The Blog

23/8/14 09:59
erik: A headshot of me! (Default)
[personal profile] erik
So, what happened to the blog?

Well...

Basically, when I started the blog, my financial situation was the most stable and happy that it had been in a few years, and I was looking forward to a period of time when I would have the time and money to do several medium-sized repairs and upgrades: replace the gutters, patch the stucco in a few places, upgrade the thermostats, re-arrange the kitchen, etc.

Then my financial situation took a nosedive.

I filled space in the blog with historical stories as long as I could. Then even those ran out; unfortunately I ran out of ideas for truly basic tools to explain at the same time. So the entries just sort of...stopped.

I have some hope that when the money thing is better (which it will be sometime soon I believe) I can re-start the projects. And when I start finishing projects again, I can start writing about them again.

Someday.

I the meantime, I've been cooking a lot instead. Because even when there's no money, one has to eat. And cooking your own food is cheaper than eating out.
sporky_rat: Liriael and Sam treking across a very pale yellow background with dark ground (abhorsen)
[personal profile] sporky_rat

I swear, if I run into one more Sorority/Fraternity student who's complaining about their meal plan not being right, I might do something I will not regret. You have a meal plan. Eat on it and quit coming in and interrupting the people who are trying to fix your meal plans! THE MORE YOU INTERRUPT, THE LONGER IT TAKES.

Huh. I feel better about it now, but I doubt I will on Monday.

My grandparents are coming down! Along with my mother. But my grandparents are coming down to see me and Brent! I haven't seen them in a while. I'm hoping for a good time. I'd like a great time, but I'll take a good one.

[personal profile] darkemeralds asked about locations in my trip to Maryland. One of them, Site R (or Raven Rock) is where Brent's mom worked. It's a nuclear bunker built by the US Government in the early 50's. In Fallout 3, a post-apocalyptic game set in the DC/Maryland/Virginia/Pennsylvania area (the Capital Wasteland), Raven Rock is where the Enclave is set up. The Enclave is the remnant of the US Government from before the Great War that devastated the world.
We didn't get to go in, of course, but we got to see the installation on top of the mountain itself and the way in and Brent's mom Ms Cynthia has told us a little bit about working there.

Catoctin Mountain Park was REALLY AWESOME and SHINY. AND IT HAD CAMP DAVID IN IT. Is that NOT SO COOL?! It's called Site 3 on the signs in the park and you can't go in. Which is okay, but it's still just WOW I SAW THE ENTRANCE TO CAMP DAVID. It's been two weeks and I still can't get over that.

And it turns out that I knew where Thurmont was the WHOLE TIME, it's just called 'Mechanicstown' in my head! I grew up hearing tales of the Mississippi College Rifles, a Civil War era group of soldiers that came from my home town. In fact, Mom and I and Aunt Ellen drove up the way they went to Gettysburg when I was quite small. So I've been in the area before, just not with the modern name. Very disconcerting.

I find myself wishing I had photos now.

\o/

23/8/14 13:42
kaberett: A drawing of a black woman holding her right hand, minus a ring finger, in front of her face. "Oh, that. I cut it  off." (molly - cut it off)
[personal profile] kaberett
DLA has come through :-) Still middle/lower, but I'm now good until 2016 so I'll take it. SUDDENLY, LESS STRESS.
Tags:

Broadband internet

23/8/14 13:38
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
After I move, I'm again debating whether to keep on with a broadband+TV+phone package, or go for a broadband only package. What's a sensible price/sensible provider for internet access? I don't get much use from TV/phone, but I think it's only worth giving them up if I can get internet alone actually cheaper.
Tags:
andrewducker: (No Time Travel)
[personal profile] andrewducker
This is a marvellous look at the future I've seen as inevitable for quite some time now. If you want a glimpse of how society is going to be turned upside down over the next 15-or-so years, then it's mandatory viewing.



(The bit I'm _really_ looking forward to is the 15 years after that. But that's a topic for another day...)
aella_irene: "Today I shall be witty, charming and elegant. Or maybe I'll say "um" a lot and trip over things." (Default)
[personal profile] aella_irene
The Comfortable Wound (31075 words) by nimmieamee
Chapters: 18/18
Fandom: Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Harry Potter/Ginny Weasley, Hermione Granger/Ron Weasley
Characters: Harry Potter, Regulus Black, Ginny Weasley, George Weasley, Narcissa Malfoy, Andromeda Tonks, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, Kreacher (Harry Potter)
Additional Tags: slashy subtext, Epistolary, Racism
Series: Part 1 of The Family Skeleton
Summary:

Harry Potter has a lot to contend with: a failing relationship, a life debt to Narcissa Malfoy, unpleasant family secrets, a grieving George Weasley, babysitting duties imposed by Andromeda Tonks, and a supremely unheroic postwar world. He can be forgiven for passing the Resurrection Stone off to Kreacher without a second thought. He might not have done it if he'd known the stone was meant to work on Inferi.



I love this fic. The world is not divided into good people and Death Eaters, and nor are these characters. They are complicated, and families are complicated, and Regulus Black has more than a touch of Lord Peter Wimsey about him (had Lord Peter been a teenager who had joined magical terrorists, and then backed out).

If it hadn't had me at:

The Weasleys of Ottery St. Catchpole scattered the nest with bits of genuine Egyptian mummy, adverts for a new joke shop, head boy badges, ancient and tottery broomsticks, dragon scales, useless plugs and round-peg sockets, bits of knitting in every color and variety, and scrapbooks full of moving photographs. The photographs’ captions: Our Ginny’s First Bit of Magic, Our Ginny & Our Bill With Aunt Muriel, Our Ginny in Her Dress Robes, Our Ginny & Our Ron in Maroon Jumpers, Our Ginny’s Tonsils Removed, Our Ginny & the Twins Trying to Wake Scabbers, Our Ginny Gives Dad a Hug, Our Ginny Crying Because I Said Quidditch was Awfully Dangerous & Have Told Charlie a Dozen Times to Leave the Younger Ones Out of It, Our Percy Reads Our Ginny Hogwarts: A History, Our Ginny Falling Asleep Because Our Percy Insists on Reading Her Hogwarts: A History. Presumably the nest also contained a genuine Our Ginny, though following the last battle everything within was shrouded in grief and it became difficult to find Our Anyone, every Weasley having taken to flying in and out at odd times to avoid each other. Seeing each other required speaking of or thinking about That Was Our Fred. This individual was nowhere to be found in person, though he did manage to wave at them from the pages of the scrapbook bound in black.

It would have had me at:

Plans for a foolproof hideaway were discussed. Hermione’s research indicated that such a powerful artifact could cause madness and ought to be hidden away. Dumbledore’s tomb was suggested and vetoed because it already contained the Elder Wand, and Ron felt that two of the three Deathly Hallows in one place was a strategic error designed to make life easier for future Dark Lords and also that Harry needed to realize that Dumbledore’s tomb was not a rubbish bin.

Next suggestion: Snape’s tomb. Harry felt this was a fitting complement to giving Dumbledore the wand, and also neatly echoed the fact that Snape had faithfully loved his dead, pretty mother and resurrected her memory within him all his life, etc., etc., poetic whatnot that he felt but couldn’t verbalize well because he wasn’t really a poetic fellow and also because this was Snape and his Mum. Hermione thought that was beautiful, but really Harry, Snape’s tomb wasn’t even built yet. Also Ron thought tombs were still not rubbish bins, c’mon people, have some respect for the magically deceased, what would Mum say.


And then, there is the point where Ron discovers that, for years, the Wizarding World was terrorised by the crack team of Bibby and Blonty...
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
azurelunatic: "I've got A.D.D. and magic markers. Oh, the thrills I will have." Pile of uncapped bright markers.  (attention span)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Today contained many awesomes.

Workstuff: It was supposed to be the day for a fix release on the helpdesk software. We'll see how things are on Monday. We'll also see how my workload is going into Labor Day weekend -- Hipster Researcher has announced intent to come back from a conference with audio recordings. Since the point of my ridiculously detailed notes from 2nd Thursday is that we can't retain audio on the servers, he may have to cut bait if my workload is too high to spare time for that.

I have the butterfly & Gaiman package of BPAL from [personal profile] synecdochic! This whole thing is so much fun. And I have run into some scents that maybe I don't want to keep, which means eventual delight for someone else! (Either that or a garlic wine/cherry lime horrorsyrup situation, where the vessel of woe is tested by a succession of people until it is gone.)

It was beer bash day. I brought my own bottle of non-beer and secured a table. phone joined me, and Purple, and some of the guys. "Hi guys!" said Lennon Glasses Guy, and then realized that technically, if "guys" is gendered, I am the odd man out. So to speak. I allowed as how since I wasn't presenting particularly femme at that point, I wasn't particularly offended. Purple pointed out that the hat (a black floppy-brimmed sun hat, one of the woven paper and plastic thread ones that I go through slightly slower not-in-Arizona) wasn't particularly butch. I allowed as how the skirt of the day was fairly butch. Then we discussed how to butch up that hat. "A beer hat!" Purple declared. Yes. That is butch. Then we figured out how to *un*-butch the beer hat: fancy drinks (possibly with lots of fruit) in lieu of beers. Purple's brain got stuck on the mental image of the mojito-hat, and seemed to sort of white out from glee.

A few of us made dinner plans. )

While we were cruising through an intersection, there came a honking from the right lane. Purple, who had been driving, hadn't registered the same level of detail I had. "The Civic cut in from the right and was going too slow for the Subaru, who was pretty mad judging from the way it honked," I explained. Purple had thought as much, but he'd been watching different parts of the road. Then traffic slowed hella down and halted for a traffic light, just as the Civic got out of the way of the Subaru and wound up in front of us, which put us about in line with the Subaru. "It's phone!" I said, and busted up laughing. Indeed, the somewhat honky driver of the Subaru was in fact our co-worker and friend. "Hey phone!" Everybody's windows were down. He heard his name (much to his surprise), looked over, saw us, and we had a short and hilarious chat until the light turned green and we headed off thattaway.

Parking shenanigans and dinner. )

R and the Other Guy had ordered with dessert in mind. Then we learned that the place does not do dessert! So we set forth into the foodie district of downtown Palo Alto with dessert in mind.

The first place was too crowded. (Purple spoke up in praise of my being decisive, even though it was decisovely negative.) The place across the street was too young and hip. The place across the other street said it was "so good." We elected skepticism, and looked at all the buzzwords on the windows. The next place did have a dessert menu, but it also looked kinda trendy and such. Dessert was eventually accomplished. )

I laughed a lot tonight. I feel great.
yvi: Kaylee half-smiling, looking very pretty (Default)
[personal profile] yvi
So, the husband found out that he doesn't have until Monday in a week to turn in his PhD thesis, but only until Friday, but, oh, the office that he needs to deliver the thesis to is only open Monday and Wednesday from 10 to 12.

Yeah, that was great news... He's pretty much working nonstop by now. The flat is in a state of chaos because I can't keep up with it and we have been mostly living off frozen food for what seems like months (well, I try to cook twice a week but that's more along the lines of "hot dogs" or "pasta with sauce" than what passes as cooking for other people).

I can't wait for this to be over...

"House proud"

23/8/14 01:59
rosefox: A painting of a peaceful garden. (home)
[personal profile] rosefox
We finally got the public areas of our house neat enough that I'm willing to post photos. :) Here's the Flickr set. (You may wish to make occasional reference to the floor plan.) Enjoy the tour!

We've been here since late April and we still turn to one another and spontaneously rhapsodize about how much we love this house. Now you can see why. :) And I didn't even take pictures of my lovely quiet back bedroom, or the cozy cluttered guest room/den, or J's spacious room full of books and clothes, or X's gorgeous window-walled room done up in royal blue and white. Or the splendid high ceilings with exposed beams and chandeliers. Or the sunlight slanting through the living room windows when it's cool enough to open the insulating curtains.

I'm so so happy with this house. I hope we can stay here for a very, very long time.
archangelbeth: Bleary-eyed young woman peers up, pillow obscuring the lower half of her face. Text reads: SO not a morning person. (So Not A Morning Person)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
But I got through beta-reader edits up to chapter 31 (out of... 62, plus some Interludes... dear gods, why can't I write longer chapters or shorter books??). And really, it was only 3:22 by the time I got in bed. ...though I was kind of awake for a while.

(Part of this was re-researching desiccation of bodies vs. decomposing. Decomposition and desiccation can indeed co-exist, on a sliding scale that depends on the environment at that moment! Edits on that bit unnecessary, but as it is not a major plot point and as the book is already too blighted long anyway, I cannot include a short essay about this. The perils of "everyone knows" vs. "well, actually, it's more complicated than that.")

In other news, Dead Witch Walking is a free ebook on at least iTunes and Amazon and probably other places as well. If you haven't picked it up, hey, free!

Meanwhile, GoodReader, an excellent PDF-reader for the iPad and iPhone, is on sale for 99c. I haven't upgraded my iPhingies to an iOS that can use this version, but I grabbed it because ON SALE FOR A BUCK. Eventually I will no doubt be forced to upgrade, whereupon I will need it. (I'm hoping the next iOS is less... glare-white in the UI. Yes, I like retro-UI or something. TOUGH. I imprinted on iOS 1! Grrr!)

Speaking of Retro, Tuftears and Kageneko, spouse and me and Biddycloom, took down the Lich King in 25-man mode! It. Was. Awesome. Further, earlier today, Tufty'd gotten me a Twilight Drake, and then we went and got Biddycloom a Twilight Drake as well! So much awesome. *sings "Do you wanna raid old content?"*

Havva Quote
T_____ says, "You should totally be able to offend Skyrim bards by asking them to sing Age of Aggression when they're Stormcloaks or Age of Oppression when they're Imperials."
T_____ says: trolling Dragonborn: "Do you know 'Age of Oppression?'" Imperial Bard: "... You're joking. You're joking, right? ...you're serious. Ha-ha-hah-aaah-haaa. *pause* This song is dedicated to our staunch protectors, the Imperials. We drink to our youth, to the days come and gone, for the age of aggression is just about done..." Dragonborn: D:
--compressed from a longer MUSH conversation


INwatch+Bookwatch )
Adopt one today!
Dragons under fold )

(no subject)

23/8/14 00:44
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
I was outside a few hours ago, clipping some of the roses that we've been growing to bring inside and put in a vase, when I saw movement out of the corner of my eye. I turned my head, expecting it was one of our bunnies (we have four or five who visit us regularly and help mow the lawn for us, although they're also why we've had to invest in chicken wire for the vegetable garden and the first-year roses).

It was not one of the bunnies; it was the fox who lives on the golf course across the street. He was just chilling out about three feet away from me, on the edge of the driveway just by the back lawn.

Looking at him was apparently enough to spook him, because he trotted down the driveway, head held high, then waited for the oncoming car to pass before darting out and walking along the side of the road for a few feet before dashing into our bushes by the sidewalk and loping off across our neighbor's front yard. I told him I hoped he had a good night and took my roses inside. :)

(It's kind of awesome living on the edges of the city but with such a great expanse of space across the street from us: the country club's been there forever so we know they're not going to sell to a developer and have McMansions turn up across the street in a year or two, and all that green space attracts all kinds of wildlife.)
krait: a sea snake (krait) swimming (Default)
[personal profile] krait
Earlier this week, as I was tying up my cucumber plants, I nearly toppled from my precarious perch right into this beautiful resting moth:

Photos beneath the cut )

Fortunately, I didn't fall, and I also managed to avoid disturbing my visitor's rest while snapping these shots!
mmegaera: (Default)
[personal profile] mmegaera
So. I'm almost done with the revisions for Sojourn, aka the New Thing, aka my "state trooper crashes his cruiser out in the wilds of the Cascade Mountains and ends up in the local version of Brigadoon" story (sans music).

You know what this means! Covers!

And here's what I've come up with so far. Tell me which one would make you pick the book up off the shelf, and which one wouldn't (and why for either/both would be brilliant). They are numbered for your convenience.

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

Note. I'm pretty sure you can't read the blurb on the back, but it's just placeholder text, not the real blurb (actually it's the blurb for Finding Home). Just so you know. Oh, and yes, the photos are comps. I will buy and pay for the piece I finally end up using.
kaberett: curled decorative end of curtain rail casts a heart-shaped shadow on a wall (heartfruit)
[personal profile] kaberett
If the highest calling is utility
then show me I am useful
by using me.

Make of me a book,
vellum of my skin,
a vessel for your stories and your selves.

(art is good if it arises from necessity
ein Kunstwerk ist gut, wenn es aus Notwendigkeit entstand
I am good if I am necessary--
or at least I am sufficient)

(fill me with your breath your hope
your need
your dreams of being as sufficient
as beautiful as necessary as all
that we must be)

(o please gift me belief)
umadoshi: (Winter Soldier - Bucky)
[personal profile] umadoshi
--I'd be more pleased about having only 60-odd tabs open (..."only 60-odd" *sighs*) if it was because I'd actually gotten them dealt with, but I'll settle for having made the OneTab add-on work. It's not nothin'.

--I meant to mention this back when I saw the Tori Amos concert a couple of weeks ago, but I forgot. *g* One hazard of the way I handle the acquisition of new albums: when I was at the merch table I looked at the deluxe edition CD of Unrepentant Geraldines, with its sticker announcing that it contained the bonus track "Forest of Glass", and I frowned and thought, I'm sure I ordered the deluxe version, so why don't I know that song? Answer: because I bought the album on CD and then torrented it so I didn't have to actually, you know, open the CD packaging and rip it myself. So I've had that song for months without remembering to listen to it, one way or another. *facepalm*

--One of my random to-do list items for a while has been to actually make a list of my computer games, since I know I have a whole bunch that I haven't played. Yesterday I finally threw a basic spreadsheet together, and I have over 70. Of which I've played...fewer than ten, certainly in any real way. This is what comes of Steam sales and Humble Bundles, I tell you.

(Four of those ten-or-so are StarCraft: original, Brood War, and the two chunks of SCII that're out so far. And come to that, I haven't even finished SCII: Heart of the Swarm yet, for all my excitement about it. [I've played through most of it, but Casual Job went back in before I finished, and that was...a year and a half ago? O_o I enjoyed it, but not nearly as much as I enjoyed the Terran campaign of SCII in relation to the original game. The Zerg were changed more, I think.)

--On the games front, while I was away I was persuaded--not through conscious effort on anyone's part--to get a PS3. K and her family have one that they're using largely as a media server (we have a media server here, in the form of my retired desktop system, but I really liked the interface), and Ginny has one, and the combo of "convenient media server interface, Blu-ray (which we didn't have at all), and above all, Netflix" sold me. Netflix is--or was, last I checked--such a pain in the ass to run under Linux that we never bothered, and [personal profile] scruloose flatly refused to maintain a Windows partition solely for the purpose (and fair enough--he would indeed have been the one maintaining it). But inexpensive legal media! I am very much in favor of this. Yes.

(Plus I hear the thing allows one to "play games"...? ^_-)

--A link: Foster Dad John, who operates my favorite kitten!cam Livestream, adopted one of the kittens from his last litter (the first time he kept one, out of 42 litters of fosters). His own cats aren't allowed in with the fosters, but the other day while he was in with the current batch, Trillian--the recent adoptee--got in as he was leaving. And what an entrance! ^_^ Behold: "Suddenly, Trillian!", which includes a slow-motion replay. Hee!

--One more link: via [twitter.com profile] knitmeapony, a seriously excellent Captain America: TWS fanvid.

(no subject)

22/8/14 22:39
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Midafternoon nap times three:
Read more... )

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azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
Azure Jane Lunatic (Azz - bolt of blue - infovore)

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