(no subject)

Jun. 30th, 2016 08:27 am
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Cordelia is cleared to go back to all normal activities and doesn’t need to go back to the orthopedist again. I’m pleased by this because it means she’s healed and because the copay for a specialist is twice as much as for seeing her regular doctor.

We took a cab there, and Scott picked us up after. There’s construction around the hospital that we didn’t know about, so we ended up stuck in some very long and slow moving lines of traffic. It took us two or three times as long to get home as it ought to have.

Most of our game group was able to come last night, and we played some of [livejournal.com profile] booniverse’s Stargate game. I’m still having trouble connecting with my character because Scott did all of the number crunching last fall while I was getting radiation and having trouble thinking. I had the initial idea, but I didn’t play around with possibilities at all, and I don’t know her backstory at all or how she interacts with people.

I ended up doing a good bit of writing on my phone during the session. It wasn’t on the story I should have been working on but rather on the One I Am Not Writing. Still, it’s words in a document.

I’ve got laundry in the wash, and I need to get the rest of the dirty dishes into the dishwasher. I also need to move some things that I don’t want the cleaning lady to put away. Most of that can wait. I don’t see me being out that long for this appointment even if I end up (as I’m hoping to do) walking from UHS to downtown to catch the #22 home. I think that, if my ankle will tolerate it, the walk will be good for me.

Another generic update...

Jun. 30th, 2016 08:34 am
graculus: (Default)
[personal profile] graculus
Nearly at the end of term, thank heavens.

First off, the student teacher did not come back. I'm hoping it's been suggested to her that perhaps teaching is not really her thing and she ought to consider something else, but I have no idea if that's the case or not. I'm currently in the middle of organising and managing exams, not to mention encouraging folks to sign up for classes in September (with 4 of my students joining one of my classes already, which means I'm 25% full on that class with people where I already know what they can and can't do, which makes my life much easier).

I've also managed to snag a few more hours from September of what was going spare, though I didn't want to take on too much and also wanted to keep a day off in the week if I could - in order to manage both of those aims, I've agreed to teach a Saturday morning class, but at a higher level than I've taught before so that's going to be interesting. It's very grammar-heavy at that level, which is no issue for me, except making sure that I know how to explain the rules (which I've discovered is quite a different thing from knowing if something is right or not when I read it). Teaching on a Saturday means that I will now have Thursdays off completely and also no teaching commitments on Mondays before I head off late afternoon to college for a few hours each week.

I realised a few weeks back that if I didn't get a wiggle on, I wasn't going to actually have a holiday this year (since going to Nine Worlds doesn't really count, even if I sneak off to a museum or two instead of going to panels now I'm going to be in central London) so I've been organising to go to Mull for 10 days before the schools all break up. I'm also going to be camping, though camping when you have a car is a little less Spartan since you don't have to carry everything with you wherever you go. I've booked a couple of trips when I'm there, but tried not to organise myself too much just in case - my main plan is books, coffee and beer, and wandering about. It's prime otter territory, apparently, but that's what they said about Skye too and I never saw any otters there!

I also recently took a refresher navigation course, since I live very close to the Peak District National Park but haven't really explored it properly. I'd done map and compass navigation many years ago but had forgotten most of it, so I went off the other Saturday and spent the day re-learning how to do stuff and also would like to get back and do more later on in the year - the same guy does navigation in poor visibility training, which could be very useful in the coming dystopia. ;)

You may notice I have not, to this point, mentioned the referendum. I'm really not sure what there is to say about it, other than that one side was vigorously campaigning on what's turned out (to the surprise of nobody on this side of the situation) to be a tissue of lies and half-truths at best. It's also validated the views of a small bunch of horrible people who now think that the majority agrees with them about 'foreigners' and people who are British but not White, making them feel bolder about being arseholes in public. The folks who 'won' clearly didn't expect to, because they had no plans on what should happen next, so we're stuck in a bit of a limbo at the moment while political power games carry on and everyone on both sides of the House try and jockey for position.

It's all a bit pathetic but also quite worrying because nobody really knows what's going to happen - the referendum was, after all, advisory (another thing that seems to have been glossed over by and to the folks who want to leave the EU) so could be ignored by government if they want to do so, though that would probably require significantly more backbone than most politicians possess when faced with unpopularity. Whether or not I'll have folks to teach in the longer term is another matter, but for now nothing has immediately changed, so we'll have to see just how deep we're all in the shitter.

of cars and june

Jun. 29th, 2016 08:44 pm
batdina: (monster cat)
[personal profile] batdina
I hate the month of June so much I even have a tag for it. I cannot believe I just wrote that sentence.

Today marks my Aunt Paula's first yarzheit; her candle is burning in the kitchen and I have arranged to join a minyan tomorrow to say kaddish for her. It's weird, not bad weird, just weird. Many years ago I promised that I'd remember her Jewishly, as she'd had no children of her own. I don't think I knew quite what it would feel like actually to do it. Nevertheless, I have lit a candle and I'll daven tomorrow.

Luckily, since I'm learning with a dynamite Talmud professor all week this week, a minyan will not be hard to come by. I mean I'd have found one, but this time out I don't need to go searching.

And finally, when I pulled into our driveway this afternoon, my car's odometer announced that it was about to turn over a major number. It's currently at 99,995 miles. I think I'm anticipating the feeling I got years ago when my car turned over 100,000 and then 200,000. But somehow, I don't think my digital dashboard will give me the same umph. Not to mention that the turnover will probably happen on the Dumbarton Bridge, so not a whole lot of leeway to take note of the experience.

When I'm a bit more awake, I'll talk about this week's beit midrash experience. Suffice it to say that I'm feeling both competent and incompetent simultaneously. The story of my life where Talmud is concerned. But that's for another day.

So I read some novellas

Jun. 29th, 2016 12:50 pm
cahn: (Default)
[personal profile] cahn
Penric's Demon (Bujold) - I read this before and haven't read it since. Slight, cute story about a boy and his demon. I mean… even average Bujold (which this is) is pretty darn good writing. Maybe this will take my first vote.

Binti (Okorafor) - So — there's a lot here to like (interesting narrator and worldview and cultural connotations)… I kept running aground, though, on the math. Binti is supposed to be a really great mathematics student, thus winning her entry to the celebrated Starfleet Academy Oomza University as a math major (I guess this is THE university to be in the galaxy; the others don't really register at all??) — apparently this manifests by her and her fellow students understanding the concept of tessellating triangles. And possibly being able to perform simple geometry/coordinate-transform calculations. I… was not particularly impressed by their mathematical prowess. Also, she goes into a "mathematical trance" at one point that sure looks to me like a mostly regular sort of trance; I'm not very sure what is mathematical about it. Anyway, I kept being thrown out of the story every time the word "math" was used, which was really too bad. (Compare Jemisin's Fifth Season, where the science just all seems so much more grounded and real.)

Perfect State (Sanderson) - I mean, if you've read some Sanderson before, you know how it goes. Epic Epic fantasy - check. Complicated magic system - check. Lots of Annoying Capital Letters - check. Gary Stu Hero of Everything - check. And then Huh. ) Voting for this above No Award for sure.

The Builders (Polansky) - Grimdark Wind in the Willows. There, now you don't have to read it. You're welcome. Seriously, that was it, that was the entire content of that novella. I did appreciate the author's note in which he totally acknowledged it was a one-note joke. Voting under No Award.

Slow Bullets (Reynolds) - Okay — so, as SF this was actually pretty cool (military transports wake up in cryogenic pods and must unravel the mystery of what is going on in the ship and the universe) and the plot was probably the best of the five. Up until the end. The resolution of the plot made me super side-eye it. Spoilers! ) Not sure whether I will vote this above or below No Award; depends on how crotchety I'm feeling, I suppose.

(no subject)

Jun. 29th, 2016 12:09 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Tried another Stash sample— This one is guayusa tea with lemon. I have no idea what on earth guayusa is, but apparently it contains caffeine because I recognize all the other ingredients (mostly lemony herbs) as not containing caffeine and the packet clearly says, 'Contains Caffeine.' I steeped it five minutes, as recommended on the packaging. It was a little more bitter than I quite like (I didn’t try sweetening it, so that might help), but it wasn’t undrinkable. The lemon flavor was fairly weak and more in aftertaste than anything. I suppose I should look up and see how much caffeine the stuff contains. The fact that I can drink it unsweetened, even if I don’t love the flavor, is a point in its favor.

Hm. Google claims that guayusa contains 'the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee.' I’m not clear as to the amount of guayusa that’s required.

The Caffeine Informer says sixty six mg of caffeine in an eight ounce cup when starting with two grams of guayusa tea and steeping for four to six minutes. The site also says that this can vary a good bit, depending on the batch. I had to look at other sites for information on coffee, but it looks like that tends to run between ninety mg and two hundred mg of caffeine per eight ounce cup with instant (what I use) tending toward the lower end of the scale.

Cordelia sees the orthopedist again today. She tried to talk me out of making her go because she thinks it will be boring. Which, well, it will be. Right now, my intention is for us to take the bus to get there and then to wait for Scott to come get us after work. The appointment’s at 3:15. Scott will likely get off work no later than 4:00, and it’s a half an hour for him to get to the hospital to pick us up after that. I don’t think we’d end up waiting longer for him than for a cab. The bus we’d need for getting home is chancy at that time of day. It might be fine because there aren’t many students, but… I think most of the crowds on that route are people who work for the university rather than people attending classes.

I have an appointment of my own tomorrow, and I’m debating whether or not to take the bus to get there. The appointment’s at 10:00, so I’d need to leave here about 9:00. That bus tends to be crowded in the early morning, to the point that it really sets off my anxiety and to the point that there’s zero chance that I could get a seat. 9:30 is about when things settle down, so I might be okay. I don’t know.

I’m not, so far, too stressed about either appointment. It only just occurred to me that maybe I should take Ativan to prepare for today’s appointment, and I slept mostly okay (I had disturbing dreams about being ill, but I don’t think there’s a connection).

Last night, someone from the other side in Ingress came through the neighborhood. They attacked a lot of portals and did a lot of damage but mostly didn’t bother to capture anything. They very specifically went after mods on the portals. When they attacked the church, they left it in our hands by the barest sliver, and I really can’t think why. They got it to the point where they could have knocked it out by breathing on it and then just stopped. Even a level one burster would have finished the job.

We got a copy of Kung Fu Panda 3 yesterday and watched it. I enjoyed it a lot. I hope that they don’t try to do a Kung Fu Panda 4, though, because I don’t see where they could take the main character. He could work as a supporting character in someone else’s story, but he knows who he is now, very firmly. I liked very much that the movie didn’t shove Po’s father aside in favor of his biological father or make Po’s father either too gracious about the interloper or hostile beyond reason. He clearly feels threatened, but he tries very hard.

I wrote a bit yesterday. It was even the Narnia story. I don’t know if I’ll manage more today, given the appointment and that we expect to have people over in the evening. Tomorrow’s iffy, too, because of that appointment combined with the cleaning lady coming in the afternoon. Maybe Gdocs on my phone…? I got the writing moving by throwing out several paragraphs. Those contain some key information, so I’ll have to figure out another way to include it. The new stuff is more active while the old stuff was more summary. There’s information about Lucy and Edmund that will matter a great deal, long term, but that my POV character only sort of notices. That’s going to be harder to work in when I’m in her active POV.
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
No-one seems to know why.

(No, I'm not joking, Google this, there are photos.)

Also we don't seem to have a functioning government or an opposition.

This has been today's dispatch from the poisoned trash fire that is my country.

Yours Truly (play)

Jun. 29th, 2016 08:04 pm
cyphomandra: boats in Auckland Harbour. Blue, blocky, cheerful (boats)
[personal profile] cyphomandra
This is Albert Belz’s play for Te Rēhia Theatre company - the other play of his I’ve seen was Awhi Tapu, which was much more along the expected Māori playwright line (small forestry town, economy dying, young people running out of options make bad choices) whereas this is cheerfully Victorian gothic melodrama and is all about Jack the Ripper. The Ripper parts of this are basically Alan Moore’s From Hell with less architecture and, sadly, no Inspector Abberline – heir presumptive to British throne gets shopgirl pregnant and secretly marries her, Queen Victoria assigns William Gull to hunt out and destroy all witnesses, Gull & the Freemasons go a bit batty in the process. Instead of Abberline as a protagonist we get Walter Sickert, the artist (and another candidate for the identity of Jack the Ripper in some theories), who is supposed to be keeping a watchful eye on Prince Eddie and instead falls for Mary Kelly. Despite all odds - and numerous corpses - there is technically a happy ending.

More detail, some spoilers; basically, mostly great performances but not convincing as an explanation. )
Despite these issues, though, an excellent production, and I'd be keen to see what the group does next. Awhi Tapu also had a bit of a dud ending, if I recall rightly, so I'd be more cautious about the playwright.
rydra_wong: Photo of the outdoor Serpentine Lido: a roped-off area of a lake, with a tower block visible in the background. (swimming -- lido)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
I'm probably going to throw myself into the Serpentine at some point this week anyway, and it occurred to me to ask if anyone had any interest in a tour guide/moral support (as it can be a bit daunting going for the first time) or if anyone's already a lido fan and just fancies meeting up.

Info: the Serpentine Lido is open 10 to 6 every day.

It's (surprisingly) wheelchair-accessible, though they don't advertise this. There's a wheelchair-accessible loo, and a gate they can unlock in the fence around the lido so that you can cross from the changing rooms into the lido without having to go up and down any stairs (this does mean crossing a path in your swimming costume, but the alternative is crossing a small metal bridge over the path in your swimming costume, so).

It is a section of the lake, which you are sharing with assorted waterfowl and algae, so if you have a compromised immune system, it might not be ideal.

Especially on weekdays, the lido is blissfully uncrowded.

Because the lake edge is fairly shallow, a good half of the lido is standing-depth. So if you're a nervous swimmer, you don't have to venture out of your depth.

You need a swimsuit and a towel. There are coldwater showers on the bank, and shower gel/shampoo is forbidden as it runs off into the lake. Therefore, it's best to plan to rinse off some of the pondweed on the bank then have a proper bath/shower when you get home.

If you might be interested, this week or at some future point, just comment or PM me.
cahn: (Default)
[personal profile] cahn
(note to [personal profile] ambyr: I have also been working on a long Byzantine chain for… uh… six months now, in little bits and pieces. I'm hoping I can actually finish it up this month. I'll try to post a pic when I do.)

So as you probably all know about me by now, I get these obsessions that last anywhere from a couple of weeks to a year long. They're about different things, but fairly reliably I can count on having an obsession every couple of years on some sort of jewelry-making, particularly with gemstones. Cut because apparently once I start talking about shiny things, I don't shut up. )

Pictures! )

(no subject)

Jun. 28th, 2016 12:01 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Yesterday, Cordelia was scrambling, trying to find a copy of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace that she could show to her new-to-Star-Wars friends on Friday. We don’t own it because Scott loathes it. Cordelia put a hold on a DVD copy at the library, but there were several people ahead of her and no copies currently available. She was going to try to get it from Netflix, but her current DVD wouldn’t have started the trip back to them until today, so the timing was tight. I looked around online to see if there was a cheap copy that I could buy that would arrive in time.

Then it occurred to me that the library pretty certainly had the movie in Blu-ray as well as on DVD. For watching here, Blu-ray is an option. It’s not at any of the other girls’ homes at present, but Cordelia’s plan was to show the movie here. Sure enough, there were five copies of the Blu-ray on the shelves at various branch libraries. I had Scott pick up the copy at Traverwood on his way home. It wasn’t much out of his way. He, of course, told me we needed a lead lined box to keep the thing in and that he’d check it out only with the understanding that it would leave the house again. I pointed out that, if we wanted a copy of the dratted thing, a used, former library copy would not be what we’d go for.

Last night, I lost the Ingress portal that I’d been holding for about six weeks. I’d hoped that nobody would find it, but… Whatever. Holding onto a portal is more than 90% luck. I enjoyed seeing the days tick over and add up, but it was a pretty minor enjoyment.

I tried another Stash tea sample today— Spice dragon red chai. It’s a rooibos based chai, caffeine free. I’m generally iffy on rooibos, but I quite liked this. It only has four ingredients: cinnamon, rooibos, ginger root, and cloves. The spices were at the right level of strength when I steeped the bag for about five minutes. I don’t think that steeping longer would have made things nasty, though.

Scott has changed the temperature settings for the house, putting things back at 80F. I’d had things set at 78F for quite a while. Scott has been having problems with being too cold at night; specifically, his feet got cold enough that he had trouble sleeping. Sadly, at 80F, I had trouble sleeping. I was warm enough that I got itchy and did a lot of tossing and turning. I rather think that it’s easier for Scott to get his feet warm than for me to cool off. We’ll have to negotiate tonight.

I’m trying to decide whether or not to take a walk. It’s quite cool today, but my ankle tends to get cranky after long walks. It doesn’t tend to bother me while I’m walking, just later on. That makes judging how much I can do kind of difficult. I need to get out and move around, however.

The Fluoridex sensitivity toothpaste is working well, so far. I’ve used it the last four nights as a supplement to my regular brushing and flossing, and my teeth haven’t started getting sensitive again (three days without Gel-Kam is generally long enough for me to have problems with heat, cold, and sweet). I don’t know that Cordelia has tried the stuff. She’s just after the fluoride and doesn’t have problems with sensitivity (I asked her specifically), so we may end up wanting to buy her a different kind than what I use as she doesn’t need the potassium nitrate.

I think we’re going to have to budget to get me a new bite splint. The current one is twenty five or so years old and has a rather large bit that’s on the verge of breaking off. I clench rather than grinding, so I’d hoped that this bite splint would last a good bit longer, but there’s a thin spot in it because I have one upper tooth that comes down farther than all the other upper teeth. Some time last year, that tooth broke through the splint, and now there are cracks from that point. The dratted thing might last another six months, but it also might not. Most dental insurances only allow a person one bite splint in their lifetime, so it’s very likely that we’ll have to pay the entire out of pocket cost for a new one. It’s remotely (very remotely) possible that our current insurance will cover it because it’s a different insurance than what I had that paid for the current one.

(no subject)

Jun. 27th, 2016 02:49 pm
the_rck: figure perched in a tree with barren branches (Default)
[personal profile] the_rck
Well, I got more sleep, but I also got a spam phone call and had Cordelia come in to cuddle for a while, so it wasn’t unbroken sleep. I think it helped, however. I went back to bed around 7 a.m. and got up for the day at about 11 a.m.

I came across this at the NPR Science Blog. It’s a little quiz that offers sonnets written by people and sonnets written by computers to see if readers can tell them apart. I thought the difference was clear, but I also thought that comparing the two was fascinating. My suspicion is that the programming will get there eventually, but it’s a long way yet.

I’ve also been poking at the SCOTUS blog. I’d seen that they’d ruled in three cases today, but I’d only seen information about two of the three cases and was curious about the third. The first case had to do with restrictions on abortion clinics in Texas. The second had to do with whether or not the federal government can use a state level misdemeanor (for domestic violence) as grounds to forbid someone from owning a gun. Both of those went in the direction I was hoping for— The clinics can stay open. Folks with misdemeanor domestic violence convictions can’t own guns.

The third had to do with what exactly constitutes actionable corruption by an elected official. That last is one of those rulings that is right, long term, but is being applied in a case where, despite the evidence not being sufficient, the person being prosecuted was doing something solidly on the dubious side of the right/wrong divide. But the justices were unanimous in the ruling, and when that happens, I look several times at the case. I have the impression that the court was concerned that any government official taking action on constituent concerns could be open to corruption charges if that constituent had ever made any sort of gift/donation. That interpretation could certainly be used to harass and destroy people, and I don’t want that as an option even if, right now, it’s being used on people I don’t like. My hope is that the ruling will result in clearer legal guidelines so that everyone has a better idea of where the line is.

texas trap laws

Jun. 27th, 2016 10:23 am
jadelennox: rainbow flag and American flag: this land was made for you and me (politics: ssm optimism)
[personal profile] jadelennox
did Justice Kennedy just do a Right Thing again?

holy crap.

SCOTUS kills admitting privileges and hospital corridors rules.

don't grumble, give a whistle

Jun. 27th, 2016 10:12 am
jadelennox: Demonic Tutor, Jadelennox: my Magic card (demonic tutor)
[personal profile] jadelennox
Somewhere in hell, the devil is just pointing and laughing at Margaret Thatcher, because no torture hell can devise for her will compare to watching the Tories be responsible for the loss of Scotland and (less likely, but more tormenty) Northern Ireland.


lightreads: a partial image of a etymology tree for the Indo-European word 'leuk done in white neon on black'; in the lower left is (Default)

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