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Thursday, January 19th, 2017 18:35
Maybe we won't be okay, and maybe that "we" includes little things like "ourselves," "our democracy," and "our planet." But if we're actually at the end of all things, then dammit, I want to go down standing in the rain with you folks, us and an axe against an army of demons and a dragon.

I can't think of a better series finale for America than that.

Spike: And in terms of a plan?
Angel: We fight.
Spike: Bit more specific?
Angel: Well, personally, I kinda wanna slay the dragon.

Last shot from the Angel series finale. Gunn, Angel, Illyria, and Lorne standing in the rain.


(And if we work really hard and are really lucky, then whooo, we'll get renewed with a new showrunner!)

(I know, this metaphor is getting away from me.)
Thursday, January 19th, 2017 14:47
There's been a sudden wave of people concerned about the Meitu selfie app's use of unique phone IDs. Here's what we know: the app will transmit your phone's IMEI (a unique per-phone identifier that can't be altered under normal circumstances) to servers in China. It's able to obtain this value because it asks for a permission called READ_PHONE_STATE, which (if granted) means that the app can obtain various bits of information about your phone including those unique IDs and whether you're currently on a call.

Why would anybody want these IDs? The simple answer is that app authors mostly make money by selling advertising, and advertisers like to know who's seeing their advertisements. The more app views they can tie to a single individual, the more they can track that user's response to different kinds of adverts and the more targeted (and, they hope, more profitable) the advertising towards that user. Using the same ID between multiple apps makes this easier, and so using a device-level ID rather than an app-level one is preferred. The IMEI is the most stable ID on Android devices, persisting even across factory resets.

The downside of using a device-level ID is, well, whoever has that data knows a lot about what you're running. That lets them tailor adverts to your tastes, but there are certainly circumstances where that could be embarrassing or even compromising. Using the IMEI for this is even worse, since it's also used for fundamental telephony functions - for instance, when a phone is reported stolen, its IMEI is added to a blacklist and networks will refuse to allow it to join. A sufficiently malicious person could potentially report your phone stolen and get it blocked by providing your IMEI. And phone networks are obviously able to track devices using them, so someone with enough access could figure out who you are from your app usage and then track you via your IMEI. But realistically, anyone with that level of access to the phone network could just identify you via other means. There's no reason to believe that this is part of a nefarious Chinese plot.

Is there anything you can do about this? On Android 6 and later, yes. Go to settings, hit apps, hit the gear menu in the top right, choose "App permissions" and scroll down to phone. Under there you'll see all apps that have permission to obtain this information, and you can turn them off. Doing so may cause some apps to crash or otherwise misbehave, whereas newer apps may simply ask for you to grant the permission again and refuse to do so if you don't.

Meitu isn't especially rare in this respect. Over 50% of the Android apps I have handy request your IMEI, although I haven't tracked what they all do with it. It's certainly something to be concerned about, but Meitu isn't especially rare here - there are big-name apps that do exactly the same thing. There's a legitimate question over whether Android should be making it so easy for apps to obtain this level of identifying information without more explicit informed consent from the user, but until Google do anything to make it more difficult, apps will continue making use of this information. Let's turn this into a conversation about user privacy online rather than blaming one specific example.
Thursday, January 19th, 2017 20:43
Vengeance on Varos was my favourite Colin Baker story back in the day which, to be honest, is damning with faint praise. It embodies many of the excesses of the era and redeems itself mostly through a consistency of tone and presentation, Martin Jarvis and an interesting and well-executed framing device.

Let's face it, a story set inside a "punishment dome" complete with acid baths, cannibals and a sadistic alien that leers and exults over any prospect of death and cruelty is a very Colin Baker kind of premise. I strongly suspect the story was influenced by Running Man though I don't know for sure. It's at the edge of the sort of setting any era of Doctor Who might have chosen, but it gives the appearance of relishing its more horrific moments for the spectacle rather than for the purpose they serve in telling the tale. Moreover, it lacks the lightness of touch in delivering moments of relief that other eras might have achieved. I have a feeling that Saward's vision for the show was as a black comedy. Vengeance on Varos succeeds in being dark and nasty but never really achieves (or perhaps even attempts) to be comic. It's possibly the nastiest story in this season, though at least it appears to know what it wants to do tonally which isn't always the case.

It's easy to point at what is going wrong here. Unlike a lot of the era the director isn't trying to flood the set with vast amounts of light, but even so it somehow manages to look gaudy rather than atmospheric a lot of the time. The characters with whom we are supposed to sympathise, the rebels Jondar and Areta (who are sufficiently forgettable I've just had to look up their names) are, frankly bland, dull and woodenly acted. A lot of it doesn't make sense at the "world-building" level (for instance the perils and traps of the punishment dome mostly turn out to be a) a bit rubbish and b) well-known to the audience and thus, theoretically, the prisoners). This is mostly possible to overlook, but less so the moment at the end where the price of Zeiton Seven ore rises because an alternative source has been found (my grasp of economics is shakey but I'm fairly sure the price normally drops if supply increases - assuming demand remains the same*).

On the other hand Martin Jarvis delivers an excellent performance as the Governor, invoking our sympathy while nevertheless suggesting that this is a man who has only really found the ability to show compassion and a desire to change the system now he is in a position where the system is more or less actively trying to kill him. Where Vengeance on Varos really succeeds is in the framing device. It takes the concept that the punishment dome is a form of entertainment and gives us the couple, Arak and Etta, who watch events unfolding, bicker about them, yet never take part in the action except for the obligatory votes on Governor policy. In the light of recent political upheavals some of it seems remarkably prescient. Arak desires to vote against the Governor no matter what. "What will the next one do differently?" Etta asks. "Anything, Everything," Arak more or less shrugs in return. He's voting for change without any particular interest in what the change is to. Of course it's prescient too, given that this was produced before the Internet and Reality TV, about our new ability to provide instantaneous feedback on anything and everything.

There are one or two other moments where Vengeance on Varos uses the conceit that all is for entertainment well. Most notably the episode 1 cliff-hanger that ends, not with the Doctor apparently dying, but the camera feed focused on his corpse and the Governor, in the role of director, saying "and cut it, now" as the feed goes blank. The final moments are also a triumph, if a somewhat nihilistic one. As Arak and Etta observe the blank screen that is supposed to symbolise their new freedom they ponder vacantly over what they are to do now.

When I was a teenager I think I was probably as fond of dystopias as the modern teenager, though with a rather sparser supply since YA fiction, as a marketing niche, was yet to be invented. I thought very highly of Vengeance on Varos at the time and I can see now that its tone and tropes match up nicely with with those particular preferences. These days I like my Doctor Who to have more of a focus on humour and entertainment and less of a desire to imagine the unpleasant and grim. As such Vengeance on Varos looks pretty flawed (though, as I say, these are the flaws of the era). Even so it is hard to ignore that there are some things it does extremely well (where so much Colin Baker Doctor Who manages to fumble its good ideas) and somewhat reluctantly I think it remains my favourite Colin Baker story.

*Obviously the price has been kept artificially low but even so it's hard to see how discovery of an alternative source strengthens the Varosian bargainning hand.
Thursday, January 19th, 2017 10:11
This article is important:

"This is not going to be a free and fair exchange of ideas. This is going to be a fight. If you have not absorbed that fact yet, you are already losing."


And I want to talk about false equivalences between Trump and Obama, or between Trump and Clinton.

We could have a free and fair exchange of ideas with Obama. That's why he pardoned Chelsea Manning. He's someone I have serious political disagreements with. That's why he didn't pardon Leonard Peltier. Still, he is a person who uses facts and reason to draw conclusions, and operates based on the rule of law.

We could have a free and fair exchange of ideas with Clinton. That's why she changed her way of talking about racial justice from "All Lives Matter" to acknowledgment of systemic inequality after she met with Black Lives Matter activists. She's someone I have serious political disagreements with. That's why she continued to talk about law and order and in favor of building up the military-industrial complex. Still, she is a person who uses facts and reason to draw conclusions, and operates based on the rule of law.

Trump operates based on power, domination, and violence, not a free and fair exchange of ideas. We've seen how he models with that with respect to women's bodies, his business relationships, and reporters who criticize him. His words and actions are the words and actions of a fascist, a totalitarian, an authoritarian.

People say to assume good faith, so within the scope of this post, I'm going to assume that people saying things like, "Some people thought Obama was the antichrist, and that's just the same as some people thinking Trump is a fascist", or things like, "It would be partisan to not meet with Trump when we would meet with Clinton" sincerely believe that.

You're still allowed to conclude, based on the evidence available to you, that Trump is a fascist: that his words and actions meet the definition of fascism. One definition of fascism is "an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization." Words have meaning; it's okay to be part of a shared understanding of what words mean even though no word has "objective" meaning and language is subjective.

You're still allowed to conclude, based on the evidence available to you, that when one party is a fascist party, it is neither morally nor tactically wrong to be partisan. If resisting fascism makes me partisan, then I am partisan. I don't see what's wrong with that. Being partisan means I have beliefs. I don't see what's wrong with holding moral and ethical precepts.

Even if some people say that vaccines are dangerous, you're still allowed to vaccinate your children against polio if you believe those people are wrong.

Equating disagreement within an aspirationally democratic framework with disagreement about whether democracy is worth aspiring to is the epitome of a false equivalence. When the person expressing these thoughts believes them, it means they need to think harder and more critically. When the person expressing these thoughts does not believe them, that's called propaganda: information distributed not to express a person's point of view but to influence action.

We may be in a post-truth world, but that does not mean your own thinking needs to be post-truth. We need every bit of your intellect and discernment right now. You do not need to set your own intellect on fire to keep fascists warm.
Thursday, January 19th, 2017 00:20
1. It rained today and is supposed to rain a lot for the next few days!

2. This morning I got up from my chair here in the computer room and realised my pants were wet and at first I was afraid Jasper had peed on the blanket that's on my chair, but upon closer inspection, it didn't smell like pee, just cat food, so either he barfed a bit or stepped in his food and wiped it on the blanket, either of which is better than him peeing on something.

3. Tonight after I got off work, we went down to the mall to go to Cheesecake Factory. We just got an appetizer and cheesecake, but even the appetizer ended up being too filling for us to eat the cheesecake, so we brought that home and were still too full all night to eat any, so we still have it for tomorrow. The appetizer we got was their nachos, which were delicious. Really thick, crunchy, salty chips with lots of tasty toppings.

4. We also went to Hot Topic and the Disney Store while we were down there, and apparently that Hot Topic is going out of business, so everything was 50% off. Carla got a Stitch mug, Pikachu earrings, and some other stuff, all for super cheap.

5. Look at this sleepy Molly. So relaxed up on the top shelf where no kittens can bother her.

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 22:47
Nóirín Plunkett died a year and a half ago. At the time of their death, their ex-spouse Michael Schwern was busy abusing the court system to terrorize Nóirín, suing Nóirín because their friends (of whom I am one) talked online about Schwern's arrest for domestic violence. (Yep, somehow it was Nóirín's fault that Schwern got himself arrested and that other people copied/pasted the link to his arrest record into tweets.)

Who is Schwern? Well, he's the kind of guy who can't stop trying to extort money from his ex even after they're in the grave, and he continued his lawsuit, targeting Nóirín's father. His attorney, a charming fellow named Bear Wilner-Nugent who defends rapists for fun and profit, was happy to go along for the ride. This type of lawsuit is known as a SLAPP lawsuit, because its goal was to silence and intimidate victims who talk about their experiences with sexual assault in public.

Nóirín not being around to talk about it further, there's no one alive who can say for sure that Schwern raped Nóirín. It would be understandable if other people looked at the possibility of being sued for $30,000,000 for telling the truth, and said nothing. What we can say is that Schwern was indecent enough not only to sue his ex-partner for (allegedly) talking about it, but to continue the lawsuit after that person died. You can decide for yourself whether Schwern is a rapist or just somebody who thought suing a corpse was a good way to rehabilitate his reputation.

Thankfully, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of freedom of speech, in favor of victims, and against Schwern and Wilner-Nugent's meritless lawsuit; you can read the decision (PDF) for yourself, but a content warning for graphic descriptions of rape applies. The decision also misgenders Nóirín, whose pronouns are they/them.

None of this will bring my friend back to life, but in these times, it's good to see justice done.
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Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 22:06


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

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

Chapter Summary: Just when things were starting to get serious with Kawada-san...



Chapter 13: Enough Said
Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 20:59
[personal profile] firecat reminded me that I really do want to do this most weeks.

Reading )

Listening )

Watching )

Playing )
Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 14:43
I may be active on IRC at other times this coming week, but these are the dates and times I'm fairly sure I can commit to being open to conversation.

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

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

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

Here's the link for my available meeting times for the seven-day period starting January 20:

http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090D45AEAD2DAAF94-office21
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Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 19:47
Reading: Still Yuletide fic downloaded on Christmas day, if you will credit it - though there has also been a lack of reading time this week.

Listening: The usual mix of podcasts. I'm beginning to think Stuff you Missed in History is a bit too fact heavy and discussion/interpretation light to really appeal to me, though I liked a recent episode on the History of Beer. I was amused that The Doctor Who Book Club really didn't like The Pit (which has always been a byword for a terrible Who novel but I recall mostly being a bit 'meh' about rather than actively disliking). Even so the podcast didn't manage to score it less than 2/10. Verity Podcast continues to maintain a high standard, though I think they rate Freema Agyeman more highly as an actress than I do.

Watching: The Avengers Season 4 is playing well with the unwashed masses (though this may be because I've variously only had one of them to watch with rather than both - I think their combined forces would tend more towards Futurama).
Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 19:49
Present!Cesy is very grateful to Past!Cesy for getting the pigs-in-blankets out of the freezer yesterday.

Dinner so far consists of mocktails, pigs-in-blankets, chocolate brownies, and a few carrot sticks as a nod to health. I might need to add something. It's been one of those days at work and I have more to do. But I'm still smiling, even if at times it verges on a grimace. It's satisfying work in between bouts of frustration.
Tags:
Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 12:24
The key to cleaning for me seems to be, just keep cleaning. Exactly like Dory: it doesn't matter *what* I'm cleaning--I forget about tasks mid-task--but I just keep going and there's so much to clean that it doesn't matter, something is always getting cleaner, then I go back to that room and I'm like, oh yeah, I was in the middle of that wasn't I, and I go back to it.

Questions that arise during cleaning:

- Do I really need five lanyards?

- What is on this USB drive? And this one? And this one...?

- Four sets of shoe insoles that are way too big for me, that I've kept without using for years: keep LONGER? ...yes plz.

- But what if someone NEEDS this wired mouse for a PC when we use bluetooth mouses and Macs?

- Is the moment I shred and recycle these old student exams the moment when a student will come back and demand that I justify their grade?

- I have three million push pins and no pinboard. I should probably keep them, right?

The list of questions will grow, undoubtedly.
Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 00:12
1. With the bedroom closed off, Jasper hasn't had any other accidents.

2. Carla got the baby gate taken to the UPS store today. We didn't even open the package (in fact, I had tried to cancel the order before it was shipped, but it was too late). It was only $16, but I'm glad that's one less thing we need.

3. I have fallen back into the bad habit of not eating much in the way of veggies again lately and my digestive system is not happy about it, so I'm trying to get back to eating salads for dinner several times a week and I had a delicious one tonight. Having a huge salad for lunch every day is one thing I really miss from my days of working from home. Now I don't even eat any meals at work, maybe just a quick snack, because I never have time to sit and eat, but even when I did take a lunch break, I never felt like taking a salad because it's a pain in the ass.

4. Carla caught Jasper just as he was about to yawn and he looks super adorable.

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 23:23
Breaking with recent tradition here but I have a lot of feelings about this movie and so here are a bunch of spoilers...

seriously a lot of spoilers )

ANYWAY in short you guys should all see this movie and I'm 100% sure there are things I missed and probably I should watch it again some times, I think it would stand up to multiple viewings. I also have plans to read the book.
Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 19:47
Way way back in 1981 the BBC ran a "Five Faces of Doctor Who" season in which they showed one story from each of the first four Doctors (ending with a repeat of Logopolis and Tom Baker regenerating into Peter Davison), except for the third Doctor who got two stories. It's difficult to say how incredibly exciting this was to a young Doctor Who fan at the time. The two stories picked for the third Doctor were The Three Doctors and Carnival of Monsters. I assume they wanted to show both the anniversary multi-doctor story as part of the "five faces" theme but also a more typical story. I never really understood the inclusion of Carnival of Monsters which did not (insofar as one could judge from Malcolm Hulke and Terrance Dicks' The Making of Doctor Who) seem to be a particularly significant Pertwee story, even if one assumes they were restricting themselves to four parters.

I was a little surprised by Tame Layman's enthusiasm for this however. He also had memories of seeing it at some point (possibly also as part of the Five Faces season) and recalled it as being a particularly good Pertwee story. The Teenager was summoned so that she could experience it as well.

I don't know. The story is generally pretty pacey, so it doesn't suffer from the longueurs of some early Doctor Who but I'd say that almost everything happening outside the miniscope on Inter Minor is done in a rather broad and heavy-handed fashion. The CSO, while not the worst Doctor Who has ever committed, is among the dodgier the show has inflicted upon the audience and it seems more obvious than usual that the budget wasn't really stretching to many sets.

The parts of the story set on the SS Bernice are among the best ,in part I would say because both the actors and the producers of sets and costumes were far more comfortable with portraying the 1920s than fantastical machines or aliens. The reveal that actually the first parts of the story are taking place inside some kind of peep show is clever and handled well. Still I'd argue that one good idea doesn't make a solid story.

It's fun but I don't really get the enthusiasm. Still, Tame Layman and Teenager enjoyed it so who am I to judge?
Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 07:08
I just got this email from Deray McKesson, and I have found my new project. I hope some of you will join, too.


Today, we launch the Resistance Manual -- an open-source platform to collect information/resources to resist Trump's agenda & to continue making progress towards equity and justice in America.

Explore the manual to learn about the policies the incoming administration plans to pursue, how they'll impact our communities, and what you can do to stop them through federal, state, and local advocacy.

You can also find and contribute essential readings in resistance, learn and contribute information about policy issues in your state, and view a growing list of tools and organizations that can help to strengthen your advocacy efforts.

The manual will grow over time as more and more people contribute updates, facts and resources to it. As such, we encourage you to contribute important information for others to read.

If you would like to assist us in growing the content within the Resistance Manual, please reply to this e-mail directly. [The email came from deray at thisisthemovement dot org, but the wiki recommends info@staywoke.org as a contact address.]

We also urge you to dial (844)-6-RESIST to tell Congress to support the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and to vote against Jeff Sessions.

Get educated. Get organized. Take Action.

// DeRay, Netta, Brittany, & Sam

P.S. Shout-out to Chi/Donahoe for assisting with Design.

# of American adults who support the Black Lives Matter movement: 104 million
# of American adults who voted for Donald Trump: 63 million
# of reported incidents of hate since the election: 1094+
Tuesday, January 17th, 2017 01:45
1. At some point yesterday, Jasper had an accident on the bed again and we didn't notice until we went to bed and smelled it. So this time we moved his carrier and food into the computer room and are just keeping the bedroom closed at all times until he has a chance to forget that behavior. He doesn't mind us closing the door (though he does sometimes try to get in there when we open it), but Chloe does not like us being in there without her and will scratch and bang on the door to make her displeasure known. >_<

However, it hasn't been as bad as I was fearing. She made noise when she wanted to be fed in the morning, and once again after that when she felt we'd been in there too long after I went back to bed after feeding her, but she didn't do it during the night, and she doesn't seem to care when we're not in there, so that means she's not doing it during the day.

In addition to washing all the blankets again today (ugh, I hate to think of how much water we've wasted on washing blankets in the past few days!), we plan to take the comforter to get professionally cleaned, so hopefully between those things, that will end the accidents.

2. We went to Target today to get another litter box because the ones we got this week were just whatever they had at the supermarket, which are quite small. It's fine for Jasper, but the girls definitely seem cramped, and the sides are low so it's easier to scatter litter. (And Jasper only seems to want to use the large one! For all everyone was saying get him his own box, he only wants to use the one they use, lol. But the girls have been using the small one we put by the back door in addition to the big one.) But then Target was out of the large ones, too! However, I did get another scoop, so I don't have to keep going back to the computer room to get the scoop when I need to scoop the other box.

And even better, I got new jeans! I have been wearing an emergency pair that was just the only thing I could find when my previous ones tore and they really fit badly. It's easier to find jeans now that I'm in regular sizes and not "big and tall", but I was looking for a 40 or 42, which can still be difficult to find (and to find good fitting ones). Well, today on a whim I decided to try on a pair of 38s and they fit so well! Best fitting jeans I've worn maybe since I was in high school or college. And they had a second pair, so I grabbed those as well. They're super comfy and the material is not too heavy and they're close fitting but not so "skinny" that I can't fit stuff in my pockets (which is why I had to stop buying the kind I liked at Old Navy several years ago, because they changed the pockets) and they don't fall down all the time and I actually look pretty good in them! I also found two nice Star Wars t-shirts.

3. We went out to lunch with my aunt Amy who is visiting from Minnesota. She's only eleven years older than me, so she's been more like an older sister to me and she's the only one of my immediate family who's not an ultra conservative Christian so I really wish I could see her more often, but she moved to Oregon when I was in junior high and then moved from there to Minnesota a few years ago. It was really good seeing her and we had a nice lunch.

4. I posted manga (three chapters!) and finished translating chapters of two other things, which will hopefully be posted in the near future as well.

5. This warm bundle of kitten slept on me a lot today.



(I really need to make a Jasper icon! And also some new Chloe and Molly icons because the ones I have are of them at about Jasper's age!)
Monday, January 16th, 2017 21:44
I wish I could bottle whatever's getting me to actually write every day and submit my work. I would be a kajillionaire.
Monday, January 16th, 2017 18:55
It's been a little slow going this month, but I think I'm finally starting to get back into the swing of things, so here's three new chapters of Himegoto to start off the final volume.



Title: Himegoto
Original Title: ヒメゴト~十九歳の制服~ (Himegoto~Juukyuu Sai no Seifuku~)
Author: Minenami Ryou
Publisher: Big Comics
Genre: Seinen
Status in Japan: 8 volumes, complete
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Migeru
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: This is the story of three college freshmen with secrets: Yuki, aka Yoshiki, a boyish girl who gets off on wearing her old high school uniform skirt; Mikako, who acts innocent around her classmates, but at night pretends to be a 15-year-old and has sex for money; and finally there's Kaito, who's obsessed with Mikako to the point of dressing up like her.

Chapter Summary: Kaito has one last chance to choose.



Chapter 89: Smile
Chapter 90: Pain
Chapter 91: Reflection
Monday, January 16th, 2017 14:45
Well, a guarded hooray. Today I applied for the job for which I've been working on the application for two months. Now, I get to go to work on all the chores and errands I've been putting off in the meanwhile. During the holiday break, [personal profile] bell did an amazing job of cleaning and organizing around the house. I figure it's my turn to step up!

...then today I felt awful, in the stomachal region. Fail meme would ban discussion of my ills, is what I am saying. I feel fine until I don't, and then urgh, and then I feel fine again. Luckily I'm at home for the day and nothing urgent to do. I have made a gesture towards the dishwasher. Surely this is sufficient.

boring to-do list )
Monday, January 16th, 2017 15:34

I find it amusing in a dark way that I have acquired a movie that I will be first in line to purchase in physical form. It's such a good movie, though. I needs it, precious.

Also, Forest Whittaker is amazing.

I have Nico today, as Jenna is working and so is Brent and Momala couldn't watch him (that's Jenna's mom) and public schools are out. He's enjoying Netflix and Ferdinand is enjoying being able to lie on someone.

I've been printing a tiny brain to throw in my folio for work. It'll help when I need to know things for work and otherwise.

I am tired. But I think I need to not take a nap.

Monday, January 16th, 2017 18:02
Any other London DWers going (or considering going) on the Women's March on London this Saturday?

Note: the London march explicitly welcomes people of all genders, and says in their FAQ:

"The march was given its name by those who started this initiative in Washington DC. In solidarity, we adopted the name as the march is spearheaded BY women, but importantly is FOR everyone."
Monday, January 16th, 2017 12:10
'We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was "legal" and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was "illegal." It was "illegal" to aid and comfort a Jew in Hitler's Germany. Even so, I am sure that, had I lived in Germany at the time, I would have aided and comforted my Jewish brothers. If today I lived in a Communist country where certain principles dear to the Christian faith are suppressed, I would openly advocate disobeying that country's antireligious laws.

I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to "order" than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

In your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn't this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn't this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn't this like condemning Jesus because his unique God consciousness and never ceasing devotion to God's will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion? We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber. I had also hoped that the white moderate would reject the myth concerning time in relation to the struggle for freedom. I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: "All Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth." Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. We must use time creatively, in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do right. Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy and transform our pending national elegy into a creative psalm of brotherhood. Now is the time to lift our national policy from the quicksand of racial injustice to the solid rock of human dignity.'

-- Martin Luther King, Jr., "Letter from a Birmingham Jail", 1963
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Monday, January 16th, 2017 20:09
I have recently started wearing perfume occasionally, for the first time in years. I very rarely buy perfume, because it is always not quite right, and I don't like paying that much money for something that's wrong as well as being an unnecessary luxury. But actually, I have a few perfumes at home, from presents and things, and it makes much more sense to use them than leave them around until they evaporate. And it turns out that wearing nice scents does make me happier, even if they don't match the perfect scent I can never find.

Maybe I should look into BPAL or some other non-mainstream perfume again.
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Monday, January 16th, 2017 15:52
So, [twitter.com profile] curiousflowers and I are done, I think, with the first season of Be Good Johnny Weir and I've developed a wealth of headcanons based on the show, because of course I have.

discipline )

gayness )

Russia )

respect )

sex )
Monday, January 16th, 2017 00:37
Fandom is both long-remembering and always distracted by the new shiny. Shows and media properties stay in our lives for a while, some leaving because the viewership isn't there, others because they've reached the end of their story and now it's time to go. Some creators love their fans and are happy to share the space of their creations with others. (Some only if no money is made from the transaction.) Others are okay with fans, but only if they keep their distance and observe.

More than a few come to the fandom because their media failed to show they existed, and those stories needed to be told. Some came because their media had managed to populate itself with plenty of people like them, and lots of other diverse people, and posted invitations at the boundaries for anyone to come in. Others came because they loved the show and were certain a couple were destined for each other, and it never happened. So clearly there has to be a point where it does happen.

And then it gets stranger from there. Some come because they think characters should be subjected to new and strange scenarios, like being part of an apocalypse, or all members or patrons of a coffee shop (or a bar), or entwined in ways that transcend death and reincarnation. Some have built an elaborate universe of social functions that are enforced by instinct so deeply ingrained that they couldn't break it even if their lives depended on it. There's idfic, crack pairings, and plenty of Plot? What Plot? to go around. The enthusiasm of fandom in its excesses and opinions, and the diversity of those opinions, is quite the thing to behold and appreciate, even when those opinions differ.

Fandom takes care of its own (a lot of the time, anyway.) There are plenty of stories of people meeting, whether for drinks or romance, people providing aid to each other to meet bills, provide happiness, and even sometimes help with long-distance moves. That protectiveness can sometimes get in the way of things. Some people use fandom to cloak their beliefs and prejudices. Others use it to take advantage of others and behave poorly and disrespectfully, counting on fandom to be too afraid of getting rid of one of their own to discipline them or demand improvement of their behavior. Sometimes we succeed at getting them gone anyway, sometimes they turn out to be not a single entity but a small (or large) group that wants to speak for fandom and normalize their own behavior. Sometimes they turn out to be trolls, sometimes that turn out to be just intent on hurting anyone they can get within their sights, sometimes they want to burn the place down and replace it with their own version of it, whether for good or for ill. Those things cause disruptions, but they are either handled and sent back to the darkness from which they came, or welcomed and listened to and integrated as best as possible. (At least on the fannish side. Creators and studios often are hostile to ideas that request diversity of characters and avoiding retreads of problematic tropes and storylines.)

Fandom is vast, it contains multitudes. Whether for gen, het, slash, femslash, multi, poly, or any and all of the pronouns, identities, and ways that characters and creators identify themselves, it's a great way of making connections and sharing creativity and the things that make art artistic and enjoyed by those who experience it. Long may it reign.

In your own space, write a love letter to Fandom in general, to a particular fandom, to a trope, a relationship, a character, or to your flist/circle/followers. Share you love and squee as loud as you want to.

And that's it for another year. I hope this has been an enjoyable journey through fandom.
Sunday, January 15th, 2017 23:54
... Sort of four, actually, since Connor and I were both not feeling well on Friday.

Since my last general life update, we've gone from being iced in (got about half an inch of ice instead of the forewarned three inches of ice plus snow) all the way back to seventy degree days. Seasons, what are they even.

I played through the first level of the LEGO Ghostbusters 2016 game, which I have been jokingly referring to as LEGO Girlfriend Simulator, and so far it has been as much fun as I hoped. We also had the annual Brickfair in town yesterday, and acquired our usual assortment of minifigs for our collection. I scored a Hoth Leia, and kept an eye out for any Holtzmanns (even though I already own one) but didn't see any, although they did have her three friends. I also failed to find any Rogue One characters, but I guess it was too soon - they'll probably be there next year.

I've been watching the usual amount of January football. Happily, Alabama lost the NCAA championship game to Clemson. Also happily, the Patriots are in the AFC championship game again - looks like they'll be playing Pittsburgh for the title next week.

I rented Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children which was more faithful to the book than I feared, although I never did get on board with the changes they did make. I also finally watched the last two episodes of Stranger Things which means I'm caught up on an episodic show for once in my life. Last night we saw Hidden Figures which was even better than I expected. And on Tuesday my mom is taking me to see Patriots Day so hopefully that's not too hard to watch.

Other miscellaneous things - our green Subaru gave up the ghost after 17 years, so H&P are down to one car again. The external disk I had set up for Time Machine died and I'm having to start new backups for all of my computers. My mom's car got bumped today and although the car seems fine, the collision set off her back pain again. I had planned to make some signs and attend our local women's march next Saturday, but I'm going to be attending a funeral instead. Symphony chorus rehearsals start back tomorrow even though it's MLK Day, because it's less than two weeks until our next concert.
Sunday, January 15th, 2017 22:37
1. There's only one guy on Sunday mornings who can drive the forklift and today he went home sick before the truck came, so I had to go in around 8:30 for the delivery (when I normally go in around 11 on Sundays), which was not what I wanted to be doing with my morning, but at least I was already awake and at my desk, not awakened by the phonecall, and it meant I got home earlier than I usually do on Sundays.

2. I have tomorrow off, which means more time to spend with Jasper!

3. There was a new Simpsons tonight (a two-parter, actually) and it was pretty good! This season has been more miss than hit for me, but this was one of the better ones.

4. I got this super cute pic of Chloe yesterday. I walked by her and was like omg don't move! and ran to get my camera and thankfully she hadn't moved.

Sunday, January 15th, 2017 11:38

It's a long weekend and it's only two-thirds over, but I suspect I won't add any more activities to the set I've already performed this weekend. I'll probably revisit some of them tomorrow, though! So without further ado... what has Mark been up to this weekend?! I'm sure you have really been wanting to know!

[personal profile] afuna and I took N171MA (my airplane) out to Petaluma for breakfast. We had some nice food and milkshakes at the Two Niner Diner and then ran into a fellow pilot and his wife and spent a while chatting. I really enjoy hanging around airports and talking airplanes and I'm pretty lucky [personal profile] afuna is always game to go.

I've tried a few times to learn to knit but I think it's finally sticking. I finished a washcloth (garter stitch) the other day and I wanted to step up to something similarly simple but a little more involved. A hat seemed to be the order of the day! [personal profile] afuna was so excited to take me to our local yarn store where I picked out this dashing color. My first self-selected yarn purchase. I've started on the process of turning it into a beanie cap based on some design claiming to be a WW2 beanie cap. It's going to be a slow project but I'll get it eventually.

This morning I cooked a Dutch Baby (a type of pancake, loosely). While it isn't precisely what the canonical one looks like, it was still pretty tasty. I believe the recipe was a bit undersized for the pan and therefore it cooked faster/grew up the sides more than a typical one would. Either way it was great and I was happy to have eaten it.

It's okay if you have no idea what those photos are. They're ribs -- airplane ribs, that is. For the past year and a half I've been slowly building an airplane in my garage. I haven't really written much about it anywhere because it's such a niche/slow project, but it's something I've been working on. When it's done it'll look something like this airplane, although the coloring/wheel setup will be different.

Today I was working on ribs #1-4 on the left wing, adding reinforcing material (lengths of so-called standard L-angle). These ribs are the ones closest to the fuselage and are designed to support the weight of the humans that have to climb on the wings to board the aircraft. (It's a small low-wing plane which means you climb aboard by stepping onto the wings.)

And finally, I'm spending my evening working on Dreamwidth. Trying to get the BlobStore system up and running and ready to land so I can push forward to deprecate MogileFS. Simpler systems are more reliable and easier to operate! Yay!

...

So there you have it. This weekend I've piloted an airplane for breakfast, cooked, knitted, coded, and written software. I'm feeling pretty happy about this, honestly. Most of my weekends involve fewer activities but this one has been a really solid one.

Until next time, loyal readers...

Sunday, January 15th, 2017 13:14
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Sunday, January 15th, 2017 08:19
In your own space, write about a moment in fandom that meant a lot to you.

Well, that's a bit difficult. Mostly because I tend to focus on the moments of the source material and how they affect me. What fandom does can sometimes be the subject of unwanted attention (witness some of Bronies, all of Puppies, the entire GamerGate splat), but then there are also things that are heroic and awesome that fandom does, like the Harry Potter Alliance. And the charitable donations in the name of fandom.

I think that the biggest impact that fandom does, or has done, are things like the 501st Legion / Rebel Alliance and similar cosplay groups that make it so that characters from fandom can spring into life and allow others to experience heroes. (Even better when you can get the actors to get engaged, too, as with the Iron Man prosthetic arm.)

Which points to the thing I find most touching of fandom activity recently - Batkid. The Make-A-Wish Foundation does awesome things for kids and funds then through donations and volunteers and asks people to get on board and provide time, expertise, and money. A young child's wish was to be a superhero.

San Francisco (and a lot of the surrounding area) responded. In the thousands. And the tens of thousands. So much so that the Foundation had to say "Thank you for your interest, but we have enough people to help with this." And all the fans turned out in droves, as bystanders, as other heroes, as members of a grateful city, as journalists and members of the media, as the entities of justice that help and handle the matters of prosecution. Even the President got into the act for a little bit.

For a day, fandom became the very best that people could be, to make a child's wish come true. Sure, the scenario was scripted, but the response and the enthusiasm that everyone brought wasn't. I'd love to see more Batkid moments in the future.
Sunday, January 15th, 2017 01:30
1. Chloe and Jasper played a lot today! Mostly chasing around the house, which is good, because Chloe is always wanting someone to chase her. And Molly came over to examine him once when he was in quiet mode (he had just been sleeping until she came in the room). She didn't get right up close, but was a couple feet away. Progress!

2. Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask finally arrived in the mail yesterday. I've gotten so spoiled by Prime that it's really annoying to order things from other websites or (as in this case) from non-Prime shippers. But since Miracle Mask is no longer being published, my choices were rather limited and the Prime shippers were all much more expensive. Anyway, I've only played a little bit so far, but am of course enjoying it.

I had to turn off 3D for it, though, as I do with most games. The problem with 3D is if you move the 3DS even a tiny bit (or move your eyes the wrong way), everything gets blurry and out of focus, and I always seem to be moving it. But in order to make things 3D, they changed the art style a bit and the graphics don't look as good (even in 3D, the characters look polygon-y). So that's a bummer. Also if there are puzzles that require 3D I guess I'll have to be turning it on and off.

3. Look at this cutie little guy! He likes to hop into my chair as soon as I get up.

Sunday, January 15th, 2017 04:57
Previously unread.

This is Weeks' fourth book in the Lightbringer series and it has gone from a quadrology (with this, the fourth, intending to conclude) to (at least) a pentalogy. We can only hope that is where it stays.

Now, don't get me wrong, this is an eminently readable book, with its only fault being that it is not the last in a pretty good epic fantasy yarn.

as in the previous books, we follow a handful of viewpoint characters, chiefly Kip, Teia, Karris, and the Prism Guile. There's a few more that make an appearance now and again, for a very very brief chapter. It continues the story more or less where it was left off at the end of the previous book, maybe a month or two later, and spans a while, Off-hand, I'd guess half a year to a full year (it's probably inferable from the text, should one spend enough time at it). And, well, it is eminently readable, but now I have to wait for the concluding volume, again.
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Saturday, January 14th, 2017 16:49

I'm working with a therapist now who's told me to keep a dream diary, so I'm trying to remember my dreams more and write down what I dream when I wake up. This has been a bit difficult because my dreams are long and intense and writing them out can take actual hours if I do it in as much detail as I'm capable of. Today I woke up, fed my cat, and wrote out a fic about Kent Parson and Justin Oluransi in a post-nuclear-event world. Though that fic isn't precisely the dream I had; I took it and tweaked and elaborated it into something that made a bit more narrative sense.

It's like the third dream I've had this week about living in an irradiated landscape. A different one was about trying to out-sail an 18th century British Navy vessel across a lake covered with power lines because I knew where food stores were, while they were recent imports from another century.

I've done a bit of study on dream analysis and while I don't believe dreams "mean" specific things that can be easily translated, I can definitely say that my dreams of trying to survive and protect people in a toxic fundamentally dangerous wasteland are, ahem, heavily informed by having spent a year working at a women's shelter that was mismanaged and a little soul-crushing, and also realizing that the basic theoretical principles of the domestic violence movement need to be totally overhauled.

Saturday, January 14th, 2017 12:02
In your own space, post a rec for fannish spaces and resources - comms, challenges, twitters, tumblrs, etc. Tell us where you hang out.

My fannish space, such that it is, tends to be on Dreamwidth and the Archive Of Our Own. I don't hang out in a lot in fannish communities, and I tend to be adding in exchange communities to do writing assignments. For that, I might mention there's [community profile] fandomcalendar, which has a lot of exchanges and events posted.

Much of my fannish presence is in linkspam and in the comments sections of other people's spaces. So, if you would like fannish commentary, you should probably talk about fannish things in your own space and see if I get wandered over there and say hello.

So, yes, hrm, I guess that using tag searching and the fandom calendar is really all I've got. Ah, well.
Saturday, January 14th, 2017 11:35
In your own space, talk about a creator. Show us why you think they are amazing.

There's a webcomic that I desperately wish was able to finish. But it was a comic about mental health issues and taking a journey through the mind to try and fix some broken bits, and, unsurprisingly, mental issues ended up causing the premature cancelation of the work.

It was 9th Elsewhere, and it no longer exists all that much on the Internet, except in the Archive. I miss Caroline, the character, and Eiji and the bakobako, Bubbles, and Optimism. Dorian was a good cosplay.

I met Caroline Curtis, the creator, on a lark during my university years heading to the local animation store. There was a webcomic showing, headlined by then-local Piro, creator of Megatokyo, and I got to discuss "umbrella-related poses" and follow the comic. Many years later, right before the end, with all the good adventures, there was enough interest to print a book of the first volume. I paid my dues in, and then the issues came, and everything went away.

It was an unexpected joy, then, many years later to get an email asking for updated addresses, as the book had actually, finally, happened, and so I got, after that many years, a collection of everything that was 9E. It's been a very important piece of work, and I sincerely hope that Caroline, wherever they are, is doing much better, and that perhaps some time in the future, 9th Elsewhere will return, and there will be happiness for everyone there.

(And then I left it behind in the hurry. I hope it's still there when everything finishes.)
Saturday, January 14th, 2017 09:24

Did you know your muscle fascia can calcify? I sort of did. I didn't know that mine was on that route. I bartered a massage in exchange for food, child minding and sewing services. (I think Jenna's going to say that I'm doing all the work, but I feel kind of weird about it. I'll have to sit down and unpack that one later.)

It took five minutes for the red-hot poker that was Jenna's pressure on my sciatic nerve to relax to just pressure instead of agonizing pain. I am super sore today, but it's that good sore that says the blood is moving through the muscles in my back, hips and neck. I swear, Jenna is the best wetware hacker I know.

[personal profile] newredshoes was talking about turquoise walls and that made me think about my back bathroom that needs some paint. I'm thinking Splashy from Sherwin-Williams might look really good. I might get the coordinating color 'Golden Plumeria' for trim work. I wouldn't even need a quart, I'm sure. It's not a big bathroom.

I've been sewing my hair up for about a week now and it's going very nicely.

Sewn Hair
My hair, sewn with cotton yarn and a yarn needle, rather like a crown braid
I keep getting compliments on it, but it's honestly the only way I can think of to keep my hair (which is below my tailbone) out of the way at work, since I'm not allowed to use pins or anything that could fall out into food. Sewing is my only option.

I have decided to spend some time and make Cyrillic flashcards with the alphabet on it. I know Brent's going to giggle, but it's going to be the only way I learn the letters properly. It's going to be 36 different cards. Wow. But gotta learn it at some point.

MY SEEDS CAME IN OH MY GOSH.

So excited. I can't WAIT to plant.

Saturday, January 14th, 2017 14:37
[tumblr.com profile] chavisory: Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

If you are a person generally able to make phone calls, but you’re in a Democratic state or district and are a little frustrated with your reduced ability to change your representatives’ minds that way… Will you reach out to your family, friends, and social media groups and ask whether there is someone in a red state or district, who can’t make phone calls (for reasons of disability, etc.), who would like you to make a call on their behalf?

When you call, you can say “I’m calling on behalf of [name of person], who is a constituent of Senator/Representative [their name]. [Name] isn’t able to make phone calls due to a disability,” and then proceed with a script as usual.


Go and read it. I think this could actually work.

(Though if you are in a blue state and phone-capable -- do remember to give your representatives some love if/when they do the right thing, as well as volunteering for others; representatives don't get a lot of positive feedback so apparently it has an impact.)

Also, we need to be doing this in the UK too.
Saturday, January 14th, 2017 14:21
A more random than normal Doctor Who picture perhaps, in that the only reason for the choice is that it caught my eye on the bookshelf.



Saturday, January 14th, 2017 01:40
1. We have tickets to see Puffy AmiYumi in April! We saw them once before here in LA like fifteen years or so ago and I know they've played here since then, but this time we have the money and there was no conflicting plans or anything, so I bought the tickets! I actually didn't even know they were still together, but apparently they had a new album fairly recently, so I should listen to that at some point soon.

2. There was no bed-wetting this morning! We put Jasper to sleep in his carrier last night but left the door open. At some point in the early hours of the morning he joined us in bed for a while (no peeing) and then went back to his carrier until Chloe came in around eight to tell me it was breakfast time, at which point he bounded out and went and used the litter box while I got their breakfast. So I really think the problem was that when we had the carrier closed, he was so excited when we let him out that he just wanted to play and didn't realize he needed to pee until it was happening.

3. The kitties are all making really good progress at getting along. Yesterday he and Chloe were showing some progress, but Molly was inside the sofa pretty much all day and didn't really come out for any length of time until we turned off the lights and TV in the living room and started getting ready for bed.

But today she spent most of the day outside of the sofa (though lots of it on high shelves where Jasper can't reach) and generally did her usual thing, while staying away (but not running away) from Jasper. She also sniffed around a lot, which is good, getting used to the fact that everything smells like him now.

Chloe and Jasper have been getting even closer. They even touched noses at one point today, though they immediately jumped back afterwards. They have also been playing a lot of friendly chase around the house. So overall things are progressing really well! The baby gate came today, but I'm just returning it because there's no need to keep them separated anymore and he probably could climb it anyway.

4. We pre-ordered the Nintendo Switch! I still haven't had a chance to watch the new video from last night, but I did watch the new Zelda trailer and the trailer for Mario Odyssey and a few other games, several of which we've also pre-ordered already (though it looks like Mario won't actually be out until the end of the year).

5. Molly and Chloe up on a high shelf to avoid Jasper.

Friday, January 13th, 2017 10:36
[personal profile] siljamus said: I'd also love to hear about your favourite museum in London?

As ever, I am terrible at responding to questions which ask me to pick a single favourite. So hard to choose!

Therefore, I am going to answer about several favourites instead.

The Petrie Museum! Hidden inside UCL, across the road from The Big Waterstones (their giant academic branch on Torrington Place). You have to head in, follow the signs, and get directed up the stairs (past the library, through the little door).

During the Blitz, the collection was packed up and moved out of London; afterwards, it was stored temporarily in a former stable building, where it remains to this day (there was a grand plan to create a new building for it, which was shelved because recession).

As a result, one of the world's greatest collections of ancient Egyptian artefacts (outside Egypt) is crammed into two small dingy rooms (and some glass cases stored down the side of the -- internal to the building, at least -- emergency fire escape stairs).

It may have been fixed since I last went there, but the rooms are so badly lit (and so jammed with things) that there's actually a rack of electric torches for the use of visitors, adding to the sense of -- well: "Can you see anything?" "Yes, wonderful things!"

The British Museum has the giant Rameses statues and stone sarcophagi; the Petrie has an intact linen dress from 2800 BCE, still with some of its pleats. It has hairpins, a child's rag doll, a pair of sandals, even a wreath of dried flowers from a tomb. It has some of the Fayum mummy portraits, where the influence of Greco-Roman naturalistic traditions mean that recognizable individuals are suddenly looking back at you across millennia. It has one glass case tucked out of the way in a corner (presumably to make it marginally less accessible to school-parties) which I like to think of as the ancient Egyptian internet: porn and cats (through the medium of tiny, delightful carvings). The museum feels like a discovery. It will take your breath away.

(To be continued.)
Friday, January 13th, 2017 10:20
Nick Lowles of Hope Not Hate says (in an e-mail to supporters):

The 21st December was the deadline for a UKIP-led group to repay €172,000 to the European Parliament after having been found guilty of using EU money on political campaigning in the U.K. I can confirm today it has not paid.

I am now writing a letter to the Parliament's new President demanding that they take swift action to recover the money.


UK people can co-sign the letter (I'd guess signatures from other European people might also be helpful/valid, but probably not from outside Europe, sorry):

http://action.hopenothate.org.uk/page/s/make-ukip-pay

It's the little pleasures, you know?
Friday, January 13th, 2017 00:41
1. Well, it has been hard to get any translating done this week with all the cat stuff going on, but I did get some done today. (And hopefully maybe have a Himegoto release within the next few days.)

2. We bought Carla a new comforter today and also just in case, a waterproof mattress liner, so at least if he does pee the bed again, it won't soak through to the mattress itself. But I really, really hope he uses the box in the morning! He has no problems at all using it during the day, and pooped and peed many times today (I forgot how much kittens poop!). We're experimenting with putting him to bed in his carrier (which he does associate with sleeping now, and even goes in there for naps on his own during the day) but not closing the door, so hopefully there won't be the same excitement of being let out in the morning, and he can go use the box if he needs to before getting up on the bed and playing.

3. Carla has a doctor's appointment in the morning, so I've already told work I won't be in until afternoon, that way I can be here while she's gone. It also has the advantage of me maybe getting to sleep a bit longer in the morning. Due to kitten pee shennanigans, I only got like four hours of sleep last night.

4. I made brownies tonight and we had some with ice cream and it was so delicious. I honestly can't remember the last time I had brownies.

5. Look at this sweetie! He's like a tiny little fuzzy soot ball.