Thursday, September 21st, 2017 11:44 am

Two tech questions

1. Has anyone found an easy alternative to Gchat's Available/Busy/Inactive/Offline indicators? Those were my lifeline, and not having them is making me saaaaad.


2. Recently my Dreamwidth pages have stopped defaulting to https, which means sometimes I get a log-in screen instead of the post, and if I get the post, I'm not logged in. I have HTTPS Everywhere for FireFox, and the Dreamwidth HTTPS beta option turned on. What is happening?

It may have started when FireFox updated last, or it might be part of my general computer woes, idk.




Thursday, September 21st, 2017 11:36 am

Media update

Reading
Over the weekend I read Sarah Gailey's novella River of Teeth, an alt-US-history Western with hippos, which I've seen mentioned around the place. It spent a lot of time on character introductions, and the ending felt rather TBC, and I'm not sure I'll read the next one. I think I would have preferred a stand-alone novel to what felt like the first instalment in a longer story, or perhaps I'm just not in the mood for Americana (though it reminded me enough of Richard Brautigan's The Hawkline Monster that I dug that out and may read it sometime soon).

In the meantime, I've started Moon Over Soho, the second Rivers of London book. I read the first some years ago (when I bought my Kindle and went back to occasionally consuming things other than fanfic) and found it too gruesome for my fluffy-fanfic-reading palette, but I've been encouraged to persevere. Not gripped yet, but it's early days.

Kdramas
I just finished Another Oh Hae Young, like, in the last half hour.

Huh. It started promisingly. I liked the convoluted set-up and was intrigued to see how they were going to get Do Kyung out of the enormous hole he'd dug himself into, but in the end... they didn't really bother. Rambling. Spoilers. ) Also, overall, this might be the drama I've watched with the highest alcohol consumption and the worst communication (and that's really saying something, on both counts!). Not one I'll be rewatching or would particularly recommend.

I haven't planned what I'll solo-watch next, but I think it'll be something very different.

Pru and I finished Moonlight Drawn by Clouds yesterday, and next week we're starting Mystery Queen, a Sherlock Holmes AU where Sherlock is a housewife.

J and I have one more week (three episodes) of Goblin to go, and then I suspect it's a Hong sisters drama, either My Girl (which I haven't seen) or Master's Sun (which I have).

My teacher and I are still in the middle of Chief Kim.

Other TV
Parks & Recreation season 5.

Films
We watched Rogue One over the weekend. I think I enjoyed it more this time, having read some fanfic.

Writing
Not a word.

Computer
*weeps*

Politics
Election this weekend. My sister and I nearly went and advance voted yesterday lunchtime, but during the trudge up Featherston St to the polling place, I talked myself out of it on the grounds that if I vote on Saturday, if the outcome initially seems close or unfavourable, I can tell myself they haven't counted my vote yet and it will make all the difference. /dork

Also, I was supposed to go sign-waving this morning (and got up early specially), but the other person cancelled and then the forecasted rain arrived, so I finished Another Oh Hae Young instead.

I am trying SO HARD not to get unhealthily invested in the election outcome; I can't afford to get sick over this. *crosses all my fingers and toes, while still trying to maintain emotional detachment, ha*




Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 04:41 pm

A Disability History of the United States

Kim Nielsen is a disability historian. Her one-volume A Disability History of the United States provides an overview of living with disability in these colonies from founding to 1990. What particularly interested me is how non-white-male bodies were defined as disabled, and then how the divisions changed.

http://www.beacon.org/A-Disability-History-of-the-United-States-P836.aspx

On Worldcat in print, braille, and ebook

On her author blog, her essay "God’s Real Name: On Rescues, Ableism, and Unexpected Empathy" explores her reaction to a homeless man who blesses her.

begin quote
My own ableism, my own class squeamishness, and bigotry, my interpretation of his religiosity as distasteful insanity, had led me to dismiss the man. I had excluded him from our joint rescue plan--indeed, had understood him as something to be rescued from--and ignored his offer to gift me with help and rescue.
quote ends


http://www.beaconbroadside.com/broadside/2014/03/gods-real-name-on-rescues-ableism-and-unexpected-empathy.html

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 05:27 pm

[ObMeme]

By way of [personal profile] thistleingrey, because I need a break. On the bright side, I finished a short story today. :D

Read more... )





Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 03:07 pm

quick meme

from Facebook, albeit via a DW friend, because I'm sick:

Read more... )


Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 04:19 pm

art accountability

Sunday's sketch of the Dragon while we were getting food:


(Dammit, I like life drawing, even if I'm too n00b to be good at it. Joe says I have been getting better since I started a few years back though.)

Pen: Pelikan M205 Aqumarine (F nib)
Ink: Diamine Eclipse

Moving on from heads to eyes and lips? )

I haven't gotten back to Ctrl+Paint because life has been busy, but yesterday my art accountability was working on a Thing in Photoshop, mainly blocking in values.



Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 09:18 pm

Reading: Gemini

In the final book in Dorothy Dunnett's House of Niccolò series, Nicholas de Fleury returns to Scotland to try to make amends for the damage caused by his earlier actions and to safeguard his family from the enemies who have tried to kill both him and them so many times. For a while, I thought that Gemini was going to be a bit of an anticlimax to the series; several plot threads were resolved at the end of Caprice and Rondo, and Gemini is almost entirely set in Scotland, lacking the exotic locations of the earlier books. Nicholas has also changed and grown, and in Gemini is tackling the task of learning to care for people, and not just for the outcomes of his schemes. However, after a slow start, the novel gathers pace and the psychological drama is more than a match for the drama of any of Dunnett's other novels; there were just as many twists and edge-of-the-seat moments, and I found it just as hard to put down. It's a fitting end to the series, and like the ending of Checkmate leaves me wanting to go back and re-read key moments from earlier in the series in the light of the final revelations.

Fittingly, having started reading The Game of Kings on my 40th-birthday trip to Scotland, because I wanted to read something set in Scotland while I was there, I read Gemini while on holiday in Scotland once again. Three and a bit years, 14 books, at least 7,000 pages and an amazing sweep of European and Middle Eastern history in the early modern and late Middle Ages later, I can safely say that it has been one of the most intense reading experiences I've ever had. I can't actually remember who it was who made Dunnett sound intriguing enough for me to give her a try (I suspect it may have been a gestalt entity of friends and acquaintances), but it's been incredible, and in many ways I'm sorry to have come to the end. (I do still have King Hereafter to read, and will probably give the Johnson Johnson novels a try at least, but neither is going to be the same.)


redsixwing: Photo of faux-gilded marzipan peaches. (golden peaches of immortality)
Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 02:44 pm

And how many Pokemon cards?

So both Star and I are collectable card game (CCG) players. We each like multiple games, and both of us have played for well over a decade. Cards, of course, come in packs - usually 10-15 per, with one rare and a variety of common and uncommon cards. With both of us collecting on and off, and playing both with others and one another, that means a lot of cards.

Neither Star or I has played Pokemon in the last five years or so, save with the nephews. They're now officially Too Old For It, and the rules of the game have shifted enough that we'd basically have to relearn it to play with anyone else.

Yesterday, we sat down with the card boxes, pulled out anything either of us wanted to keep, and put the rest into a massive box to be given to the local game store for use as prizes during their Pokemon events.

We ended up with two small boxes, with duplicates removed and damaged cards thrown out. Several thousand Pokemon cards: OUT.

Next up: Yu-Gi-Oh and Magic: The Gathering. We have substantially more of those than Pokemon, so this is a little bit daunting.

... at least the M:tG cards that might have value are already separated from the general boxes.

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 04:40 pm

Brash and reckless by aketan (SFW)

Fandom: Steven Universe
Characters/Pairing/Other Subject: Sugilite
Content Notes/Warnings: none
Medium: digital painting
Artist on DW/LJ: n/a
Artist Website/Gallery: aketan on DeviantArt

Why this piece is awesome: I love everything about this: the bold colors, the flamelike hair, and the huge attitude. :)

Link: Brash and reckless


Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 02:34 pm

wednesday reads 'n things

What I've recently finished reading:

Avi Cantor Has Six Months to Live by Sacha Lamb, a short story with a lot of trans and/or gay characters and a demon (who turns out to be actually pretty nice). I enjoyed it all right but it didn't really make much impression on me. The worldbuilding's rather vague and there's not much in the way of plot, but I expect it resonates more with trans people. It's been nominated for [community profile] yuletide and is free online at http://thebooksmugglers.com/2017/08/avi-cantor-six-months-live-sacha-lamb.html

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (abandoned). I like the idea of presenting the story as excerpts of conversation, magazine articles, books, and so on. But it didn't work in the ebook format with minimal formatting, and also, it just didn't work for me in the more conversational sections because I felt as though I never got to know any of the characters enough to care about them. Though I appreciated the cleverness of the idea that the spirits of the dead are unaware that they are dead, glossing over the strangenesses in their new selves and referring to tombs as "sick-homes" and coffins as "sick-boxes", the general absurdity just didn't appeal to me and I found the slow pace boring.

What I'm reading now:

The Dark Prophecy by Rick Riordan, the second book in the Trials of Apollo series, because after I realized I could either wait forever for the ebook, or pick up a physical copy from the library RIGHT NOW, I opted for the latter. I am still loving this series so much, especially since one of my favorite characters from another series, who showed up at the end of the first book, is a major character in this one. (skip) Leo Valdez! ♥ And Calypso! With whom Apollo has a history, so it's hilarious. Also, I'm impressed with how Riordan manages to have gay and bisexual characters in a way appropriate for middle grade, too.

I'm not listening to Airborn since I've been sick, and audiobooks are for exercise, but hope to get back to it soon now that my lungs are coughing out the last of the phlegm.

What I'm reading next:

While I was at the library I also picked up Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, which has been recommended to me by a number of people. Also the second volume of Saga.

Other than that, still playing Dragon Age: Origins (in Orzammar now). Mostly I'm writing fanfiction :-)


Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 04:29 pm

Shanah Tovah

 May the old years and its curses end.  May the new year and its blessings commence.

Best wishes for a joyous new year to everyone!

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 04:26 pm

(no subject)

So, I started my period, which explains why I have been irritable as fuck. On the other hand, I am now sad. Very sad. Very very sad.

Also, I had to cancel my follow up with gyn surgeon again because of the period. Again. Like last time.

I just want to go home and huddle on the couch. But I don't have food at home that I can easily eat. Woe me.


Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 04:15 pm

This Week in Nazi-Punching

A video of a Nazi in Seattle getting punched and knocked out has been making the rounds. Responses range from satisfaction and celebration to the predictable cries of “So much for the tolerant left” and the related “Violence makes us as bad as them and plays right into their hands.”

A few things to consider…

1. According to one witness, the punch happened after the Nazi called a man an “ape” and threw a banana at him. With the disclaimer that I’m not a lawyer, that sounds like assault to me. I’m guessing Assault in the Fourth Degree. In other words, the punching was a response to an assault by the Nazi.

The witness who talks about the banana-throwing also says he was high on THC. I haven’t seen anyone disputing his account, but I haven’t seen corroboration, either.

2.Remember when George Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin, and people like Geraldo Rivera said it was because Martin was wearing a hoodie, and that made Martin a potentially dangerous “suspicious character”? Utter bullshit, I know. But if our legal system let Zimmerman plead self-defense, saying he was afraid because Martin was wearing a hoodie, doesn’t that same argument apply against someone wearing a fucking swastika?

We’re talking about a symbol that announces, “I support genocide of those who aren’t white, aren’t straight, aren’t able-bodied…”

3. Buzzfeed presents this as anti-fascists tracking a Neo-Nazi to beat him up. While antifa Twitter appears to have been talking about this guy, there’s no evidence that the punch was thrown by someone who’s part of that movement. And even if he was, the guy didn’t throw a punch until after the Nazi committed assault (see point #1).

Those Tweets quoted on Buzzfeed also suggest the Nazi was armed, which could add to the self-defense argument in point #2.

Is Nazi-punching right? Is it legal? As any role-player will tell you, there’s a difference between whether something is lawful and whether it’s good.

The “victim” has every right to press charges. But for some reason, he didn’t want to talk to police about the incident.

Was punching this guy a good thing? I mean, there’s a difference between comic books and real life. The Nazi was standing in front of some sort of tile wall. He could have struck his head on the corner after being punched, or when he fell to the ground. In other words, there’s a chance–albeit probably a slim one–that this could have killed him.

My country and culture glorify violence. I’d much rather avoid violence when possible. I think most rational people would. But there are times it’s necessary to fight, to choose to defend yourself and others. I think it’s important to understand the potential consequences of that choice.

Multiple accounts agree this man was harassing people on the bus, and later on the street. He was a self-proclaimed Nazi. Police say they received calls that he was instigating fights, and it sounds like he escalated from verbal harassment to physical assault … at which point another man put him down, halting any further escalation.

I don’t know exactly what I would have done in that situation, but I see nothing to make me condemn or second-guess this man’s choice in the face of a dangerous Nazi.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.





Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 09:19 pm

Wednesday went underground*

What I read

Finished Boys will be Boys, which was still very familiar although it is many years since I last read it. Wonder if Turner would really have liked to be writing something a bit more serious about matters of popular culture; and would have liked to be nerdish in the archives of the publishing companies, because there are sometimes wistful asides about the mysteries that might be solved thereby. Pretty sure this is where the very youthful [personal profile] oursin first acquired that apprehension that each generation disses upon what the young of next are consuming (whether print or radio or more latterly other media) as A Road to Ruin (I wish I could locate my copy of his Roads to Ruin).

Also finished The Witch of Syracuse: worked well, did not have that sense one so oft has when scattered short stories on a character/s are brought together of 'fix-up', but that it worked as a narrative arc. Also thought it worked well on the historical contingencies, nature of the deities, etc. (Very unfluffy Hellenic/Punic goddesses.)

Being somewhat smitten with travel angst, read various short things, comfort re-reads, etc.

Did read the novella Suradanna and the Sea by Rebecca Fraimow (2016): very good, even though I couldn't remember why or when I'd downloaded it.

On the go

Finally began Victoria Bates, Sexual Forensics in Victorian and Edwardian England: Age, Crime and Consent in the Courts (2015) - very good so far.

Also currently in medias res, Patricia McKillip, Kingfisher (2017) - very good, but my bar for riffing on/mashing up Arthuriana is set very high with Naomi Mitchison's To the Chapel Perilous.

Up Next

Dunno.

*Among other sights seen today, Rynek Underground.


Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 03:14 pm

Bah, Amazon. Bah, I say.

I love my Kindle Fire. It's really old, like second or third generation, and even though it can sort of surf the web and play videos and such, at heart it's still an e-reader with a color screen, and that's the way I like it.

But as I said, it's really old, and the battery life isn't what it once was, and sometimes it balks at connecting to the internet. So I went to see what might replace it.

While I wasn't paying much attention, Amazon decided the Kindle Fire ought to become the Fire Tablet. At $50, I'm sure it's probably pretty crappy as a tablet, but still fine as an e-reader, I just don't want all the extra crap. I certainly don't want Alexa. And apparently if I want a case with pretty colors, as opposed to black, I have to get their advertising-enabled version.

The e-reader only Kindles have black and white screens, making them useless for comic books. Also, I prefer color for book covers, because when they have good art I want to LOOK at them, damn it.

All of which means I will probably opt to stick with my very old Fire until it finally dies. But I'm going to be bitter about it.

cute gender reveal photo shoot for a new puppy

Kennedy Sartwell and Jake Terry of Warrensburg, Missouri, are an adorable loving couple who recently adopted a precious puppy named Raven. Excited about the new arrival, the couple decided to skip the regular posting on facebook or sending photos to a group chat and to do something bigger to announce Raven to the world. The couple recruited a professional photographer, Kennedy's mother, Cristy Sartwell of Infinite Smile Photography, to shoot a sex reveal photo series. The results are so cute! Via: People



Submitted by:


sexycazzy: (Default)
[personal profile] sexycazzy posting in [community profile] drawesome
Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 08:08 pm

Challenge 7 - DW Interests (CSI:NY)

Title: Two Detectives
Artist: [personal profile] sexycazzy 
Rating: PG
Fandom: CSI:NY
Characters/Pairings: Don Flack & Mac Taylor
Content Notes: digital drawing & my 5th DW Interest which was CSI:NY! Not exactly happy with this picture especially the faces - I am not very good at drawing faces!

Who are the detectives? )

cats that love to fly

Mausi & Miseli are two adorable and fearless cats from Switzerland who love to fly. Their Instagram Account is taking off and reaching new heights (Over 20K loyal fans worldwide). Mausi is three years old (born 16th of May 2014) and Miseli is almost a half year old (born March 28th, 2017). Mausi is actually the proud mom of Miseli! Their owner, Sara, told the Purrington Post: "As the kittens were super playful and always jumped to get their toys, I just wanted to try and see how it looked in a photo. As their poses were so funny during their flight, I started to take more and more. I took my first photo of a flying kitty back in July of 2015. A year later, I had uploaded around five more flying kitty photos on Instagram. This year I've already uploaded more than 30 flying kitten photos and I think every one of them is super unique." Miseli is a professional jumper and Mausi just jumped once in a while during a photo shoot. Via: The Purrington Post





Submitted by:

Tagged: Switzerland , Cats , flying


Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 07:14 pm

Hope Not Hate have launched a US site!

Thanks to [personal profile] cesy for the heads-up -- Hope not Hate, a UK group who've been working tirelessly and effectively against fascist, racist and far-right groups over here have launched a US site:

Hope Not Hate (Twitter: [twitter.com profile] hopenothate_USA)

By way of making a dramatic entry, this seems to have been timed to co-ordinate with the announcement of their epic undercover project: Patrik Hermansson, an extremely brave young Swedish grad student, infiltrated the alt-right and lived undercover in the movement in London and the US for nearly a year, wired for sound and carrying hidden cameras. This ultimately included being at Charlottesville and witnessing the car attack that killed Heather Heyer.

The documentary is coming soon, and the comprehensive report on the international alt-right (for which the infiltration was part of the research) is here:

The International Alternative Right

News reports:

New York Times: Undercover With the Alt-Right

Raw Story: ‘It’s gonna end with concentration camps’: Alt-right executive boasts of a future Europe with Hitler on their money

I love HnH; I've supported them for years and have friends who've volunteered for them. They have a long history working against fascist and far right groups in the UK, through research, infiltration, legal action, anti-racist/xenophobic education and campaigning, and their work seems to have naturally become international as the "alt-right" itself has (e.g. with the "Defend Europe" boat).

So I think their expertise (and the willingness of their reporters to put their necks on the line like this, holy fuck) is going to be a hugely valuable resource for people fighting this shit in the US too.




Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 01:48 pm

Cleavage

New ordinance encourages pervy cops to check out the areola and the anal cleft.

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 08:44 am

The Yellow "M" (1953-54)

"Blake and Mortimer" is one of the most well-known Belgian comics series, created by Edgar P. Jacobs (1904-1987). The title is a bit of a misnomer due to phonetic issues - the titular character is, in fact, Philip Mortimer, a British scientist. He is aided by his "heterosexual life partner" (a common feature in Belgian comics at the time, and the inspiration for many a slash fanfic) capt. Francis Blake of the MI5. The book mixes detective and spy elements with fantastic concepts such as UFOs, time travel and Atlantis.

I was going to post my first contact with their books, "The Necklace Affair", but thought it best to start with the most famous story of all, "The Yellow 'M'" - the one with the most iconic cover of the series, copied by various comic book artists.



Verbosity ensues )

"Blake and Mortimer" were recently (wow, actually, about a decade ago or so) translated by Cinebook Ltd., a British company who specializes in Belgian and French comics, which gives an interesting twist to a comic set in Britain with two protagonists from Albion.

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 01:38 pm

why do i have scrubs stuck in my head?

the honey cake is slightly overbaked. >.< i think i'm going to cut off the ends and sides and (if i can) the top, so at least it doesn't have the tough bits still on when i slice it for company. the recipe says you can bake it in a loaf pan but i'm not sure. at least i know for next time not to bake it so long. but! it doesn't taste like coffee. :D

now i have meringues in the oven, and can i just say, egg whites+sugar+vanilla tastes a lot like marshmallow fluff. i put tiny chocolate chips in the batter and am now wondering if i should have used peppermint extract instead of vanilla. minty!

at work i'm learning how to organize the weekly "how many hours do you have scheduled for clients" emails, which entails figuring out who exactly gets the aforementioned emails and then, you know, sending them out. the application we use to track which team is working on which client (and which returns have gone out/been extended and which haven't) is not totally forthcoming with the names i need. it's a tch frustrating. just a tch. on the other hand, i'm learning how to do something new and i've gotten a new responsibility, and i'm certainly not going to complain about that. i'm not 100% sure what i'm doing, tho.

i'm watching lawless (the perks of suddenly getting a bunch of starz channels plus the sundance channel) and i can't get over tom hardy's nose. it's a nice nose.

the business of fandom - an interesting article about how teenage girls' fannish pursuits can be predictors of the next big thing, and how girls use fandom as a way to socialize with other girls. (that second part is not going to be a surprise to anyone who's spent any time in a fandom. i mean, of course girls use fandom to socialize with people. "i love this thing! who else loves it?" that seems pretty obvious.)

(posted this to lj last night and totally forgot to copy it over. >.< )



For those of you who don't know, the Barna research group is a group that focuses on researching religious trends in America.  Although they are very DEFINITELY Christian and doing this for a Christian audience, they are also quite firm in their belief that in order to make good choices people need good, reliable information to base it on.  So they're pretty good about being as fair and accurate as they can in their research practices.

Their newest finding?  That in the last year, public opinion in America has swung quite dramatically in favor of immigration, diversity, and refugees, with most population segments adding at least 10% to their approval.  And practicing Christians who believe the US should welcome refugees more than doubled between 2016 and 2017, which is why there are currently more religious leaders across the board speaking to refugee and immigration issues.  (Evangelicals are the lone holdouts, surprise, surprise.)  For example, the Christian community is pretty much united in opposition to ending or limiting the DREAM program.  Even the Evangelicals agree there.

Unfortunately, the shift doesn't seem to be from racists, nationalists, and other right-wingers changing their minds.  Where the shift seems to be coming from is the people who were undecided a year ago moving towards open-mindedness, tolerance, and compassion.  So it's not that the whole country is moving towards tolerance, it's that the people in the middle are moving leftward on this issue.  Which is good, don't get me wrong!  It just means we've got our work cut out for us to reach out to the Evangelicals and the FOX newsers and all and help them see things in a different light.

(Obviously I'm not talking to people who aren't safe or wouldn't be safe if they tried to reach out, whether psychologically or physically.


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