July 2016

S M T W T F S
     12
3456 789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      

Page Summary

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Friday, July 21st, 2017 19:28
Reread.

Second of the Spatterjay (sub-)series in Asher's Polity universe. Takes place about ten years after the end of the previous book. We do, again, follow several different viewpoint characters, on all sorts of moral sides of any situation that may happen in the book. Some are returning characters, some are new.

I'd definitely recommend starting with the first book in the series, but all in all an eminently readable book.
Tags:
Friday, July 21st, 2017 16:26
I wasn't really sure what to expect from The Myth Makers going into it. I have a fairly low tolerance threshold for so-so comedy and, while it has a good reputation, it is also Doctor Who attempting comedy in the 1960s and I had not been overly impressed by The Romans.

Actually it is surprisingly good )

I would genuinely love to see what The Myth Makers actually looked like. Doctor Who so rarely whole-heartedly tries to do comedy and this has some great dialogue and comic moments. I would have liked to see the actors faces as the lines were delivered. Watching telesnap reconstructions of old Doctor Who is definitely a fans-only past time, but if you feel up to the effort then I would say that The Myth Makers is more rewarding than many.
Friday, July 21st, 2017 01:39
1. My mom called me this afternoon and said her husband was having problems with his computer, could I come over and fix it and she'd give me money off the rent if I did. Well, that's always good incentive, but especially considering we just had $1500 in car repairs, I rushed right over. :p And it was an easy fix, so I probably spent more time driving over there in lunchtime traffic than actually spent at his computer.

2. I finally got the last of the twelve memories in Zelda, and now there's another final memory to get. I played for quite a while today but I don't even know what all I did. Mostly wander around central Hyrule and kill Guardians in hopes of getting some damn ancient cores, but I killed like ten or more and only one dropped a core. I need three more cores to upgrade the last piece of my guardian armor! I also randomly found the Tingle tights even though I wasn't even looking for them. Oh, and I played some of the Trial of the Sword, but I died and then decided to do something else for a while.

3. Jasper is getting so big! He's almost nine months and he's pretty much as big as Chloe now, maybe even a little bigger.

Friday, July 21st, 2017 02:12
I need to get someone to sit with me and help me deal with work email, because I've reached the point of really, SERIOUSLY intending to deal with it... and achieving as much as opening my inbox in a tab, before I have to walk away from my computer for three hours to stave off a panic attack. There's not even anything that bad there! I'm just being... blah.

In better news, I had a good fannish week for once. I started a kinkmeme! ([community profile] omgsexplease)

Next week I'm going to Ottawa to visit my girlfriend, so that's nice.
Friday, July 21st, 2017 08:13
More things I have learnt from physio - mainly notes to self. I suspect [personal profile] hagar_972 and [personal profile] taennyn may have useful experience here, where I'm just starting out on the same journey they've already been on.

Muscles in the thigh - VMO, lateralis, the big quad one, the sartorius one across, adductors on the inside, abductors on the outside. VMO needs extra strengthening due to hypermobility. The small stabilising muscles tend to give up, then the big muscles compensate, and that's why my hamstrings get tight all the time. Then the hip/bum ones like glute max and glute mede also need help, particularly the latter.

Making sure things activate in the right order is hard. If the lateralis activates before the VMO instead of at the same time, then my kneecap slides sideways and that's one of the reasons it hurts. Trying to activate the VMO first will retrain it so they both go at the same time.
Tags:
Thursday, July 20th, 2017 19:44
What are you currently reading?
I'm still reading both Miss Peregrin's Home for Peculiar Children and The History of Forgetting: Los Angeles and the Erasure of Memory. I'm about 3/4 of the way done with Miss Peregrine's and a third of the way done with History of Forgetting. I've actually been picking up the latter more often this week, but it's just slower going in general.

What did you recently finish reading?
I finally finished the final volume of Y: The Last Man. Overall, I enjoyed the series, though it's not something I'd read again. And I was pretty bummed by spoilers ).

I read volume one of Giant Days by John Allison, a cute slice-of-life comic about three girls at university. I've read a bit of his webcomic Bad Machinery (that's where this icon is from) but got frustrated with webcomics and stopped reading all the ones I was following, so I never read the whole thing.

Sawtelle: West Los Angeles's Japantown turned out to be a much quicker read than I was expecting when I ordered it, as I didn't realize how little text there was to go along with the pictures (one full page of text at the start of each of the five chapters, plus captions on the photos). I enjoyed this as a look at local history, but it really made me want to read something more in-depth.

I also finished up Ella of All-of-a-Kind Family. I was worried it was going to focus entirely on Ella based on the title, but while there was more focus on her than there had been in past books, there were still chapters about other family members as well.

What do you think you'll read next?
I still have not actually started Are You My Mother?, and I also picked up another library book on Monday, too. We saw the preview for the upcoming Wrinkle in Time movie and that made me want to reread the book. I think I read it more than once as a kid, but it's probably been like thirty years or more, so I remember virtually nothing about it.
Thursday, July 20th, 2017 21:43
Three formative things from my childhood/teenage years: The books of Rosemary Sutcliff, the folk-music inspired output of Clannad, holidays spent in Scotland.

To be honest, I also rate Survival pretty highly, so The Eater of Light would have had to try pretty hard for me not to love it. I'm not sure I can even remotely claim to be looking over this story with an unbiased eye. I loved it a lot. It does reassure me that The Teenager also loved it however, despite considerable sceptism about Rosemary Sutcliff (occasionally I give her the books, she tactfully ignores the gesture), and no memories of Scotland (or Survival).

She does like Clannad though, but I'd argue that the music here, while definitely folk-inspired, is not particularly Clannad-ish.

Spoilers under the Cut )

I loved this. It hit me in all my nostalgia weak points and handled this particular TARDIS team, which I already liked, perfectly enough to convert me from well-disposed to a fan. The Teenager said she thought it might be her favourite Doctor Who story. I'm not sure I'd necessarily go that far (this is no Blink!) and I'm almost frightened to see how it would stand up to a rewatch because I'm very aware that external factors were effecting my ability to think critically about this. But on a single viewing, I'd say it was my favourite Twelfth Doctor, Bill and Nardole story.
Thursday, July 20th, 2017 11:00

I had no idea who Ed Sheeran was or why there was this giant kerfluffle over him being in Game of Thrones. Now I know who he is and what he looks like and y'know? Those are some adorably round cheeks and cute red hair. He can be eye-candy in Game of Thrones all season long. (No spoilers please, I actually haven't seen season seven yet, I'm just catching up on season six.)

Wow it's been since 29 May when I saw the nutria crossing the road that I last posted. I guess I did dream about posting about KWHSS! I SAW [personal profile] tatterpixie there!!!!! IT WAS AWESOME AND SHE HAD THE BESTEST SCRIBAL SET UP AND NOW I NEED ONE for heraldry, not scribery, because yeah, my art's pretty rough, but I can do straight lines for heraldry. HOWEVER I did get not too bad at painting pre-prints. And I can probably work on making a scroll out of the Mamman embroidery. I'm not a scribe. I'm a herald (even with a H!) but I can learn some stuff! (It will probably take a light board. My drawing skills are not really all that great, mostly because my brain-hand coordination isn't wonderful. Thanks, brain damage!)

KWHSS was SUPER. I got to see a lot of people that I'd wanted to see (and some that I'd only been able to talk to online). I CREATED A SERVICE AMOEBA. IT OOZES AGAIN IN THE DEBATABLE LANDS. AMUCK!
I also went up to Sneferu and told him that he was right and Bruce was wrong. Which yes, it's a big thing. But we do need a ruling on something from Cormac Wreath. Can pantheons be tertiary charges?

I have become the Heraldic Webminister for Gleann Abhann's CoH. I am looking forward to teaching my Ruby deputy all about transferring letters in OSCAR because that means she'll be super ready! We even have figured out a screen-sharing software for that.
Bloodstone Herald has been suggested for Webminister job. Probably because it's like trying to get blood out of a stone to get stuff turned in for that sort of thing. I think I'm going to make a pendant or something with glitter. Glitter vinyl, not actual pouring glitter.

I am considering making myself bookplates for my gaming hardbacks. Brent bought me a new one - 'Horror Adventures'. He also picked up the last part of 'Strange Aeons'. I have all six of them! YAY! But I need to stick nameplates in mine. I have a sticker maker and a lot of time. :D

MASTER CONALL MADE ME A BEAUTIFUL RENDITION OF MY NAME IN CYRILLIC. I can't wait to turn it into an SCA business card. I told a friend that I was looking forward to being one of those 'one name people', like Cher, Bono, those sort of people. I will be Skaia, Herald.

:D

Thursday, July 20th, 2017 15:29
I'm finally caught up on this week's Orphan Black!

everything goes under a spoiler cut )
Thursday, July 20th, 2017 11:01
1. I deserve points, because I just made a doctor's appointment for a non-urgent matter.

2. Midnight Oil concert was totally worth it. The anxiety I worked myself up into in advance of going to Paléo was not, really. There *were* big crowds coming in by 8, 9 pm - but not at 5pm for the opening gigs! It was super chill when I got there. I ended up leaving at about 8.15 - I'd moved on to a smaller stage featuring tiny british boys known as Temples, but the mix of cigarette smoke and pot in the air was making my eyes stream and my head hurt. I feel a bit... a bit useless because I went to a thing and LEFT as everyone else was arriving. But actually, who cares? I saw what I wanted.
2.i. I have to say though, some of the tracks off Diesel and Dust which if you think about them too hard are Not Cool, well. They are really uncomfortable when you're all standing on European soil. the Dead Heart, particularly: it's pretty close to musical blackface to begin with, and the cultural dislocation just makes it more obvious.
2.ii. Garrett chose to do his contextualising around 'imagine if the French government had got their act together and had made it to the east coast of Aus before the British, I'd be singing all this in French'. Which. Okay. He didn't try to suggest this would be better, or worse, colonialism-wise, but I was still not happy with the way it felt. And at some point he referenced 'our dear first peoples, the indigenous australians', and just. Nope. How patronising can you GET?
3.iii Rob Hirst remains crazy talented oh my goodness. I somehow forget to notice the complexity of the percussion if I'm just listening, but as soon as you see him in action: wow. Also, the percussion kit included an honest-to-goodness rusty corrugated iron water tank, which I can only assume they physically transported from Aus for use during 'Power and the Passion'. Hell yes.

3. I started making a weekly habit tracker thing. Like a sticker chart for kids - you set a number of chores or self-care activities and colour in when they're done. I think I've set 49 possible things over a week, but not all of them are daily so I have targets. If i met every target I'd be at 41 things; so far I'm rewarding myself if I get to 25. And it's... working? The first few weeks I had days with only one or two squares; now normal is 3 or 4.

And on that note I'd better go and address today's tasks, starting with 'walk to work' (i missed 'get up by 8')
Tags:
Thursday, July 20th, 2017 01:08
1. Day off tomorrow! I'm looking forward to staying home and relaxing.

2. The weather's been staying cooler after that spike earlier in the month. High seventies in the day, back down in the sixties at night. It's still pretty muggy, but I'll take this over being muggy and super hot any time.

3. I love looking up at the high shelf above my computer and seeing kitty paws sticking out. XD

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 17:39
The Guardian: Trump had undisclosed second meeting with Putin, White House confirms

New York Times: Trump and Putin Held a Second, Undisclosed, Private Conversation

Note: it was "private" as in "out of earshot of anyone except Putin's translator" and "not mentioned to the public". It was not private as in "it was held in view of most of the other G20 leaders OMFG ARE YOU KIDDING ME".

Just to make the whole thing even stupider (on Buttercup's part) and more of a blatant power play (on Putin's).

[tumblr.com profile] plaidadder breaks this shit down: A Million Encores: Putin And our Playable President

And spells out one point in particular:

Why do we know about this? Because some of the European G-20 leaders were so concerned about this that they called their global risk consultant to get his opinion on it. That’s what Ian Bremmer does: he assesses global political risk for people who want to use it to make investment decisions.
Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 15:03
I've been so busy, and so focused on spending my free-time-to-write on original projects, that I feel like I want to talk to people on Dreamwidth but don't really have anything to write a post about.

So let's start with the essentials, which is two friends who are currently in need of a bit of help.

[personal profile] kuwdora, who makes amazing vids, is taking vid commissions to help pay for a career development opportunity.

...and it seems the other friend has reached their financial goal for the thing they needed, which I saw halfway through writing this entry, so. Please consider helping out kuwdora!

*

I'm busy planning London things (when I'm not busy doing other things). I've bought contact lenses for the first time in my life (putting them in and out is AWFUL but having them in is pretty wonderful). I finished watching "The Handmaid's Tale" and the "Game of Thrones" premiere and feel weirdly similarly about both.

Sunday was picking up my contacts and hunting for a birthday gift for a friend and getting stuff from the pharmacy and overall I got home from work around 8:30pm. Monday was pilates at 5pm, followed by my roommate's friends coming over at 9pm for Game of Thrones. Tuesday was going to buy new walking shoes (mine have holes in them and I need something for London), and because I needed a specialized store I yet again came home at like 9pm.

Today is going to be swimming (because my pilates class was canceled), followed by an optometrist appointment.

Basically just really, really long days. I've mostly been spending my weekends doing fuck all because of it, lol.

Anyway, I'm looking for ideas for what to do in London. So far I have the staples (places I've been and can always happily spend time in):
- british museum
- V & A

Potentially interesting but also maybe kind of boring (I have a friend who'd LOVE both of these but for me they're kind of "oh ok" sort of options):
- tour of parliament
- tour of buckingham palace

plays (I have to pick one):
- Matilda in the west end
- Much Ado About Nothing at the globe
- Queen Anne at heymarket (I do love Romola Garai)

Other than that I have: walking around various parks. LOL.

There's definitely loads more to do in London, but I feel like I've done the more obvious touristy stuff (Sherlock Holmes house, the eye, transport museum (LOL I know this is less obviously touristy, but I liked it)) and the less obvious stuff I'm not familiar with?

(I've always wanted to do the loo tour, ever since meeting the owner/tourguide at a party, but it seems every time I'm in London the times don't work out ;_;)

Anyway, suggestions for stuff to do are very welcome!
Tags:
Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 11:03
1. Mr Men In London (press release); official merch; Londonist.

2. The Tube is dropping "ladies and gentlemen" as a passenger greeting.


Ergo: 3. Who do I gotta hassle to make e.g. "Mx Cool" and "Little Mx Stubborn" etc happen?
Tags:
Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 01:41
1. Got the car back this afternoon and it's running great. I think the disintigrating parts that had to be replaced were probably disintigrating for a while and its performance was suffering, but not to the point where we really noticed until it got really bad.

2. Molly and Jasper really don't spend much time together, so I was really happy to see them both on the window table together looking at a bug last night.

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 10:06
I am going to a *music festival*. I have a ticket to Paleo (... somewhere. First quest: locate and print ticket), which is not a festival of weird food, but a festival of rock/pop music. Who knew?

Midnight Oil are playing on the main stage at 6. I was SUPER EXCITE when I bought the tickets (obviously, since I bought them) but now, in face of the prospect of travel, crowds, etc, I am less excite. I don't think I'll regret it, though.

Arcade Fire are on the main stage later tonight; I'm not sure that I'll stick around for that, though.
Tags:
Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 10:13

I seem to have got involved in organising Queer Code London. We have a breakfast meet in Central London on Tuesday 1 August Tuesday 8 August, 7:30am-9am, and I’d love to see as many people there as possible.

The breakfast is free and includes vegetarian options, and the building is step-free accessible. You’ll need to join the Meetup group to see the location, but it's in Central London within a couple of minutes’ walk of a zone 1 station. Spaces are limited, so sign up ASAP.

No allies, please – this event is for queer coders only — but please pass this on as widely as you like.

Tags:
Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 01:43
1. The check engine light came on the other day and both Carla and I noticed the car was feeling a bit wonky when we were driving, so we took it across the street to get looked at and...it's going to cost $1400. D: But, on the bright side, I hadn't gotten around to taking it in to get the bumper and stuff repaired from the accident yet, so at least we didn't just have $1000* in repairs and then this. The bumper stuff is all cosmetic (except for the fact that the trunk latch is now misaligned and hard to shut, but that just means we can't use the trunk, and we can do without a trunk for a while), so we can just keep putting that off for a while until these repairs are paid off. SIGH.

*I don't think I mentioned this, but the repairs that were supposed to be paid 50/50 by us and the other driver's insurance? Well, apparently the other driver changed their story and insists they weren't backing up, and their insurance has decided to believe them even though they had previously admitted to backing up, so now the insurance won't pay, and my insurance says the only way we can get them to is to take them to small claims court, which I do not have the time for, so we're stuck paying the full amount. We are going to see if we can get another estimate from somewhere else, though, once we do finally take it in for repairs.

One other plus is that they should be able to get it back to us tomorrow, so we won't be without the car for long.

2. I posted so much manga today. I feel very accomplished!

3. I played some more Zelda this evening. Finally got the last two shrines done, and also finished up a few more quests and did some armor upgrades. Still trying to decide if I want to do the master sword trial in this game or not.

4. Speaking of games, I got an email from Nintendo informing me that the new Pikmin game is out at the end of this month, so I pre-ordered it. I've never been that interested in Pikmin until they made it a side-scroller and then I was like, I'm there! XD

5. I love this picture of Chloe so much. (That's one of her favorite places to curl up for a nap.)

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 00:24


Title: Koi-iji: Love Glutton
Original Title: こいいじ (Koiiji)
Author: Shimura Takako
Publisher: Kiss
Genre: Josei
Status in Japan: 6 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 still can't believe this is really happening.



Chapter 19: Holiday
Monday, July 17th, 2017 16:22
In measured boot, each component of the boot process is "measured" (ie, hashed and that hash recorded) in a register in the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) build into the system. The TPM has several different registers (Platform Configuration Registers, or PCRs) which are typically used for different purposes - for instance, PCR0 contains measurements of various system firmware components, PCR2 contains any option ROMs, PCR4 contains information about the partition table and the bootloader. The allocation of these is defined by the PC Client working group of the Trusted Computing Group. However, once the boot loader takes over, we're outside the spec[1].

One important thing to note here is that the TPM doesn't actually have any ability to directly interfere with the boot process. If you try to boot modified code on a system, the TPM will contain different measurements but boot will still succeed. What the TPM can do is refuse to hand over secrets unless the measurements are correct. This allows for configurations where your disk encryption key can be stored in the TPM and then handed over automatically if the measurements are unaltered. If anybody interferes with your boot process then the measurements will be different, the TPM will refuse to hand over the key, your disk will remain encrypted and whoever's trying to compromise your machine will be sad.

The problem here is that a lot of things can affect the measurements. Upgrading your bootloader or kernel will do so. At that point if you reboot your disk fails to unlock and you become unhappy. To get around this your update system needs to notice that a new component is about to be installed, generate the new expected hashes and re-seal the secret to the TPM using the new hashes. If there are several different points in the update where this can happen, this can quite easily go wrong. And if it goes wrong, you're back to being unhappy.

Is there a way to improve this? Surprisingly, the answer is "yes" and the people to thank are Microsoft. Appendix A of a basically entirely unrelated spec defines a mechanism for storing the UEFI Secure Boot policy and used keys in PCR 7 of the TPM. The idea here is that you trust your OS vendor (since otherwise they could just backdoor your system anyway), so anything signed by your OS vendor is acceptable. If someone tries to boot something signed by a different vendor then PCR 7 will be different. If someone disables secure boot, PCR 7 will be different. If you upgrade your bootloader or kernel, PCR 7 will be the same. This simplifies things significantly.

I've put together a (not well-tested) patchset for Shim that adds support for including Shim's measurements in PCR 7. In conjunction with appropriate firmware, it should then be straightforward to seal secrets to PCR 7 and not worry about things breaking over system updates. This makes tying things like disk encryption keys to the TPM much more reasonable.

However, there's still one pretty major problem, which is that the initramfs (ie, the component responsible for setting up the disk encryption in the first place) isn't signed and isn't included in PCR 7[2]. An attacker can simply modify it to stash any TPM-backed secrets or mount the encrypted filesystem and then drop to a root prompt. This, uh, reduces the utility of the entire exercise.

The simplest solution to this that I've come up with depends on how Linux implements initramfs files. In its simplest form, an initramfs is just a cpio archive. In its slightly more complicated form, it's a compressed cpio archive. And in its peak form of evolution, it's a series of compressed cpio archives concatenated together. As the kernel reads each one in turn, it extracts it over the previous ones. That means that any files in the final archive will overwrite files of the same name in previous archives.

My proposal is to generate a small initramfs whose sole job is to get secrets from the TPM and stash them in the kernel keyring, and then measure an additional value into PCR 7 in order to ensure that the secrets can't be obtained again. Later disk encryption setup will then be able to set up dm-crypt using the secret already stored within the kernel. This small initramfs will be built into the signed kernel image, and the bootloader will be responsible for appending it to the end of any user-provided initramfs. This means that the TPM will only grant access to the secrets while trustworthy code is running - once the secret is in the kernel it will only be available for in-kernel use, and once PCR 7 has been modified the TPM won't give it to anyone else. A similar approach for some kernel command-line arguments (the kernel, module-init-tools and systemd all interpret the kernel command line left-to-right, with later arguments overriding earlier ones) would make it possible to ensure that certain kernel configuration options (such as the iommu) weren't overridable by an attacker.

There's obviously a few things that have to be done here (standardise how to embed such an initramfs in the kernel image, ensure that luks knows how to use the kernel keyring, teach all relevant bootloaders how to handle these images), but overall this should make it practical to use PCR 7 as a mechanism for supporting TPM-backed disk encryption secrets on Linux without introducing a hug support burden in the process.

[1] The patchset I've posted to add measured boot support to Grub use PCRs 8 and 9 to measure various components during the boot process, but other bootloaders may have different policies.

[2] This is because most Linux systems generate the initramfs locally rather than shipping it pre-built. It may also get rebuilt on various userspace updates, even if the kernel hasn't changed. Including it in PCR 7 would entirely break the fragility guarantees and defeat the point of all of this.
Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 10:31

Originally published at Spinster's Bayley. You can comment here or there.

I recently took part in a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) – 15 days of classes and hands-on activities covering everything from ecology to passata-making, spread over the first half of this year. I’d been told that doing a PDC makes you see the world differently. I must admit that I didn’t find this to be […]

Monday, July 17th, 2017 12:48
Hey guys, I've got a little something different for you today. Migeru, who has been my awesome cleaner/typesetter for so many projects, approached me about a single-volume series she'd translated herself, that she wanted help proofreading since her level of Japanese is low. So while I was not the translator for this project, I did do a very thorough revision so I can guarantee that the quality of translation is the same level you have come to expect from my other projects. The other thing different about this is that it's BL (and quite graphic at that). It's not a story I necessarily would have chosen to translate on my own, but if you are a fan of BL, please give it a try! Finally, rather than serializing, we decided to publish it all in one go, so this is the entire volume in a single release (four chapters plus a couple bonus chapters).



Title: Free Kisses
Author: Akahoshi Jake
Publisher: Daria Comics
Genre: BL
Status in Japan: 1 volume, complete
Scanlator: Migeru + Megchan's Scanlations
Scanlation Status: Complete
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: In junior high, Aikou had a crush on his tutor that ended badly. Now in high school, he's joined a "kiss club" at a local bar to try and relearn about love starting with the basics. While holding up a "free kisses" sign in the park one day, he's spotted by Eisuke, a boy from his school. Intrigued by Aikou's sign, Eisuke impulsively kisses him. Could this kiss be Aikou's chance to start over?



Free Kisses
Monday, July 17th, 2017 01:04
1. My contacts started really bothering me today at work, so I went home and got my glasses. It's always nice to live super close to where I work, but it's especially great for times like this. If I lived further away, I would have just toughed it out or took out my contacts and been blurry all day. Since tomorrow's my day off, I'm going to give my eyes a rest and just wear my glasses all day at home.

2. I posted manga today and should have more to post soon. :D

3. This morning I went out to the kitchen and looked up and saw Jasper on the high shelf in the living room! He's watched Chloe and Molly jump up there so many times and clearly wanted to get up there himself but just didn't realize he could do it. Last night he jumped up on the dresser in the bedroom for the first time, too, so he's clearly getting more confident in his jumping.

Sunday, July 16th, 2017 15:57
This morning I went and visited the Skyline Vineyard Church in Virginia. I was very impressed by how friendly they were, and I wanted to write it all down.

Welcome in the Vineyard church

It starts with arrival. I had my Google Maps telling me where to go, but you know how sometimes it's a bit off about exactly how far down the block a place is? Handily, they had these 10-15ft tall flags either side of the driveway. I spotted them before I even saw the steeple.

There was a greeter (in a Skyline Vineyard t-shirt) standing on the front porch. "Hi! First time here?" He shook my hand and introduced himself. Then he opened the door, pointed out the refreshments table, and introduced me by name to two people who'd been chatting in the lobby.

I went to get a cup of tea. They had someone stationed to pour coffee and hot water. That person also made a point to welcome me and introduce himself. As I was putting the lid on my cup, a woman walked up to me and introduced herself. She handed me an envelope (8.5x5.5) and told me this is their welcome packet. She told me that inside I'd find a connection card, and I probably should've let her finish explaining just to see what she said, but I knew what a connection card was thanks to the Church Communications group on Facebook. She did explain a little, that it's just to get some information, and that there's space on the back for feedback and space in case you have something you'd like them to pray for. You don't always see those on connection cards. The back also asked how you found them.

Also inside the welcome packet was a paper explaining what communion is and how they do it.

The guy who poured the hot water for tea/cocoa and poured coffee also pointed out snack trays. There were a few round cocktail tables near the snacks to encourage people to stand around and chat a bit rather than head straight to their seats.

Welcome in a Friends meeting

Often our meetings are in schools and other rented space. Even in meetinghouses, meetinghouses just aren't that recognizable to people who aren't already used to Quakers. I'm not sure I've ever seen a meeting with a lit-up sign until my meeting got some solar spot lights a few months ago (so good luck finding a meetinghouse at night). Mostly if there's a meetinghouse, the sign tends to be simple painted slabs of wood, with text of an appropriate size for foot traffic or perhaps the horse & buggy traffic that was common when the place was built. The text is usually too small for someone driving a car at speed to read, though. There's one meeting I've visited several times and accidentally driven by every time. You'd think I'd learn to recognize it, but I only visit annually, so it's like I'm a newcomer every time. If there's not a meetinghouse, just rented space, then a 1m tall A-frame sign (like you see for advertising the specials at a sandwich shop) seems to be normal.

So, off the bat (and really, this isn't just me, I've heard it from others before, including about the one I keep driving by), if you've had trouble finding the place, you're starting off a little harried and maybe a little late if you had to double back and look for the building.

Joshua from Church Hoppers podcast recorded an episode after he visited a Quaker meeting for the first time. He tells me nobody talked to him until after worship was over. I can see how that'd be the case. (And ok, I've finally listened to the episode now.)

From what I understand, tradition would have worship start as soon as the first person sits down to worship. Traditional meetinghouses don't have lobbies. Thus, if you're in a traditional meetinghouse and you follow that "worship starts on arrival" tradition, the porch is the only place to talk to a newcomer, say hello, chat a bit, explain the way we worship, etc. Given a goodly sized porch roof and nice weather, that probably works out. Winter's probably not so good, though. You'd want to get straight inside where it's warm, and then you get in there, and no matter how "early" you got there, everyone's already in worship, and... well, this is where that joke about the newcomer tapping the guy next to him to ask "when does the service start?" ("when the worship ends") comes in.

At least at Adelphi Friends and Friends Meeting of Washington (FMW), people file in ahead of time, and then the start of worship is actually announced. FMW has head of meeting read out a brief explanation of waiting worship. Adelphi has singing (call out a hymn number) until it's time. When the piano stops, the worship starts. Both have a lobby type area. Neither is very big, but you can fit a few people. This allows more chance to greet new people than the old fashioned way.

I've been to a bunch of other meetings (Pittsburgh, Marlborough PA, Fifteenth Street in NYC, Takoma Park, Bethesda, Stillwater, Greene Street, London-Euston, Frome). Some of them do the first thing. Some do the second. Pittsburgh has a larger lobby area. The really small ones, I've usually been there at the right time to be handed something and put to work with setup, so I don't know how showing up after setup would be. Or, you know, I've walked in late. That happens too.


My first visits at 2 Quaker meetings

I'm just going to use a couple meetings I know well as illustrations, but I assure you, I've seen these patterns elsewhere.

I don't think I ever had the "normal" new person experience at either FMW or Adelphi, though. At FMW, I went to the little meeting next door because I was nervous about the huge crowd in the main meetingroom. Turns out you can be anonymous in a crowd more easily. Oops. At Adelphi, my first visit was with my husband, who'd grown up as a kid in that meeting. I don't think I'll ever have the "normal" new person experience at any meeting, unless I wear my hair down and go in costume as a regular 21st century woman.

If I'm remembering December 6, 2009 correctly (not guaranteed), then I think someone was at the door to Quaker House when I arrived. A brief hello and a point up the stairs to the room where worship occurs. Afterward, there was an announcement of tea/coffee/cookies in the meetinghouse basement. I went over, and I'm not sure I even grabbed anything to consume. I walked into the assembly room door and stood just inside the door, against the wall. A young woman named Lucy saw me from across the room and made a bee line. "Hey, you're new here, right?" Turns out we were going to the same college (I as an undergrad, she as a grad student). She introduced me to some of the other young adults. The next week I went to the main meeting, and I absolutely did not introduce myself during "stand and introduce yourself" time. That was a room with 70 strangers. Heck no. What if that turned into an altar call like at that Baptist church I visited with my family the week before? Nope. No way.

I don't remember much about my first time at Adelphi. By then I'd worshipped at FMW for 3 years and Friends of Jesus for about 6 months, so there wasn't shiny newness about going to meeting. Like I said, my husband grew up in that meeting. I don't particularly remember anyone talking to me before going in to join in the singing, but there are greeters, so that probably happened. There's a potluck lunch every week after worship. We hadn't brought anything, so we didn't stay (thinking it'd be rude). Nowadays, they make a point to say "whether you brought something or not, you're welcome to join us." At the end, just like at FMW, newcomers (and "returning after a long absence") were asked to stand and introduce themselves. By this point I'd visited other meetings and was more used to that routine. And we'd shown up with the intention of asking the meeting he grew up in to marry us, so we weren't worrying about the ability to slip away.

The usual

Ordinarily, FMW has someone on the front bench stand at the start and read out a welcome and an explanation of what's about to happen with us all being very quiet. Ordinarily, someone is posted at the top of the stairs, at the indoor entrance to the meetingroom. I don't believe anyone is posted at the wheelchair-accessible entrance or the other two exterior entrances to the meetingroom. Someone might be at the entry door that's at the foot of the stairs. (I can't remember) Also, it's been a few years since I regularly attended there, so things could've changed—grain of salt.

I don't think I have ever been given a welcome/newcomer packet when visiting any meeting. I know Adelphi has them, and I know they're not new. Maybe things were just a little hectic at the time, or they'd been misplaced or whatever. They do give them out now. Most meetings seem to go for "there are pamphlets over there; help yourself."

Some meetings also have the doors close at worship time (what it seems Joshua was expecting, since he was surprised to find his noise had been audible to the worshippers). Some meetings expect latecomers to open the door and walk in. Some expect them to wait for a particular time before they go in (especially if they keep kids in for the first part of worship, then have them leave for kids stuff). Friends Meeting of Washington switched from one to the other while I was there. That they're supposed to wait until a certain time may or may not be clear to late newcomers. I don't know how common it is for the greeter to wait until the late arrival time to catch late-arriving newcomers.

The Differences

Here are the two main differences:
  1. who bears the burden of introductions?
  2. when do you get to meet people?
Who bears the burden?

At the Vineyard church, the greeter recognized me as new. The greeter introduced himself immediately. The greeter remembered my name long enough that he introduced me. The regulars were proactive about introducing themselves.

In every Quaker meeting I've been to, the guest is expected to proactively introduce themself. "Please stand up in a room full of strangers and introduce yourself to us." In many meetings, everyone wears nametags. Do we rely on our nametags and fail to introduce ourselves? Probably. I'm pretty sure I do. I need to work on that.

Do we know our own communities well enough to immediately recognize new people? I'm sure the small meetings do. It's easy to say "you're not one of the usual 8 people." It's harder with a bigger group, but it's worth the effort. Greeters really need a certain gift for recognizing faces.

When do you meet people?


At the Vineyard church, the time before worship was dedicated to getting to meet and talk to folks. Afterward, people seemed to just grab the kids and head out. I did chat a little with a couple of people who turned out to be very interested in Pennsic. (One had asked whether I had any travel planned.)

In most Quaker meetings, the time after worship seems to be dedicated to getting to meet and talk to folks. There either is no time before worship or it's dedicated to a Bible study, Bible reading, or hymn singing. Joshua says in his podcast that he found it awkward to find his way through to the right room, discover the door had been open and his saying "wait, which way do I go??" in the hallways had been intruding, and then sit down silently with a bunch of perfect strangers and no introduction. The "good morning" didn't come until the end. Awkward start; friendly end.

Conclusions

I think Quakers need to rethink these two points. Well, I'm sure many churches need to work on choosing and training greeters well and cultivating a culture of proactive welcome. A lot of them are bad at it!

I know, I know, we're a denomination full of introverts (speak for yourselves—I'll talk your ear off, once I have a topic). But there's a difference between being introverted and being rude. If you're an introvert and find yourself face to face with a guest, spot your nearest extrovert and introduce the two.

The part about making people feel comfortable before they enter worship is something I think is worth exploring. Joshua said in his podcast that even having signs saying something like "please join us in silent worship in this room" would've been helpful toward making him feel less awkward/embarrassed about his arrival. Is it actually a theological imperative for us to hold socialization until the end?

And I know those tall flags aren't cheap, but a 10-footer is $200 if you have dirt to jam it into or $250 if you need to set it out on the sidewalk. VistaPrint's probably got coupons too. They've always got coupons running. Maybe that's something your meeting can work into its budget if it's having trouble with visibility. (Yes, Philadelphia. I know, Philadelphia. You have gigantic highly-visible meetinghouses. Thanks for rubbing it in.)
Sunday, July 16th, 2017 16:44
Today is the day I scream about social media start-ups on tumblr, apparently. Linking rather than crossposting, because I'm pretty sure my auto-crossposter would pull in the whole reblog chain and that's obnoxious.

My response to WritScrib, the newest attempt at a tumblr alternative (tl;dr - DW has 90% of the features already, would not implement 5% of them because they're bad ideas, and it would be far, far easier to add the extra 5% than reinventing the fucking wheel).

My additions to a conversation about fandom culture and history on social media and why you should use DW.

Basically I just want to shake people and scream 'DREAMWIDTH IS RIGHT FUCKING THERE OKAY'

(and now I'm going to try to calm down and go back to watching Nirvana in Fire and sewing)
Tags:
Sunday, July 16th, 2017 10:03


Title: IS [ai-esu]
Original Title: IS~男でも女でもない性~ (IS~Otoko Demo Onna Demo Nai Sei~)
Author: Rokuhana Chiyo
Publisher: Kiss Comics
Genre: Josei
Status in Japan: 17 volumes, complete
Scanlator: Dokukinoko Scans (translation by Megchan)
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: IS is a unique manga that realistically deals with the topic of intersexuality. It starts off with a couple shorts dealing with different intersex characters, but starting with the second volume, it becomes a regular series following one character from birth to adulthood.

Chapter Summary: Haru gets an answer from Ibuki. Meanwhile, Haru's childhood friend Leon has big news...



Chapter 75
Sunday, July 16th, 2017 02:16
1. I actually slept in this morning, which was really nice.

2. I'm so, so glad the weather's cooled down a bit. The forecast has us holding steady at high 70s for the next ten days, so that would be nice if it stays true!

3. Jasper really loves to curl up in the computer room closet lately, and the other day I poked my head in and instead of being in his usual spot on top of a box, he was actually stretched out behind a bunch of stuff and looking so cute!

Sunday, July 16th, 2017 10:13
So far today I have spontaneously woken up before 9am, un/loaded the dishwasher, and made myself pancakes (using batter from the freezer; thank you, past Alex). I do not feel a pressing need to immediately go back to sleep.

Yesterday, I swapped over which brand of fexofenadine I was taking (Chanelle Medical to Dr Reddy's, self), had an afternoon nap, and woke up feeling actually refreshed.

I don't care if this is entirely placebo effect, I'll take it.

(I'm pretty sure it's not, though -- I think my post-nasal drip is also reducing again. So.)
Sunday, July 16th, 2017 09:28
Previously unread.

This is the, what, ninth? eighth? book in Stross's The Laundry Files and the wheels on the hand-basket are truly on their way out, along a radial trajectory.

This book sees the return of many faces from previous books, as we slowly see things unwind around Bob. I am trying real hard to not let anything slip here, you see, as I feel that approaching the book spoiler-free is the most, ah, enjoyable? way of reading it. Surprising at least.

Anyway, Laundry Files, if you've read some of them before, you know what to expect. If you haven't, might I humbly suggest that this is perhaps not the best starting point (although it may well work as an intro novel). We do a fair bit of POV shifting in this book, even if it's primarily a "Bob" book (we also follow Mo, Mhari and Cassie, as well as the occasional follow-the-baddies).

All in all, a gripping read. I shall blame technology (and not being completely done with the previous book in time for the release) for taking this abysmally long to finish off something that was released a whole 4 days ago.
Tags:
Saturday, July 15th, 2017 22:03
Tonight I watched All the President's Men with my mom, since I keep seeing references to the Watergate scandal these days and I wanted to get a better understanding of it--so many sources assume such an intimate knowledge of it that I find them hard to untangle, so seeing it in movie format made it easier to understand. I came away with two big thoughts:

1. The quote I've always heard about Watergate is, "It's not the crime, it's the coverup." Which makes sense in the specific sense of the Washington Post's investigation of Nixon--they kept uncovering facts that in themselves were completely inconsequential; what led them on was the fact that shortly after, the person who disclosed that fact would issue a terrified denial that the fact was untrue, they had never said the fact was true, they'd never heard of anyone connected to the fact, and they'd never issued a previous statement about the fact at all.

Whereas the truth I'd never quite realized is that Nixon's crimes were in fact far worse than what he did to cover them up. I grew up hearing vague explanations like "Nixon paid someone to keep quiet" or "Nixon recorded conversations" as to what the wrongdoing was--not the final, absolute fact, which was that Nixon put the government to work destroying his political opponents, and only got caught at a bare tenth of it. And I can't tell if that's because the grandparents who set the political tone of my childhood were very politically conservative, or... what. But a lot of hippie conspiracy theories seem a lot less crazy to me now.

2. Oh my god, seeing all those board rooms full of very important white men making all the decisions, seeing women continually relegated to the sidelines, only getting tiny hints of people of colour, is bizarre. That's... that's what the world used to look like. "Mona, take my calls," a reporter barks out as he dashes out to chase a lead. Is that actually Mona's job? Is Mona also a reporter, who has to chase her own leads down while being ignored and asked for coffee, Peggy-Carter-like? My god, there are still people who remember that world, who think they live there.
Saturday, July 15th, 2017 21:08
For the sake of pedantic clarity: much as I like saying that, I don't actually have scurvy -- quite.

I do presently have plasma vitamin C levels which (Google tells me) would qualify me for a scurvy diagnosis if I was showing any particular symptoms. Which I'm not, beyond my usual levels of fatigue and physical crud (there's stuff -- flare-up of an old injury, etc. -- which, with hindsight I could construe as maybe related somehow, but basically I'm very well, and said stuff would not have made me suspect that anything was wrong). Possibly I'd get symptoms if I let the deficiency run on longer, but that's an experiment I am disinclined to try.

N.B.: this is on an intake of fruit and veg which should easily supply far more than the RDA from diet alone, plus supplementation of a gramme of vitamin C a day.

Which is absurd mega-dose levels.

It used to be two grammes, as that's what it took to drag my blood levels back into the normal range when this showed up on test results before; this past year I suggested tapering down to half-as-ridiculous and monitoring my blood levels to see if they stayed okay. Which they did, at least until last autumn.

Then I was getting a blood test for something else completely, my GP suggested checking my vitamin C levels, and boom, they have fallen through the floor again.

So now, back to double-ridiculous doses and waiting to re-test.

My medical Google-fu is usually pretty good, but it's failed me so far on this. I've asked my doctor to consult colleagues and see if I should be referred to a relevant consultant or WTF, on the basis that it's such a bizarre and extreme test result we should probably see if there's an underlying reason that could or should be treated (or, for example, something which might cause the test to give inaccurate results).

Anyway, I thought I'd lob it to the hive mind in case anyone's heard of a similar case or know of something that could cause this, because I am so baffled. And I realize that my belief that bizarre medical things should happen because of reasons has been shown to be delusional before, but still.

... maybe I have a tapeworm that consumes nothing but vitamin C.
Saturday, July 15th, 2017 13:55
Reread.

This is the first book in the Sptterjay series, set in Asher's Polity world.

Time-wie, the Spatterjay books fall well after the rest of the series (bar, possibly, Transformation), but as the first two books takes place entirely (or almost entirely) on the planet of Spatterjay (see how the planet meshes with the name of the series...), it's not massively important exactly how it lines up timewise.

We follow a couple of different viewpoint characters. Ehrlin is a Hooper (that is, someone who's been infected by the leech virus, present in most (if not all) lifeforms on Spatterjay), who's been away from Spatterjay for a while, having adventures. Janer is employed by a sentient hornet hive, that he (some decades ago) spent two years indentured to, for killing one of its bodies at a football match. Sable Keech is a reif (basically a cyber-enhanced walking corpse), and ECS monitor. Sniper, a war drone. And Windcatcher, which I shall say nothing about. And a few more, who get walk-on POV roles.

Fundamentally, this is a story about loss and revenge. And how these things change, as time passes. I guess there's some talk about life and what immortality may mean for the human condition.

Again, this is a Polity book so it's kinda grimdark, in places.
Tags:
Saturday, July 15th, 2017 11:07
After Leeds I met up with friend L, and we proceeded to Penrith, and then on foot out of town to an outlying mixed rural/industrial area (it was weird. It had sheep and a Local Business Park and a cake factory), where our accommodation was a 'camping pod' in a former orchard. Pretty cool, aside from getting rained on heavily to get there.

Saturday we marched up the road to the Rheged centre (me: oh, this are must have been part of Rheged! L: no, Rheged is a welsh place name, there was this king, Urien Rheged... me: let me tell you a thing about the fifth and sixth centuries) and took a bus down to Keswick, in the Lake District. It was very beautiful, we walked around Derwent Water, many sheep much scenery very wow (photos forthcoming see [tumblr.com profile] speculumannorum).

However, before setting off on the scenic part of the expedition we went to A PENCIL MUSEUM. And learned about the history of pencils. I'm not sure it was quite worth the 5 pound entry (it would've if we'd had kids with us: there was a whole room of colouring-in play space), but it was pretty awesome. Special points to the display on the Cumberland Map and Compass Pencil, produced at the behest of Charles Fraser Smith, the British govt's secret gadgets-commissioner for WWII.

I do so love weirdly specific museums.
Saturday, July 15th, 2017 01:21
1. It looks like maybe they're done (or mostly done) with the work they've been doing on our street. If nothing else, it's the weekend, so there will be quiet for two days, but I really hope they're done for good!

2. We had some watermelon tonight and it was pretty tasty! Not the best I've ever had or anything, but pretty good. I like that the cut watermelons we sell at work aren't higher priced than the whole ones (a lot of stores, the cut ones are way more expensive). I like being able to just buy a quarter (or sometimes half) at a time.

3. The new box we got the other day is a hit with all three kitties. (Though I haven't gotten a pic of Jasper in it yet.)

Friday, July 14th, 2017 08:13
L has just started, within the last day or so, to do a new kind of pretend play. He's been playing "I'm cooking" or "I'm driving", activities that happen in real life, for months. But now he's adding in, "I'm a kitty!" or "You're a puppy!" and acting it out by meowing or crawling on all fours.

This morning in the car, he said that he was a kitty and I was a puppy and he was my mama. I said, "L, if you're a kitty, how can you be my mama if I'm a puppy?" Sidestepping this logic, he said, "Mama, you a SAD puppy and I'm your mama." I made some sad puppy sounds and then said, "Mama, how are you going to make me feel better?" He said, "Here's Kitty!" (meaning his beloved stuffy). So I hugged Kitty and gave her back (always give Kitty back!). Hugging Kitty solves all problems, so that was that, and then he went on to other details of our commute ("There's a gas station! There's a cement truck!").

Kids! Development! So weird and cool.
Friday, July 14th, 2017 02:46
1. We went out to lunch with my aunt today, who is in town for a few days.

2. I got in some Zelda time this evening. That new map feature is just so awesome. I would have sworn that I had completely explored everywhere, but with the tracker on, I could see that there were some huge areas I'd managed to just completely go around every time, including one which had a shrine in it. So I did that, farmed some more materials and was able to upgrade a few more armor bits, found some Koroks, got another couple quests done, and now I am that much closer to feeling like I could go beat Ganon and be satisfied with my level of completion (definitely want to get the last two shrines and the last memory; I'm not going to force myself to upgrade all the armor sets just to say I did, because at this point that's still going to require a lot of farming, and I'm probably not going to try and get every last quest done). Still not sure if I want to do the Master Sword trial this game or save it for my next game... I'm definitely going to save the new armor quests for the next game, just to have something new to do.

3. Chloe was being super cute this afternoon.

Friday, July 14th, 2017 10:49


Thing I learned: Alan Doyle's current touring band, the Alan Doyle Trio (not the Beautiful Gypsies, good news on the not-having-a-racist-band-name front) were touring with the Barenaked Ladies in April. And my fave track from the 2015 album was co-written with the lead dude from BNL. (Who is also getting round and old lookin' and that hasn't decreased my attraction to him either, sigh.)

Also the attractive lady with the violin is Kendall Carson.

The video for Summer Summer Night was released yesterday and I'm not impressed. They seem to have decided that Alan is too old to front a scene about dreamy summer beach parties, which, OKAY, but I am not interested in desaturated slomo shots of blandly attractive young people dancing. At the expense of shots of Alan and his ridiculous face and/or Kendall Carson and her... everything.

So I'm watching this live video instead.
Tags:
Friday, July 14th, 2017 00:09
What are you currently reading?
I made progress on both the books I had just cracked open last week: over halfway through on Miss Peregrin's Home for Peculiar Children and about 10% on The History of Forgetting: Los Angeles and the Erasure of Memory, which is definitely going to take me longer (it's only 300 pages, but has small print, plus it's a physical book which means I'm not picking it up as often as I would an ebook).

I also got Ella of All-of-a-Kind Family from the library the other day and have read about a third of it. I never read this one as a kid, but I'm enjoying it just as much as the earlier books.

What did you recently finish reading?
Last week I got Alison Bechdel's Fun Home at the library. I went to pick up a book I had on hold, and there were some shelves of comics right next to the holds and this grabbed my eye. I really loved it. I've heard of Alison Bechdel and I've heard of Fun Home, but I really had no idea what it was about other than a vague idea that it was about her rocky relationship with her father, which I had always assumed meant he was homophobic. I had no idea he was gay himself.

Today in the mail I got The Middleman: Doomsday Armageddon Apocalypse, which I had ordered because we finished the show recently. Back when I watched the show the first time, I did watch the panel reading of the finale done at Comic Con or wherever, but I don't even know if I knew there was a comic of it at the time (or I might have known and just not gotten it because it was expensive...this was $25 for an eighty-page comic!) but anyway, I'd totally forgotten the plot of the final episode anyway, so I was eager to read this and refresh my memory. I actually think the show ends just fine on episode twelve, but I like this as well.

I also read Y: The Last Man volume nine, though did not actually get to the final volume yet, since I keep getting distracted by other things.

What do you think you'll read next?
I have three books on Goodreads marked as "currently reading" that I haven't actually started reading yet, so those for sure! They are Alison Bechdel's Are You My Mother?, the final volume of Y: The Last Man, and Sawtelle: West Los Angeles's Japantown (Images of America: California), which I also received from Amazon today.
Friday, July 14th, 2017 08:52
I was just thinking yesterday that Auspol had been suspiciously normal, compared to the UK and the US, for at least a week.

NEVER FEAR. Today I woke up to news of:

A: SECRET KIWI IN THE SENATE

and

B: Turnbull's plans to override the laws of mathematics.

I'm not sure what's best about item A: that Scott Ludlam has been an illegitimate senator all this time, or that he DIDN'T REALISE HE WAS A KIWI. He 'didn't realise citizenship followed you like that'. You're a SENATOR, sir.* How many immigration debates have you slept through?

Item B is pure gold and the best motivation I have ever heard for subscribing to a VPN service. Declare your allegiance to the laws of mathematics!

* Wait, no you're not. You've never actually been a Senator. You've just been... in the Senate. A secret Kiwi in the senate.
Tags:
Thursday, July 13th, 2017 22:57
This week I finally got around to seeing what happened if I tried making Kardemummebullar, seeing as I tend to want to eat them more often than I'm in Sweden. Recipe taken from BBC Good Food, and archived against that august institution's eventual demise.

Read more... )
Thursday, July 13th, 2017 19:22
Your first wheelchair by [personal profile] kaberett was brilliant for helping me upgrade from Shopmobility's hire chair to something designed for active use and being pushed by the person in it rather than a carer.

The Spinal Cord Injury Empowerment Project by the University of Washington has excellent videos on wheelchair skills. The American accent and cheery tone grates after a while, but it's very useful info and nicely bite-sized.
Thursday, July 13th, 2017 08:30
Someone on my reading circle recently (within the last month?) quoted someone else on dreamwidth who wrote a post that boiled down to, "Here's a list of nine things that your brain wants you to think you're supposed to be able to do flawlessly all at once, but in reality most people manage two at most," those two being "holding down a job" and "keeping a living space livable". Some of the others were, like, "meaningful artistic practice", "gregarious and active friend circle", etc.

I wanted to reread, but I can't remember who posted it or when. Does this ring any bells?
Thursday, July 13th, 2017 08:36
Experienced recently, keeping it short here more as a log than as reviews:

Reading:
Nicola Griffith's Slow River on an accurate recommendation from [personal profile] watersword. So good. Wow for the realistic abuse content, ggggnnnnnngggh for the competence in water treatment facility management scenes. I feel like people who liked China Mountain Zhang, for the personal journey stuff and the mundane futuristic scifi stuff and the emphasis on physical labor and managing complicated processes, might be likely to also like this.

(Reread) a few Tamora Pierce books from The Protector Of the Small quartet for comfort. Still comforting.

All the Birds in the Sky: finished, LOVED everything except the last 10 pages which were just okay.

Started Hild and am having a tough time getting the world into my head.

Am most of the way through Harry Potter and the Cursed Child which is fairly breezy.

A bunch of Jon Bois stuff which is SO GREAT.

Visual:

In Transit, documentary, loving and unexpected. Way more about people and way less about the train itself than I thought we'd see. I had a lot of nostalgia for my times on the Empire Builder.

Schindler's List -- saw this for the first time. Stunning, of course. I'm glad I saw it on the big screen. I am glad I saw it on a Friday night when I'd had a good day and I didn't have anything in particular to do the next couple days.

Jurassic Park -- awesome and fun, maybe my 3rd or 4th time seeing it. I could probably see this once every 12-18 months.

Steven Universe -- all caught up now, love the songs, love Lion, amazed and surprised every few episodes.

A Man For All Seasons -- saw this in high school I think? So many good burns in this movie, and a fascinating portrayal of an actual conservative.

Wonder Woman -- better as an Event than as a movie (in contrast some movies don't have to be Events, like, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever or whatever). The message the movie wants to speak is in direct opposition to the basic visual and structural form of a tentpole superhero blockbuster film. But there are fun bits.

Yuri!!! On Ice -- I'm glad I saw this and I respect it a lot but I don't love it. I think that it's the restaurant that doesn't punch you in the face for a bunch of the intended audience, and I'm not part of that audience.

Audio:

Leonard's podcasted conversations with our friend Lucian about 90s nostalgia -- I enjoyed Lucian's recurring "because Kurt Cobain" explanations of his teenage quirks.