Recently read: You know how I said I was going to read Phryne Fisher while travelling? Yeah. I didn't. First I read a stack of magical-realism queer erotica set in London, and it gave me the literary equivalent of the "at once, to Pink Flloyd!" reaction I get from listening to MCR: at once, to Ben Aaronovitch! I almost resisted, but then I was *in* London watching my Dad have the surreal experience you have when you, an antipodean, arrive in London and find that the reality does actually look quite like the version in Neverwhere. I already own a hard copy of Neverwhere, so do not need a kobo copy, but the e-books of the Rivers of London books, they called out to me. So I bought them all.

Reviews, going back to where I last left off:

The Night FairyThe Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Update: gave this as present to Miss Seven for her birthday; re-read it before doing so. All sentiments of previous review still stand.
----
Oh, this was absolutely adorable. Flory, an injured juvenile night fairy, adapts to life in a giantess' garden. Flory's quite a character: she's not nice, nor often kind, but is engaging to read about. Even her acts of generosity don't seem to come as *kindness* so much as determined altruism.

I'm not convinced that the feature of the ending wherein she discovers her wings are growing back was actually necessary. She'd made friends and found several alternative means of mobility - adding 'and also her wings are cured!' doesn't add anything, and does repeat the magically-walking-cripple trope.

The illustratons were wonderful.



The Magpie Lord (A Charm of Magpies, #1)The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Oh now this I liked a *lot*. It had something that the Alpennia romances don't: grit. It's not *sweet*, and it's not really a romance, it's definitely erotica. It was gritty, not just in the sex - there's quite a lot of blood and violence involved in the general plot, too.

The magical realism worldbuilding was good, for the price mark; the detective plot sound, and didn't try to over-reach itself.



The Mystic Marriage (Alpennia, #2)The Mystic Marriage by Heather Rose Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Now this was gripping! Plot solid, world-building solid, and character work really interesting. I love that the book took a difficult-to-like character from the previous book, and while making her *sympathetic* did not necessarily make her *nice*. Some of my quibbles re: the ending of book one were also smoothed over, as Jones has clearly put actual thought now into how you go about constructing a partnership as ladies of independent means in the 17th century.



A Case of Possession (A Charm of Magpies, #2)A Case of Possession by K.J. Charles

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Excellent follow-up to the Magpie Lord, in every possible way.



A Case of Spirits (A Charm of Magpies, #2.5)A Case of Spirits by K.J. Charles

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Cute, short, and a bit lighter than the others. Good work for a short splice-in story.



Flight of Magpies (A Charm of Magpies, #3)Flight of Magpies by K.J. Charles

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


This one I am less happy with, largely because of the ending gambit. Obviously, IRL, if a job is making someone unhappy and their significant other has the money to support them, well, quitting is fair enough.

But I wanted Stephen to be Magical London's Commander Vimes, dammit. And I *don't* count 'rich lover whisks poor clerk off his feet' as a good romantic conclusion.

The gritty, not-sweet aspects of the sex that I liked in the previous two pushes a little further into unhealthy here, too. Not badly written, but a little more difficult to get into (for me, at this time, idek).



(FYI, the Alpennia books are on Amazon and Kobo; the Charm of Magpies ones are at Samhain Publishing's website)

Stacked-up reviews of the Rivers of London series to come when I've finished Foxglove Summer.

Up Next: I got partway into KJ Charles' Jackdaw before buying up the Rivers of London books, so I'll go back to that. I've got a couple of books to read asap for work, and I seem to have bought Gentleman Bastard in a fit of... something.




Music notes:

Fixated on Amy MacDonald at the moment. Picked up the best of Katrina and the Waves, because of a craving for 'Walking on Sunshine'. Not sure if that warranted buying the ENTIRE CD, but anyway.
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Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 18:46
Remembering that you have an ice lolly (a.k.a. popsicle, I believe) mould at the back of a cupboard.

Also, it turns out that an unsweetened jasmine tea ice lolly is an unusual and refreshing thing (yes, it's just frozen tea-on-a-stick; given the basic goal of reducing body temperature as much as possible, this totally works for me).

Btw, I reiterate the lido offer for DW peeps in London (for upcoming weekdays, anyway -- getting too crowded at weekends).
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Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 10:31




Edge lace for my sleeves - I did this on my embroidery machine, on a poly organza with heavy wash-away stabilizer, and then cut the diamonds out and hand-sewed them on.



After much experimenting, the tricks to using metallic thread without it snapping are to keep tension super-low, let the thread spool out from far away (I have it in a mug about a foot away), and don’t make your stitches too dense.

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 09:48
Code tour code tour CODE TOUR aaaaaah. A buch of new themes, plus a lot of tidying!

Edit: and a belated welcome to [github.com profile] rshatch, who I am pretty sure has their first fix featured in this code tour!

Read more... )

11 total issues resolved
Contributors: [github.com profile] cesy, [github.com profile] hotlevel4, [github.com profile] kaberett, [github.com profile] kareila, [github.com profile] pinterface, [github.com profile] rshatch, [github.com profile] zorkian
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Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 00:12
1. I actually got off work only an hour and a half late!

2. The heat's supposed to peak today and it should be cooling off next week, which is nice! I really hope the humidity goes down as predicted as well.

3. I've got a few days of sleeping in coming up!

4. I have sweet kitties. :D

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 06:22


Haven’t been posting much about cosplay, but I’ve been working on stuff so expect some photos over the next few days.



Tonight’s lesson: sometimes you have to try something, and fail… and try something else, and fail… and then keep trying to get it right. Four iterations of rosettes later, I’m finally happy.

Friday, July 22nd, 2016 19:48
It's a popular thing to say that abortion is a complicated issue, or a moral gray area, or that there's room for lots of different opinions on it because it's so nuanced. It's popular in general to take this kind of mealymouthed non-position, because it makes you sound thoughtful without requiring any moral effort or stamina.

When it comes to reproductive rights, even liberals are likely to hesitate, to cite bioethics, or to say that abortion is a necessary evil. They're likely to say that it should be safe, legal and rare.

But here's the thing about abortion: the only way you could possibly have doubts as to whether everyone should have completely unfettered access to it is if you're either uncertain about bodily autonomy as a right everybody has, or if you're uncertain about whether it's something people other than cis men should have.

I don't think anyone is really uncertain about bodily autonomy. At least for cis men, we're generally in agreement that one of the rights that all human beings have is to not have any other person in their body without consent.

One of the times when we decide to suspend personhood is when somebody is imprisoned. The widespread acceptability of prison rape jokes shows that the one situation when we consider suspending bodily autonomy okay is when we think somebody deserves to be punished.

So there are really only two reasons for thinking abortion is a moral gray area:
  • You don't think women are really people.
  • You think women should be punished for having sex.

Of course, cis men don't get punished for having sex with other consenting adults, because having sex with other consenting adults is something that human adults get to do. So it comes down to whether or not you're sure women are really people.

(While the effect of forced pregnancy is that everyone with a uterus, including cis women and trans men like me, as well as genderqueer people who have uteruses, the intent behind the pro-forced-pregnancy movement is to control women and punish them for existing as sexual beings. We need to be aware of both effects and intent here.)

Are you sure that women are people? Then surely you believe that nobody has a right to be in a woman's body without her consent.

Do you think that having sex grants implicit consent to pregnancy? Then you don't really think women are people, because we're all fine with men having consensual sex and don't, as a rule, believe they waive any of their basic human rights by doing so. Thinking women waive their bodily autonomy by choosing to have sex really just amounts to treating pregnancy as a punishment for sex.

I'm assuming that people who have doubts about abortion believe that fetuses and embryos are people. If they don't think that, then I really don't know what they're on about (although there is plenty of evidence they don't really think that -- ask a pro-forced-pregnancy person whether they favor punishing somebody who has an abortion in the same way that people who commit murder are punished.) Believing that fetuses are people poses no threat to my believe in the fundamental right to an abortion. Like all people, fetuses have no right to be in any other person's body without that person's consent.[*]

And yet, in 2016, I still live in a country where people considered liberal, progressive, in favor of civil liberties, and so on can still say abortion is a moral gray area with a straight face. I still live in a country where even liberals, even people who support personal freedom, haven't made up their mind about whether women are people.

[*] In answer to the question, raised elsewhere, of what we say if we believe fetuses are people and recognize that they didn't consent to be in the body of their gestational parent: I'd say three things to that. First, the concept that you have the right to self-defense isn't too controversial. You can come up with plenty of reasons why an adult person who is posing a threat to you might not be a totally free agent, but ultimately, your right to defend your body against invasion by them is considered sacrosanct. Second, fetuses don't have the ability to defend themselves, and I'm happy to defer that particular what-if to the time when that changes. And third, being in a situation you didn't consent to doesn't generally confer the right to use somebody else's body -- for example, if you would die without a kidney transplant, and if you didn't consent to have kidney failure, that still doesn't give you the right to force someone to donate their kidney to you if they don't want to.
Friday, July 22nd, 2016 02:03
Via [personal profile] highlander_ii: http://www.katewillaert.com/ljstats/ will work if you substitute "dreamwidth.org" for "livejournal.com", as DW keeps its stats in the same place. This tool grabs about 5000 comments at once, so if you have more than 5000 comments in your journal, you can do some quick math to see where you want to put your startid if you'd like to see the most recent rather than the people from the beginning of time.

Who comments the most on this journal? )
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Friday, July 22nd, 2016 04:10
Typically, I let folks who appear here and are easy to find on Google choose their own blog names. The Farmer always loved his blog name, and I loved that folks couldn't find me based on his name (which is pretty unusual and easy to search for).

But now we have someone new. There is this Quaker girl (mentioned over here and over here) who isn't sure what she wants to be called, but I'm clear that I want to talk about her. She's narrowed it down to either Quaker Girl or Sunrise Princess.

I'm not fully sold on either, but I do like representing folks the way they want to be represented.