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Media consumption Wesnesday

Jul. 30th, 2014 01:44 pm
firecat: red panda looking happy (Default)
[personal profile] firecat

The Tuskegee Airmen
1995 made-for-HBO movie (supposedly very lavish for its time). Stars Laurence Fishburne. Historical film about the first African-American fighter pilot squadron in WWII. Supposedly fairly historically accurate.


Rhys Bowen, A Royal Pain (Her Royal Spyness series #2)
Audiobook narrated by Katherine Kellgren. Light historical mystery / romance series set in England and Scotland in the 1930s. Lady Georgiana is 34th in line to the throne and has a family mansion in London but no money, so she puts on a disguise and cleans people's houses for a living, while the Queen involves her in matchmaking schemes. The Lady Georgiana character is a foil for the more broadly comic characters she interacts with. Many of the characters are kind of stereotyped and Kellgren's voices are sometimes a little forced so I am not quite sure why I like this, but when it came time to pick a new audiobook I felt like downloading this one instead of starting any of the ones I already have.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Captain of the Pole Star"
Not a Sherlock Holmes story, more of a ghost story. I love Conan Doyle's writing and the way he draws characters so I thought the story was fun, although it's not as intricate as many of the Holmes stories. However, the audio version I had, narrated by Walter Covell, was awful.

Tananarive Due, The Good House
I listened to the audiobook narrated by Robin Miles. Due's second novel uses classic horror tropes about haunted houses and dysfunctional families with secrets and voodoo and multi-generational curses and small towns. But what's different from other horror stuff I've read is that every single one of her human characters is at least a little bit sympathetic and at least a little bit flawed. The protagonists are a mother and son, and there are occasional shifts to other characters' POVs. Race and racism are part of the their world but not constantly in the foreground. The horror comes from bad things happening to characters I care about, and characters making poor choices (either on their own or under outside influence) much more than from, e.g., the inherent ickiness of bodies (dead or alive). For example, mud and leaves aren't inherently scary, but when they show up in places they shouldn't be with no explanation, that is scary. The novel was longer and more rambly than I would have preferred, and there are a couple of plot points that I really disliked (one of these is a pretty big spoiler: (animal abuse, and a woman lying about having been raped [the "woman" is actually a demon in disguise, but it still bugged me]). But overall I'm glad I read it and if more horror were like this (making me feel "I really hope they figure a way out of this" instead of "everything is dooooomed for all time") I would read horror more often.

By the way, Due wrote a wonderful eulogy of Octavia Butler here:

Rex Stout, The League of Frightened Men
Second book in the Nero Wolfe series. A while back, a fraternity hazing prank went wrong and resulted in a young man losing his leg. Now members of the fraternity are dying and it seems as if the man with one leg is murdering them, but nothing can be proved. The main plot was pretty easy to figure out but there were a couple of subplots that were more interesting. I really liked a lot of the Wolfe–Goodwin byplay in this one, but I don't think it's one of the best in the series.


Pure Hidden
This is a hidden object game with puzzles, but it has no plot laid on. It's kind of like an adult's activity box (many of the puzzles would also be suitable for children). You open boxes that grow on a vine and interact with what's inside, which include searching for different objects, searching for many of the same object, picture-assembly puzzles, pipe-fitting puzzles, apps that create music or pictures (one of them was that typing on the keyboard caused different kinds of flowers to grow on the screen). You're also occasionally decorating a bathroom. The images you put together or search inside are beautiful and come in many styles. Once you've finished an image, it becomes part of a gallery and you can set it as desktop wallpaper if you want. Different ambient music goes with each hidden object game, and the music also comes in many styles. You can play in an easy mode, with copious hints and the ability to skip many of the puzzles if you want; or you can play in a point-scoring mode (I didn't try this). The hints come in handy because at least on my non-Retina screen a few of the images were impossible to see. But otherwise this is a really great casual game.

Genprompt Bingo Card 7-30-14

Jul. 30th, 2014 02:40 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Here is my second card for Round Three of the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This bingo challenge encourages original or fanfic material across all formats and lengths. It's a terrific fest if you want general and/or gentle fiction, although people can interpret prompts any way they like. There are many categories, and you can choose to omit up to three. Read the rules first.  Browse the Round Three prompt list.  Request a Round Three card here. Prompt lists are renewed once a quarter, and you may request a new card then even without bingo on a previous card. (See all my 2014 bingo cards.)

If you'd like to sponsor a particular square, especially if you have an idea for what character, series, or situation it would fit -- talk to me and we'll work something out. This is a good opportunity for those of you with favorites that don't always mesh well with the themes of my monthly projects. I may still post some of the fills for free, because I'm using this to attract new readers; but if it brings in money, that means I can do more of it. That's part of why I'm crossing some of the bingo prompts with other projects, such as the Poetry Fishbowl.

Round Three: June 1-August 31, 2014.
Cards may be requested prior to September 1.
Any content, fiction or poetry, etc. fanfic or original.
Minimum of 100 words for fiction, poetry, or other text fills.

Underlined prompts have been filled.


Dragons Conflicting Obligations / Oaths Je ne regret rien (I regret nothing) Fångad av en stormvind (Captured by a storm wind) Epistolary fic: Emails, letters etc.
A Murder to Solve Action / Adventure Mirror, mirror: Doppelgangers, clones and evil doubles Suicide Conversation
Vicious Anticipation Wild CardFunerals and Wakes Sunshine and Blue Skies
Shopping Together Evergreen / Summer Flowers The Mind's Eye My Guardian Angel No Honour Among Thieves
Relative values: Families Possessions Music Original characters Sensory Deprivation

normally not where I would post this

Jul. 30th, 2014 08:30 am
solarbird: (asumanga-yay)
[personal profile] solarbird

But yeah, I’m gonna, because it’s been weeks of work and it’s done.

See, this kitchen used to be a total pit. I mean seriously.

That’s not quite point zero, that’s right after starting work, but all that meant is the appliances are out and there’s some junk on the counter, and the chemical stripper has started on the one set of cabinets.

I’ve been talking about this as I went at it on Livejournal and Tumblr, so if you want intermediate pictures go look there. I’m picking up with the last of the lighting – the same kind of tape I used in my recording studio.

I decided to build some over-the-counter lighting with angled supports, to protect the lighting tape and angle it more forward.

I had a row of those and a side-ramp angling more lighting even further forward over in one particularly dark corner.

Once assembled, this end looked kind of like a Kubrick set:

Watch Out for Monoliths

And the other end looks like a Starfleet maintenance access tunnel:

Reverse the Polarity of the Neutron Flow

But from a normal position in the room – well, mostly normal – it all combines to look a lot like this:

The fact that this former pit can have a legit glamour shot makes me very happy

Reflections in Aluminium

The Lower Cabinet

I was worried about the horizontal bar at first, connecting the two cabinets, but I’m so happy with how it worked out. Creating new trim for the right-side cabinets to match the glass-door cabinet trim seemed pretty obvious, but I wondered if the bar with no cabinet – intended for a light tape, as above – might seem a little precious. But I think it worked out.

This rig controls the whole light set, both below and above lights:

The plug is a hair-dryer style protection cutoff, leading to a 12V DC power supply, leading to an LED controller with remote pickup. The colour is 12-bit – eight levels of red, green, and blue, in any combination; I played with it until I got a warmish white that I liked.

It wouldn’t be one of my photobomb posts without, of course, panoramas! They’re tiny here, of course, so There are larger versions on Flickr, as always. The first is from the doorway, the second is from where the stove will go when it arrives on Monday.

For the first time in six weeks, I don’t have anything to do in this building tomorrow. So totally about goddamn time.

But that said, I’m really happy with how it came out. My plan had been to remove this kitchen, eventually, but, well, now… I guess it can stay. The tipoff had been the glass doors and the 1958 blue formica, which I gambled I could clean up and restore. Everything else in the room is designed around them. I think it worked.

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

Kickstarter signal boost!

Jul. 30th, 2014 08:00 am
lemon_badgeress: basket of lemons, with one cut lemon being decorative (Default)
[personal profile] lemon_badgeress


I have a favor to ask of you, good internets.

I would like to ask you to reblog the everloving heck out of this kickstarter.

But why? I hear you asking, o internets (I know you. You are a questioning beast).

Two reasons. One, these anthologies are going to be fantastic. I know this editor. I tell you that you can trust this editor. I work with Rose for Stone Bird Press, and I can promise you that the works she publishes will be beautiful and strange and uncanny, that they will lift you up and they will fill you. I'll let Rose tell you more -- lifted direct from the KS page:

With your help, I am looking to put together an anthology called An Alphabet of Embers. I want to make the kind of book you'd pick up when you're drowning for a gulp of beauty on a gray day. I will be looking for the short, the surreal, the weird. An Alphabet of Embers would live in that space between poetry and prose, between darkness and sound, between roads and breaths, its pages taut with starlight; between its covers, words would talk to each other, and have an occasional cup of tea.

Two. If we can overfund another grand+, Rose is going to have to publish rhyming mermaid poetry. Mermaid poetry, y'all. Details are on the kickstarter page, but let me just say that this is a dream years, YEARS in the making. Many people's dream, and specifically, my dream.

Rose publishing rhyming mermaid poetry. And you get glorious beauty. (It's going to be illustrated!) Come on, internet. Do me proud.

P.S. The mermaid poetry will actually be good. C'mon, y'all. You know you want it too.
ysabetwordsmith: (Schrodinger's Heroes)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 [personal profile] dialecticdreamer has written the short story "Training Exercise" for Schrodinger's Heroes.  A friend of Pat's alerts him to the Army approaching the Teferact compound, but this time it's a little different.

Poem: "Enter the Dark Horse"

Jul. 30th, 2014 01:29 am
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem was written outside the prompt calls, inspired by audience discussions and the "experiments by evil scientists" square in my 6-10-14 card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest. It has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Dr. Infanta thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

WARNING: This poem contains intense topics that may not be to everyone's taste. Some of the warnings are spoilers; highlight to read. There is mad science, graphic violence, character death, animal death, grief, traumatic manifestation of superpowers, vengeance, and other mayhem. It ends on a sweeter note, though. Please consider your preferences and headspace before deciding whether to read onward.

Read more... )
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," "Hairpins," "Blended," "Am I Not," "Eggshells," "Dolls and Guys,""Saudades," "Querencia," "Turnabout Is Fair Play," "Touching Moments," "Splash," "Coming Around," "Birthday Girl," "No Winter Lasts Forever," "Hide and Seek," "Kernel Error," "Happy Hour," "Green Eggs and Hulk," and "kintsukuroi."

Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Phil Coulson, Nick Fury
Medium: Fiction
Warnings: Minor character death. Bullying. Fighting. Suicide attempt (minor character).
Summary: This is the story of how a little boy named Flip grows up to save the world a lot.
Notes: Hurt/comfort. Family. Fluff and angst. Accidents. Emotional whump. Disability. Sibling relationship. Nonsexual love. Parentification. Manipulation. Coping skills. Asking for help and getting it. Hope. Protection. Caregiving. Competence. Toys and games. Comic books. Fixing things. Martial arts. Gentleness. Trust. Role models. Military. BAMF Phil Coulson.

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.

Read more... )
solarbird: (asumanga-yay)
[personal profile] solarbird
Before, as in, yesterday:

After, as in, today, the final day (and a longer post on this will appear tomorrow):

I would totally have this kitchen. I would. I can't believe I'm saying that after what it used to be, but I am.


Jul. 30th, 2014 12:56 am
archangelbeth: A cute chibi beside a chess piece. (ChibiQoR)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
1: Ivan seems to be doing a bit better? He came up the stairs, and when I sifted the litterboxen today, I found evidence that he was, indeed, using one of them. In particular, one he has not been using in the past. Bwah. His weight, however, is down. This may be due to Moving Bowels, now that he's eating better, but we will be keeping an eye on things, of course.

2: Have not had unsolicited GURPS proposal rejected out of hand! (This is probably a bonus for me having done work before, and also for a "hm, maybe this would be interesting" concept.) I need to hack up a proper outline for it (as opposed to the outline that I worked from and filled in, oops), and pick my 1,000 words of sample. Also have to delete references to a book that is no longer allowed in GURPS canon. Alas, alack, give me the sander to get these serial numbers off this concept over here...

3: Mis-remembered the time that I had to get the kid to the current week's camp/class/thing, was reminded by spouse, and got there pretty much on the dot and just a little before the teacher arrived. GO ME and my Inner Ofanite.

4: Augh, when did it get late?? (Oh, right, I was working on #2 there.)

No quote today. Quote when it is not nearly 1am and I have to be up in something approximating the morning.

INwatch+Bookwatch )
Adopt one today!
Dragons under fold )
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Training Exercise
by Dialecticdreamer / Sarah Williams
Part 1 of 1
word count: 1200

At quarter to seven, Pat got the first phone call, at home. Petra Johnson, who worked the graveyard shift at the gas station just off the freeway, began speaking as soon as the line clicked active. “Thank G-d,” she declared, sighing loudly. “Six big military APCs just pulled off the main highway and onto route 287, and they're headed toward your place. Uh, wait,” she stammered, “toward THE building, you know?”

“The Tef?” Pat corrected, rubbing hard at his eyes with his free hand.

“Yeah,” she agreed.

When she drew a breath to keep talking, Pat interrupted gently. “I need to call the team, Petra. We'll figure out what's going on.” From deeper in the house, he could hear the second phone line ringing in the den. “I really have to go.”

Fortunately, one of his spouses had already answered the second phone line, giving him time to dress and splash water on his face. Another of the light sleepers, awakened by the phone, had done the sensible thing and headed for the kitchen. Jacket in hand and headed for the garage, Pat was interrupted; they pressed a Thermos of hot coffee into his hands along with a deep, warm kiss. “Come home safe.”

“I'll do my best,” he promised.

Read more... )

Had the consult

Jul. 29th, 2014 03:03 pm
freyjaw: (health)
[personal profile] freyjaw
Dr. Song says I'm a good candidate for implants, and he can do both teeth at once. What's more, he'll put me under general anesthesia. Good. Looks like the process will start in August and the whole thing will take a few months.

Genderqueer Clothing

Jul. 29th, 2014 06:51 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 Here's an interview about genderqueer clothing.

Gender in Marketing

Jul. 29th, 2014 04:37 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I was encouraged by this article about Land's End being receptive to customer feedback on gendered clothing

This gave me an idea for a different marketing scheme.  Organize clothes by theme: Science T-Shirts, Fairy Tale T-shirts, Play Clothes, Work Clothes, Nurturing Slogans, Adventurous Slogans, Heroic Figures, Everything Pink, Everything Blue, etc.  Then in each section, the dropdown menu would have options for masculine, feminine, and gender-neutral cuts.

News from Cahokia Mounds

Jul. 29th, 2014 03:29 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 A dig at Cahokia Mounds has turned up what looks like a prayer bundle.  I'm kind of surprised that this is the first they've found there.  Prayer bundles are pretty typical of magical/spiritual practice across many tribes.

Poetry Fishbowl on Tuesday, August 5

Jul. 29th, 2014 01:50 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is an advance announcement for the Tuesday, August 5, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. This time the theme will be "flexible truths." I'll be soliciting ideas for liars, soothsayers, fortunetellers, economists, historians, politicians, journalists, storytellers, other folks who deal in truths and lies, discovering the truth, telling lies, stretching the truth, when an unbelieved truth bites people on the ass, when you let the truth free and it defends itself, plot twists, courtrooms, family meetings, seats of government, sorcerous workrooms, other places where truth is a concern, enlightenment, hidden truths, lies that are too big to fail, universal truths that aren't, the is-ness of reality, natural laws that can be bent but not broken, things that are true but not real (or vice versa), things that are only sometimes true, things that are true but have a wider scope than expected, things that used to be true, and poetic forms in particular.

I have a linkback poem, "A Stranger's Way" (20 verses, Beneath the Family Tree).   [personal profile] dialecticdreamer has offered to host this.

If you're interested, mark the date on your calendar, and please hold actual prompts until the "Poetry Fishbowl Open" post next week. (If you're not available that day, or you live in a time zone that makes it hard to reach me, you can leave advance prompts.) Meanwhile, if you want to help with promotion, please feel free to link back here or repost this on your blog.

New to the fishbowl? Read all about it! )


BINGO: column

Jul. 29th, 2014 04:01 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I made bingo down the O column of my 6-1-14 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest.

yeah i kinda need to do this

Jul. 28th, 2014 10:48 pm
solarbird: (Default)
[personal profile] solarbird


The top is almost before - we’ve already pulled the stove and started stripping the off-white glass-door cabinets. The missing door was just missing, though. Fortunately it was in another room.

The bottom is almost after - today’s picture from the same spot. The “after” picture cuts off the unifying trim on the right cabinets (I made some that’s the same as on the left upper cabinets and as the connecting beam I added) but I wanted to get the two images as close to the same spot and framing as I could.

Exoplanets in Science Fiction

Jul. 28th, 2014 10:19 pm
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
It's late, I'm melting slowly into a puddle of goo, and when my brain can muster enough focus to actually misfire a few neurons, I've been thinking about other worlds.

Cooler worlds.

Worlds perhaps inhabited by an intelligent shade of blue, or worlds where the endless sunsets dance across pleasant rural landscapes with nary a cell phone tower or loud stereo to disrupt the pleasant breeze and 70F weather.

Places which are, in short, Not Here.

Read more... )

glowy lights

Jul. 28th, 2014 09:47 pm
solarbird: (Default)
[personal profile] solarbird
I've had a shitty couple of days, so I'm going to focus on the good part: I've got the lower tier of lights working in the kitchen restoration.



Okay, that's out of the way. So. I need to split this cable and power supply around and also shorten a bunch of the supplied cables (see above) and some of that's not interesting, but a little of it is. Specifically, hey, let's use old DSL noise filters as project cases!

That's a Fancy Y Cable, Basically

Old DSL Filter Case

Power comes in the right side in the latter photo, and goes out both sides, because that makes sense in this particular setup. I'm doing this at the four-wire point because I'm wanting to be on the far side of the controller - I only want one controller for all the lights, so there's only one switch, and so on. I could probably just run a bunch of extension wire between the three separate LED strips, but that's hacky and weird compared to this.

Regardless, to get between the lower LED tape and the upper LED tape, I need to run wire in the cabinets, and I want that to be modular because of reasons. So I'm using old PC internal power connectors - they're four-pin, and modular! Of course, the wire colours are all wrong, so I'm fixing that with heat-shrink insulation in the appropriate colours.

Left side finished, right side in progress.
Also, I'm bundling the completed cable in larger heat-shrink, for neatness

It's hard to get the colour balance right in this photo, but the lower bank is in; the upper bank doesn't have to be yet, to use the lower, because again - modular! It's awesome. This is a full-power white test, with some treatment in iPhoto to bring down contrast levels in the original picture. (The phone wants to use the brightest light as reference, and, well, anyway, trust me, the LED strip is very bright at this setting.)

Jerky panorama is jerky

I love how it makes the 1958 formica just glow. Also all the aluminium works particularly well here. It's lush.

Aluminium Glow

I'll probably set the LEDs to a warmer colour - you have a lot of colour range to work with in these lights - for final purposing. But this... it's kind of neon and electric and awesome, for now. <3


Jul. 28th, 2014 11:49 pm
archangelbeth: Bleary-eyed young woman peers up, pillow obscuring the lower half of her face. Text reads: SO not a morning person. (So Not A Morning Person)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Literal headache. Juuuuust small enough that I didn't take anything for it till recently, when it started getting meaner.

I did fix spouse's pants, yay.

This morning, Ivan was in the basement. When I brought him up, he was very... restless, agitated. I held him on my lap a bit and warmed him up, and that seemed to calm him. I think we really, really need to get some intermediate "stairs" for the treads so he has a chance of going up and down without getting himself stuck down there. (There are litterboxes upstairs. He doesn't want to use them.)

I am concerned over his vision. He will try to walk through/over things that are not immediately In His Face. I guess he's pretending they don't exist if he can't see them, but this does not work well.

I have added holding blobs of food (laced with glucosymine (...can't spell that...) treat that I crumbled up and mixed with the soft food), on my fingers, to get him to eat it. He still hasn't finished that one. He likes the powder better. So do I; I don't have to rub the gummi-fish treat in my fingers till it crumbles.

I will pretend that repairing my spouse's pants (one hem, one seam, one pocket seam) is productive.

Havva Quote
Sometimes you're trying to do something relatively simple, like get close to a tornado. Tornadoes are antisocial things, and are angered by your presumptive familiarity. they show their displeasure by hurling farming irrigation systems at your car.

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


Jul. 28th, 2014 10:49 pm
acelightning: cartoon me in Wiccan Priestess regalia (Priestess)
[personal profile] acelightning
Many of you may have heard by now that Margot Adler, long-time NPR commentator and author of Drawing Down the Moon (an overview of modern Neo-Paganism, beginning with Wicca and other forms of Witchcraft), died Monday morning after a long struggle with cancer.

She was my teacher's (my High Priestess, who died earlier this year) teacher, and my teacher's teacher's teacher. I only knew her slightly, but I'll miss her.

Something that is not about the Hugos

Jul. 28th, 2014 09:14 pm
catsittingstill: (Default)
[personal profile] catsittingstill
Because while I haven't been writing about it every day, most of my last set of posts have been on that subject and I'm starting to feel like I need a break.

I went to Atlanta for the weekend. I had a lovely time visiting Alice and Beth and Marie, and met their foster child M, who was a lot of fun all weekend (at least when I was around.) I went for two walks with her and spent two one-hour sessions playing in the pool with her and Alice and perhaps got a little overtired.

There was a filk circle and Neil and Felissa's house that was a lot of fun, with great food, and good company.

And, not incidentally, Marie pointed out that I really needed a case for my iPhone (which I got for my half-birthday this summer) and gave me one of her spare cases--and otterboxalike (not a real otterbox, apparently, but something similar.)

I am still working out how much of my current arrangements the iPhone is going to take over. It was worth its weight in gold when Jake and Kip and I went to Washington DC--I was constantly checking where things were on the map, or looking up the bus schedules, or what times things were open. It can sort of do the job my Garmin does (and is considerably easier to use.) On the other hand, when I put it on the dash where the Garmin usually sits, it gets quite hot in the sun there, and I'm worried that it will overhead and be damaged. Running the map function makes it get kind of warm anyway, even when it's not sitting in the sun. But it will show where the traffic is bad, and the Garmin won't (it's kind of an old model and it doesn't do that) and knowing whether the budding traffic jam lasts 2 miles or 20 is kind of useful. But taking my eyes off the road to fool with it is dangerous. So there's that.

It did a New Thing yesterday evening as I was driving home. I started in a beautiful sunny day and drove north, and the last hour or so of my trip it clouded up and started raining, sometimes quite hard. About five minutes out from home something started wailing. I pulled off the road to find out what was making that noise. Eventually I clawed my iPhone out of my pocket and discovered it was the source of the sound; it wanted to tell me there was a tornado warning locally.

Well that is a good thing to know, but there were no bridges or overpasses to get under, so I drove home, watching for funnel clouds.

I pulled into the driveway and it was pouring down rain, so I stuffed everything handy (I thought) into my bag, and made a dash for the house. However my iPhone had still been resting on my lap, where I had left it after stopping the horrible noise, and when I leapt out of the car, it fell, unnoticed, onto the pavement in the pouring rain.

Inside I took everything out of my bag and realized I didn't have my iPhone. Perhaps I had just left it in the car but it occurred to me I might have dropped it. I pulled on a jacket, dashed outside, and found it lying by the car, so I picked it up and dashed back inside.

I took a rag and dried off the otterboxalike case, then checked to see if the phone still worked. And it did. I'm not positive the case made the difference, but the pavement it was lying on was awfully wet, so I'm very glad the phone was in the case.

On the downside the case is kind of bulky and has a rubber sort of gasket thing that makes it hard to get into and out of my pocket, especially when I am sitting down. The rubber gasket thing also covers the home button, which means the fingerprint recognition, which I *really* like, doesn't work, unless I pry the gasket thing off every time which kind of destroys the convenience of it. And also, when I took the case apart, there were a few drops of water inside that I had to mop out, so it probably was a good thing I didn't leave the phone in the case for a long time.

Maybe I should go online and look if there are water resistant cases that still let you use the fingerprint recognition of the home button.

Satanists for the Public Good

Jul. 28th, 2014 05:30 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Apparently Satanists are asserting their religious right to make medical decisions based on science, and claiming that distorted anti-abortion propaganda violates their rights.  So, Satanists are treating people better than Christians are.

Auctorial Warning Labels

Jul. 28th, 2014 12:29 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Sharon Lee discusses the warning labels that apply to different writers.  Here is mine:

WARNING: May cause permanent damage to narrow minds.

That's humorous, but it's also true.  People have hurt themselves on my writing, and on my personality.  It's really better for everyone's safety and sanity if rigid, small-minded people stay far away from me and don't read my words.

almost done and then

Jul. 28th, 2014 08:50 am
solarbird: (music)
[personal profile] solarbird

Almost done with the restoration work, and then a trainwreck happened. I put details over on my LJ, since I don’t really think vintage kitchen restoration is really band material. Anyway, there’s a lot of money, some more work, and I cut my left hand in a pretty ouchy way, but I’ll be okay.

But goddamn I’m angry about some of that.

This week tho’ – it’s mostly more money on other stuff than more work, so in a day or two I should be playing again and I can get those Lukey zouk re-records done. Anna is deep into the Rebels of Adalonia third book right now, so can’t do readings this week after all.

Things just take. so. many. little. times. away. from. each. other. Crazymaking.

Oh, we also just gained a bonus track. It’s actually already ready, as are many things. We’re 95% done – that just leaves the last 95% to go…

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

and thus the powerpuff girls…

Jul. 28th, 2014 08:30 am
solarbird: (bubbles-is-hardcore)
[personal profile] solarbird

…were delayed at Dallas/Ft. Worth but eventually arrived in Seattle, apparently. I was in the airport, and saw this, and sure, you tell me this isn’t their luggage. I dare you.

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

ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer has written a long, involved, utterly fascinating piece of demifiction for P.I.E.  "Conserving the Habitats of Unusual Species" starts with bigfoot and ends with werewolves.  Read Part 1 of 3; subsequent parts will post on following Sundays.  This is trade for "Favorite Flavors."

and everything exploded

Jul. 27th, 2014 11:01 pm
solarbird: (Default)
[personal profile] solarbird
Everything exploded. Well, not everything. Mostly I got a nasty cut in my left hand and the old refrigerator doesn't fucking fit anymore because the new floor is too high and trying to make it fit resulted in big scars in that self-same brand new floor. I am crazy with rage.

So. goddamn. close. And now it's days more. Most of the scars will be where the replacement refrigerator will go but I am still just crazy with motherFUCKER!

Also my hand will be okay but goddammit.

Anyway, before things exploded, I restored a built-in cutting board. The bottom side here had been the "outside up" part; previously, the other side on that same half had been the "outside up" part. But this old style is made twice as big as it needs to be, so you've got four sides to burn through over a 90-year lifespan.

This is Side 3 of 4, the best current side, so I'm using it. (Side 4 has some scratching, but could be used too without shame. But since I'm doing this idiotic restoration project, I may as well go all the way, right?) This is after sanding:

That's cool and all, but there's no grip, and the edge is just, well, ply edge, and that's kind of fugly. The edge was fugly before, because Mister Fixit was a cheap bastard with no eye for detail. I either needed to route out a groove with a router, or I could install some sort of pull.

My plan had been to get an old-style pull that just screws on, but those aren't really common anymore. Plus I was toying around with ways to hide that plywood edge. And then I realised that L-metal is cheap and easily available in aluminium, and a decently nice standard cabinet pull could be bolted to the L-metal, which I could then screw to the edge of the cutting board. To wit:

I was also careful with my choice of screws, because decorative industrial! And yet also highly functional, which is of course always the goal, particularly with mid-century modern.

I also had to drill some divots behind the pull, so the heads of the bolts had someplace to go. I didn't take a picture of that, but it's just a couple of dents, so not much to see anyway.

Put back in place, it looked really nice right away. Oh, the pull is silver too, just a warmer silver - not brassy like it kind of came out in this photo:

I took a detail shot of the end of the L-metal, attached. I also bevelled the corners - it just seemed like the thing to do. Again, too, intentionally- and carefully-chosen screws, because when doing this sort of thing, details matter, and this kind of detail costs nothing but a couple of minutes of searching through the screw bins at the hardware store:

And open, well, I'm really quite happy with it. It even matches the custom cabinet I made before, in tone, so everything goes together. Hopefully we'll get a good decade or two out of this. That'd be nice. And then I can flip it over, invert the (highly symmetrical) pull fixture, and we're good for another decade or two.

I also put in a new sink fixture, as the old one was leaking. And that has a story, too, because Mister Fixit (or a successor in this case I think) had put in a wide-set style fixture at some point, so I assumed the sink was a wide-set fixture sink.

Okay, some of you won't know what that means. Modern - as in for decades now - sinks come in a couple of standard configurations, "wide set" - where the holes are 8" apart - and "narrow set" - where they're 4" apart. And there are variants, but those are the most common. Go to and enter "bathroom faucets" and you'll get the picture.

This sink had a wide-set fixture on it, and I assumed that meant the sink had wide-set holes. NOPE HE'D JUST BODGED IT IN THERE LIKE A CLOWN ON A HAMMERTIME BENDER. And I didn't discover this until after I'd discovered that the cold-water cutoff valve didn't completely cut off the water supply. I had a bucket, but that still set a timer.

So I bodged the damn thing in too. I shaved the plastic mounting piece so its side-hole inset points were gone, got a couple of brass screws, drilled some holes, and bolted the damn thing into place. I should've left a note saying "VERY BAD DAY WAS NOT GOING TO HOME DEPOT AGAIN FOR ANY REASON BECAUSE FUCK THIS." Or something similar. But I didn't. Anyway, it's solid, just stupid, and here y'go.

Looks perfectly normal, doesn't it? Good. It had damned well better after the shit things put me through today.

Brand. new. floor. Goddammit.
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," "Hairpins," "Blended," "Am I Not," "Eggshells," "Dolls and Guys,""Saudades," "Querencia," "Turnabout Is Fair Play," "Touching Moments," "Splash," "Coming Around," "Birthday Girl," "No Winter Lasts Forever," "Hide and Seek," "Kernel Error," "Happy Hour," "Green Eggs and Hulk," and "kintsukuroi."

Fandom: The Avengers
Characters: Phil Coulson, Nick Fury
Medium: Fiction
Warnings: Minor character death. Bullying. Fighting. Suicide attempt (minor character).
Summary: This is the story of how a little boy named Flip grows up to save the world a lot.
Notes: Hurt/comfort. Family. Fluff and angst. Accidents. Emotional whump. Disability. Sibling relationship. Nonsexual love. Parentification. Manipulation. Coping skills. Asking for help and getting it. Hope. Protection. Caregiving. Competence. Toys and games. Comic books. Fixing things. Martial arts. Gentleness. Trust. Role models. Military. BAMF Phil Coulson.

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.

Read more... )

Thinking About Easy City

Jul. 27th, 2014 11:23 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 [personal profile] helgatwb is helping me figure out how Easy City developed from New Orleans, Slidell, and other cities hooking together into a metroplex ... when people in southern Louisiana don't actually get along all that well.  Read the first discussion post, and chime in if you know this area.

Ivan the lap cat

Jul. 27th, 2014 11:45 pm
archangelbeth: Bleary-eyed young woman peers up, pillow obscuring the lower half of her face. Text reads: SO not a morning person. (So Not A Morning Person)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Ivan has never liked being held. But today, twice, for long periods of time like an hour or so, he has laid (lain?) in my lap, being petted. Purring most of it.

It is not fair. He is not even 15 yet.

I am very not caught up on journals.

(Today is also not very productive. I woke up from annoying dreams (that I have forgotten by now), and went downstairs to make sure Ivan had not trapped himself in the basement. He hadn't, but he wanted feeding, etc. So I am short on sleep. And typing around an Ivan.)

Perhaps at some point tomorrow, the GURPS submission will be looked at. Please think good thoughts for it. Thank you.

Havva Quote
Sam Vimes, you treasure your ignorance of gardening, so don't start weaving a social hypothesis in front of an angry woman holding a blade!
--Snuff, Terry Pratchett

INwatch+Bookwatch )
Adopt one today!
Dragons under fold )
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Conserving the Habitats of Unusual Species (DEMIFICTION)
Part 1 of 3
word count: 884

Today's demifiction is the longest I have written: over 2800 words all told. Each segment will post on Sunday, and the links are in the final segment (but not counted in the word count).

It is an article for [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith's P.I.E. universe.

Read more... )

Confluence 2014

Jul. 27th, 2014 08:44 pm
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[personal profile] gorgeousgary
Home from Confluence. As usual, we spent most of the weekend in the filk room listening to concerts or hanging out in Open Filk. Of course we stopped by Larry Smith's table to stock up on books. I am now just one book short of completely obscuring the bottom row of one of [ profile] the_sheryl's earring racks with my to-be-read piles.

Saw concerts by Copy Red Leader, Moss Bliss, Wax Chaotic, Craig Stanfill, Scott Snyder, [ profile] decadentdave, Ookla the Mok, Pete Grubbs, Glen Raphael and [ profile] filkertom, many accompanied by the signing of [ profile] judifilksign. Another fine program from [ profile] mrgoodwraith.

Confluence apparently marked Pete's retirement from gigging and running Confluence sound. He went out with a two hour-plus set of stories, songs and spoken-word pieces that included guest appearances by Tom, Dave, Pete's son Cecil, and others. We were treated to a sampling of the Tom and Pete show that has been a fixture of Confusion for many years.

Made a brief stop at the Dorsai party, where I helped John Hall remember the words to "When I Was A Boy".

Had to explain to Pete why Sheryl and I were falling off our chairs laughing when he played "Wagon Wheel" during his concert. I swear if I hear that song one more time this year it's gonna get filked!
annathepiper: (Alan and Sean Ordinary Day)
[personal profile] annathepiper

Dara and I went to go see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes last night, since we’d seen the first of this set of movies not terribly long ago and liked it well enough that we wanted to see this one now that it’s out. Survey says: good story, although in some ways I actually liked Rise better, just because this one hit a few predictable notes. Overall though I still quite liked it.

Spoilers are climbing into the tower behind the fold!

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from

Coming Soon: Seedless Mangoes

Jul. 27th, 2014 03:56 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
An Indian university has bred seedless mangoes.  Science is SO AWESOME.

Done this week (20140720 Su - 26 Sa)

Jul. 27th, 2014 10:09 am
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

The main news this week is that my Mom had open-heart surgery Tuesday morning. They replaced her mitral valve, and repaired another (which wasn't in the original plan, so it went longer than expected). She was in really bad shape when my brother drove her to the hospital in the morning, and there was some debate as to whether they should do the surgery. She's 93.

We needn't have worried. They had her up and walking the next day; she called me on Wednesday sounding like her old self, and she's bouncing back much faster than her doctors expected. I'm not surprised; Mom's amazing, and she keeps on proving it.

The moon landing was 45 years ago last Sunday. Sad -- we were all sure there would be lunar colonies by now. Not to mention flying cars, robots, artifical intelligence, and free single-payer health care for everyone in the US.

Lots of good links in the notes.

raw notes, with links )
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[personal profile] kyrielle
First, thank you God and thank you all of you who prayed or thought of us or just expressed that you cared. Uncle Dick's melanoma was successfully removed and contained, and he was officially declared cancer-free on Thursday. He has some rehab to go through because of where things had to be removed, but that beats cancer by a great deal.

Parenting moments:

The boys needed new shoes. (Ian destroyed one pair, and the other pair was getting too small. Drew's last pair was coming apart at the toes.) So we got them new shoes...and I about melted, because after Drew picked out the Bumblebee transformers shoes, Ian got the same shoes in his size. (They were one of the three he was already looking at.) Small kids being hard on shoes, we usually get them two pairs. I was going to get the second pair rather more cheaply than the store we were in, but Drew begged very sweetly for a second pair there - Star Wars with light sabers and a light saber noise. So Ian got a second pair and picked police sneakers with flashing lights.

This wasn't deliberately a reward for swimming, but since it was right after swim lessons it may have been taken that way. Both boys have advanced a level! Drew to Water Safety 3, Ian to Advanced Parent-Tot 2. There's only two sessions of APT2 that suit our schedule, so he may have to go to APT1 again anyway, but I'll try to avoid that. Which is to say I'll be at the swim school when registration opens, next Saturday morning at 7 am, and will likely have been waiting a little while. Ugh. Well, so it goes. This is the only session likely to be that way for quite a while - Ian will graduate out of APT2 based on age, and move into either water safety 2 or 3 depending on what his teacher says, both of which have a lot more time slots.

Me and health:

I've had my annual eye exam and my prescription is the same and my retinas are fine. I'm not so fond of having my eyes dilated, but it is pretty important in general and especially with my vision. And by next weekend I will have prescription swim goggles to wear when I swim, which would be awesome, because right now I wear my glasses into the pool and that is _not_ good for them. (But I have to be able to monitor the boys, which means I have to be able to see them, and that means glasses.) New glasses are also in the works, but I'm waiting for frames that are being ordered in so I can see them.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This story was commissioned by [personal profile] dialecticdreamer after discussions about our respective characters, the situation with superkids in Polychrome Heroics, and her interest in the U.S. Coast Guard. It also fills the "stranded / survival scenario" square in my 6-10-14 card for the [community profile] hc_bingo fest.

WARNING: This story contains some intense topics. The warnings include spoilers; highlight to read. There is minor character death, minor grue, a child in danger, refugee status, instinctive use of superpowers, and some other edgy stuff. However, there are people to help and it has a happy ending. Consider your tastes and headspace before clicking through.

Read more... )

another day, another photoset

Jul. 26th, 2014 10:56 pm
solarbird: (Default)
[personal profile] solarbird
I'm pretty happy with the cleanup. I actually did some more cleanup between the first two photos and the rest. But I wanted to show how the top-access for the corner storage compartment works. Remember: the right side will be closed off by the stove.

Doors Down

Doors Up

The panel that the microwave is sitting on also opens; the hinge is against the back wall in this photo. But it has a microwave on it, which is the point of that most of the time. I just didn't want to nail it down, and hey, I had the piano hinge.

This next photo has literally all the room colours in a single shot:

The Other Busy Corner

I spent a fair amount of time making those doors line up properly again, so they close without scraping and all that. The two doors under the sink had metal plates for magnetic latches, but no actual magnetic latches - the grapple parts were missing. As far as I can tell, they were never put in - there wasn't even a good place to attach them. So I built a good place, then attached them, and now they work as intended, a mere, I dunno, 58 to 78 years later? Something like that.

I really like how the glass doors really popped once the excess paint was scraped off:

All Four Doors

I'd like to rehang that one that's a little off, but the way those hinges work make it really hard, and then the latch would be wrong. Original construction flaw, I guess. Nobody seems to notice it in person but me.

I'm thinking of putting a little shelf rack or something on the wall space here, but I'm not sure. To the lower right will be the range, and to the far right, the refrigerator:

Usual Corner Different Angle

This would fit, tho' I'm not hugely fond of it as an object. I don't hate it, either. It's okay. Whatever goes there has to be really shallow, to avoid conflicting with the glass door on the left.

Left to do: glue/tack down the formica in the cabinet under the sink (same as the countertop), replace the sink fixture with one that doesn't leak (already purchased), the LED strip lighting above and below cabinets (big time sink), and finish and install the slide-out cutting board. I'd be pretty sure I'd be done tomorrow if it wasn't for those lights. But Monday. Monday should be good.

How did it get so LATE??

Jul. 26th, 2014 11:57 pm
archangelbeth: Woman doing a zombie "braaaaains" pose (Braaains!)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Well, it is. Urgh.

*long pause while she feeds Ivan soft food, with a spoon*

Ivan has developed a tendency to go downstairs for the basement litterboxen, but then Mr. Arthritis won't come back up the stairs and we have to go fetch him.

Also, he wants to eat all his food from a spoon. He licks it. Sometimes he takes teeny bites.

He purrs.

Havva Quote
If you meant 'what happened' in the broader meaning of the word, I would say that the Earth is continuing its merry journy around the Sun, twirling about like a graceful garden gnome on its way.
--Harry Potter and the Natural 20, Chapter 54.

INwatch+Bookwatch )
Adopt one today!
Dragons under fold )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today we went to the farmer's market and bought ingredients for two batches of freezer food. One is new, the other an old favorite. This afternoon I made Crockpot Sloppy José Filling. Tomorrow's project will be Venison Spaghetti Sauce.

Read more... )

Magic and Time Travel

Jul. 26th, 2014 09:24 pm
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Today's topic: time travel.

Why? In part because I got up early yesterday, thought about what needed to be done, and promptly posted the wrong day of writing. I learned several hours after (originally) posting the last part of the story “Keeping Warm” that it was, in fact Friday. Today, I'll talk about the original, intended subject, and at some point in the near future, when comments have quieted, I'll edit the dates on the posts equally quietly.

It's as close as I'll get to non-linear time travel in my lifetime, I think.

Here's the thing that bothers me about time travel: it's almost all either linear but abnormal in some element, or it's science fiction. Come on, we're a creative, curious and easily BORED species! Why have we limited our storytelling like this?

First, the easy examples, which are based on magic: Merlin and POSSIBLY the Sanderson Sisters

Merlin aged linearly-- backwards! Time travel of a sort, and the Christians had to insist that he was part demon to account for the situation, which seems like a huge amount of slander for someone already handicapped by trying to crowd in the name of someone who'd just met him-- because Merlin had already forgotten the poor soul's name!

The Sanderson Sisters, in the movie “Hocus Pocus,” were sentenced to be hanged, but managed to speak a curse which would resurrect them at a specific time and after a specific event. Of course, this happens (or the movie would've been a half-hour television episode) and they begin to wreak havoc as only witches in Disney movies can. But, is it time travel? They've been resurrected, after all.

The closest thing to “proper” time travel, which is flexible for both moving forward on one's timeline and backward, is probably the ludicrously underused and limited time turner from J. K. Rowling's “Harry Potter” series. Limited by general knowledge of events, which supposedly did not allow Dumbledore to use a time turner to prevent the deaths of one or both of Harry's parents. (I see a loophole taller than I am in that sentence alone.) Limited to a few turns backwards, perhaps a week of lapsed time... I see enough loopholes in that to make a sweater!

But it does NOT have to be this way. Read a little about string theory (then take some ibuprofen; it'll help) and dozens of ideas rush, cascade through one's mind about the /mechanics/ of folding time and space, without ever naming a /cause/ or a /source/ for such manipulations.

Which means, storytellers are limiting themselves out of what... habit?

Give me some good 'magic-based' time travel stories. Give me ideas for magic which creates repetitive time loops, closed event paradoxes, real TIME TRAVEL with the usual worry that stepping on a butterfly in the past may lead to the cancellation of a minor sci-fi series on Fox after only airing ten of the thirteen episodes.

Give me new ways to think about the present world and my place within it. Please.

Latest enthusiasm

Jul. 26th, 2014 10:30 am
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg
Seeking to expand my dance horizons, I signed up for the eight week introductory Lindy Hop class at Mobtown Ballroom in Baltimore. Three weeks in, I'm liking it. Not only is it good aerobic exercise, it's also a dance style with interesting history. I've been geeking over stories of the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem, where Lindy was invented in 1927, and watching videos of Frankie Manning -- one of the original Whitey's Lindy Hoppers -- teaching Lindy Hop in his 80s. The man was in better shape than a lot of 20-somethings.

I doubt I'll get into the competitive side of this. My interest is in the social dance community and the connections to be made. Swing dance is a happening thing in a lot of places right now, and I think I'm going to like it. I don't see it drawing me away from the Contra Dance/English Country Dance community that's my regular dance "home," but it should be a nice place to visit sometimes.

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