Tuesday floral report

May. 23rd, 2017 03:40 pm
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Rhodora blooming, chokecherries, and honeysuckle. Actual visible needles on the tamaracks. Also the tent caterpillars are blooming. They love cherry blossoms. Or cherry leaves . . .

One each squashed red squirrel and gray squirrel, plus some warbler-sized bird with an olive back. That is not particularly distinctive.

World warmed up, dried off, I got out on the bike. Did not die.

15.28 miles, 1:15:02

Skiffy and Fanty Signal Boost Podcast

May. 23rd, 2017 11:50 am
hrj: (Default)
[personal profile] hrj

The SFF podcast Skiffy and Fanty interviewed me for their "Signal Boost" series and the show is now live. Check it out! I talk about the Alpennia series as well as the Lesbian Historic Motif Project. This is a really fun podcast show and you should consider subscribing to it.

Lamp

May. 23rd, 2017 07:26 pm
[personal profile] karinfromnosund
Today Loffe took off the lamp and hid it.

He actually did that. I have no idea where it is.

I may have to find it, because the wound is still open, and he scratches at it.
annathepiper: (Little Help?)
[personal profile] annathepiper

Any of you who have followed me on a regular basis know that my household are longstanding fans of Folklife, the big four-day music festival that happens every year at the Seattle Center over Memorial Day weekend. This year’s is imminent, and as always, Dara, Paul, and I are looking forward to spending time there.

But I noted with dismay this morning that the Seattle Times has an article up saying that unless they get more donations at the gate this year, next year’s festival is in danger of being canceled. 🙁

According to that article, Folklife usually only gets donations from about 17 percent of attendees at the gate, and they take in around $190,000. They really need to bump that number up to $350,000 in order to afford next year.

So if you’re in the area, you love Folklife and what it brings to our local culture, and you’re planning to go this weekend, please please please donate anything you can spare at the gate. They need your help. Also, if you’re not going to be able to hit the festival but you still want to help out, you can donate to them directly on their website.

Please spread the word to other area locals! And if you’re going to be at the festival, hey, look for Dara and Paul and me, and say hi if you see us!

Mirrored from angelahighland.com.

hrj: (Default)
[personal profile] hrj

I pulled the titles to include in this blog series from a variety of sources: SFF lists, lesfic lists, LGBTQ lists. I don't exactly remember where I turned up Cristina Sánchez-Andrade's The Winterlings. From the blurb, it could have been any of several. The description sounds as if it's being pitched as a "literary novel" (in the genre sense) but I most likely found it recommended in an SFF context.

Galicia, Spain’s northwest region, in the 1950s. After a childhood in exile, two sisters return to their grandfather’s cottage for the first time since his shocking murder during the civil war. “The Winterlings” try to keep their dark secrets buried and carve out a peaceful existence in Tierra de Chá, an idyllic village host to a cast of grotesque but charming characters: a powerful psychic, a madman who believes he is a bus, a woman who refuses to die and the obese priest who heaves up a steep hill each day to give her last rites, a cross-dressing dentist who plants the teeth of the deceased in his patients’ mouths. Tension mounts when the sisters, once united by their passion for Hollywood cinema, compete for the chance to stand in for Ava Gardner in the nearby filming of Pandora and the Flying Dutchman. Meanwhile, a mutual suspicion develops between the mysterious sisters and the eccentric villagers: Why have the women returned, and what are they hiding? What perverse business arrangement did the townspeople make with their grandfather, and why won’t they speak of his death? Enchanting as a spell, The Winterlings blends Spanish oral tradition, Latin American magic realism, and the American gothic fiction of Flannery O’Connor and Shirley Jackson into an intoxicating story of romance, violent history, and the mysterious forces that move us.


Sometimes categorization of books can be confusing...or even feel misleading. Readers rarely approach a book without a "reading protocol" (to use Samuel Delany's term). Should The Winterlings be read through a fantasy lens? A magical realist lens? Or simply as a realistic story that may surprise you? The Alpennia novels have a tendency to confound expected reading protocols, whether the reader expects a romance novel, a lesfic novel, a swashbuckling fantasy, or a tale of magic. Mother of Souls breaks even the tenuous expectation of a romance plot that the previous books offered. If I could advise readers, I'd beg them to read Alpennia simply as stories of complex human beings, seeking purpose, connection, and community. If you find love, magic, and adventure, consider it a bonus.

The Great November Book Release Re-Boot is a blog series talking about November 2016 releases that may have been overshadowed by unfortunate political events.

(no subject)

May. 23rd, 2017 09:09 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley
Hello darkness my old friend . . .

Another gray morning

May. 23rd, 2017 08:20 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Air temperature 47 F, overcast, wind coming around to the WNW at about 5 mph. Light rain last night, but I was able to walk for the newspaper this morning.

Deeds to do and promises to keep. Maybe bike ride afternoon. If the sun ever shines.

Manchester bomb

May. 23rd, 2017 07:34 am
julesjones: (Default)
[personal profile] julesjones
No, I was not in the city centre last night.

miscellanea (brain-dump)

May. 23rd, 2017 03:52 pm
china_shop: Neal, Peter and Elizabeth smiling (Default)
[personal profile] china_shop
하나. I can't remember who recced Helenish's Die Hard fic, Pre-Existing Condition, but kudos for the rec. It was delicious!

둘. Over the weekend I signed up to asianfanfics.com so I could crosspost my three or four Kdrama fics, but I'm too self-conscious to actually do it, and I don't properly understand their tagging system (that new-fangled x thing instead of slashes?), and I feel like it's full of strangers (which is true of AO3 too, of course, but I'm used to that), and what am I even dooooooooing?

New platforms are hard.

셋. Current Kdramas: Goblin (cont.); Witch's Romance (rewatch); Dal Ja's Spring; and for my solo watch, a confusing mix of The K2, My Girl, and Imaginary Cat, all of which I've started, none of which I've got more than an ep and a half into, all of which I intend to watch more of. I'm usually a "one show at a time until I'm done" solo-watcher, so this is kind of throwing me.

넷. Plus I'm trying to catch up with [personal profile] wc_rewatch, having missed a few episodes. (I'm definitely skipping 3.05, but on the fence about whether to give 3.06 and 3.07 another go now that my attitude to Sara has changed. Given I've already recapped the entirety of season 3 in elaborate detail, 3.08 was more fun to revisit than I expected (CLINTON!), but 3.03 was still blah. I much prefer a Neal who at least has an inkling that he can't have the things he repeatedly says he wants unless he rehabilitates himself and STOPS BETRAYING HIS FRIENDS. :-P)

다섯. I'm still using Windows 7 (adapted to look as much like Windows Classic as possible), and in the wake of the recent ransomware and hacking events, the general tone of the internet is "If you're using Win7, how are you still alive?" Since my kneejerk reaction to the free Win10 upgrade last year was a strong Do Not Want, I'm now considering switching to Ubuntu instead.

(Why is it that learning a whole new thing is less irritating than adapting to a new version of an old, very well-known thing? Actually, I know the answer to that: it's the problem of changing ingrained procedural memories.)

Anyway. I'm making a list of Things I Do On My Computer, but if anyone has any Ubuntu advice or suggestions, please please please. Particular areas of uncertainty: a simple alternative to iTunes that lets me load stuff onto iPods; vidding software recs (something similar to Sony Vegas would be fantastic; hey, if it handles new file formats, I might even get back into vidding)...

...and, yeah, here's why I'm hesitating: because I just looked up FileZilla for Linux and it said, Built for Debian 8.0 (Jessie). It is highly recommended to use the package management system of your distribution or to manually compile FileZilla if you are running a different flavour of Linux. Oh god, I have no idea...

Okay, wikipedia says Ubuntu is Debian-based. *breathes again* But still. Is there an Ubuntu-for-Dummies Dreamwidth comm anywhere?

여섯. I'm going ahead with the [community profile] nanodownunder comm, even if it's just a handful of us. Daily check-ins for June. Locked posts, no frills, very little modding (unless someone else wants to take on the social side of modding duties). Pretty much modelled on [livejournal.com profile] picowrimo, which sadly doesn't seem to be running mid-year this year. Who's in? All welcome. Join the comm -- and feel free to spread the word.

We'll kick off 1 June, NZ time. :-)

Ski year summary–2017

May. 22nd, 2017 03:26 pm
jreynoldsward: (Default)
[personal profile] jreynoldsward

For the first time I only skied a few times, over about three weeks, similar to what a lot of people do with their ski vacations. I’m–not thrilled with that amount of limitation. That said, I could have gotten more ski time in, including in NE Oregon, if I had been able to get my feet into my boots sooner in the season. But I couldn’t, so there’s no crying now over spilt milk.

We had five ski days in total in late April and early May. That more than brought the cost of our spring ski passes ($118) down to about half of what a regular pass would cost for me and less for the husband at age 65.

Besides being away from the slopes for two years, the big challenge was that the snow is just plain different in April and May than it is in November/December starting out skiing. Even when there were heavy snowfalls, they were different from the heavy snowfalls earlier in the season…not as dry and cold, for one. And even though we had plenty of cold exposure in NE Oregon over the winter, it wasn’t ski exposure.

I don’t know. There was only one session where I found my flow and rhythm, and skied well. The rest of the time? I struggled more than I like to do. It seemed harder to get back into it than it does at the beginning of the ski season. Maybe it was just the awareness that I only had these few short days or something like that…but whatever it was, it wasn’t working that well. I may have just not been trusting my cranky ankles.

Oh well. Maybe next year.

Mirrored from Peak Amygdala.

james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll




In this fast-playing, low-prep March 2015 Kickstarter triumph, desperate heroes battle strange magic, unhinged cultists, and roaming mobs of undead while humanity's last great empire slides toward oblivion. If you love Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, the Ravenloft and Midnight settings, Joe Abercrombie's The First Law novels, or heavy metal music, get this bargain-priced collection of DRM-free .PDF ebooks and confront the Void That Hungers.

Book log September 2016

May. 22nd, 2017 08:12 pm
julesjones: (Default)
[personal profile] julesjones
I'm busy tidying up the notebooks I use to write on the bus, and came across my book log notes for the books I read in September last year. As it happens, two of these are in the sale at Amazon UK and Kobo at the moment. :-)


Agatha Christie -- Murder on the Orient Express

There isn't really a lot I can say that hasn't already been said by hundreds of reviewers on LibraryThing. It's a classic bottle mystery--a murder and a group of people in an isolated venue, in this case the Orient Express trains stranded in a snowdrift. It's great fun watching Poirot piece together all the red herrings to find that some are clues after all.

Kobo

Amazon UK
Amazon US


Agatha Christie -- The Murder on the Links

Poirot novel set in France, with Poirot butting heads with the local police investigator. Poirot is asked to come urgently by a man in fear of his life. The widow's story does not quite hang together, and yet she is genuinely shocked and distraught by her husband's death. Red herrings abound, and as usual Hastings repeatedly gets hold of the wrong end of the stick--or in this case, the length of lead piping. Enjoyable Poirot fare, although nothing outstanding.

Kobo
Amazon UK
Amazon US


Lindsey Davis -- The Silver Pigs

First of the Falco books, a mystery series set in Ancient Rome during the reign of Vesparius. Marcus Didius Falco is a PI. That's public informer, a role remarkably similar to that of the private investigator in the modern era. And as with the classic gumshoe mystery, Falco has an office/flats at the top of a seedy low rent tenement building.

The novel is as historically accurate as Davis could make it, but human nature hasn't changed much over the last 2000 years. Falco rescues a damsel in distress, and finds himself sucked into a case involving theft and corruption in the silver mines of a backwards colony at the fringe of the Empire.

Excellent mystery, with an appealing lead character and careful world building. I loved this, and will be reading more of the series.

Kobo
Amazon UK
Amazon US

(no subject)

May. 22nd, 2017 01:05 pm
yhlee: Sandman raven with eyeball (Sandman raven (credit: rilina))
[personal profile] yhlee
I owe ten guest blog posts in connection to Raven Stratagem.

So far I have the following ideas:

- Kel military rank structure and culture (why I decided to go with army ranks). (Highly relevant to the plot of RS.)
- Statting out characters for my continuity bible.
- The Shuos, bureaucracy, and that summer job I used to have working for the Cornell Engineering Registrar.
- Ridiculous fuck-ups (uh, except worded more nicely) and how I like using them in fiction, or, why Seth Dickinson and I are antiparticles--cf. Seth's Tweet:
one of my rules for baruworld is that nobody (even extras) can be conveniently bad at their skill. prisons hold, archers shoot straight, etc

By the way, he's not wrong, it's just a different philosophical/aesthetic approach to world/plot. :p
- ?????

Any other ideas?! I have to...come up with...more of these...maybe something on game design and the Shuos?!

too awesome not to share

May. 22nd, 2017 12:49 pm
yhlee: recreational (peaceful) tank (recreational tank)
[personal profile] yhlee
War Aircraft through the Lens of a US Army Training Manual [Ars Technica]. There's a link to the PDF of the training manual, which I have duly downloaded. Don't forget to read the comments--some comedy gold in the anecdotes/quips there. One of my favorites:
bthylafh Ars Tribunus Angusticlavius
MAY 21, 2017 12:15 PM
Voyna i Mor wrote:
JPan wrote:
In the German Heer ( army ) we said that reconnaissance is overrated: If you see an aircraft shoot it down. Nobody likes the Luftwaffe anyway.


Doesn't the US have a similar policy, except that the operating principle of the US Army is broader, i.e., if you're not sure what it is, shoot it?


You can identify an unknown force by firing one shot and judging the response. If the unknowns respond with precise, regimented rifle fire, they are British. If they respond with heavy machine gun fire, they are German. If they hunker down and in fifteen minutes you are killed by artillery or an airstrike, they are American.


(I may have a grimdark sense of humor.)

Man, I wish I'd kept around my M.A.X. Chosen icon...

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