November 2015

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Friday, November 27th, 2015 21:38
Struck with the sudden desire to watch DS9 (especially since I lost my access to regular episodes around the time the dominion arc started getting good so I've never seen the end)

But it's a case of too many episodes too little time. Anyone able to recommend a good episode watching guide?

I tried googling but there are a lot of lists and I can't tell which are any good! Suspect someone here knows my pain :3
Friday, November 27th, 2015 21:05

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: Yuki is desperate to keep Mikako and Kaito from spending time alone with each other because she's afraid Kaito will confess his feelings. Kaito doesn't want Yuki spending time with Mikako because he's afraid Mikako will be a corrupting influence. Meanwhile, Mikako wants to keep Kaito and Yoshiki apart because she wants Yoshiki for herself. But not everyone can get what they want...

Chapter 51: Deadlock
Chapter 52: Alike
Friday, November 27th, 2015 21:12
just now realized that the three torah portions in a row [last week, this week, next week] are va'yetze (went out), va'yishlach (sent), and va'yeshev (sat down/lived there). you know, because that's usually how things go.

also realized that my hebrew has advanced to the point where i understand >70% of the text without looking at the translation. reading up in preparation for the likely discussion at services tomorrow. because clearly three days in a row of social is a good idea.

i was drafting a post in my head as i fell asleep the other night, and now i can't for the life of me remember what it was about.

there was also a dream about my mother driving my car and getting into an accident. i'm sure there is some deeper meaning in that one.

um...that's all i got.
Friday, November 27th, 2015 22:44
... that was definitely a nonsensical Western about dinosaurs, with a lovingly rendered backdrop of thoroughly referenced completely incorrect geology

I object strenuously to the fact that it made me cry that much in spite of the baffling artistic licence taken with evolution and wish to lodge a complaint

Nipples don't exist! But that's okay because the C4 photosynthetic pathway does, paving the way for remarkably resilient leaf loincloths

This concludes your complementary review of The Good Dinosaur, now showing in cinemas near you!
Friday, November 27th, 2015 21:48
The Kittens Game by bloodrizer is amazing. It is quite addictive. You are a kitten in a field of catnip. You can gather catnip. When you have enough catnip, you can plant it in a field and grow more. Then you can make wood, and build huts, and it grows into this great resource-mining game. It's very well balanced, with lots of interesting quirks. I was delighted when I first tamed a unicorn. Now I have collected unicorn tears, reset the game and collected my karma, my kitties have drilled oil wells and built amphitheatres and trade with the zebras and sharks on a regular basis. I discovered it from comments in [personal profile] yvi's post about constructive games a while back.

Is anyone else playing?
Friday, November 27th, 2015 21:06
Last swim of the season. #sunset #optoutside #rei1440project
Friday, November 27th, 2015 21:01
Late gold. #foagm #optoutside #rei1440project
Friday, November 27th, 2015 20:43
It's always slightly surprising when an old Doctor Who episode continues to look good. Ghost Light has the advantage of a historical setting which the BBC has always been more comfortable with but, if my memory of TV history is correct (and I'm no expert), things like the costume department had already been sub-contracted out by this point, but there are very few effects here that would look out of place in the modern series which is impressive given that, in real terms, the show was operating on a very tight budget by this point.

More Under the Text )

However it is mostly difficult to fault Ghost Light. Its flaws are those of the era as a whole and it rises above many of the era's issues - the overall acting standard, for instance, is much better here than in many of the seventh Doctor's stories. It looks gorgeous and manages to tell a packed tale, in a short time span, without leaving any major plot holes uncovered. It isn't as crowd-pleasing as many of Doctor Who's acknowledged classics, but it should probably be counted among their number.
Friday, November 27th, 2015 11:46
Poll #17126 Asking for a friend
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 27

You wish to engage in criminal activity of a magical nature in Toronto[1]. It is summer. Pick a location:

View Answers

CN Tower
3 (11.5%)

Casa Loma
6 (23.1%)

Hart House
2 (7.7%)

Leslie Spit
2 (7.7%)

0 (0.0%)

Eaton's Centre
2 (7.7%)

Union Station
2 (7.7%)

Other TTC station (specified in comments)
0 (0.0%)

Pearson Airport
3 (11.5%)

City Airport
1 (3.8%)

Elsewhere on Toronto Island
3 (11.5%)

Nathan Phillips Square/City Hall
3 (11.5%)

Regent Park Armory
2 (7.7%)

Queen Street West
2 (7.7%)

Queen Street East
0 (0.0%)

40 College
1 (3.8%)

Flatiron Building, Front Street East
0 (0.0%)

Don Valley (specifics in comments)
1 (3.8%)

Robarts Library/Majestic Turkey
3 (11.5%)

Public Library (specify branch in comments)
0 (0.0%)

5 (19.2%)

7 (26.9%)

3 (11.5%)

On a streetcar
3 (11.5%)

Ontario Legislature
2 (7.7%)

Horseshoe Tavern
0 (0.0%)

0 (0.0%)

High Park
3 (11.5%)

Bloor Viaduct
6 (23.1%)

This other location:

Please speculate freely on tactical, logistical, and other considerations in comments.
No, I am not going to blow up the location in question. Not even if it's the extension on the ROM.

[1] South of Finch, East of Kipling, West of Kennedy. Amalgamation can bite me.
Thursday, November 26th, 2015 23:14
1. I got a lot of cleaning done this morning and the house looks pretty great. It would have been easy to blow off the cleaning because we were making food and Alexander was coming over, but I never have the energy to clean on work days so I really wanted to get it done and I did. Yay.

2. We had delicious turkey, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin cheesecake.

3. Molly cuddled with me on the sofa this evening and was just super sweet.
Thursday, November 26th, 2015 22:48
The squash is *almost* ready, dear … #thanksgiving #dinner
Thursday, November 26th, 2015 20:22
If anyone fancies writing fic (fanfic or origfic) for Rachel, she's put up a bunch of (really rather awesome, IMHO) prompts and descriptions of what she likes. Check it out. See if you are inspired:

[personal profile] rachelmanija: Totally Self-Indulgent Begging For Fic
Thursday, November 26th, 2015 19:09
It is funny how opinion can seem radically different even across fairly closely overlapping circles. This has been brought home to me a couple of times recently, firstly when [personal profile] miss_s_b complained about everyone singing the praises of Julian Bleach's Davros while ignoring Michelle Gomez's Missy which was quite the opposite to what I was seeing (so much so, that I just had to go and look up who played Davros on Wikipedia). I was going to start this review by saying something along the lines of "I seem to be the only person who didn't much like Sleep No More" except that [personal profile] sir_guinglain pretty much started his with the line "I seem to be the only person who liked Sleep No More".

And after that digression, I shall say more under the cut )

I've maybe been a little harsh above and I've seen a lot worse Doctor Who in my time. But this was the weakest episode this season and ultimately I didn't think it was clever that it made no sense. I just thought it made no sense.
Thursday, November 26th, 2015 10:46
I've been sick for a few days with a bad back and mostly away from the internet, and tonight I'm going to see a house concert by a Russian bard singing Mahabharata slash songs, and in all this excitement I feel like I need to mention the last Hunger Games movie, which I saw last weekend and had thoughts and feelings about.

spoilers )
Thursday, November 26th, 2015 04:09
* It's difficult to cook when the cat demands, every two minutes, that you fix his food bowl. ('Fix', in this case, defined as 'push all the food back into the center of the bowl from the corners he licked it into'.) It is possible Gabe is a bit spoiled.

* I am so incredibly mellow about this holiday prep it's not even funny, although I'm sure that in another eight hours I'll be doing the "...but what if we don't have enough FOOD" panic. I can't even find my schedule. I know it's here somewhere, I just don't know WHERE. And I'm not at all fussed by this. As long as the turkey is in the oven by 1PM, it's all good.

* It occurred to me tonight that if I ever become a superhero, I can bring all my superhero friends to holidays with me no problem even if they want to be introduced by codename, because over the last twenty years, my parents have been conditioned to accept hearing "Oh, this is my friend DinosaurKitten" without batting an eyelash. (Exactly twenty years, in fact; the first Thanksgiving guest I brought home From The Internet(tm) was in 1995.) They stopped even wondering why all my friends seem to have five or six names that people call them after a few years!

* The best part of having [personal profile] arie here for Thanksgiving (I can't say 'visiting for Thanksgiving', because by now this is also her house even if she's only here two or three times a year) is that I know I can leave the sink full of dirty dishes and the house elves will magically clean them by the time I wake up again.

* ...which will be in six hours, because I am harnessing my sleep disorder to do all the prep the night before, but that means I will not be getting much sleep. Ugh.

* My attempt at Serious Eats' Birdie Bread Rolls did not turn out quite as adorable, but they are still pretty fucking cute. (I used raisins instead of chocolate cereal pearls for the eyes.)

And now it's time to feed the cat again (it's been a whole TWENTY MINUTES since he got food!) and try to sleep for a bit. Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate!
Thursday, November 26th, 2015 00:16
1. We had a cashier out sick again today (different one from yesterday) so it was pretty hectic this morning, but I still managed to get what I needed to get done while only staying like 45 minutes late.

2. Last night and tonight for dinner we had tomato soup and quesadillas, which is so delicious! I've always liked tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches, and we had been talking about that, but we didn't have any bread in the house while we did have tortillas, so we went with the quesadillas instead and it was such a good decision!

3. We started watching Aziz Ansari's new Netflix sitcom Master of None and it's really funny!
Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 20:10
The Krotons must have been the first Troughton story I ever saw. It was shown as part of the BBC's "Five Faces of Doctor Who" repeats as part of the show's 20th anniversary. I didn't, to be honest, remember a lot about it beyond the two Gonds stumbling out of the machine (the first to be disintegrated and the second to be rescued) in part 1, and the Doctor and Zoe being zapped for mental energy in part 2.

More under the Cut )
Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 13:20
You know, the best trailers are a form of benign trolling. Some of those cuts were ... VERY strategic, just sayin'.

So, you know, speculate madly, I sure intend to, but keep in mind that they want to mislead us, yeah?
Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 17:46
where I will abruptly realise that one of the men I love simply does not know something that so thoroughly permeates my experiences of the world that I barely even think to mention it.

Content notes for misogyny and gender policing and violence and all that good stuff.

Read more... )
Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 11:26

I have not posted in forever. EVER EVER EVER.

I have had so much happen in the last week it's ridiculous and I kept thinking I need to post this! Have a record! And then I didn't. But it's okay.

On 18 November (last Wednesday), Brent and I woke up to the house flooded. Not whole house flooded, but a nice chunk. At least it was restrained to the sunken living room and the laundry room and the back canning kitchen and the shop. over 200 gallons were shop-vac-ed out of the house. That's a shit-tonne of water.
pictures here! be aware, there's feet. )

I am SO FREAKING MAD about this. We have to rebuild the wall so that it doesn't come through anymore.

And on 11 November, my brother-in-law Thomas and nephew William managed to get my brother's tombstone up. It only took two friggin' years for the VA to get us the tombstone. (No, I'm not bitter. Why do you ask?) John's tombstone )

I got that picture the next day, and I had to go spend my lunch break in the bathroom crying. It hit hard.

Then 19 November, I came home from work (knowing that Brent was on his way to Texas for a big SCA event) and found FRIGGIN' MOUSE TURDS ON MY BED (no, not sharing that picture). I was so irate. I rampaged for a bit.

And now I'm fighting with a Google Spreadsheet. I'm not enjoying it.

The turkey is brining for tomorrow. My mom and dad are coming down. This is going to be ... interesting.

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 12:30
Snaffled from ars technica

Stanford researcher Mark Jacobson likes to take current thinking about renewable energy and supersize it. Rather than aiming for 50 percent renewables, like California is, he has analyzed what it would take for each of the 50 states to go fully renewable. It would apparently involve so many offshore wind turbines that hurricanes headed toward the States would be suppressed.

I feel like that's an unalloyed good, am I missing something here?
Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 16:02
As some of you will aready know, [personal profile] rachelmanija is dealing with some very stressful stuff; she could use some good h/c recs. This is the recs accumulation post.

She says:

I like old-school "lost and injured in wildernesses," "held hostage," "poisoned," "race to get to medical care," "post-action breakdown" "adjusting to being a civilian with bonus PTSD," that sort of thing - I like when the hurt is serious or life-threatening, there's some action, and plenty of comfort at the end. Sholio and Dira Sudis write the sort of thing I like, and of course my Werewolf Marines books are the exact sort of thing I like.

I like canon recs too but already know Sharpe, Dick Francis, Lymond, Hornblower, Modesty Blaise, Eagle of the Ninth, Leverage, Star Trek (any iteration) Star Wars (ditto), Percy Jackson, Pern, Kushiel's Dart, Benjamin January, Attack on Titan, X-Men (especially anything but First Class, but I do also like First Class. I just prefer the comics and first two movies). Would love any fic recs in those canons or probably any book or anime fandom. Like, anything that's ever appeared in Yuletide probably has sufficient context.

For fic, if the story's really great I'll try anything. But I'm picky about MCU (don't like infantilized Bucky, have irrational hatred for Coulson), don't like SGA, Sherlock, or Teen Wolf, and don't know Hamilton, Homestuck, or Steven Universe. Finally, I'm neutral on rape recovery - it's not a plus but it's not a back button either.

I like touch starvation, people feeding each other or helping each other to walk or carrying each other, huddling for warmth, washing each other or washing their hair. And a minimum of vomit.
Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 23:30
1. It's raining! Probably not much or for long, but it's nice.

2. Tomorrow is my early day and I'm not looking forward to that, but I am looking forward to coming home early, so hopefully I won't have to stay late! (Plus it is nice to get in there and get stuff done before there's a bunch of people bothering me.)

3. We had the most hilarious kitten moment tonight. I really wish we had been filming! Chloe was up on the shelves by the mantle and she can jump from there to the love seat now, so she made the jump just fine, and landed next to Carla's foot and then was just super startled by the foot! She just paused in shock for a moment, with this horrified look on her face, and then jumped up onto the back of the love seat. Describing it just really can't do it justice. If we'd been filming, we would have had a hit cat video on our hands for sure.

4. Apparently some people are trying to bring back Glitch? It's called Children of Ur now and if you sign up with the same username you can even have your old avatar! It's really slow and buggy right now and not especially fun to play, but omg I am so excited about the idea of this game coming back!
Wednesday, November 25th, 2015 02:26
There are YouTube socks! They are not tube socks, alas.
Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 16:08
How to remove album artwork from iTunes 12?

Because I can't seem to get it to stay deleted, which is displeasing me mightily.
Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 17:09
The Fanlore page now has some links to most of what's been happening and some good summaries, for anyone who's not already aware.

I am still trying to figure out what to say publicly, but I am also desperate to talk about it, in between being really nervous of hearing stuff dragged back up that will really upset me. I'm mostly healed from the previous incidents, but not entirely.

I'm tentatively hopeful but still slightly cynical at the moment. Matty and LO (Atiya) are great people and I look forward to seeing what they'll do. They're not perfect people, and fandom's idealisation-devaluation cycle is vicious. A clean slate is easier in some ways than changing a culture when you're a minority, but there are bits of problematic culture that have been spread across the org for so many years that I really doubt they're all gone, so I don't think the Board is the only problem culturally or ethically, let alone in any other way.

I haven't linked it from the Fanlore page as I know she doesn't want the whole of Metafandom descending on her, but [personal profile] recessional's commentary is interesting, for any mutual friends/network who hadn't spotted it yet.

I have been sick for the past five days, I'm exhausted and everything sucks, I still have dayjob to do, chores to do, and a pile of fun stuff including Dreamwidth coding that I'd like to get to at some point. But I've gone and volunteered to share my knowledge on the finance side, because institutional history can help, provided you can prevent it perpetuating bad culture.
Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 09:51
I seem to be plotting, with enthusiastic help from [personal profile] staranise, a Flashpoint/Rivers of London crossover.

I assume I'm looking at, like, five readers here, and I'll probably end up getting four of them to help beta, but the heart wants what the heart wants, which in this case seems to be Ed Lang attempting to grapple with the logistics of a situation involving fucking magic, seriously? while Peter Grant and Thomas Nightingale are stuck kibitzing via Skype and can't usefully do any actual spells.

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 09:12
This was actually sort of an impulse, created while doing other things, so the quantities and times are a bit imprecise, sorry. It was sort of inspired by a jam Mel made a few years back with a piece of venison and a lot of onions that made me think that sweet and savoury was a taste thing I could get behind after all, but I wanted to do one with more fruit and no meat plus, you guys, I have a lot of dried fruit in my pantry and wanted to do something other than put it on oatmeal.

A handful of prunes, chopped smallish.
A scant handful of dried currants.
About 8 green peppercorns, cracked up in a mortar with two pieces of dried garlic (they were selling dried garlic at the Ukaranian festival this summer and you guys, it is amazeballs. Sharp and rich and just generally fun to play with.)
An enthusiastic glug of dry sherry
A slightly less enthusiastic glug of balsamic fruit vinegar.
A small glug of fruit juice to bring the liquid level up (I used cherry/cranberry, because it was sitting on the table when I was flailing about looking for ideas)

Cook it for several hours covered on very low heat (I have a tiny crockpot, which is what I used) wandering past and tasting it occasionally and when the vinegar starts to taste a bit sharp turn it off and add

One onion, carmelised.

Let it sit for a couple of hours while you do other things. Put it on stuff.
Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 08:15
1) Rather late: [personal profile] fairestcat and I were in Rossland with my sister and Mom for Thanksgiving proper, so we did it this weekend, having luckily been able to get Meletor and her delightful Man up here for four hectic, awesome days.

Mel and I took over the kitchen and did Interesting Things with food, ably supported by our long-suffering spouses, who variously drove us to two grocery stores, organised the table, did a million dishes, rescued the bread when the kitchen, being cold and dry, killed the first round of yeast dead, chopped things, reminded us of things, hugged us, tasted things, stirred things, consoled us when things did not go as planned and had to be rejigged on the fly, ate and praised our efforts, and did a million more dishes while we sat around dazed drinking port and high-fiving each other hysterically while exclaiming WE DID THE THING. As one does.

Mel's rabbit pilaf was the hit of the night and my savoury jam wasn't too bad either. There were two kinds of squash and [personal profile] fairestcat's amazing brussel sprouts and I did a slightly experimental pie that was nearly exactly right (condensing all the fruit worked well but I needed a fraction more liquid) and we ritually harvested the last kale from the bathtub and [personal profile] fajrdrako and [personal profile] reyl and his awesome daughter Em came and helped us eat it all and it was an excellent Thanksgiving/Harvest Festival meal.

Monday we had to take Mel and James to the airport, which was exceeding sad.

2) In other news we got a fancy dehumidifier with a HEPA filter, and the difference is shocking. I confirmed on this trip that no matter HOW clean a space is, if it's damp it WILL contain enough dust mites to make me ill, so when I got home to a week of rain we splurged. I'm rationalising it on the grounds that with the price of Advair what it is we'll save the 300 CDN back right quick, and honestly I think that's true, and that's before we compare the health effects of spending it on steroids versus spending it on not needing steroids.

My other big discovery of this year is that allergy attacks = inflammation and fluid retention/production which = increased pain. I have usually tended to have less pain and fatigue while out in the mountains and then collapse on arriving home but I guess I thought it was adrenalin followed by a crash. Nope.

When I walk into a place I react to, on what was a good pain day, I can reliably predict that my back and shoulders will start to hurt twenty to thirty minutes later. I now have a whole new theory of that whole "my knee tells me what the weather is going to do" thing.

I pass this on for what it's worth to folks with both allergies and chronic pain.

3) Pursuant to my policy that snow is not permitted before my birthday, I am snarling feebly at the extremely fluffy white rain outside today. Fortunately I have to do a bunch of cleaning, so am saved from actually going out to encounter it in person.

4) As of December 15 I will, for the first time in some time, no longer be married to a member of the OTW board. In the meantime, yes, I AM pointedly ignoring the current rash of posts on the topic, and intend to continue doing so.

I may at some point alter the policy I have had since [personal profile] fairestcat first joined the board back in whenever of publically having No Opinion Whatsoever about the OTW's workings, but frankly it's extremely restful so very likely not.

I'd like to continue to believe that you are all the kind of people who, upon reading that, will NOT feel compelled to leave me a comment designed to bait one of us into engaging. Please assist me in maintaining this innocence.

5) I have no original or useful thoughts about current world affairs, and if Afghanistan and Iraq taught me anything it's that there's really not a lot of point in arguing unless you can arrange to do so in front of policymakers anyway.

My immediate response and current plan is that I am going to call the local Red Cross and get myself back on the Disaster Relief roster and see what classes I can do. Because things are uncertain (things have always been uncertain) and when bad shit goes down in the world there is always room for more people who are willing to show up with tea and blankets and sandwiches, or organise the procurement and delivery of same, and freely give them to those in need, without qualification.
Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 00:29
Purple got snagged by lb and Mr. Netflix for lunch today, since lb and Mr. Netflix were the only representatives of the department actually in the department for lunch. Thus it was that I did not see Purple in person until it was time to go home.

I managed to wait until we were outside to apologetically point out that I would be having a worse time than expected for the next couple weeks because I'd trained pretty hard on Bearded Purple, so Beardless Purple was essentially a stranger (with, for bonus points, a smile a hell of a lot like Figment's).

It's going to be a super weird couple weeks. I'm going to be double-taking a lot.

lb had immediately given him shit upon seeing it. Purple did mention his reason for doing it, and it's a reason I fully endorse beyond the "dude, it's ... your beard? and you're the boss of your beard?" position ... but dang, I still have a hard time recognizing him without it. Despite having known him for quite some time without it, I still learned his face with it due to his directory picture.

<lb> I think we should give him some beard products
<lb> beard products are a hint to beard harder
Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 09:30
From an email received by Matryoshka who has been masterminding everything:

I am pleased to confirm that your paper "Formal Verification of Ethical Choices in Autonomous Systems" has been accepted for publication in Robotics and Autonomous Systems.

This was originally a journal special issue version of our 2013 TAROS paper: Ethical Choice in Unforeseen Circumstances, but via a long and tortuous story its become more of a standalone extension of the work in its own right.
Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 00:19
1. We braved Costco today to get a turkey breast (they have already cooked ones with no bones in) and we also got a couple other things we needed and now hopefully won't have to go again until after Christmas, because wow, it was horrible.

2. I played a bit of both cooperative multiplayer and the battle stages in Triforce Heroes and it's pretty fun. It can be really frustrating, though, because there's no way to actually talk to other players, so if someone is being stupid, there's no way to tell them what they need to do. I definitely wouldn't want to play the whole game this way, but just as a way of doing some of the bonus challenges to get extra materials for new outfits, it's fun.

3. We had a delicious dinner tonight of steak, broccoli, and cheesey potatoes. There's lots of leftovers, too, especially the potatoes.

4. I did less translating than I'd planned today, but I did get some done.

5. The kittens have been so cute lately! Chloe has this new thing where instead of being super aggressive about people food, she is instead suuuuuuper casual, like, who would even think she is interested in your food? I'm terrible to encourage her, but she's so cute I always end up giving her a bite or two.

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015 00:47
From Fred Clark over at Slacktivist:

The title of the post at Joe.My.God is “Donald Trump Tweets Racist Lying Graphic.” The title of the post at Talking Points Memo is “Trump Retweets Inaccurate Statistics About Black Murder Rate.” Joe gets that right. Josh gets it wrong.

This is a side effect of our belief that even those of us who aren't in a court of law can't call something racism unless we can prove what was in someone's heart, can't call something lying unless we can prove they were 100% certain they were stating an untruth.

Trump's tweet (screenshotted in that Joe. My. God. post, TW for repulsive racism, and I'm not going to alternative text it because, sorry, can't bear to) is quite obviously racism and lying. I can't prove the lying, certainly; I have know idea what Trump believes is true. The racism is patently obvious, though; I challenge anyone to come up with a believable fanwank under which a tweet like that (in the context of Trump) isn't prima facie evidence of racism. Racist intent and racism in his heart, even, although I think asking for evidence of either of those is always a bullshit way of avoiding discussing effects.
Monday, November 23rd, 2015 21:42
First day at work = AMAAAAAZING, even though I am also so intimidated and not sure what my job actually consists of yet and I haven't even heard of half the agencies we make our main referrals to and I am going to spend the four days until my next shift studying the crap out of the paperwork I took home. Because this is my struggle. These are my stakes. This work feels right and the values and the attitude are all exactly right, I'm really valuable and experienced here, I believe in what we're doing, and the while I'm afraid I'm going to have to plunge in unprepared and screw up and ask for help, that's not actually a deterrent.

I may start drinking caffeine again, because I need to be a lot perkier. We'll see if I can. When I stopped drinking it last spring it was because my heart would race in the middle of the night; at the time I was intensely stressed and anxious. Maybe now that I'm a lot more chill I can do it again.
Monday, November 23rd, 2015 18:45
Re-reading Lirael. It's even more hilarious and indulgent feeling than Sabriel. The first 10% of the book is all 14-year-old Lirael sulking and contemplating suicide because she hasn't gotten her special talent and doesn't fit in and no one understands her.

Then she gets to be an assistant librarian, creates a magic companion dog, and learns three shape-changing shapes: ice otter, russet bear, and barking owl.

Barking owl... bwahahah!

I love her adventures in the library.

I'm reminded of some other teenage librarian book but can't remember what it was.

Note that she also basically has selective mutism (because it is traumatic that she can't talk about the special skill that everyone else has that makes her not fit in)
Monday, November 23rd, 2015 20:35
I was given A Sixth Sense while on a work visit to Schlumberger's research centre in Cambridge. It is a biography of Henri-Georges Doll, the brother-in-law of the two Schlumberger brothers who founded the company, and the key technical and scientific mind behind the company's development of well-logging techniques upon which its success is, in part, based. It must be said, I went into it with fairly low expectations, reasoning that any history a major global company gives you as a freebie is going to have more than a little of the hagiography about it.

I was pleasantly surprised. As far as I can tell it is an honest attempt at a biography, since adopted by the company, rather than something commissioned by them. That said, it is clear, especially in the later chapters, that the necessity to keep on the right side of the Schlumberger family in order to access records means that some aspects of company politics have had to be alluded to in passing, rather than examined in detail. Pierre Schlumberger's time as the head of the company was presumably troubled, but this is visible only as a few passing references to a difficult personality and then his sudden removal from control. Doll himself suddenly ceases to have active control of the Ridgefield Research centre that he founded, and moves to Manhattan to become chairman of the board but, it would appear, is a chairman in name rather than actual fact. He commented ruefully that decisions were made and apparently signed off by him without his even being aware of them. The politics behind this demotion dressed as promotion are not discussed.

Where the book is excellent though is in discussing Doll's early years of technical innovation, as he seeks develop the use of electrical resistivity to help locate oil-bearing layers in exploratory bore holes. As well as being a discussion of scientific discovery, this is an interesting look at the conduct of science in a commercial setting, where the need to be profitable (or at least solvent) has a strong bearing on the direction and pursuit of research. All this plays out against the backdrop of Europe in the first half of the 20th century, including an ill-fated collaboration with Russia (which ultimately ends when the head of Schlumberger's Russian branch is arrested, his fate at the hands of the regime only finally revealed decades later) and the company's flight to America and participation in the American war effort.

It is a flawed book, but its flaws are those of historians constrained by their sources and the wishes of the living, not of writers for hire for a global corporation. As gifts in corporate goodie bags go, this was pretty classy.
Monday, November 23rd, 2015 11:07
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, November 23rd, 2015 09:58
We had to put Brandy to sleep this morning -- heart failure leading to blood clot that blocked off circulation to his back legs. It was a very easy decision, at least, and he was perfectly fine up until suddenly he wasn't and then it was over an hour and a half later.

RIP, monster. You were an asshole, but you were our asshole, and you were a great cat.

(Please no quotes from the rainbow bridge poem with your condolences, if you don't mind!)
Monday, November 23rd, 2015 09:51
Previously unread.

This is the fourth (and final, so far) volume in the Rogue Agent series. It takes place a few months after the end of the previous volume, starting very "in media res", then jumps back a week or two to tell us the story of how we got to the opening.

All in all, eminently readable. The comedy stays dialled down, but it's still hovering in the background. We're treated to a display of political intrigue, with magic and subterfuge duelling magic and wit on the scene of international politics.

I'd definitely recommend starting earlier in the series, but I suspect it's eminently possible to enjoy this as a free-standing book (although it's probably richer for having more background).

The one down-side is that there's no more books published and I would dearly like to read more in this series.
Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 23:30
1. I'm soooooo tired for some reason (I'm not sick, but maybe fighting off the sickness that everyone else has), but I have tomorrow off and I'm looking forward to resting.

2. It was really hot this weekend (almost 90!?) but is supposed to plunge down into the low 60s later this week, with maybe rain for Thanksgiving.

3. Tonight's Brooklyn Nine-Nine was great. This season is really on a roll!
Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 21:09
I got through all this running around on trains and cabs and staying out all day beautifully just on the one tramadol in the morning and some coffee. I did also have a beer with dinner. No vicodin necessary. Pleased! I am not destroyed. This is a good sign for my ankles.

Moomin's play was very amusing. They all looked great in kilts and knee socks. Moomin curses the kilt for being confusing to put on and take off with pins and the shoulder strap thing and some mysterious underneath part. (They all wore shorts). Brigadoon is very sexist and a bit stupid. There should be a Brigadoon 1,000,000 A.D. fanfic where the characters from the future present (while the Brigadoon people are 30-years-from-their-beginning) are intelligent giant rats and squid-roaches and Brigadoon is tropical and covered in active volcanoes and they instantly die from inhaling the pure methane atmosphere or something or if not, fall in love with the giant squids.
Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 18:28
During the first Hunger Games movie, I kept being grossed out by media tie-ins for cosmetics (even though the film skipped the book's awesome hair removal scene, it's still pretty judgmental about cosmetics) and fast food (because ew). Tonight I've just seen three Catching Fire car ads, and I can't even. The series, and particularly the second half of the third book, are about toppling the comfortable upper and upper middle classes from their exploitative lives of conspicuous consumption! That's the point!

I mean, I can go off for a while about how the third book undercuts the strength of the message (of the systemic ignorant exploitation inherent in comfortable well-off industrial modernity, and how a long term revolutionary force works by years of groundwork followed by appointing a camera-friendly face) by turning victory into something that can be achieved by pitting a spunky hero against an evil villain. But the point is, unless the movie is drastically different from the book, toppling das kapital is kind of the basic premise.
Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 18:10
Sometimes you find a new fanfic author you really like, who pulls you into a new pairing, and you're 70K into a 100K+ story before part of the twist involves the brain-damaged slowly-weakening sibling dying.

So, you know, fuck it all.
Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 11:36
Very bad ankle pain since Paris, not really getting better. But I am reasonably functional most days with the walking casts. By mid to late afternoon though I start crying and feel incapable and just waiting for when I can take ambien and sleep. At best that happens more like 7pm so I get through my work day. But, i am getting out of the house at least once every few days. Not painkillering up too much, at least, not every day. I am about to start putting a little painkiller ration into a weekly pill box so I will know how much I'm taking, if it's every day, etc. And a written record too.

Yesterday, both kids were here which was just lovely (and won't happen again until January, or maybe a Fakemas afternoon). I try to appreciate it when it happens even if they are just hanging out playing minecraft while I feed and clean up after them. Only 1.5 years more of Moomin living at home (!!!) I am starting to pray atheistically that he will go to Berkeley.

Anyway, we dug up the new dirt around the front yard tree with trowels, put in our tiny palisade edging, and planted things. It looks super nice. Satisfyingly!!! they were not complaining or lazy and were both kind of into it. Zond7 came out and dug for a bit too. I am aiming for everyone feeling somewhat invested in keeping the sidewalk looking nice. I have some evil plans to build another little bench on the north side of the tree with 2x4s and make it super nice!!!

So, then, despite my plans to chill out and then cab to berkeley to buy a mattress....complicated timing of everything.... we instead all four piled in a cab to my sister's. I took a tramadol in preparation for more car riding and going up her giant steps. Up the steps, lovely time with family, her 3 cats bopping around, everyone bustling or loafing as their temperaments require. My sister came with us to buy the bed, since she has had a great mattress for the last 10 years from this place!!! Zond7 and I decided pretty quickly and got a bed frame which i'm super excited about as it is especially pretty. The headboard is a section of a giant madrone log and has a sort of line where the young sapling must have been. Or maybe madrone tree vascular systems just look like that. It looks like a network diagram or some sort of electronics circuit and also made me think of the napoleon's march chart in the Tufte book. I think it will make me happy every time I look at it. The bed was $4000 total which is basically my quarter's bonus (yes.... raking it in) Every quarter I think I will save the bonus, and instead this year I went on 2 vacations and bought a mattress. WORTH IT. This time of my life I am living high. So!!!!! New bed, super comfy, I practically live in the bed so it better be good!

We then had to haul ass home (another 30 dollar cab ride) so Moomin could go off with his dad to be in the 2nd night of the school musical. I was crying in pain again, and drank half a beer and took 5mg vicodin and 100mg gabapentin. This helped quite a lot and I felt cheerful for the first night in weeks, and was even hobbling around without the boots a little. I fell asleep easily and stayed asleep until Dashboard the Foster Cat brought a mouse up into our bed at 6am. Oh cat. Please kill the mice. Food not toy.

Dreamt that I was in Paris suspected of blowing things up and could not explain since I can't speak French. At the same time I had a sort of cinematic view of a guy who was really blowing things up with a giant radio antenna he would stick out of his window. I was doing a lot of having to quickly pack my suitcase but it taking forever in the dream. Anxiety dream I guess.

Reading, I went through a book of Garth Nix short stories and really enjoyed them. Better writing than Sabriel. I went back to read Sabriel again anyway, and it's making me laugh super hard as it is so indulgent feeling of gothy teenagerness! I love that! Even though I don't really like Sabriel herself or any of the characters, and am not gothy. But it cracks me up. Really.... you are basically in handbell choir and have a demon cat and can sense death. OK. A bandolier of handbells. LOLLLLLLLL. I admire the setup of being condescendingly best at everything in boarding school and then just breezing off from school with everyone's total permission, then going back to be the hero of everything (and dramatically killing off some of your schoolmates and favorite teacher as you suck the magic out of them or whatever.) And, getting royalty and swords and sorcery PLUS a sort of romanticized bunch of ... happy and ready to die World War One soldiers. Plus a sentient glider plane. What. Also, the villain turns into two extra demon kittens that barf up more magic rings. What an excellent use of kittens. Can't remember if they ever turn up again in the sequels. Didn't her magic boyfriend or husband die at some point but they stay married and even have zombie magic babies? I am going to have to re-read the whole thing now. None of it really makes any sense and that doesn't matter at all.

I was reminded while re-reading this (as there is a minor character named Horayse) that it took me till I was like 35 to realize that Horace (greek) = Horus (egyptian god). Mind blown! Doesn't it seem amazing and weird that thousands of years later, in the US halfway around the world, people still get named after Horus?

Today I went out to get cat litter and some groceries, happily blew up ingress portals, and then laid in bed recharging all my portal keys. I am not too far away from finally leveling up to level 12. I think in December or early January. It's absurd how much I still enjoy this game.

Ada and I placed more bricks from my sister's house and she helped me bring up laundry and groceries. Then I rested some more (this blogging counts as resting) with my feet up.

Now, for a bath, compression socks, walking casts, and we Caltrain down to Moomin's school to see the play. we are meeting my parents and sister there. I plan on another tramadol and then when I get home a vicodin and ice.

Work pissed me off on friday afternoon as someone emailed a giant public list with a thing that on one level is a reasonable question, but didn't need to go to everyone and the not-very-subtext of it was that what i do all day in my job is useless and a bother to everyone. Uh yeah fuck off. So cue a bunch of dudes abstractly batting around that my entire team's work is pointless. Oh, I'm pissed! But, I am trying to keep level headed and take from it whatever turns up that may be useful, in expressing the frustrations of developers who want a faster release process, which on the whole I agree with. and what we do is somewhat more intuitive than otherwise and a bit scrambly because our test automation has not kept up with actual development. (no one's fault really). And I think what I do is quite helpful. I'm just annoyed because I have felt this position has got me more respect and now that is undermined in a stupid way. I also thought this particular guy and I had a fine working relationship. NOt sure if it is worth explaining anything to him now. Maybe after a couple more days. He sees a good bit of his part of the process but not the scary overview my team sees.
Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 19:46
Perfect late-fall dinner: burrata ribollita. Especially with the crunchy pancetta.
Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 14:33
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Frosty morning. #latergram
Sunday, November 22nd, 2015 13:50
So, I will hopefully write up a longer and more detailed review of Strange Horizons later this month, so meanwhile here are some scattered thoughts.

Briefly, this show had flaws - structurally and content-wise - but I enjoyed it a LOT. I felt like it was about 90% where it needed to be in terms of my enjoyment, which is significantly more than any MCU project so far. Ultimately I think the lacking 10% was the polish and pretty-ness that felt like it reigned in the material, but my god. MY GOD. A superpowered heroine who doesn't wear heels, or dresses and doesn't rely on her sexuality to get things, and whose narrative doesn't elevate that mode of femininity over any other. A show where the hero is damaged and fucked up and antisocial and occasionally an asshole, and still, always trying her best. A show where women are allowed to be wonderful and terrible and everything in between. MY GOD.

spoilers )