Septembertimes [monthly review]

Oct. 10th, 2015 03:22 pm
switterbeet: (little brown bat)
[personal profile] switterbeet
Huh apparently I skipped August. OH WELL. Here is a late September.
starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)
[personal profile] starlady
Or, No pills necessary to see how far down the rabbit hole goes

I've had the following post sitting around in my folder since March. Today, inspired by [personal profile] snarp's excellent post on computer security, I thought I'd throw it up here in the hopes that it's helpful for people. I'm happy to answer questions with the strong disclaimer that I am not an expert in these fields. Go do the steps at the bottom of snarp's post first, though note that since ABP has been sold I now recommend uBlock origin rather than AdBlockPlus.

Down the rabbit hole )

Autumn in Zürich

Oct. 10th, 2015 06:33 pm
whereisirisnow: (switzerland)
[personal profile] whereisirisnow
So today, I went for a little walk in downtown Zürich. Apparently, when it is Autumn, the Swiss crave the following hearty snack: heisse marroni (grilled chestnuts) as there are little stands selling them on every busy street corner. I felt it would be wrong to not fully integrate myself in the Swiss way of living and begrudge myself this treat.

So, here I am with my first ever heisse marroni!
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Note that they are sold in paper bags which are actually two paper bags fastened to each other: one for the fresh chestnuts and one for the leftover shells. Amazing!

A close-up of one of the chestnuts:
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I'm craving for more now..

There was also something fun going on in the city:
 photo DSCN3175_zpsuurmws9z.jpg

And then, because the autumn is so, so beautiful in Zürich, I went for a little stroll in Irchel Park. I'll just show some pictures now of beautifully coloured trees :p
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I really like the contrast here of the really light coloured tree in front of the dark conifer.

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Here I really like the white bark of the birch tree among all the coloured trees :)

And that was that! I should do this more often!

Assorted, Miscellaneous Etc.

Oct. 10th, 2015 09:28 am
silveradept: A dragon librarian, wearing a floral print shirt and pince-nez glasses, carrying a book in the left paw. Red and white. (Dragon Librarian)
[personal profile] silveradept
  • First up, time-sensitive object - hooray for [personal profile] finch for finding work! No on capitalism that forces them to pay for child care without actually having the money to do so from the work! Solution: drawing cards from the Antiquarian Tarot or their personal oracle deck, first is free, donate or signal boost for more.
  • Second, if any of you know fan-creators that would like to talk about their processes and where they publish their works, and that are local to the Pacific Northwest, I'd appreciate an introduction, as I'm thinking about programming options for my workplace.
  • Also,
    October love meme!
    original image by Flickr user nafmo via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA
    captioned image by [personal profile] alexseanchai also CC BY-SA

    the meme   my thread
    because we can all use some extra compliments to remind ourselves about what we can do.
  • Elsetime, toddlers are adorable and smarter than we think. I set out foam letters for the to play with before program, spelling my name as an example of what to do with them. The industrious toddlers spelled out O HAI. I don't think any of them are memes, but I don't know that, I suppose.
  • The NHL kicks off their season. I foresee much ice hockey in the future. Not so much with the RPF, but yes, hockey is here! As are many other sports. I like sport, generally speaking.
  • I may have been singing a short burst of "Robot Army, Robot Army" to the tune of "Winter Wrap-Up" in anticipation of the robotics program I ran this week.
  • Speaking of, since I have put my Pinkie Pie button on my work lanyard, it has moved into immediate contention with my Muggles For Harry Potter pin and my Naughty Elf pin for most commented-on pin on the lanyard. Kids notice this stuff, y'know?
  • I am finally starting to get my coworkers to accept the weird as reality. The library users, not as much. Example the latest: After one of the tour students found our beanbag ladybug in the stacks, I kept the bug on my head as a hat for the rest of the time and for my opening desk shift. Several different users came up and commented (best points for "Did you know you have a human attached to your belly?") about it, but the comment that truly told me my great plan is working came from a coworker: "I noticed what was on [Silver's] head, but I didn't say anything, because I knew it was [Silver], and that's just normal for them."

    *steeplefingers* Exxxxxcellent.
  • Television is interesting. I got to watch Weird Al unleash his incredible intellect on a game show, and I've really been enjoying "NPH does whatever he can get away with", nominally called Best Time Ever. (Incidentally, this latest episode meant I got to explain to Significant Other what Blue Man Group actually does.)
  • As much as I'm supposed to want to like it, I just can't get into the new Muppets series. There's not enough weird happening on the show within a show, and the outside the show segments are just...sad. I think Ana Mardoll had the best line on it:
    I'm sad of the Muppets being misused and mishandled into a bunch of out-of-character abusive MRA fever dreams.
    Yeah. Since leaving the Henson Company, it's been a tough road for the Muppets in terms of getting a movie or a series that captures at least an attempt at what made the original good.

I have done all the things forever

Oct. 10th, 2015 04:52 pm
hunningham: (Default)
[personal profile] hunningham
I have been left on my own for the weekend and instead of my usual sloth I have decided to do ALL THE THINGS. I have shopped for food, changed the beds, done much laundry, had my hair cut, paid bills, picked up prescription, cooked rabbit stew, carrot soup, made beetroot salad, done so much washing up, planned some country walks, phoned various people and collected the new car from the dealers. I am now gasping for breath.

(There are things on the to-do list which are still to-do, but my lists are something to aspire to, rather than anything which can be accomplished by a reasonable person.)

The new car is a delicate mauve colour, and it has a working stereo system. I think that covers the major points. And the dealers discounted a fair and reasonable £200 in exchange for my very elderly skoda.
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
We started by going to Butternut Squash for breakfast, where I had a delicious fried breakfast. They're a 10-minute bus ride away from town, but on the other hand they're right on the beach, and so we went for a walk afterwards and got some photos across to Fife, here hidden in the mist:

and also down towards where the towers were blown up a couple of weeks ago. Here they aren't:

The light had a fantastic silvery quality which the camera is almost entirely failing to pick up. You'll have to take my word for it that it was even more beautiful.

We then wandered up to St Margaret's House, where the art gallery had two exhibitions on. It's an ex-government building that's now full of artists, crafters, and other community organisations. From the outside, the building is very dull, but the inside is rather nice, with bits of art decorating it, and the three gallery spaces all had interesting pieces. Well worth seeing, and nicely different to what's up in the major art galleries in the city.

If we had £1100, there's a couple of very nice pieces we'd have come home with.

We then got the bus home, and Julie napped for an hour and a half to recover, before we popped along to the RAF club, where a few friends were involved in an event. Where we bought a few slices of cake, before collapsing again in Joseph Pierce bar so Julie could get off her feet. Then a bus home, and now Julie is relaxing on the sofa until she feels recovered. Shortly I will force myself into a vertical position and go find something for dinner in the local supermarket. Today we've both been exhausted, but not letting that get in the way. Hopefully tomorrow we'll both have some energy.

Game mechanisms and accessibility

Oct. 10th, 2015 03:23 pm
green_knight: (Gateway)
[personal profile] green_knight
(Pulling this out into a separate post so I can tag it and hopefully so it may catch a few more people's eyes)

[personal profile] greatsword wrote:

I'd love to hear your thoughts on which games made a fast-paced game more accessible. Most of the games I've worked on treated some level of reflex as part of the mode of play; the ones that didn't were either user-controlled pace or turn based.

I'm simply going to list various things from easy to difficult. Each of the points below is an axis along which you can move; fight mechanisms usually involve several of these. I'm not even sure all of these are _practical_ to implement, at least not in a setting where you may get twenty or more enemies on the screen at once.

Immediate effects
I want to say 'core combat mechanisms' but that's maybe not entirely accurate.

Hitting enemies )

Strategic Effects
The simpler combat overall, the easier it is to learn. In this section I'm listing a number of things that can make combat more confusing and thus harder. (The more options I need to choose from, the more likely I am to get flustered.) Here the progression from 'easy' to 'hard' is less clear.

Choices influencing strategy )

Things to make life easier:
This is a mixture of gameplay and interface elements.

Why Interface matters )

So that was a list off the top of my head. It, err, got a bit longish.

Which shows me that I seem to a) play a lot more games and b) take in a lot more about game design than I have realised, because apart from Crafting Systems I felt pretty comfortable that I understood the phase space for each of these, the possibilities of what can be done with them and why a designer might or might not implement them.

There's one major point that is missing from this post, and that is anxiety - game designers often deliberately try to ramp up their players' anxiety (sorry, 'tension in the game'), but rather than giving me a more thrilling game experience, it often ends up giving me an experience that is not enjoyable at all, because being in a state of high anxiety IS NOT FUN when you're an anxious person. I want to play games that make me feel competent, not games that make me feel that I'm always about to fail; and most importantly, I want to PLAY, to be able to make mistakes without having my session ruined.

(no subject)

Oct. 10th, 2015 09:45 am
sorcyress: Drawing of me as a pirate, standing in front of the Boston Citgo sign (Default)
[personal profile] sorcyress
Today is HONKFEST!

My plan is to:

*Do a load of laundry and take a shower
*Make some finishing touches on stilts
*Find a totally cute circus-fairy outfit suitable for Honking, ideally that goes with the green of my stilts and also works with my red hair ribbons. And isn't Christmas coloured.
*Pack a bag with the necessary equipment, which for me and this includes things like spiders (if I am not wearing them) and tarot cards, and my spare phone battery, and all the juggling balls I own.
*Around 11:30ish probably walk down the road and go to HONKFEST!!!!!!!
*Spend all day dancing and hugging people I like and being happy
*Do not forget to eat occasionally
*Maybe go crash a picnic?
*Maybe bring tomato and mozz to picnic? That would be nice?
*Agonize about the parachute thing
*Practice each of my Highland dances at least once
*Fall into bed right about 10 and sleep forever.

Good plan. Let's see how many ways it falls apart!


In which I request jewelry advice

Oct. 10th, 2015 01:01 pm
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
Specifically, I have a necklace that's haemetite & lava & some plastic spacer beads strung on cheap plasticated misc with a very very scratchy clasp. I also have some rutilated quartz I'd like to replace the plastic with, while simultaneously making the clasp less sensory hell (it's those thing pressed metal loops at each end, poss filled with adhesive, to hold the actual string in a loop; one of them has a standard clasp strung on it, and the other goes into the clasp).

This isn't something where I want to invest in doing lots of tiny fiddly silver links, but I don't know what the keywords are for purchasing restringing materials that won't be sensory hell. Input & advice on what I should be looking for very much appreciated -- thank you!


Oct. 10th, 2015 07:31 am
jjhunter: Flaming Klein Bottle on black background with image of the face of Dean Winchester (SPN) in b&w to the left (klein bottle black)
[personal profile] jjhunter
My laptop's intermittent wifi issues have gotten much worse this week — I'll be taking it into the shop on Monday. In the meantime, I've finally figured out what seems to be the pattern for why I can still access some sites but not others — https connections are going through, while http connections time out. (Compared to my previous experience with poor wifi connections, it's really weird to be able to access gmail but not google search.)

My phone's internet capabilities are working just fine as an emergency backup, and manually typing in https to connect to DW means I have regular access via my laptop to my reading page here again (and to posting, hurrah - ETA ahahaha, no, that timed out, I had to email this to myself and then do it via my phone), but I can't download software updates or new podcasts, or access the website for work (which means I can't do any backend work when I have a little extra time between my course responsibilities), or follow links to science news or tumblr, etc. etc.

Anyway, this is all to say that I will probably continue being somewhat scarce around DW & slow in replying to comments for another week or so until I get my laptop into the shop & then get it back.

ETA: HTTPS Everywhere from EFF is helping with some of this! Thanks to [personal profile] tessercat for the rec.

(no subject)

Oct. 10th, 2015 11:40 am
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1530 aged 53 Thomas Grey , 2nd Marquess of Dorset (my toy,wikipedia). Grandson of Elizabeth Woodville (wife of Edward IV, but through her first husband), also Grandfather of Jane Grey, briefly Queen. Grey and his father supported Henry VII against Richard III, but were later arrested on charges of treason and attainted, he was pardoned by Henry VIII when he came to the throne.

Born on this day in 1332 to King Philip III of Navarre and Queen Joan II of Navarre, King Charles II of Navarre (my toy,wikipedia). Father of Joan, who married Henry IV. Although Charles was King of Navarre he spent little time there, preferring to live in France (he owned large swathes of Northern France, and hoped to be King of France but didn't manage it). After failing to take the French throne he tried to take Burgundy, but he didn't manage that either. He did manage to *mostly* avoid involvement in the Castille-Aragon war that happened around the same time.

(no subject)

Oct. 10th, 2015 11:20 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] busarewski and [personal profile] hano!

(no subject)

Oct. 10th, 2015 03:58 am
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
This eloquent fury from [personal profile] kaberett
reminded me of a conversation that happened at dinner at Nixie's graduation last May.

I was sitting between my brother and my husband, across from my mom; also at the table were Mungo and Nixie, my brother's wife and their daughters, and my sister and her sons and her boyfriend; thirteen in all, but I think the rest were involved in other conversations when Chris reminisced about a time when he was running away from Dad, running from the hall to the kitchen to the dining room to the hall and around again. Our dad used a cane and a leg brace, and couldn't run, but he kept chasing Chris and Chris kept running, "because I knew that he was going to kill me."

I was surprised that my mother didn't interrupt him there, didn't protest that of course he wasn't going to kill you, that's just silly! Is it because Chris is a man, now, that Mom no longer feels entitled to police his mouth? I don't know! It is true that living with Dad was like waterboarding: it makes you feel like you're about to die, over and over, but it doesn't actually kill you. Probably.

Chris paused there, as if he also expected Mom to interrupt, and then repeated it. "I knew he was going to kill me. So when I got a little bit ahead of him, I ran into the bathroom and locked the door. And I went out the window."

Mom said, "Do you remember, when you were two, you locked yourself in the bathroom and you were too scared to open the door, so he said gently, 'Open the door. I won't hit you.' And you opened the door, and he hit you. He said, 'I'll teach him not to disobey me,' and I said, 'Jack, you're teaching him not to trust you!'"

Chris said, "This time, I wasn't ever going to open that door."

Mom said, "You were almost at Woodward when I found you." We lived here, between Woodward and Telegraph, two busy highways:,+Bloomfield+Hills,+MI+48302/@42.5949209,-83.2805787,14z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x8824bf313f5644eb:0x462a4f0b1c5df266

Our school was on the other side of Woodward. A classmate of Chris's, a third-grader named Marcello, got killed crossing Woodward, but this story happened before that. Still, we all knew that Woodward was dangerous.

Mom said, "Do you remember, I told you, if you need to run away, just keep turning right. I will always come find you. Just keep turning right, and I'll find you."

We both looked at her stone-faced. Why would you keep turning right when you need to get away?

World Mental Health Day, 2015

Oct. 10th, 2015 02:54 pm
ironed_orchid: (Education)
[personal profile] ironed_orchid
I just wrote a big post1 on facebook about my experiences with depression and anxiety. It's aimed more at people who are not already having discussions about dealing with mental illness, chronic health, or disability.

It was interesting to write, because I don't often feel the need to have that sort of 101 conversation anymore. Here (dw/lj) in particular, I have surrounded myself with people who have already worked through the idea that stigma around mental health is stupid and detrimental, and who are more likely to write about their current state of health (mental, physical, and everything in between). Like a lot of people, I sometimes use filters to write about that sort of stuff, partly because when I'm feeling vulnerable, it's good to have created a safe space which I feel I can control. But on the whole, I do think of my dw circle and larger networks as a safer space in general. So thanks, everybody who is writing about this stuff and making is less of a big deal to do so.

Right now, I'm feeling pretty stable and happy and junk, so it's a good time for me to try to do some outreach work in a space like facebook, where I have friends from different parts of my life, including the past, and to whom I have not necessarily opened up about my own experiences before.

what I posted on facebook )

1. Long for facebook, short for other places, including here.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Anecdote one:

A few days ago, the Pip told me that "Mister Nobody" was his invisible friend's first name.

His full name is Mister Nobody Patootie-Booty-Butt Something.

Anecdote two:

Tonight SteelyKid attempted to fend off bedtime through a monologue recreating the history on Earth by going from her and her brother, to her ancestors back to her great-great-grandparents (one generation at a time), then to cousins of cousins, then to the interconnectedness of all humanity, then to humanity's primate ancestors, then a side trip to birds and dinosaurs, then to the start of life on Earth, and then the formation of the Earth itself.

And now, since I was up at five this morning to take the Pip for a minor surgical procedure (probe of not-properly-draining tear duct; required general anesthesia because eye; all's well), I must get the laundry out of the dryer and faceplant into bed.

Sad day.

Oct. 9th, 2015 09:12 pm
ofearthandstars: Paper cranes hanging from a blue ceiling (cranes)
[personal profile] ofearthandstars
This morning it sort of felt like I'd jumped off the great big cliff of anxiety and into the canyons of depression. In hindsight, I am probably grieving.

A few days ago we noticed that one of our hamster babies, Mini, was feeling a bit heavier. By Wednesday night I noticed that she had a severely swollen belly. I took her to a Banfield vet in Wake Forest yesterday and they were able to establish that her heart and lungs were healthy, but they recommended us to a different vet b/c they did not have the tools to make a true diagnosis. So this morning I drove Mini up to Avian & Exotic Animal Care in Raleigh, where they were able to get an x-ray and see what was going on in her tiny abdomen. (She was sedated for this because her although her first favorite past time is sleeping, her second is running.)

The news was not good. Based on the films and a more thorough abdominal exam (easier when a hammie is asleep), we're pretty certain that Mini has a tumor/mass on her liver. It's probably been there for some time, but it's likely only recently began growing more rapidly and encroaching on her other organs.

At this point, there is not a lot that can be done for her that is curative. That said, we have some medications and supplements that we will be giving her to help her quality of life (she is currently, for the most part, still eating/drinking and coming out to engage with us/obtain treats, although she is much slower and has a harder time carrying herself around). Although the medications we have will help manage her pain/swelling, it is anticipated that the tumor will progress.

I know it may seem a bit crazy to be so enamored with such a tiny creature, but we don't have dogs or cats or other pets. Our hamsters are our furbabies. We spoil them and they in turn spoil us with their affection and adorableness. Mini has only been around for a couple of years, but she is a most precious part of my life. Holding a sweet hammie after a long day at work or having one snuggle up against you to fall asleep (as seen here) is pretty good therapy, and she never seems to mind it, either.

I cannot begin to tell you how sad I am.

Done with PT

Oct. 9th, 2015 04:03 pm
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
[personal profile] redbird
I had (I hope) my last PT session this afternoon. I will keep doing stretches for the left hand and right shoulder, and even some icing and massage, along with my strengthening exercises, but the therapist and I don't think I will need to go back to see him. He encouraged me to call or email if something bothers me or I want advice; if I don't, they will call me to check in in four to eight weeks.

I've been seeing the therapist for longer than I originally expected, because while I started going for shoulder stuff, I then had some wrist pain, and hurt my ankle. My session two weeks ago was mostly about ankle and balance stuff; this time it was shoulder strengthening, wrist examination, and Ian asking how my balance was doing, and me showing that it's pretty good. (I don't think the intern I'd been working with entirely understood that I have been doing some balance stuff for literally years.)

Inbox/Outbox : fall break edition

Oct. 9th, 2015 06:09 pm
writerlibrarian: (poppies)
[personal profile] writerlibrarian
My fall break started this afternoon. I'm almost pass the beyond tired point. I have plenty of work that are still in holding pattern at the library but I don't have the energy to clear them all out. I need to recharge the batteries. One week is not a lot but it's still a week plus two week-ends. 10 days to sleep some, get some air and make in ways in packing my summer clothes and take out my fall/winter clothes.

The book count was small but fun since the last post.

Inbox (Books acquired)

One historical romance rec from SmartB : Maya Rodale's What a Wallflower wants

Three mysteries were on sale in ebook format : Philip Margolin's Ties That Bind ; The newish Poirot that is not that good more of a curiosity really  and Steven Saylor's Roman Blood that I have read but didn't keep in paper.

One contemporary romance : Pick me by Erika Marks which was free (ebook)

Two ebooks were not from the deal of the day type of buy: the first Rivers of London graphic novel Body Work and Murder Your Darlings (which I'm considering for the library reading circle on the 28th)

One was a pre-order : Keira Marcos' is publishing Fall for You (Law of the Pack #1) on the 15th. I read the first draft of it during one of the Evil Author or some other writing month at her site. I want to know the rest of the story. Hence the pre-order.

That a lot of books for 2 weeks. All ebooks.

Outbox (Books finished)

Foxglove Summer. Ben Aaronovith' fifth in his Rivers of London series. We get Peter out in the country side. I went through the book in 4 days and that's because I was working like mad and I rationed myself so it would last a little longer since I thought that the next one was only gonna be available next June. But..... no.... it's going to be here for Christmas. I ordered Hanging Tree at Amazon UK way back in the summer because the publishing date was somewhere in later November and had planned to read Foxglove this fall as not to be too in a gimme the next one, gimme the next one" condition. The November date was pushed to June 2016. So I conditioned myself to be without a next one in that series (except for the graphic novels which I had planned to read really slowly until next June) but.... miracle... the publishing date is back for November. (doing a little happy dance). So Foxglove Summer. Not enough. It was slow to start but once it started, it started and kept going. So little Nightingale but we learn a few new things (through Hugh mostly), we learn an important Molly thing, Beverley rocked, I liked Victor and Dominic. The police force out there in the country wasn't used for jokes and made fun of (which I liked). I like that Peter is smart but not a genius, I like the small insides or blink and you miss the reference to tv, Who, fandom. I think I like that it's a smart series but not in a flashy, look how clever I am way but in a  "hey, if you know the reference cool, if not it's okay'. Architecture was still a tiny part of the plot, so was what I've named Water mythology. Overall it was a fun read, too short and I can't wait to see what happens next.

In the Queue (Books I'm reading now)

Suetonius' The Twelve Caesars. I've gone pass Claudius. I'm gonna read I, Claudius during Xmas break because I want to read all the juicy, drama and murder in a fictional format too. I'm about 1/4 into Nero and well... you know it's going to be even worse than with Caligula. Which was worst than Tiberius. Still it's fascinating to read.

I'm reading in between chapters of Suetonius :  La nuit du carrefour (The Night at the Crossroads) the next Maigret in the series. Also for the reading circle. It's classic 1930's Maigret. Comfort reading. Simenon is good comfort reading.

Technical Debt at Home

Oct. 9th, 2015 10:06 pm
green_knight: (Ordnung)
[personal profile] green_knight
Technical Debt is an immensely useful concept. You probably know how it goes. Technical debt occurs when you create something - a spreadsheet, a database, a program, a complex system of documents - and you make them work kinda-sorta. There's never any time to fully document what you're doing (and it's bloody obvious anyway) and this formula works only under certain circumstances, but it gets the job done.

and THEN... )

That's technical debt.

I have accumulated a lot of technical debt at home.

Some musings )

A couple of things have changed. I am still resentful at the time all of this is taking out of my life - I think I was productive for about two hours today, other than that I have decluttered, filed bugs, done the exercise/shopping thing, and jointly cooked dinner. And right now I am between manuscripts, so I can afford this–
(Anyone looking for a freelance editor? Fiction/non-fiction, substantial- and copy-editing, happy to work for publishers and self-published authors, query for genres/experience)
–but I need to do more freelance admin and looking for jobs and I want to finish the current chapter in my WIP and I would like to finish this programming project and do the next one, and I have games to play, and having two hours instead of eight annoys me. Only that I'm now seeing it as paying off the debts my younger self incurred by stuffing everything into boxes rather than an imposition on my time.

The other has to do with major life changes, and having so many *good* things happening that I need less and less to hold onto memories of good pasts, because I have a good present, and I am learning new skills, so there's less of the 'I wish I'd made something of this' and more the sense of 'oh yes, that was fun, too, but now I'm-'

With that, I can't help. Having said that, here's a list of things that are really helping me to make progress towards a tidier home:

- it's not a chore. It's about creating a better environment for me and for my partner. This means that 'doing the dishes' etc stopped being something I had to do (and tried to avoid at all costs until it was necessary, whatever your 'necessary' threshold is) and becomes something I see as a labour of love: I still don't love housework, but I know why I'm doing it
- absolution. Nobody benefits from being berated over or sneered at for something as stupid as hoovering or not sorting through a box of Stuff: not you, not other people in your household, not strangers, not your past self. What happened happened. You can't change the past; you can move forward. And if you cut the griping over chores, 2/3 of the work will have been done.
- seeing patterns. It's less about 'WHY did you keep THAT' and more about understanding what function something had: were you too tired to go through it? Is something emotionally difficult to handle for whatever reason? I used to have a lot of books with pictures of countries all over the planet. These days I can go on the Internet: I only keep the ones with GOOD photographs and ditch the rest, because they're no longer my only source for satisfying curiosity and feeding my travel fever.
- the luxuries of space and time. Time to sort things, space to spread them out while sorting and leave boxes half-unpacked while sorting and afterwards space to store them in a reasonably reasonable manner so that you can access them again and you're not just sneaking past piles and piles of Stuff.
- habit. If there is one thing I'd like to tell my younger self then it's to make a habit of washing the dishes every night, regardless of how much you hate them. Whatever came before, together my partner and I are People Who Do Dishes, and it a) has become a non-event (it helps a lot that we are having a nice conversation). And the benefits are manifold: no pile of dirty dishes to drag you down first thing in the morning (Flylady was right on this one!). Not having to plan meals around which dishes are available (or having to do a quick wash-up before/while cooking) also works well for us. A1, would do again.
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
…is live in a sexist society which does not care if women are harmed.

But let's narrow that down a little.

The most dangerous person to a woman - the person most likely to attack, murder, or sexually assault her - is a man that she knows. Strangers do occasionally attack, murder, or sexually assault women. But this is rare. In my professional experience counseling people who have been assaulted, the rate of attacks by known persons vs. attacks by strangers is approximately 200-1. And keep in mind that people are way more likely to report stranger attacks than they are to report attacks by people they know.

With rare exceptions, these are the people who deliberately harm women: Their husbands. Their boyfriends. Their significant others of any nature or gender. Their friends. Friends of their friends. Their relatives. Friends or significant others of their relatives. Their bosses. Their co-workers. Their acquaintances.

I very rarely encounter women who don't know the name of the person who assaulted them. It happens. But it's not the norm.

Dangerous things a woman can do: Have relatives, especially male ones. Get married, especially to a man. Have a romantic or sexual relationship of any kind, especially with a man. Have relatives who have friends. Work. Socialize. Go to college. Stay at home with her family. Go anywhere with anyone she knows.

Things a woman can do which carry a low risk of rape or assault: Go places by herself. Be alone where nobody knows her. Walk alone. Travel alone.

And yet, what are women told not to do? Be alone! We are told that being alone is reckless, dangerous, tempting fate. Walking alone at night is asking to be raped. Camping alone is the height of stupidity. Women must keep people they know around them at all times, because otherwise they'll be assaulted by strangers.

We are safer with strangers.

A lonely street at night is often safer than one's own home, if that home is shared.

This message is brought to you via Blairmcg, who took the terrifying, reckless, foolhardy risk of... camping alone.

Friday five-ing

Oct. 9th, 2015 08:06 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

Tabs I've had open that just don't seem to make the full post all on their own:


18 Things Every Book Lover Can Relate To, dissenting strongly from no 3 - just because you don't judge a book by its cover doesn't mean that there is no judgement on other criteria, wtf; and on no 8, my jury is out until I find what a person loves to read; also, no 15 has nothing to do with being besotted on reading, and if you love a book a lot, it's probably not pristine any more. Also, some of those later things are a bit mawkish, no?


8 ways introverts socialize differently: dissenting rather strongly from no 2 and the idea that introverts want DEEP MEANINGFUL conversation, rather than something that strikes a happy medium between the smallest of small talk and 'sharing their inner world' (ugh).


Historian makes valid plaint about the way people rip off and fail to attribute historian's delving in primary sources - however, we mark the author down quite a bit for saying that a source was something that no-one else had seen when an archivist had drawn it to their attention in the first place.


I am a bit miffed that they have not yet got round to the boxes of birth control and related material that I actually consulted in the Bod in the early 90s, but still, great to have this much ephemera available online from the John Johnson collection - free online in the UK.


100 Great Science Fiction Stories by Women, 1927-2012, though one still has to go to the endeavour of digging them up in sources which don't appear to be, most of them, online.

Cover Pose Bonus Announcement!

Oct. 9th, 2015 03:17 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Remember on Monday when I said I’d be doing a cover pose if Read for Pixels raised at least $10,000 in their current fundraiser to end violence against women?

Remember how I said there was a bonus announcement coming soon?

Well, SOON IS NOW!!!

We’re at almost $6000 so far, with 10 days left in the fundraiser. Having seen the potential poses, I have to admit there’s a small part of me (my spine, mostly) that hopes we don’t make it to $10K…

…but then we’d never be able to reach $15K, at which point New York Times bestselling author Chuck Wendig will join me in an epic pose-off, the likes of which the world hasn’t seen since at least 2012!!!

That’s right, not only will I do another pose at the $15K mark, but I’ll drag Chuck along with me.

To jog your memory, here’s what happened back in 2012, when I challenged John Scalzi to a pose-off:

Hines Cover Pose

Scalzi Cover Pose

We have ten days to raise roughly $9000, at which point we shall bless the internet with the first-ever Wendig-style cover pose pic!

You can donate here.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Cool Stuff Friday

Oct. 9th, 2015 02:19 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Friday is thinking about trying NaNoWriMo this year.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

lizcommotion: "Autocorrect quit helping me you mother forklift" (writing autocorrect)
[personal profile] lizcommotion
I saw a lot of good posts this week, and for once actually got my butt around to messaging people about if they'd mind if I collated a follow friday post. Yay! (It even accidentally has a theme.)

In no particular order...

[personal profile] kaberett: Sonnet III: to make the dawn leaves me speechless

[personal profile] liv: National poetry day sonnet about the modernization/reinterpritization of Shakespeare is on point and also a good poem!

[profile] alexsenchai: Dust If You Must, attributed to Rose Milligan
Dust if you must, but the world’s out there,/With the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair
(I need to paste this near all the places I have perfectionism freak-outs)

[personal profile] raze has a micro-snippet of fiction entitled Daughters of Eve (tw: mild gore). This is my new Garden of Eden head canon.

[personal profile] maramcreates wrote a NSFW post about the confusions of pronouns and same-sex slash/fic, which has devolved to us coming up with name pairings in the comments section that sound clunky and awkward when writing sexy scenes. (I think we are up to Betty & Veronica. Come play the game with us!)

(no subject)

Oct. 9th, 2015 03:58 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1937 aged 68 Grand Duke Ernest of Hesse and by Rhine (my toy,wikipedia). Grandson of Queen Victoria. Ernest married his first cousin Victoria Melita, but the marriage was not happy. Queen Victoria did not want them to divorce, but after her death they did (an actual divorce, on the grounds of mutual antipathy, not an annulment). As Grand Duke of Hesse Ernest served in the German military during WW1.

Born on this day in 1735 to Charles Guelph I, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel and Princess Philippine of Prussia, Charles Brenswick-Bevern , Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbuttel (my toy,wikipedia). Father of Caroline who married George IV. Fought on the Prussian side in the seven years war, and was made a Prussian general. He then invaded the Netherlands successfully putting down a revolution and restoring the house of Orange, he was rather less successful fighting Napoleon.

Recent Books

Oct. 9th, 2015 09:54 am
seekingferret: Photo of me with my 2012 Purim beard, with stripes shaven into it. (Default)
[personal profile] seekingferret
An Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer

My first Heyer, in defiance of [personal profile] cahn's prescription that one's first Heyer ought to be Cotillion. An Infamous Army is a regency romance set immediately before and during the Battle of Waterloo, among the English gentry clustered in Brussels. Napoleon has escaped Elba and it's the 100 Days, and the rich in Brussels anxiously debate fleeing back to England, and in the meantime there are many elaborate balls, including balls thrown by the Duke of Wellington. Which is bizarre and delightful in how bizarre it is, especially because of how true it probably all is. I can easily believe that 19th C. British gentry were really this awful.

Tens of thousands of people die and mostly are left on what Heyer calls the charnel fields, but our romantic hero is fetched to his hospital bed from the battle in an expensive coach and Heyer seems to consider it a happy ending that, one-armed and feverish, he gets re-engaged to the flighty, spendthrift flirt who has already jilted him once when he was of sound mind and body. There is something about the principles of romance novels I will never understand.

That being said, I mostly enjoyed this book. As long as you forgot the brutal context, the characters were likable and amusing, particularly Earl and Lady Worth, supporting characters who were apparently the romantic leads in a different Heyer regency romance I now wish to read. And Heyer's commitment to historical realism is apparent and quite effective. All the characters felt real.

But be prepared to be thrown by the hundred page long battle description, which barely has any of the characters from the rest of the book. It's very strange, though kind of cool.

Naked in Death by J.D. Robb

I've dipped in and out of this series of SFF police procedurals for years. I don't exactly enjoy them, but I'm fascinated by them, on several levels. First, that they're strongly SFnal without being of genre... the fans who've made them bestsellers are not, I think, by and large SFF fans. They're not people who seek out the latest Gaiman or the latest Bujold or whatever, but they read the in Death series. Second, that they're SFF stories where the SFF technology tends to fail its users... stories where the expensive VR software doesn't make it easier to solve crimes because the criminals have adjusted, stories where space travel just means being farther away from your lover and flying cars means traffic congestion in three dimensions. Third, that Eve Dallas rescues herself. She has men rushing to try to protect her, but she never needs their protection. It's the saving grace of her strange relationship with the fantasy creature that is Roarke.

Naked is the first in the series, which is odd to read in an episodic series where you've read other books. You're supposed to doubt Roarke's honesty and intentions, which is impossible when you know that he ends up married to Eve. This is one of the reasons for my canon completism, by the way, so I can avoid situations like this.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

It's well-paced and well-plotted, which made me want to like it, but the world building is horrendous and that kept annoying me. Cline posits an energy scarce world where everyone mostly spends their lives in a hugely energy intense cloud-based virtual world. Cline's ludocracy is ludicrous.
theferrett: (Meazel)
[personal profile] theferrett

So the last of the Great Flux Events is tonight in Cleveland – my book release party, at Loganberry Books, at 7:00.  I got my nails done according to that fantastic cover, and my favorite cupcake maker in all of Cleveland is making donut-themed cupcakes.

All that’s needed are, well, people!  And I hope some show up!  Maybe even some of you!

(Though if not, I’ll drown my sorrows in two dozen cupcakes. So I may die. Vital that you come, then.)

Anyway, that’s the last of the event parties for this year.  (I tried to get a signing in Chicago for next weekend, but no bookstores wanted a Ferrett that weekend, and then I got an invite to a wedding, so… sorry, Chicago, get it together.)  I’ll probably do some more activity for next year’s The Fix, but that’s a long time off.

Right now, The Flux has been out for four days, and a surprising amount of people have read it in a single day, and they’ve seemed to dig it.  The book’s available if you want to order it from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or whereever, and if not, well, don’t mind me. I’ll be crying in the corner, my face smeared with delicious cupcakes.

Move along. I said move along.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

Interesting Links for 09-10-2015

Oct. 9th, 2015 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

Let's play a game.

Oct. 9th, 2015 11:30 am
tajasel: Katie, with a purple wig on. (Default)
[personal profile] tajasel
It's called "Guess Who Said It?"

Hint: it was either the leader of the opposition to the governing political party in the UK about the leader of the governing party, or the other way around.

"We can't let him inflict his security-threatening, terrorist-sympathising, Britain-hating ideology on the country we love."

Was it…?

Poll #17012 Who said it…?
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 12

Who said it?

View Answers

David Cameron, about Jeremy Corbyn
10 (83.3%)

Jeremy Corbyn, about David Cameron
1 (8.3%)

Who are these people? I have been living under a rock and/or not on your puny little island.
1 (8.3%)

0 (0.0%)

And the answer is… *drumroll* )

(no subject)

Oct. 9th, 2015 09:46 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] serriadh!


Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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