dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
([personal profile] dglenn Oct. 20th, 2014 05:24 am)

"People often say that same-sex marriage now is like interracial marriage in the 60s. But in terms of public opinion, same-sex marriage now is like interracial marriage in the 90s, when it had already been legal nationwide for 30 years." -- Randall Munroe, xkcd, 2014-10-08

azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
([personal profile] azurelunatic Oct. 20th, 2014 02:02 am)
13 years ago Saturday, I pledged to be the friend who didn't fall off the radar for Darkside. It has worked out rather better than he thought it would so far. :)
She's ok. Had a checkup with her consultant last week which showed reasonable white blood cell counts and plasma levels (although her iron levels are a bit low). Had a meeting with her supervisors after handing over 11,000 words for checking, which went ok.

Still stressed in general, but her energy levels are much higher on Nilotinib than they were on Imatinib, but not back to normal human levels. We were able to go shopping for two hours, which would have been unthinkable a few months ago.

She's still tired all of the time though, and her life largely consists of PhD, being collapsed on the sofa, and occasionally shooting things with me in Borderlands 2. She's pretty fed up with the situation, but it's been a lot worse.
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([personal profile] loup_noir Oct. 19th, 2014 07:47 pm)
In theory, this is supposed to help me track how many books I've read this year; however, in fact, I'm not good at keeping track. Whatever, eh?

Jackaby by William Ritter - "lite" version of what an occult Sherlock Holmes and his perky female sidekick could be.

I give it a "C," with that grade being understood to be average.

"Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job,Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary--including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police--with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane--deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in a debut novel, the first in a series, brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre."

Ya know, she snarks, any book that gets summarized with two references to pop culture has some problems, mostly that it tries too hard to incorporate those fandoms. It wasn't a bad book; it just wasn't a really good one. A little too contrived at points, a little too modern in its tone, and a heroine that periodically turned into a viewer, not an active part of the narrative. Might improve in follow-ons.

There are many things I like about YA; however, I'm really tired of the "is this twu wuv?" subplots and the cookie-cutter heroines. I miss the grit, the gray, and the brutality. Might be time for some non-fiction.
qem_chibati: Coloured picture of Killua from hunter x hunter, with the symbol of Qem in the corner. (A cat made from Q, E, M) (Default)
([personal profile] qem_chibati Oct. 20th, 2014 08:19 am)
Just putting a small hiatus notice until November, as I'm currently in Kathmandu Nepal and about to head to a rural village (which will have wifi because I'm setting it up for a school and teaching them how to maintain it) although it's still east Nepal so not that remote as far as Nepal goes). I should have limited access to email, but other things are proving frustrating. Definitely an experience so far - will blog about it later. Probably November. XD
what i want to do is get back to work, i havent been doing much lately, just reading. reading is so much easier than doing things. at some point i am going to motivate myself to do shit. sooner rather than later...
lightgetsin: Daniel Jackson asking, "Where am I? How did I get here? And why in God's name am I wearing this shirt?" (Daniel: three questions)
([personal profile] lightgetsin Oct. 19th, 2014 09:09 pm)
Hogwart arrived on Thursday. She was a week late, but a mere 7 lb 13 oz. I am reliably informed that she is an unusually attractive specimen of babyhood.

Labor was -- hm. I need to process a bit more before I tldr the whole story, but put it this way: when the details are relayed to someone who knows what they are listening to, their eyes get wider and wider throughout and they usually say something involving swear words by the end. It's -- I'm still thinking about it. Sometimes I feel kind of shitty about it, even though there is no doubt in my mind that I did my best and my best was pretty good. Most of the time, I know I was kind of a superhero, when it comes right down to it. Still processing.

But. There is a Hogwart.

We did it.
beatrice_otter: Yuletide (Yuletide)
([personal profile] beatrice_otter Oct. 19th, 2014 03:25 pm)
DON'T PANIC.

This is a very long letter with lots of stuff, but DO NOT PANIC.  I'm actually fairly easy to please; I am very rarely disappointed with a ficathon story.  I write long and detailed Dear Author letters because I find such things helpful when I'm writing for other people; if you are like me, here you go!  If your style is different and a detailed letter makes you feel hemmed-in, feel free to do what works for you.

The most important thing for me in a fic is that the characters are well-written and recognizably themselves.  Even when I don't like a character, I don't go in for character-bashing.  If nothing else, if the rest of this letter is too much or my kinks just don't fit yours, just concentrate on writing a good story with everyone in character and good spelling and grammar and I will almost certainly love what you come up with.

One thing: I do have an embarrassment squick, which makes humor kind of hit-or-miss sometimes.  The kind of humor where someone does something embarrassing and the audience is laughing at them makes me uncomfortable because I identify too much with the person getting laughed at, so instead of being funny it is squicky.  On the other hand, the kind of humor where the audience is laughing with the characters I really enjoy.
My generic preferences )

Fandoms )

A couple of hours ago there was a Hacker News story about SimpleCPU.com, which gives a nice, simple, introduction to what a computer does at a low level, in about 10 minutes, with cool things to click on.

I played with it for a bit, noticed that the scrolling of one piece didn't work in Firefox, and that it didn't correctly cope with an overflow of the program counter[1]. I reported both of these as Issues on the Github repository, and then realised that I could probably fix the latter one myself.

So I browsed through the source code for it on Github, discovered it was nicely organised, found the line of code I wanted to change, forked the code[2], created a branch[3], made the change on it[4], and then submitted that change back to the person who owns the original code[5].

Three minutes later they accepted the change and merged it into their version of the code.

And shortly after that they pushed the latest version of the code up onto their site, and now it's live, with my fix in it!

I've never done this before, and now I'm sitting here feel very cheery that it went as smoothly as it did.

If you have a few spare minutes, and an interest in how computers work, I recommend taking a look.

[1]If anyone is actually interested in what that means, ask in the comments.
[2]Basically, made a copy of it that includes a pointer back to the original version it came from.
[3]A split from the master version of the code that contains the change you want.
[4]Oh, and I also pulled a copy of the code onto my machine and tested my change actually worked. Because there's nothing makes you look stupid faster than saying "This change is so simple it doesn't need to be tested."
[5]This change submission is known as a "pull request", because that nomenclature maximises confusion. Apparently "change submission" was too easy to understand.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
([personal profile] jazzfish Oct. 19th, 2014 02:44 pm)
Quit The Day Job: "I've quit my job to be a writer at least four times." I love this so much.

Of the Genders there are sixe: "Ben Jonson, circa 1617, trying to bend English grammar on the anvil of Latin."

Because I will read anything even tangentially related to the terrible things Robert Moses did to New York and to American cities in general, 'The Power Broker' Turns 40: How Robert Caro Wrote a Masterpiece: "Caro is 78 years old. Gottlieb, who has edited every one of Caro’s books, is 83. 'He’s always saying, "Actuarially, you have to hurry up and finish this." It's a great remark!' Caro said."

How To Open a Wine Bottle With a Feather: a bit of worldbuilding that's mentioned a few times in the Dragaera books and that I always assumed involved sorcery or witchcraft. Awesome.

Trigger Warning: Life With PTSD: "It took years, and several diagnoses, to land on PTSD. My psychiatrist and I agreed that it was obvious in retrospect, but retrospect took decades to find."

Giant fish cannon shoots 40 salmon per minute, is actually saving the environment: "This isn’t the first time a massive cannon or vacuum has been used with salmon."

F.D.C. Willard, "Occupation: Rodentia Predation Consultant/Physicist." More details: "Dr. Hetherington did not relish revising and retyping the whole text, so, instead, he simply added a co-author: his Siamese cat Chester (sired by Willard). And for legitimacy, he tacked on two more initials, FD (from Felix domesticus) to create 'FDC Willard.'"

Why No One Used Camouflage Until WWI: "One cubist, Lucien-Victor Guirand de Scevola, was put in charge of a whole new department of the French Army devoted to camouflaging buildings, planes, cannons, trucks and installations. He described his task very succinctly: 'In order to deform totally the aspect of an object, I had to employ the means that cubists use to represent it.'"

Nimona. A (complete) comic / graphic novel about a self-appointed sidekick and her villain (kind of). Funny, clever, tense, occasionally sniffly. Worth reading. Out in dead-tree-form in May 2015.
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liseuse: (hattage)
([personal profile] liseuse Oct. 19th, 2014 09:14 pm)
So, this weekend Adorable Produce Boy outdid himself in Adorability and Hilarity. This, as a recap, is the person who once asked me out on a date (HE'S 17!), once blushed hilariously as I shook gluten-free macaroni out of my top - which was completely buttoned up, just untucked from my trousers - into the bin, and once looked me straight in the eye as he said 'I just find older women really intriguing and sexy'. To the last, by the way, I looked him straight in the eye back and raised an eyebrow and said 'really'. He went bright red and sort of ran away and it was glorious. ANYWAY, I went to work with a horrible headcold and he saw me on Saturday and said 'oh my God, you look really ill', stopped, looked at the look of 'oh you adorable child, but thanks' on my face and carried on with, 'but in, like, a good way. I mean, it's not like you look like you're going to die, but you could, you know, like, do that sexily as well. Um.' and then ran away. I just stood, by the parsnips and laughed. His manager, who had overheard most of it, looked at me and joined in with the laughter. I ... just ... bless his little seventeen year old socks. Bless them.
post-tags: instagram, crosspost First frost tonight; pumpkin from @wilsonfarm ready for a slow afternoon roast. (As the base for kaddo bourani!)
beatrice_otter: Grammar (Grammar)
([personal profile] beatrice_otter Oct. 19th, 2014 02:23 pm)
I am a pedant and a grammar geek.  I'm normally the one who gets tweaked by apostrophes in the wrong place and always notices when someone uses the wrong word and it really tweaks me off.  (The large annoyance factor has to do with my Aspergers, I'm pretty sure.)  (Which is why I was so surprised that this weekend at the synod's youth gathering I wasn't the one to spot the repeating error in the devotion directions--it said "scared" instead of "sacred," so there was like a whole page talking about "scared space," and once somebody pointed it out to me it was pretty funny, especially considering it's October and I'm on the board of a group planning a small haunted house in town.)

But, anyway, in fic I can usually tell when someone has too much reliance on their spellchecker and not enough on an actual dictionary to make sure they're using the right word.

Today I spotted a perennial favorite: "rouge" instead of "rogue"

Rogue (the word they meant) means "a person who is dishonest or immoral; a man who causes trouble in a playful way."  "Rogue" is also the name of one of the X-Men, and the name of Luke Skywalker's squadron in Star Wars.

Rouge, on the other hand, is an old-fashioned word for red (well, in English it's old fashioned, in French it's the regular word for it), and also an old-fashioned name for certain types of makeup, usually what we now call "blush" (i.e. the red stuff you put on your cheeks to give you color).  The nightclub Moulin Rouge (the setting for the movie of the same name) means "The Red Mill," so named for the red windmill on top of the building.

Having your hard-bitten investigators sitting around a table talking about bringing in someone who  "went rouge" is, er, unexpectedly humorous and gives me a mental picture of someone being brought in under arrest for being a drag queen or something similar, or possibly turning into a can-can dancer.  Not quite the effect the author was going for ...

This is one reason why betas are a good thing, because they (hopefully) catch things like this.  And I don't care how good a writer you are, everyone does this sometimes (or has a computer do it for you when it autocorrects incorrectly and you don't notice ....)

What are your favorite (or least favorite) perennial typos/misspellings/homonym abuses/malapropisms?
briarwood: (Dollhouse Echo Active)
([personal profile] briarwood Oct. 19th, 2014 07:31 pm)
Last week my big news was my new bed.

You see, for the past...actually, I'm not sure how long. At least seven years. I've been sleeping on this old sofa bed.

Photos and the rest of the story behind the cut )

Last week I also...replaced a ceiling light fitting with help from YouTube. The old one was totally fubared and sis was too cheap to hire an electrician. I replaced mine years ago, so figured I could do it. But after removing the old one I found it impossible to find out which colour wire was supposed to be live and which was neutral. I mean, I do know how to do basic wiring but the wires in our ceiling were not the colours they're supposed to be. Google was no help as it insisted on giving colours for the 1950s or post-2006 - this house was redone in the 80s. But not all of it, hence my confusion. I eventually decided it was a fifty-fifty shot and I was almost sure red wasn't live because I remembered thinking that it should have been back when I learned this stuff. I got it right, anyway, and the light is now working. Yay me!

Last week's movie was...The Judge, and it's so nice to see RDJ in a movie where I don't hate him! I've loved RDJ as an actor since his turn on Ally McBeal but boy do I loathe Iron Man! In The Judge his character is still something of a dick - it's RDJ's niche, I think, that particular brand of overconfidence and brash fast-talk - but there's a real depth to the character and it's an excellent film even if it does fail Bechdel.

I am also watching...United States of Tara on DVD. I found it under my old bed and I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed this show on its first run. There aren't many TV shows that deal well with mental illness but this one did. I don't know how well it reflects the reality of DID; I'm not a psychologist, but it does a fantastic job of portraying how living with someone who just doesn't think and behave in a "normal" way affects everyone else. It's also sweet and funny and sexy - just the kind of comedy I can get into.

This week I am reading...still on The Broken Window by Jeffrey Deaver. I'm about a quarter of the way through.

This week I am listening to...A Storm of Swords audiobook by George R R Martin, read by Roy Dotrice. RD is a fantastic actor, but not no hot as an audiobook reader. I finished listening to Broken Soul - I enjoyed it, but the end made me sad as it feels like the series is edging toward a conclusion, and listened to A Shiver of Light - LKH's latest Merry Gentry novel. Which was basically a short story padded out with recap and repetition ad nauseum. A shame, because the last few chapters really did work. It's just such hard work to get there! And LKH did that thing which she always did in the Anita Blake books but has largely avoided so far with Merry - it's like LKH gets to a certain point when it feels like something should really start to happen, and then she stops, and gives you the rest of the plot in a quick summary instead of another 20K words. I know there always comes a point when you write a long story where it gets really hard to finish - I've written enough myself to know the feeling - but I've never known a writer to just blatantly give up the way LKH does. It's like she thinks she's worked hard enough setting things up, so the reader doesn't need to experience the rest of it, a quick summary will do. No, it won't!
calliopes_pen: (kcscribbler men of note Holmes)
([personal profile] calliopes_pen Oct. 19th, 2014 01:37 pm)
Yuletide sign-ups are now open. I signed up a little while ago--and between now and when sign-ups close I am rewatching Dark Shadows (1991) and a few other movies (like Without a Clue (1988), been a while since I saw it) to see if I want to offer anything else.

A few Yuletide letters persuaded me to try out (and likely offer to write, unless I change my mind) a few movies I hadn't seen before now--like Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters, and The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec.
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