QotD

Jun. 26th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Bees do have a smell, you know, and if they don't they should, for their feet are dusted with spices from a million flowers." -- Ray Bradbury (b. 1920-08-22, d. 2012-06-05), Dandelion Wine

rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
[tumblr.com profile] sashayed: It’s Not That Bad to F— Up While Calling Your Senator About Something Important

To prove this point, she presents actual transcripts of messages she left on her senators' voicemail, with her reaction gifs.

Sample:

Hi, uh, Sen. [Name]. And staff. [Nervous laughter.] My name is [Rave Sashayed] and I’m a constituent from [place where I vote]. I just wanted to call to thank you for standing up against the AHCA in the Senate. I–it’s an incredibly cruel and stupid and – and vicious bill. You know? And I’m not, like – a person who used to call her Senators all the time! know? I’m, like, a normal person! [Nervous laughter] But this – it’s crazy to me that this bill could become legislation. It directly affects me, it directly affects the people I love. I mean, it kicks millions of people off of Medicare for a tax break for – I mean. You know this. You’re. Uh. A Senator. So. You’ve read the bill. Um.

I would like to remind people that I phoned my MP's office and actually stated (completely incorrectly and randomly) that I lived in a place which said MP does not represent, had this pointed out to me and had to correct myself. AND YET (like Sashayed) I LIVE.

Right now, it looks like the Senate is wavering. Republican Senators are saying they "just don't know" if they've got the votes to pass the AHCA.

If you can't do phoning, you can't do phoning (I am sometimes a person who can't do phoning). But if you can, now's the time. IT IS OKAY TO PHONE AND FUCK IT UP. As long as you can communicate that you are opposed to the AHCA, that's enough.

Also, have some MOTHERFUCKING ICONS (photos of the ADAPT protestors being arrested during their protest at Mitch McConnell's office).

On making habits, brushing, and JKD.

Jun. 25th, 2017 12:20 pm
blimix: Joe by a creek in the woods (Default)
[personal profile] blimix
Half a lifetime ago, I had poor dental hygiene. I also lacked insurance, and wouldn't go to the dentist unless I had dental pain. I would occasionally try to get into the habit of brushing and flossing nightly, which would last for a week or so, but each time, the first night I skipped (sometimes with good reason) would make it much easier to skip subsequent nights. Then I'd have to start from scratch the next time.

I inherited a small (but significant to a poor young adult) amount from a grandparent, and used it to get the dental work I needed. (By that time, I had a broken tooth which didn't hurt, but which I couldn't ignore.) This became a wake-up call, due to all the time, money (most of the inheritance), and discomfort this cost me. I knew that I could not afford to put myself in that position again.

I started getting regular dental exams, and filling cavities before they became bigger problems, paying out of pocket. (A visit every six months didn't cost that much.) More importantly, I was determined to brush and floss regularly. Armed with knowledge of previous failures, any time I was tempted to skip hygiene, I would think, "Yeah, and then I'll skip it tomorrow too, I'll get out of the habit, and in a few years, I'll need a ton of dental work again." Then I would grudgingly go brush my teeth.

After two years of this, I had a night when I was crushingly exhausted. I made a conscious decision to skip brushing and just collapse into bed: I gave myself permission to do it just this once. Thirty seconds later, without having made any other decisions, I found myself standing at the sink, brushing my teeth.

Now that's what I call a habit.

Now I have my Jeet Kune Do class, which I love. For the first several years, I was the one who showed up to every single class. In the past year, various commitments and responsibilities have eroded that. Then I was sick for most of February (it was like a nasty cold that lasted all month), still had no energy in March, and was badly out of shape after that. Once I could, I resumed hiking a lot, to rebuild my endurance so that I could deal with the workouts in class. Various circumstances continued costing me sleep and energy (not all of which are to be complained about; we recently had three days on Long Island for a wedding, for example), and the best days for hiking often coincided with class days, so I missed a lot of class. (But on the up side, I finished hiking every part of every marked trail at Grafton Lakes State Park, which has way more trails than I had realized! I found many (endangered) Karner blue butterflies there, too.)

This week, I've had two days when my energy was balanced on the border of what I felt I needed to attend class. It could have gone either way. So the old pattern recognition kicked in: "I've missed way too much class lately. If I choose not to go when I can, it will endanger my good habit. So go." I went, had a great time, and knocked some rust off my skills. I think I'm going to be sore for two weeks from something I did to my pectoral muscle on Friday, but I'm still glad I went. JKD is important to me, and while I occasionally choose to miss it for other opportunities, responsibilities, or recovery, I never do so lightly.

QotD

Jun. 25th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Ice cream is the perfect buffer, because you can do things in a somewhat lighthearted way. Plus, people have an emotional response to ice cream; it's more than just food. So I think when you combine caring, and eating wonderful food, it's a very powerful combination." -- Jerry Greenfield

[Eid Mubarak to everyone celebrating! And unrelatedly, distant greetings to all my friends gathered in NYS for ice cream and camaraderie this weekend -- hoping next year I can manage to make it up there myself again, after too many years absence.]

QotD

Jun. 24th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"We're at a party at a Chuck e Cheese. This place is like something you'd subject a Panamanian dictator to. Why does it exist?" -- Zinnia Jones, 2017-06-03

watersword: Keira Knightley applying lipstick and looking in a mirror, with the words "a work in progress" nearby (Keira Knightley: lipstick)
[personal profile] watersword
Today I called Sen. Schumer and Sen. Gillibrand and said the following:
Hi, my name is [[personal profile] watersword] and my zip code is [redacted]; I'm calling to ask you to add a tally mark to your count of constituents who have called and are very angry about the Republican anti-health care bill.


Both times I was answered fairly promptly, the staffer was clearly charmed by my "I know you are on my side, I'm trying to help," and I was informed that Schumer's office has gotten ~500 calls over the past ten days on the issue (I'm not sure if that's all the offices, including Washington, or just the NYC office I called), and the Gillibrand staffer I spoke was on his ~60th call on the subject for the day. This is a horrible slog but I am going to keep showing the fuck up.

Dropshipping

Jun. 23rd, 2017 02:45 pm
blimix: Joe by a creek in the woods (Default)
[personal profile] blimix
I don't order items from the Amazon warehouse (3rd party sellers are fine) because of humanitarian concerns over the treatment of their warehouse workers. If it costs more, that's fine: It only reflects the real costs of treating employees like human beings. So when I buy something on eBay and it get dropshipped from Amazon (meaning the seller doesn't have it, they just order it on Amazon as a "gift" for me), that annoys me. They just profited by wasting my effort to make the world a better place. This is a common practice that does not violate their agreements with eBay or Amazon (unless they ship with Amazon Prime), and it satisfies their orders, so there's no justification for negative feedback. I just want to be able to avoid Amazon dropshipping, and I'm not sure how (without giving up eBay entirely). I could look for low-volume shippers, but that's a very inexact heuristic.

QotD

Jun. 23rd, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"We stand on the shoulders of giants who bothered to login to StackOverflow and explain their problem in words easily indexed by Google." -- SwiftOnSecurity, 2017-06-01

[But also, of course, to the ones who came before StackOverflow, such as Alan Turing (b. 1912-06-23, d. 1954-06-07)]

QotD

Jun. 22nd, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"[...]
 For want of me the world's course will not fail;
 When all its work is done, the lie shall rot;
 The truth is great and shall prevail,
 When none cares whether it prevail or not."

  -- Coventry Patmore (b. 1823-07-23, d. 1896-11-26), "Magna est Veritas", The Unknown Eros, 1877 [spotted in a tweet by @aristofontes]

rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Guardian: Millions of mysterious 'sea pickles' swamp US west coast

“One of the things we are figuring out is have these guys been off the coast and we haven’t seen them? Are they moving inshore for a different reason?” said Sorensen.

YES AND I THINK WE KNOW WHAT THAT IS. Let me know when they reach Washington.

They're known as the "unicorn of the sea", apparently, so should clearly be claimed as a symbolic animal by you (glowing) asexual people out there.

yes I know it's not the same kind of asexual okay

ETA: Wikipedia just provided me with this beautiful quote:

"I have just watched the moon set in all her glory, and looked at those lesser moons, the beautiful Pyrosoma, shining like white-hot cylinders in the water" (T.H. Huxley, 1849).

CORRECT ACTION

Jun. 21st, 2017 08:18 pm
rydra_wong: Fragment of a Tube map, with stations renamed Piero della Francesca, Harpo, Socrates and Seneca. (walking -- the great bear)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Guardian: Grenfell Tower families to be rehoused in flats at luxury complex

This doesn't cover all the displaced families. And the flats are part of the "affordable" quota developers are frequently required to build along with the luxury flats, with the usual segregation (not being allowed access to the swimming pool etc. -- in quite a few instances, developers have created buildings where the people in the "affordable" flats have a separate entrance to the building ...), so it's a lot less "luxury" than the headline implies.

And they're being bought by the Corporation of London (as opposed to paid for out of RBKC's £274 million reserves?).

Still, it's a start.

QotD

Jun. 21st, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"'Come with me,' Mom says.
 To the library.
 Books and summertime
 go together."

  -- Lisa Schroeder, I Heart You, You Haunt Me (2008)

[A happy summer solstice to all who mark it! (Exact time was about five hours ago.)]

Beeeeeees

Jun. 21st, 2017 05:04 pm
tara: (Marvel: Pietro Son of M)
[personal profile] tara
So the place I spoke about last entry? Turns out it was completely full of bees. Bees that were on fire. At least four different types of building defect, including sub standard fire safety, which was an excellent thing to read (not) just after the awful tower block fire in London. Despite this, we put in a low offer, which allowed for us to set aside lots of money for upcoming levies, and this was rejected. I am kind of glad of this, because I have never seen a property with so many bees, but E is sad because she really loved the place. And it was a very nice place. We just probably would've burnt to death in it after it fell on top of us and crushed us.

There's another place that we saw last weekend that I think would be a very sensible option. It is not our dream home but, let's face it, we're never going to get that for our bottom-of-the-market budget anyway. It is significantly below budget, and it's right near a train station (and a LIBRARY) and only a few years old so, apart from the defects that go hand-in-hand with any Australian property built after about 2000, we shouldn't have to do a damn thing to it. Worst issue is that it's up 2 flights of stairs, which my body will hate, but it has a sexy kitchen, which should partially make up for that ;p So now we're waiting on the s32 for that property. E is not particularly enthused about it, but I am quite enthused about the extra disposable income that we'd have with half the mortgage we'd get if it were top of budget ;)

I'm still in at PROV three days a week and it's a hard slog, because there's a lot of boring stuff and squinting at awful handwriting to get at the occasional interesting story. But the Ritalin helps and so does playing music through headphones, which also blocks out the noise of the other people there. I need to fiddle with my website to add a research section and hopefully start to post some interesting stories there, because there's a huge emphasis on an online presence these days for academics. To that end, I've also separated out a private twitter because my nonsense about TV shows is probably best kept away from my so-called professional twitter.

Stayed in Warragul last night, so I had my mum-and-Tricky time which was nice. Tricky is a very old boy now so I am trying to get as many Tricky cuddles in as possible these days. I love him so much.

In excellent news, I have just started a new game of Dragon Age 2, my first with a female Hawke. I am also playing as a mage and as an aggressive Hawke for the first time. Not sure yet whether I'll be romancing Isabella or Merril - will depend which works better with my Hawke. Will romance the other one next time anyway :D

Speaking of Dragon Age, it was our first wedding anniversary on Saturday and E got me the Dragon Age tarot cards I have been coveting enormously forever. I have zero idea how to read tarot but the art is incredible and I like the idea of learning how to read the cards because I think they're a great way to tap into your subconscious and help direct your thoughts for decision making. So that will be an upcoming project. The cards are v v pretty, as is my wife. I very much like being married to her :)

Oh! And on Saturday night we saw Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. at the Malty. I got the tickets for E's Christmas present and it wasn't an excellent choice given that we both liked the beginning and then liked it less and less as it went on, but it's always nice to see theatre even if it's not 100% yay.

Oh, my heart (again)

Jun. 20th, 2017 05:28 pm
rydra_wong: the illuminated Sarajevo haggadah (sarajevo haggadah)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Hundreds of Londoners showed up yesterday evening to hand roses to worshippers at the Finsbury Park mosque as they went in to pray:

https://www.facebook.com/jocoxmoreincommon/videos/408448636222639/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-40343485

anyone a wget or curl expert?

Jun. 20th, 2017 10:23 am
watersword: John Cho and George Takei, with the text Hikaru Sulu[squared] (Star Trek: Sulu-cubed)
[personal profile] watersword
There seems to be no easy way for me to get the transcripts for the Writing Excuses podcast in a tidy file or files. I have tried fiddling with wget and curl and have not succeeded, which is frustrating, because it feels like something that should be possible. (Don't get me wrong, I'm incredibly grateful they provide the transcripts, as I am a person who cannot deal with audio-only input, so this is my only option for getting the information in the podcast.)

QotD

Jun. 20th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"This is not a monarchy." -- House Government Reform Chairman Dan Burton, a Republican from Indiana, after President Bush invoked executive privilege to deny Congress access to prosecutorial documents, which have routinely been turned over to Congress by past administrations. [ USA Today] (via outragedmoderates.org)

So another morning in London happened

Jun. 19th, 2017 03:55 pm
rydra_wong: Fragment of a Tube map, with stations renamed Piero della Francesca, Harpo, Socrates and Seneca. (walking -- the great bear)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
Finsbury Mosque attack.

The attacker was wrestled to the ground by three members of the public; the imam of the mosque protected him (the terrorist who had just attacked his mosque) from the angry crowd until the police got there. That, I believe, is how you religion.

Grenfell dead/missing-presumed-dead now up to 79.

One of the dead is Khadija Saye, a young photographer on the verge of her big breakthrough with her work about to be exhibited as part of a group show at the Venice Biennale.

Here's the series being exhibited: Dwelling: in this space we breathe. Because it's astonishing, and pointing people to her art seems like a way to try to give at least one person a voice and identity as more than just a unit, one of 79.

I repeat my link to the North Kensington Law Centre's Grenfell fundraiser. They're only going to get a tiny fraction of the donations going to the big funds, but any donations are likely to have a disproportionate impact (especially because I'm guessing the large funds can't/won't be used to pay for legal stuff).

RBKC have been officially relieved of responsibility for responding to the disaster because of being so fucking useless.

The chief Breitbart London editor (also former adviser to Nigel Farage) is spreading flat-out lies about Emma Dent-Coad MP in order to try to smear her and Labour as somehow responsible for the fire, despite the fact that all of his statements are provably false.

QotD

Jun. 19th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

[I didn't find the original source of this quote from Bryon Rushing, but I did find two fragments of this on Twitter...]

"MLK Jr said 'the arc of the moral universe always bends toward justice'. I'd like to add 'but not by itself'"

"[arc of justice] only bends toward justice because there are courageous people who grab it and bend it down"

[I wish everyone a happy and inspiring Juneteenth, and keep bending!]

In Borough Market

Jun. 18th, 2017 10:18 pm
rydra_wong: Fragment of a Tube map, with stations renamed Piero della Francesca, Harpo, Socrates and Seneca. (walking -- the great bear)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
-- which is normally not open on Sundays, but was today because they're trying to make up lost days and also presumably picking up business from the Bankside Great Get Together --

-- there is a stall called Greedy Goat selling goat's milk icecream and they had liquorice-and-blackcurrant icecream and it is the best thing known to humanity. Yes very hipster I DON'T CARE.

(The Great Get Together was charming {rather like a church fete on a nationwide scale, lacking only the Church of England and the tombolas}, and exactly what we need right now, Crossbones is extraordinary, and my brain is fried by the heat and I'm going to bed now.)

meep

Jun. 18th, 2017 08:21 pm
vampwillow: a barcode (barcode)
[personal profile] vampwillow
It's too easy for me to get upset with myself. Take today - there were two things happening that I'd have liked to go along to, one a few roads away, the other immediately outside my window, yet instead I've stayed in my room trying to hold it together.

Somehow I find self-confidence easy to come by when I'm in a 'work' situation - whether actual employment or voluntary and committee stuff - but put me into a social event where I don't know everyone and I go to pieces, just scared of saying or doing the wrong thing, being the target of "fun", finding myself hurting when I can't run away. So I don't go there in the first place, instead (like this afternoon) looking out the window at everyone else enjoying themselves in the sun.

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passerine: Picture of Sparrow from Dykes to Watch For (Default)
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