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an arc of flowers

Apr. 24th, 2014 09:00 am
solarbird: (molly-content)
[personal profile] solarbird

An Arc of Flowers

Playing lots of catch-up today with office things, so have a picture of some flowers that I took a couple of days ago. I don’t even know what these are called, but they’re pretty common garden trees here. ^_^

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

how precise is too precise

Apr. 24th, 2014 08:00 am
solarbird: (pingsearch)
[personal profile] solarbird

I’ve been sitting here this evening timing-editing a bassline to within an inch of its life and I’m thinking, ‘do I really need to do this? Really?’

And I don’t honestly know. I mean, sure, it needs a little tightening up, and there are a few less-than-perfect notes here and there, but it sounded fine when I recorded it and even when I hit playback.

I’m not fond, to be honest, of doing these kinds of edits – even if I’m pretty good at them – I get really bored and look for other things to do. But I can’t seem to let it go.

There’s absolutely such a thing as too much precision, but you don’t usually find that in rhythm, and bass is essentially for rhythm in most songs, even if I play a lot more notes on my basslines than most, and…

…yeah. I’m just sitting here watching the wheels in my head go ’round and round, I guess.

I’m really good at this. I just need to be really fast at this, too, so I don’t start flailing around and looking for other things to do.

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

annathepiper: (Book Geek)
[personal profile] annathepiper

Acquired in print from Norwescon:

  • Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: The Novelization, by A.C.H. Smith. This is a special hardback re-release of the original novelization of the movie, with illustrations by Brian Froud. To which I went, WANT, so yeah.
  • The Wild Girls, by Ursula K. Le Guin; The Science of Herself, by Karen Joy Fowler; and Report from Planet Midnight, by Nalo Hopkinson. Bought from PM Press in their Outspoken Authors series.
  • The Warrior Who Carried Life, by Geoff Ryman. This was a freebie in the Norwescon swag bags.
  • The Second Ship, by Richard Phillips. Another freebie from Norwescon swag.

Acquired in ebook form from B&N:

  • Luna: La vengeance des elfes noirs, by Élodie Tirel. Book 2 of her Luna series, picked up since I finally made it through book one. More reading in French, woo!
  • Fugitives from Earth, by Brad Wheeler. SF. I’ve got this in trade already from fellow NIWA member Brad Wheeler, but I grabbed the ebook too now that I’ve met Brad–and having it in ebook will bump up the likelihood that I’ll read it faster.
  • An Eighty Percent Solution, by Thomas Gondolfi. SF with some magic involved, grabbed because I chatted with the author at Norwescon and it was fun to basically go ‘okay, tell me about your book’!
  • Thomas Riley, by Nick Valentino. Steampunk. Another Norwescon-inspired purchase, from talking directly to the author.
  • Insomnium, by Zachary Bonelli. Alternate-universe SF, and my third Norwescon-inspired purchase, following chatting with the author along the indie tables outside the dealers’ room.
  • Other Systems, by Elizabeth Guizzetti. Again, SF, and the last of my Norwescon-inspired purchases.

Acquired in ebook from Kobo:

  • Valour and Vanity, by Mary Robinette Kowal. Pre-ordered, the latest in her Glamourist series.

And last but not least, acquired in print from B&N:

  • William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: Verily, a New Hope, and William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: The Empire Striketh Back, by Ian Doescher. Pretty much what it says on the tin, here–these are the author’s adaptations of the stories of the original Star Wars trilogy into Shakespearean-style play format. And I’ve already read ‘em at this point and can attest that they’re quite delightful! Very much looking forward to The Jedi Doth Return now, coming out later this summer.

52 for the year.

Mirrored from

Apr. 23rd, 2014 11:51 pm
archangelbeth: Woman doing a zombie "braaaaains" pose (Braaains!)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
But I thought this would be Long Drive Day, but it wasn't, that'll be tomorrow, and just... argh.

I apparently need to clear my Amazon cache or something? Stupid weird reversion thing...
*clears Amazon cache*
*sees revised thingie again*
Well, that fixes that. (Kind of a pity that I needed to do that to get the .au sales figures (I sometimes get a sale!) -- I find the newest version pretty ugly.)

Havva Quote
Helix, why is it every time you think, it's my head that hurts?

INwatch+Bookwatch )
Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
Dragons under fold )
moonvoice: (calm - wallaby heart)
[personal profile] moonvoice
Only about ten photos in this batch,
including a stray photo from my Mum's garden.
Mostly Lechenaultia and Dampiera,
because they're so pretty,
and they cooperate with flowering very nicely.

Lechenaultia formosa.

A few more under the cut. )
moonvoice: (o - games - this is why i'm hot)
[personal profile] moonvoice
Some of these photos will feature meat, for those who can't stomach seeing it.
They'll all be under a cut though.
And it's all cooked meat.
I haven't showered yet.
Having a very slow start to my day today.

Fairy bread.

More under the cut. )
solarbird: (sb-worldcon-cascadia)
[personal profile] solarbird

Now, where were we? Oh yes, on Saturday, where I finally got to go to a panel I wasn’t actually on – a Japanese SF panel hosted pretty much by Haikasoru. I’ve known Nick Mamatas online for years and years and years, and now we’ve finally met in person! Along with Toh EnJoe! Who signed his book for me, since he was right there. How often does that happen in North America? Approximately never. And yet:

The Self-Reference Engine

So that’s extremely cool. But Saturday was also the day for me to start doing panels, most notably the two-hour Cascadia’s Got Talent! event I kept talking about beforehand.

Cascadia’s Got a Trophy! The robots dance. Scott outdid himself.

Cascadia’s Got a Gong!

Cascadia’s Got Judges! Nicole Dieker, Lex Lingo, Shubzilla, and C0splay

Being out of exile really showed. I estimate we doubled our usual attendance, setting a clear record. We had eight entrants – another record – counting…

Okay, so, this takes a lot of explanation to get all of it. But. The original Star Trek had episode called The Naked Time. It involved this infection that made people act out in various ways: Sulu became a French fencer, things like that. In this episode, Ensign Riley decided he was Captain, took over engineering, and sang – repeatedly, and very badly – “I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen,” over shipwide intercom.

While looking for prizes for our little show, I came across a Mitch Miller album (“PARTY!” edition). Almost none of you will remember Mitch Miller, or Sing Along with Mitch!, which was a TV show featuring simple chorus-driven arrangements of songs, to which people would song along.

On this album were several songs, including, yes… “I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen.” I’m not sure what a maudlin dirge like “I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen” is doing on a “PARTY!” album of any sort whatsoever, because if this is what you’re singing at your party, you’re not only doing party wrong, your party is outright broken.

But it was there, and the result (in mp3 form) is perhaps predictable. My grand plan was to get Starfleet-uniformed fans to come up on stage and start the same song over and over again, getting gonged off sooner each time. I only got one volunteer, but he played it really well. After he was driven from the stage, he stormed it again later in the show for another go, which was hilarious.

Amazingly and confusingly, the eighth contestant, Paul Not My Housemate Paul, came up and did a lovely hammer dulcimer performance, thus demonstrating that apparently what our silly comedy based more or less on drunkenness and the moral equivalent of fart jokes really needed was a moment of quiet beauty… and unironically walked off with the trophy.

I don’t even know how to process that. But the show was a riot all around, except for the people who were trying to be good, and they actually were. And that in and of itself was plenty entertaining.

Aside from the trophy, we gave away a couple of LPs: The Singing Legislator, which was filled with some old-time church-organ pain warbled to by a one-term special-election California state representative, and Wayne Newton Sings Hit Songs from 1964 which must’ve been recorded when he was, I don’t know, twelve? Because his performance made the Bee Gees sound like The Three Tenors. When I put on the first track, Minion Paul thought I had the turntable set to the wrong speed, and I thought it was a Peggy Lee duet. But no, that’s just Wayne. Plus, we gave away our traditional terrible, terrible all-expenses-paid trip to Kenmore (consisting of two Metro bus passes), and a polka CD with a spectacularly hideous cover.

Really, everyone wins. Or loses. Depending on your point of view.

“Find Your Instrument” followed immediately; it ran pretty much the same as last year, only with less cacophony, because we had a bigger room. I think it was the only panel that didn’t feel more crowded than the previous year despite being in a room three times larger – but we all kept busy, that’s for certain. I gave Irish Bouzouki demonstrations to probably a dozen people, and got about six or seven of them to actually try playing.

Then time for concerts! We didn’t do Electric Night lighting for Death*Star, not because we don’t care, but because I was already too damn busy and it was a lot of work for a single act.

C0splay and Bill Beats


Funny thing; C0splay told me they have two entirely different fandoms at Norwescon, the group that comes to their official show, and then the group that comes to their room party. They’re pretty widely different in age and demographics, and there’s very little overlap. I need to get these people mixing a bit, somehow or other. Like everyone else, they had a very good crowd, but their party audience not showing for their official show (and vice-versa) actually explains a few things.

Jen and I were working the Twitter feed pretty hard. I started doing 20-minutes-before tweets, with photos like this:

Miss Clicks! Miss Clicks! Three minutes to curtain, Miss Clicks!

Then start-of-show and 10-minutes-in tweets (“The Doubleclicks RIGHT NOW! Evergreen 1&2!”) and each wave seemed to catch a few more people. I’d use live shots for the promos:

The Doubleclicks

At the start of the show, The Doubleclicks weren’t quite to standing-room-only. But after the second tweet, a bunch more people came in, and they went SRO:

Their Crowd (enlarge)

We were also promoting the livestream a lot. A bunch of us had sent out mail to all our fan lists and subscribers and followers, and we got audiences in the mid-60s – enough to say “dozens,” I think – online, in addition to the people in the room.

K at his Kart

The Video Board (enlarge)

Energy in the room just kept ramping up. I’m not a bad MC (in the sense of being a presenter, not in the sense of nerdcore/rap) and I had a lot of fun whipping up the crowd more every opportunity I could. I don’t have any photos of myself, of course, but I wore the supervillain stagewear that I use for my own shows, MCing as Solarbird, the Lightbringer. I found a tiny picture on a snippet of video, but it’s pretty tiny.

The Doubleclicks were followed by Molly Lewis, of course. She did a smashing job, as usual, with Vixy & Tony again as her Completely Different Band backup band.

Soundchecking the Tenor Uke

Molly Lewis (with guest Vixy of Vixy & Tony, A Completely Different Band)

Molly was another case where I got to show off MCing – when I told that crowd to blow the roof off for Molly Lewis, they damn well did. Goddamn that was loud, and awesome.

I also took the time to take some Ambush Selfies. I should take more of these. It’s kind of like, “I’mma gonna photobomb my own selfies and so are you and you can’t stop either of us.” That might be a little high concept, but that’s how I roll.



There would’ve been another one but I had the wrong camera active on my phone somehow. I have a hilarious picture of Startled Kaede Tinney that I will not post because rude, but yeah. XD

Saturday night after the shows, I did my usual party swing. Sadly, I couldn’t find Torrey, and she coudln’t find me, so we failed to hook up and be Norwescon Drinking Buddies this year! Sadness. But there’s always next year, I suppose. She actually kind of missed an extra good time, because … okay, I’m gonna brag here, because it was that kind of year.

Everybody kept buying me drinks in response to nwcMUSIC this year. Everybody. I kept a lid on it and didn’t get too blasted, but people were buying the supervillain more alcohol everywhere I went.

These people are brave. XD

Sunday! Sunday. I scheduled myself for three panels in a row on Sunday. This was … actually, I was pretty okay. I’d drank a lot, but I’d also spaced it and drank a lot of water. Home Recording I and II stayed pretty well on track, and we had pretty decent turnout for both. Vixy & Tony both had things to say – particularly Tony, it’s basically “Tony’s Panel I and II.” But Lex Lingo had some really nice thoughts to drop in, and I’ve had some contact from people at the panel post-convention asking follow-up questions, which I’m happy to answer. The handout I distributed at the first panel is here, and I have a whole series of posts on building your own home studio here.

Shubzilla took a photo from the audience:

(photo via Shubilla’s tumblr)

Between parts I and II, though, I’d scheduled this year’s one experimental panel: Cypher vs. Housefilk: FIGHT!. Basically, I threw some nerdcore and chiptunes and filk people all on a panel – with me in the middle) to talk about their home music get-togethers. I didn’t honestly know what would happen, but it turns out Jonny Nero is a really good panel moderator. We had a really relevant discussion on similarities and differences between the two. There was a lot of note-taking to transplant ideas, too, which is great.

Then in the Q&A period, someone asked Shubzilla if she would demonstrate some freestyle, and she of course totally did since she’s awesome that way. And afterwards, Jonny Nero asked our filker on the panel if she’d do something from filk, but she wasn’t actually a performer, so I jumped in and said I could do the one filk song I do in my shows sometimes. (It’s my version of Frank Hayes’s The S-100 Bus, with his lyrics and my music. You can download my version for free.)

But going into the bridge, where I usually make a joke about the solo I haven’t written yet, I start the chords, look at Shub, and say “take it.”

And she did. Out of nowhere, we got one of those moments of pure awesomeness that cannot be predicted but will just happen. Jonny Nero grabbed his phone and started shooting video, I shifted my already-not-filky-really rhythm just a little bit more to match her rap pattern and we do like, I don’t even know. 12 bars? 16 bars? It felt like a lot. And then I took it back and stuck the finish and it was amazing.

I still can’t believe that panel actually worked. Over on the Facebook Norwescon page, one person listed it as their favourite moment of the entire convention. If I could make this alchemy happen at will, I really would rule the world, and everyone would love it.

Then it was time for teardown and loadout. I missed the first part of Onions and Roses, but apparently several people made very nice comments about nwcMUSIC this year, which is always incredibly gratifying. One of the groups doing so tracked me down later and gave me what they called a Challenge Coin. They described it as a military tradition; Wikipedia seems to know about it. I am, of course, honoured:

Challenge Coin

As far as most of the concom was concerned, Norwescon ended then, at 6pm. But nwcMUSIC had other ideas. K had decided to restream all the shows starting at noon on Sunday, and he also streamed a new interview with Molly that didn’t even start until 10pm. We saw a whole new crop of viewers on the channel; the peak viewership I saw there was mid-60s, but I wasn’t watching it the whole time.

Basically, the whole damn thing was so over the top this year we just didn’t want to stop, so Norwescon wasn’t over until nwcMUSIC said it was over.

Which in this case meant 10:30 Sunday night. \n/

So, yeah! I don’t know how we top this. I really don’t, at least, not yet. I had a bunch of things in my five-year plan, like livestreaming and full-event CD sales. As of now, year four, we’ve hit all of them.

I guess it’s time for stretch goals. I have some ideas. And it’s not that everything is perfect, either. One of the nuts I haven’t been able to crack is open filk. We don’t have very big ones. I’d like to fix that. Norwescon has managed large ones in the past, so it’s doable – tho’ that was before Conflikt was in town. Angi Long and I are talking about this in comments on yesterday’s post, if you’re curious. There are many constraints I have to work with here, but drop in and add your thoughts.

PS: If you like any of the pictures, most have higher resolution versions available on my Flickr photostream. Enjoy.

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

Cryptic Gender

Apr. 23rd, 2014 04:34 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Here's an interesting essay about characters whose gender is not revealed.

Now the fun part is, I have done all the things  here.  I've written male and female characters.  I've written around a dozen sex/gender identities.  Usually I specify them.  Occasionally I don't, and I have done that both deliberately and accidentally.  I've written non-binary genders.  I've even got one whose gender is explicitly identified as "I'm not telling."  All of those things matter.  But they don't matter to every story.  It's okay to get through one and realize that you haven't tagged the character's gender.  It's okay to specify something out of the ordinary, whether that affects the plot or is background parity.  Just know what you're doing.

Story: "Hairpins" Part 28

Apr. 23rd, 2014 12:08 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This story belongs to the series Love Is For Children which includes "Love Is for Children," "Eggshells," "Dolls and Guys,""Saudades," "Turnabout Is Fair Play," "Touching Moments," "Splash," "Coming Around," "Birthday Girl," "No Winter Lasts Forever," "Hide and Seek," "Kernel Error," "Happy Hour," and "Green Eggs and Hulk."

Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Phil Coulson, JARVIS, Clint Barton, Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanova, Bruce Banner.
Medium: Fiction
Warnings: This story is mostly fluff, but it has some intense scenes in the middle. Highlight for details. These include dubious consent as Phil and JARVIS discuss what really happened when Agent Coulson hacked his way into Stark Tower, over which Phil has something between a flashback and a panic attack. They also discuss some of the bad things that have happened to Avengers in the past, including various flavors of abuse. If these are sensitive topics for you, please think carefully before deciding whether to read onward.
Summary: Uncle Phil needs to pick out pajamas for game night. He gets help from an unexpected direction.
Notes: Service. Shopping. Gifts. Artificial intelligence. Computers. Teamwork. Team as family. Friendship. Communication. Hope. Apologies. Forgiveness. Nonsexual ageplay. Nonsexual intimacy. Love. Tony Stark needs a hug. Bruce Banner needs a hug. #coulsonlives.

Begin with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27.

Read more... )

Okay, this is the fluffier post. O:>

Apr. 22nd, 2014 11:12 pm
archangelbeth: An anthropomorphic feline face, with feathered wing ears, and glasses, in shades of gray. (Default)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
(Obligatory shilling for my stuff: free stories available at ( ), and all my novels can be sampled there to the 50% mark. I'm also on Barnes & Noble (because Smashwords distributes there), Kobo (ditto), Blio and anywhere else Smashwords distributes to, and of course the elephant-tiger Amazon. ( )

As with all authors, I squee about sales, reviews, and even people clicking "this review was useful" on reviews they find useful, on sites that offer that ability.

This ends the obligatory shilling.)

The rest of the day... Well, my kitty still has a transporter accident, and it was trash night. I got some Dragonstuff done, and am hoping to get more done. I am having fun sending my NPC minions off to do Assignments for me, but need to make sure that I don't send the colonists off anymore or else I won't be able to get them off my ship for the bigger bonus of "Send your colonists to a planet to colonize it!" ...I don't know how only 5 people, of two different species, are going to manage that, but hey. Maybe they have a bunch of uterine replicators with them.

I would start being a real subscriber, paying money and all, except they won't BEAM MY CHARACTER OUT OF THE BASEMENT. O:p

BTW, is it just me, or did Amazon remove all the fancy "see the graph" and "payments made" from their dashboard? Or are those now only for Amazon-exclusive authors? Looks like they rolled it back to a way-prior version. ...way prior version -- I don't see the AU option on the dropdown!

Havva Quote
I've never heard maniacal laughter from a robot before. It feels good to have brought something new and wonderful into the world.

INwatch+Bookwatch )
Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
Dragons under fold )

Author Blog Chain Tag!

Apr. 22nd, 2014 11:03 pm
archangelbeth: Lego-woman with white angel-wings, holding a book in one hand and a whip in the other. (Archangel of Archives)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
(This will be also be posted to my "real" journal,, and someday I will stick it on my very own site. But I figured that today... Is today. O:> )

Blog Chain Tag!

I was tagged by Stephanie Cain, and here are the questions we're supposed to answer... *grin*

Rules of tag!

Basically, you link back to the person who tagged you and then answer four questions: What am I working on? How does my work differ from others in its genre? Why do I write what I do? How does my writing process work?

So here I go!

What am I working on? )How does my work differ from others in its genre? )Why do I write what I do? )How does my writing process work? )

On not revealing gender in fiction

Apr. 22nd, 2014 07:39 pm
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] firecat
"Post-Binary Gender in SF: Writing Without Revealing Gender" by Alex Dally Macfarlane

Alex says, "I like and dislike this" and gives good reasons why.

But the main reason I'm posting it is that it brought back a high school memory for me. We were assigned to write a short story. I wrote a science fiction story in the first person. The story ended with flirting between my protagonist, who was female, and another character, who was male. I wasn't trying to hide anyone's gender in the story, but the teacher assumed that my protagonist was male and so was "concerned" that I had written a story with Teh Gay in it. When I said that the character was female the teacher said I should make that more clear. I identified as het cis female at the time and I did not understand why the teacher thought my protagonist was male. But apparently characters who don't do explicitly girly things are male by default. Especially if they are in space exploration stories.

[Photography] Sky love, pt II

Apr. 23rd, 2014 10:31 am
moonvoice: (calm - cumulus)
[personal profile] moonvoice
In random news,
I have over 1,100,000 words up on AO3 now.
My original fiction is the most popular fiction in the original fiction (by kudos and comments - not that this is a barometer of quality).
But it's nice to see it trending in the top,
above 6,000 other works.
Now if only I can translate that to a career.
(I shall be opening a Patreon account soon).

More under the cut. )
moonvoice: (t - we aren't going to get along are we?)
[personal profile] moonvoice
I mean I really am,
I take more cloud and sky photos
than I do anything else really.
So much that I now need my own folder for it.
But can you blame me?
Perth shows off.

More under the cut. )

[England 2014] London Part I

Apr. 23rd, 2014 09:21 am
moonvoice: (wczuciki - snail of light)
[personal profile] moonvoice
I actually was only in London for a night,
and I was there to visit a friend.
And I was also tremendously ill.
So I wasn't able to do any of the tours or anything,
but still, I managed to see some things. :)

More under the cut. )

Cemetery visit

Apr. 22nd, 2014 06:17 pm
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg
April 21st is noted in Texas history as San Jacinto Day, marking the victory of the Texas forces against the Mexican Army which secured Texas independence. It's also Aggie Muster Day, when alumni of Texas A&M University gather together and mark the passing of those who have died in the past year. I was there at A&M in 2002, to be with Paula as she called out her father's name.
Read more... )

This time I'm serious.

Apr. 22nd, 2014 03:25 pm
gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
[personal profile] gridlore
Ladies, Gentlemen, Others.. I need to start gaming again. I have all the time in the world, I can get around, and I want to run awesome games for you.

So with that in mind, a poll. Note, this for people who like to engage in face to face, tabletop, gaming somewhere in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area.

Poll #15263 It's game time!
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 3

Which system would you prefer?

View Answers

0 (0.0%)

Ars Magica 5th Edition
0 (0.0%)

0 (0.0%)

GURPS 4th Edition
1 (33.3%)

Dark Heresy
0 (0.0%)

Some form of Traveller
2 (66.7%)

What setting/genre would you like?

View Answers

High Fantasy (Lord of the Rings)
1 (33.3%)

Low Fantasy (A Song of Ice and Fire)
1 (33.3%)

Dark Fantasy (Once Upon A Time)
1 (33.3%)

Hard Science Fiction (Babylon 5)
1 (33.3%)

Space Opera (Star Wars)
2 (66.7%)

Cyberpunk (Blade Runner)
2 (66.7%)

Eldritch Horror (The Star Wars Holiday Special)
1 (33.3%)

Cosmic Heroes (Superman)
0 (0.0%)

Gritty Heroes (The Punisher)
0 (0.0%)

Something else
0 (0.0%)

What makes the game fun?

View Answers

1 (33.3%)

1 (33.3%)

2 (66.7%)

Character Development!
2 (66.7%)

Quoting Monty Python, Firefly, or Blazing Saddles!
2 (66.7%)

Throwing things at Doug!
1 (33.3%)

How many times a month would you like to meet up?

View Answers

1 (33.3%)

2 (66.7%)

0 (0.0%)

0 (0.0%)

Would you be willing to DM?

View Answers

0 (0.0%)

2 (66.7%)

Every so often
1 (33.3%)


Apr. 22nd, 2014 05:33 pm
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
[personal profile] thnidu
GlasserKitchen retweeted God

1 Laugh.
2 Read.
3 Say please.
4 Floss.
5 Doubt.
6 Exercise.
7 Learn.
8 Don't hate.
9 Cut the bullshit.
10 Chill.

nwcMUSIC Thursday and Friday

Apr. 22nd, 2014 08:00 am
solarbird: (sb-worldcon-cascadia)
[personal profile] solarbird

So, yeah! I said yesterday this year was epic; let’s talk about that a little.

This is the first year our daytime workshops are out of exile. We’ve been up in the tower, in Salon, a fine room with a lovely view but which is an elevator ride to somewhere nothing else is happening. Set to Discoverability Factor Zero, Mr. Wesley, and engage. Now we’re back downstairs, with the concerts.

This is also the first year we announced livestreaming of concerts in advance. It was on short notice, because the technical details kept changing, but it was in advance. K built an uplink out of four parallel cellular devices – three LTE, one 4G – multiplexed into a single high-bandwidth channel spread across three entirely separate cellular networks. This was almost as good as a wired connection.


This was also the first Electric Night. For a the first three years of nwcMUSIC at Norwescon, Thursday night was Experimental. This year, it became Electric, and we brought in atmospheric room lighting. Not a lot; just enough to paint the walls with colour. Mike Citrak – who I forgot to thank yesterday, I’m sorry Michael! – also lent us some of his dance lights, which definitely helped. The Thursday bands loved it; we’ll need to do more of that.

First up was 9K1, featuring Shubzilla, Lex Lingo, and Bill Beats, who you probably know from Death*Star. Nerdcooooooooooooore:

9k1 Rocks the House
(They have a new video, by the way)

One of the funniest things from my point of view the entire convention was that – okay, opening ceremonies ran late, and we can’t start concerts ’till they’re done. Partly, because it’s not smart, some of them come over to us; second, because respect. So it’s totally cool.

But I still had a crowd to keep entertained and energised, so I decided to screech them in, which is a thing we do at nwcMUSIC, stolen – in idea form, anyway – from screeching in on George Street in St. John’s.

Only since we can’t serve whiskey, we do it with a literal screech.

Now, 9K1 had already set a record for largest draw on a Thursday, and while Thursday is not exactly a huge day, they did really well. And most of their fans showed up on time.

And I had all of them screech at the top of their lungs, all at once, with Opening Ceremonies right across the hall, and with all doors open.

This was hilarious. Unintentionally, of course. I was just trying to keep my crowd in the room. I didn’t even know that I’d made an entire ceremony full of pros jump out of their chairs until a good five minutes later.

It was a good Screech. :D

Dancing to 9k1

We’d also yanked a bunch of chairs from stage front during setup, as a dance floor. Turns out: bonus points.

Jonny Nero Action Hero was our only chiptunes act this year. To be honest, chiptunes aren’t that popular at Norwescon, which is clearly a failing we’ll have to correct. But he drew a pretty respectable crowd too, and noticing that, we were starting to realise something was up.

He’s also pretty good on guitar, and later, I’d find out, very good on panels.

Jonny Nero Action Hero

Oh, see the little light down on the bottom of the picture? There’re two of them. They’re my stupid little stage lights and I love them.

I’d bought these colour-changing LED bulbs; I’d planned to put them in reflectors aimed at walls. Turned out they were too dim. I’d thought to put them in paper cones so we’d have colour-changing paper cones (critically different! to ordinary paper cones), but instead I stuck them on some snake-neck clamp lights clamped to the scaffolding. Once curled up in front of the stage? Suddenly they really kind of worked. Almost non-ironically worked, even. They’re like the idea of footlights even if you don’t really have footlights.

Klopfenpop rounded out the evening to another pretty good crowd – very good, again, for late on Thursday. He didn’t bring his guitar, but he brought his game:


I wasn’t actually on any panels either on Thursday or Friday, beyond my MC duties at all concerts. So I got a look at the art show and dealer’s room in the afternoon, and I have to say, both really interested me this year. I didn’t have the chance to give the art show the time it deserved, but whoever had the animatronic sculptures in back? Well done, artist, well done. Those were cool.

I bought more things in the dealer’s room than usual, because there were more kinds of things than usual. Good show all around.

Next up: The Big Show! With The Heather Dale Band. This is our daytime “event” show – we don’t do it every year – in Grand Ballroom 3. Grand 3 is a huge but freakish room where wifi will fail from device to device in the same room, so you can just guess what that did to our wireless. Still, we got a good capture, and were streaming live most of the show. And the rebroadcast after was perfect.

This is what John’s soundboard looks like in the dark. I’m pretty sure I can blow up Alderaan from here:

Seghers Sound(board)

You can push buttons on it or its touchscreen or a remote tablet and all the actual, physical sliders will move around to different presets. It’s pretty damn awesome.

Grand 3 has the best, most traditional stage, which makes for interesting photography opportunities:

The Best Picture I Got With Ben In It
(Stop hiding in the dark, Ben, it makes you hard to shoot.
I MEAN WITH A CAMERA. I have IR, hiding doesn’t do a damn thing against my weaponry.)

Heather Dale and Betsy Tinney

All Alone in the Dark
(if you ignore the rest of the band, the audience, Babylon 5, and the Internet)

I started doing a Scooter impersonation before this show. “Ms. Dale! Ms. Dale! Three minutes to curtain, Ms. Dale!” This, like many muppet things, became a running gag. (See also: “Ms. Clicks! Ms. Clicks! Three minutes to curtain, Ms. Clicks!” on Saturday.)

After that, it was all load-and-move back up to the Evergreens for Friday Filkfest’s main set of shows. I really have to hand it to John and Jen’s volunteer crew this year, they had that kit wrapped up and shifted like magic.

Friday is Friday Filkfest because filk is the oldest form of geekmusic, going back to the 1950s, and deserves its place in the sun. Besides, I like their DIY/participatory culture attitude. They’re punk in that way – and in perhaps no other way, but that’s a pretty damn good way.

The word “filk” came from a typo in an article – the author meant to write “science-fiction folk music” and that I is awfully close to that O on the keyboard, and hey, who has time to proofread, am I write? – and they ran with it en masse and instantly. And while I couldn’t attend it, I was told by multiple people that the What the Frak is Filk? / Filk 101 panel went over well, with good attendance – and a lot of new people.

A lot of new people. A pattern is emerging, isn’t it?

Oh hey, say Hello to the Future, Friday night’s leadoff.

Hello, the Future!

Hello, the Future! is Nicole Dieker’s band, and she is the only person in her band, but she was certainly not the only person in that room. Friday’s a busy Norwescon night, too, with a lot going on, but she drew ‘em in.

Up next: Vixy & Tony. I’d written up a concert description for them consisting entirely of the word “Chicken” repeated many times – yes, I stole the joke, I don’t care – with the phrase, “we can put anything we want here, we know you’ll come” two-thirds of the way through.

I was, of course, correct. But that’s not exactly an amazing mystical prediction, it’s just plain obvious.

Vixy & Tony


Vixy & Tony & Sunnie & (barely) Betsy…
(…who already got a good picture…)

The funny part is, I’d originally scheduled them as the closer/headline act, with Seanan McGuire (who was also an official Norwescon Guest of Honour) in front of them. But they asked me to switch the two, expecting all of Seanan’s many fans as a writer to show up, and then flood back out as soon as she was off stage. I understand that, and of course agreed, but think their fears were unwarranted.

The Crowd on Friday, or the Stage Right Half of It, Anyway

Which isn’t to say that Seanan didn’t draw quite the crowd herself – she did, almost as many as Vixy & Tony. She’s had several albums out and has won several awards from the Filk community, and people were really thrilled to see her do a show.

Seanan McGuire, with a Totally Different Band

…and having a Totally Different Band made up of Totally Different Vixy & Tony – as they said on stage at the time – probably didn’t hurt anything either.

This was the night the livestream started to pick up good audience, too. The count went from “several” to “tens.” On Saturday, it went up to “dozens…”

…but I’m getting ahead of myself, and this is long enough already. The final part – Part Three, with lots more pictures! – will appear tomorrow.

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

Security Flaws

Apr. 22nd, 2014 04:29 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 A crucial and immovable flaw in many security systems is humans.  If people can't get something to work properly, they will find a way to make it work improperly.  I find that there are a great many places online that I don't think need passwords.  It's just something I don't want to fuck around with for trivial uses.  So either I don't go there, or I work around it.  The problem comes when people do exactly the same thing with a really, really important system.

Update from Kajones_writing

Apr. 21st, 2014 10:54 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
April's theme covers Heliopath’s World and Aurora’s World. Enter the April 2014 Raffle by using comments, links, or credits.

Fiction: Aurora’s World: Atecia: Opal: Talking to Margery (part 7) has Haidar talking with Opal about blooming and the social challenges it brings.
Aurora’s World: Atecia: Calix: Felicia Blooming (part 3) has Tuula explaining more about blooming and sensing people who will bloom.

The World Walkers: Quiar: The Case of the Counterfeit Enchantments (part 9, 87th continuation) follows up on Peric shredding the mind of the platypus assassin.
The World Walkers: Quiar: The Case of the Counterfeit Enchantments (part 9, 88th continuation) shows Peric telling his friends what he has discovered about the counterfeiters.

Other Fiction: Heliopath’s World: Outside Ildieu: Dale: Taking Charge (part 2)
Heliopath’s World: Outside Ildieu: Quartz: Dreaming of Family
Heliopath’s World: Ildieu: Benedict: Studying
Heliopath’s World: Ildieu: Kestrel: Kidnapped (part 5)
Heliopath’s World: Ildieu: Ginevra: Taking Over

Aurora’s World: Ialaera: Mackenzie: The Thieves’ Hideout (part 4)
Aurora’s World: Haerith: Xavia: Making a Decision (part 5)
Aurora’s World: Ialaera: Mirica: A Thief in the House (part 8)
Aurora’s World: Ialaera: Jillian: Hunted (part 4)
Aurora’s World: Konir: Amelia: Going Underground (part 2)
Aurora’s World: Ialaera: Jillian: Hunted (part 5)
Aurora’s World: Ialaera: Mirica: A Thief in the House (part 9)

firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] firecat
"The Confidence Gap" by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

This article infuriates me in a way that many Atlantic articles do, because it frames the issue poorly, contradicts itself, and twists even those facts that it presents as support for its argument.

Why is "Women don't have enough confidence" a better way of framing the issue than "Men don't care enough about failure"? Especially when the writers seem to be unhappy with the evidence that people don't care about competence as much as confidence: "Infuriatingly, a lack of competence doesn’t necessarily have negative consequences."

Why is takeaway message "Women need to to stop thinking so much and just act" when the article also contains this statement: "Most people can spot fake confidence from a mile away"?

A scientist studied how men and women did on a certain test when they were acting on their own, given instructions to try every question, and various other conditions. Women did worse than men when acting on their own because they skipped some questions, scored the same as men when the subjects were told to try every question, and scored lower than men when the subjects were told to rate their confidence before attempting the problem.
Finally, Estes decided to attempt a direct confidence boost. He told some members of the group, completely at random, that they had done very well on the previous test. On the next test they took, those men and women improved their scores dramatically.
...which the authors summarize as "What doomed the women in Estes’s lab was not their actual ability to do well on the tests....What held them back was the choice they made not to try." But nowhere is it suggested that men might be more likely to try because they have received so many other "direct confidence boosts" throughout their lifetimes.

More Transporter Accident.

Apr. 21st, 2014 11:26 pm
archangelbeth: A Vah Shir (cat faced humanoid) in a bright blue helmet. EverQuest race. (EverQuest)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Well, the same one. Customer Support sent me the usual boilerplate and I got snippy at them. No, I cannot do ANY of those things, because, gosh, I am IN THE TUTORIAL. I don't have a ship to beam to, I can't drop the quest to re-take it (the "drop" button is grayed out), I can't get out of this 20x20 basement I'm in...

Yes, I could delete the character and re-roll, but I did SO MANY tweaks on the face structure, etc., that I do not want to go through all that again. O:p

I got a bit of writing done on DragonThing (not a full chapter). I should start poking at Crucible again sometime soon.

Today at lunch, the kid and spouse and I were sort of doing fluffy roleplay with our Fed characters (mine's a kitty, the kid has a Mad Scientist Vulcan, and the spouse has an Orion-Vulcan crossbreed (whose ship may or may not get named the Don't Ask) -- and the spouse's character said something that made the kid do a literal spit-take with laughter. ( kitty thinks that slang is stupid; SHE has a tail, but none of these aliens do!)

Havva Quote
Lynshar Dar'Kura: ...That's not a tail. THIS is a tail! *waves hers in illustration*
T'Lian: Eh, Orion females are all tail.
T'Pella's player: *spittake*

INwatch+Bookwatch )
Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
Dragons under fold )
thnidu: road sign: diamond-shaped black on yellow. Animated silhouette of user banging head on keyboard over & over (headbang)
[personal profile] thnidu
The title and lede are "Ho-hum, so what?" Read on.

Computer Users Circumvent Password Security With Workarounds

When workers and organizations circumvent computer passwords and security rules, they unwittingly open the door to hackers

Koppel’s research generally focuses on health-care IT workarounds that doctors and nurses are required to perform when computer system rules are clunky or non-responsive to work flow. This research on cyber security is an outgrowth of that work.  The researchers found that often the rules on passwords are so “onerous” or “cumbersome” that workers must find ways to circumvent them to perform their duties.

“These interviews expose the often irrational security controls and subsequent workarounds, such as password sharing, made-up data to allow access to restricted parts of systems and ignoring warnings about invalid or obsolete programming,” Koppel said.

They discovered “innumerable” vulnerabilities that are generated not by hackers, but by inflexible or illogical requirements of cyber security regulations. 


Click title for story.

moonvoice: (t - yes we all *love* batman)
[personal profile] moonvoice
The last part.
These two continue to rock my socks,
even as I type this out and code it all
Moet is lying on the chair next to me.
Katt expressed surprised at just how social they were the other day,
but I take it for granted. They like people. They're good for us.
And I like to think we're good for them.

Lazy days. And for those of you who knew Maybe from the beginning, you'd know what a treasure it is to see her able to relax her body like this.

This door is always open. )
moonvoice: (t - i really fucking like cats ok)
[personal profile] moonvoice
Life conspired against me last year, and
subsequently I was still taking a lot of photos
(mostly on my iPhone actually, for convenience)
but I wasn't processing them or putting them up.
But everything is processed now, and so...
I'm catching up on some old journalling habits.

Get a cat today! Convenient remote control holder!

More under the cut )

The Neverending Toil

Apr. 21st, 2014 01:54 pm
naamah_darling: Spotted hyena teeth. (Teeth)
[personal profile] naamah_darling
I'm climbing out from under the rock of another depressive episode. I currently have about a dozen things on my plate, things I have to do, major things, not minor things. Projects. Ponies, book edits, covers, formatting for print. Things that will take days each. And that's on top of stuff like keeping my bathroom from looking like the guest toilet in R'lyeh and not burying myself under disposable dinnerware in my bedroom. It's a neverending cycle, and no matter how I fight, I can't keep up.

"Annnd it's still there. Lovely."
"Untitled" by Olivier Ortelpa on Flickr.

That's one of the worst things about depression -- or, I suppose, any other debilitating condition -- you're not just dealing with your own cycle of broken or not broken, you're dealing with the everyday outside world, too, and its rhythms, imposed on you with no regard for your level of ability to cope with it. It keeps running. It leaves you to catch up.

And that weight of catching up, the mountain that builds up and you suddenly have to climb, is a thing that can easily drag you back down. I'm doing well right now, I think. But the morass of stuff I have to do keeps piling up, higher and higher, faster than my ability to deal with it, even when I'm functional.
I need to take steps to address that, and I'm working as hard as I can at it -- and being humiliated by the fact that sometimes that is not very hard -- but the simple truth is that even though I'm doing better lately, I'm overloaded. Things are good now, but I know that they will get bad again, and I truly don't think I'll have enough time to clear this workload and deal with incoming work before that happens. I will have to do damage control and muddle along as best I can and pray that the people around me, including the people on whom my continued survival depends, are understanding.

Our concept of disability doesn't really take these cycles into account. Just because a sick person can do things sometimes doesn't mean that it's all fine and dandy during those times. Those are often busy, difficult times, when we try to both clear the backlog of shit that needs to get done, and make some progress moving forward. They are times of normal functioning but not normal workload, and very few of us are equipped with support systems that clear all that work away for us so we can move forward, unimpeded.

That's why things like laundry, or vacuuming, or lawn maintenance can pile up for me. And by the time I get to it, it's a much bigger task than it would have been if I'd just been able to take care of it at the outset. The nature of many mental illnesses and other disabilities is that they can not only screw your ability to buckle down and get things done, they can screw up your ability to do just a little here and a little there. One of the signs that I'm doing better is that I'm cleaning up in five-minute spurts a few times a day. That's an improvement. I'm now stuck with all the work of cleaning up after myself, clearing away the mess left over from all the days I couldn't do anything. I stop, when I am depressed or ill, but the world goes on around me. And it's the same for others who have to deal with this shit.

Another frustrating side effect for me is feeling guilty for doing anything fun, anything for myself. Anything that is not productive. Even at my very best, I feel like I don't do enough. Now, I know that's bullshit, that the idea that I have to earn my place is bullshit, but it's an intellectual knowing, not a knowing-in-my-heart knowing. And I know that not being able to work consistently hurts me. It worsens my circumstances. It makes life harder. It makes my odds poorer. And because that scares me, doing things for myself gives me anxiety. Because mostly, all I have the energy to do is low-impact stuff. Stuff that makes me happy when I'm feeling well, but when I'm not, just provides background noise to cancel out the constant depressive roar. So I look like I'm doing bullshit and fucking off, when . . . really . . . that's all I can do. So when I could choose to do something else and I choose to do what makes me feel good instead (because it's finally actually making me feel good instead of just whiling away the time), I feel terrible.

I do my best to navigate the web of obligation, guilt, and survival, but it's hard. I'm having more good days than bad lately, but even on the best of days it's a lot of work. I'm not miserable today, but I have a hell of a stone to roll uphill, and it sucks that it's never going away.

I want to be able to wrap this up in a pretty bow. I want to give an answer, or say something supportive.

All I can say is that for everyone like me, you aren't alone, this is a normal part of the cycle. And to everyone else, this is what we have to deal with, so please try to understand where we're coming from.
moonvoice: (calm - nacreous noctilucence)
[personal profile] moonvoice
I like macro photography,
it recalls my early childhood,
when I would spend hours just staring at small things in the garden.
And now I have an excuse to stare at small things again.
It's rather wonderful.

Sneaking up on a sleeping fly.

More under the cut, as always )
moonvoice: (calm - candle lantern)
[personal profile] moonvoice
More from the garden.
These were my first attempts.
I'm using an Olloclip, which is a small phone attachment
that attaches to the iPhone.
I have a ton more but I'm trying to do these in order.
Man I actually have a lot of photos to put up in general so if you find these tedious
or unwelcome, you don't have to follow me <3

It is in the small things that one will often find the truth. )
moonvoice: (calm - bokeh)
[personal profile] moonvoice
Towards the end of our trip we were seeing a lot of Simon's family,
and he hails from Barnetby, and he has family and friends in Messingham,
and their local ocean stomping ground was Cleethorpes and such.
It was cold, despite the blue skies (actually colder, because there
were no clouds to hold in any humid air or warmth)
but it was a good day.

More under the cut. )

that will be difficult to top

Apr. 21st, 2014 08:00 am
solarbird: (korra-excited)
[personal profile] solarbird

This was a triumph; I’m making a note here: huge success.

nwcMUSIC 2014 at Norwescon 37 is over. Norwescon as a whole ended at 5pm, at the end of Closing Ceremonies; thanks to the wonder of streaming concert video and interviews, nwcMUSIC kept the torch burning until 10:30pm. (To wit: Norwescon is not over until nwcMUSIC says it’s over! XD )

I’m home, I’m pretty darned wiped out, and I want to do it again tomorrow.

I’m kind of high on the endorphin rush right now, to be honest. It’s awesome. I don’t even know where to start. Concerts and workshops and panels all set records, and I don’t even know how to even.

So I’ll give it a day, to settle, and today, I’ll thank my staff. Thanks to John Seghers and Jen Kilmer, whose sound support these last years have made this project possible, and to their volunteer staff, who made all the hauling and setup and takedown so much easier.

nwcMUSIC Sound Control

Thanks to Anna, the Water Fairy, our one-elf staff support. Thanks to K Wiley whose Fan Supported Network livestreams of our concert programme were epic and brought nwcMUSIC shows to hundreds of people who couldn’t've seen it otherwise.

K at work

Thanks to Kathleen Troyer, who was ghosting me this year so someone other than me knows how this works, and who took notes for me at meetings I couldn’t attend thanks to eye surgery. Thanks to Doug and Pat Booze, who let our performers put their CDs in their art show print shop, letting us finally have full-time CD sales for our musicians, and Amy Gembala at Norwescon Dealers, who put two and two together to make that connection.

And, of course, thanks to all of our music pros – performing and not – who put in their time and effort and excitement and enthusiasm to make this event come off so well this year. And to everyone who came to shows, who came to panels, who watched via the internet. Thank you.

The Doubleclicks at SRO

But right now, I need to go to bed. G’night!

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

Story: "Hairpins" Part 27

Apr. 21st, 2014 12:20 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This story belongs to the series Love Is For Children which includes "Love Is for Children," "Eggshells," "Dolls and Guys,""Saudades," "Turnabout Is Fair Play," "Touching Moments," "Splash," "Coming Around," "Birthday Girl," "No Winter Lasts Forever," "Hide and Seek," "Kernel Error," "Happy Hour," and "Green Eggs and Hulk."

Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Phil Coulson, JARVIS, Clint Barton, Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Natasha Romanova, Bruce Banner.
Medium: Fiction
Warnings: This story is mostly fluff, but it has some intense scenes in the middle. Highlight for details. These include dubious consent as Phil and JARVIS discuss what really happened when Agent Coulson hacked his way into Stark Tower, over which Phil has something between a flashback and a panic attack. They also discuss some of the bad things that have happened to Avengers in the past, including various flavors of abuse. If these are sensitive topics for you, please think carefully before deciding whether to read onward.
Summary: Uncle Phil needs to pick out pajamas for game night. He gets help from an unexpected direction.
Notes: Service. Shopping. Gifts. Artificial intelligence. Computers. Teamwork. Team as family. Friendship. Communication. Hope. Apologies. Forgiveness. Nonsexual ageplay. Nonsexual intimacy. Love. Tony Stark needs a hug. Bruce Banner needs a hug. #coulsonlives.

Begin with Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25Part 26.

Read more... )

Transporter Accident

Apr. 21st, 2014 01:13 am
archangelbeth: A Vah Shir (cat faced humanoid) in a bright blue helmet. EverQuest race. (EverQuest)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Kid tried to team up with my character when we did Feds, by going into the same Instance for the starting quests. Except that doesn't just move one into the same instance. It moves one... to the west and DOWN. So we both landed -- in separate instances -- in a building that has no exists. It's just window dressing. So we're in the dark, and can't get out. I only figured out what was happening by moving towards the quest NPC on the minimap, running into a wall, and when I swung my camera around to try to "see through" it, got an angle where, yes, I could see outside. And up.


Spouse is making an Orion-Vulcan crossbreed Fed, and using more of my names... (We will see if the ship name becomes the Don't Ask...)

Kid had a horrible headache just before bed, and I had to go up with her till the ibuprofen cut in.

Havva Quote
[The Federation Vulcan has invited 3 Orion Captains of Klingon ships to her ship. Her transporter staff chased off one of them, but Lirya (yes, I named her after my Vah Shir Bard) and Nathme have followed T'Varet to her engineering, where we are talking to the NPCs...]
Nathme: "I have no business with the likes of you," he says. Hmph.
T'Varet: That jerk! I'll have him on latrine duty.
T'Varet: .... What?
Nathme: Your spaceship has latrines? And... weird bloody human plays?
Lirya: So. Weird.
Nathme: And are these things connected?
Lirya: He offers an Assignment of a holodeck performance of Hamlet.
T'Varet: Huh!
Lirya: It requires 19 crew.
T'Varet: .... I have a new goal.

INwatch+Bookwatch )
Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
Dragons under fold )

Poem: "The Hercules Complex"

Apr. 20th, 2014 11:42 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the March 18, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] janetmiles. It also fills the "wishing" square on my 11-26-13 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by LiveJournal user Lb_lee. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

WARNING: This poem mentions some weird forms of self-harm and gruesome situations, inspired by superhero origin stories.

Read more... )

Poem: "A Sense of Power"

Apr. 20th, 2014 05:09 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the March 18, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] corvi. It also fills the "senses" square in my 1-31-14 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Read more... )

Some thoughts on the Hugos

Apr. 20th, 2014 09:24 pm
catsittingstill: (Default)
[personal profile] catsittingstill
I hear you when you call for pictures of the skirt. I even have some pictures. I will try to get them up soon. Thank you for your interest.

So, the Hugos. You know, I don't usually care all that much. Congratulations to the nominees and again to the winners and of course I'm pleased if some author I really like wins, but aside from that I never gave it much thought.

Then someone drew my attention to Larry Correia's "Sad Puppies" campaign. Let me sum it up: Larry Correia has been writing military science fiction for a while--his first book was published four years ago I think. And he has not received a Hugo yet.

He believes the reason for this is that the people who vote on the Hugos are deeply prejudiced against him because he is a conservative. Now, this could be. In my one experience with him, he could not handle disagreement with courtesy, which is a bit of a difficulty--and since science fiction readers in general skew liberal, this is going to be more of a difficulty for a conservative like Larry. If most of the people voting on the Hugos have interacted with him, that might indeed rebound to his detriment, since humans are humans and our opinion of the work is likely to be at least slightly tainted by unpleasant memories of the writer.

His solution was to persuade a bunch of people who liked him because they're fellow conservatives but who wouldn't ordinarily be interested in voting in the Hugo nominations to spring for a supporting membership so they could nominate him and a slate of other conservative writers. This, to a large extent, worked. Hence his presence in the best novel category and the presence of much of his slate in their respective categories. Voting for his slate of candidates was presented as striking a brave blow against, well, liberals like me.

This is not the new and daring idea he seems to imagine. The Bagwan Shree Rajneesh did something similar in Oregon in the late '80s--brought in a bunch of his cult followers to camp on the edge of The Dalles, register to vote in the local elections, and then try to dominate the local elections and put Rajneeshies in power. As I recall it didn't work for them--they didn't quite have the numbers. But that doesn't mean it won't work for Larry.

What do I think of this? I think I'm going to watch for the Hugo packet. If they do a packet of e-books for the Hugo again this year I'm going to scrape together the $42 and buy a supporting membership at World Con. Then I'm going to read all the entries and evaluate them on their merits as best I can, being only human. Then I'm going to vote. And if I think a particular entry doesn't deserve a Hugo award under any circumstances because it is Just Not Hugo Material, then I will put "No Award" in above that entry in the standard way.

What else do I think? I think this is a priceless opportunity to evaluate conservative science fiction. Basically what we have here is a bunch of conservatives putting $42 each on the line to say "these. These ones are the best of the best we have to offer. Read them and see what you think." So I will. This is a win-win situation for me--if the books are good I've found a new source of good reading material. If the books are insulting degrading boring schlock, I've given the best of the best of conservative science fiction a fair try and established that it's lousy, which will save me time in the future.

Bring it on.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is the last day of the half-price sale in the series Polychrome Heroics.  Links have been added for recently posted poems.  I still have one more sponsored poem to post later today.  There are lots of poems left if you're still shopping.  Some are epics but there are plenty of shorter ones starting at $2.50.

Poem: "An Unexpected Connection"

Apr. 20th, 2014 01:00 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the April 1, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "hands" square on my 3-30-14 card for the [community profile] cottoncandy_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Read more... )

The Physics of Consciousness

Apr. 20th, 2014 12:38 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This article suggests that consciousness is a state of matter.  Well, yes.  It's kind of like how little whizzing bits of energy get together and pretend to be solid.  But consciousness is also a lot more fractal and holographic than most people realize.  It's not indivisible.  Parts of it can be lost and other parts still function, or conversely, parts can be lost but then regained from unexpected angles.


Apr. 20th, 2014 09:59 am
solarbird: (music)
[personal profile] solarbird

nwcMUSIC videographer K is rebroadcasting/restreaming ALL THE CONCERTS today! All of them! If you had trouble with any element of the feeds before, now is your second chance to see it all. And it was a hell of a show, too, you have no idea. Here’s K:

Let your friends, fans, and folk know that we’re re-streaming the Norwescon concerts at today.

You can watch all the shows in HD, and if you watch it on the youtube
channel, you’ll be able to use the comment / chat system to interact
with fans and the other musicians as they watch the concerts.

Here’s the schedule:

Noon: 9k1 (nerdcore)
1pm: Jonny Nero Action Hero (electronica/chiptunes)
2pm: Klopfenpop (nerdcore)
3pm: The Heather Dale Band (Arthurian celtic)
4pm: Hello, the Future! (geekfolk)
4:45pm: Vixy & Tony (filk)
5:59pm: Seanan McGuire (filk)
7:05pm: Death*Star (nerdcore)
8pm: The Doubleclicks (geekfolk)
9pm: Molly Lewis (geekfolk)
10pm: Molly Lewis interview (sponsored by Tony Fabris)

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

Done last week (20140413 Su - 19 Sa)

Apr. 20th, 2014 08:59 am
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

A rather boring week bracketed by great music. Last Sunday we had Heather Dale and Ben Deschamps at Rainbow's End's first house concert. And this weekend we're at Norwescon, with both concerts and filking (see notes)... and the high point was, definitely, Glenn proposing marriage to Naomi during the intermission. She said yes. Heather had ended her first set with "As I Am".

The second set was all about love and marriage. (Not both together, necessarily -- it included "The Devil and the Farmer's Wife".)

On the flip side, I continue to be arthritic and mildly depressed. The low point of the week was filing for an extension on my taxes. Which was a mistake -- I should have filed and then filed an amended return when I finally get all the deductions and business expenses together. It was, of course, horrendous: I sold a lot of stock to buy and renovate Rainbow's End.

I haven't been enjoying Norwescon all that much. Mostly hiding in a corner reading on my laptop. Grump. Grumpity grump. Oh, and the hotel's wifi is seriously overloaded, and the restaurant service is slow and barely competent. *sigh*

There are links in the notes, as usual. The perceptive reader may also notice an item at the end of the notes that will, hopefully, turn into a post sometime soon.

raw notes, with links )

A wish

Apr. 20th, 2014 02:10 am
thnidu: "ND" disarmament symbol, and "Fiat Pax" (let there be peace) (peace)
[personal profile] thnidu
I don't mind at all when ads and banners say things like "Happy Passover to our Jewish friends".

I only wish that on the corresponding occasions they'd say "Happy Easter to our Christian friends".

A day of dragons and STO...

Apr. 20th, 2014 12:26 am
archangelbeth: An anthropomorphic feline face, with feathered wing ears, and glasses, in shades of gray. (Glaseah Me!)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
And a trip to the ER for some stitches for spouse's uncle; gardening tools in poor repair and precarious placement. Owie. But apparently it cleaned up well.

Kid and I did not attend that, but stayed home.

Dragon Flight whilst spouse was out. Star Trek Online a bit together. I had to make a second character (a Gorn, E'spendable...) to help the spouse through that blighted capital ship combat since we weren't quite in the right phase for all three of us to make it work together. (Kid came in and rescued my primary character during that phase...) Turns out that if there are two people in the zone, twice as many enemy ships spawn. So we had to deal with TWO capital ships... However, we made it, and my ship only blew up once -- and since spouse's ship did not, I was able to respawn at the entry to the system and fly back, at 100% health. Very useful.

Then we found out that characters from different teams can go to each other's ships with a Bridge Invite! So I entertained my two Orion friends (spouse and kid's characters) and a Vulcan! Clearly a Romulan Sympathizer! Then we went over to her ship, and discovered that while most of the ship would ignore us (...and also, the Captain's Quarters have a room in there that is bigger than our LIVING room, which is pretty big...), the ones in the transporter room will shoot at poor little Orions wandering around. *sniffle*

That ship is freaking HUGE. Our teeny little Klingon ships are, well, teeny.

I need to get the bit of dialogue that we did whilst finding out that there is a mission/assignment thingie that requires 19 crewmembers to Put On A Play. But not today.

Havva Quote
They wouldn't be called human resources if they weren't meant to be strip mined.

INwatch+Bookwatch )
Adopt one today!
Dragons under fold )


Apr. 19th, 2014 11:25 pm
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
[personal profile] thnidu
The birthday card I gave SON this year:

Cartoon. Caption: Why Iron Man hates to fly commercial. Picture: line of people at airport security gate waiting to be scanned. Iron Man is at the end of the line. His thought balloon: Well, this is going to be a nightmare.

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