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Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 19:45
Hanging out in a coffeeshop, trying to hammer out the last few papers of the semester.

40% of my time: writing
25% of my time: staring at cute pics of trans dicks
20% of my time: Facebook
15% of my time: staring out the front window, hoping my car doesn't get towed

Rah, rah grad school.
Thursday, January 29th, 2015 00:39
Wie soll ich meine Seele halten, daß
sie nicht an deine rührt? Wie soll ich sie
hinheben über dich zu andern Dingen?
Ach gerne möcht ich sie bei irgendwas
Vorlorenem im Dunkel unterbringen
an einer fremden stillen Stelle, die
nicht weiterschwingt, wenn deine Tiefen schwingen.
Doch alles, was uns anrührt, dich und mich,
nimmt uns zusammen wie ein Bogenstrich,
der aus zwei Saiten eine Stimme zieht.
Auf welches Instrument sind wir gespannt?
Und welcher Geiger hat uns in der Hand?
O süßes Lied.
Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 12:27
Bad night, feeling very sick, sick to my stomach, reflux, and a weird strong headache that had increased over the day. Pain meds did not help the headache. It was so hard to fall asleep. like a horrible nightmare most of the night. I am not feeling well today, dizzy and sick and looking at the computer makes my head hurt. I tried to dial in to my 8:30 meeting and people's voices made me want to pass out.

Some sort of flu or virus I guess. Taking the day off. reading and dozing. I am missing the work I wanted to get done, swimming, and meeting up with people I wanted to see who are from out of town and also dropping by to see D. as she moves today from the nursing home to chuck's house. All on hold. I miss going to the office and swimming especially as I was looking forward to both.
Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 20:40
I really didn't remember much about The Lazarus Experiment going in, which is pretty odd given that it is clearly meant to be the lynchpin around which this season turns: the moment Martha is properly accepted as a companion, where her family become a part of the Doctor's life, and where the Saxon plot thread kicks into gear.

More under the cut )

For all that, the story still feels oddly throwaway. In season 2, I attributed the weakness of some of the episodes to the fact they had no real role to play in the larger story unfolding for the audience. Despite the fact that The Lazarus Experiment is anything but inconsequential to the larger narrative it still feels a little slight and I can't quite put my finger on why.
Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 13:35

Our corporation has this new health/wellbeing website that everyone has to use to get $10 off their insurance and the spouse's insurance (it's a way of making us all have blood tests and physicals every year). It has PEER CHALLENGES. None of my peers want to do it, though. It makes me a little sad that I'm the only one excited about making healthy choices and working out for ENDORPHINS. Endorphins are lovely.

On 2 February, I'm going back to Eagle Strong. I decided that I wouldn't go to the gym during January because that's when everybody's there doing New Year's Resolutions. Way too crowded. But February is coming up! So I can go back. My dad never likes the gym during January either, so I come by it honestly.

My Christmas presents from my sister Jenny are at the FedEx place, but I can't go pick them up because they have to be reshipped to a location that allows pickup. It's in transit right now. Fortunately, they didn't leave it at my door. I knew I should have stayed home late today! ;) It's 8.3lb/3.76kg! I can't wait to see what's in it!

Hmm. USM's webpage is down. I can't get to the Rec Sports page.

I have my phone to remind me of the measurement day in February! I'm kinda looking forward to it to see where I am after a month off of scheduled exercise.

I get new glasses today after work. After all the migraines and bad eye aches, I finally got to go to the eye doctor again last week. I went from one extreme to another and had to get new glasses. REMINDER TO SELF: Don't wear these in the Gulf of Mexico. They tend to get washed off your face and then you start searching for them and only find seaweed. It's not a good idea. Just don't do it.

We did finally get new servers in for the Micros system here at work - and now it has turned into an adventure. The annoying part of the adventure, though, not the fun part yet. I know I will look back on this as a learning experience, but right now it's just frustrating and aggravating. Things are supposed to work! Not have to go back and forth with firewalls!

Deep breathing. Remember your wireless printer at home that you get to play with. And eventually you'll get a laminator and can play with that too. Chore charts and lists that you can check off with wet erase markers. It's all going to be good. Things are going to work out.

(this fedex package is STILL in transit! I have no patience!)

I'm ready for the end of the day, I think. I have some excitement about getting new glasses and gaming with my friend Elise! We also have Jell-O to take to our friend Brandon who's getting his wisdom teeth pulled tomorrow. Jell-O is a great thing for that.

OH GAMING. Yeah, we started a new game with a new group. We're still doing Pathfinder's Reign of Winter with James, Tische and Brandon, but we are also playing a new D&D 3.5 game with Elise, her boyfriend Austin and their friend Matt. Or is it Will? It's one of the two. I keep getting him confused. Right now, we're trying to get through a gnoll mound (or gnoll knoll) where there might be a gnoll chieftain buried. In Reign of Winter, we did finally get to Baba Yaga's Dancing Hut! We even got inside! And had to promptly kill a bone golem left by the Queen of Irrisen.

I'm excited about taxes! And filling out the tax paper work and figuring out what Brent owes for being self employed and all that fun stuff. I can't wait. I just need his 1099-MISC form from Tim, his sort of boss. I'm not even terribly excited about getting a refund, since I don't know if I get a refund or not, since Brent hasn't had any taxes taken out of his money from Tim. Eeee. If I do get a refund, I'm buying a laminator. If I don't get a refund and don't have to pay much, I'm getting a laminator. Either way, I win!

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 08:18
Reading: Just a murder mystery called Two Graves. There are a bunch of other things I'm ostensibly reading, but literally the only time I'm not too tired to read is during lunch at work.

Listening: I have a musical game I play with myself that I don't think I've talked about here. I'll put it under a cut to spare your reading list )

Watching: Hmm. Have I watched anything this week? I don't think so. New job, tired, etc. And James has a new game he's playing, so he'd rather play that than watch TV with me. So yeah, nothing, I think, unless you count (and I guess I should) watching my "videos that make me happy" playlist on YouTube, which I just created and which I'm really enjoying building. Recently added the Neil Patrick Harris opening of the 2013 Tony Awards. When he starts talking about inspiring young theater geeks, I lose it. Every. Time.

Playing: I uninstalled Two Dots and reinstalled it after I won the final level (which is currently 135, I think). Also still playing my other stuff. I really want a new puzzle game for android phones (hint, hint), but with the tired and all, haven't gotten around to it.
Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 15:56
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Kids tobogganing down the snowpack at the foot of our street yesterday. #bosnow #latergram #blizzard2015
Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 15:37
Previously unread, kindly donated by [personal profile] rbarclay.

This is the second witcher book I've read. On the whole, it's competently written fantasy, but there's a tiny something (and I am not sure what) that makes me less inclined to hunt down more of them. I had that feeling after the first one I ead. I have teh same feeling after having read one more.

Anyway. The good things is "a distinct voice", "believable characters" (including, but not limited to, a bisexual magician, although she seems to disappear about half-way through the book). It may simply be that there are Polish cultural conventions I am sufficiently unfamiliar with that their translation simply makes me go "huh".

If you haven't tried any of the Witcher books, I guess this is early enough that it would show you if it resonates well with you. Me, I'll read them if they land in my lap (as it were) but continue to not seek them out specifically (I did buy the first one myself, because I had heard good things about he series, so worth a try).
Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 12:23
Currently Reading: Working through HP7 in audiobook; slowly progressing through Alexis Wright's 'Carpentaria' (good, but Slow Literature) and picking up 'The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window And Disappeared' for some variety.

Recently Finished: Most recent, a bio of Barbara Baynton; a Dawn French novel; and a detective story with a protag who has dementia.

Reviews, mostly from early Jan:

Earthly Delights (Corinna Chapman, #1)Earthly Delights by Kerry Greenwood

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a very *fun* book. It features Corinna, a fat divorced gourmet baker who finds a junkie close to dead on her doorstep one morning and from there becomes involved in a quest to figure out who exactly is feeding almost-pure heroin to the vulnerable of Melbourne. Meanwhile, someone is leaving death threats about HARLOTS to al the women in Corinna's building.Along the way she semi-adopts a recovering junkie, discovers the bdsm scene, and shags an attractive and mysterious soup kitchen security guard.

What bugged me here was Daniel, a widower and ex-Israeli army turned detective. His characterisation, and the impact of his service time on his character, was not fully explored - it only comes up to, I think, make him more attractive? And it seems to work for Corinna, but in a completely uncritica way totally at odds with her thinking on everything else. He speaks of having shot down a young boy and compares 'such evil' to her, 'now such good', and Corinna just... preens. Congrats you're less evil than palestinian insurgent? What? It's just *not explored* and Corinna has no qualms or even real interest in the dubious ethics and mental gymnastics any serviceman has to engage in regardless of allegiance.

It bugged me all the more because the book was peppered with leftie bait - in-jokes about John Howard and the victorian government and whatnot. We're supposed to believe that Corinna has *no thoughts whatsoever* about the fact her new squeeze admits to having shot down young boys (a terrorist, he says, but Corinna has *no thoughts whatsoever* about the circumstances that lead to young terrorists, etc etc). I think I would have rathered Corinna articulate an explicitly pro-Israeli logic than just... not think about it at all. Urk. More on this topic, and on kink and gender )

Mateship With BirdsMateship With Birds by Carrie Tiffany

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This was a very bad book. It gets two stars for sparks of literary flair in places, but overall: blergh.

This is a book about masturbation and dairy farming. The birds are actually a pretty minor role, and the poems about the birds get dreadfully boring.

I have nothing against writing about masturbation or dairy farming. By and large I thought the cow-related passages in this book were pretty tight. The sex ones, though? UGH. This author is way too carried away by the fact that she's writing A Book About Sex. The sex and sexual reflection passages drag on, frequently without adding to character or plot. It's like everything pauses while we hear about some long-ago sex scene, or Harry's opinions on pubic hair, or whatever.

The book raises some difficult notions about consent and power: for instance, Harry is oblivious to the weird pressure he's putting on his teenage neighbour by providing long reminiscent 'sex ed'. That's creepy! We can tell the lad is creeped out! But the book *does nothing* with that - the boy fades into the distance, after a brief scene where he's a dick to his girlfriend and then bangs her. That's not a resolution! It's not even character development. The boy's mother is, rightly, angry at Harry; then abruptly changes tack when she needs Harry's help getting rid of a dead owl. I think there might have been supposed to be something there about needing a Man Around The House, but it's not *explored*. And the book ends with a real-time sex scene, far less explicit than the reminiscences, which is mostly physical description and *doesn't answer any of the character questions*. It's infuriating.

This is a crappy book. I am sorry, for the sake of the national literary dignity, that it won the inaugrual Stella Prize. I would like to sentence the author to a year's hard labour in the erotica mines, in the hope she learns how to write sex like any other character development opportunity.

Heavenly Pleasures (Corinna Chapman, #2)Heavenly Pleasures by Kerry Greenwood

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was also pretty fun! The circle of characters widened compared to 'Earthly Pleasures', and it was nice to see Jason (Corinna's teenage sidekick) developing in character and skills. I *really* liked the badass older lady character and her eventual Big Reveal. Rawww. Do not mess with scary old ladies.

Cocaine Blues (Phryne Fisher, #1)Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I liked this book, I liked it a lot. It was odd coming to it *after* watching the show - the set-up is quite different. (And Dorothy's surname is given as Bryant, although by googling I see that's an error Greenwood wants retconned - i *thought* her name was Wiliams in the later book I read.)

One delightful discovery that had been ommitted from the show was special police constable Joan whasthername. I'd forgotten that there were special female police in the period. She's a bit-part but quite well characterised. Ten points.

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 01:51
(linkdude has linked a thing where some straight person seems to be performing poutyface about having overheard some queerfolks blow off steam about "the straights" or whatevz, and is being all "LOOK IF YOU'N REALLY TRULY *WANT* ALLIES...". Channel has taken a digression or two. Highlights-involving-me with some context follow.)

Read more... )
Wednesday, January 28th, 2015 01:21
04:22 Sunday, 25 January, 2015
This weekend is being much less exciting than last weekend. So far, I have: gone on a minor Costco run Friday night, slept, slept, gone out in semi-fruitless search of sourdough bread (the good sourdough at Sprouts vanishes quickly), and now re-indigoed my hair.

00:58 Wednesday, 28 January, 2015
Tuesday: didn't get as much sleep, slogged into work. Had a fascinating hallway chat with Mr. Wizard Beard, who has pruned his formerly glorious facial tresses back down to a reasonable inch or two of starting point. Lunch was nice even though the sandwich was uninspiring. Purple and the guys were talking about heat sinks. (A lot of times various of the guys will ask Purple to explain a thing. It's great.) I googled up illustrative pictures.

The Dean has made the jump from Extra Special Groundskeeper to HR (Parties Division). I think it's a good change for him. He wandered through on his way back from lunch. We are trying to pin down a date for the kickoff of the You Haven't Seen That?!?!? movie night series. On his way off, he made some casual reference to the contents of Blade Runner. I indicated confusion and unfamiliarity. "You haven't seen that?!!??!!" he asked, proving the relevance of the series title.

I do like taking notes on a nice large sheet of paper. I should make sure to do the Printout of Things for the 1:1 more often again, as it's a helpful framework. My manager said some reasonably encouraging things, even though they were not the sunny-day path. Also, some projects! Whee!

Among many other small items of the day, there was a fellow bemoaning the lack of jam in his building on [off-topic]. One of my unofficial duties is to make sure that random stuff that comes up in [off-topic] gets properly handled, so after mentioning that I had seen jam in my building (today, with no boom), I cracked open the user console for the helpdesk. After a few false starts, I selected the category most likely to correspond with jam tomorrow, even if there was no jam today.

"Jelly in [off-topic-guy's-building] invisible. Jelly in [ajlunatic's-building] visible. Please look into this." File on behalf of: remove ajlunatic, insert off-topic-guy, submit.

Watch confirmation page load. Look for link to ticket to add ajlunatic as cc. Realize that last week's overhaul of user-facing console removed the module containing the most recently filed ticket link from the left-hand side, perhaps because it was too fucking wide on a page with generally shittastic use of space. Realize that because some fuckhead thought all Facilities tickets (kitchen issues included) should be fucking private as all fuckery, I can't jump over to the terrible blue-and-white interface to add myself (or, well, grab the ticket number and whine to helpdesk).

Write up the newly fucking discovered goddamn bug involving the workflow of the fucking assistant, and file it the fuck against the goddamn system.

Call helpdesk. "Hi, I need to be added to a ticket I just filed on behalf of a colleague."
"No, I don't know the ticket number, and I can't find it, it's in Facilites."
"Let me spell his name."
Two minutes pass.
"No, it wasn't technical, it was in Facilities. Under Food & Drink, I think."
Another three minutes.
I spell my own user ID, and I am at last added to the ticket.

I am still cursing in IRC when Purple shows up to drag me away from the computer for the night. (My dad is much better about praise and constructive criticism.)
Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 22:52
1. I'm feeling really excited and positive about my translation stuff. Not just the scanlations, but my lyrics site as well. I know I'll never get back to spending as much time on the lyrics site as I used to (and I don't really want to, because that would take time away from other things that are higher priorities), but I'm hoping to update at least once a month this year and I think I could make myself stick to that.

2. I discovered there's a knock-off Trivial Pursuit app called Trivia Crack and it's pretty fun! If any of you guys play it, please play with me! My username is torachan. (Or if you have me friended on Facebook and you sign in to the app with FB I should show up on there.)

3. We had grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner and they were super tasty!
Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 23:20
First off, a status report on Gunjo and Himegoto:

Sorry Gunjo has been slow in coming! As I mentioned before, the last chapter I posted is the last of the raws I had from Kotonoha, so going forward I need to scan it myself, and things were just really busy over the holiday season at work so I didn't have time for it. I did start scanning the other day, though, and hope to finish the scanning phase of the next chapter this week. However, this next chapter is a hundred pages long.'s definitely not going to be out in February, but I'm aiming for March.

As for Himegoto, the wonderful Audrey has joined me as cleaner and she is really fast! So I'm very excited to announce that there will be two chapters of Himegoto this month and hopefully we'll be able to continue that pace going forward.

And now for Yasha, starting off volume six! We're nearly halfway through the series now, so things are really heating up. I hope you guys enjoy it!

Title: Yasha
Author: Yoshida Akimi
Publisher: Flower Comics
Genre: Shoujo
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Molly
Status in Japan: 12 volumes, complete
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: Twelve-year-old Sei lives a normal, quiet life on a small island in Okinawa until one day a strange man who seems to know his mother shows up and tries to kidnap him. After that, nothing is normal or quiet in this sci-fi thriller from the author of Banana Fish.

Chapter Summary: In the chaos of Amamiya's failed experiment, Sei manages to slip away, but with Rin hot on his heels, will he actually be able to escape from the lab?

Chapter 27
Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 23:30
I just took twenty stolen minutes, wrote an actual post with sentences, and caught up on answering some comments...the sleep debt is worth it; I needed that.
Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 21:58
I went back to work today, which means our vacation's really really over for real. Sigh! I'm glad to be home, but I'm not so keen on the slippery white stuff that keeps falling from the sky. This was a lot more pleasant:

small sailboats dragged up on the sands of a cove

More photos of our Auckland adventure can be found here. I used the Bonjournal app to keep my family up-to-date & it worked out really well. Nice, simple interface.

It really didn't take me too long to get through my work inbox, both the physical and electronic versions, which was better than I'd expected. Apparently, I missed a series of three or four retaliatory gang shootings while I was gone, which I'd say was a relief, except, well, that's a peculiar thing to be relieved about. But I'm trying to finish a major validation project, so I'm glad one of my coworkers is handling those homicides.

I mainlined the entirety of season 10 of Master Chef (the UK version) on the plane on the way back, so I am looking forward to a free weekend when I can try cooking some new things. Like fresh pasta. Especially ravioli. Maybe a thai dish, too. Not that I ever want to cook professionally, but I can't watch one of those competitions without wanting to at least branch out a little.

Off to bed now. Got to get back on a good work night schedule.
Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 22:51
so I was talking to the boything the other day about how I am very definite that I want who only by moving can balance/only by balancing move as soon as I work out who to commission to do the lettering for me, and I'm very certain I want it on my bicep, and he was being a bit baffled about this until I explained that the reason to have it on my arm is wheelchair user. (And also erstwhile pianist/harpsichordist, but hey.)

Which got him to talking about wheels as symbology. And, whoops, now I apparently want the outline of a circle (medium-thick, dark ink; cannot decide just yet whether black or v dark blue) about the size of a 2p piece, on my spine just below the nape of my neck/shoulders. Because: wheels and movement and the Moon and choices and decision-making and going in circles (every five years or so/I look back on my life/and I have a good laugh) and a reminder to not try carrying the world on my shoulders.

This is sufficiently straightforward that I might in fact get it for my birthday (in that I don't have to worry about lettering etc). Because it is a thing that Feels Right, and is absolutely a thing about which I'll keep inventing more symbology as I go along.
Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 22:16
1. I do actively like getting up with dawn and being in work by 8am. If I could find a way to do that sustainably (given insomnia, fatigue, etc) then I'd be all over it. (Two days running this week; aiming to replicate tomorrow. Though, to be fair, I did come home very early this afternoon and then sleep. But -- I got labwork done before 9am, I taught for three hours, and I booked mass spec time. And I'm doing some more faff at home. Writing abstracts is haaard. I mean, actually I think formal writing is hard, but perhaps I will work out how to get past this, sigh.)

2. Facesfriend is great, though - I stayed over at theirs last night, and sometime in the wee hours they very gently woke me up enough for me to disentangle myself from the nightmare I was having (whimpery rather than screamy, thank goodness; once a year or so I wake myself up screaming, and I'm always very embarrassed about the disruption to other people) and then they coaxed me back to sleep and... gosh, that was nice.

3. Guiltknitting progresses apace. It was supposed to be done 18 months ago. I was stalled on it for all sorts of reasons, largely boiling down to "autism" (it became apparent I hadn't bought enough of the main colour; no more of that dye lot was to be had; I couldn't work out what on earth to do about this; and then for the primary gifting period largest smallcousin bought me some very tasteful yarn, some medium-tasteful yarn, and some yarn that um looks kind of like a sunset got overly excited and has a terrible hangover; the sunset yarn goes very well with the purple). I am unblocked and nearly halfway through the section I charted up. Weaving in the ends is going to be a pain and a half - why I thought learning to do intarsia with two strands no less in the context of double-knitting I have no idea but hey, it's working and legible, so.

4. I have acquired the rest of the Toby Daye books in paperback from eBay, to my immense frustration, because apparently it's impossible to buy the ebooks from anyone but Amazon in the UK, and my preferred UK booksellers aren't carrying the volumes I want, so... eBay. And in attempting to locate the short stories I have spoiled myself for something that was starting to really irritate me, so I can now read on secure in the knowledge that the characters are going to stop being so infuriatingly oblivious sometime soon (well, two books' time, but). (I am also feeling kind of guilty for spending money on books by white folk - [personal profile] calissa posted recently about diversity and reading; one of the ways I try to (1) ~broaden my horizons~ and (2) restrict my spending on books, in addition to "don't buy anything while the to-read pile on the ereader is greater than $number" [currently 25, previously 50], is to by-and-large avoid buying books by whitey? On the grounds that I get loaned lots of them and I can satisfy most of my desire-to-read-white-people via loans, so. AND ON THE OTHER HAND I am working super hard this month in lab terms, I'm helping teach a maths course which is a massive deal, I am a bit ill, paper books are good for reading in lab because not metal, and for all I'm finding them gently frustrating they are excellent brain-candy.)

5. I really do need to set up that review blog. Which in turn means that I need to get my act together to choose a CMS for my personal website, siiigh.
Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 19:33
The best that can be said for Time and the Rani is that it probably could have been worse. There are a few nice touches and it is mostly pointless and repetitive rather than embarrassingly bad. But in places it is embarrassingly bad, mostly it is, at best, pointless and repetitive and the science stinks to high heaven.

More under the cut )

At the end of the day, it has some interesting features but the bottom line is that it's really not very good.
Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 09:02
Read news, HN (which I do if i wake up in the night or very early) had tea and half a tramadol, slowly unstiffening. Knees and ankles bad in the way of post-airplane flight. I read a very excellent draft of an article or post by a friend and commented in potentially useful ways. She is admirable in her careful and nuanced construction of thoughts. What a pleasure to read. Also, a nice way to start the morning. I need more tea, and now to work email, 9:05am so it is not like I have shirked.

Not sure how things will play out at work this week. I would like to focus deeply and submit a patch! Must catch up with email, go to at least 2 meetings. So i could not until late afternoon. By then I may be in too much pain. Then Wed. morning a meeting and then physical therapy. So I really really want to try for this afternoon.
Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 08:04
I keep having to buy energy refills so he can keep watching.

Read more... )
Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 02:23
Such wrangling with helpdesk. First the guy with the Fear & Loathing poster who fled the Monkey House had an entanglement with helpdesk.

Things I did not say to Helpdesk included: "Just because I write 'Dear Santa, I've been a very good Lunatic this year. Please send me a shiny new Macbook with all the trimmings! Here is a picture!' on the whiteboard, doesn't mean that Santa will have gotten the message; your ass is supposed to know how things are assigned to Logistics, and just because Chip wrote a Dear Logistics note in the ticket doesn't mean that they got it."

Things I did do: give Fear & Loathing some chocolate: some for him, some for Chip.

Lennon Glasses Guy is dabbling gently at bitcoin mining. I had some "helpful" ideas. Purple pointed out that the usual suspects for bitcoin mining are probably against all parts of the concept of a solar-and-bike-powered miner.

After lunch, a helpdesk guy had just pinged me about a particular contentious open ticket when a senior engineer commenced letting off steam about a known issue in IRC.

The helpdesk guy thought I was talking about another thing. I helped him see what I truly meant. He had thought I meant I couldn't see un-triaged tickets at all, which was wrong. What I meant was, if a person makes a ticket and adds me to the cc, I need to see it before it's triaged. He tried to make such a ticket and failed because that is not a thing helpdesk can do (it makes them triage first). I walked him through creating it like a normal user. He sounded shocked and hurt when the ticket he created didn't appear on my board.

He had to go rethink everything. Next, the very angry engineer. It was a known issue: helldesk notification emails were sending bad links.

Senior Engineer: WTF is with helldesk? I don't understand any part of it, and the link they gave me is 404-ing.
Azz: hang on, I'm chatting with helpdesk about another thing right now, but after that I will be right with you.
Senior Engineer: wtf wtf wtf do they even have QA?
Azz: *grimly* I think we're their QA.
Senior Engineer: *further detail about the 404 shenanigans*
Azz: Ugh, right, that one. I've CC-ed you on the ticket I've already filed, here is the ticket number, here is the link to the less-broken view of helldesk, and here is how you get back and forth.
Senior Engineer: I think you mean, *you're* their QA.
Senior Engineer: Thanks, this is a lot less broken. I'll bookmark that.

Much later, Researcher Polkadot said something hilarious in email. A crudely made animation ensued.

animated gif )

Later still, the guy who empties the bins came around. A brief but surreal chat about names ensued.

Purple was summoned. We headed out.

I do not know what the m2ma would say about off label uses for extra large finger cuffs, but they had best not have splinters.

Purple cannot have fruit punch on account of it punching back.
Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 04:20
Sprung the cash for winter bicycling gloves and batteries for bike lamps. Am I insane for thinking that biking 50 minutes to and from school in -30C is doable? We will find out.

It is 45 minutes by bus (not including wait times, but always including at least 15 minutes on foot anyway) and $2.50 each way, so biking will likely save me time, and definitely save me $.

Actually, looking at it that way, it will only take me 6 round trips to pay for the gloves and batteries. Geezo. (And with the ability to actually stop at places where I want to stop along the way [e.g. groceries, gym, pretty scenes] without burning my transfers and incurring another $2.50 penalty.)

This lunacy absolutely encouraged by stal--- er following [ profile] k8thek8 's new transit column, and her mention of the hashtag #VikingBiking. 

I'm planning on testing it out on a few shorter trips for groceries and to martial arts classes, and then doing the longer trip on a day I don't have to necessarily be on time, or even actually show up to school. 
Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 00:11
1. It did start raining this evening, but we managed to grill in time!

2. A while back Carla bought a 12-pack of Mug rootbeer for me as I have been in a rootbeer mood a lot lately. But as it turns out, I don't really like the taste of Mug, and neither does she, so it's just been sitting there. But today we got some vanilla ice cream and had ice cream floats! At about half a can per float, that should last us for a while (longer than the ice cream).

3. I did a lot more faffing about reading stuff on the internet than I had wanted to today (to the point of making my arm hurt with all the scrolling!), but I did get some stuff done that needed to get done.
Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 01:26
My talk at this year's was "When Your Codebase Is Nearly Old Enough To Vote": a case study of Dreamwidth and all the horrible horrible things we've found down there underneath the couch cushions, along with the lessons we've learned about when to rewrite them and when to leave them alone.

You can view the YouTube recording (sorry, no transcript), or check out the slides!
Monday, January 26th, 2015 22:47
I liked Salt Lake City and Park City both. I did a fair job of relaxing and not trying to do too much, slightly over the line but most of that was today (getting off the plane to go to ada's school play opening night, which was AMAZING.)

I had great food, 3 different really good hotels, nice people all around, got to see a little of the library, strange experience today of scootering around downtown Salt Lake City and, yay, went to hear an organ recital in the Tabernacle, which was truly great. Mormons weirded me out. I went into the geneology building.

Actually just crossing the street from the temple plaza to the geneology building was weird and hilarious and a good silly story. I was facing the building across a wide, completely empty street at a crosswalk and red light and don't walk sign. The lights on either side a block away were red and no cars were even visible. Across the street from me was a lineup of mormons with name tags, ladies in skirts and like big hair, and men in suits with flowers in buttonholes. It was as if they were in 50s shop windows. They were all staring at me like i was from Mars but with big smiles. I have to say my heart quailed as I realized I was about to jaywalk or jayscoot in front of these people. Do Mormons do a citizens arrest? So, I went across and they all burst into nervous laughter. I went to the median and thought perhaps we could leave it at that, but no, it had to be done right so I just kept going. We grinned at each other wildly. ONe of them stepped aside and made a remark, something like "Well, uh oh, you might just block our way or something!" (Which was weird because.... i am one person and they were like 10 and they were blocking the crosswalk ramp) False joviality! I laughed lightly while grinning (and considered dramtically taking off my hat to reveal troll doll crest; rejected as the right moment had passed before I thought of it, plus, not actually there to troll mormons, just wanted to cross street, so, unworthy) and went on to admire the Pioneer Cabin to collect myself (rattled!) and hack its portal(s).

Then peeked into the geneology place. A large imposing building with very ugly art inside. The greeters were perturbed but came at me with smiles and nametags. Sister something explained that I could go to watch a video then go to the computers and people would help me. I said I was pretty experienced in doing that kind of research and familiar with how to do geneology stuff online and what i wanted to know was what paper archives they have and what access people can have to them because I like history. She did not know but after some fumbling said that there were books and papers and things on other floors but would have to ask around. I didn't have time to stay so thanked her and went off to the GLORIOUS organ music.

Gershwin on an organ, meh. "Southern Song" ok, noted the blue note accurately done (impressive) but this compounded feeling of cultural appropriation/ruining done by Gershwin. and yet it was quite beautiful and dreamy. BUT. Toccata and fugue(s) A PLUS WOULD FUGUE AGAIN. holy shit! So great. The organist did a demo of the acoustics by dropping a pin 3 times onto the table and then a nail and then tearing a newspaper. My observation of the pin drop was that the pins were dropped onto a hollow wooden sounding box type of thing on top of the table. That is not quite cheating, it is fine, but, it was implied that they were just dropped onto the table...... Kind of cheating really. Wondered what the hell. Immense wealth of odd religious cult displayed. What if someone like, busted me for playing ingress in t heir plaza? What would it be like to flat out own like 4 city blocks for the your monumental architecture of your Thing, whatever it is? What even is their thing, wtf? I think my knowledge of mormons goes like this: Sherlock Holmes story. Pat Califia complaining about childhood. Abuse scandals. They wear particular underwear (garments). Feminist Mormon Housewives group blog (which was great when i was reading it). Oh, also, impression that it is odd, but mostly harmless, to think if you record everyone's family tree then you get their souls in your heaven. You know, weird, but, shrug....

Back in SF feeling the vast weight of wondering if Mormons will get me lifted off my shoulders.

Much more to say but must sleep. Must blog about things like, the movie itself, my amazing breakfasts, all the nice things about the hotels, mountains, things I wish I had gotten to do, the library, etc. etc. also ada's school musical which, highlight of everything, was great.
Monday, January 26th, 2015 21:55
Short, simple fix. Best kind.

Tag arrows now have their own CSS class "tagnav" to be manipulated at will. Go forth and stylate! Or don't. Up to you, really.
Monday, January 26th, 2015 22:54
Noah is still skittish and scared of everything, but he missed us. He's splitting the difference by actually hanging out in my office, but hiding.

Read more... )
Monday, January 26th, 2015 21:54
Warnings for language and sentiments, obviously.

I am enough of a New Englander that "wicked redacted for the obvious ableist term )" has a unique connotation that I've never found a replacement for. I don't use that descriptor anymore, but I would love a replacement with the same connotations.

I wouldn't mind a replacement for "transphobic term for a group in which men predominate )." It doesn't have unique connotations, per se, but it is humorously snide in a way I enjoy. But all the the alternatives I've though of are also transphobic, because they all rely on synecdoche for the humor.

Otherwise usually when I'm looking for a replacement for a word I realize the connotation itself is one I'm trying to avoid, not just the term and its associations. Eg. when I wanted to replace racism and classism )

(Consider this a warning label that people might talk about similar problems in the comments.)
Tuesday, January 27th, 2015 08:45
Originally posted at

Over the last year, I finally joined the “listening to podcasts” bandwagon. It turns out that, like everyone else, I need a commute to up my podcast listening. My ‘commute’ is actually about 2km of walking around my suburb dropping off and picking up kids, but whatever.

Some of my regular podcasts:

Slate Money with Felix Salmon, Cathy O’Neil and Jordan Weissmann (and occasional guests). High finance and business, with occasional forays into gossip from finance journalism (Felix and Jordan) and quant-land (Cathy).

Sample episodes: The Davos Edition with Felix bringing gossip from the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos and The “Smoking Up Behind the Bleachers” Edition talking about the creation of Big Weed and also Taylor Swift not streaming on Spotify. (Clearly, I tend to find finance less interesting than business.)

NPR Planet Money. I find NPR/This American Life house production style somehow strange, it’s really unlike, say, the ABC (Australian version) to the point where I have trouble with, say, 99% Invisible seeming a bit fake or overly polished. But Planet Money avoids the uncanny valley of radio, and apparently money is my thing as a podcast listener.

Sample episodes: Bell Wars about the multi-decade feud between the world’s two handbell manufacturers and We’re Short America in which they continue a tradition of making risky investments, dig up $400 or so and short the S&P 500 for educational purposes.

Galactic Suburbia with Tansy, Alex and Alisa talking speculative fiction and related media for about an hour and a half at a time. They have a weak spot in talking about the politics of speculative fiction because they’re often unwilling to name names (“sometimes bad things happen and I think we can agree that less bad things… would… generally speaking be… better”). Their strength is “culture consumed”: their informal reviews of what they’ve been reading and watching. They also do spoileriffic episodes when they talk about things they’ve all watched/read in huge detail.

Sample episodes: with a typical episode lasting ninety to one hundred and twenty minutes, and no formal scripting, episodes tend to be more variable. But a couple I’ve enjoyed most were Hugo Nominations 2014 and Episode 97: the Veronica Mars movie, which is quite a compliment when I’ve never seen any Veronica Mars, including the movie.

Law Report with Damien Carrick. This is an ABC radio show syndicated as a podcast, dealing with Australian legal issues or Australian perspectives on international legal issues.

Sample episodes: Lex Wotton speaks out about the death of Mulrunji and policing on Palm Island, after having his gag upheld for several years by the High Court. Very important for people interested in human rights in Australia. The problem with ‘Mr Big’ confessions, about the policing technique in which people are enticed to confess crimes to undercover police in the belief they are speaking with a senior crime figure.

Chat 10 Looks 3 with Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales. Gossip, literature and cooking with two very senior Australian women journalists. Sadly, they’ve only recorded five episodes and haven’t committed to doing any more ever.

Sample episodes: Episode 1 with Sales singing show tunes and discussion of the gendered idea of the “art monster” (the person consumed by art and cared for by a wife-cum-mother in every respect) and Episode 5 with Christmas baking and Leigh Sales’s total and complete disinterest in the beautiful birds that live in her yard.

Astronomy Cast with Fraser Cain and Dr. Pamela Gay. They do a little too much of the faux-clueless-host-listener-standin for me (although at least gender-wise it’s Fraser doing it and not Pamela), but, it’s friendly and high quality and ASTRONOMY. Right now they’re doing a series on living women astronomers, who, as usual, aren’t as well known as living men astronomers when their work is equally as good.

Sample episodes: Ep. 353: Seasons on Saturn pretty much single-handedly increased my interest in planetary astronomy to about the size of Saturn, and Ep. 360: Modern Women: Jocelyn Bell Burnell is a very interesting story featuring neutron stars, non-aggressive responses to institutional sexism (which I don’t think are better to be clear, but doesn’t mean Bell Burnell shouldn’t be heard), and male astronomers taking damage to their careers challenging institutional sexism. DID I MENTION NEUTRON STARS?

Monday, January 26th, 2015 15:19
Someone posted to a mailing list I'm on about a scifi conference at Oral Roberts University ("Science, Faith, and the Imagination" - keynote speaker Orson Scott Card). I clicked through to "Experiencing Tulsa", whose second paragraph begins:

We are proud of our cultural diversity, and of the cultural activities that celebrate our part and our future.

Unfortunately, the next sentence is not:

In 2021 we will be commemorating the hundredth anniversary of the Tulsa race riot, in which envious, racist white residents killed at least 39 of their black neighbors and destroyed the most prosperous black community in the United States.

And the list of key city attractions -- opera, ballet, the jazz district -- doesn't mention that, as a bonus, if you visit one of Tulsa's parks, you may well be standing on a mass grave.

The scifi conference is requesting submissions of short stories. Alt-history counts....

Monday, January 26th, 2015 11:36
1. All my Sunday night shows were on last night and they were so good. omg Galavant! I really hope it gets a second season.

2. There were a lot of good bentos left over last night and Saturday night, so I was able to bring home some tasty stuff and have an easy dinner. (And breakfast.)

3. It's supposed to rain today, but not until this evening, and we're planning on grilling for lunch so that works out.

4. I've been dragging my feet on the next chapter of Gunjo because I actually have to scan the manga first. But yesterday I finally got started scanning!

5. Starting this week things should be getting a little easier for me at work as I will not have to be in charge of the drink section anymore. (And I won't have to be training someone new to take it over, either. Last time I was supposedly not in charge of the section it was so much work to train the girl who was taking over (and then she quit anyway) that it actually felt like more work than just doing it myself.)
Monday, January 26th, 2015 07:38
I finally come to terms with believing that it is perfectly acceptable for me to love 3 feet of snow and blizzards and dangerous winds and ridiculously cold conditions, because I don't control the weather. Yes, bad weather hurts people, especially poor and disabled people, but my enjoying the snow is not actually going to increase its odds of falling.

If I were Ororo Munroe, I would have a moral dilemma. But I'm not.
Monday, January 26th, 2015 06:12
Mondays, every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)
Monday, January 26th, 2015 11:39
I was so happy that I'd never been sick this year! But last night I apparently caught a cold. Was going to watch the NHL All Star Game with [personal profile] roga but started falling asleep like 20 minutes into it (which NEVER HAPPENS I have to be near catatonic under normal circumstances to fall asleep when I'm actively trying to stay awake) and that probably should have been my first clue that I was sick, I guess.

I don't have a fever (or at least didn't in the morning, now I'm not so sure anymore), so I went to work (UGH. I have a 12 hour workday coming up this week and I am dreading EVERYTHING about it.), dressed in two sweaters and my warmest coat (and a scarf, and earmuffs) while it's 17c outside. Obviously didn't sleep well. Ugh, I had shit I needed to do today.

:/ :/ :/

In order to not be totally useless, have a rec for an original fic series I really enjoyed recently: The Boston Verse.

The first fic in the series is Hookup. Please note the tags, they serve as content notes.

The author has also written three original novels, all posted on her LJ, although I didn't like them as much as this series of shorts (they're well written but the plot/kinks didn't work for me).

In other news, yesterday [ profile] toxic_hedgehog reminded me that I really need to read Olga Onoiko's Sphere 17 already. It's an original m/m novel by a Russian fic writer that I've seen recced around a lot. It's described as a story about a human colony on the edges of known space (in the far future, obviously) with revolution and spying and oppressive regimes and you know, an m/m plot. Seeing as I absolutely adored the last original m/m SFF novel I read by a Russian fic author, I am looking forward to this! Now if only I weren't too sick for reading new stuff right now :/

(I would also like to point out the bitter irony of Sphere 17 getting published in hardcover in 2014 (marketed as Social Scifi and not as a LGBT book specifically, as is typical in the Russian scifi scene), probably right before Putin's new laws came into effect. You can still buy it online in Russia, but I'm sure the new laws have had an impact on the willingness of physical bookstores to stock it.)
Monday, January 26th, 2015 00:25
I planned to be so good and go to bed super-early, but instead I lay awake thinking how my new sheets needed to be washed with baking soda and feeling terrified of the future.

I have a practicum placement at the school where I worked a couple years ago--I'm running a group that's part therapy, part psycho-ed. I also have a supervisor in the form of a psychologist who used to work at the school and now does supervision to some of the school's intern counsellors. I didn't get a job there; they decided to hire somebody who was likely to stay in the position for several years, since stability is important in that kind of environment.

My supervisor and I chatted a bit about my career in general. Once my degree is conferred, I can register in Alberta as a Provisional Psychologist; I then have to work 1600 hours under the supervision of a more senior psychologist (takes about a year working full-time) before I take the Examination for the Professional Practice in Psychology (pronounced "E-triple-P") and become a Registered Psychologist.

So what I'm freaking out about is what to do right now. I think I could be finished my degree totally by June, so... getting any kind of job with the intention of quitting in six months doesn't feel good. It's bad enough when it's just punching a cash register, but anything human-services and high turnover can be a downright hazard. So do I just live on my EI pittance, or...?

The perfect thing would be to find a psychologist who will hire me right now as a psychologist's assistant, then bump me up to provisional status in June (with attendant rise in pay and independence of work) and then, after a year of supervision, keep me on as an associate. That's kind of the scary option--the thought, "I could, right now, just start my career." It's like stepping off a cliff.

Anyway, questions of Now Right Now aside, my supervisor's told me that there is "some difficulty" getting placements as a Provisional, so it takes a bit of extra effort. In Alberta, that difficulty means "more than two weeks", so the 1-2 months she cited sounds totally normal to my BC-acclimated brain, so I don't need to start looking right away, but I feel uneasy just sitting around. She also said that one of the best ways to meet and network with people was to go to local training events (which I have found too). So I'll see if I can get in to a DSM-V seminar a week from now, which is being run by a clinic that looks like it might be a good fit for me. Most of the jobs I've really liked have come because I got some kind of recommendation or referral from somebody, instead of sending my resume to a person sight unseen.

But I'm not sure it'll be worth it, especially since that kind of training is expensive. (I'm doing that one in particular because I promised myself I'd get up to speed on the new DSM this spring.)

I am excited to move house next weekend. I have grand plans for what to do once I can put up shelves and bookcases and unpack all my stuff, and it'll be nice to move out of this apartment, with its grody leaking faucets and upstairs neighbours who have loud sex every night. Then I can change my mailing address everywhere and let my mail catch up with me.

My eyelids are getting heavy. Sleep, I hope.
Monday, January 26th, 2015 03:41
This is crossposted from, my personal maker blog. If you want to link to this post, please use the original link since the formatting there is usually better.

Continuing in my quest to process more photos, I’ve started aiming to do the Active Assignment Weekly challenges on Flickr. I think some of my favourite photos came from doing their challenges, but I hadn’t participated in a long time.

Here’s this week’s, the Pastasaurus:


He normally lives on our microwave so he’s ready whenever pasta needs stirring!

And here’s some from last week, the robots that make our neutral-toned rental less boring:

Robot blast off!  +100Robot light switch

I also uploaded some older photos from the Flock and Fiber festival, as part of my campaign to get old photos processed, but frankly I wasn’t that thrilled with them. Still, I got to experiment with some processing tricks I wanted to try, so that was cool!

Sunday, January 25th, 2015 19:33
post-tags: instagram, crosspost The pile of crêpes, waiting to be turned into a cake. #cookbookclub
Sunday, January 25th, 2015 16:39
Yes, I think a poem is a spell of kinds
that keeps things living in a written line,
whatever's lost or leaving - lock of rhyme -
and so I write and write and write your name.
Sunday, January 25th, 2015 15:15
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Sunday morning baking: @thewhalewins' gâteau de crêpes for @farmandfable #cookbookclub.
Sunday, January 25th, 2015 04:40
Earlier in the week, there was a small layoff. The unofficial communications networks at work have consequently been getting a lot of use as people attempt to figure out where the missing nodes are, beyond the obvious. There is a tradition of people sending a farewell email to their team and other close contacts. And then there are the people who use not!Facebook to do the same, and @-mention every group and individual who they can think of. Thus it was that I learned that Mr. Noise-to-Signal was laid off. Of my friends, the only person I know of who was laid off was R. There were no layoffs on my team.

R has been sent the information on where to find #adventuresofstnono. So have Mr. Zune and radius. (Yes, guys, I use an alias for this as well, and now you know where to find it. I started the practice of aliasing obscure/semi-private venues after the Incident where someone showed up uninvited in a different channel which I had mentioned, then never fit in well, angsted in-channel about not fitting in, and I eventually asked them to leave because I dreaded their presence and they were after all uninvited.)

Also leaving this week was one of the newer people on my team, whose wife got a dream job in another country, and (also as announced on not!Facebook) the second-in-command of the helldesk software. No word as to whether she was part of the layoff, or voluntarily heading for a lawn that hadn't been pissed on greener grass.

It being Friday and that point in the gas tank, I had to get gas before work, which resulted in a later arrival than would have otherwise been. Lunch was pleasant. It was the Rollercoaster Tycoon's last day (he's heading to a startup). I gave him my card.

A conference call with the vendor for the proposed new software followed. Researcher Haystack appears to have taken point on this one. His queries of the vendor's salesdudes are shaped slightly differently than mine. He's coming to it quite naturally from the perspective of the research utility of the thing; I'm coming at it from the shoving-all-the-things-in-it direction. Some of the things I had questions about had not occurred to him. He looks at the data structure of the Excel export of their template and goes "whaaaaaaaa---!!!" and I look at it and I go "wow, I would not have thought to do it like that, but I can do the thing", and most importantly the current thing we are using does not do the thing.

I still have many questions about their alleged choice of primary keys, but I think I can work with the thing.

Haystack likes Salesforce.

I made a list of my favorite software, starting from worst favorite and improving:

[that helldesk software]
[the procurement and expense software]
Outlook Web Access
Kipper/Llama (fondness for the devs is coloring this)

Haystack was slightly surprised. I can't imagine why; it's not as if I haven't made my feelings fairly clear.

It was a beer bash day. I snagged a table. lb was not in, but Mr. Zune soon joined me, followed by Purple and large chunks of his team. radius also joined us. I waved hi to another friend, but the table was not quite large enough, so they sat elsewhere. Mr. Zune told college dorm tales. It turns out that when you freeze and then drop a pumpkin, shards get all over, and then they melt on your bike. This is not pleasant.

Joining #fishbrick is the fishdiscus, or fishbee -- first you #fishbrick the window, and then you throw the much more aerodynamic and prone to shattering fishdiscus through the hole. You can't really handle it barehanded, so you wear gloves. You keep the fishdiscus from sticking to the gloves with herring oil. In case they're gloves you might want to use again, you wear rubber gloves over them. A pair or two.

Shortly after Mr. Zune headed off, Lennon Glasses Guy wandered over.

radius regaled us with some of his OWA war stories. All he was trying to do was to move about 2,000 messages from one folder to another. Several months of swearing ensued. Presently, in the new folder, there are somewhere upwards of 40,000...

Lennon Glasses Guy observed that he's heard about an IRC channel driving some of this group's shenanigans from time to time, and he was curious about it. So he was issued a formal invitation to #cupcake. I think he will appreciate it, because he appreciates it when Purple and I bounce off each other at lunch, and has enjoyed the #cupcake table at beer bash.

The group split up. I went back to my desk and hammered on my inbox and the helldesk stuff a bit, although I was distracted by something terrible happening in Outlook when I tried to pick a conference room. It's always startling to watch the list of conference rooms populate and then vanish...

Presently, Purple pinged me. This time he had indeed parked in the same parking lot as I had, and we walked out. He had a banana and a tangerine; he held them both out and offered me some fruit. I picked the one that would not cause me woe. He suggested a frying pan and some rum. We chatted for a bit, and then he zipped off, as he had places to be. I chatted with Nora on the way home.
Sunday, January 25th, 2015 02:57
Thursday involved a conference meeting right after lunch, and then a team meeting right after that.

I headed to fetch lunch a little early, because I was hungry. This was a good choice. The only thing that looked remotely palatable at the moment was the chicken cheesesteak, even though that involved bell peppers. I put in the grill order form with a hopeful "Avoid peppers". The guy said they were integrated. I sighed that I could pick them out: I wasn't allergic, I just hated them. He said to not worry about it, and within a much shorter time than I thought, I was handed a takeout box with a pepperless cheesesteak. I took it back to my desk, just in time to see Purple's lunch ping. So I headed back out and had a pleasant lunch with the table.

The conference meeting was about coming up with a theme for the conference, and a bit slap-happy. We came up with a promising initial list. We had to wait a bit for the conference room. It holds about 20-30 people. 40-50 people came pouring out of it like the proverbial clown car. It had been a meeting for my admin buddy's team. He oversees Quite A Large Department.

Things we cannot have for swag: things that get our people arrested if they bring it with them on the airplane.

The team meeting involved meeting a new guy in a slot Substantially Up The Org Chart. He said many of the correct things. That was also a mildly punchy meeting.

I was walking back from that meeting and swung by Mr. Zune's office; there I saw lb. lb and I went in search of frozen treats, but at the near location rather than the far one. We then repaired out to the fire pit, as the past two hours of meetings had been nearly unbearably hot.

I often choose that spot to enjoy the outdoors, have my ice cream, and perhaps work-from-mobile. It's pleasant, I have a personal attachment to the fire pit, and Purple's window overlooks the fire pit.

This time, the implied extra feature of the location activated, and Purple emerged from his dev-cave to clear his brain and chat a bit.

I came back to my email to find that the desktop guy had got a bit of the wrong end of the stick with my Outlook bug (he was trying to troubleshoot my problem adding the RSS feed, not my problem with Outlook's silent failure when not adding the RSS feed) so I went upstairs with chocolate in hopes of finding him. I didn't find him, but I did find Mr. Zune, and introduced myself to his new* officemate with chocolate.

* A month or two new, at this point.

I saw Mr. Zune's Overlord on approach, so I extracted the third square of chocolate from my pocket for him, then wandered over the bridge into the adjacent building in search of my buddy the admin with the final bit of chocolate. He wasn't there, but the ducks were! So that was lovely. I left the chocolate on his desk, as a bit of a calling card. He will know.

It was eventually time to go home. Purple wasn't braining as well as he might, and neither was I. It was 7, so traffic was calming down. He had been in a hurry in the morning, though, so he'd parked in the most convenient parking lot (the one which fills up particularly quickly) for his building. Due to where his office is, the parking lot next to my building is almost as convenient, but not quite.

I contemplated. I was tired, but my step count was a little low. "I could walk you out for a change," I offered.

He went quiet on IM, but it was about that time, so I picked up, grabbed my things, and headed over. He was chatting with one of his teammates, so I went and refilled my water bottle, then came back and perched in the guest chair (now a proper office chair, not one of the chairs clearly filched from a meeting room) while he talked unit testing.

He hadn't seen the IM yet. He'd thought I was just dropping by to say goodnight. I explained that if I wanted 1,200-odd more steps, then walking him out to his car and then taking the long way back around to mine was a reasonably pleasant way of getting them. That was fair.

Somehow we started at the way I knock on doors and arrived (through secret knocks) at the utter fuckwit who, among other charming personal traits, blackmail, plus other related matters )

"Rebar" is an ominous name for a rooster.

My knees got cranky. Purple got cold. He offered to drive me back to my car, but I pointed out that folding my knees up after they were angry would not lead to good things, that walking it off was good after standing, that being friends with him had in fact increased my capacity for standing around chatting, I did need the steps, and my hands were much warmer than his.

I did get my steps in.

I had some slightly weird dreams.
Sunday, January 25th, 2015 20:48
Content notes and warnings: pretty explicit discussion of suicidality, homophobia, mental illness, physical health

... )
Sunday, January 25th, 2015 10:32
There is snow. For the first time this winter.

I hate snow. Or rather, I hate winter, because I hate the cold and the dark and I hate the roads being icy* and the mud when it all melts and having to wear 4 layers of clothing just to not lose feeling in my fingers.

But so far, thus has been a mild and agreeable winter. Maybe this will be the only snow and maybe it will have melted by tomorrow. Please?

* Might have something to do with having a very serious car accident on black ice, sliding into the Autobahn safety railing thing with about 50 km/h, I suppose...
Sunday, January 25th, 2015 09:20
via at January 25, 2015 at 03:00AM:




Much needed.

It’s a war in there. Every single day.
Sunday, January 25th, 2015 00:12
1. The new stocker seems to be working out well and just in general it finally feels like we have enough people working there so everyone's not scrambling to keep up.

2. There were lots of good leftover bentos tonight, including my favorite ramen.

3. I managed to get some translating done before work today. Too often on my late days I find the morning goes by so fast and then suddenly it's time for work and I didn't do anything.

4. It's supposed to rain a couple days this coming week. :D

5. All my shows are back on tomorrow! (Though sadly it's the last two episodes of Galavant.)
Sunday, January 25th, 2015 08:09
via at January 25, 2015 at 02:00AM:
“The worst thing in the world is having to go back to the dark you shook off.”
- Catherynne M. Valente, from Six Gun Snow White (via lifeinpoetry)
Saturday, January 24th, 2015 22:48
 Pro tip: When you find yourself defending "some kinds" of racism, just stop. 

(But at least you recognize what you're saying /is/ racist? But seriously, just stop.)
Saturday, January 24th, 2015 18:42
A followup to this and this:

So I wasn't going to post this at first, but then [personal profile] wild_irises pointed out that holding it back for fear of being seen as self-absorbed is hardly in the spirit of Wishcraft, and she's right, so here goes :)

I tried to combine everybody's positive comments about me into a single narrative, something that resembles the spirit of the original exercise in Barbara Sher's book ("ask a friend to say good things about you for 3 minutes.") So I combined comments that were similar to each other and grouped them roughly by topic. This includes all the comments from my Dreamwidth post, plus some from Facebook and one from an email. However, I've mashed things up enough that there shouldn't be anything there that's possible to trace back to one person (except for the ones that were made non-anonymously here on Dreamwidth, of course!) So, don't assume that a given sentence has the same author as the next one or the one before it, because there are a whole bunch of cases where that's not true.
You're willing to listen without assumption, and to act. You're loyal. I never feel like you're gonna bite my hand if you don't like my idea, and honest criticism is gold in ways that people don't always understand. You are a straightforward and trustworthy person. You are a very encouraging friend. When I didn’t want to live anymore, you wrote me a letter that touched me and made me cry. You sent me a book that is dear to me and you wished me solace. It makes me happy to know someone that I could confide & brainstorm with if I am having a real crisis or need some insight. (within certain realms, to be realistic) You happily met up with me and readily continued a friendship, even though we hadn’t been in contact for ages.

You have much warmth, kindness, and empathy. You care very deeply and so fiercely about so many important issues. You are aware of how other people see the world, and try to do the right thing. I believe you to be the kind of open minded person that in the heat of an argument, if proven wrong, would yell out apologies & correct yourself in the same heated tone you were slamming the ideas just minutes before........which is awesome. You are actively striving to be better and have the capacity to learn from your mistakes; you're also willing to make them in the first place. You continue to investigate your own biases deeply and refine your worldview and opinions as an adult, even as an adult over 30, motivated by wanting to treat other people better. You have great sensitivity to the suffering of others and your focus on other people is directly (rather than inversely) proportional with how much oppression they've suffered. There are people you’ll never know whose lives you have touched in a beautiful way. You are adding so much good not only to the lives of those you know and care about, but to all those people you will never know.

You also share your opinions and communicate well about them. I've learned a lot from you, particularly about privilege, and specifically in ways that I hope have made me able to treat people better, and/or that will make me able to potentially treat people better in the future. Your writing has led me to interesting questions and further exploration of topics like discrimination and intersectional feminism, which in turn has appreciably improved my understanding of the world. Your opinions sometimes seem outlandish at first, but often cause me to think long and hard. You make me challenge my assumptions. Specifically, you've made me realize that I tend to hide behind a belief that any progress is better than no progress on many fronts instead of actively working for change. It's an ugly truth but I'm glad you've helped me to realize it. You help me learn more and open my eyes to things I’d never thought about before.

You approach your life with both analytical distance and thoughtfulness. You think hard and deeply about topics many people shy away from, and speak frankly about your thoughts. Particularly, you confront difficult and complicated problems even if it would be easier to stay quiet; you don't shy away from conflict. You are an engaging writer with a lot of interesting things to say. I appreciate your precision. I like you because you speak your mind, but with respect for your reader; because you acknowledge complications and nuances while not adopting the cowardly option of either assuming all sides are all equally valid or that only one is. You are deeply engaged with social justice issues and are not afraid to take unpopular positions. You are a person of integrity and seriousness. I find your point of view consistently well thought out and understandable.

Specifically I enjoi the critical talk of cis, straight, white culture & queer, trans culture (when it warrants it), or even tech industry (aka bro-ding...get it? coding...bro....ah haaaa! you get it) You say interesting things about gender, including but not just how it affects your life. You pay attention to and amplify marginalized voices, particularly those of women and trans people. You "get" feminism and are outspoken on behalf of person who are not cis males, especially in computer science. I am always appreciative of your ability and willingness to advocate for others. You are strongly compassionate. I particularly like that you always consider children as human beings (and I'm curious what your parenting will look like in practice.) You care so much about people and non-humans too.

You come across as a knife with a neon nyan cat handle in subject matters you feel strongly about, all shiny, bright & happy "....but ...wait....oh god! ......I've been cut to size? but how???? " You have a low tolerance for bullshit, and the ability to cut through the bullshit and get right to the heart of the matter. You challenge empty rhetoric directly and do not tolerate even passive acquiescence to something you know is wrong. I have always admired your ability and bravery at times to tell it like it is. You are unapologetic about who you are and uncompromising about principles. That said, you're not abusive or threatening about it: you are critical while maintaining your ability to connect with others. You're fighting injustice and making this painful world a much better place.

You have always struck me as intimidatingly good. I say intimidatingly because it puts me in mind of something in one of Diane Duane's Young Wizards books: direct contact with the Powers that Be is actually a bit of a dangerous hobby for a human to get into, because the Powers are impatient with mere human flaws, including the flaws of their own vessels, and they tend to burn through whatever impurities they encounter.

That's what you try to do to obstacles between you and justice.

You are very clear about your goals and their status, but also flexible about them. You don't exploit others. You somehow maintain optimism about human nature, despite considerable evidence in your personal history for the opposite perspective. You're idealistic, but it's tempered by a hard-won jadedness, which I think contributes to your good and offbeat sense of humor. While you are a very serious person at heart, you are approachable and you don't shy away from enjoying life and relationships with others. You are very capable of relaxing and pursuing pleasure and leisure, without neglecting your convictions. You take responsibility for the things you enjoy. You are often fun to be around, and pleasantly talkative.

You are highly intelligent and apparently a very good coder. You enjoy learning and sharing what you've learned with others. I think the best thing about you (to me) is the fact that you're outspokenly more critical & well read than myself & I use that to my advantage to learn about or become more in depth with subject matter I wasn't aware of. You are enormously curious and eager to acquire knowledge and understanding, where understanding is more important than knowledge. You have a drive to get useful things done, which is far better for the world than a drive to get things done in general. I regret that you and I did not get to work together for the short time we worked at the same place.

You are responsible. When part of groups, you are good at identifying tasks for yourself and doing them correctly and consistently. You'll invent processes where there aren't any, and you'll improve them where there are some that need improvement.

You're fun when you're very horny.

Your beard is awesome. I dig your glasses.

Oh, and you let your kitties stay with us for a couple months and they brought us much joy.


Oh, and one more thing, Spotty and Spreckles telepathically communicated to me some good things about you, too. Don't ask me why they didn't tell you for themselves...ask them. Your kitties are strange... :)

Spotty - You happily pay for as many headphone wires as I chew up and still love me. You are fun to snuggle with. Oh, and you bring me my food!

Spreckles - I have never told you this and I should have. You gave me a really spiffy name*. And you make every day fun. You make me glad to be a cat. And you bring my food! If you bring me more food, I will say more good things about you! Right now, I need to nap! Sorry!
Thank you so much to everyone who commented on my DW post, on Facebook, or in email. I'm not thanking you for having positive opinions about me, since I hardly think that my thanks will affect your opinions one way or the other :) Rather, I'm thanking you for writing them down, which is hard to do.
Saturday, January 24th, 2015 17:20
When you see this, share lines from 3 random WIPs.

As I've mentioned several times, the complete lack of writing from me lately is because one of my drugs (and it's the one of my drugs that I can't sub out for something else) is fucking with my ability to string words together. That having been said, I do have a few things in progress that I work on when I can manage it. All FF7:

yes, this includes part 3 of Lullabye )