[hxx] [story] Squirrel-Fishing

Jun. 22nd, 2017 08:29 pm
yhlee: fox with nine tails with eyes (hxx emblem Shuos)
[personal profile] yhlee
For A.B.
Prompt: "Shuos pranks."

with apologies to the black squirrels of Stanford University campus

Jedao and Ruo had set up shop at the edge of one of the campus gardens, the one with the carp pond and the carefully maintained trees. Rumor had it that some of the carp were, in addition to being over a hundred years old, outfitted with surveillance gear. Like most Shuos cadets, Jedao and Ruo would, if questioned, laugh off the rumors while secretly believing in them wholeheartedly--at least the bit about surveillance gear. Jedao had argued that the best place to hide what they were doing was in plain sight. After all, who would be so daft as to run a prank right next to surveillance?

"Lovely day, isn't it?" Ruo said brightly.

Jedao winced. "Not so loud," he said. His head was still pounding after last night's excesses, and the sunlight wasn't helping. Why did he keep letting Ruo talk him into things? It wasn't just that Ruo was really good in bed. He had this way of making incredibly risky things sound fun. Going out drinking? In itself, not that bad. Playing a drinking game with unlabeled bottles of possibly-alcohol-possibly-something-else stolen from Security's hoard of contraband? Risky. Some of those hallucinations had been to die for, though, especially when he started seeing giant robots in the shape of geese.

Fortunately, this latest idea wasn't that risky. Probably. Besides, of the many things that the other cadets had accused Jedao of, low risk tolerance wasn't one of them.

"Not my fault you can't hold your drink," Ruo said, even more brightly.

"I'm going to get you one of these days," Jedao muttered.

Ruo's grin flashed in his dark brown face. "More like you'll lose the latest bet and--" He started describing what he'd do to Jedao in ear-burning detail.

At last one of the other first-years, puzzled by what Jedao and Ruo were doing by the carp pond with a pair of fishing poles, approached. Jedao recognized them: Meurran, who was good at fixing guns despite their terrible aim, and who had a glorious head of wildly curling hair. "Security's not going to approve of you poaching the carp," Meurran said.

"Oh, this isn't for the carp," Ruo said. He flicked his fishing pole, and the line with its enticing nut snaked out toward one of the trees.

Meurran gave Ruo a funny look. "Ruo," they said, "the fish are in the opposite direction."

"Please," Jedao said, "who cares about the fish? No one has anything to fear from the fish. That's just nonsense."

"All right," Meurran said, sounding distinctly unimpressed, "then what?"

Come on, Jedao thought, the nut is right there...

As if on cue, a black squirrel darted down from the tree, then made for the nut.

Ruo tugged the nut just out of reach.

The black squirrel looked around, then headed for the nut again.

"Oh, isn't that adorable?" Meurran said.

"Don't be fooled!" Ruo said as he guided the squirrel in a figure-eight through the grass. "Why would the commandant be so stupid as to rely on carp, which can't even leave their pond?"

Meurran glanced involuntarily at the pond, where two enormous carp were lazily circling near the surface, as if the carp, in fact, had a habit of oozing out onto the land and spying on lazy cadets. "You're saying the squirrels--?"

Ruo continued to cause the squirrel to chase after the nut. "It makes sense, doesn't it? Everyone thinks the black squirrels are the cutest. They're even featured in the recruitment literature. Damnably clever piece of social engineering if you ask me."

Meurran was starting to look persuaded in spite of themselves.

Meanwhile, as Ruo made his case, Jedao leaned back and studied the squirrel with a frown. The local population of black squirrels was mostly tame to begin with and had proven to be easy to train with the aid of treats. (Ruo had made Jedao do most of this, "because you're the farm boy.") But while Ruo and Meurran argued about squirrel population dynamics, Jedao caught a slight flash from behind the squirrel's eyes--almost like that of a camera?

He opened his mouth to interrupt.

The squirrel made an odd convulsing motion, and the light flashed again, this time directly into Jedao's eyes.

Jedao closed his mouth, and kept his thoughts to himself.

fountain pens!

Jun. 22nd, 2017 03:38 pm
yhlee: wax seal (hxx Deuce of Gears)
[personal profile] yhlee
I did an essay for Tor.com, The Beauty of Physical Writing, on fountain pens! There's a photo of some of my fountain pens over there.

From left to right, for the curious: Waterman 52V, Webster Four-Star, Scriptorium Pens Master Scrivener in Red Stardust, Conway Stewart Churchill in Red Stardust, Aurora 75th Anniversary, Nakaya Naka-ai in aka-tamenuri, Wahl-Eversharp Doric in Kashmir with #3 adjustable nib, and Pilot Vanishing Point Twilight.

Meanwhile, I swear I am writing flash fic right now. This caffeine is taking an unholy amount of time to kick in...

Senate Healthcare Bill

Jun. 22nd, 2017 03:25 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Senate Republicans have finally released what appears to be the draft text of H.R. 1628, the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.”

It’s 142 pages, and to be honest, I’m having a hard time deciphering it all. (Not a lawyer or a legislator.) But here are some things that stood out at me…

Elimination of the individual and employer mandate. (Pages 10-11)

Tax repeals on medications, health insurance, health savings accounts, etc. (Pages 25-29)

This includes the “Repeal of Tanning Tax” on page 29.

The continuing attack on abortion rights.

“Disallowance of small employer health insurance credit for plan which includes coverage for abortion.” (Pages 8-9)

“No Federal funds provided from a program referred to in this subsection that is considered direct spending for any year may be made available to a State for payments to a prohibited entity,” which is then defined as an entity providing abortion services except in cases of rape, incest, or when the woman’s life is in danger. (Page 35)

#

According to a USA Today analysis, this bill would:

  • Reduce or eliminate most subsidies for individuals and families
  • “Eliminate the ACA’s requirement that insurers can’t charge older customers more than three times what younger customers pay for the same coverage. Instead, those in their 60s could be charged five times as much, or more.”
  • Eliminate penalties to large employers who choose not to offer health insurance. (Elimination of the employer mandate.)
  • Make it easier to drop coverage for things like maternity care and mental health issues.

CNN points out that the bill would also:

  • Defund Planned Parenthood for a year.
  • Require coverage of preexisting conditions. However, it also lets states “waive the federal mandate on what insurers must cover… This would allow insurers to offer less comprehensive policies, so those with pre-existing conditions may not have all of their treatments covered.”

A PBS article says the bill would:

  • Cap and reduce Medicaid funding, and allow states to add a work requirement for “able-bodied” recipients of Medicaid.
  • Provide $2 billion to help states fight opioid addiction

Fox News, unsurprisingly, focused on what they saw as positive in the proposed bill:

  • It preserves health care for people with preexisting conditions (with the potential exceptions noted in the CNN bullets, above), and allows children to stay on their parents’ insurance plan through age 26.
  • It expands health care savings accounts.
  • It provides a short-term stabilization fund to help struggling insurance markets.

The Congressional Budget Office is expected to release their report on the senate bill next week. The CBO estimated that the House-passed bill would result in 26 million fewer insured Americans by 2026, and would cut the budget by $119 billion over the same time. (Source)

#

Nothing here is particularly shocking. I’m glad I and my family can’t be kicked off our insurance for our various preexisting conditions…though some of those conditions might no longer be covered, which sucks. It would hurt the poor, the elderly, women, and the mentally ill, among others. None of my readers will be shocked to hear that I think this is another step backward. The ACA was far from perfect — it’s like a patient with a broken leg, but instead of trying to fix the broken leg, we’ll just throw them through a woodchipper, because hey, it’s cheaper!

It looks like this may be a tight vote, which would make this an excellent time to call your Senator.

Please keep any comments civil. I’m angry about this too, but I don’t have the time or the spoons to moderate fights and nastiness today. (Which probably means I shouldn’t have posted this in the first place, but I never claimed to be that bright…)

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

These things are completely unrelated

Jun. 22nd, 2017 07:30 pm
[personal profile] karinfromnosund
I just ate way too much ice-cream. It is actually possible.

Tomorrow is archery at the medieval fair in Kälen. I still don't have a costume, but I have had my sewing machine repaired, so perhaps next year. (I assure you, it's a medieval sewing machine)

I have a terrible cough. It's showing signs of last stage, but that still usually lasts a couple of weeks.

Thursday floral report

Jun. 22nd, 2017 11:29 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Rhododendrons dropping flowers, those full fairy-skirt blossoms that want to be strung into a lei or other garland. Lupines building seed pods at the bottom of their spikes. My itchy eyes say that the grass is also blooming . . .

Yesterday's yearling raccoon remains. I'd expected it to vanish -- perfect take-out dinner for a coyote or fox.

Breezy, pleasant temperature, got out on the bike. Did not die.

15.25 miles, 1:15:33

What's in it for me?

Jun. 22nd, 2017 07:58 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Air temperature 56 F, clear, wind WSW at about 5 mph for the newspaper walk. Tomorrow's forecast leads me to think I should get a bike ride in today.

Loose Id sale

Jun. 22nd, 2017 07:31 am
julesjones: (Default)
[personal profile] julesjones
A quick note to say that Loose Id have temporarily dropped the prices on many "first of series" books, including mine. This is currently guaranteed to apply only to books purchased directly through Loose Id, although they were working on getting the reductions onto the big third party sites like Amazon. You can also get two of my short stories for free from the Loose Id site. My catalogue page is here: http://www.loose-id.com/authors/erotic-romance-authors-g-k.html?cat=76

Lorem error

Jun. 22nd, 2017 06:13 pm
soon_lee: Image of yeast (Saccharomyces) cells (Default)
[personal profile] soon_lee
I have to say that this is the least informative error message.
Lorem_error

(Haven't posted for a while. Lots of life getting in the way, but I hope to be more regular.)

an IMPORTANT question

Jun. 21st, 2017 04:04 pm
yhlee: rose in a hexagon (hxx emblem Andan)
[personal profile] yhlee
Poll #18516 trying to cheer myself up from rain/flood watch/tornado watch/tropical storm
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 33


If I were to attempt CHEESECAKE [0] pinup art of a hexarchate character for lulz, it should be

View Answers

Nirai Kujen
16 (48.5%)

Shuos Jedao
16 (48.5%)

Kel Cheris [1]
6 (18.2%)

Andan Tseya
3 (9.1%)

Shuos Khiaz
1 (3.0%)

someone else I will name in comments
1 (3.0%)

ticky the EXTREMELY DISAPPROVING tocky
2 (6.1%)



[0] May or may not feature CHEESY partial nudity.

[1] The incomparable [personal profile] telophase once did me a sketch of blonde, busty Cheris with her space ferret because I kept joking that I would get a cover featuring blonde, busty Cheris with her space ferret. (Hexarchate AU...?!)

(In real life, I'm working on an art assignment...ahahahahaha.)

(Dear Louisiana: PLEASE STOP RAINING. At least it isn't downpouring enough that I feel that I have to pack for emergency evacuation, it's just raining drearily, but...)
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
The only way I could work out to fix the formatting issues (where point size varied for no reason and underlining got tossed in at random) was to remove all formatting in the original document and reinsert links by hand.

Marvel at the new list!

Read more... )

Facing reality

Jun. 21st, 2017 12:08 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Various attempts to shore up my dwindling income have failed to achieve their necessary goals so as of the 28th, I don't have a house. Friends and family are helping with the accommodations and moving my stuff into storage. I don't think I am quite up to doing five reviews a week and packing my household so review frequency may drop a bit for the next week or so.

Fig and Ibid will likely have to be re-homed.

Wednesday roadkill report

Jun. 21st, 2017 11:36 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

One yearling raccoon up near the golf course, several gray squirrels here and there. I've seen dead raccoons about the same size in that area, several years. Think there's a raccoon mama that doesn't raise her young-uns right.

Peonies blooming, water parsnip, more orange hawkweed and wild roses. Black locusts dropping their flowers in snowdrifts.

Got out on the bike, did not die. More wind than I'd prefer.

15.25 miles, 1:15:16

Happy solstice of your choice

Jun. 21st, 2017 08:05 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Air temperature 60 F, mostly cloudy, wind south about 10 mph for the newspaper walk. Will attempt bike ride after a bit of drying off.

News and such...

Jun. 20th, 2017 09:42 pm
catherineldf: (Default)
[personal profile] catherineldf
Silver Moon: A Wolves of Wolf's Point Novel, is back in print! As noted previously, there are some changes from the original edition: new cover, new subtitle, character name change, the new version is longer and so forth. The story has not been changed nor have the main characters. It's available in all ebook formats. In print, it's available from
Indie bookstores and libraries can order it through Ingram. I'm working toward selling it directly via the Queen of Swords Press website, but we're not there yet.

Speaking of Queen of Swords Press, I just got an acceptance from the Twin Cities Book Festival for October so be sure and look for us there. I'll also have print copies of Silver Moon and Out of This World next week (6/27) at the Queer Voice Pride Month Reading and Book Fair at the Minneapolis Central Library.


Our Pride Month StoryBundle is still chugging along and we've raised nearly $1000 for Rainbow Railroad so far! 9 more days to go.

Other than this, life is a bit of mixed bag. Mystery Foot Pain turns out to be arthritis, which is very annoying. I'm nursing things along but will have to skip going to Pride because I need to get everything settled down before Helsinki, etc. The current round of house projects have wrapped up so now we're on to planning the next ones. I have some fabulous friends, and there we have it. Off to bed now in hopes of getting a decent night's sleep/

(no subject)

Jun. 20th, 2017 10:02 pm
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley
Stars after rainstorm.

Whoot!

Jun. 20th, 2017 06:06 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Another UWTC season is nearly over and once again I am permitted to leave my dress shoes in their bag in coat check.

Rumblethumpboom

Jun. 20th, 2017 03:28 pm
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley
First storm passed with torrential downpour, second added fireworks.  Mourning doves cooing now.

Profile

zeborah: Map of New Zealand with a zebra salient (Default)
zeborah

June 2017

S M T W T F S
    123
456789 10
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930 

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jun. 23rd, 2017 03:32 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios