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My sleep "routine" is even worse than usual lately. I think deadline stress is affecting it. I'm not even particularly behind on deadlines or anything, but I'm stressed anyway, which means my focus is shot... It's a nasty cycle.
It's still cooler than I like for the end of May, so we're not planting this weekend, but scruloose is outside digging the flowerbed-to-be. Hero!
Meanwhile, the potted clematis in the spare room are reaching through the air, groping for the window. It's kinda amazing.
Reminder that nanodownunder starts up in a few days! I'll quote china_shop:
Want to kick-start your writing?
Set your own goals -- this doesn't have to be a full 50K-word endeavour, just whatever you want to aim for. Pick a WIP to finish, or set a daily time- or wordcount-goal. Or just wing it, if you prefer.
Daily check-in posts. Locked comm so we can chat/cheer/commiserate in semi-privacy (ie, you have to join to play, but membership isn't moderated). Come one, come all...
EddieMcClintock tweeted a "Mini #WAREHOUSE13 reunion!" pic of himself, Scags, Aaron Ashmore, and (executive producer) Jack Kenny, and my heart melted all over the place.
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2014-02-11:
"I operate under the principle that my computer is owned by at least three governments." -- Costin Raiu, computer security researcher
(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)
We got home very early Friday morning, after a flight that was incredibly irritating. Yeah, I'm looking at you, Newark airport. You were great the last two times, but this last time? You sucked.
Edinburgh is filled with HP references. I kept seeing people with HP shirts, and the shop windows had house scarves and other stuff. Nostalgia.
And now it's back to the usual: mowing, weeding, paying the huge pile of bills, and trying to make plans as to how to deal with the Trump belly that has now been inflated with vacation goodies.
My reaction to the last election was to eat. Stress-eating and I are old friends. I've been so worried about what might happen that I let the eating get out of control. During my sick month, March, the urgent care clinic weighed me, and yes, I saw the number. Dammit. I know better. So, while I'm still incredibly worried about what might happen, it's time to get over it enough to focus on my own health. Gotta cut carbs and get more exercise. Starting Monday. Why Monday? Because that's the day all diets start.
Tomorrow is a Radio Sunday, Monday new diet and exercise, Tuesday is (I hope) when my chiropractor can see me, and Wednesday is a doctor's appointment that I'm kinda dreading. I've got a mole that's showing changes, but none of the changes matches any of the ones that the ever-helpful internet puts up as Truly Worrisome. I suspect this is due to age, but I'd like a doctor to look at it. Oh, and every other spare moment has to be dedicated to undoing a month's worth of weeds and grass-growing. And, according to Trouble, I must throw her ball at least three times extra every day to make up for all the time that I wasn't there to throw said ball.
"The Intrepid ’20s Women Who Formed an All-Female Global Exploration Society".
"Finding Brooklyn’s Ghost Streams, With Old Maps and New Technology".
"In 1975, a Cat Co-Authored a Physics Paper".
"Gereja Ayam, the Abandoned Chicken Church".
"Signal de Botrange: The highest point in Belgium is a staircase to nowhere".
"Shaolin Flying Monks Theatre: A magical work of architecture where a wind turbine enables monks to levitate".
"Abandoned London Post Office Railway: An unmanned underground railroad created to transport London’s mail beneath its congested streets ran for seven decades, until it was unceremoniously shut down and abandoned".
"Underground Railroad Memorial at McDonald's".
"Forgotten Giants: Six beautiful wooden giants are hidden around Copenhagen".
"Tiny Mouse Shops of Malmö: Swedish mice can dine at the Nuts of Life restaurant or take a date to the amousement park".
"FBI Spy House: A painfully obvious spy house sits right across the street from the Russian Embassy".
"Why Justin Timberlake Sings ‘May’ Instead of ‘Me’: Linguistics and vocal styling converge in this late ’90s pop trend".
"One of the Earliest Industrial Spies Was a French Missionary Stationed in China: When he wasn’t converting people, Father Francois Xavier d’Entrecolles was extracting trade secrets from porcelain producers".
"The Unsung Delight of a Well-Designed Endpaper".
"The Violent Ice Cream Wars of 1980s Scotland".
"The Surprising Challenges of Making Things Vegan".
"Judean Date Palm Methuselah: This tree was extinct for a thousand years before sprouting again from a 2,000-year-old seed".
The Establishment ( 17 links, including discussion of suicide, body positivity, and fatphobia )
Finished Ivan Coyote and Rae Spoon's Gender Failure. (memoir/book version of a show by two non-binary performers, about being non-binary.)
Finished Martha Wells' All Systems Red. (science fiction novella. MURDERBOT.)
Finished Rose Lemberg et al's Alphabet of Embers (anthology of SFF short stories with illustrations)
Finished Kate Elliot's Black Wolves. (fantasy novel)
Started Kameron Hurley's The Stars Are Legion. (science fiction. living ships, body horror, pregnancy, cannibalism, women (principally defined here as "people who menstruate and give birth",) very good if you can cope with etc)
Started Audre Lord's Sister Outsider, have so far just read the Russia chapter. (feminism and anti-racism and memoir, essays.)
Started Carl Sandburg's Chicago Poems. (poetry, some of it very good and some of it well-intentioned but INCREDIBLY ill-considered.)
Started reading Arthur Horner's Colonel Pewter (1950s Australian serialised comic about the adventures of an eccentric retired military gentleman and his grand-nephew and cat. And aliens. The edition I'm reading is a Lever Arch folder of strips my father cut out from the newspaper as they came out and stickytaped to the paper and filed.)
TV and Movies
Saw The Eagle Huntress in the cinema (documentary, sports, a girl and her giant eagle, highly recommended if you can cope with animal harm etc)
Watched DVD of Saving General Yang (2013 historical action film directed by Ronny Yu, based on the Generals of the Yang Family. Now have the terrible urge to dive further down this rabbithole and read/watch ALL THE THINGS about the Yang family. Am resisting.)
A few more B99 episodes. Met Kevin!
Started watching this BBC Watergate documentary (hattip to rydra_wong), am halfway through and enthralled
Played David Teie's Music for Cats for Beatrice and Dorian. (album, music composed for the benefit of cats.) Dorian seemed uninterested. Beatrice sometimes turned her ears around slightly, and might have breathed a bit faster at some points. It made me sleepy, though.
Listened to Janelle Monáe's The Electric Lady. (album, science fiction, third installment of the Metropolis series. Yes, good, love.)
Re-listening to Rhapsody's Dawn of Victory. (album, Italian symphonic metal.) Love the music, would like to listen to some symphonic metal that is a) less of a cishet white nerdboy power fantasy, and b) specifically less rapey now please.
Agreed to join a play-by-post Legend of the Five Rings game, because I haven't RPed in too long and a friend was starting one up.. Realised belatedly that I had NO IDEA what I was getting into, this is some graduate level roleplaying right here, there's over (in meta terms) over ten years of setting, and (in game terms) two millennia of setting, with complicated etiquette etc. Asked for and received GM's permission to join in later once I've disambiguated my arse and my elbow a little more. Am sloooowly reading the handbook and trying to find my bearings.
Have mostly kicked the Stardew Valley habit. Dipped into the Kittens Game briefly for the first time in over a year, then returned to my senses.
Caught up on The Strange Case of Starship Iris (SF series) and The Hidden Almanac (fantasy series) and listening as they come out now.
Listened to a few episodes of Glittership (audio versions of queer SFF short stories)
Really enjoying One From The Vaults at the moment (trans history), still listening in order and not caught up yet.
Re-listening to a lot of old Jay and Miles X-Plain The X-Men (comics recaps) and Kevin and Ursula Eat Cheap (drunken reviews of convenience foods) for comfort while falling asleep.
Made a dinosaur toothbrush-holder, as seen in a lot of different crafts and/or autism pinterests and blogs. This just involves buying a $3 plastic dinosaur from KMart, and cutting a hole in its back, just large enough to poke the end of a toothbrush into. That's it, that's all that's involved. Tried making a harness for the dinosaur to hold the toothpaste as well, but this just looked sloppy, so I ended up cutting another hole for the toothpaste. This looks less neat than the toothbrush hole, but is at least functional.
Make a notebook.
Basil everywhere. Capsicums growing. I should be planting kale and daffodil bulbs right the fuck now, but have not gotten up the energy yet.
I made breakfast for tumblr. You're welcome?
The Douchecat Combined Armed Forces chiefs of staff have moved into their winter headquarters, the chair with the heating pad on it. It's nice to have a warm base on which to smack each other.
Also tried out the toilet paper tube method of cat enrichment. It does seem to be making them eat slower, and may or may not be enhancing their enjoyment of dinner.
"Saturn was the largest rocket in the world, the most complex and powerful ever to fly, and remains so to this day. The fact that it was developed for a peaceful purpose is an exception to every pattern of history, and this is one of the legacies of Apollo." -- Margaret Lazarus Dean, Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight, 2015
[A blessed Ramadan to everyone starting their fast today!]
Canon Level: Traveling Companions
I can't not picture Fuu, Mugen, and Jin as an inseparable unit. Most OT3s, I'll also be into at least one of the sub-pairings and probably all three sub-pairings, but Samurai Champloo seems to be the exception. Mugen and Jin clash against each other, but they're not naturally drawn to each other without Fuu there to hold them together. Fuu's the reason they exist as a trio, and she's not going to choose one over the other. She's infused with so much more purpose when she's leading their merry band around so that she almost seems duller without Mugen and Jin by her side. And it has to be both of them because it's the push/pull between all three of them that makes them all work.
Enharmonic Intervals by Ponderosa
A Change in Relationship Dynamics by debit
With the Gracious Consent of the Audience by kugare
I spent the next week being solo primary coverage for roughly 250-300 users.
I got a new coworker (contractor) on March 27. At the end of that week, the rumor mill indicated the woman I'd been brought on board to cover for in May 2016 while she was out for an unknown period of time due to a medical issue related to a car accident would be returning. She did so on June 5, as our director - the only full-time IT person left in the state - was travelling for work until then. The returning FTE worked 2 hours aday for her first two weeks, adding two hours a day every two weeks, until returning to 8 hour days last week.
Upon her return, there was understandable concern about the longevity of employment of the new contractor - the job had been done by two field agents and their manager for years without issue. There was also a general consensus that had we had warning of the FTE's return, another contractor would probably have not been brought in.
We are currently very grateful to have 3 of us. Since the FTE's return (back when she was on limited hours), there have only been 3 weeks where I did not work OT and those were due to an illness, an interview, and weather. Had I not lost time those weeks, I would have likely had OT then as well. I had 43 hours this week, and I left 2 hours early today thanks to the holiday weekend.
I'm okay with occasional overtime, but right now three of us can't keep up and we're all wearing thin. Worse, I feel like the FTE and I are wearing thin with the other contractor because he's not where I was after 2 months.
Work is wearing me out, and it's eating into my already limited social life. I've been tempted to go to bed for 30 minutes now... and it's not quite 7:45 PM.
It seems that John Clarke and Bryan Dawe have made a career for the last thirty years of doing these little two-minute satirical interview sketches, one a week, for Australian television. Some of them are downright brilliant, for example, The Front Fell Off (I have not laughed so hard in ages). Many rely on a grasp of Australian politics that I just don't have, but are still delightful to watch.
Sadly John Clarke died early in April, while 'bushwalking' and birdwatching. On the bright side there's an awful lot of Clarke & Dawe on their Youtube channel, and more to come.
Continuing the Hugo due diligence reading.
Um, not sure what I think about this book. Well-written, definitely. Captivating? I'd say "morbidly fascinating", I want to know more about the world, but I am not sure I want to now about the world. It's... well... in this case a sign of brilliant writing.