What did the snowflake say to the fallen leaf? [answer] You are so last season. [/answer] /terrible xmas cracker jokes
- Watching photos of "ice pancakes" forming on the River Dee in Scotland (link to BBC).
- Watching goats, sheep, and fowl, on behalf of corvi. One of the most worrying aspects of the animal behaviour at the Lazy Evaluation Ranch is that it’s not unusual in any way, as demonstrated at Surrey Docks Farm.
Q. Where is the best perch for a large guinea fowl? A. On top of a sheep, because they’re like carpet… albeit confused and uncooperative carpet.
Q. Who is the king of the castle? A. Nanny goat, and that’s "queen of the castle" to you!
- Reading, books 2014, 156.
155. Whispering Roots, by C. Day Lewis, was the poet’s last published collection before his death in 1972. Astonishingly, I don’t recall ever reading these poems before. The poems mostly divide between references to childhood and references to death.
156. The Bees, by Carol Ann Duffy, is a poetry collection what I read. ;-P
156.5 I read about half of A Painted Field, by Robin Robertson, which is about as far as I got last time. It’s not as execrable as The [Emperor’s New] Wrecking Light though iirc.
- So, what are you doing, thinking, wondering about, reading, watching, making, or writing, that you don't usually post about?
pour Noël/la nouvelle année à venir je voudrais :
- un nouvel appart', correctement situé pour aller bosser et faire mes courses et garer mon vélo,
- l'assurance que ma période d'essai se suivra par les six mois d'alternance
- et le stage en alternance par un vrai contrat à la fin,
- des boîtes de rangement en vue du déménagement,
- déménagement ou pas, ne plus jamais avoir besoin de revoir le mec de ma sœur ni l'ami de mes frères qui squattent mon ancien appart', peu m'importe ce qu'ils deviennent respectivement tant que c'est loin de moi,
- du fandom vivant avec d'autres fans qui partagent le même enthousiasme que moi pour les œuvres et pas juste "ah oui j'ai vu environ un épisode et demi, je vois vaguement qui sont les personnages principaux", qui aient vraiment tout suivi à fond et qui discutent de bon cœur dessus, et sans me faire répondre que mon implication dans le fandom est excessive et pathétique... est-ce que c'est possible sans devoir déménager sur Tumblr ?
- sinon j'imagine qu'une licorne et/ou un bébé manchot en peluche ça ferait toujours plaisir aussi.
( Thursday morning. )
The walk back was refreshing. I wore the Festive Hat, fully lit up. That always gets noticed. I put it away, though, as next was the Dreaded Team Meeting. I told Purple that depending on how it went, I might or might not spend some of the subsequent time sobbing under someone's desk with vodka.
The bad news from Wednesday was that my occasionally frustrating but always well-meaning grandmanager the Randomizer, who has been in and out of the hospital over the past year-ish, will be stepping down entirely, due to illness. ( Read more... ) So while I'm concerned for him on a personal level because he's ill and stepping down because of illness is never a happy thing, I have every confidence business-wise.
So I came out of the team meeting more hopeful than I had been going in, which was not the outcome I was expecting. No vodka-desking for me!
I had the package tracking notification that the latest package in Syne's BPAL decant circle had arrived, so I set off to the mail room with a small bag of the good candy. It is always recommended to bring bribes of an edible nature to the fine folks of shipping & receiving, because they
( Read more... )
Friday was another day. I woke up midway through my sleep cycle and discovered confirmation that the vendor was in the database. However, the mobile app didn't let me edit jack shit. I went back to sleep. When I woke up, I looked for a necklace, since the star necklace wasn't going to be a viable choice. The raven one looked good.
At work, the vendor was listed, so I spent a few minutes making sure the submission was set up and sent off for approval. Then I went to lunch, a few minutes after Purple's lunch call. Purple had not found time before work to get the tire seen to, but it's a very slow leak. No telling how long the nail has been in there.
I saw the table with Purple's usual crew. I saw the cluster of tables with a whole bunch of my team, including the rare sight of the Randomizer. I went with my team. Later, having finished my burrito and refilled my lemonade, I joined Purple's table. They understood.
I did a bit more candy-distribution. Having finished my bit of the terrifying procurement thing, I tracked down some software for Brutus Cochin (as that is a vaguely known thing and also vastly less expensive). The shipping & receiving guy came by with the mail cart, which included the latest decant circle. I had some more festive cheer for him. He hugged me.
Bash ensued. It took me longer to get there this time, and it was harder finding a table. I did score one, though! Purple joined me. "It's not like your hat is visible over the wall or anything," he teased. He claimed the sort-of-occupied-looking chair after I reassured him that the reason it looked sort of occupied was because I was scaring off chair-vultures. Radius and R joined us. R was late on account of a meeting, and then had to run off to wrap up before dashing off somewhere else. Radius had a bug to be stomped. Mr. Zune was off with family. lb was off with family. phone was home minding a sleeping possibly-teenager (we're a little uncertain as to the actual age of his kid). Later, Lennon Glasses Guy came by, and that was nice. Eventually we told tales of social engineering and various exploits and bugs we have known. Lennon Glasses Guy hadn't realized that I'd worked at the domain shop in the past, which was where two of my tales came from.
Midway through it all, I got an email that made me start swearing.
"Hi Azure, The user needs to be added to CC in order to make the ticket visible to them. Please refer the attached screenshot and confirm if we are good to close this ticket. Thanks, Helpdesk Guy."
Very fortunately, I am in a position where my input is respected as a bellwether of parts of my greater organization as regards this piece of fucking software. My response was brusque and to the point.
"Not acceptable. Tickets need to be visible to users not on the CC list."
Upon getting back to my desk, I added lb's Overlady, as she is the current torchbearer for our division's good fight. We've got her back, and the pitchforks. I feel like this one is important enough to hammer spikes in to any reasonably slowly moving surface and cling to them while yelling.
There has been a squeaking sound all up in our corner for days now. One of the facilities dudes has been investigating. Unfortunately his hearing doesn't go that high anymore. Most of my department can hear it. He located some vent louvers which were oscillating when they shouldn't ought to be, and a substantial leak from a pipe on the other end of the roof. The ventilation guys have been summoned.
Chatted with Rocky some. The time to be a dick about your nerf weaponry is not when you've just scratched someone's cornea. (This was a lead engineer in a place he used to work.) It was a rough work neighborhood. Rocky carried in a large nerf gun in a duffel bag, then introduced the engineer most likely to cause trouble to the business end of it...
Purple came by to head out. He chatted with Rocky and encouraged me to tell how Tay and I used to troll the roosters by crowing out of turn at them.
I'm not sure if Purple would describe himself as "a gamer", but via a link I sent him, he wandered into Tropes vs. Women in Video Games, and reported back that he was impressed and generally in agreement with a lot of things, even though not 100% in agreement (and 100% agreement is rare for him). ( Read more... )
Bash was dinner enough for Purple, so he generally declined the concept and headed home. I picked up some groceries.
If everything goes according to plan, Rocky’s last sunrise will come in an hour or two. We have an appointment with the veterinarian at 10:30 to give him a small injection of some painlessly fatal thing, and then we’ll take him back here and bury him in his back yard.
We have a nice grave for him. I’ve been working on it for a couple days.
It’s very strange to choose the day that a loved one will die. Rocky has gone swimming for the last time, barked at his last mailman, chased his last stick. He may get to chew on a tennis ball ball once or twice more, he may get to sing one or two more songs. But that’s all.
Time is short.
Rocky’s fourteen years old and he’s ready to leave. He’s been ailing for a while or two, and the last six months have been awful. In his heart he is still the puppy powerhouse that he always has been, but his heart has lost contact with his body, and he just can’t do it any more. The only reason we’ve kept him alive this long is because we love him with all our hearts and we can’t let him go.
It’s been miracle after miracle, reprieve after reprieve, for months, and they’ve run out. You can’t torture a dog just because you love him. The poor guy can’t even stand up any more. He sees the puppies playing and he wants to play too, but he can’t. He hurts and hurts and hurts, and he lies there on his bed and he can’t sit still and he can’t get up. He’s bored.
He’s whining right now. It hurts to hear.
He knows what’s happening. He was afraid at first, but now he’s just tired and he’s ready to go.
I wish I could tell you everything this dog has meant to me. I’m not exaggerating when I say Rocky is why I am here with this wife and this child. This is his family. He made it. We all made it, him as much as anyone. We are his family.
Rocky kept Gewel alive through her darkest days in the hope that someday it would all work out, and it did.
He chose me to join her and I did. He brought us together and he kept us together. You may say a dog can’t do that. I say a dog can, if you let them.
I only really knew Rocky in his old age. I meet him briefly at the end of his puppyhood, and when he came down to Texas in 2011 and had to get the stomach surgery, that was when he became an old man. What a great old man. He’s been here with me for more than a quarter of his life. He’s guided me, comforted me, conspired with me, sang to me, stole my food when I wasn’t looking.
I’m glad he stayed this long. This was the last favor that I asked. I wanted him to stay long enough for Amelia to remember him forever. Somewhere in the back of her memory there is a big floppy dog who loves her and howls along when she plays the harmonica. Amelia gives him big hugs when she sees that he’s hurting. She calls him “Rosdee.”
We paid three thousand dollars to keep him alive in 2011 and we’d do it again today, but there’s no cure for this. He can’t stay. He would if he could. He loves us as much as any dog ever loved his people, all throughout history to today. There have always been good dogs. This was one of the best.
It’s very hard to kill your friend. Part of me is still crying no, no, we can put it off another day, he can stay just one more day. Rocky can tell that I’m upset and he’s using this opportunity to cadge me for treats. Good on ya, buddy. Wish we could forever.
He’s asleep. I love to look down beside me and see him sleeping. I love this dog. You did an excellent job, old man. Thank you. It was an honor.
Thirteen days ago I posted that I wanted to put together a calendar. In fact, I have not finished one print-quality image in that time! Lazy!
Today I tried to re-open that lamia scene to work on it, but it glitched again. So I made this strip because I was angry.
OK, I hope to have one or two prints done by the new year. I can’t promise more than that.
My #1 answer to this question is and will forever be Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Yes, the one with the whales. It is the perfect movie. It is Star Trek, which is very possibly my oldest fandom, and there is time travel, which is one of my favorite tropes, and they go to San Francisco, which is where I was born. Why wouldn't I like this movie? My family and I have pretty much the entire thing memorized now ("the keyboard! how quaint!") and if I am sick or sad or whatever it is guaranteed to make me happy. Yes. Writing this is making me think about rewatching it, actually.
My runner-up answers: Labyrinth. The Last Unicorn. Time After Time (by the director of Star Trek IV, about H.G. Wells and Jack the Ripper time-traveling to modern SF; I think you see a theme here). Jumpin' Jack Flash (80s action/comedy movie where Whoopi Goldberg the bank employee becomes involved with espionage and has kind of a LDR with a spy over the international bank computer terminals). Also The Eagle makes me happy, but you probably figured that. Also if you count movies I've watched repeatedly recently, I seem to be watching the first Iron Man movie a lot lately (I keep putting it on intending to watch the beginning and then, whoops, I accidentally an entire movie); I think it's probably still my favorite of the MCU films, although I feel like kind of a poseur putting that on a favorite movie list when I have really only been in the fandom a few months.
This was in many ways a tough choice, because I read a lot as a kid, and a lot of my reading material was formative for me in some way! I ended up including both my choice and a runner-up.
( I read a lot of award-winning fiction when I was a kid! )
Tumblr is depressing me by being about 80% Aramis and hardly any Porthos. It's a good thing I like Athos, is all I can say, as he gets okay representation, and at least I can look at pretty pictures of someone I like. There's a bit of Anne, Anne and Constance too, but not much d'Artagnan or Treville. Bah, tumblr, why are you failing to cater to my precise interests?
I bought "The Hanging Tree" song from Mockingjay and listening to it makes me want to rewatch the film (DVD is too far off!), which was excellent, my favourite so far. I remember hating what comes next, at least when I read the books, but we'll see what the film does with it. I really like Julienne Moore.
Have finished "The Web of Fear" which was highly enjoyable, though I'm not sure I'd go so far as to say it was good, because well, they're fighting robot Yeti in the underground, and Victoria basically does nothing but wander around looking for the Doctor and getting kidnapped, plus everyone making fun of the Welsh. However, I like Anne Travers a lot, and the Doctor and the bb!Brig got good stuff to do. Are there any woobie!Brig serials? I might need to see them. For research.
selenak's post about Babylon 5's weaknesses is excellent, as usual. I'm hanging out in comments with the other Lochley fan. I need a Lochley icon. Though the post is making me mopy about Michael O'Hare all over again. It doesn't take much to make me mopy about Michael O'Hare.
Just listened to the audiobook of Midnight Riot/Rivers of London (Peter Grant #1) by Ben Aaronovitch, narrated by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, which is very well read indeed. Amazing how much of this I'd forgotten in three years.
I think this is still my favourite book in the series. It has the best Nightingale stuff, and the humour is freshest. It also seems to be a series where I like the odd-numbered books the best. It's interesting to go back and see where Peter started out and how much he's grown over the years. The low-level sexism was higher than I remembered, possibly considering how things went in the rest of the series. It's also kind of a builder of expectations of things that we won't get, or won't get in more than small doses, such as building relationships and even expanding the magical world, partly because our one narrator is kind of emotionally constipated.
I really hope that someone does something with the TV rights (Elliot Knight for Peter!), as I'd love to see the world built by other voices.
ore than a million Canadians will travel to Cuba this year. The only places beyond our borders that attract more of us are the United States and Mexico. There is no other tourist destination on earth where Canadians are so dominant, and possibly none where the tourist economy is more vital to the nation’s immediate economic health. With little in the way of formal policy and with no real intent on the part of the beach-bound hordes, we’ve established a relationship with Cuba that is unique in both our histories. We’ve colonized Cuba on vacation by accident.
This is a story about what happens when the unarticulated, half-hidden nature of that colonial relationship is suddenly exposed. It’s an economics lesson in the form of a parable, a traveller’s tale about the strange connection between master and servant in this de facto tourist colony.
So let’s begin, in fairy-tale fashion, in a tower atop a castle: the rooftop terrace of Hotel Casa Granda in Santiago de Cuba, the country’s second-largest city. The Casa Granda is an old colonial half ruin overlooking a wide square and an elegant cathedral. It’s an atmospheric, Graham Greene kind of place, five storeys tall and colonnaded and shedding white paint. I found myself there at sunset one January evening, sipping a mojito and pondering the real value of ten convertible Cuban pesos.
Because Cuba is among the few nations on earth with two official currencies, a never-never-land economy caught in its own distended bubble halfway between the collapsed Soviet bloc and the contemporary global capitalist order, visitors can find themselves wondering more than usual about exchange rates. There is the regular, nonconvertible peso, officially the Cuban peso or CUP, used to buy staple goods at state-run shops. And there is the convertible peso, the CUC—the hard currency, which is used for luxury goods and provides the default banknotes for the tourist economy. In government accounting, CUCs and CUPs are valued one to one, but informally the CUC is worth about the same as the Canadian dollar, while the CUP has a street value of a nickel at most. CUPs are worthless outside Cuba, except as souvenirs.
Filling out a state store ration card.
Earlier in the day, I’d had ten CUCs snatched from my hand, and I was up on the roof of the Casa Granda trying to figure out what exactly had happened and how I really felt about it. It’s rare, once you’re well into the mortgage-and-kids phase of adulthood, to encounter a whole new category of emotion, but I was pretty sure I’d done just that out there on a dusty Santiago back street, and now I was probing the feeling to discern its dimensions.
I turned in my assignment in late November, a treat in early December and a pinch hit earlier this week. I wanted to do more, but I'm not really feeling it, but I'm also not going to feel guilty about it. I've picked up a few non-Yuletide fics today and gotten some mileage out of them. Most notably, I am starting on the second chapter of Assault to Abjury, aka that one fic where Maedhros times his rebellion wrongly (or is it rightly?) and is forced to schlep across the Grinding Ice. That story. I've gotten five hundred words out of it. It's possible that I might finish it before the end of the year! The chapter, I mean. I have no hope to finish the story this year.
Anyway, this year's total word count is OVER 9000! (sorry, couldn't resist) spread over three fandoms and so on. If any of you guess what story is mine, you will have the warm knowledge that you are a pretty good, but by no means a very good guesser. I hope you can live with that.
My writer managed to squeak by yesterday, to my delight. I shook my present and thought I knew what it was, but today, I'm having second thoughts! Either possibility is delightful. I'm looking forward to the collection opening. (So, so much.)
The Charioteer has eight stories in the main collection, plus one in Madness. Isn't that wild?
I'm sure you can do more than sail in a random direction until you die, but so far none of the islands I've landed on have been able to give me much in the way of useful items. I did find one island where I could replenish my provisions (in the form of fungus) but wasn't anywhere near it when we ran out of food and had to resort to cannibalism. I'm starting to realize that loading up on EVERYTHING at any point you can get it is probably the only way to survive. Not unlike a real 19th-century ocean voyage, I guess ...
(One thing I will say for this game, especially with the Rogue-style "one death is all you get" gameplay, it ABSOLUTELY impresses upon you the claustrophobic terror of being stranded on the endless dark sea, with no land in sight and every chance you won't make it home again ...)