October 19th, 2017
oursin: Drawing of hedgehog in a cave, writing in a book with a quill pen (Writing hedgehog)

And I suspect that it is Very Much Not Done to yell 'Speak up' or 'Use the Mike' when someone is giving an important formal lecture signifying professional advancement.

Maybe my hearing is getting even worse than I thought? Or maybe that lecture theatre has really crap acoustics.

(Speaker is a lovely person who does lovely work, and I bought the book that was also being launched and had it signed, but I was really rather frustrated by the actual lecture.)

But at least there were some really lovely visuals which were entirely relevant to the topic on hand.

Also put in a bit of a strop by the young person who checked my name off the list, and said 'join the queue', waving in the opposite direction to where it turned out the relevant queue was forming.

But I did see two people I knew (besides speaker) and did a little bit of catch-up with them, so I have socialed more than I recently have.

copperbadge: (Default)
So, I think someone high up in management at my institution got hacked last year or something, since in the past year we have developed some serious paranoia regarding data security. Not to say that data security isn’t important or that I dislike the changes, I think they are for the most part sensible, but we went from like, zero to Steranko-System-in-Leverage in the course of a month or two. 

The latest development is a mysterious edict that we all have to leave our computers at work but logged out tonight so that they can “encrypt” our computers somehow – I assume it’s some kind of software they’re going to install, but there’s been a dearth of information over what exactly this Encryption Of Computers entails. Furthermore, I was told that my computer is incompatible with encryption (loose lips sink ships, laptop!) so it will have to be wiped completely and upgraded. Which I’m fine with, all my work is on a network drive anyway and I just had to remember to move a few files. 

But my laptop apparently heard them and knows it’s being wiped. Yesterday the flash stopped working and today my Outlook has decided to neither send nor receive any email. Additionally, a retail clothing website just broke Firefox so hard it no longer allows me to log into anything. 

What I’m saying is that this laptop is going down swinging, and I kind of admire its fighting spirit, but goddamn, could it not have waited until the end of the workday so I wouldn’t have to use Microsoft Webmail to do the last two hours of business today. 

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twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
Not entirely well yet, but couldn't wait to post these:

Excessive force: A judge has ruled in favor of children who were handcuffed in school.

For being at Standing Rock to cover what was happening, Amy Goodman was charged with "participating in a riot." The judge in the case has thrown it out for lack of probable cause.

Museum visitors who match the artwork.

Remember the case of the girl who was raped at 12, had the child, and then a judge was giving her rapist custody? The judge in the case has reversed his order and will not do it now. And there are apologies from the DA's office. Apparently nobody told the judge until afterward about the guy's two previous "sexual offense" trials, one of which resulted in jail time?

***

Tearing the fabric of patriarchy -- looking at Weinstein and others through the precise wording of law, not victim-blaming.

The power of shamanic art.

What is left of America as we knew it is disintegrating.

And, copied from Facebook:

From a friend's page:
Distracted by taking a knee, the imminent nuclear war with North Korea, the loss of the nuclear nonproliferation treaty with Iran, the elimination of federal civil rights for Trans people, and Russiagate?
Meanwhile.....
The GOP has slipped in some new bills.
The following bills have been introduced (Sept-Oct):
1. HR 861 Terminate the Environmental Protection Agency...
2. HR 610 Vouchers for Public Education
3. HR 899 Terminate the Department of Education
4. HJR 69 Repeal Rule Protecting Wildlife
5. HR 370 Another attempt to Repeal Affordable Care Act
6. HR 354 Defund Planned Parenthood
7. HR 785 National Right to Work (this one is devastating to the working class ... it ALSO applies to Union members)
8. HR 83 Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Bill
9. HR 147 Criminalizing Abortion (“Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act”)
10. HR 808 Sanctions against Iran
Renew your resistance.
Contact your House Representative.
COPY. PASTE. SHARE. Don't let your guard down; the GOP is utterly without morals or simple human decency.
musesfool: anakin's lightsaber (this is your life)
The past few nights, I've been in bed by 10:15, so last night when I stayed up until 11 (which is my usual bedtime), I was like, "it's so late!"

It's getting darker earlier, which always makes it feel later than it is, but last night 11 pm felt like 2 am for some reason.

For some reason my DVR didn't pick up the season premiere of Star Wars Rebels on Monday (at any of the times it aired) but it did have the first half hour set to record last night, so I pressed record for the second episode as well (why does it do that? I do not understand!), even though I watched both live.

spoilers of Mandalore )

***
Mood:: 'tired' tired
Music:: Pale Blue Eyes - Velvet Underground
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
posted by [personal profile] kate_nepveu at 07:41am on 19/10/2017 under
Last night, I bolted out of a dead sleep at a little after 11 because the landline was ringing. I run downstairs, but let it go to the answering machine, which is basically a reflex at this point. No message.

I then look at my phone, because grabbing that when I wake up in the middle of the night is absolutely a reflex (though the Pip sleeps much, much better these days!) . . . and it was me. The cell had someone dialed the landline. [*]

I post this story elsewhere, and literally seconds later, I get the punchline )

[*] On reflection, it wasn't that late, so I think I fell asleep with the phone still on in my hand and touched it enough to keep the screen awake, until eventually I randomly dialed home. I checked, I hadn't made any other outgoing calls, at least.
October 18th, 2017
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)

What I read

Ingested two David Wishart Corvinus mysteries, Trade Secrets (2016) and Foreign Bodies (2016) - Severn House having finally decided, it seems, to come down at some point to a price for their ebooks that is more or less comparable with mass market paperbacks rather than hardcover. These were pretty much the mixture as usual - combination of what seems to me pretty solid knowledge of what Rome and its Empire was like at the period, with upper-crust Roman sleuth cracking wise and somewhat anachronistic as the bodies pile up. There is probably a rule with extended series like this that if you haven't given up somewhere along the line, you will as a matter of habit pick up succeeding episodes as they come along.

Tremontaine Series 3, Episode 1. Interested to see where this is going to go.

Discovered by entire chance that there is an ebook of short stories about Rosemary Edghill's Bast, Failure of Moonlight: The Collected Bast Shorter Works (2012), which I had not known about and gulped down. This led me to a binge re-read of the 3 Bast mysteries - set in the world of contemporary Wicca/Paganism of the 1990s - :Speak Daggers to Her (1995), Book of Moons (1995) and The Bowl of Night (1996). I thought these held up pretty well, though possibly more for their evocation of a particular time, place and subculture, and Bast's own moral ambivalence, than for the mystery plots. In an essay appended to the shorter works she wonders if these will be what she is remembered for, eventually: she's written quite a lot in various genres under various names. I see that when I reread the space-opera trilogy Butterfly and Hellflower, written as eluki bes shahar, I felt it had rather lost its shiny. There were also, I think, some rather generic fantasy works and collaborations with Mercedes Lackey which have pretty much faded from memory, and I'm not sure I ever read any of her romances.

On the go

Only Sexual Forensics which got a bit back-burnered lately.

Up Next

The next episode of Tremontaine Season 3. Maybe Ruthanne Emrys, Winter Tide, which I have heard good things about, and is at present very briefly a giveaway from Tor. Also, have received some more v srs books from An Academic Publisher for reviewing a proposal (when offered this, I specifically look for books which are hideously expensive destined for university library editions that I would not buy for myself).

musesfool: text icon: O swear not by the moon, th' inconstant moon (swear not by the moon)
There was a most adorable pug in a bag on the subway this morning. It reminded me of Gizmo from Gremlins. It looked a little skeptical about the whole bag situation but was really well-behaved. And so cute!

Work continues to be ridiculously busy because in addition to my own job, they keep adding things to my to do list from jobs that aren't currently filled, so I'm doing three people's jobs. It's bullshit, and I would rant but I'm not locking the post so. Whatever. I don't get paid nearly enough for this.

Yesterday, I got an email from the realtor, who'd gotten an email from the management agent who was like, "There's no estimated monthly mortgage payment in this loan commitment letter" and I said to myself, says I, "I wondered about the exact same thing!" So the loan officer forwarded the loan estimate letter that I'd gotten back in September with the estimated monthly payment. They also wanted proof of my "bonus" since it wasn't listed in my salary verification letter so I had to send them the pay stub and the letter explaining it as a "one time extra wage payment" since that is what they call it in order to not have to tax it like a bonus, but it was a deposit that shows up on my bank statement and then in my taxable income and therefore needs an explanation. Luckily, after all that was forwarded, the agent said she was sending the application to the board for their review, so hopefully I get called for an interview soon.

In other news, I got a clean bill of health from the dentist, so I'm free from that for another six months. Of course, I totally ruined the minty fresh feel of my mouth by having cheesy garlic bread for dinner, but eh, sometimes a woman needs cheesy garlic bread, bad breath be damned.

***

Wednesday reading meme:

What I've just finished
The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #3) by Rick Riordan, which I enjoyed a lot, especially the spoilers )

What I'm reading now
The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman, the Practical Magic prequel focusing on the aunts. I love the aunts! I love seeing them as young women! I love everything to do with them and their relationship with their aunt who fills the role for them that they do for Sally and Gillian in PM.

I do not love their super special most handsomest and most powerfulest baby brother who spoilers )

What I'm reading next
Too many books to pick one out of the pack just yet!

***
Mood:: 'busy' busy
Music:: Human Remains - Tom McRae
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
posted by [personal profile] kate_nepveu at 08:05am on 18/10/2017 under ,
SteelyKid made teddy-bear-pipe-cleaner swaps [*] for her Girl Scouts bridging ceremony last night, which she was justly proud of because she'd figured out a better way to make them that didn't involve cutting up the pipe cleaners, and she distributed them by running up to people, sticking out her full hands, and saying, "Bears!"

Which made me laugh every time, thinking of friends writing Yuletide.

Anyway, her swaps were a big hit, and if you need a Yuletide beta and you think I might know your fandom, hit me up even if it's not on the spreadsheet. Comments are screened.

[*] Any kind of little craft on a safety pin that you can trade.
October 17th, 2017
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
posted by [personal profile] twistedchick at 08:08pm on 17/10/2017
I'm dealing with stomach flu that is keeping me up nights. Not fun. Today I slept like a rock -- until noon. I'm starting to feel better -- but I have no real concentration.

So I'm not doing links again until I feel competent. I used all my competence for today in posting my Stage of Fools story.

But I am reading whatever y'all write, and glad of it.

*hugs flist*
oursin: Photograph of a statue of Hygeia, goddess of health (Hygeia)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 07:25pm on 17/10/2017 under , ,

Last week I had the pneumococcal vaccine, courtesy of what is still, mostly, a beneficient National Health Service.

Unlike the flu shot, it is a one-off and should, as they say, See Me Out.

However, while I tend not to have any repercussions from the flu shot, this one gave me a sore arm, like, really sore for 2-3 days and still quite tender after that, as well a day or two feeling Vaguely Crap, that well-known unspecific medical condition.

Thought this was All Over, but this morning, discovered I had a Sore Armpit. Don't know whether this is a final repercussion, a muscle I pulled and didn't realise, or, since partner had something yesterday that might have been a virus and involved various aches and pains, whether it is that, though on the whole I would say I feel a good deal less Vaguely Crap than a few days ago.

A general condition of Slob-Out was declared and has not yet quite terminated.

musesfool: text icon that says "go away you are tormenting my soul" (cheer up emo kid)
Yesterday, I checked to make sure my application package had been delivered and FedEx said there was a delivery exception!!! the business was closed!!! and I was like, "!!!" but luckily it was reattempted and delivered by noon instead of 10:30 am. Still, though. Can nothing just go smoothly?

In other news, I just wrote and deleted a writing rant, but suffice it to say, "start as close to the end as possible" remains one of the best and most useful bits of writing advice I ever heard.

***
Mood:: 'tired' tired
Music:: Hard Times - Empires
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 09:18am on 17/10/2017
Happy birthday, [personal profile] susanstinson!
October 16th, 2017
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
posted by [personal profile] kate_nepveu at 10:18pm on 16/10/2017 under
Somehow, I don't know how, I started following an embroidery blog, Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread. And I liked what I saw, but transferring designs seemed really tedious and also fraught with the possibility of error, and it's not like I don't have enough stitching projects on hand already.

. . . and then, of course, I found pre-printed "coloring book" fabric in a craft store, very cheap. So I decided to give it a try, using spare floss from my stash.

The fabric is "Zenbroidery", specifically the Garden print. The picture has suggested stitching, but, well, check out the big version: you could see the printing through the stitching, I just couldn't make myself do it. So I dug through the Needle 'n Thread archives for ideas, picked out some floss, popped the fabric on my Q-Snaps, and started out.

It was a lot of fun at first! Not having to look at a pattern makes things flow surprisingly quickly and enjoyably. And making the vines split off and curl around was very satisfying.

Here's as far as I got before I stopped:

picture )

(click to make huge, or view on Google Photos)

I'm stopping for several reasons: I don't like the colors I picked; it's too big (10" square); satin stitch with a single strand of DMC is incredibly tedious; and worst, the fabric is just awful: it's so thin you can see the brown desk underneath it, and every time I had to pick out stitches or try to set them close together, I was afraid I'd rip it.

So I'm going to put this aside and get some better-quality (and smaller) preprinted fabric from Etsy, as my travel project. Because I have also started gridding the Teresa Wentzler Celestial Dragon, nearly eight years after I was given the pattern, and that's not a travel project in the least. (I'm making myself a ruler for the gridding, and even with that I'm still so nervous about messing it up that I'm sure I'm going to recount all the blocks regardless, because I'm planning to do as she suggests and stitch the border first . . . )

Do you embroider? Do you have a favorite pattern source or type? (I think I might try crewel at some point, because the nice soft thick wool threads look very appealing.)
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 03:55pm on 16/10/2017 under , , ,

There has been the most ominous-looking light over north London for several hours now - a sort of copper colour. The sky is covered by a greyish cloud with wisps of whiter cloud drifting across it.

No rain, a bit of a breeze wafting through the trees in the street, but so far, nothing stronger.

The effect is somewhat John Martin-esque, or possibly requiring figures to run through the pocket park behind the house crying 'Heathcliff!' 'Cathy!'. Or at least, the foreshadowingly brooding overture to such.

I assume this is something to do with Hurricane Ophelia, even if so far this part of England is not supposed to be affected. This morning when I went shopping it was sunny and unusually warm, but I put that down to the Little Summer of St Luke.

musesfool: a sword (honour demands it)
posted by [personal profile] musesfool at 10:50am on 16/10/2017 under ,
Yesterday, I scheduled my grocery delivery for the 8 am - 10 am slot, since I had plans for the afternoon, and so I set my alarm for 7:30 so I could at least have brushed my teeth and put on pants, but I hit snooze instead of getting up, and then the doorbell rang at 7:45. Needless to say, teeth were not brushed and pants were not acquired - I did pull on a pair of boxer shorts before I answered the door, but I was still half-asleep while the guy handed me my groceries.

I guess being early like that almost makes up for two weeks ago, when they didn't show up at all? Even though they said they delivered it to someone in the household? And I spent half an hour on the phone with Amazon assuring them that as the only person who lives in my household, I had not received any groceries. They refunded my money, of course, but it meant I had to actually go do grocery shopping. And then my baby spring greens froze (I think it was the packaging? because the bagged salad doesn't do that) and I had to buy lunch all week anyway, because ugh, salad that has frozen and then defrosted is all limp and slimy and I couldn't bear a week of lunches of it.

In better news, my plans yesterday were meeting up with [personal profile] tenaciousmetoo, her husband, and [personal profile] innie_darling to go see the 30th anniversary screening of The Princess Bride, which was, of course, fantastic. It opened with Ben Mankiewicz interviewing Rob Reiner, and Rob Reiner telling cute stories about the filming of the movie (and then there was a second brief interview segment bookending the movie).

The movie still holds up. It's still sweet and funny and romantic and funny, eminently quotable with iconic performances, sword fights, pirates, evil princes, and true love conquering all. Do I wish Buttercup were a little more active in the fire swamp? I do. But I am heartened by having seen Robin Wright as General Antiope in Wonder Woman, and the progression of yet another princess from my youth (I was 17 when TPB came out, so I can't say childhood) becoming a general. Anyway! It was great to see it on the big screen again, and I definitely recommend it.

Then we had dinner at the Grey Dog - the food was good but the music was loud - and talked for a couple of hours. All in all, a great way to spend a grey October afternoon.

And then the Giants actually won last night! A game where they were supposed to be annihilated! So that was fun. *g* But now I am very sleepy and wish I was home in bed instead of at my desk at work. Sigh.

***
Mood:: 'sleepy' sleepy
Music:: Once in a Lifetime - Talking Heads
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
posted by [personal profile] copperbadge at 08:18am on 16/10/2017 under
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Ashley linked to a fundraiser set up by a California credit union, Redwood Credit Union, to help communities impacted by the California wildfires. You can read more and give at their donation page.

[personal profile] kuwdora is a long-time fandom vidder who recently enrolled in a career coaching program with tv/film editor Zack Arnold, and she is now working to pay off the last installment of the program and transition from a vidding hobby to a professional editing career in Hollywood. You can read more here, give to her gofundme here, and buy art from her etsy here.

[tumblr.com profile] catlinyemaker linked to a fundraiser for [twitter.com profile] neolithicsheep, a disabled Navy vet and sustainable agriculture educator who is raising funds to get a border collie to help them with their Sovay sheep. You can read more about the fundraiser and retweet in a twitter thread here, and purchase various shirts and other branded goods at their Teespring here.

[personal profile] xturtle linked to their friend Marcia, who is raising funds to help cover vet bills for her sick bunny; she is running out of unemployment benefits and looking for work; in the meantime Caspian needs testing to determine what the lump in his stomach is and get his teeth fixed. You can read more and help out here.

Anon linked to a fundriaser for [tumblr.com profile] ohcrakerjacks, a victim of black toxic mold. She and her parents are raising funds to replace walls, insulation, flooring, and furniture. You can read more and check out commissions here and give to her ko-fi here, which will support supply purchases for the cross-stitch embroidery she sells.

Buy Stuff, Help Out:

[tumblr.com profile] suriel's husband is about to have two surgeries, each costing several thousand dollars, and they are raising money to cover expenses. They have sales in all their online shops: Fandom buttons and more, caramels and toffees, and their band shop. You can read and reblog here.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] vaspider, who is running a sale on their Etsy shop ($10% off $30 or more) to help with living expenses and home repairs after a job loss and other unexpected life events this year. You can check out the Etsy shop here; it includes a lot of nerdy/geeky Judaica as well as secular clothes, accessories, and cosplay.

News To Know:

[personal profile] brainwane linked to a writeup that [personal profile] kaberett posted about desensitizing themselves to board games; Board Game Desensitization Process is a template for people who may have a difficult relationship to card/board games but want to participate in the increasingly popular social events focused around them.


And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 09:14am on 16/10/2017
Happy birthday, [personal profile] desayunoencama!
October 15th, 2017
oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 08:18pm on 15/10/2017 under ,

This week's bread: the Blake/Collister My Favourite Loaf, white spelt/wholemeal/einkorn flour, made up with the remains of the buttermilk.

Saturday breakfast rolls: the adaptable soft roll recipe, 4:1 white spelt/buckwheat flour, maple sugar, dried blueberries.

Today's lunch: New Zealand venison loin medallions, panfried in butter, served with sweet potato oven fries, cauliflower florets roasted in pumpkin seed oil with cumin seeds (I think these could have done either with being cooked a bit longer, or broken up into smaller pieces), fennel cut into thinnish strips, healthy-grilled in olive oil, and splashed with elderflower vinegar.

copperbadge: (Default)
Because I am me, I systematized my home search as much as I could – I have a spreadsheet in google that has not just my list of Best, Acceptable, and Totally Unacceptable buildings in it but also my mortgage calculator from the bank and various other financial stuff. I also went into the top few real estate websites (primarily Zillow and Estately) and set several different searches to be sent to my non-fandom inbox, where they were then filtered into a Housing folder (different from my other Housing folder, which has all my documents/communications with my realtor). 

Now I’m looking at my Housing folder which constantly has new emails in it and wishing there was just an “I BOUGHT A HOME, YOUR SERVICES ARE NOW IN VAIN” button I could press to notify all of those sites that no, really, I seriously do not anymore need your Real Estate Tips And Tricks newsletter anymore. 

Fortunately changing my address everywhere won’t be the nightmare my mum always complains it is, because I also have a spreadsheet of every website I’ve ever built a login for, and I just go through the spreadsheet (also it’s an excellent opportunity to delete my account from sites I never use). 

I’ve rarely lived anywhere for more than five years, and my phone number was deeply unstable for a while for similar reasons, but it’s a small wonder our generation prefers email to most other forms of communication – after all, my gmail addresses have been stable now for more than ten years. 

I believe I have now been Copperbadge On Social Media for longer than I have ever lived in any single residence. 

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