May 2016

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Saturday, May 28th, 2016 19:08
This year for my birthday I got a fitbit! (It isn't my birthday yet but shhh.)

Currently my job is "write the dissertation" which translates to "sit in a chair seven hours a day." I was finding that not only was I stiff when I got up, I was actively limping and my hips especially were complaining. Plus, I have a hike planned in August that, post-baby, I am so not ready for. So I thought the fitbit would be a good way to get me in some good habits, and help me maintain what few good habits I already have.

I got the Alta, which is their newest/shiniest model. I chose this one over the Charge because, while the Charge will record floors climbed (which is good because I'm trying to choose the stairs over the elevator more), the Alta will buzz on your wrist once an hour if you haven't walked 250 steps.

250 steps is not a lot, less than five minutes' walking. But I've already found it makes a huge difference to my stiffness/soreness when I'm getting up every hour. Or at least I'm aware I should be getting up every hour. If I'm mid-scene I sometimes ignore it, which is fine.

Here is what I'm doing and what the fitbit is encouraging me to do:

- Take an extra walk in the evening if I haven't done 10 000 steps yet that day. Yesterday I went to the corner store to buy milk.
- Continue my habit of taking the stairs not the elevator, at least 10 floors a day since my office is on the 10th floor.
- Get up and stretch once an hour. Mostly.
- Climb & descend four flights of stairs during my stretch breaks - I climb up to the 14th floor (top of the building) and back to my office to get those 250 steps.
- The fitbit also tracks sleep so I am trying to get a good solid eight hours. Apparently I sleep very well; my fitbit rates my sleep at 96%. But I really need eight hours and preferably more, not like, seven and a half, SELF, jeez.

Things I thought about using the fitbit for but that I probably won't commit to: weight/calorie talk )

Things the fitbit hasn't helped with: I really should do more exercise generally, and get to the gym. I know there's a class I like at my gym Tuesday nights, but it is so hard to get up and go to it. And I pay as a student for the university gym besides, and my swim bag is in my office, and I love to swim! But the fitbit has not managed to make me go do those things yet. I feel so behind on my dissertation and my RAship that I prioritize them, rather than gymming. I guess I should simply accept the fact that I'm perpetually behind, so an hour in the gym isn't going to make or break my academic career. Maybe this coming week I'll use my walking break to go to the gym with my gear bag, and see what happens.

Overall: fitbit good. Walking good! Exercise potentially also good, in the abstract.
Saturday, May 28th, 2016 23:15
The Entropy of Bones (2015; Ayize Jama-Everett) is terrible. It is abysmal. It is appalling. I am about 60% of the way through (and at this point am probably going to finish it, because that's about 80 pages left) and it is so bad on so many topics. I assume that The Liminal People, by the same author and in the same universe and apparently published first (so perhaps I should have read it first but Oh Well, Never Mind), is not any better.

Honestly largely irrelevant snark about the quality of the writing, presented mostly as a framing device. )

Which is all fine as far as it goes, like, whatever, I read a lot of pulpy speculative fiction, but then there are the fucking trigger warnings. And oh dear me are there a lot of them. (At some point I will try to usefully articulate the distinction I make between "content note" and "trigger warning", but that time is not now; just... bear in mind that I'm using the latter not the former.)

The overview. )

The detailed trigger warnings. )

Just... if you decide to read this, you might wanna be prepared going in.
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Saturday, May 28th, 2016 09:33
Previously unread.

Another entry into "occult police procedural", London-based rather than various US states. Cornell has been writing for a long while, and according to the author's afterwords, this started as a TV series pitch for the BBC, never got accepted and eventually mutated into this, which mainly shares characters (and, one guesses, some concepts) with the original TV pitch.

We follow four of the Met's finest. Two of them are undercover operatives, one of them is an intelligence analyst. They start out with no interest in (or indeed specific knowledge of) the occult. This... changes.

All in all, a pretty good read. There are further books in the series. Not sure if I'll go for "sequel to this" or "sequel to previous book" first, though.
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Friday, May 27th, 2016 23:24
1. Busy day at work, but I got stuff done and managed to come home only an hour or so late.

2. We took a nice walk this evening. It's been kind of warm during the day lately, but really nice and cool at night (sometimes a bit too humid, but tonight was nice).

3. For some reason Instagram has stopped crossposting to Twitter and Tumblr. I managed to get it to post to Flickr last night and used that to link here, but tonight even the Flickr crossposting isn't working. It has no trouble crossposting to Facebook, but my FB isn't public, so I can't link images from it, and Instagram itself can only link with a huge clunky embed that I can't even get to display properly on DW. I really want to be able to crosspost my kitty pictures here, so I'm trying to figure out what's gone wrong and how I can fix it, but in the meantime at least I still have my website, so I can upload pics there and link!

Friday, May 27th, 2016 19:43
One the whole I would rate The Eyeless as an above average NuWho novel, but it makes quite a strange read, particularly since I recall the author discussing it on Doctor Who book mailing lists as he was writing. If I remember correctly, Parkin deliberately set out to show that the NuWho tie-in novels could tackle the same kind of material that the Virgin New Adventures and BBC Eighth Doctor novels had tackled. The result is a wierd hybrid - something that takes the themes of NuWho rather more seriously than most of the tie-in novels but, at the same time, includes material that genuinely does feel out of place in a novel at least partially aimed at children.

More under the Cut )

All in all, this is a strange hybrid between the Doctor Who novels of the 1990s and the NuWho novels. I'm glad I read it, and its certainly interesting, but in the end I think it is a failed experiment that demonstrates that, in fact, the NuWho novels can't do the same kinds of things that the New Adventures and Eighth Doctor Adventures did.
Friday, May 27th, 2016 00:56
1. Recently I've been having some Photoshop problems and wondered if maybe it was because the copy I have is literally ten years old and maybe I should get a new one. Since Photoshop is actually semi-affordable these days (at least as a treat yourself kind of thing for me), I decided to download the trial version of Creative Cloud and see how I like it. It's pretty spiffy and $10 a month is not terrible, but I also decided to check out Elements and see if I could do everything I want to in that, then maybe I'd go for that instead, since it's just a one-time purchase not a monthly fee.

As it turns out, Elements is almost okay for what I need (though I don't like the layout, even on "expert" mode, which gets it more looking like Photoshop), except it can't do TWAIN scanning!? Whyyyyy? One of the things I use Photoshop for is scanning manga, and in Elements it seems like you can only use the basic scanning interface and also have to scan a page, edit the file, then open the scanning interface again each time. Fine for scanning one photo, or even a couple, but if I'm scanning manga, I want to keep the interface open, scan the whole chapter or whatever, and then edit and save the files altogether.

So...that may be a dealbreaker for me. I suppose I could scan in my old version of Photoshop and just save Elements for editing, but idk. I may just decide to splurge for Creative Cloud. (I can always discontinue my subscription at any time.) Either way, it's been fun to play with these spiffy new versions of Photoshop and it definitely makes me not want to go back to my ancient CS3. D:

2. Some weird things were going on with my computer over the last few days, but I think things are all fixed now? For one thing, Windows Firewall, which I always turn off straight away, for some reason turned itself on the other day and started interfering with my life (like trying to block Dropbox, and messing up downloads). I turned it back off again only to have it turn itself on again after a little while. This happened several times until I finally found someone saying that rather than just setting it to off in the control panel, you can actually turn off the entire program and I followed the instructions to do that and it seems to have stuck. No idea why this happened, after years of no problems over multiple computers, but at least I found a solution.

3. I posted more manga! Not that I really needed yet another series, though honestly I am keeping up with all the stuff I'm translating really well. Go me!

4. I love this pic of the kitties so much. The angle makes Molly look like a giant, though they're really about the same size.

I love this angle. Molly looks like a giant.
Friday, May 27th, 2016 00:04
What are you currently reading?
Oops, somehow I missed like two weeks of doing this, but mostly I am still reading the same things as last time, so...

I've read a little under half of For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood, have not touched The Sweeter the Juice (which puts me at still having read only the intro), and read about one more chapter of Half World (about halfway through). All of these are books I'm liking, I just haven't been setting aside much time to read lately.

Mangawise, I'm halfway through vol. 9 of Ookiku Furikabutte. Looking at LibraryThing, I apparently read the first five volumes in 2013 and vol. 6 in 2014, then set it aside for a while. Which means that when I picked up vol. 7 last week, I had no idea what was going on or who anyone was (especially since the author has an awful case of sameface syndrome), but I got back into the swing of things pretty quickly and have been enjoying it. I don't think this is ever going to be a super favorite series, but I do like it.

What did you recently finish reading?
Vols. 7 and 8 of Oofuri. I also read all the issues of Bob's Burgers I had (so I'm now current, though I can't remember what the current issue number is).

I also did read a book! The other book I got at the library a few weeks ago was The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae. I think I watched the first episode of her webseries when it first came out, but I'm terrible at keeping up with webseries, so I kind of forgot it existed. I just happened to see this on the new books shelf at the library and since I always enjoy humorous memoirs, I picked it up. It's a quick read and I did enjoy it, though I will still probably be unlikely to ever watch any more episodes of the webseries.

What do you think you'll read next?
Well, hopefully some of those books I started. ^_^;; As for manga, I think I have up through vol. 10 of Oofuri on my iPad, and then I will probably switch to something else because I'd really like to clear off some of the stuff I have on there before I load anything more on.
Thursday, May 26th, 2016 21:59
I think I have finally managed to get 98% of my fic uploaded to my AO3 account ([archiveofourown.org profile] synecdochic.) This includes most of the pre-popslash stuff that I can still stand to look at 15 years later...

Next step is going to be plumbing my old docs folders and posting the scraps of a few things I should just give up and admit I'm never going to finish. (I'm still holding out hope for some of them, but it's time to admit others are a lost cause.)

Meanwhile, I don't want to jinx it, but I've actually been (sort of) writing lately, alternating between an original novel and book 3 of Lullabye for the New World Order. I'm about 3/4ths of the way through chapter 14 of Lullabye, and this book brings us through to chapter 15. I don't want to get ahead of myself, especially since every time I do that my writing disappears again in a puff of smoke, but I'm starting to actually think the end might be in sight. (God do I miss being able to write.)

Also, for those who do not Twitter: I went on a Twitter rant about the new Captain America book and the stupid fucking things they're doing with it. (Being vague to avoid spoilers, but you probably couldn't miss the entire internet being fucking livid about it yesterday.) I put it together in a Storify if you want to read! (Subtitle: "On the heroic epic, the nature of story, the implied contract with the reader, the dumpster fire that is Marvel Comics' choice to pursue this storyline, and why indefinite copyright is harmful to contemporary myth: a cranky Twitter rant.")
Friday, May 27th, 2016 01:19
Lacy. #sunset #silhouette
Thursday, May 26th, 2016 16:40
Yes, it's another new series, and another one by Shimura Takako, no less. Love Buzz is one of her older series, and I've always had it in the back of my mind as something I'd like to do if no one else ever picked it up, and it seems like no one ever has, so...



Title: Love Buzz
Author: Shimura Takako
Publisher: Young King
Genre: Seinen
Status in Japan: 3 volumes, complete
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations + Heterophobia Fansubs
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: Five years ago, pro wrestler Fuji Kaoru disappeared one day before a match. Now she shows up at her old gym out of the blue, with a five-year-old daughter in tow. But not everyone is willing to welcome her back with open arms.



Chapter 1: I'm Back
Thursday, May 26th, 2016 19:18
Because I had a birthday, again. P had arranged to be Elsewhere this year, so A was my only dining companion. I was a little nervous about that, partly because I am a seething mess of anxiety at the moment but partly because my understanding had been that last year he'd enjoyed it well enough but hadn't been anything like as impressed as P & I. Which, you know, fair enough -- but in fact this year his main arrived and he proceeded to sit looking stunned and rapturous for several whole minutes, which I of course found utterly charming.

For my part, this year they took me well outside my comfort zone and it almost all just worked.

Read more... )
Thursday, May 26th, 2016 14:17
Previously unread.

Cory Wilson is a man in his very early 30s, effectively bilingual in "Isla" and "Coldi" (the former being "Earth's standard Language", the second being "What is spoken by the Coldi race"). As the book starts, he's just entered the office of President Sirkkonen, who's in change of The Union of Nations. This is just a few days before he's scheduled to start his new posting as Ambassador for Earth, to the Exchange.

Look, it's hard to condense the book. It's pretty good reading, all in all. Plenty of humanoid races spread across space, using hypertech to transit from solar system to solar system. But at least "why are they all humanoid" does get an in-world explanation.

There's also assorted skullduggery, maybe some gentle waving of cloaks as well as daggers. And, of course, your typical action, threatening, complications and maybe, just maybe, the occasional morsel of deadly poisonous food.

I'm tempted to pick up #2
Tags:
Thursday, May 26th, 2016 00:39
1. Well, I didn't get out of work on time today, but I didn't stay too late, so I'm counting it as a win.

2. Day off tomorrow! I have no plans except going to brunch with my mom and vacuuming the house, so hopefully I can get a bunch of translatey stuff done.

3. These sweet kitties!

Thursday, May 26th, 2016 04:11

acI’m on the hunt for a new hosting provider - the friend who was hosting my sites previously is unfortunately not able to continue doing so. Which means - moving time! And it’s been ages since I shopped around, so I’d love some recs. I don’t need a ton of bandwidth/server stuff, but I do need to be able to install Perl/PHP  modules, stuff like that.

(step 2: actually sit down and write my own application for my cosplay site, because I wasn’t really satisfied with the available CMS solutions already)

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016 20:42
Notes for next time, just so I don't have to work it out again.

Read more... )
Wednesday, May 25th, 2016 00:39
1. I actually got out of work on time! And since the accounting lady is back from her trip to Japan, and we now have an assistant accounting lady, which means that I no longer have to do the accounting on the main accounting lady's day off, I will have an extra hour to hour and a half tomorrow that I would have been doing accounting stuff, so I should probably be able to come home on time tomorrow, too! Tuesday and Wednesday are the days where I almost always end up staying late, so it's always a pleasant surprise to come home on time.

2. I finished another manga chapter. That's it for all the stuff I "need" to release this month, I think. Now to concentrate on other stuff for the last few days of the month. :D

3. I was poking around Amazon trying to think of something to get my mom for her birthday and saw they had the first two seasons of Murder She Wrote for $10 each, so I got her those. Plus they had Prime next day shipping so I ordered last night and they arrived today!

4. I'm trying to stop drinking soda again and today I managed to get through the day without any. Now if I can just keep this up.

5. Molly face!

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016 22:32
Tall, taller, tower.
Tuesday, May 24th, 2016 13:54
Previously unread.

Third and, as far as I'm aware, last book in the Diana Tregarde trilogy.

We hie ourselves to Jenks, OK. This is a small affluent community on the outskirts of Tulsa, OK. Well, it is in the book, I cannot speak for reality. Strange things are afoot, multiple youngsters at the local highschool ("Jenks High", sometimes bowdlerised to "Jinx High") have passed away in horrific accidents.

As happens, the father of one of the teens involved is an old friend of Di Tregarde and circumstances happen to favour giving her a call and see if she can drop by Jenks for a couple of weeks.

Then things start accelerating, things happen, so on and so forth.

On the whole, I found this to be the weakest book in the trilogy, but I can't quite put my finger to why. It still wasn't a bad read.
Tags:
Tuesday, May 24th, 2016 01:11
1. I had a nice, relaxing day off.

2. I got another chapter of manga finished, as well as some other stuff. Not as productive as I had hoped to be, but whatever.

3. I finished reading another book! That makes a whopping six this year, but considering how dire the last several years have been for me readingwise, I'm pretty excited about it.

4. I finally got my ballot filled out and mailed. As always, I'm eternally grateful to live in a state where you can vote by mail. It just makes things so much easier.

5. Lately Chloe has been enjoying this box that [personal profile] kiwimusume sent her all the way from Japan.

Monday, May 23rd, 2016 19:08
A #tipjar I suspect many of you will appreciate. #latergram
Monday, May 23rd, 2016 14:35
I'll be at WisCon this year, arriving Thursday the 26th and leaving incredibly early on Monday the 30th (to get to PyCon). I look basically like my profile photo, with slightly longer hair; you might recognize me as @brainwane from Twitter. My pronouns are she/her. I eat mostly vegetarian but will eat fish/poultry that has at least one hippie buzzword (e.g. "organic", "free-range", etc.).

I'm speaking in three sessions:

  1. Panelist on "The Fandom Awakens" (on Star Wars): Friday, May 27, 2:30-3:45 pm, Assembly.

  2. Comedy auctioneer for the charity auction benefiting the James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award: Saturday, May 28, 7:30pm-probably 8:30pm or 9pm, Capitol/Wisconsin room.

  3. Panelist on "SIX SEASON SERIES BASED ON THE THREE-PART TRILOGY BASED ON THE SINGLE BOOK OF THE NOT ANOTHER F*CKING RACE PANEL" (comedy game show focusing on people of color): Sunday, May 29, 4:00-5:15pm, Wisconsin room.



Also, I will probably drop by the Clothing Swap portion of the Gathering on Friday afternoon to find pieces that suit me and to bask in other people wearing my donated stuff; I would like to drop in on the vid party on Saturday night; I would like to drop in on the Hamilton singalong; I have a Dessert Salon ticket and intend on attending the Guest of Honor and Tiptree Award speeches on Sunday evening.

I am easily lured into talking about Hamilton, Zen Cho, Star Trek, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Mahabharata, Hinduism, and other interests in my profile.

Please ask before hugging; sometimes I'd rather not.

I am often bad with names, and will remember 5 minutes into our conversation that we had an awesome deep conversation one year prior. I apologize in advance. Also, I will probably be a little less intensively social this year, because I am trying to actually sleep enough and thus get to PyCon reasonably well-rested, and because client work for my consulting business may come up; I'll probably be trying to sleep every night from about 11pm to 7am, and aiming to take some alone time on top of that. So if you and I have multiple chances to see each other in person at other times of year, I may choose to make time for other people instead; apologies.

The fact that I am, in a sense, succeeding Ellen Klages in serving as the Tiptree auctioneer is quite a responsibility and I hope to discharge it well. So if you came to the Tiptree auction and raucously laughed at my japes I would welcome your chortles.
Tags:
Monday, May 23rd, 2016 06:43
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!)
Monday, May 23rd, 2016 09:57
Man it's so weird to be watching 3-4 shows every week that I actually want to talk to people about. Thank god they all have shorter seasons I guess.

1. Orphan Black

spoilers )

2. Game of Thrones
casting related thoughts )
Monday, May 23rd, 2016 00:58
1. Really looking forward to my day off tomorrow!

2. I've been doing some redrawing/typesetting the past couple days and remembering how much I enjoy that aspect of scanlating. It's faster if I just do the translating and farm out the rest to a bunch of people, but I do enjoy it. (The person I was going to work on Baby, Kokoro no Mama ni! with seems to have crapped out on me so I've decided to just do it myself.)

3. I have such cutie kitties.

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016 12:22


Title: All Out!!
Author: Amase Shiori
Publisher: Morning Comics
Genre: Seinen
Status in Japan: 8 volumes, ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations + Anima Regia
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: Oharano decides to take things into his own hands, but is the rest of the team good enough to keep up with him?



Chapter 7: Good Rugby
Sunday, May 22nd, 2016 15:32
That's 2 minutes faster than last year so I'm pretty pleased.

I actually started out going pretty fast, around the speed I normally run when practising for 5km, but since I was feeling pretty good and I know I run faster than practice in actual races, I decided to go with it and maintain that general pace as long as I could (which, it transpired, was around 7km). Despite the doom-laden predications of at least one of my weather apps it was hot and sunny. I was glad I hadn't worn a long sleeve top. I did wonder if it was a good idea to skip the water station at 4km but I don't habitually drink when running and now didn't seem to be the time to start. I did go through the run-through shower at 5km, though regretted it a little as my new (vari-focal) glasses spent the next 500 metres slipping down my nose.

It was around 5km I started noticing people, most notably children in, I would guess, the 6-10 age bracket standing in the crowds with their little hands held out hopefully for high fives as people went past. So I amused myself for the next 2-3km by obliging. I was actually a little surprised that more people weren't interacting with the crowd, though I don't think it is something I would have thought of had I not read [personal profile] nanila's account of the Worcester 10k. But hey! I wasn't going to win any medals and spreading the fun seemed like a worthwhile thing to do.

Around 7km the faster than normal pace started to hit home and I slowed down to about 5minutes 15 seconds per kilometre, which was the pace I'd been practising at, but everything definitely began to feel rather like hard work. I was cheered up by spotting one of the regular Park Run directors cheering in the crowd around 7km, and the Team Humphrey bus at about 8km ("Team Humphrey" is the name coined by the Manchester Children's hospital for whom I was running - I've no idea why) - in both cases it was a boost that someone in the crowd recognised me (or my T-shirt). About this point I also spotted one of the regular park runners just ahead of me and keeping her in sight, helped me keep the pace up. I was mildly perplexed that I couldn't catch her up, because these days I'm faster than her at park run, though when I first started out I often used to follow just behind her - I guess she's my informal pacing mascot. Looking at the results I was over a minute faster than her overall so she must have actually started ahead of me. I managed to speed up a little in the final few hundred metres, but I wouldn't claim to have sprinted for the finish.

This year I experimented with listening to podcasts as I went around the course, the idea being that they wouldn't drown out the various musical acts one passes en route but would be more interesting than silence. As a result, I had the slightly surreal experience of listening to [twitter.com profile] JonnElledge (with his CityMetic hat on) discussing public transportation in LA for a large part of the run (shortly after leaving the bold reporter from Welcome to Night Vale cowering under his desk because Management had left their office). It was certainly easier to switch attention into and out of spoken material, but it happened to the extent that I don't recall a great deal about public transportation in LA - nor the nature of identity in the suburbs of large cities. By the time I remembered to switch podcasts off I was, apparently, into an episode of "From our Own Correspondant" but I hadn't heard any of it because of the noise around the finish.

Each year, I've been fascinated by the loot that is put into the finishers bags. Presumably it is all provided by sponsors and mostly it consists of obvious things like energy snacks, but there's often something a little left-of-field. This year that was a 500g bag of basmati rice. I'm assuming carbo-loading was behind the reasoning there.

According to the website I was 5,082th overall, 53rd woman between 45 and 49, 470th person between 45 and 49 and 630th woman overall. My nemesis (i.e., the woman between 45-49 who regularly as clockwork beats me at park run) was exactly 2 minutes faster than I was and came in 3,695th overall. Since she volunteered at park run yesterday (as did I), I have now identified her. As well as running faster than I do, she has a very cute umbrella. Another park run regular spotted me as I wandering around central Manchester afterwards. He'd managed a time in the 46-47 mark, my neighbour of the Manchester Museum and Art Gallery Mafia managed 45 minutes, 47 seconds. But they're both men and so sadly, but frankly, in a different league.
Sunday, May 22nd, 2016 02:13
1. I slept in this morning until like eleven. Guess I really needed to catch up on some sleep! Usually even on my days off/late days I don't really sleep in that long, so I was surprised. (And now tonight I'm going to bed pretty late again, lol, although this time I have the excuse of staying up to do actual work stuff, rather than just faffing about.)

2. There've been a lot of people sick at work lately, but thankfully I haven't caught anything. I had a bit of a sore throat last week one day and thought maybe that was the start of a cold, but it never went anywhere. Crossing my fingers this keeps up.

3. Look at this Chloe just chilling on the couch.

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016 00:41
* Please wear all of your wearables.
* There is fruit in the kitchen.
* There is ice in the freezer, or at least there should be.
* Please do not forget to put the battery in the camera.
* Please do not forget to wear clothing.
* Check the weather, adjust accordingly.
* Buy a whole-day Caltrain ticket just for funsies.
* A cane is mandatory.
* The extra batteries would be helpful, as it would suck to be without means to find one's Purple.
* The fucking sunscreen is in the box. Wear some.
Saturday, May 21st, 2016 20:33
As we, in company with most of Ottawa, are as yet in no danger of growing tired of the "pick up beer, cider, and crusty buns, make a salad as big as your head, and sit around drinking while you bbq some protein" approach to life the weather has suddenly and triumphantly made possible this week.

And really, I assume you all know how to grill a sausage.

Patio Season Convinces Ottawa Woman She Doesn't Live In Desolate Arctic Hellscape Ninety Percent Of The Year.
Saturday, May 21st, 2016 15:19
I'll be running the Great Manchester Run for the 3rd time tomorrow. Excitements include a major difference of opinion on the subject of the weather from the two apps on my phone (one thinks the sun will be out, the other thinks it will be chucking it down with rain) and the closure of Oxford Road coupled with the refusal of Transport for Greater Manchester to provide any information about which buses will be going where tomorrow. I suppose I will just have to leave early. I gather there is a "charity village" where I can hang out if I arrive ridiculously ahead of my start time.

In more genuine excitement, BBC 2 will be filming the run. They filmed it in 2014 but since my wave didn't set off until after the show had ended, there didn't seem to be much chance of anyone seeing me. This time I'm in the white wave (no. 10644) which sets off at 11.55am. The live race coverage is from 11am - 1pm so I reckon there's about a 1 in a 1,000 chance that someone watching might catch sight of me!!

I'm running in aid of Manchester Children's Hospital but I'm fairly sure that the cost of the T-shirt has now been covered by donations - though, I suppose, if I try really hard at helping myself to freebies in the charity village I might still manage to cost them more than I've raised.
Saturday, May 21st, 2016 05:22
Dreams which are Just Not Fair, Yo:
Read more... )
Waking up out of that is not fair.

Thursday night's dinner was at a place I'd not been before, but immediately decided should be added to our dinner rotation. I shared with Purple, who was in accordance, but also doubted how much parking there'd be on a Friday night. I think perhaps we'll try it some early weeknight.

🍻💜🍰
It was beer & shenanigans night, so I went down to hang out with some of the crew. R saw me first, and wandered over to say hi. She has a set of headphones similar to mine now -- she saw mine and decided they were amazingly cool (I have my doubts about the headphones but they're handy) so she got some. Hers are blue too. Purple arrived, and then Mr. Tux. Purple was late because he was saying goodbye to Mr. Netflix, who is headed off somewhere. (Perhaps he and J will be co-workers soonish?)

I saw W walking off towards the gym with her iPod and gym bag, and waved. She came over to the fire pit to say hello; we cheerfully continued our conversation about that brief window of time in 2010 when it was possible to get near-complete access to someone's LJ account using this one weird trick, and why internal documentation is super important.

I saw the Singing PM wander past, and hailed her. She met Mr. Tux, who is on the other side of the atrium in the same building as she is.

Eventually I happened to glance over at the right moment and saw the retreating ponytail of lb. I hollered after him, and he wandered over to say hello and spend some time chatting. There was various hilarity.

Read more... )
Saturday, May 21st, 2016 10:47
Wild garlic (ramsons) is, it turns out, one of the lowest-maintenance, lowest-spoons food plants you can grow.

I planted some in my tiny front garden prior to the Epic Psychiatric Misadventures of '09, during which almost everything in my garden died from neglect.

But every spring, without receiving any care at all, the wild garlic comes back, and I get a waft of that wild-garlic-saturated woodland air every time I walk past. And then a constellation of white star-shaped flowers at the end of the season.

It likes shade; you can buy bulbs or start it from seed. Then it grows like a weed, because it is, and will invasively try to take over as much space as you allow it.

(Safety note: the leaves look like lily and lily of the valley leaves. So don't plant them near those, and make sure you know what you're picking.)

(ETA extra safety note: according to Plants For A Future, it can be poisonous to some mammals -- especially dogs. So, watch out for your pets. This is true for other garlic and onion species, btw.)

You pick the leaves; you can eat them raw in a salad (they seem to complement eggs), wilt them lightly (e.g over pasta, or they might be great with bacon), or use them instead of basil to make a pungent, bright green pesto.

Allegedly, wild garlic is even healthier than regular garlic, as it has higher amounts of some of the important phytochemicals.

More importantly, it is delicious and produces food with no effort -- specifically, salad leaves, which for many people are one of the items most likely to turn to slime in the fridge before you get round to eating them. Wild garlic, you just pick and wash when you want to eat it.

If you do have some effort to invest, here is my best pesto recipe from this year (ideas stolen from all over the place, no originality):

large bunch wild garlic
large bunch cavolo nero/black kale/dinosaur kale*, roughly chopped and with any super-woody bits removed
60g grated parmesan (can be omitted if vegan, in which case maybe add more nuts)
60g walnuts
150ml olive oil
pinch of salt

Mix in a blender (you're supposed to drizzle in the olive oil a bit at a time, though I'm not entirely sure why). Add some more of things if it seems too runny/dry/you want more parmesan, etc.; it's not a finicky recipe requiring precise measurements.

Lasts for a decent amount of time in a sealed container in the fridge.

You can apparently freeze pesto (in silicone ice-cube type trays for individual servings); I have tried this but not tried defrosting any yet, so can't vouch for how well that works.

{*The classic wild garlic pesto uses parsley or rocket/arugula, but the cavolo nero turns out to work awesomely. I suspect watercress would be great too. You can also make it with almonds or pine nuts and probably many other nuts.}
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Saturday, May 21st, 2016 01:16
Sooooo, big news! Starting June 5th I will be promoted to store manager!

I knew about this since March, but since I was only told it was "almost certain", I wanted to wait until it actually happened to say anything. So it seems really sudden and like, yikes, in two weeks I'll be totally in charge! But at the same time, I've been thinking about it for almost three months, so I've had time to get used to it.

Molly is not impressed, though.

Friday, May 20th, 2016 20:59
http://iguanamouth.tumblr.com/post/141654352627 (content warning for uncomfortably vivid cartoon depiction of bad mental state happening for no reason)

Not happening to me today, or too much at the moment; my posting this should not be cause for concern. But. Some days, that's how it goes.
Friday, May 20th, 2016 13:12
Previously unread.

Mikhail Volkov is the captain of a space ship. A military space ship. Beloning to the Novaya Rus empire. He's just been called to a United Colonies space station, to have a look at something.
The "something" is the warp engine of a UC military ship, the Fenris, which disappeared some ten years ago. However, it is weirdly crusted over with coral growth that's WAY more than ten years old.

So, after some negotiation between the son of the Tsar of Novaya Rus and the commander of the space station (or something, I frankly do not recall the actual rank of that person), he sets off trying to warp to the origin coordinates still stored in the warp core.

That's when the book really starts (yes, it's about, I think, a chapter in).

I'd say that I enjoyed the book, would look forward to see "what happens next" and so on, but I was not going "WOW! Must Have More Now!" (which is probably good, as far as as I understand, this is a free-standing singleton novel). Make of that what you want.
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Friday, May 20th, 2016 01:34
Been a while since a proper update! This is not quite a proper update, but at least it's substantial?


"I found whistles, maracas, 5 hour energy, coffee mugs, headphones, and a cellphone charger, but I did not find the other webcam."


Faceblindness! It's fun for the whole family! I'm not sure if I've properly told the "some woman" story about my faceblindness on DW as yet, but it's become my go-to story for "no, really, Rev. Lunatic is faceblind" though to be fair, Mama says that it took seeing Tay walk (well, bounce) in the airport to recognize her, since she's changed a lot.

However, in compensation, I have a small non-face-related superpower. I had a really fun encounter in the past year-ish where lb showed me some photos from his mid-90s college crew, and I was able to identify lb in a group photo where lb himself wasn't quite sure which of two people he was. This was based on my knowledge of how lb stands, and another photo which established what lb was wearing. Read more... )

I cannot perform this party trick with just anyone, but I can usually spot Purple in very large group shots if I know vaguely where he was in the crowd. Sometimes it's based on a sneaker. (Purple wears white sneakers that trend increasingly towards grey and ragged until he gets replacements. He also lounges ostentatiously, Kirklike/catlike. I find both somewhat endearing, but I would.)


One of my forms of comfortgoogling is chicken pictures. Current small pet peeve: when any old picture of a hen on a nest is used to illustrate "broody". Broody is a very specific state of chicken, generally characterized by unwillingness to get off the nest and hoard eggs, and sit there until the chicks hatch. Broodies are cranky, will cut you, have flattened themselves on the nests with wings slightly out away from their sides, have their necks pulled way down into their feathers and their tails raised so usually the tail-bump is higher than the head. They make a characteristic rhythmic "clook ... clook ... clook ..." noise (similar to the syllable of the rapid "buk-buk-buk" tidbitting noise but more spaced out, and more relaxed than any part of the "buk-buk-buk-buk-ba-DAWK-et!" alarm call which often follows egg-laying, fox sighting, bush rustling, or Disturbance in the Force). If you try to steal their eggs, they will growl/roar and also try and cut you.


Fishie is finishing up sophomore year at college. (OMG, how time flies.) She'll be 20 soon. She's majoring in computer science now, and doing things like acing the midterm where the median grade was ... not super great. The teacher for that class will be pleased to write her an academic recommendation, and says that she'll be able to do anything she puts her mind to. I am so proud of her. She works so hard, and she's getting so much better at picking her battles. She has been figuring out her summer activities: after finals, she goes to her internship Down South. After that she may wind up going to see her grandma, and after that, spending time with a friend in San Diego.

The concept of "like 5, 6 nice" has entered our dialogues because Fishie's Terrible Mom #yamappendix would make a big deal like "I AM BEING THE NICEST PERSON EVARRRR BECAUSE I LOVE YOU SO MUCH" when doing normal and expected things. So when Fishie encounters people who are being genuinely kind, she is equally floored by small kindnesses that don't inconvenience others, and big kindnesses which do inconvenience others. It's all pegged at like 10 nice for her, when someone with a scale that isn't at "Mommy is an abusive fuckwad Read more... )" might view it as maybe a 3,4 nice.


For those who don't dwell anywhere near Silly Valley and also aren't tapped in to the latest tech tat, "hoverboards" have been A Thing for a while. It used to be that there was just the one dude at work who rode one around, and he was proficient and discreet except for how he was going pretty fast and kind of gliding. Now, of course, many tech bros with more money than sense either have one of their own, or have access to one. Thus it was that one dude who I IRC with wound up in the ER one fine evening after doing a wipeout on his hoverboard while at work. In a subsequent all-hands at his company, there was a safety admonishment about unwise hoverboard usage.
Tech Bro 1: "haha bet I know what happened."
Tech Bro 2: "hahah yeah I heard about that."
Tech Bro 1: "sucks that K had to go to the ER tho."
Tech Bro 2: "wait, K had a wipeout too? I was talking about X."
Tech Bro 1: "Oh, what happened with X?"
Multiple hoverboard collisions in one week: not a good thing.


One of the best days of my young life was the day my father brought home a label-maker. It was a about the size of a large typewriter. I recall it having a few large font wheels. We started labeling everything. We kids dubbed it "The Advance", because it had a large key labeled "Advance" in place of an Enter/Return key. The key fed blank tape.
One of the most tragic and terrifying days of my young life was the day when the label-maker caught on fire. I saw black smoke rising up out of it, and immediately began screaming and jumping up and down. Fortunately it was winter. This meant that the appropriate response, which my dad immediately took, was to unplug it, pick it up (it was smoking, not flaming) and hurl it out the front door into a convenient snowbank.
After that we didn't have a label-maker anymore.


"I feel like both of these perspectives are valid, but they're not compatible."


Being around a whole whackton of other non-binary-gendered folks has helped me focus my gender identity feels some. It looks like the identity that best fits is agender. Non-male-identified, though sometimes I present masc and sometimes I present High Soft Femme. Though maintaining High Femme feels kind of like the thing where you're clamping down in the vain hope that you won't bleed all over everything before you get to a bathroom with supplies.

"... a bit of a radfem (without the skateboard)" (said of a radical feminist who might not so much be the "raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaadical, duuuuuuuude!" kind)


Hard problems in gender, privacy, and community safety: where is the line between outing and community safety, when you happen to know that someone who has Caused Problems Before is in a community [a different one] under an identity that is at least slightly discontinuous with their old one, and the new identity is tied to a gender marker change (and the old identity is really most sincerely dead)? (Tentative answer: take it case by case and hope you get it right.)


Once upon a time, Reverend Lunatic gave themselves hiccups as the result of an orgasm. Once not that long ago ... Read more... )


I have started watching the Great British Bake-Off, finally. It is so charming! I appreciate that all the contestants and guests are treated respectfully by the editing and camera, in a way that US television rarely does. And it's just so amazingly sweet!


Now that the conference is wrapping up, I'm down to just job-searching with a side of wrap-up work, not job-searching AND ALL THE CONFERENCE. This makes more time to tidy. Last fall, I'd decided to re-arrange my apartment. It got halted halfway through, and the result was nothing short of chaotic (though better arranged for certain things like sleep and computer). I decided that enough was enough, and I would work slowly but steadily in the direction of making it guest-appropriate. It's been coming along nicely, though it still is like a bit of a wacky game of 2048, where you have to calculate and carefully merge two things into the same space without upsetting anything else or making anything important too hard to reach quickly. This has resulted in random acts of mending, because part of this is seeing problems and fixing them.


My favorite hair ornament is a little basket of wires that's secured with two long metal spikes with glass knobs at the ends. Unfortunately, our relative heights are such that when I wear it, I spike Purple in the face with it when he hugs me goodnight. I have determined that I will seek alternate updo-securement, and have located a thing or two which should work better. Purple was a little "but you didn't have to -- it didn't draw *blood*!" when I showed him. :>
Friday, May 20th, 2016 01:06
1. I got two more chapters of manga translated!

2. Carla made super delicious adobo chicken for dinner.

3. I finally figured out how to buy ebooks from Amazon Japan! Unlike with iTunes, you can pay with a non-Japanese credit card, and it just requires changing your Kindle country settings to Japan. That was actually the hardest thing, because for some reason they don't make Kindle settings or anything about the Kindle easy to find, so I spent ages just trying to find that. Also from the things I was reading about how to buy, they were saying you needed a VPN, so I tried a bunch of different free VPN programs trying to get it to work before I found out that what really matters is the country setting and as long as that's set to Japan, you don't need a VPN at all (and even with a VPN, if the Kindle setting is not set to Japan, it will show the "purchase" button, but won't let you download the book). So I'm pretty excited about that. There's stuff that iTunes doesn't have at all that is available on Amazon, and a lot of Amazon ebooks come out way sooner than the iTunes versions do (iTunes is usually months behind the physical book release).

4. Look at these silly kitties. Molly just loves getting in some good buttlicking.

Thursday, May 19th, 2016 16:26
Github recently introduced the option to squash commits on merge, and even before then several projects requested that contributors squash their commits after review but before merge. This is a terrible idea that makes it more difficult for people to contribute to projects.

I'm spending today working on reworking some code to integrate with a new feature that was just integrated into Kubernetes. The PR in question was absolutely fine, but just before it was merged the entire commit history was squashed down to a single commit at the request of the reviewer. This single commit contains type declarations, the functionality itself, the integration of that functionality into the scheduler, the client code and a large pile of autogenerated code.

I've got some familiarity with Kubernetes, but even then this commit is difficult for me to read. It doesn't tell a story. I can't see its growth. Looking at a single hunk of this diff doesn't tell me whether it's infrastructural or part of the integration. Given time I can (and have) figured it out, but it's an unnecessary waste of effort that could have gone towards something else. For someone who's less used to working on large projects, it'd be even worse. I'm paid to deal with this. For someone who isn't, the probability that they'll give up and do something else entirely is even greater.

I don't want to pick on Kubernetes here - the fact that this Github feature exists makes it clear that a lot of people feel that this kind of merge is a good idea. And there are certainly cases where squashing commits makes sense. Commits that add broken code and which are immediately followed by a series of "Make this work" commits also impair readability and distract from the narrative that your RCS history should present, and Github present this feature as a way to get rid of them. But that ends up being a false dichotomy. A history that looks like "Commit", "Revert Commit", "Revert Revert Commit", "Fix broken revert", "Revert fix broken revert" is a bad history, as is a history that looks like "Add 20,000 line feature A", "Add 20,000 line feature B".

When you're crafting commits for merge, think about your commit history as a textbook. Start with the building blocks of your feature and make them one commit. Build your functionality on top of them in another. Tie that functionality into the core project and make another commit. Add client support. Add docs. Include your tests. Allow someone to follow the growth of your feature over time, with each commit being a chapter of that story. And never, ever, put autogenerated code in the same commit as an actual functional change.

People can't contribute to your project unless they can understand your code. Writing clear, well commented code is a big part of that. But so is showing the evolution of your features in an understandable way. Make sure your RCS history shows that, otherwise people will go and find another project that doesn't make them feel frustrated.

(Edit to add: Sarah Sharp wrote on the same topic a couple of years ago)
Thursday, May 19th, 2016 17:09
So I was reading the newly adopted Texas GOP platform [note], like you do. (PDF) No matter what else, the Texas GOP platform is always good for a slighlty appalled laugh.

I just didn't expect the laugh to be this awesome.

The following two sentences are from paragraphs 16 and 17 of that document. I have cut off the second half of the second sentences, because it's just a list of the 11 federal agencies they want to abolish, and when it comes to Texas lolarity, the fact that they think we'd be fine without the DOE, the IRS, HUD, or Interior is honestly barely a two on the 1-10 scale of batshit. However, I have not cut out any words between these two sentences. They read as reproduced here.


16. United States Senators- We support the repeal of the 17th Amendment of the United States Constitution and the appointment of United States Senators by the state legislatures.

17. Unelected Bureaucrats- We oppose the appointment of unelected bureaucrats


Oh, Texas. Never change.

(Even funnier, way down in paragraph 34 they have a line item: "Constitutional Convention- We oppose any constitutional convention to rewrite the United States Constitution.")

more inanities )

[note] Content note for transphobia, homophobia, racism, Islamophobia, hatred of furriners and poors, repeat use of the word "Judeo-Christian," and countless crimes against punctuation. [back]
Thursday, May 19th, 2016 08:14
I forgot about this, but: the feral parakeets have reached Kensington Gardens! I saw several the other day, descending from a tree to be fed by a circle of people holding out palms full of birdseed.

This is amazing because I thought they were still mostly in South London suburbs; I had no idea they'd spread this far.

Google found me video evidence of them from earlier this year, feeding from people's hands:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXDyUsKEJaE
Wednesday, May 18th, 2016 23:58
1. Day off tomorrow! Today was a very long day, so I'm really looking forward to just relaxing tomorrow.

2. Last night we went out and as soon as I started up the car, the stereo froze up. I thought it was just the touch screen at first, but it was totally unresponsive to any buttons, too. Couldn't change the input, couldn't adjust the sound, couldn't even turn it off, just had to listen to the radio station it was on. I was really dreading having to take the car in over something like this, but thankfully when I got in the car this morning, it was back to normal.

3. I posted more manga! Hopefully I can get a few more things finished up tomorrow and passed on to various typesetters.

4. We watched the season two finale of Rick and Morty again tonight. Damn, that is such a good episode! And I love, love, love the use of Hurt at the end.

5. The kitties were so cutely cuddling on the sofa today.