3 endings today

Sep. 21st, 2017 10:34 pm
wohali: photograph of Joan (Default)
[personal profile] wohali
Ending 1: Problematic contract at work. Since this is a public post, I won't say a lot, but it was very taxing on me personally, so I asked to be let out of working on it, and the boss agreed. I am starting to feel like I can breathe again.

Ending 2: Physio on my ankle is done now. I will miss the nice people at the physiotherapy place, especially the RMT, but it's good that my ankle is back up to speed and functioning nicely.

Ending 3: Stepped down as a leader in one of my video gaming communities after 6 years of uninterrupted leadership. I'll still be there as a sort of "village elder," and I'll still be running their website/TeamSpeak/chat systems, but I'm done leading in the particular video game. It's bittersweet; I am not leaving the game I joined up for 6 years ago, nor does it feel like the community is still intact the way it used to be. There's still a core of people I really appreciate and am friends with, and that'll last for a long time, but I definitely feel like I've lost something.

(no subject)

Sep. 21st, 2017 01:59 pm
rbarclay: (stinkefinger)
[personal profile] rbarclay
We want to re-do our guestroom, because right now it's only usable for a single person, and also not terribly handy for us storing stuff.
For that reason it'll get my trusty old foldable futon bed/couch, upgrading sleeping capacity to two persons and also getting a couch. (The old cupboard and desk will also have to go at some point, but right now we can't find a new cupboard with sensible dimensions. Sloped roof doesn't make this easy.)

This will make room in the upstairs living room for a new couch/bed - and that's where we're stuck at the moment, because as usual what we want to have is not what industry wants to sell. I'd like something 180cm in width (seating three), folding out to at least 160x200cm bed-wise (though full 180x200cm would be better), with one couch-side at least not having a fixed armrest (gets in the way of me lounging around reading). Industry makes this as futons, but only in 140cm width (and SWMBO hates futons), and in 190cm+ width (too wide) folding out sideways to 120x190cm bed-wise with a max. load of 136kg (uh, we're not going to plan for gnomes but full-sized adults!). Or with fixed armrests.

A query from a self-published pundit.

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:44 pm
reddragdiva: (party)
[personal profile] reddragdiva

My Bitcoin pundit career is going great guns! I got to go on BBC Newsnight and call cryptocurrency garbage. Don't ever buy into cryptos, btw, they're a car crash. Trust me, I'm an expert.

Soooo I just got a note inviting me to speak at a seminar, about why blokechain is pants, to a small number of people who have money. I'm gonna charge for my time of course, but I can sell books there. Which means physical paperbacks I bring in a box.

Now, one of the great things about this self-publishing racket in TYOOL 2017 is 0 capital expenditure. Has anyone here done this, or anything like it? Was it worth it? Did you end up with a box of books under your bed forever?

The books are $3.03 each to print, but all author copies come from America (because Createspace is dumb), at some ruinous shipping rate to the UK. Assuming Kindle and CreateSpace pay promptly I'll have a pile of money on September 30, but I sorta don't right now.

Does anyone have suggestions as to how to approach this? Doing a talk with a box of nonfiction books - good idea, bad idea, no idea?

(I'll no doubt do a pile of flyers for people who haven't got cash on them right there. Who carries cash in the UK these days? Less people than you might think.)

kitty update

Sep. 17th, 2017 10:16 pm
wohali: photograph of Joan (Default)
[personal profile] wohali
My older cat, of indeterminate age but estimated to be about 15 years old, has started puking up her dry food. My guess as to why is that it's probably related to my attempt to stop my younger cat from porking up and gorging herself on any and all food she can find lying around, namely not allowing the food bowl to have food it in it all day long anymore. Instead, I have set the automated dry cat food timer [1] to feed them less, and less often. The specific amount was tuned so there wouldn't be food left in the bowl. Because the younger cat will hoover everything up, I think my older one speed-eats to ensure she gets enough food...then promptly pukes it up when it's too much, too fast. She's lost some weight (that she needed to lose anyway!) over the course of the month since I adjusted the feeder, but she probably shouldn't lose any more. I waited this long because I thought it was hairballs at first, but judging from the puke itself (which is usually clear liquid + undigested kibble) I think that's the wrong explanation.

So today I got some wet food (which she's not eaten in about 10 years) and am re-acclimating her to eating a little bit every day, fed in the middle of the day. She sniffed it for a minute, walked away, then came back a minute later and finally ate it. At a cost of about CAD$1 a day, I hope it helps.

She's a darling kitty, so sweet and so loyal. I'm keen to see her live as long as she can. Picture below.

My cat, an all black cat, asleep and face-planted into a pillow, in front of a second pillow, on a larger leather chair with high sides.

[1]: Made from an automatic aquarium feeder, a bunch of MDF from Home Depot, a bifurcated spout with two bowls underneath and a digital timer, plans available upon request

Yet another holiday (nearly) over

Sep. 16th, 2017 11:36 pm
rbarclay: (laughingcat)
[personal profile] rbarclay
Been pottering around the Shannon-Erne region (again) for 2 weeks, on a houseboat (again), with friends (again).

Rough route: started in Bellanaleck (NI), up Lower Lough Erne for a bit, then south-/west-wards through the Shannon-Erne canal (crossing into Republic of Ireland) to Lough Derg, returned the boat in Banagher.

Now I'm looking forward to:
- a week of pottering around at home
- getting reaquainted with SWMBO.feline
- real bread (fluffycrumbly soda "bread" ain't my idea of edible)
- waterpressure in the shower that isn't measured in millibar ;-)
- no mentions of Brexit when talking to locals (prominently on everyones minds, both sides of the border)
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine

Second book of Saunder's A Book of the Commonweal series (that's what's on the books, calling it a trilogy feels a bit weird, since I have vague recollections of a fourth book on the way). it takes plce not long after the events in the first book. I don't think it's ever explicit, but I'm thinking "weeks to a few months".

We're primarily following Edgar (occasionally just "Ed") who starts the book just waking up from a coma, feeling very weird indeed. And there's a really good reason for that. It turns out that Edgar has spent most of his life having his magical power completely consumed by a metaphysical (and probably also physical) parasite. And now it's been taken out because that's what you do with parasites. And now there's a problem, because Edgar is too old for traditional wizard training to work. But too powerful to not be trained, otherwise things like "death" (and occasionally "mayhem") happens.

And so an alternative is found. We follow Edgar and his fellow students through approximately the first year of training, learning more (much more) about how magic works, as well as how the Commonweal works.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine

This is Saunders' debut (as far as I'm aware) book. My recollection of this, when it came to re-read it, was "stuffs happened" and that was pretty much it. The book is... dense. Informationally speaking, that is. I can't, to be honest, tell you that I'm sure if the narrative voice is first person or just extremely tight third, but it's one, the other, or switching between those.

Anyway, this is a book set in the Commonweal. And, I hear you ask, what is one of those. Well, it would've been cool if there was an explanatory chapter, but there is't. So, as far as I have inferred, the Commonweal is the creation of the Wizard Laurel, about 500 years ago, as a general "I am so fed up" reaction to the last, what, several many thousands (hundreds of thousands, possibly) years of sorcerous rule (basic pattern: "magic user gets powerful, kills the previous ruler; mass sacrifices and brain squishing ensues", then repeat with the magic user from the previous sentence switched to the ruler position). So, the obvious solution is something that pretty much looks like representative democracy, with a heavy dose of enforced resource equality.

Now, some of that Commonweal information is gleaned from the next two books. Where was I? Oh, yes, as we start the book, it seems as if one of the neighbouring "we keep cycling through previous ruler and mass sacrifices" areas has decided that it is Really Time to enter the Commonweal, in force, and we get a first row seat to the experience of a small band of brave people trying to force the invaders back (or, as the case MAY be, keep them outside the border).

All in all, pretty good reading.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine

This is the third book in Sanderson's "first Mistborn trilogy" (there now seems to be ore than one, which is fine, I should try to remember looking into perhaps get hold of the first one). All in all, this is a series that plays on your expectations, but not in what I would consider a malicious way.

I did find it quite interesting to notice the things I did and did not remember from the first time I read the trilogy, there were vast chunks that had just left my mind, but other things were relatively as I expected. Memory says I last read this some 5-6 years ago.

[ bookmonth ] 2017-08

Sep. 16th, 2017 11:18 am
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Book list )

A linear extrapolation says 124.5 books by year's end. August was pretty much a miss in the "reads lots" department, with travel that was full of sufficiently interesting distractions that, well, this ain't just been a month for reading (also, perhaps, signalled by being about two week's late wit hte monthly summary).

poetry for today

Sep. 14th, 2017 10:54 pm
wohali: photograph of Joan (Default)
[personal profile] wohali
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Wild Geese
Mary Oliver
(Hear her read it out loud here.)

[work] "Okay. Where are we?"

Sep. 14th, 2017 09:16 am
mangosteen: (Default)
[personal profile] mangosteen
Things I say non-ironically: “I’m used to occupying a weird spot in the corporate realpolitik orgchart… the big open spot in right-center field where the outfielders aren’t because someone read the play wrong.”

More on that later, but I wanted to get the thought out.
xtingu: (geek)
[personal profile] xtingu
Meet Sid, the Good Luck Crab. He was hangin' backstage with us. #Lizzie #CTCLizzie #ctc24 #dw


This was automatically posted from xtingu's instagram account. the Hooray for computers and IFTTT!

September 11, 2017

Sep. 11th, 2017 09:50 am
tim: Solid black square (black)
[personal profile] tim
"What can the world, or any nation in it, hope for if no turning is found on this dread road?

The worst to be feared and the best to be expected can be simply stated.

The worst is atomic war.

The best would be this: a life of perpetual fear and tension; a burden of arms draining the wealth and the labor of all peoples; a wasting of strength that defies the American system or the Soviet system or any system to achieve true abundance and happiness for the peoples of this earth.

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone.

It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.

It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.

It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.

We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.

We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road. the world has been taking.

This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron."

-- Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953
xtingu: (oh the torture)
[personal profile] xtingu
Opening night of Lizzie (Friday night) went very very very well. I felt great. We all did. The band is AMAZING.

The show's run had been rescheduled several million times and we had agreed to play the Kennett Square Mushroom Festival which happened today... but that was before this weekend became opening weekend for Lizzie with a show the night before and a sold-out show the evening of this afternoon gig. I praise the baby jesus every day that I have vocal cords of steel... and our one-hour set from 12:30-1:30pm went swimmingly (with a special super bonus visit from Tom and Roxanne! Wheeee!), and didn't affect my evening performance at all. Yay.

We went directly home and took naps and slept super-hard for a few hours, and were ready to rock tonight's Lizzie production. Did I mention it was sold-out? And WHEEE #2, we had special PhilaDel representation by Lindsay, Shellebot and Archerbot (how is he 6 feet tall?!), Jermatron, and sadly Laura's back couldn't tolerate the uncomfortable seats so she bailed at intermission. But I didn't even see them in the audience until the end of the 2nd act, but I was happy to spy them. Got lots of huge love from friends and strangers, which felt really nice. I am really enjoying the show now, and it's an honor to be a part of it.

I have a vague recollection of someone on OPW asking to crash on my couch so they could come see the show, but I'm having a brain-fart as to who that was. If it was you, please remind me! I don't know about letting you crash on my couch only because I'm a shitty person on show days with my head solely focused on the show and nothing else, and I don't wanna worry about being a good hostess or having a clean house or being on good behavior, but I'd be happy to give you my Hilton points and get you a hotel. :) And maybe you could go on a night when other OPW pals are going so they can be your chaperone. Just a thought!

Anyway, I cannot express to you the relief that I feel now that we've opened and the show is rockin'.

I am already starting to get sad that we only have five more performances.

Curious to see if anyone in my family comes. (Not expecting my parents to, but my brother, sister-in-law, and my niece who goes to school up the road, etc.)

A billion thanks to everyone listening to me bitch about the process, and a billion more thanks to everyone who came to see it and/or who is planning to come see it. I'm really proud of what we've done.

OK, must sleep now so I'm ready for our single matinee of the run.


xtingu: (geek)
[personal profile] xtingu
Instagram: We're playing at the Mushroom Festival today! And tonight, Night #2 of LIZZIE at @citytheaterco #alwayshustlin #vocalcordsofsteel #gottapeethough #dw #hbfb
This was automatically posted. Hooray for computers and IFTTT!
xtingu: (geek)
[personal profile] xtingu
We're playing at the Mushroom Festival today! And tonight, Night #2 of LIZZIE at @citytheaterco #alwayshustlin #vocalcordsofsteel #gottapeethough #dw


This was automatically posted from xtingu's instagram account. the Hooray for computers and IFTTT!

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