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Sep. 30th, 2016 11:36 pm
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[personal profile] dustbunny105
(Image: A personalized bingo card, several squares marked. The center row is completed)

Man, here I said I'd be posting more and then I didn't come back for a week. In my defense, Hal has been having bluescreen issues which make posting-- or even using him, honestly-- incredibly annoying. Just the same, here's me resolving to be around more coming up. But, more immediately importantly, here's me happy with my latest bingo :D

Do a Craft: Scraping by on this one, I admit. I finally sat down to my Magikarp bag again, this time with a more open mind. I realized that where I went wrong last time I tried basically amounted to thinking I knew things it turned out I didn't. Like, for example, how to read my pattern. And also the two major stitches involved in said pattern. Once I broke down and looked stuff up-- as I should've from the beginning, honestly-- things went much more smoothly. I've got the body completed and will soon be working on the details that, y'know, make it a Magikarp. I decided to mark this square because, while I don't quite deserve the Make a Magikarp Bag square yet, I do think it's fair to get a point for getting to where I am.

Learn Three New Stitches: I feel like I probably had embellishments in mind when I originally conceived this square, but that ended up only being a third of what I did to mark it. I'd have to check my instructions for the proper name, but I learned to crochet a cute little flower embellishment. The other stitches I learned are the-- honestly very basic-- single crochet and half double crochet. I also relearned the magic circle, which is also cool!

Work on Big Thing: I didn't get much done here, tbh, and certainly nothing presentable. But I did untangle a snarl that had been vexing me, so I'm pleased.

So, yeah, that's it for the month! There are a number of squares I'm disappointed to have missed, of course-- chiefly, the Draw Otters Each Week square. I shot myself in the foot with that one, moving all my stuff around and throwing off my sense of time passage with vacation. Fingers crossed for next month. I'll be rethinking 100 Words Every Three Days, as I really wanted that one but the time frame ended up messing with me somehow, haha. I also thought I had a square for daily Spanish practice, which I actually honored, but apparently not... Nonetheless, I'm happy with what I got done :)

(no subject)

Sep. 30th, 2016 10:25 pm
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[personal profile] meganbmoore
I might have unintentionally traumatized two 60+year old conservative Republican Texas men tonight. (Said men being my father and uncle.)

My uncle is in town and my parents and I went with him to a local steakhouse that he likes. It was recently remodelled, and he and I both had to go to the restroom (at different times) while we were waiting for our food. I knew the restrooms had been moved just not where, but he hadn't realized that. While he was talking about looking for the restroom and not knowing they had moved, I mentioned that I knew they had been moved when I got there because the dining room we were in was where the women's restroom used to be, and the stained glass window behind us was in the old doorframe.

My father and uncle both went completely white and then quickly started talking about 40-year-old homecoming games. (I should mention that the renovations were done over a year ago, so the room has been scrubbed clean of girl cooties many times over, and hundreds of people perfectly aware of where the restrooms used to be have eaten there since.

Ugly Ghost Squad #24 recap

Sep. 30th, 2016 10:59 pm
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[personal profile] jkcarrier
Ugly Ghost Squad #24
"The Scales of Injustice"
Played 9/24/2016
Read more... )
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[personal profile] rfmcdonald
At Demography Matters, I have a brief post linking to two articles on Canadian demographics, one noting that Canada has breached the 36 million mark and the other observing that trends including the relative decline of the working-age population means slow economic growth for the foreseeable future.
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[personal profile] rfmcdonald
At Daily Xtra, Kevin Dale McKeown writes about his neighbourhood can change at a blink of an eye. People and places can disappear almost without taking note.

As I pass Granville Street on my way east along Robson, I cannot walk by the India Gate restaurant without hearing the music of the ’70s spilling out from the 616 Club and imagining dropping in and letting Big Bird pour me a stiff gin and ginger.

Across the street at Robson and Seymour there’s a shiny steel and glass Roger’s Wireless outlet. I recently went in and asked the young staff what they’d think if a flash mob of senior citizens suddenly arrived with a boom box, and started wobbling about to Jim Croce’s “Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown” or lip-synching to Shirley Bassey’s “This Is My Life!”.

Just as they were exchanging concerned glances and wondering whether to call security, I explained that we were on the dance floor of what was once Faces, the hottest gay disco in town. I paced out the location of the bar and they were suitably amused when I did a little disco move to demonstrate where the mini-stage had been when Gary Gilbertson was our first go-go-boy. They laughed, and I felt surrounded by ghosts.

There are few places in downtown Vancouver or the West End where I don’t have moments like that. At Davie and Seymour I see the drag queens hurrying out of Champagne Charlie’s to cab down to BJ’s on Pender Street for their next show.

Further down Davie Street, I walk with the long-gone girls on their way to the Davie stroll and Tranny Alley to pick up the latest street-level gossip. I have moments when I almost expect to run into young Jamie Lee Hamilton loitering outside the White Lunch.

(no subject)

Sep. 30th, 2016 07:24 pm
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[personal profile] hera
I am in so much pain I can barely breathe. my bad! I should've taken ibuprofen at lunch (I didn't) and I should've taken it when I got off work, before I had to walk (I didn't), and I shouldn't have re-arranged all of the boxes to make it easier for the supervisors, because I knew it was going to set this off.

but I did! and I refuse to say I'm an idiot, because this isnt' fair and I shouldn't have to do this? but I was negligent in not taking fucking painkillers, and now I am dealing with the consequences by being curled up in bed instead of out doing something. a n y t h i n g.

I get so incredibly pleased with myself for being an adult and then I just completely fuck up like this. over something I should know better. Does it really matter if I'm good with money if I can't even make my own fucking body work?

(I am just in pain and weepy right now. I ate, and I will feel etter once the ibuprofen kicks in, but this hurts and this isn't fair. I am trying to fix this and I am doing what I can to make this work and I am taking everyone's advice and I still end up feeling like I'm going to legitimately fucking die because I forgot to take painkillers. and every single doctor is just like "well, we don't know! have you considered maybe this is just the way your body works?")


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[personal profile] rfmcdonald
The Globe and Mail carries Jordan Press's Canadian Press article looking at a new initiative by Canadian mayors to get federal funding for affordable housing.

The mayors of Canada’s largest cities are making a billion-dollar push for federal housing money just as the Liberals are set to finalize a national strategy, and the minister responsible is trying to manage expectations.

The mayors want the federal Liberals to set aside $12.6 billion during the next decade to help build new affordable housing units and alleviate a growing need in places like Toronto and Vancouver.

The lion’s share, about $7.7 billion, would go to repairing and maintaining existing units nationwide. A further $4.2 billion would go to building up to 10,000 new affordable housing units annually across the country. There is also approximately $700 million for a portable rental subsidy that wouldn’t be tied to a unit, but to a recipient.

It’s a major ask of the federal government as it works to finalize the second phase of its infrastructure program and allocate $17.7 billion for affordable housing, seniors homes, recreational facilities and child care — with each of those sectors competing for the cash.

“The highest need for most of us would be housing, and it’s not to say there aren’t pressing needs for seniors’ infrastructure, for culture and recreation infrastructure, and for child care space infrastructure, but without adequate, safe and decent dignified housing for families, those other services are less relevant,” said Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson, chairman of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities big city mayors’ caucus.
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[personal profile] rfmcdonald
Metro's May Warren reports on Vancouver's measures to limit Airbnb's impact on the market for renters. What is Toronto doing, the article goes on to ask?

Vancouver’s quest to regulate sites like Airbnb could serve as a blueprint for Toronto as the city grapples with the effects of short-term rentals on the housing market, experts say.

The west coast city is proposing bylaws that would ban so-called ghost hotels -- short-term rentals that people aren’t living in -- and require business licences for anyone using Airbnb.

Vacancy rates in Vancouver are at historic lows, and the move is an attempt to bring 1,000 rental units back onto the market, Mayor Gregor Robertson told reporters Wednesday.

Thorben Wieditz, a researcher with Unite Here Local 75, which represents hospitality workers, applauded Vancouver’s proposal as a “great first step.”

Combined with their new vacancy tax, Wieditz, said Vancouver is “leading the charge” on making sure that rental units are not taken off the market for short-term stays.
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[personal profile] rfmcdonald
The Globe and Mail's Jeff Gray reports on the proposal to radically redevelop the Galleria Mall, my neighbourhood's centre at Dupont and Dufferin.

An ambitious plan to demolish Toronto’s dated west-end Galleria Shopping Centre and replace it with a sleek mix of condos, shops, office space, a new community centre and a large park is expected to get a rough ride as it includes a cluster of towers, one as high as 42 storeys, more than twice the height now allowed on the site.

“I think it is completely out of context and the character of the neighbourhood,” Ana Bailao, the local city councillor, said of the proposal from a joint venture of ELAD Canada and Freed Developments, which were to file a master plan with the city on Friday.

Ms. Bailao said the towers could create shadow impacts, and she has concerns about traffic and the strain on public transit that the dense development could create.

Still, she said there were many good things in the plan to rip up and redesign the site near Dupont and Dufferin Streets, a rapidly gentrifying area traditionally home to the city’s Portuguese community.

Ms. Bailao praised the developers for launching community consultations over the past year and incorporating that input into their designs, which include a fully funded and expanded community centre to replace the aging existing one.
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[personal profile] rfmcdonald
The Toronto Star's Alina Bykova and Emma McIntosh report on Bay Street's problem with falling glass.

Glass fell from the Sick Kids Centre for Research and Learning for the second day in a row on Thursday morning.

Bay St. was closed between Elm St. and Walton St. around 5:30 a.m. when the glass fell from a window on the fifth floor of the building.

Cpt. David Eckerman from Toronto Fire Services said that it fell from about 50 feet up.

The road was closed for nearly two hours, causing traffic and TTC routes to divert as police investigated and cleaned up the scene.

Falling glass is a frequent issue in the downtown core.

It was the subject of two $20-million class-action lawsuits in 2012, when shattered glass incidents prompted developers at Murano Towers on Grosvenor St. and Festival Tower on John St. to seal residents’ balconies.
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[personal profile] rfmcdonald
The Toronto Star's Jennifer Pagliaro reports on the interesting legal uncertainties surrounding the proposed Rail Deck Park.

A group of developers is laying claim to the rights over a large stretch of the rail corridor downtown, complicating the city’s intention to build a 21-acre park in that space.

Mayor John Tory last month announced the proposal to build a rail-deck park between Bathurst St. and Blue Jays Way — which city staff now say could cost more than $1 billion. The mayor’s executive committee voted last week to move ahead with that plan, which Tory has backed as a legacy project.

The city, Tory and local Councillor Joe Cressy have said that preliminary talks over the sale of the air rights over the active rail lands with two rail companies, who say they own most of those relevant rights, have been “positive.”

But Matthew Castelli, a GTA developer behind Senator Homes and the Kingsman Group, says those air rights have already been sold to a consortium of developers that includes the Craft Development Corporation, based in Etobicoke.

“I can’t really talk about anything at all. The only thing I can confirm is I’m part of a consortium that do own the air rights over the rail lands,” Castelli told the Star on Friday.
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[personal profile] rfmcdonald
Torontoist's Emily Macrae reports on what lessons, positive and negative, Toronto can take from Seoul's bringing a buried waterway to the surface.

Today, the Cheonggyecheon stream flows through almost 11 kilometres of downtown Seoul, but it spent much of the last century covered in concrete. As the city grew, the stream became increasingly polluted, until it was paved over in 1958.

When an expressway was built along the stream’s course in 1971, it seemed like local politicians had literally prioritized the circulation of vehicles over the water cycle.

However, between 2003 and 2005, the city invested $900 million (U.S.) to restore the stream and remove the elevated highway. Today, water once again winds through the downtown while the source is anchored by a large public plaza.

[. . .]

From an environmental perspective, the stream is only a partial victory. As activist and academic Eunseon Park explains, the stream bed is made of concrete, which limits integration with surrounding ecosystems and contributes to an expensive algae problem.

Socially, the project lacked public consultation and was instead pushed through by the mayor, intent on cementing his legacy before entering national politics.
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[personal profile] rfmcdonald
Torontoist's Catherine McIntyre reports on how Toronto and Region Conservation Authority is encouraging Torontonians to cultivate some of their own food. This is an amusing idea, but--speaking as someone who has his own pots--I doubt the contribution to overall food security in Toronto will plausibly be that significant.

A 30-minute drive from his home near High Park, Carl Leslie’s peppers are turning a deep, vibrant red. “Sweet bell pepper success!” he proclaims in a photo caption to his social media followers. “First time ever. A testament to a hot, hot summer.”

Leslie’s harvest—of peppers, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, watermelon, squash, and some 30-odd other fruits and vegetables—is also testament to the success of Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA) near-urban agriculture projects that now span the GTA.

Since 2008, the TRCA has been partnering with agricultural organizations and private farmers to develop farm enterprises closer to the city. These farm initiatives offer farmers like Leslie, who live in or near urban centres, access to land, equipment, and mentorship needed to run a startup or family farm.

Leslie runs his half-acre plot on McVean farm, a 45-acre chunk of TRCA land in Brampton within Claireville Conservation Area. McVean, one of the TRCA’s four near-urban farms, is managed by Farm Start, which leases the land from the TRCA and rents out small plots to farmers. For some land-users, McVean is a pilot program—somewhere to dabble in farming before deciding whether to scale up and buy their own land. For some, it’s a place to grow food for their families and communities without moving out of the city. And for others, it’s simply a way to feel connected to the land.
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[personal profile] rpowell

Below are images from Disney's "THE THREE MUSKETEERS", Disney's 1993 adaptation of Alexandre Dumas père's 1844 novel. Directed by Stephen Herek, the movie starred Chris O'Donnell, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlie Sheen and Oliver Platt.Read more... )

Sayers: The Nine Tailors

Sep. 30th, 2016 01:18 pm
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[personal profile] starlady
I said when I started reading the Wimsey books that I was reading them explicitly by way of an obituary for the United Kingdom, for whatever it will be post Brexit is not what it was before, which admittedly has probably put a different spin on these books than many people bring to them, but which for me highlights the fact that Sayers is, by the era of MMA and T9T, cropping the action of the books very carefully, in a way that can't help but draw attention to what's going on outside the frame. I imagine her readers didn't need to be reminded, and frankly as a historian and a person with a heart and a brain in 2016 I don't need a reminder either. But by T9T, even for a book that is isolated and insular, things far outside England are shown to be on everyone's minds: Mussolini and the Showa Emperor are name-checked explicitly, and the much-maligned League of Nations is the subject of a running joke between Wimsey and the nameless sluice-gate keeper.

No more water, but fire next time )
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[personal profile] skull_bearer
via http://ift.tt/2cHpJHX:


Donald Trump, a man who has never been elected to any public office, just tried to describe the Presidency to Hillary Clinton, the most over qualified candidate in the history of our country.

Gifs: NBC News

This goes into more detail as to why Clinton brought this up. It’s really ugly.
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[personal profile] alex_beecroft

It’s the nature of the writing beast that no matter what kind of writing you specialise in, someone will tell you that you’re doing it wrong. In the m/m genre they will also find numerous ways of telling you that you are doing it immorally. Either you’re being homophobic by exploiting gay men’s lives for the sake of straight women, or you’re being misogynistic by writing women out of your fictional worlds entirely. Or both at once.

Now I’m not sure how a genre can be simultaneously wrong by catering to women’s needs while also being wrong by being bad for women, but as is so often the way, there may be some truth in both things. So what can be done to minimise the problem? Well, we do what we can to make sure gay people enjoy our writing as much as straight women, and we make sure we have more interesting female characters, so women are well represented in our fiction.

Clearly the main problem in getting female characters into your m/m fiction comes from the fact that both of your main characters are men. Your viewpoints will be overwhelmingly male because your romantic couple are both male. And there’s nothing you can do about that without completely changing the genre to m/f, which rather defeats the object.

So if the nature of m/m means that both your main characters are male, what can you do to increase the presence of interesting female characters?

We could start off with the evil ex. Does main character A have a wife or girlfriend? She doesn’t have to be an evil bitch – after all, it’s no more fun for a woman to be married to a gay man than it is for a gay man to be married to a woman. So any breakup is likely to be both their responsibility. Maybe they separated amicably and are now working at being friends while raising their children together (or apart)? Or maybe she is an antagonist, but for perfectly good reasons, which can be addressed during the plot without blaming her for being some kind of monster.

Maybe the main characters both have evil exes, and they are genuinely moustache-twirling (what’s the female equivalent? Dog-fur-wearing?) villainess exes with plans to rule the world. Everyone loves a magnificent villain. As long as you have a woman or two on the side of the angels too, a genuinely, gloatingly, over the top villainess can be great fun.


We could also mention mothers. It’s a fair guarantee that every character will have a mother, and she doesn’t need to be dead or out of the picture. She could just as easily be funny and capable, or doing a glamourous or interesting job. She could be interfering, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

Many people have sisters, and your main characters may be among them. Perhaps they have gone into business with their sister, or their sister has a problem they can help with, or their sister has a brilliant idea about what they can do to solve whatever their big plot problem is.

Maybe one or both of your main characters have female bosses? Maybe their bosses are rivals, and that’s how they get together – snooping around each others’ businesses in a series of acts of industrial espionage, and they can’t get together without talking the bosses into a merger instead of a hostile takeover. As long as neither boss is represented as an evil bitch, this could be a great chance to develop two strong female characters with a large degree of power and influence on the plot, who are still neither of them involved in the main relationship.

Along the ‘bosses’ line, your characters might also have female servants, whose below-stairs goings on affect their plotline. No reason why these shouldn’t be fully rounded characters too.

Your characters may work in a team and have female team-mates, whether this is one of a group of paranormal werewolves or werewolf slayers, or floor layers or architects or whatever.

If we’re talking a fantasy setting, ask yourself if your king really needs to be a king? Could she perhaps be a queen instead? If your lead characters are always having to deal with the queen and her (ninja magician) handmaidens, it will make it a great deal harder to end up with a book in which it looks as if you’ve killed off anyone in possession of a cunt.

If you find that, without realising it, you have written a novel in which there are no female characters at all, why not go the Ellen Ripley route, pick one or two of your most important support characters and make them women instead? Generally this makes no real difference to their characteristics or role in the story, and can be easily done. It may even bring some interesting freshness to your novel when the hard drinking, fist fighting, womanising best friend of the hero is a woman herself.


When I finished my first draft of Foxglove Copse, for example, I thought “this is a bit sparse on female characters! What can I do?” So I changed Jory’s tough farmer uncle John who lives out of town with his ‘close friend’ Phil to a tough farmer auntie Jillian and her ‘close friend’ Phillis. Which was a win all around.

Obviously, all of this is slightly more difficult when you are writing in an all male environment, such as in a historical – aboard a warship, inside a gentleman’s club etc. But usually even in those situations there were women invisibly doing their stuff, whom you can choose to make visible. Servants at the club, wives travelling alongside their menfolk in the warship, a doctor’s daughter serving as loblolly boy rather than being left destitute at home. Look closer at almost any situation and there will be women there, any one of whom might get involved with the plot. And yes, perhaps all she can do is be the washerwoman who scorched the MC’s breeches because he was rude to her, but even that shows there are women in this universe who have their own personalities and are not to be trifled with.

Even the small things can make a difference; the barmaid who offers the hero directions to the castle and grins behind her hand as he goes, the landlady who gets the bloodstains out of the cuffs with a suspicious look, the interior decorator who gets mistaken for a stalker when she tries to break in to replace that lamp…

In short, just because your main characters are both men doesn’t mean you can’t fill your world with interesting women. If you put effort into making your men believable, complex and non stereotypical so as to avoid the danger of offending your gay readers, why not also put effort into including believable, complex, non stereotypical female characters too, so as to avoid the danger of offending your female readers? You might even find you start liking them yourself.



Mirrored from Alex Beecroft - Author of Gay Historical and Fantasy Fiction.


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Scans Daily


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