40% of my time: writing
25% of my time: staring at cute pics of trans dicks
20% of my time: Facebook
15% of my time: staring out the front window, hoping my car doesn't get towed
Rah, rah grad school.
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Our corporation has this new health/wellbeing website that everyone has to use to get $10 off their insurance and the spouse's insurance (it's a way of making us all have blood tests and physicals every year). It has PEER CHALLENGES. None of my peers want to do it, though. It makes me a little sad that I'm the only one excited about making healthy choices and working out for ENDORPHINS. Endorphins are lovely.
On 2 February, I'm going back to Eagle Strong. I decided that I wouldn't go to the gym during January because that's when everybody's there doing New Year's Resolutions. Way too crowded. But February is coming up! So I can go back. My dad never likes the gym during January either, so I come by it honestly.
My Christmas presents from my sister Jenny are at the FedEx place, but I can't go pick them up because they have to be reshipped to a location that allows pickup. It's in transit right now. Fortunately, they didn't leave it at my door. I knew I should have stayed home late today! ;) It's 8.3lb/3.76kg! I can't wait to see what's in it!
Hmm. USM's webpage is down. I can't get to the Rec Sports page.
I have my phone to remind me of the measurement day in February! I'm kinda looking forward to it to see where I am after a month off of scheduled exercise.
I get new glasses today after work. After all the migraines and bad eye aches, I finally got to go to the eye doctor again last week. I went from one extreme to another and had to get new glasses. REMINDER TO SELF: Don't wear these in the Gulf of Mexico. They tend to get washed off your face and then you start searching for them and only find seaweed. It's not a good idea. Just don't do it.
We did finally get new servers in for the Micros system here at work - and now it has turned into an adventure. The annoying part of the adventure, though, not the fun part yet. I know I will look back on this as a learning experience, but right now it's just frustrating and aggravating. Things are supposed to work! Not have to go back and forth with firewalls!
Deep breathing. Remember your wireless printer at home that you get to play with. And eventually you'll get a laminator and can play with that too. Chore charts and lists that you can check off with wet erase markers. It's all going to be good. Things are going to work out.
(this fedex package is STILL in transit! I have no patience!)
I'm ready for the end of the day, I think. I have some excitement about getting new glasses and gaming with my friend Elise! We also have Jell-O to take to our friend Brandon who's getting his wisdom teeth pulled tomorrow. Jell-O is a great thing for that.
OH GAMING. Yeah, we started a new game with a new group. We're still doing Pathfinder's Reign of Winter with James, Tische and Brandon, but we are also playing a new D&D 3.5 game with Elise, her boyfriend Austin and their friend Matt. Or is it Will? It's one of the two. I keep getting him confused. Right now, we're trying to get through a gnoll mound (or gnoll knoll) where there might be a gnoll chieftain buried. In Reign of Winter, we did finally get to Baba Yaga's Dancing Hut! We even got inside! And had to promptly kill a bone golem left by the Queen of Irrisen.
I'm excited about taxes! And filling out the tax paper work and figuring out what Brent owes for being self employed and all that fun stuff. I can't wait. I just need his 1099-MISC form from Tim, his sort of boss. I'm not even terribly excited about getting a refund, since I don't know if I get a refund or not, since Brent hasn't had any taxes taken out of his money from Tim. Eeee. If I do get a refund, I'm buying a laminator. If I don't get a refund and don't have to pay much, I'm getting a laminator. Either way, I win!
Over the last year, I finally joined the “listening to podcasts” bandwagon. It turns out that, like everyone else, I need a commute to up my podcast listening. My ‘commute’ is actually about 2km of walking around my suburb dropping off and picking up kids, but whatever.
Some of my regular podcasts:
Slate Money with Felix Salmon, Cathy O’Neil and Jordan Weissmann (and occasional guests). High finance and business, with occasional forays into gossip from finance journalism (Felix and Jordan) and quant-land (Cathy).
Sample episodes: The Davos Edition with Felix bringing gossip from the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos and The “Smoking Up Behind the Bleachers” Edition talking about the creation of Big Weed and also Taylor Swift not streaming on Spotify. (Clearly, I tend to find finance less interesting than business.)
NPR Planet Money. I find NPR/This American Life house production style somehow strange, it’s really unlike, say, the ABC (Australian version) to the point where I have trouble with, say, 99% Invisible seeming a bit fake or overly polished. But Planet Money avoids the uncanny valley of radio, and apparently money is my thing as a podcast listener.
Sample episodes: Bell Wars about the multi-decade feud between the world’s two handbell manufacturers and We’re Short America in which they continue a tradition of making risky investments, dig up $400 or so and short the S&P 500 for educational purposes.
Galactic Suburbia with Tansy, Alex and Alisa talking speculative fiction and related media for about an hour and a half at a time. They have a weak spot in talking about the politics of speculative fiction because they’re often unwilling to name names (“sometimes bad things happen and I think we can agree that less bad things… would… generally speaking be… better”). Their strength is “culture consumed”: their informal reviews of what they’ve been reading and watching. They also do spoileriffic episodes when they talk about things they’ve all watched/read in huge detail.
Sample episodes: with a typical episode lasting ninety to one hundred and twenty minutes, and no formal scripting, episodes tend to be more variable. But a couple I’ve enjoyed most were Hugo Nominations 2014 and Episode 97: the Veronica Mars movie, which is quite a compliment when I’ve never seen any Veronica Mars, including the movie.
Law Report with Damien Carrick. This is an ABC radio show syndicated as a podcast, dealing with Australian legal issues or Australian perspectives on international legal issues.
Sample episodes: Lex Wotton speaks out about the death of Mulrunji and policing on Palm Island, after having his gag upheld for several years by the High Court. Very important for people interested in human rights in Australia. The problem with ‘Mr Big’ confessions, about the policing technique in which people are enticed to confess crimes to undercover police in the belief they are speaking with a senior crime figure.
Chat 10 Looks 3 with Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales. Gossip, literature and cooking with two very senior Australian women journalists. Sadly, they’ve only recorded five episodes and haven’t committed to doing any more ever.
Sample episodes: Episode 1 with Sales singing show tunes and discussion of the gendered idea of the “art monster” (the person consumed by art and cared for by a wife-cum-mother in every respect) and Episode 5 with Christmas baking and Leigh Sales’s total and complete disinterest in the beautiful birds that live in her yard.
Astronomy Cast with Fraser Cain and Dr. Pamela Gay. They do a little too much of the faux-clueless-host-listener-standin for me (although at least gender-wise it’s Fraser doing it and not Pamela), but, it’s friendly and high quality and ASTRONOMY. Right now they’re doing a series on living women astronomers, who, as usual, aren’t as well known as living men astronomers when their work is equally as good.
Sample episodes: Ep. 353: Seasons on Saturn pretty much single-handedly increased my interest in planetary astronomy to about the size of Saturn, and Ep. 360: Modern Women: Jocelyn Bell Burnell is a very interesting story featuring neutron stars, non-aggressive responses to institutional sexism (which I don’t think are better to be clear, but doesn’t mean Bell Burnell shouldn’t be heard), and male astronomers taking damage to their careers challenging institutional sexism. DID I MENTION NEUTRON STARS?
We are proud of our cultural diversity, and of the cultural activities that celebrate our part and our future.
Unfortunately, the next sentence is not:
In 2021 we will be commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the Tulsa race riot, in which envious, racist white residents killed at least 39 of their black neighbors and destroyed the most prosperous black community in the United States.
And the list of key city attractions -- opera, ballet, the jazz district -- doesn't mention that, as a bonus, if you visit one of Tulsa's parks, you may well be standing on a mass grave.
The scifi conference is requesting submissions of short stories. Alt-history counts....
Continuing in my quest to process more photos, I’ve started aiming to do the Active Assignment Weekly challenges on Flickr. I think some of my favourite photos came from doing their challenges, but I hadn’t participated in a long time.
He normally lives on our microwave so he’s ready whenever pasta needs stirring!
And here’s some from last week, the robots that make our neutral-toned rental less boring:
I also uploaded some older photos from the Flock and Fiber festival, as part of my campaign to get old photos processed, but frankly I wasn’t that thrilled with them. Still, I got to experiment with some processing tricks I wanted to try, so that was cool!