5/24/2017 Mount Diablo

May. 24th, 2017 04:48 pm
mrkinch: Erik holding fieldglasses in "Russia" (binocs)
[personal profile] mrkinch
U and I and DW had a lot of fun birding on Mount Diablo today. The prospective migrant wave did not yield much but it was certainly birdier than the last time! It was only briefly windy and didn't get hot until nearly noon. The day started off with a golden eagle, followed by a rufous-crowned sparrow singing from a road sign, but bird of the day was blue-gray gnatcatcher. There were so many! And so visible! Several were sitting in plain view singing and we watched one constructing a nest. Everywhere we went we heard their wheezy calls. It was amazing. Mount Diablo in May: )

Have some amazing rock and beautiful flowers )

I ATEN'T DEAD

May. 25th, 2017 02:10 am
dhampyresa: (Default)
[personal profile] dhampyresa
I CAN HAZ WORKING COMPUTER

wednesday, you know the drill

May. 24th, 2017 05:11 pm
isis: (squid etching)
[personal profile] isis
What I've recently finished reading: David Blaize, by E.F. Benson, which I learned about via ffa and snagged from Gutenberg (it was first published in 1916). This is an odd little novel by modern standards, a schoolboy Bildungsroman in which the adventures of the title character are mostly internal and emotional. There's really no overarching plot or structure, it's just the growing pains of the title character. (Growing pains plus way too much cricket for any non-Commonwealth reader to understand.) But these growing pains are genuinely affecting, sometimes funny, sometimes sweet, sometimes skirting the edges of a dimly-sensed abyss.

And that abyss, of course, would be homoeroticism. ) I found the book surprisingly readable and enjoyable, though I admit I skimmed the cricket scenes; so alas I will never be quite sure what, exactly, made David a bowler of the googliest type.

I also officially abandoned Deathless by Catherynne Valente, because I do not have time nor patience to wade through the hip-deep prose.

What I'm reading now: Still listening to Dan Carlin's Hardcore History podcast "Destroyer of Worlds" (about 85% done) and enjoying it, for values of 'enjoying' relating to listening to just how close we came to global thermonuclear war in the fifties and sixties.

I'm also about halfway through Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep which was a free e-book from one of Tor's monthly promotions. The beginning was irritating, but I'm enjoying it now, mostly because it's one of the few SF books I've read where the aliens are really alien.

What I'm reading next: Still waiting for one of my library reserves to come through. In audio, I have In Our Backyard: Human Trafficking in America and What We Can Do to Stop It by Nita Belles from the Sync promotion, and you can download it for free through today only.

In other news I have just returned (well, Monday night) from a mini-vacation in the Paso Robles area of California, where we stayed with a friend - actually one of B's business partners - and drank way too much wine. And ate way too much food. It was really good! But not sustainable.

I am also about 2000 words into my Night on Fic Mountain assignment, which may be twice the minimum but is still only prologue to the actual story I want to tell, oog.

Speaking of fic, [archiveofourown.org profile] Hagar has podficced my Yuletide story The Greatest City in the World! (This is the story I wrote for The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker.) I have downloaded it already, and I guess that's what I'll listen to even before the next book!
silveraspen: silver trees against a blue sky background (Default)
[personal profile] silveraspen
So. Yeah. It's been a while, huh?

I won't spend a lot of time on the what or the why or the ugh of the world right now that's been a bit of a barrier in multiple ways. Suffice to say that I've played a lot of video games, I've done a lot of thinking, and I'm determined to express more of that in writing than I have been.

Only not right now, because I'm in transit. Still, any start is better than no start at all, right?

Right.

Anyway. Hi, everyone. ♥ to you.

Another update of the RL variety...

May. 24th, 2017 06:14 pm
settiai: (Gimli/Legolas -- settiai)
[personal profile] settiai
I finally sold my car! \o/

The guy who bought it gave me $200 cash for it (which is about what I was expecting) and towed it off as soon as I handed over the title. He's taking it back to his place to break down what he can for parts, and then he's donating it to the local fire department to use for training. So, you know, that works. I got some money for it, plus it's going to be put to a good purpose.

Unnamed Nonprofit is closing at lunchtime on Friday, so I'm heading to the MVA afterwards to turn in my plates and tags. Luckily, it's literally next door to my apartment complex, which is very convenient when it comes to walking home afterwards. Then I can cancel my car insurance, find out what my renters' insurance will be going up to (since I was getting a multi-line discount), and not have to worry about any of that anymore.

Now that I've actually managed to sell my car, I'm feeling much more positive about making it to VividCon. I've got cash in hand for the car itself, plus by the time you add in the small refunds I'll be getting for my car tags/car insurance as well as the fact that my car insurance won't be renewing three days before VVC? That should be enough to cover the costs of the con, especially since I don't have to worry about airfare.

(That said, I'm waiting until June to register. Just to make certain nothing else unexpected happens. Because 2017 has been hell, and I don't trust it.)

Speaking of cons, I'm seriously considering going to Philly in November for PAX Unplugged. The cost of the con itself is very reasonable, and since it's in Philadelphia it's much more plausible for me to pay $20(ish) to just spend a few hours on a bus to get there. The big cost would be a hotel, but I'm hoping that either roommates and/or staying somewhere other than downtown would help.

I'm finally playing Mass Effect: Andromeda thanks to my mom buying it for me out of the blue. I haven't had a lot of time to play yet, but I'm hoping to spend a fair bit of the holiday weekend digging into it.

On the cat front, Garrus has been doing... okay(ish). He's definitely extremely clingy when I first get home from work in the afternoons, and he's being more vocal than I've heard him in the entire 3+ years that he's been here. I'm looking into adopting another cat so that he'll have someone to keep him company during the day, as it's very obvious that a lot of the problem is that he's home alone for 8+ hours on weekdays. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure at least some of it is that he misses Tali specifically, but I'm getting the impression that's not all of it.

I'm supposed to get Tali's ashes back in the next day or two (although I won't be surprised at all if it's pushed back until sometime next week thanks to the holiday weekend). While I'm slowly getting used to not looking for her, I think that's definitely going to hurt. I already know where she's going to be staying, though, so the fact that I've prepared that much will hopefully help a little.

Gratitudes

May. 24th, 2017 05:09 pm
kass: lilacs, "zen fen" (zen lilac)
[personal profile] kass
1. Lilacs are still blooming all over town.

2. Last night I tried a new (to me) recipe for rhubarb poached in red wine (eaten over vanilla ice cream) and it is delicious.

3. Today has been a better day than yesterday was. That's a low bar, but I'll take it.

4. The sun is shining. I'm home from work. I'm sitting on my mirpesset with a seltzer, enjoying the flowers. (Including the pot of pink begonias that someone gave me last week; secret message to [personal profile] batdina: I am thinking of them as scarlet begonias and that is making me smile.)

5. There is rosé vinho verde in my fridge (vinho rosa?) and later I intend to have some.

How are y'all?

I got a headful of drought

May. 24th, 2017 01:37 pm
gwyn: (ordinary day _silent_rage_)
[personal profile] gwyn
I keep falling down on my promise to post more. Everything happens so much.

The BPPV/head situation is continuing, long after most of the attacks have usually gone away. I'd been doing the exercises but they made only surface improvements this time: I can walk upright and drive pretty easily, but looking up or down, or turning my head at an angle in any kind of recline/looking up will make me wobbly for quite a while. It's made daily chores such…chores--the house was so gross so I finally had to vacuum and that was a study in Tilt-a-Whirl terror, and cleaning stuff like the sink or tub is a challenge I don't want to accept. I was in the store the other day and had to bend down to get something off a low shelf and then got treated to someone who thought I was drunk in public. I liked the idea a friend has: wearing a sign that says "not drunk, just wobbly." Anyway, much as I don't want to go in, I might have to get pro help this time.

I've been working away on my Cap Reverse Big Bang fic, it's up to 22,000 words now. No one said they're good words, but there's a lot of them. The artist is squeeful about Bucky's kitten rescue in it, so she might draw a second piece about that. Since the art is basically Steve and Bucky fucking, the sex scene was obligatory, and I don't know why but that made writing it about 10,000 times harder. I've made two editing passes--honestly, the first one wasn't even so much of an editing pass as a complete rewrite, almost nothing stayed untouched--and I hope I can make another, because it's such crap that it really needs more work. It's very plotty (I think the artist was unhappy at first because I was getting plot all over her "I just want a fluffy reunion sex scene") and I'm trying to make sense of Civil War as a canon-divergence AU, so it's very complicated and I keep finding plot holes and logic flaws that I have to correct--wait, no, if they do that, then they can't do this.

This is complicated by the fact that I have a book edit that came in late but they're not changing the deadline (yes, this is typical), and the fact that I'm my usual mentally ill self and am pre-emptively depressed about posting the fic. I'm kind of right in the middle of the posting schedule, and I'm seeing all these stories with hundreds of notes but a couple with only a few, and I know damn well that'll be mine, too, and it makes me feel…really bleh. There will probably be a lot of fic fatigue by then, and my SBB fic last year pretty much bombed, so it kind of feels like that, even with the well-run tumblr reblogging postings and giving the visibility we didn't have in the SBB. I try to get the brain weasels that eat me up about this off the hamster wheel that says "nobody cares" but they steadfastly refuse to move.

But I have to post, so I will. And just try to make it the best it can be, even if only my pals will read it. And I need to really get back to working on Celluloid Hero, which I had to put on hold, because I know there is a handful of people who are reading that one. Plus there's the Vividcon premieres vid. I've never vidded Star Wars before so this will be really interesting. I'm really looking forward to reading some of the CapRBB stories, though, once I finish with mine, though one of the ones I'm most looking forward to is coming at the end, [personal profile] sineala's 616 Bucky Barnes and Marvel Noir Tony Stark together. ::waves tentacle pom-poms in your general direction::

Anyway, that's what's new with me--weirdness and just being a dithering idiot and emotional basket case. How's by you?

WIP: Lonely Shadows Following Me

May. 24th, 2017 04:55 pm
beanside: (Default)
[personal profile] beanside
As mentioned yesterday, this is a work in progress. I plan to make this go somewhere, but buyer beware.
Read more... )

Wednesday Reading Meme

May. 24th, 2017 04:24 pm
sineala: Detail of Harry Wilson Watrous, "Just a Couple of Girls" (reading)
[personal profile] sineala
What I Just Finished Reading

Nothing!

What I'm Reading Now

Black Panther #14, Captain America: Steve Rogers #17, Infamous Iron Man #8, Mighty Captain Marvel #5, Secret Warriors #2, X-Men Blue #4 )

What I'm Reading Next

Still nothing! It would be nice to read something! Maybe I will!
just_ann_now: (Reading: Love My Kindle)
[personal profile] just_ann_now
I wanted to post a picspam, but nothing was cooperating. Maybe tomorrow, when I have more time to mess with it.

What I Just Finished Reading

Iron Cast, by Destiny Soria. This was pretty standard "Some people have special powers, but they are persecuted by others who don't," nothing really special about it.

Amberlough, by Lara Elena Donnelly. This is blurbed as "Cabaret meets Le Carré", which didn't really grab me, until someone over on DW reviewed it with great enthusiasm as Cabaret/Le Carré/Swordspoint, so you know I couldn't pass that up. And it's a good comparison, the main characters are fairly new lovers who aren't particularly good at communicating with each other (though one is a spy, and the other is a smuggler, so probably keeping mum is a good idea). It took me a while to figure out which was Alec and which was Richard, and if you like Kathy Blount, she's a main player too. There are lots of political shenanigans. I enjoyed this quite a bit, and apparently there will be two more books in the series, so, yay!

I don't usually do fancasts, but mine for this is Hayley Atwell, James D'Arcy, and Daveed Diggs. Hee.

What I Am Currently Reading

Victoria: The Queen: An Intimate Biography of the Woman Who Ruled an Empire, for the Biography slot on the Adult Summer Reading Challenge.

This afternoon I will devote to Sarah Gailey's River of Teeth, which is based on a true story, a plan to bring hippopotamus ranching to the United States. The Tor.com blurb had me at "feral hippos"!

What Am I Reading Next

The Massacre of Mankind, a sequel to The War of the Worlds.

Question of the day: Photo hosting suggestions? Photobucket is being a pain in my butt!

update on my liiiiiife

May. 24th, 2017 10:10 am
green: (Default)
[personal profile] green
I'm doing pretty well. The medications I'm on have been good. I'm finally scheduled to see someone about my back.

DJ still isn't talking to me, but he graduated on Sunday. I was able to watch via live feed. He's signed up to go into the Air Force for 6 years. They want him for NASA or intelligence, they told him. I don't know if we can trust them, but I guess we'll see.

I miss him a lot.

My relationship with Zachary is really good though. We talk all the time, text and Facetime, and I try to support him no matter what his current passion is. It was drawing for awhile, which I could really get behind, but now he seems to be leaning more toward... gardening? I don't even know.

Meg was falling down a lot until we got to the doctor and he figured out it was vertigo from allergies. We got her on a new antihistamine and she's stopped falling.

As for me, other than the YAY MEDS working, I've been writing a lot. Unfortunately, everything I write is super long so I'm not actually posting much.

I probably left a lot out, so if you have a question just ask. I'd love some interaction.

Day 25 - Song meme

May. 24th, 2017 07:35 am
istia: back of jack harkness's head (torchwood | jack head wall)
[personal profile] istia
25. A song that breaks your heart

Handbags & Gladrags - Rod Stewart. Song tied to a certain period of my life.



All the Prompts )

Anticipations.

May. 24th, 2017 10:20 am
hannah: (Travel - fooish_icons)
[personal profile] hannah
Just about packed for the weekend except for lunch, toiletries, and bus ride music. Which means most of the worry's gone, and all that's left is restless anticipation - and the occasional spot-check, like when I remember I need extra batteries for my MP3 player. Also writing down directions to and from the bus stop, but that's hardly making sure to bring enough socks and underwear.

It's not going to be real until I'm stepping into the hotel lobby. Until then, it's just nerves.

Reading recs?

May. 24th, 2017 08:40 am
batwrangler: Just for me. (Default)
[personal profile] batwrangler
Looking for stories about, "I did the Thing. Now what?" Any suggestions?

ETA: My 2004 Hat Full of Sky review touches on what I'm currently seeking in a story. There has to be a better ending than "We thought we were going to die, but we didn't, and now we don't know what to do with ourselves" than Frodo leaving the Grey Havens with the elves. Or rather, there has to be a way to begin again as a survivor even if what you survived is your own heroic triumph. What I want is stories about people finding that new beginning and having a purpose that's more ambiguous, and paradoxically more ambitious, than "saving the world." How do you live in a "saved" world, especially if saved still equals broken? How do you do the Rogue One thing if you don't die at the end? The single hero/savior is a great dramatic myth, but there's a toxicity to it as well.  

The superhero answer is that the world simply doesn't stay saved so you have to do it all again tomorrow. Which is true, constant vigiliance and all that, but what if you are not in fact a superhero or even a regular old hero? (Oh, dear, I'm headed into the world of Literary Fiction, aren't I?)


Supergirl

May. 23rd, 2017 09:10 pm
norwich36: (Default)
[personal profile] norwich36
Thank you to whoever on my flist said they were glad they watched the last 4 episodes of Supergirl, because the Mon-El plotline had been boring the hell out of me and I almost noped out, but the last four episodes were in fact very worth it. Oh my God this show is so much better with Callista Flockhart--and the episode where they had her and Teri Hatcher and Lynda Carter and Brenda Strong all in the same episode was the most fun I've had watching TV in a while.

Also my crush on Lena Luthor (and her doomed friendship with Kara) is approaching my Smallville Lex levels of love.

Only two slightly spoilery comments on the finale behind the cut:

Read more... )

Everyday Life in Joseon-Era Korea

May. 23rd, 2017 05:51 pm
yhlee: wax seal (Default)
[personal profile] yhlee
I first heard of Everyday Life in Joseon-Era Korea: Economy and Society, ed. Michael D. Shin, from a post by [personal profile] thistleingrey. What's sad about this book is not that it's poorly written or conceived, but that it's priced so damn high; the lowest price I'm seeing on Amazon is over $100 (!). This is a translation of a collection of essays by Korean historians about Joseon-era Korea, particularly emphasizing the viewpoint of the common people rather than the yangban (nobles) and royalty. As such, the topics are ones that, as [personal profile] thistleingrey notes, are rarely discussed about this period in English. I found the introductory essay by Michael D. Shin particularly valuable, as it discusses Korean historiography and how it has been affected by, e.g., the Japanese occupation and Korean nationalism; it was really great to have it put the rest of the book in context.

I found this interesting as additional background and research reading for my current novel WIP, DRAGON PEARL, although I am not choosing to base my space opera setting very closely on historical Korea, let alone Joseon. For example, Joseon Korea tended to become more patriarchal as time went on due to the influence of Neo-Confucianism, and I wanted to depict a society more egalitarian in its attitudes toward gender. Earlier periods of Korea were kinder to women, but not only is there less material on earlier periods to begin with, it is damn near impossible to find such material in English, and unfortunately I am not fluent in either Korean or Classical Chinese.

Also, I was fascinated by Seo Tae-Won's "The Military Life," which mostly amazes me in that I'm not sure how the Joseon military system was even able to function! For example, many commoner households owed military service to the government, but they were not paid or equipped or given uniforms, which was hard on their families, especially if they were needed at home for the farming...yikes.

Meanwhile, the most entertaining of the essays (if you want to judge them that way) are Jung Jin Young's "Did Fake Genealogies Exist?", which drily notes that it can't be possible that EVERY SINGLE KOREAN comes from a yangban lineage, and discusses some more complicating factors in Korean family lines, and the very last one, "The Outhouses of the Royal Palaces" by Hong Soon Min.

Here is the table of contents for the curious:

Part One: Economy
1. Farming in the Joseon Period
2. A Typical Day and Year in the Life of the Peasantry
3. The Tax Burden of the Peasantry
4. Currency and the Value of Money
5. The Merchants of Seoul
6. The Joys and Sorrows of the Itinerant Merchants
7. Foreign Trade and Interpreter Officials
8. Salt: White Gold
9. Seeking Work at Mines
10. When Did Joseon's Population Reach Ten Million?

Part Two: Society
11. Rural Society and Zhu Xi's Community Compact
12. Why Did Peasants Create the Dure?
13. Did Fake Genealogies Exist?
14. The Baekjeong Class
15. The Rebellion of Im Ggeokjeong
16. Did People Divorce in the Joseon Period?
17. The Educational System
18. Military Life
19. The Penal System
20. Eating Culture
21. Liquor and Taverns
22. Tea and Tobacco
23. The Outhouses of the Royal Palaces

Thank you to the generous benefactor who donated this book.
commodorified: very worried stuffed crocodile clutching a pillow (not coping)
[personal profile] commodorified
Since I'm half-packed and we're leaving in less than 24 hours it's probably time to announce that I am coming to WisCon. (Now watch me wake up tomorrow with Lorayne's cold or something.)

I'm not signed up for any panels, I'm not volunteering this year. I'm not 100 percent sure that this isn't going to end in disaster again. Depending on how I react to the various allergens in Madison I may be very low-energy, I may be sneezy and stuffed-up, I may be spending a lot of time asleep, I may be slow and forgetful due to being low oxygen, I may recuse myself rapidly from controversy or trouble if I don't see an immediate way to be useful.

I may have to leave panels abruptly due to coughing fits. We may be leaving town abruptly to get me back to Canada for treatment. (My out-of-province insurance isn't going to cover me for another serious asthma event in the same damn' city as the last one. That's kind of the definition of 'pre-existing'). We have a plan for this. It's as solid as we can make it.

Or we may have trouble at the border and not get there at all.

Or it all may be just fine. I really don't know. There's no way to tell.

But I'm on a new med (Singulair), and taking ALL the other ones, religiously, and so far my lungs seem to be willing to stay fairly functional. I'm bringing my bike. I'm hoping to stay an extra week and see friends. I'm cautiously optomistic.

A small request: if you see me, and we're friends, and you possibly can, grab me for coffee or food or a quick chat? This is almost certainly my last WisCon for some time, and if I do have a dangerous reaction, it's my last WisCon, period.

I know that I've lost touch with a lot of you due to missing the con and generally being offline and preoccupied trying to get my health under control. I'm sorry about it, and I'd really like to connect this weekend if we can, because you all are one of the communities of my heart, and to be honest I'm coming much more for y'all than for the "official" con.

If you or someone near you is wearing scent, I may have to back away rapidly. I'm sorry.

I'm not really accustomed to being a fragile little flower, you know? I'm still working out how to handle it.

Also, if there's a volunteer task I can do, something you need help with, that you can grab me for on the spot, please do. It's hard to contribute meaningfully when you can't make any promises, and I'll appreciate any chances to do so.

Day 1 of late spring break

May. 23rd, 2017 05:56 pm
writerlibrarian: Oriental calligraphy in red (Default)
[personal profile] writerlibrarian
Yesterday Victoria Day get together went great. We had a good lunch, had fun with technology. Laughed and learned a few things.

Despite the rain we did grill hamburgers.

Today was sunny, in the lower temps for this time of the year. My back is doing good. My appointment at the chiropractor helped with things we don't have the time to work on because I'm usually in a not so good shape.

PK Subban and the Nashville's Predators won and are going to the Stanley Cup Final. Go Preds. Bye bye Ducks. The Ducks had two, ... two of their players thrown out of the game for game misconduct. I am happy they are not going to the Finals.

On the Eastern Conference front... we might know who tonight Sens or Pens. Both are hurting bad but... Pens have a general aka Sidney Crosby Hockey robot, that breathes, lives, sleeps and dreams hockey and Stanley Cup. So... I would not count the Pens out.

I'm xstitching. Working on the castle part of the Dragon attacking Castle piece.

Bonus

An example of Crosby living, breathing hockey




Debating...

May. 23rd, 2017 04:12 pm
beanside: (Default)
[personal profile] beanside
We all know that I suck at WIPs. As in, I have a ton. Some, like Retriever verse, I totally plan to get back to. Depression and pain disorder hit me hard, and now it's a good day when I write 200 words. I also never feel like the stuff I write now is as good as what I used to.

I'm trying to get back into writing but I find it's harder without cheerleading or feedback. So, I'm going to try something for the next few weeks. I'm going to post what I'm working on. If it helps me, I'll keep going. If not, it was worth a try. I'll probably post on tumblr and dreamwidth.

As always, no guarantee that it'll ever be finished.

Bond. James Bond.

May. 23rd, 2017 04:05 pm
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Farewell, Roger Moore, my favorite James Bond because he played the role with charm and humor and humanity. And here, answering the Proust questionnaire for Vanity Fair a few years ago.

Day 24 - Song meme

May. 23rd, 2017 11:06 am
istia: john of sga with his hands on rodney curled up on bed in pain (sga | mcshep h/c)
[personal profile] istia
24. A song that makes you want to fall in love

Mad World - Gary Jules. Because the madder the world becomes, the more my desire for someone to love, bond to, go through the increasing spiral of chaos w/.

This song has lots of covers, but I still prefer this version--possibly because I 1st encountered it in a fanvid.



All the Prompts )

In which I am quietly smug

May. 23rd, 2017 10:05 am
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
 My thirty-years-agone Spanish fluency has returned to my lips well enough to talk to the Spanish-only-speaking gardener.  And I don't mean point and grunt, I mean "Could you dig this up?" and "They told me it would die", as well as understanding the gardener's questions about what to do, and remembering past tense and conditional.

This makes me ridiculously happy.  I'm sure my accent is still terrible, but at least I can converse on basic subjects.
copracat: Freddie Mercury glamming it up on stage with the text 'Did you say gay pants?' (freddie)
[personal profile] copracat
What a grievous day. Surely the world's sadness index is sitting high enough.

10.A song that makes you sad: 39 - Queen



It's a 1979 live recording so the sound is a bit scruffy. I grew up with LPs and transistor radios so scruffy sound is just right. But don't skip it for the sound. Freddie is wearing tight red pants.

Here's some better definition sadness for your ears: maybe more than one more )

RIP Roger Moore, I had a huge crush when I was a wee girl and I've had a soft spot ever since. You were wrong a about Idris Elba, of course.

Not Exactly Lerner & Loewe (7177 words) by Liviapenn
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Persuaders
Rating: Mature
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Brett Sinclair/Danny Wilde
Additional Tags: Bickering, Flirting, 1970s, Jet-Setting Playboys In Love, Yuletide 2012, Horse Racing
Summary:

Considering how picky His Lordship could be about the little things in life, and how little real hardship he'd ever actually lived through, Danny considered it his assigned mission in life to yank the guy's chain and ruffle his feathers every now and again.

If that maybe resulted, this time, in some other bits getting yanked and ruffled, well, Danny had no objection.

More fun with Medical bills...

May. 23rd, 2017 10:54 am
digitalwave: (Default)
[personal profile] digitalwave
Well, we got the final bill on Lee's CT scans & Echo cardiogram. After insurance we owe $1587.00 that we have to pay out of pocket. That's on top of what we already owe Norton's which brings it to a pretty scary amount of $6,040.70 in total! I'm going to be getting in touch with them to add it to our total payment plan which I already know will make our monthly payments a lot higher.

I'm in the process of listing a bunch of stuff to sell to try to try and pay it down some. Plus we're pretty broke right now because I'd already paid them an extra $200 in co-pays this month on top of our usual payment. Normally it wouldn't matter so much but Lee has to do a job related trip to Gary IN this week. His lodging is paid for by the University, thank goodness, but he'll still need to eat while he's there.

If you guys wouldn't mind sharing the things I'm posting I'd really appreciate it. You can find them here:

http://stores.ebay.com/Barbaras-Essentials

Plus, if you see anything you'd like and would rather pay for it here, let me know and I could tell you what it would be with postage. My Paypal is bstaton@iglou.com. If you find something you'd like if you send it friends and family they don't take out all the fees.

Any help passing this along would be greatly appreciated. I'm going to keep adding stuff to sell as I can get pictures taken of everything. We should be close to meeting our deductible for this year which will help with meds and co-pays once we do. Sure is not a fun ride getting to that point though.

Thanks, guys, as always, for listening.

*hugs*

today's letter

May. 23rd, 2017 07:02 am
truepenny: (Default)
[personal profile] truepenny
Dear Senator Johnson:

I know that historically you have been an opponent of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and a loyal member of the Republican Party, and I believe you made those choices for what seemed to you to be good reasons. I don't agree with you, but I respect that you made thoughtful, informed decisions.

I am writing to ask you to change your mind. If the repeal of the ACA succeeds, if President Trump manages to implement any of his healthcare "reforms," people are going to die. They are going to die deaths that would be preventable--that are being prevented now--because they won't be able to afford the medical care they need. This isn't exaggeration, as I hope you already know; a Harvard study in 2009 found that 45,000 people died annually because of lack of healthcare. If President Trump and his supporters succeed, those numbers will increase--and many of the people dying preventable deaths are going to be people who voted to elect you to the U. S. Senate. I am writing in the hopes that your loyalty to your constituents is greater than your loyalty to your party. I am writing in the hopes that you can see that the Republican leadership, including President Trump and his Cabinet, are not acting in the best interests of the people who elected them, the people whom they promised to govern under the auspices of the U. S. Constitution.

If we believe, as the Declaration of Independence says, that all men (and women) are created equal and have the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, surely that means that all men and women are entitled to health care that is both adequate and affordable. The ACA provides that care, and repealing it out of party politics that are, frankly, petty, spiteful, and deeply inappropriate to our government, is both ethically and morally wrong. I don't usually make statements like that, but for me there is no nuance left in this situation. The repeal of the ACA will kill millions of people, and I might very well be one of them.

As one of the citizens whose Constitutional rights you are sworn to uphold, I am asking you to support the ACA and to vote against any effort to repeal it, undercut it, or destroy the safety it provides to all American citizens.

Thank you.



[anyone wanting to use one of my letters as a template is welcome to do so]

Here is a delightful thing

May. 23rd, 2017 09:38 am
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Via [tumblr.com profile] violent-darts:

AV Club: Meme becomes reality as Netflix orders Lupita Nyong’o and Rihanna’s con artist movie

Because we need it this morning.

Fuck terrorism, fuck Katie Hopkins and her vile cohorts, pre-emptively fuck Trump because presumably he's going to make some sort of statement about Manchester at some point and it's going to be awful (or at best the kind of vacuous blandness that means they've managed to make him stick to a script for a few moments), go awesome black women and making movies happen through the power of Twitter and delight.

May all the surviving kids at the concert be safe and reunited with their families soon and participating in the proud British tradition of recounting acts of terrorism in terms of the epic journeys that had to be taken because public transport was shut down (a la 7/7 -- Americans: "We weep for you!" British people: "I had to walk for FIVE HOURS").

ETA: Oh fuck they let him write at least part of it. Yes, of course Buttercup thinks the worst thing you can call someone is a "loser". Because winning is all that counts, and Buttercup is the winningest winner ever. Losing means you're wrong because winning is right.
sineala: (Avengers: Tony Fucking Stark)
[personal profile] sineala
The People Who Would Keep Us on Our Knees (2451 words) by Sineala
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel (Comics), Marvel 616, Avengers (Comics)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark
Characters: Steve Rogers, Tony Stark
Additional Tags: Hydra Steve Rogers, Mind Control, Implied/Referenced Dubious Consent, Implied/Referenced Rape/Non-con, Rape/Non-con Elements, Implied/Referenced Alcohol Abuse/Alcoholism, Non-Consensual Drug Use, Angst, Not A Fix-It, Civil War II (Marvel), Secret Empire (Marvel), Avengers Vol. 7 (2016), Community: cap_ironman, Cap-Ironman Bingo
Summary: Tony wakes from his coma and finds a very different world than the one he remembers. Steve's in charge now. And Steve has missed him.

La la la, I was sad and grumpy and couldn't sleep so I wrote Hydra Cap fic, la la la, everyone on Tumblr's going to unfollow me, la la la, I spent half an hour staring at the Post button on AO3 because everyone's going to unfollow me, la la la.

(My Cap-IM Bingo line had the square "mind-controlled sex." Hydra Cap is the only iteration of Steve who I thought would ever be up for that.)

Box o books cont'd

May. 22nd, 2017 10:50 pm
jmtorres: From Lady Gaga's Bad Romance music video; the peach-haired, wide-eyed iteration (Default)
[personal profile] jmtorres
Last call for cheap books, kind of an eclectic lot, Shakespeare and Beatles and random SFF anthologies. Most of these are pretty well used, cover wear, etc. Let me know your zip code and I'll calculate media rate shipping from that and book weight.

Let me know before Friday night if you want any of these, because on Saturday they're going to Good Will.

For the Shakespeare, I am including publisher/edition for those who care; most of them are perfectly readable modern editions but I feel I should note that the "new hudson" editions were printed circa 1910 and while they have the same kinds of notes I tend to expect, they are visibly old. Merrills is 1910 as well, and Arden is good gracious, 1898.

Hardcover - $2
Skywalking: the life and films of George Lucas by Dale Pollock (1983, so no current or prequels)
Aliens from Analog (anthology, contents)
Reel Future (anthology, contents)
Pendragon Chronicles (anthology, contents)
Hal Leonard Guitar Method, books 1-3 (this is actually comb bound not hardcover, but it also includes CDs, so I'm tossing it in this list for pricing.)
America, the book, from the Daily Show with Jon Stewart
I Me Mine by George Harrison
Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now by Barry Miles
Blackbird: The Life and Times of Paul McCartney by Geoffrey Giuliano
McCartney: The Definitive Biography by Chris Salewicz
The Baby Train and Other Lusty Urban Legends by Jan Harold Brunvand

Trade Paperback (or larger) - $1.50
Save the cat! The Last Book on Screenwriting you'll ever need by Blake Snyder
How to Write for Television by Madeline DiMaggio
Writing Scripts Hollywood Will Love by Katherine Atwell Herbert
Science Fiction: a historical anthology (contents)
Henry the Fourth, Part I, Shakespeare, Norton
King Lear, Shakespeare, Kittredge
Hamlet, Shakespeare, St Martin's Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism
Classical Mythology by Mark Morford and Robert Lenardon
Completely MAD: A History of the Comic Book and Magazine
MAD about the Eighties: the best of the decade
MAD about the Seventies: the best of the decade
MAD about the Sixties: the best of the decade
MAD about the Movies
The Birth of the Beatles by Sam Leach
Brothel: Mustang Ranch and its Women by Alexa Albert
Dante, the Divine Comedy, Inferno, Italian, English translation by John Sinclair
Star Trek: Q's Guide to the Continuum
Cowboy Slang by Edgar R. "Frosty" Potter
All I really need to know I learned from watching Star Trek by Dave marinaccio
Quotable Star Trek by Jill Sherwin

Paperbacks - $1
Teach Yourself Film Studies by Warren Buckland
Twelfth Night, Shakespeare, signet
Othello, Shakespeare, folger
Tempest, Shakespeare, new hudson
Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare, folger
Anthony and Cleopatra, Shakespeare, Kittredge
As You Like It, Shakespeare, new hudson
Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare, Arden
Julius Caesar, Shakespeare, Merrill's
Macbeth, Shakespeare, folger
Midsummer night's dream, Shakespeare, folger
Much Ado About Nothing, Shakespeare, folger
Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare, bantam
Titus Andronicus, Shakespeare, signet
Second Shepherd's play
The Fantastic Adventures of Robin Hood (anthology, contents)
Isaac Asimov's Magical Worlds of Fantasy: Curses (anthology, contents)
Isaac Asimov's Magical Worlds of Fantasy: Ghosts (anthology, contents)
50 Short Science Fiction Tales (anthology, and with nothing so tidy as a table of contents, here's the list of reprint permissions)
UFOs: A Manual for the Millennium by Phil Cousineau
Anne Frank's Tales From the Secret Annex
Dutchman and the Slave: Two Plays by LeRoi Jones
House of Desires in a new translation by Catherine Boyle
The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder
Our Town by Thornton Wilder
Everyman and Medieval Miracle Plays
Life is a Dream, Calderon
Beowulf, trans Burton Raffel
I Owe Russian $1200 by Bob Hope (resisting urge to make political joke here)
Strange and Amazing Facts About Star Trek by Daniel Cohen
Separated at Birth? (Meme of a bygone era, this is a collection of photographs of celebrities that look like other celebrities)
sineala: (Avengers: Sign it)
[personal profile] sineala
So the Stony Trumps Hate auction is proceeding apace and I currently have high bid on a couple vids because I want aaaaall the comics vids. But we will see how this goes. *crosses fingers*

What several people have come up with, endorsed by the auction mods, is the idea of forming bidding "pods" -- basically, people who want the same thing pooling their bids to try to win one of the people who would otherwise go for more than they can afford separately. For example, a bunch of people are going in on Kiyaar to get her to finish Sins of Omission, which sounds great to me. A lot of people seem to want to use this to get sequels and/or WIPs completed, which is kind of fun. I am excited about it, anyway. And I think the idea of cooperatively pooling bids is great.

The hilarious thing is, I personally seem to have broken the cooperative bidding. Because, there are, by my count, at least four groups that all want different things from me:


  1. Some kind of sequel to Like a Comet Streaming On (the psychic wolves AU). I don't personally know the person interested in this, so I don't know what they want, but I assume wolfy fluff?
  2. Kiyaar has started a pod bid for a sequel to Straight on till Morning (the Star Trek AU). I actually have a novel-length sequel outlined that I have had no time to write (it involves Don Blake's other identity, mysterious kidnappings of several people including Tony, Section 31, Bucky's fate in this universe, and a ton of angst) and Kiyaar definitely wants this, so provided that bidders are okay with waiting possibly a long time, I would be happy to write that.
  3. There is also interest in a sequel to Double Time (you remember, that Civil War fixit). You will probably be unsurprised to learn that I have had also a novel-length sequel planned out for this -- this outline is a little sketchier (and honestly probably shorter) than the Trek one, but it is all 616 and involves Director/Commander, the Secret Invasion, and a lot of yelling at the Illuminati. It's been a while since I've thought about it. Again, it's one of those things I haven't had time to write, but I could! It would also take a while.
  4. And finally, someone (*significant look at Magicasen*) wants a Kimi no Na wa/Your Name AU. Which is not a sequel to anything I have written, but would also be great.


No pressure or anything, right? Right. *looks at WIP list* I have seriously just mapped out my writing commitments up through December.

But that's not the most hilarious thing. The REALLY hilarious thing, to me, which Sparrow pointed out, is that being in multiple bidding pods for the same creator actually has no conflict. Since the creator is only making one thing (I mean, I am, anyway), only the winning bidder or bidder group actually has to pay. So you can put your name in for me writing two or three different things, but since I'm only writing whichever one wins, you're only paying for whichever one wins, assuming you're in on the one that wins. Like, if you put $20 in every pod bidding on me (say, because you like the sound of all four of those stories and you want to give to charity), you're only going to be out $20 no matter what. Awesome. Weird, but awesome.

Anyway, if you personally wanted to bid on me and you want to get in one or more of those groups -- or create your own, for me or anyone else, there's a post on Imzy (currently missing details for the last two of those pods but they should be going up shortly) where the groups are organizing themselves, and there's a Discord chat where participants are convening. I think a lot of the coordination is going on privately over Discord and/or Tumblr; I think people are PMing the pod organizers with their bid amounts and so on.

I guess I should post about this on Tumblr, though for that I will wait until all the details are up.

Random observations

May. 22nd, 2017 08:56 pm
naraht: (Default)
[personal profile] naraht
• I've ordered, from Japan, a tenugui towel with an udon noodle design. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and to be fair the shipping was only £1.50. All the designs are amazing, but I was particularly struck by this. (Tell me that Yuuri Katsuki doesn't take one to the rink with him.)

• I also seem to be buying excessive quantities of culottes. (Well, two pairs, but you know.) For once I'm on trend. I know I have to buy now, before they disappear for another twenty years. I hate the fashion cycle.

Victor isn't the only one who has a phone case of himself

• This weekend I'm going to Belgium, and it's now clear that it's going to be boiling hot, like 28C/83F on Sunday. Currently reconsidering my packing list, plans, life choices, etc. (Don't laugh, people from elsewhere.) I still plan on climbing the Wall of Geraardsbergen but I'll have to do it early in the morning. And, you know, on foot. Needless to say.
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
No, a literal one, not (just) metaphorical. I had to Google to be sure. Reality is getting way too on-the-nose lately.

Also: TPM: Trump Denies He Said ‘Israel’ When He Shared Israeli Intelligence With Russia

That's right: while in Israel, Buttercup spontaneously confirmed for the press that Israel was the source of the uber-classified intel he shared with the Russians without the Israelis' permission, but he thinks it's all fine because he didn't say the word "Israel" while in the room with the Russians (just, you know, now, on TV, in front of the entire world, in case the Russians had any remaining doubt about where the intel came from), so that's okay.

(no subject)

May. 22nd, 2017 01:05 pm
yhlee: Sandman raven with eyeball (Sandman raven (credit: rilina))
[personal profile] yhlee
I owe ten guest blog posts in connection to Raven Stratagem.

So far I have the following ideas:

- Kel military rank structure and culture (why I decided to go with army ranks). (Highly relevant to the plot of RS.)
- Statting out characters for my continuity bible.
- The Shuos, bureaucracy, and that summer job I used to have working for the Cornell Engineering Registrar.
- Ridiculous fuck-ups (uh, except worded more nicely) and how I like using them in fiction, or, why Seth Dickinson and I are antiparticles--cf. Seth's Tweet:
one of my rules for baruworld is that nobody (even extras) can be conveniently bad at their skill. prisons hold, archers shoot straight, etc

By the way, he's not wrong, it's just a different philosophical/aesthetic approach to world/plot. :p
- ?????

Any other ideas?! I have to...come up with...more of these...maybe something on game design and the Shuos?!

The Secret Meh-story

May. 22nd, 2017 01:35 pm
dorinda: Cary Grant, in "Bringing Up Baby," clutches his head beneath the letters "OMG WTF". (WTF_CaryGrant)
[personal profile] dorinda
Hoh man. Serious insomnia last night, my standard sleep hygiene routines fell down around my ears, so I'm at work on about 3 hours sleep. Kind of floating around behind my face like a gurbly balloon.

On the bright side, nice things going on at work, the powers that be actually ponying up money for something we really really needed, yay. But will I be glad to get home and eat a cracker and go to bed before sunset.

My current library audiobook is really fretting me. It's Donna Tartt's The Secret History, and I had heard about it eeeverywhere. Highly spoken of. And a good long book, so I was excited to jump in.

But now I'm just about halfway through, and am considering just stopping and returning the dang thing. It's a constant low-level irritation.

A major reason, unfortunately, is the reading. It's read by Donna Tartt herself, and there are few writers who I think should be audiobook readers. No shame, it's just...audiobook narration is a specific and underestimated skillset, and I vastly prefer to hear a professional do it. Just because you wrote the book doesn't mean you'll be good at reading it aloud.

She has a very low vocal energy, dipping into long croaky vocal fry a lot at the ends of sentences, because she doesn't know how to speak softly but also firmly/powerfully at the same time. A professional knows how to support their voice even when they're speaking right up against a microphone. For the same reasons, her voice scarcely changes timbre, staying in a repetitive, cyclical, muttery range, again because she doesn't have the skill at speaking quietly, on a mike, yet varying in tone and timbre and energy.

And to cap all that off, for some godforsaken reason she gives the character Bunny a distinctive "voice", high and very nasal and singsong, like she's doing some kind of puppet show. AUGH! No one else gets something like that. A professional audiobook reader--a good one, anyway--doesn't "do voices" like that. But here I have to listen to Bunny nasally-squeaking away right and left.

So it just rasps on my ears. It's likely that had I read the book in print, it wouldn't have felt like such a hard, irritating row to hoe--her reading has heaped a lot of difficulty onto the text that has taken extra work for me to disregard.

However--I can't guarantee I would like it, even if it had a good reader. Not just because all the characters are tedious to spend time with in a lit'ry-fiction/anachronistic/wealthy-spoiled-boring way, though that's sure the case. Nor that she seems to have given them banana levels of smoking habits mainly so she has actions to describe to break up big long speeches. Characters are forever lighting another cigarette or pouring another whisky (they all smoke and drink like thirty year olds in 1958, though they're supposed to be 20 year olds in the 1980s...I mean, I think even snotty old-rich Vermont college kids in the 80s drank dumb college booze like everyone else.).

That's kind of petty, I know. Worse I think is what feels to me like a complete overdetermination of Bunny Corcoran )

Granted, I'm only halfway through--maybe the second half of the book addresses this weird approach it seems to have committed to. But because the listening experience is not very pleasant, I'm not sure if I can stick it out.

Anyone who's read it, I'd be more than happy to hear your advice!

too awesome not to share

May. 22nd, 2017 12:49 pm
yhlee: recreational (peaceful) tank (recreational tank)
[personal profile] yhlee
War Aircraft through the Lens of a US Army Training Manual [Ars Technica]. There's a link to the PDF of the training manual, which I have duly downloaded. Don't forget to read the comments--some comedy gold in the anecdotes/quips there. One of my favorites:
bthylafh Ars Tribunus Angusticlavius
MAY 21, 2017 12:15 PM
Voyna i Mor wrote:
JPan wrote:
In the German Heer ( army ) we said that reconnaissance is overrated: If you see an aircraft shoot it down. Nobody likes the Luftwaffe anyway.


Doesn't the US have a similar policy, except that the operating principle of the US Army is broader, i.e., if you're not sure what it is, shoot it?


You can identify an unknown force by firing one shot and judging the response. If the unknowns respond with precise, regimented rifle fire, they are British. If they respond with heavy machine gun fire, they are German. If they hunker down and in fifteen minutes you are killed by artillery or an airstrike, they are American.


(I may have a grimdark sense of humor.)

Man, I wish I'd kept around my M.A.X. Chosen icon...

Things I want

May. 21st, 2017 11:49 am
batwrangler: Just for me. (Default)
[personal profile] batwrangler
A koi pond. ETA: inside a conservatory to protect the fishes from predation.

DSC_8558

Day 23 - Song meme

May. 22nd, 2017 07:52 am
istia: carved face in church (x | beverley st mary face)
[personal profile] istia
23. A song by an artist no longer living

I Started a Joke - Bee Gees. Specifically Robin Gibb, who was the Bee Gees for me. His vibrato voice was amongst my fave voices ever & only the songs he sang appealed to me.



All the Prompts )

tazlet: (Default)
[personal profile] tazlet

Daniel and the Goddess

 

“How did you—?” Dan was flat on the bed, naked, with Charlotte straddling his thighs.

“Shut up.”

“This isn’t turning out how I thought it would.”

She bore down, impaling herself.

“No foreplay tonight?”

“Do I have to cut your tongue out?”

He caught a whiff of iodine and sea salt, along with a hint of Joy, as her fire engulfed him, the pulse of her inner muscles began rippling up and down his prick. His mind exploded like a Catherine wheel, throwing off flares of carmine, crimson and purple light, and out beyond Antares new stars began appearing.

Moving on down

May. 22nd, 2017 09:47 am
filkerdave: (learning)
[personal profile] filkerdave

Over the weekend our desks at work were moved from the 15th floor to the 7th floor. This is part of a long term plan to consolidate most of our space on the 7th and 8th floor of the building, so we weren't specifically chosen for this as such.

There are good things and bad things about my new space. The bad is that it's even smaller than my old cube up on 15, and that wasn't too spacious to begin with. The good is that I actually have access to natural daylight! Because of the orientation of the desk, my chair isn't facing a window but it's out there at about 7:00 over my shoulder! Natural daylight! I haven't had access to natural daylight at my desk in several years!

And now begins a few hours of unpacking my crates and making sure that I have some place to put everything.

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