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[personal profile] alatefeline
Names and Pronouns:
Please call me alatefeline on Dreamwidth. You can call me by the name I use on other platforms on those platforms. I prefer they/them pronouns. I will also answer to other common gender-neutral pronouns. I may or may not answer, out of habit, to she/her pronouns, or to other female pronouns. Nicknames are OK as a one-off, since I will certainly tell you if I hate them.

Race / Ethnicity:
White or European American. I have ancestors from Scotland, Ireland, Ireland by way of Scotland, Germany, Wales, and England.

I live in the U.S.A. My grandfather immigrated from Scotland as a teenager. I identify with Celtic cultural heritage. I was born and grew up in the U.S.A. I am East Coast born, Midwest raised, West Coast dwelling. I have traveled to other countries. I lived in Barcelona, Spain for one semester as a student.

I speak English. I also speak Spanish well enough to communicate about most topics, albeit ungrammatically, but not at a native level of fluency.

Genderqueer cis female. You may ask if you are curious but you may not, in my presence, tell me what to call myself.

Queer and present. I wish to maintain privacy beyond that unless it is, in my opinion, relevant.

I live with one primary partner. I have parents and a sister elsewhere. I have an extended family of both birth and choice. I do not have children or other dependents. I am a cat-sib and a dog-walker-out-law, but I have no companion animals in my dwelling at this time, alas.

I am a teacher by vocation, with various past jobs.

Neurodiversity and Hi/Lo Abilities:
I am an Aspie and on the autism spectrum. I sometimes experience anxiety, depression, sensory overload, social differences, and processing difficulties. I have a keen interest in the world and in people, a hopeful heart, a voracious scholarly mind, and a lovely library. I am not physically disabled. I am short and not very athletically gifted, but I walk a lot and can sit in odd corners comfortably.

I am somewhere in my mid to late twenties to thirties. I do not plan on updating my age information until I finally achieve a waist-length completely gray-white hippy braid, or go bald.

Particular Interests:
I am a cat person and a bookwyrm. I am a geek. I collect rocks. I garden and gather. I read and reread anything, but especially science nonfiction, science fiction, and fantasy. I am a gamer and LARPer currently on personal hiatus from most games. I am a fan of many things, but literary conventions, Doctor Who, fanfic, nerdy music, drum circles, hula hoops, camping, hiking, intersectional feminism, politically informed everyday life, learning new skills, and cuddling with kittens are definitely included.
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Finding Pieces
by dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 1 of 1, complete
word count (story only): 1958

:: Set in the Frankenstein's Family universe, this story shows not only Laszlo's tentative connections with several residents of the town, but his perspective on the politics and customs which shaped his childhood. Those expectations are part of the reason he is looking to adopt instead of taking on the title expected of him. ::

Nandru followed Laszlo away from the woodcutter's scrap pile, each carrying an armload of irregular chunks of maple, most no larger than eight inches on a side. Despite the February overcast, the morning was warm and the air barely ruffled their clothes. Both settled near Vladimir's cart and the small, unlit fire already set up there. “So… now we just what, scrape these flat?” the teen asked.
Read more... )


May. 26th, 2016 12:27 am
thnidu: You're a bit cold? Tea. BF just left you? Tea. You've just been told you've got cancer? Tea. Terrorists? Tea, dammit! (tea)
[personal profile] thnidu
from Time Magazine

A Marvel Editor Explains How Captain America Was a Hydra Agent All Along

Sheesh. No. I'm not a serious Marvel fan, but some of you readers are. No. This is straight against headcanon. No, NO, NO, HELL NO!

Wednesday Yardening

May. 25th, 2016 11:21 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Round one: walked around the yard with the tree guy to talk about the most important stuff we need to have done, like cutting limbs away from the house and over the driveway.  Plans are in action and they'll get our project when they can.  \o/

Round two: went back out to trim grass around the barrel garden and the Japanese red maple. 

Good News

May. 25th, 2016 11:20 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Good news includes all the things which make us happy or otherwise feel good. It can be personal or public. We never know when something wonderful will happen, and when it does, most people want to share it with someone. It's disappointing when nobody is there to appreciate it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our joys and pat each other on the back.

What good news have you had recently?

Poem: "Privacy and Comfort"

May. 25th, 2016 01:52 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the February 2016 [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] alexseanchai. It also fills the "sleeping with a comfort object" square in my 1-23-16 card for the Valentine's Day Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by EdorFaus. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series, and follows the stories "Warm Fuzzies" and "Outside Influence" by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer.

Warning: This poem contains some touchy topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. There is confusion, angst, trust issues, eating more high-caliber licorice than is advisable, Shiv wondering what his body is doing, and also what his mind is doing, because the inside of Shiv's head is always a warning, asking for help and getting it, more past references to Shiv's wrecktastic education, minor medical details, Dr. Bloch carefully testing how much dominance Shiv will actually go along with, the challenges of multiple layers of relationship packed together, Shiv tripping over paperwork triggers due to past mistreatment, cross-cultural translation challenges, Dr. Bloch taste-testing the licorice that Shiv is concerned about, Shiv realizing in retrospect that some of the rules he's broken had serious safety reasons behind them, somewhat awkward teamwork, Shiv struggling to wrap his mind around complex concepts of addiction and habituation, ambivalence about study-scale and personal-scale scientific method, and other challenges. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )

OMG Summer

May. 25th, 2016 06:54 pm
archangelbeth: Woman doing a zombie "braaaaains" pose (Braaains!)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
It finally got hot today! Gracious!

Havva Quote
Only a few phrases will bring one from a dead sleep to instant consciousness, but there's a centipede in the bed is among them.

INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )
annathepiper: (Buh?)
[personal profile] annathepiper

I’m seeing the Internet explode all over the damn place today, thanks to the new reveal about Captain America in the Marvel comics.

I’m not even reading Cap’s title right now; my exposure to him in the comics so far has been his periodic appearances in the titles I have been following. Notably, Black Widow and Captain Marvel, at least prior to the recent universe reset. The vast majority of my experience with the character has been via the movies.

But Cap’s also one of my favorites. I like him for many of the same reasons I like Superman: to wit, I actually appreciate the morally upright “boy scout” type heroes, when they’re done well. And Chris Evan’s portrayal, particularly in the recently released Civil War movie, has always been about his rock-steady moral center.

This new reveal? It’s bullshit. It flies in the face of everything the character has always been about. Not to mention that taking a character created by a couple of Jewish guys and doing this to him is just full of NO.

The reveal in question, I’m putting behind the fold just in case you haven’t managed to see it yet and care about spoilers.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from

solarbird: (korra-excited)
[personal profile] solarbird

The last parts for the carbon microphone arrived yesterday! And once I got back to the Lair, I set about adding them to the circuit and building out the final version. Here’s a quick sample recording I’ll talk about more later.

I’m starting with the previously-discussed circuit, now taken out of the test harness and reassembled on one of the small breadboards. The new isolation transformer on the left – basically the outputs of the original circuit are attached to one side, and new outputs picked up off the other. This serves two purposes: first, it eliminates some kinds of hum noise if they start to crop up, and second, combined with 2K of resistance on the other side, brings the line-level(ish) output down to microphone level.

(These are standards which matter in a studio and … not many other places. XD )

The zig-zag in the resistors doesn’t serve any function purpose other than fitting into a smaller space – ideally, I guess I wouldn’t’ve been making needed values out of collections of other values? But I had what I had.

Signal flow is right to left in this photo. Underneath, at the top and bottom of the board, I’ve built wire rails to connect the components. That probably means I’m not really using the breadboard entirely as intended? I don’t even know. It holds everything in place and that’s definitely what I intended. XD

To house all this, I’m using an “experimenter’s case,” which is basically old-radio-speak for a metal box. XD It has soft metal on two sides, easily drillable and workable, and a hard case. I’m using one side for input, the power lamp, and the on/off switch; the other side is for output, or, as it turned out, outputs.

The carbon element (in the can) is connected to the driver/amplifier circuit via a 1/4″ TRS phone jack – like an old large headphone jack – with the two leads to the carbon element being on tip and ring, and the shielding ground being on the sleeve. (Tip, Ring, Sleeve: T R S.) That socket is on the left in the above photo; the middle component is a small LED, to indicate power on/off, and the right is a BIG CHUNKY POWER SWITCH. I love big chunky power switches. CHONK

For output, I quickly realised that I could have both balanced XLR output at microphone level, and line-level output on a phone plug, if I could find a way to isolate the chassis ground from the phone socket’s sleeve connector.

Normally, both being grounds on the same circuit, they’re connected automatically. Finding one that isn’t already connected is actively difficult! But careful use of electric tape did the job; I drilled the mounting hole larger than it needed to be, and basically lined anyplace the case and the socket would touch. Isolation achieved!

If you look for the blue and white wires, you can see where the TS (mono) phone plug is tapping the raw (line-level) amplified mic signal, just before it’s fed into the isolation transformer.

The transformer is really pretty optional – powered carbon circuit signals are pretty high as microphone signals go, and as I mentioned above, we’re actually reducing that signal to create the balanced XLR output on the other side of the transformer. But it’s nice to have the option of using line level, since it already exists. That’s what built-in sound inputs like on your laptop want, too, so there’s a point to it.

And here’s the whole driver/amplifier circuit, with a battery holder made of velcro.

Is that cheating? Holding the battery down with velcro, I mean. totally cheating I’m hoping it works out – I didn’t have a 9v battery case and it seemed excessive to try ordering one.

That LED power indicator? It’s warm white, left over from another project. I was planning on putting in your typical red LED, but realised that if they’d had a power indicator on one of these in 1932 or whenever, it most certainly would’ve been a little incandescent bulb, and it may and may not have had a colour lens. So I went with warm white, because period accuracy! Sort of.

The neat thing about the way this circuit works – and all carbon microphone driver circuits work – is how it points you right at vacuum tubes, and from there transistors, conceptually. It really, really does.

See, in tubes and transistors – which are both signal amplifiers – the input signal is used to create an amplified copy by controlling how much raw input power is let through, from another source. That’s why tubes were called “valves” originally; it’s because they are valves, electrically controlled, and regulating the flow of electricity from an input, just like the valve on your faucet controls the flow of water from the plumbing.

In this case, exactly the same thing happens yet again. But the input signal is sound pressure (how loud the sound is), which is controlling how much electricity is let through from the battery. And those changes in sound pressure – and therefore electrical flow – make the electrical copy of the sound waves.

Neat, huh?

Anyway, that’s the inside. Let’s look at the case!

I really like how chunky and primitive it looks. This is an old experimenter’s case; I’ve had a box of random cases in which I can build things for a while, and I don’t even know where I got this one, or when. If you saw it on the set of a 1950s television SF show, nobody would give it a second glance.

Always document your builds! You never know what might confuse people later. And by people, I mean yourself, after you’ve come down from the science-related memetic disorder high. I want at least the theoretical possibility of using this amp with other carbon elements, so writing down how the interface works is pretty important!

Except for the glare from the power light, I think this would be the Radio Shack Catalogue photo from, say, 1975:

Good, Better, or Best? Probably “Good.” It is just carbon, after all!

Or maybe this is the catalogue shot? Not sure.

Finally, here’s a test recording I made, using both outputs (phone/line level and XLR/balanced mic level) at once, hooked up to two different inputs on my board. I put both recordings in the same mp3; one’s on the left channel, the other’s on the right. The two tracks should be pretty much identical – being the same signal picked up at two different places on the board – and I wanted to see if that actually happened. Fortunately, it did!

Well, eventually it did. This is actually the second time I tried this, because the first time, I discovered that I’d managed to wire the two outputs up as electrical inverses of each other. Playing the two tracks back at the same time resulted in massive waveform cancellation. Which was hilarious, but also a good indicator; they wouldn’t’ve cancelled so well if they weren’t really similar. 😀


So that’s about it for this project! I’ll most likely do something to the ring to control the elastic better. And I’ll probably build a case for the whole kit, like I’ve done before – mics should have cases for protection! – but that’s a separate project.

This has been such a fun build, you have no idea. If you have any interest in this kind of DIY audio, I totally recommend this as a fun, easy project. Particularly if you don’t have studio gear, because you can look up the line level part of the output to damn near anything (including a PA system, I might mention) and it’ll work.

As always, more and bigger pictures on my Flickr account. And if you’re out of work, that’s a great time to listen to the new (NSFW lyrics) single! It’s awesome.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

It's the Glorious 25th of May

May. 25th, 2016 09:18 am
filkerdave: (Default)
[personal profile] filkerdave

Truth! Justice! Freedom! Reasonably-Priced Love! And a Hard-Boiled Egg!

Preparing for endings, or beginnings

May. 24th, 2016 11:17 pm
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
The very last episodes of “Person of Interest” are airing tonight, but I'm not ready to begin talking about that just yet. The last episode, ever, of “Grimm” or “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” may already have aired, but I'm not ready to talk about that just yet.

I've discussed the anticipation which has become as much a part of certain fandoms for me as the sci fi theme or the snarky characters. Tonight, I want to talk about the inevitable endings, the closing of books and the shifting patterns in our lives as we close the gaps.
Read more... )

Read "Offering" on Oglaf

May. 25th, 2016 12:34 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Heroes are good, you want more heroes, here is a creative way to get that.  (Not safe for work.)

Today I am grateful for...

May. 24th, 2016 10:30 pm
[personal profile] alatefeline
Coloring books with cats and dragons and Doctor Who and stained glass art patterns. Colored pencils. Hand sharpeners. A partner who doesn't get mad about pencil shavings in bed.

Protein shakes that are actually drinkable.

Potatoes from the farm market that taste like potatoes. Yes, they have a taste.

Unexpected quiet moments.

Off buttons.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The half-price sale in Polychrome Heroics made over a thousand dollars.  \o/  So I decided to close out one of the linkback poems in thanks for general support.  You can now read the whole of "To Choose a Direction."  Enjoy!

Ebook roundup full of cats

May. 24th, 2016 09:34 pm
annathepiper: (Book Geek)
[personal profile] annathepiper
The Jewel and Her Lapidary

The Jewel and Her Lapidary

Recently acquired from Kobo:

Temptations of a Wallflower, by Eva Leigh. Historical romance. Third in a romance trilogy by the author Zoe Archer writing under a new name.

The Jewel and Her Lapidary, by Fran Wilde. Fantasy. This is a novella release from, and I grabbed it since I liked the sound of the blurb and really liked the cover art. (Relatedly, I also really liked this post on, in which the artist describes the process behind the cover art’s creation! It’s a pretty neat exploration of how cover art can be made in this digital age we’re in.)

Breaking Cat News, by Georgia Dunn. Comics. Grabbed this after seeing Dear Author review it. It’s a glowing review, and all I needed was one look at the included sample page in that review to go YEP I NEED THIS. It’s a brand new collection, the first released by the artist, who posts on Mondays and Thursdays at As of this writing, I have already read both the ebook and the entire archive on the site. Recommended. ^_^

16 for the year.

Mirrored from

A day

May. 25th, 2016 12:03 am
archangelbeth: Woman doing a zombie "braaaaains" pose (Braaains!)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Kid has been working on reviewing the Stupid course (no, seriously, it's stupid; using something that a couple of 15-year-olds did for a project, that happens to be on the web (I'd give them a B+; they have misinformation in their work, and bad grammar), AS READING MATERIAL for a course??? No. NO.)... And it has burned all the spoons that she managed to accumulate today. (At least we got to watch the Enterprise episode, "Fallen Hero," so she could see V'lar, teeny awesome Vulcan diplomat. Who is totally a functional empath.)

Which is why she's getting ready for bed after midnight. *headdesk*

Also: am alternating earworms between Enterprise's opening-credits song (argh) and Suzanne Vega's "Blood Makes Noise."

Havva Quote
Naturally I wish to rule the world from the shadows for the Wisdom boost.

INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

Poem: "More Admirable Than Conquest"

May. 24th, 2016 10:03 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the March 1, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from LJ user Paantha. It also fills the "love" square in my 2-29-16 card for the Villain Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by EdorFaus. It belongs to the Cassandra thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Note: Yona's having a baby! Offstage childbirth, male mothering, minor angst, and baby-typical chaos ensue. But it's mostly fluff. :D

Read more... )

Halp Sholio Out

May. 24th, 2016 06:41 pm
[personal profile] alatefeline
Sholio is looking for people who use tumblr on mobile phones to try reading a page from a shiny webcomic to see if it will load properly or not. Either you get to read a shiny space-opera webcomic, or you get to help troubleshoot. What's to lose? If you have five minutes go look at Sholio's webcomic.

Tuesday Yardening

May. 24th, 2016 06:05 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
First round: Jumpstarted lawnmower so Doug could mow lawn.

First-and-a-half round: A few minutes later, pushed lawnmower back to reattach it to car and leave charging for a while.  After lunch, restarted lawnmower for more mowing.

Second round: Pushed stalled mower from south lot to driveway.



Third round: Removed some of the dead branches blocking the north entrance to the ritual meadow.  Cut down some of the weeds in the old mulch pile.  Trimmed around the corkscrew willow between the house yard and the south lot.

Fourth round: Went out to jumpstart mower again.  Front grill fell off.  Fucked around trying to put that back on, gave up, threw it in car.  Got mower started, engaged mowing deck, mower died.  Determined that the problem was jammed blade(s).

By that time it was too dark for any other yardwork.

This is why technology and I are not friends.

Poem: "Overheating Elements"

May. 24th, 2016 03:59 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the February 2, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] siliconshaman and [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "odd couple" square in my 1-23-16 card for the Valentine's Day Bingo fest, the "dangerous territory" square in my 1-1-16 card for the Spies, Secret Agents, and Noir fest, and the "Pre-Slash/Femslash/Het" square in my 10-2-15 card for the [community profile] ladiesbingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by EdorFaus. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Warning: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the more detailed warnings, some of which are spoilers. It begins with a serious nuclear emergency, then moves into awkward negotiations for aid, even more awkward revelations about relationships, lots of work fixing the reactor, identity strain, embarrassing conversations about relationship status, deep discussions about intimacy, and other challenges. Socket has been in love with Fortressa for a long time, and when Fortressa finds out, it really shakes things up. But they're still adorable together, and it's honestly one of the healthiest relationships in my cast list, especially among supervillains. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward. It's a major change for Fortressa, though, so skipping it would be confusing later.

Read more... )

understanding something better now

May. 24th, 2016 08:34 am
solarbird: (molly-wistful-rain)
[personal profile] solarbird

For a long time, there was a… conceit, of sorts, in science fiction, of connecting simple large objects in such a way that produced inexplicable complexity. The sort of thing where the characters would put five or six pieces together, and suddenly have a walking, talking robot.

It never made the least bit of sense, either in reality or to me personally, but that latter is changing. As I’ve been playing around with this carbon microphone (here’s a new test recording from yesterday, using the improved circuit) and along the way reading about things like the early telephone system and early radio and most of all the telegraph – I really start to see how they get there.

Particularly early radio, and even more particularly the telegraph.

The telegraph, I mean, damn. They ran one wire. Not a pair of wires: one. They relied on local grounding at each station; the ‘return’ for the power supply was the planet.

So look at this from a not-really-that-naive point of view, right? You’re a farmer out in the middle of Saskatchewan or something, right? It’s weeks to anywhere. You go into town for your mail every couple of weeks, the nearest neighbour is a mile or two or three away, a big gathering in town is monthly market day. You’re not stupid; you deal with complex machinery pretty regularly as a farmer. You know how this works; you know clocks, you know how complex machines have to be to do even simple things well, you know how they work and now to fix them and how to adapt them to new tasks.

Now take this metal rope, attach it to a bit of wound-up metal thread and a lever and a spring, and suddenly you can talk to Vancouver. Sure, you need to learn a code, but that’s easy, and suddenly there’s impossible spooky action at a distance – a really big distance.

Then there’s radio. Even crazier. Take another metal rope, and another bit of wound-up metal thread, and a tiny bit of inexpensive crystal, and this thing you put in your ear that you ordered by post (which is not more than a magnet and some more metal thread and a piece of paper) and suddenly you have news from Toronto in your house.

To the observer at the time, it is intense complexity from small numbers of simple parts. Sure, most of the complexity comes from the humans at the far end of each connection, but it’d take a good bit of sorting out to get that really parsed, and in the meantime, the reaction is more along the lines of:

     What magical fuckery is this?!

Suddenly the whole “small numbers of simple objects producing combinations of intense complexity” makes a lot more sense. They’d seen it multiple times in their lives, so… let’s make a robot with eight vacuum tubes, a motor, and a bunch of metal tubes? SURE, WHO EVEN KNOWS – THAT OTHER SHIT WORKED, WHY NOT THIS? How is an empty metal tube supposed to do anything? I dunno, I didn’t expect this metal rope to do anything either, but now it’s 8pm and dark since 4pm and I’m snowed in on the cold cold plains in January, and before going to bed I’m listening to a jazz band playing right now in the Savoy Hotel in New York City.

Impossible madness, from small numbers of simple parts.

Really, if anything, it’s surprising those decades weren’t even goofier.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

Terrible Angel Tropes

May. 23rd, 2016 09:45 pm
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
:: Pay Special Attention: Contains discussion of mind control and the violations of autonomy that entails. Discussions of ethics and consequences, along with questions (many, many questions) about age-appropriateness. Public safety concerns remain. ::

“Grimm” has returned to the 'spooky child ' trope used when Adalind's daughter Diana showed evidence of strange abilities within hours after her birth. The season is culminating in a giant battle between a Wesen-only group and the rest of the world, but one tactic has pitted the police captain against a strange opponent… in the race for mayor. The bargaining chip which got Captain Reynard to take up the battle? The return of his daughter, Diana.

The girl is six or seven, blonde and blue-eyed like her mother.. and creepier than the boy from that “Twilight Zone” episode which is older than I am.

I mean it.
Read more... )

Poem: "The Passport to the Future"

May. 23rd, 2016 06:37 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the March 1, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer and [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "rebel" square in my 2-29-16 card for the Villain Bingo fest and the "candy" square in my 7-1-15 card for the Winter Fest in July Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by EdorFaus. It belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some intense topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. There is tension due to external demands, angst and confusion over the future, more angst over the past, and also the present, because the inside of Shiv's head is always a warning, stress over educational experiences and expectations, Shiv asking for help and then freaking out over what he gets, struggles to communicate very different perspectives and needs, floundering with paperwork, emotionally complex reactions, a very fraught bet, and other stress. It's nice of Dr. G to try, and he does his best to be supportive, but there is no way in hell for Shiv to be comfortable with this stuff. If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )

Long Drive Day

May. 23rd, 2016 11:40 pm
archangelbeth: Woman doing a zombie "braaaaains" pose (Braaains!)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Kid felt okay enough to manage it, though with only one of us because 2 people was 1 too many. So I heard a lot of Star Wars stuff. >_>

Havva Quote
Why did I just download a game about dating pigeons? I don't understand. I don't know why I'm going to be playing it.

INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

must find the shiny things

May. 23rd, 2016 08:33 pm
[personal profile] alatefeline
Things are. Thingy.

Shiny today:

Lavender-honey ice cream. It is ridiculous in a good way. It makes me think of the ocean and bees buzzing and my honorary uncle's marble mortar and pestle and my mom's cooking.

The dark red heart-shaped new leaves of ornamental redbud trees.

A golden retriever / corgi mix dog. Oh my goodness she was shaped like the footstool dog in Beauty and the Beast only even fluffier and golden all over.

And I don't want to forget:

A kid saying in a quiet odd voice, "Well, that's unexpected," and then deflecting after I told him I had all day, if necessary, for him. I was there to help with his assignment, and I wanted to know what would work for him to get it done. We ended up talking science in the school garden. :)

Reading good albeit intense stories written simply because people love stories.

Sourdough bread.

My Wiscon panel schedule

May. 23rd, 2016 10:38 pm
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] firecat
Will you be coming to Wiscon?

We All Start Somewhere: Welcoming Social Justice Newbies
Fri, 4:00–5:15 pm
Conference 4
Moderator: Jacquelyn Gill.
Many people aren't born into families that talk a lot about or value social justice. We come from all different backgrounds with all different kinds of experiences. When someone wants to gain a better understanding of and start practicing social justice, how do we, as a community, welcome them and offer opportunities for education? How do we deal with the same basic questions over and over again? What do we do well? What could we do better?

Privilege in the Kitchen: Food Snobbery and Culinary Condescension
Sat, 2:30–3:45 pm Caucus
Foodieism is all the rage these days and while there's nothing wrong with making and enjoying good food, it seems to go hand in hand with a sense of condescension when it comes to cheap, simple fare; fattening foods (except for bacon, of course); and "poor food," the kind of thing prepared with a packet of this and a couple cans of that. Let us discuss economics, classism, racism, sizeism, and ableism in the ways we prepare, present, and talk about food.

A Long-Awaited Dental Update

May. 23rd, 2016 11:10 pm
acelightning: technical model of a human tooth (tooth)
[personal profile] acelightning
Basically, I just had to spend three months while my upper jaw healed from having all the (remaining) teeth extracted and bone grafts put in to prepare for implants. Well, it's been three months, during which time I've become more and more impatient to get the implants, and the implant-supported denture. The conventional denture is quite a bit better than smashed teeth, or no teeth at all, but it's a pain in the ass in so many ways that I won't bore you with them.

I saw the dental surgeon on Monday, 23 May. He kept saying, "That looks beautiful! The gums are beautiful! The bone has healed beautifully!" Then he said the words I've been waiting to hear: "We can go ahead with the implants now." HOORAY!!!

He has to talk to the prosthodontist. Once they've decided how to proceed, I'll see the prostho and get a "surgical stent" made, which the surgeon will then use as a template for where to place the implants. Once that's done, he'll do the implants. And that should happen within the next few weeks!

Of course, there'll be another two or three months for those to heal before the prostho can go ahead and make the implant-supported (snap-on) denture. But that still means my entire upper jaw will be fully functional by sometime in September.

Then I have to go through the whole rigmarole - extractions, bone grafts, interim denture, healing, implants, more healing, and finally the permanent denture - on my lower jaw. But that's going to have to wait until after the first of the year. I actually have a few (barely) functional teeth on the bottom, though, so the waiting period won't be too onerous.

Further news as it becomes available...

Poem: "See Clearly Now"

May. 23rd, 2016 04:24 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the March 1, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl and was inspired by discussions with [personal profile] siliconshaman regarding Adalina's reaction to what happened in his stories about her kidnapping. It has been sponsored by EdorFaus. It belongs to the Berettaflies thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains things that may be squicky for some readers. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It's in the aftermath of a nasty fight, so there are messy medical details and a lot of closeup attention to Facet's insect eyes. Adalina has mostly gotten over her uneasiness about his face by now. Also they're not being very sympathetic to the downed enemies. It's basically a lot of hurt/comfort. If these are touchy topics for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward. It's a major turning point for the team, though, so skipping it would leave a gap.

Read more... )

Monday Yardening

May. 23rd, 2016 04:09 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today Doug and I went out and walked the whole yard, discussing and prioritizing things to have a tree crew come and trim/groom/remove/reduce/etc.  

Happy News: I have BEES again!  :D  When we went out, there were clouds of golden honeybees busily to-ing and fro-ing from the bee tree.  \o/  We had a hive in there for a while, and then they went away, and now they are back.  *Numfar does the Dance of Joy


Second round: shoveled the remaining loose ash from inside the firepit and some around the outside edge.  Next we need to dig out the packed-down, older ash and then rake in the unburned stick ends.

Third round: trimmed grass around the goldenraintree.

Higher Speed Internet Shenanigans

May. 23rd, 2016 12:26 pm
elf: Computer chip with location dot (You Are Here)
[personal profile] elf
Finally decided it was time to get higher speed internet. I had dialup at home until 2011, and since then, have had the lowest (cheapest) possible DSL service from AT&T. While calling to sort out new (increased) data limits, I got an offer for "we'll upgrade your account and give you $5 off for the first six months, which means the upgrade is free for that time." And after, it'd be only $5 more. I can afford $5 for faster internet. I looked at the chart... $10 more gets me LOTS faster internet, and double the data limit, so I asked about that, and she said they'd happily give the $5 off to that upgrade. Yay. So: New internet service, jumping from 3MBPS to a screamin' fast 12MBPS (don't laugh; I remember downloading fanvids on dialup), today. ... I am surrounded by incompetence. AT&T employs imbeciles. This is not new, and should not be surprising, and yet I am constantly astounded at the innovative ways that bureaucratic organizations find to combine mendacity and disregard for their customers. Shenanigans Inside ) The good news: Have higher-speed internet now; Netflix has stopped buffering; Kid the Elder has installed Twitch on her phone and is thrilled at what she can now watch. Much yay. And I have reconfirmed that large bureaucratic organizations will flat-out lie, following a script rather than checking the actual details of the account in question. Shrug.

Not QUITE a Ponzi scheme

May. 23rd, 2016 03:48 pm
thnidu: A maze. (maze)
[personal profile] thnidu
Hat-tip to FabricDragon

Why your Facebook feed is filled with women selling essential oils and press-on nails
by Kate Shellnutt on May 12, 2016

I had to draw the line at sex toys.

A Facebook invitation titled "Girls Night In!!" promised games, wine, and "an evening of fabulous fun" at a friend's house. I read on for the rest: Would I be interested in tips and tricks to improve my relationship? And what about the chance to learn about a brand new line of products — no pressure! — from an exciting company called Pure Romance?

By then, I'd become accustomed to these kinds of parties, where friends who work for multilevel marketing companies try to sell me their wares. I'd watched cooking demos. I'd sniffed dozens of candles and essential oils. I'd flipped through before-and-after pictures of bellies tightened though health shakes, exercise videos, and body wraps. I'd listened and nodded when friends spouted sales pitches for their favorite products.

A few times I even ordered something. My little purchases — a $17 cutting board, a $30 necklace — barely represent a drop of the $7.5 billion spent at home parties each year, according to estimates from the Direct Selling Association.

When the Pure Romance invite came, I imagined myself grazing on store-bought cookies and trying to make small talk while an acquaintance from church vied for her commission on lube and vibrators. The scenario seemed so absurd that it caused me to question the whole industry. Suddenly, the pitches filling my Facebook feed and the parties stealing away Saturdays didn't feel like an annoyance to endure but a mystery to unpack: What's really happening here?

Multilevel marketing (MLM), this model of friends selling to friends on behalf of a company, hadn't just taken over my networks; it was everywhere. About one in seven US households include someone involved in direct sales, and participation skews female — 92 percent of in-home sales parties are thrown by women, the national association reports.

Read more... )

To get started, MLM sellers usually pay $100 to $250 upfront for a starter kit of products to display and demonstrate. Once customers place orders, they earn commission in money, free products, or both. When my best friend looked up a nail wrap company she discovered through a friend pitching on Facebook, she was shocked to realize, "She sells Jamberrys to earn more Jamberrys." The bonuses her friend was working toward came in the form of retail credit; after selling dozens of nail wraps, she'd make enough to get six or seven sets for herself.

The big money comes from recruiting additional sellers and earning a percentage on their sales too. The more friends they can convince to join their sales teams, the more they can compound their own earnings ... and company profit. But here's the catch: The vast majority of the millions of women sending out Facebook invites and setting up party displays on coffee tables don't develop the robust, sustained "downlines" necessary to make real profit.

(Click headline for full article)

anna won’t let me play this either

May. 23rd, 2016 09:30 am
solarbird: (shego-rule?-you?)
[personal profile] solarbird

I have a song I call “Missing Home Row,” which is Great Big Sea’s “Goin’ Up” but all the chords – none of which are bar chords – played one fret too high.

The effect is remarkably similar to this:

mmmmmmmmmmmmmm musical supervillainy mmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

solarbird: (Lecturing)
[personal profile] solarbird

My carbon microphone is actually in a can now! I’m super happy with it, and yes, it works, even if most of the circuit is still in a test harness. The can itself does not contain anything important in the way of circuitry, though it does contain quite a bit of grounded shielding which is very important, and that shielding is carried forward out the cable, which is a TRS phone plug.

I made the decision to put the support circuitry in a separate box for a couple of reasons. First, the signal level is pretty high, so a decently-shielded cable should prevent most issues from being actual issues. Second, the support circuitry for these things tended to be external in the originals, so it’s period-accurate. Third, opening the can to replace a battery every 15 hours of use or so was going to be annoying; much easier to do it an an external experimenter’s cabinet.

And yeah, one of the downsides of this mic is the high power consumption. I thought about trying to tap phantom power, but from what I can tell reading up on it, the amount of power actually supplied – voltage aside – is dramatically lower than a battery’s supply and is not well defined, by which I mean is not defined, so… yeah. Batteries it is.

Anyway! I decided to make it look like a vintage carbon-element microphone of its era, only using elastic instead of springs. Springs look cool, but they’re also noisy as hell and create other issues, and it’s easy to tell that they would’ve used elastic if they’d had it just by how quickly they changed to using elastics as soon as they had elastics to use.


Well, first, let’s ask the eternal question: ah, junk shop, is there any build problem you can’t solve?

No. No, there is not.

If you’re wondering, that’s a vaguely-20s-looking kind of drink can holder in the middle, and I believe a hand towel holder designed to hang from the top of a door.

My only worry was whether the towel ring assembly was just screwed into the plate, or bolted to it; most excellently, it turned out to have been attached with a screw. So I just separated the ring from the existing base, sanded the attachment point down a bit to make it nice and flat, and attached it to a small metal L, using a rubber plumbing washer to make up the extra space.

Attaching to a standard microphone stand attachment is just as easy; unscrew one of those infinite number of cheap mic clips that are floating around every studio ever, toss the bit that holds the mic, drill out the hole in the L metal to be large enough, and pad with more plumbing washers.


Now the ring is ready to attach to any standard microphone stand.

Now, the can itself was a little more of a trick. This is all mechanical construction, not circuitry, since all that will be in an external box. But! There is some electrics, because given my particular… affinity… with RF (and radiating it, hi, it’s solarbird for a reason), I wanted a good heavily-shielded pickup enclosure.

Did you know you can buy adhesive tape made of copper? With conductive adhesive? It’s made exactly for this purpose. I love it. I started by lining the back, and peeling excess up the sides a bit intentionally. You want a good amount of overlap with this tape.

Lining the sides involves another ring of copper metal tape, with – again – overlapping tabs made of the excess height. Getting the height right is really simple – just put the tape in and cut inwards, using any common scissors – this may be metal tape, but it’s pretty thin, and no special tools are required.

After I took that photo, I realised I needed smaller tabs, so I went through and made another set of cuts, halfway between each existing cut.

Once you’ve fiddled around with it a bit, you’ll end up with something that looks like this:

Make sure the copper is well rubbed down against each other, so the conductive adhesive can really carry current without adding any resistance. Again, no special tools, a fingernail is fine – but make sure it’s well stuck down.

You might also notice in that photo, a small black line – I broke the tape, and fixed it with just a small piece to cover the gap. As long as you have well-connected metal throughout, you’ll be fine. We’re talking very low power with RF noise, in most circumstances, so you don’t have to worry about carrying power or anything like that.

Unless you have a tesla coil, maybe. That’s different.

Now, I also needed a grill for the microphone, and – importantly – it had to be a conductive grill, because I need that RF blocking all around the carbon element. I know, I know, some of you are going, “it’s a carbon element how are you doing anything to it?!” and all I can say is I have recordings and I have to ground myself with a wrist strap if I’m using AKG microphones, and again, supervillain.

Fortunately, a material that serves this purpose quite well is common and cheap: aluminium window screening! I’m kind of annoyed with myself, because I threw away a bunch two weeks ago – used but still clean and good – because I had no thoughts I’d need it. What was wrong with me? I can’t even tell you. Moods. So I had to stealbuy some. Fortunately, it’s pretty much dirt cheap.

I got a ring of heavy flexible rubberised foam to make a structural ring, and measured the right size just by pushing the screening into the bottom of the can until I had good edges. Since it is window screening, it has a lot of room to compress, and that helped. You want that excess screening material, for reasons which should be obvious momentarily.

In the above photo, I’ve sized the screening material, and am getting ready to make a ring of copper tape to surround both the inner and outer layers of the support ring. This is partly structural – you can see that my support ring is not a single loop, but a bent straight piece – and partly to help make sure of good, solid contact between the metal screening, through copper tape, to the interior copper shielding of the can. Make this part a little too large, if anything, and you end up with a solid pressure-contact connection.


Holding the carbon element in place is also a job for foam. In this case, I have some high-density impact-absorbing foam left over from my case making projects earlier, so I just used that. It can be a very rough cut, as long as it’s just a tad bigger than the ring it’s going into. It’ll compress, and that provides a little more outward pressure to make the grounding contact between the grille and the interior shielding better.

You’ll also note inside the can, against the back, I’ve placed a spacer ring. This keeps the grille’s support ring from going too far into the can; it’s just a physical element, since you want the carbon element nice and forward, and not sinking into the can where sound would get echoey.

What you can’t see is an important step I … didn’t remember to photograph. Sorry! And that’s drilling a hole for the cable. The cable is three-conductor; two signal leads (which connect to the two contact points of the carbon element) and one shield ground. The shield ground gets soldered directly to the copper tape, which is why you use copper metal tape instead of some other metal. This is a little tricker than you might expect, mechanically; I had to use higher temperature on the soldering iron. I think it mostly has to do with soldering wire (physically complex, wicks well) to a flat surface (physically simple, does not wick well). Just take that part as read.


Some of you might be looking at this picture and going, “…wait. The carbon element is right up against the grill. It’s touching, and metal, and isn’t that a problem?”

Well spotted, you! It would indeed be a problem! I solved it by cutting out a couple more layers of plastic window screening – also left from another project – to provide an insulation barrier between the metal screening and the actual pickup element. If you don’t have any of that, hosary would do fine – the same material used in pop filters. Acoustic transparency is important here, of course, but to be frank – less so than usual.

“That’s not like you.” Yes. But think about it, I mean, what’s a telephone use? Oh yeah, THICK PLASTIC WITH SOME HOLES IN. Does it hurt the sound? NOT VERY MUCH, because it’s a carbon element with a range of around 300hz to 3500hz, maybe. So you can afford some loss in the high end, because what you don’t lose, the mic will lose for you. And this screen material is plenty acoustically transparent for these circumstances. So would be hosary, or the right foam, or all sorts of other things. Just, you know, use good judgement.

Anyway, the build stuck on hold – ON HOLD! HA! – for a couple of days as I wait for the 600ohm isolation transformers to arrive. They aren’t essential, necessarily, but do reduce RF noise and hum in some circumstances, so I’m going to use one. I’ll post more when I’ve got more done. I’m really pleased with how it’s coming along; this is fun.

Bigger pictures on Flickr, as usual.

ps: People were asking for a sound sample. This is from the test harness, before I built the ‘can.’ New recording sample next time.

Mirrored from Crime and the Blog of Evil. Come check out our music at:
Bandcamp (full album streaming) | Videos | iTunes | Amazon | CD Baby

Poem: "What Makes a Team Work"

May. 23rd, 2016 02:51 am
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem followed prompts from the June 2015 [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam from [personal profile] chanter_greenie and [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "housecleaning" square in my 5-20-15 card for the Wellness Toolbox Bingo fest and the "places of work" square in my 6-10-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. It has been sponsored by EdorFaus. This poem belongs to the Pain's Gray thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: There are some references to past violence, racism, and other mayhem but the current environment is positive and this is mostly fluff.

Read more... )
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Modern films are paced differently than they were ten years ago. Modern films allow more visual violence, more swearing, et cetera. In short, the style and details of movie-making change in their own literal fashion trends. Here's a trend that's missing from most films in the last decade or more: humor. Levity.

There's plenty of snark, which is sharp-edged and bitter. There's plenty of oppositional humor, including slapstick, but it all relies on a negative setup. Very little of the humor I've seen on screen involves truly postive elements. Everything seems tinged with fatalism, or cruelty.
Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the March 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "justice" square in my 2-29-16 card for the Villain Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by EdorFaus. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics. It follows "Things No One Can Imagine."

Read more... )

Bad dream

May. 22nd, 2016 10:29 pm
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
[personal profile] fayanora
Last night I had a dream(*) that I was at a Trump convention in a huge hotel, and he was parading this group of kids and adults on stage because they were "perfect American stock" and he was using them as an example of the kind of people who would be "chosen" when he became President. Anyone who didn't end up "chosen" would be "cleansed from the earth forever." I was backstage, trying to talk to the kids about Trump and how evil and vile he was (mainly because I didn't think there would be any point trying to convince the adults in the group) and I may have had some of them convinced, but then I got lost in the hotel and spent the rest of the dream trying to find my way out of the building. I had to wake up to get out of that dream.

(*) = I say dream because I don't often have nightmares. I do often have dreams that would be nightmares to other people, but I don't consider it a nightmare unless I get scared in the dream. I was concerned in this one, but not scared. I think part of me knew it was just a dream.

Poem: "Sandy Beaches"

May. 22nd, 2016 10:55 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem came out of the December 1, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] librarygeek. It also fills the "depressed" square in my 12-1-15 card for the Defining Character Bingo fest and the "natural disaster" square in my 11-3-15 card for the Disaster Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by EdorFaus. It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem deals with some difficult topics. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It's about hurricanes, their damage, and how people cope with the aftermath in Easy City. Major emotional whump with lasting damage ensues. If these are sensitive subjects for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )

Poem: "Checking Out the Library"

May. 22nd, 2016 09:33 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls, to fill the "superpowers" square in my 6-1-15 card for the Relationship Bingo fest. It has been sponsored by EdorFaus. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Read more... )

Half-Price Sale in Polychrome Heroics

May. 22nd, 2016 08:34 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
The following poems have just been sponsored by EdorFaus:

Sandy Beaches
Checking Out the Library
Overheating Elements
For the Purpose of Establishing Justice
See Clearly Now
More Admirable than Conquest
What Makes a Team Work
Privacy and Comfort
Passport to the Future

If you are still shopping, please check the list carefully before making your selections.  I think  that I have marked everything which is currently sold.

Have I mentioned recently that my audience is made of solid chocolate, 24-k gold-plated WIN?  Because you are.  I'll get the goodies online as fast as I can.

Sunday Yardening

May. 22nd, 2016 08:29 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Last night we had a huge bonfire for the esbat.  Today I went out and scooped up a lot of the ash to spread on the prairie garden.  Most of the inside ring is clear except for patches that were still warm or had too many sticks.  Still need to do the outside where it spilled over.

Peonies and iris are in full bloom.  Poppies are almost done.  Something with pretty purple tubes is blooming in my wildflower garden.   
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg
And it came to pass that on a Sunday night, at 9 o'clock, in late May of 2016, I read the last words ever written by Patrick O'Brian. And they were good.

Jo Walton reviewed this fragment of a novel, 21 here. It's an excellent review. I recommend it, and all her reviews of all the Aubrey-Maturin novels. And, of course there are the novels themselves.


May. 22nd, 2016 08:38 pm
archangelbeth: Woman doing a zombie "braaaaains" pose (Braaains!)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Kid gathered all her spoons together and burned them in a giant bonfire, for good reason (being Cheerful and Social for a little while to her great-uncle), but it has left her shattered.

I have done a fair amount of walking with her, plus watching the Borg episode of Enterprise, wherein we talked to the screen a lot and commented at how scenes would be different in the AU version where my little Borglet shows up in front of them, time-traveling.

(I also, re-reading, would tweak numerous bits -- since I wrote the thing with less than season 1 viewed! -- but there are parts where I think I actually got the characters pretty good, frankly.)

Havva Quote
Possibly the strangest thing to come of this, other than Fat Bird becoming practically my mascot character even though he is my hated enemy, is that Kotaku now has a tag for my name.

INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

Done last week (20160515Su - 21Sa)

May. 22nd, 2016 04:07 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Hmm. Interesting week. Mostly in the Chinese sense.

My boss seems to be somewhat more confident in my abilities than I am. It is not clear that this is entirely a good thing, especially if it tempts me to become complacent. But, yeah. Low self-esteem. I haz it.

I think I've managed to spend a few minutes noodling on the guitar every day this week. Mostly minor and suspended chords, but still. Music. It does tend to confirm that my mood is mostly minor and suspended.

My home hacking continues to be centered around xnomad. I've pretty much abandoned gnome at this point. Xmonad is blazingly fast, lightweight, works beautifully with a varying number of monitors, and seems to help me concentrate on the task at hand.

I've also upgraded a couple of netbooks to Ubuntu 16.04; not entirely successfully, but the one with hardware problems is the smaller of the of the Dell minis. The keyboard was crap when I started, and has not been helped by the fact that the hard drive is underneath it. Swapped the 16G SSD for a 100G hard drive pulled out of something a long time ago. That, and getting through a couple of boxes of shredding, has at least given me some sense of accomplishment.

The most "interesting" day was Friday, though, when I got home and it finally occurred to me to research burnout. Um... yeah. Nearly a perfect match for the problems I've been having at work over the last year, not to mention the depression, dysthymia, occasional sleep problems, and the fact that I lost ten pounds over the course of a month or so last year. (Not that I'm going to complain about that! But...)


I actually teared up reading, in Ten Questions for Meaningful Career Development, "2. Am I willing to believe that my efforts matter, at least to me?"

I think what I need to do, over the next year or so, is semi-retire. I can't afford to fully retire, and probably wouldn't want to for years. But something less stressful, maybe part time, ... yeah. The hard part will be finding it. There aren't really a whole lot of low-stress jobs for an ageing computer curmudgeon. If you spot one, let me know.

Notes & links, as usual )
thnidu: colorful Hebrew calligraphy: JUSTICE, JUSTICE SHALL YOU PURSUE (Deut. 16:20). © Michael Noyes (justice)
[personal profile] thnidu
From The Daily Kos

Woman with short hair mistaken for trans, is bullied in Walmart bathroom—her response is PERFECT

While washing her hands in a Connecticut Walmart bathroom, a woman named Aimee Toms, 22, was harassed by another customer who said:

“You’re disgusting!”
“You don’t belong here!”

Toms replied, “Oh, yes I do!” She soon figured out the woman’s outburst had to do with new state laws like the North Carolina’s HB2 (Hate Bill) that disallows transgender people to use the public restroom that aligns with their own gender identity.

Aimee Toms has a short haircut. She said she has a short haircut because because she donates her hair to a program that uses the hair to create wigs for child cancer patients. But it shouldn’t matter why anyone has short hair. This was a clear case of ugly, hateful discrimination and a result of Republican extremist lawmakers like Governor Pat McCrory. Toms adds:

“I’ve had people call me all sorts of names for having short hair. I’ve had people call me a boy, I’ve had people call me a dyke, I’ve had people call me gay.”

Toms said. “I’m grateful that that woman only called me disgusting and didn’t physically attack me … I was a victim of transphobia today as a cisgender female because my hair is short.”

When she got home, Toms posted about her experience on Facebook. She says after experiencing the hatred, she can’t imagine the discrimination transgender people must face during their lives, on a daily basis.

“Can you imagine going out every day and having people tell you should not be who you are or that people will not accept you as who you are?”

Here is the YouTube video by Aimee Toms:

(Click headline for article)
[personal profile] alatefeline
This is a very small piece of a first written draft of a short piece of original fiction. I know what's happening and where and why, and a fair bit about the setting and characters. I know it is short enough to be feasible. I just am really good at not ... getting anywhere with it. I'm hoping posting it will help me convince myself to write more.


The woman was alone in the meadow.

High and hot, the sunstar threw light down. Gold and tan grass waved over the sandy, silty bones of the raised land. Hot pink spikes of fleurid stitched through the grass. Muddy olive trees hunched at the edges of the wide miles of openness. Beyond, the blue of distant woods rolled away to the forest demesnes.

The woman turned, scanning. Wind plucked at her long hair and loose tunic. Seeds and stones prickled her feet. Sweat oozed along her neck, hairline, armpits, shoulder-blades.

She shouted, and the shout fell into the empty distance like one fluffy seed in the dust of the high meadow.


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