Some minor updates

Sep. 23rd, 2017 08:54 pm
[personal profile] swaldman
Last week was my last at my short-term research job. I have the coming week full-time to get my thesis finished. I've committed to delivering a complete draft by the end of the month. This feels achievable.

This weekend is Edinburgh Doors Open (the equivalent of London's Open House weekend). This morning I went on a walking tour by the Scottish Waterways Trust along the Union Canal. It was a nice walk through some countryside, and I also learned about some of the industrial heritage of the city. I used to be fascinated by this stuff in London, and I'd missed that.

In the afternoon I took a bus over to Portobello to visit the house of two architects and their family. They have a child who is a full-time wheelchair user, and they designed the house from scratch around the idea of step-free access - it's interesting, and beyond the whole "ramp" theme, it's always nice to see what happens when creative people can be daring without worrying about their clients' reactions. I remember thinking, years ago, about the lighting scheme I would put in my own house if I had the cash, which I would never dare propose to a client.

Lothian Buses had an open day at their depot today, and to co-incide with that they had lots of vintage buses running on a particular route, which would take me home from Portobello. That didn't especially interest me, but by pure fluke the bus that came along first was not an old one but a very new one - one of the first all-electric buses that is on trial in Edinburgh. I'd never really thought about electric buses as a possible thing, for the same reason that I'm sceptical about electric taxis or trucks, at least with current technology - heavy load and long continuous use. We only drive our cars for about 5% of the time, but commercial vehicles get used a lot more, which had made me discount battery power. BUT buses spend an awful lot of that time stopped, or moving slowly, and electric ones don't need power when they're stopped, and regenerate a lot of what they've used when they slow down.... so a 150 mile range probably is enough for a city centre service to go all day, and then some. This bus had some fan noise on the back seat, which is next to the batteries, but was otherwise quiet, vibration-free, and not pouring particulates into Edinburgh's air. I like!

Tomorrow I must start work on the final chapter of the thesis. Also, clean the house.

sovay: (Viktor & Mordecai)
[personal profile] sovay
I was taking pictures of the cats.

Autolycus had opinions about the camera.



[personal profile] spatch says, "This is what I see every morning at seven-thirty!"

Alter Boys In Love is almost here!

Sep. 23rd, 2017 12:20 am
lb_lee: A pencil drawing of Mac and Rogan canoodling with a little heart above their heads. (love)
[personal profile] lb_lee
Hey guys, check it out! We got the new proof of Alter Boys in Love, and it's looking awesome!
Image of Mac showing off the book, cut to spare spam. )

Smooch Update AGAIN

Sep. 22nd, 2017 10:54 pm
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
[personal profile] naamah_darling
Talked to the vet again, at much greater length, and I have my feet under me, I think.

Here's what we are looking at:

EXPENSES 6-12 MONTHS
$120 for the next round of bloodwork, either in 12 months or if he starts declining again, whichever comes first.
$100 for in-office euthanasia if necessary (I always want to have this amount on hand, even if he seems totally okay)
$60 for tending to his body respectfully.
$120 for what I think should be 3 months' worth of dry AND wet foods, and kidney-safe treats. (I'm having trouble with this math, since I don't know exactly how many servings are in this bag, or how much he will eat.)
$70 for his regular anxiety meds and lysine treats.

= $470 as a cushion against the most likely expenses over the next year or so, plus the non-negotiable meds and food, and the mercy fund in case he needs to be put to sleep.


PLUS OPTIONAL
$230 for an "optional" X-ray, which I very much want to get so we can check for other things like tumors. I REALLY want this quite badly, but it IS optional.
$400 for a full-body clean at Skulls Unlimited, like I did for Tazendra. This is genuinely optional. I'm not expecting this. Just the skull is $60.

= $630 extra, for stuff that would be good or cool to have.

TOTAL, that would be $1,100.

That is doable with a head start and help from y'all.

If you are comfortable donating a few bucks outright, I take paypal at naamah@gmail.com.

If you want something concrete, I will be posting some art stuff, listing some ponies on eBay, and maybe taking some small art commissions. I will try to get that stuff up on Monday, as well as bumping this post.

I am very optimistic after my talk with our vet today. I have a lot of hope, and overall this isn't looking too bad right now. I just want to build up a cushion so that we can keep him safe.

Thank you all for your kind words of support, which have been worth my stupid cat's weight in gold. It's good to see that there's hope. <3

Thank you for having my back, and his.

Here he is being stinky and beautiful:


Smooch is so pretty!

He says thank you.  <3
umadoshi: (Tohru & the pretty boys (flamika))
[personal profile] umadoshi
We have a window in our bathroom! (A skylight, technically, since the exterior bathroom wall slopes outward and is shingled.) Except I have yet to see the window, because it's on the front of the house and I came in through the back door when coming home tonight, and there's still a bathroom wall between the room and the window/exterior wall. Getting the actual window in was the only time-/weather-sensitive part, and [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and the contractor agreed that the drywall would stay intact for now. (I wasn't here for the discussion, so I don't actually know if that's because [dreamwidth.org profile] scruloose and I haven't finalized what we're doing with that part of the room (the extra floor space we could gain by removing the existing interior wall and just having the sloped wall), or because of time constraints, or because that's just not being part of what that contracting company does...? *shrugs* But we have a window.

K.B. Spangler has a new book out this week--one that's not connected to A Girl and Her Fed. (Digital only right now, but a print version is coming.) [twitter.com profile] seananmcguire wrote a short Twitter thread in response when Spangler announced the new book's availability; the key takeaway about the actual writing is "If you want some of the most elegantly written, internally consistent, funny, touching, TRUE science fiction coming out today, you should take a look at @KBSpangler. She's the real deal, y'all. She's writing shit that breaks every rule, and still works."

In related news, I just spent a vile amount on US-to-Canada shipping* to get a print copy of Rise Up Swearing (so far the only compiled volume of AGAHF) and a little pin of Bubbles, the Fed's digital clownfish...avatar? (I'm blanking on the correct word. "Avatar" is applied to something else in that 'verse, though, IIRC. Hmm.)

I was spared having to decide, in this time of "yes, I swear, I'm trying to cut back on spending", whether I was going to get a "Literalists do it with their genitals!" shirt; the shirt is currently unavailable (as in, no longer showing up on the site at all, not just out of stock). My wallet is grateful.

*Ordered directly from the AGAHF store, and she was as appalled as I was at the shipping cost. It wasn't surprising, though.

The first week at Casual Job is over--all two days of it! (Four hours yesterday and eight today.) I'm having some tech frustration at the office that would take ages to type up and is not terribly interesting, but I'll say that I really, really hope the person who sometimes does on-site IT support for us is around on Monday, because WOW, calling the help desk was useless. -_-

So far at Hal-Con I've seen several people wearing geeky shirts from stories I know, and things like a Sailor Saturn costume down in the mall food court. (A moment of respectful silence for the food court workers this weekend, who'll be slammed.) But the best was when Ginny and I were running down from work to get lunch and ran into someone in Tohru cosplay! The cosplayer mentioned that she was off to get her Yuki and Kyo, but Ginny and I were then unsure if she'd meant plushies of the boys in their cursed forms or fellow cosplayers.
sovay: (Otachi: Pacific Rim)
[personal profile] sovay
In about an hour, I am going to see Howard the Duck (1986) on 70 mm at the Somerville Theatre. It's part of their second annual 70 mm & Widescreen Festival, which started this Wednesday and runs through the rest of the month; last year it offered me such superlative viewing experiences as Lord Jim (1965), Spartacus (1960), Sleeping Beauty (1959) and Tron (1982), and this year I am starting with a duck from another planet. We're meeting my parents for it. My father unironically loves Howard the Duck. He ranks it with '80's cult classics like The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984) and has always felt it deserved a sequel. I have not seen it since high school at the latest and have peculiarly fragmentary memories of the plot. The opening sequence is picture-clear: Howard on his home planet greeting a Playduck centerfold with "My little airbrushed beauty!" before being sucked through space and time into Cleveland, Ohio where he rescues a new wave chick from some lowlifes with the ancient martial art of "Quack Fu." She has a band. I want to say he ends up managing it. After that things start to break up. I remember that an eldritch thing possesses Jeffrey Jones—and that it happens for the decently Lovecraftian reason that it is never a bright idea to open a door at random into the deep reaches of space when you don't know what might be on the other side—but I don't remember the mechanism or the immediate consequences, except that I have the vague sense of a road trip. I remember that Chip Zien voices Howard, when I know him much better for his work in musical theater. IMDb tells me that this movie was also the first place I saw Lea Thompson and Tim Robbins. I'm really looking forward. Other films I am planning to catch on 70 mm include Wonder Woman (2017) and Cleopatra (1963), which should really be something on a big screen, as should an IB Technicolor VistaVision print of North by Northwest (1959). I am a little sorry to have missed The Dark Crystal (1982) earlier this evening, but it has been a long and stressful day. There's always the matinée repeat on Sunday if I really feel like it. In the meantime, there's a space duck.

[edit] Yeah, sorry, haters. Howard the Duck remains a really delightful sci-fi comedy. Lea Thompson makes a surprisingly credible new wave/punk frontwoman. Tim Robbins is so young and so gangly. Jeffrey Jones is no Emilio Lizardo, but he chews good scenery as the possessed scientist. There are practical effects. There is stop-motion. (There are too many fight scenes and things blowing up, but I feel this way about most movies with any action quotient.) And there is a road trip, with a pit stop at a nuclear power plant. The script is sweet and full of consciously comic-book dialogue and it plays its interspecies romance straight; the only joke that really pulled me up short was a tossed-off sex-change line which mercifully goes by fast. I can't imagine swapping out any of the actors, especially Zien. I had completely forgotten about Richard Kiley as the introductory narrator, B-movie style. I don't even think it's an enjoyably bad movie: I just like it. And I have seen perhaps the last remaining 70 mm print in the world. No regrets.
xela: Photo of me (Default)
[personal profile] xela

Earlier this afternoon I did something I rarely do: Post a comment on a youtube video. I'm a veteran of USENET flame wars, so not much phased by the knuckle-dragger insults a thoughtful comment often draws there. But BITD, my newsgroup comments were also likely to yield worthwhile replies. Youtube, not so much.

But comment I did. And then did something I do even more rarely: Shared the video on Facebook. And now I want to share it with you as well. Starting with my FB introduction:

I've read a lot of excellent essays about art — literature, film, theater, even music. I've read a lot more that was crap, of course (or at any rate, started a lot more that was crap, before giving up in disgust). The point being that I know what well-crafted criticism is. And this video essay on how JK Rowling's characters — especially Hermione — changed from book to film is one of the best pieces of criticism I've ever seen. Well worth watching.




And the comment I left on youtube:

Thank you for a tremendously well-observed and thought-provoking close-reading. The Devil's Snare episode was one of my favorite parts of _Philosopher's Stone_ from the first time I read it. And when the movie came out, I leaned forward in my seat and literally waited with bated breath for URupert Grint to say "Are you a witch or what?" And left the movie muttering something about "best line of dialog in the entire book, and _they left it out?!_"

But I entirely failed to see it as part of _any_ larger pattern, let alone the sevaral you bring out. Good criticism is rare. In producing a piece of excellent criticism that's also entertaining and perfectly true, you've hit the trifecta. Great work. Thank you.

What it’s like for girls

Sep. 22nd, 2017 03:39 pm
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
I've always dressed androgynously and worn my hair long since childhood, because of being nonbinary, but this was the first time I'd got this treatment. I think it gets more common after puberty?

When I was about fifteen, I participated in a thirty-mile walk to raise money for charity. The final checkpoint was a pub, and of course everyone went into the beer garden and lay down on the grass.

Now you know how when you've been exerting yourself, you can walk fine until you stop, whereupon your muscles seize up. Well, after lying on the ground for a few minutes I got up because I needed to go into the pub and find the toilet, and of course I could hardly walk. So I hobbled towards the pub door.

A middle-aged man walked up and held my elbow, saying, "Let me help you, my dear."

First thought: wtf?! Why has this creep grabbed my arm without asking?

Second thought: Oh! In these baggy walking clothes, he thinks I'm a girl.

Third thought: Wait a moment. That means that girls get this sort of treatment all the time and I'VE NEVER NOTICED.

It was seriously a life-altering moment.

Semblance

Sep. 22nd, 2017 04:01 am
[syndicated profile] dumbingofage_feed

Posted by David M Willis


TODAY, FRIDAY, September 22
, I will be at Vintage Pheonix Comic Books in Bloomington, Indiana, from 5-7pm!  I will have books and probably character magnets and my nigh-charming self!  If you’re lucky, maybe my wife will be in the corner wrangling my adorable children, who will hopefully not be eating books and magnets.

Next Saturday the 30th, I’ll be signing at the table for Laughing Ogre Comics at Cartoon Crossroads Columbus!  You can find me there from 2:30 to 6pm.

Smooch update.

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:39 pm
naamah_darling: The right-side canines of a wolf's skull; the upper canine is made of gold. (Default)
[personal profile] naamah_darling
So the verdict is stage 3 kidney disease, and it is fatal.

We have time yet, though.  We'll do dietary management as long as we can.  But because I don't know how long we have, I am having to make preparations for sooner rather than later.  Because I can't afford to be caught flat-footed.

I am going to ask some questions, get a price for some things I know will be necessary, and then I am going to throw a number out there and ask y'all to help me hit it so we can be sure to have his needs covered for the next little while, including one more round of bloodwork for a re-check in six months, and, unfortunately, for the cost of euthanasia + taking care of the body.  I'm working on getting figures for that.  I'll know more tomorrow and should have a more complete forecast by Monday.

I knew going in I probably wouldn't have him for that long.  I'm okay.  It hurts, but I can do this.  I can't fix him, but I can be with him til the end of the line.  I just want to make sure he's taken care of.

I'm hurting just as bad for my best friend, who on the same day I heard about Smooch, learned that her Puck, my favorite dog in the world, has terminal cancer and has around a month.  I can't fix him either.

We are all so fucking helpless.  Life is so beautiful, I love it, but it is also completely heartless, and while I will never hesitate to make this bargain again and again, loving our pets means losing them.  They are our little outboard hearts, and that makes them so precious and us so vulnerable.
sovay: (Sovay: David Owen)
[personal profile] sovay
Even if the rest of the film were forgettable, Howard Hawks' Red River (1948) would be worth it for the climactic fight scene where Montgomery Clift and John Wayne are tragically and brutally and patriarchally beating one another's brains out and just as the audience, consisting in this case of me and [personal profile] rushthatspeaks, decides it cannot take another second of this senseless macho bullshit, Joanne Dru can't either and not only says as much, she holds both combatants at gunpoint until they cut the machismo and admit they love one another. It was a thing of beauty. ("You'd better marry that girl, Matt.") Factor in the gun-comparing scene between Clift and John Ireland and other not infrequent moments of no heterosexual explanation and the whole thing was a nice break from today's otherwise relentless grind of work, even if we weren't totally sure at the outset. It is not easy to watch a movie in the company of an active and presently tired and cranky eleven-month-old, but we managed. In other news, Fox these days is freestanding, fast-moving, can hang upside down by the knees if an adult holds them, and appears to be taking against the entire concept of pants. They like honeycake, though.

Autolycus is being heartbreakingly plaintive right now. He has a vet appointment early in the morning and it requires fasting, which is an impossible concept to explain to a cat. I let him graze all day and gave him a proper dinner at the absolute last moment, but he is attempting to convince me that, actually, in point of fact, he starved since then. We should find him some kind of special treat after the appointment, for being so brave and honest. Last night he and his sister shared in the Rosh Hashanah chicken. All cats are lunisolar.

In honor of the High Holidays, here is a post on Jewish superheroes and here is a brilliant riposte to the rather short-sighted question "How can you be Black and Jewish?"

Back to the relentless grind. At least it is almost autumn.

Fifteen Characters Meme: the answers

Sep. 21st, 2017 11:41 am
el_staplador: Three-quarters crop of Victor from the opening credits sequence of Yuri!!! on Ice (victor)
[personal profile] el_staplador
The characters:

1. River Song (Doctor Who)
2. Eugénie Danglars (The Count of Monte Cristo)
3. Victor Nikiforov (Yuri!!! on Ice)
4. John Tracy (Thunderbirds)
5. Romeo (Romeo and Juliet)
6. Liz Shaw (Doctor Who)
7. Lady Penelope (Thunderbirds)
8. Petrova Fossil (Ballet Shoes)
9. Edmond Dantes|The Count of Monte Cristo (The Count of Monte Cristo)
10. Dorothea Callum (Swallows and Amazons etc)
11. Madame C-|Lady B- (The Comfortable Courtesan)
12. Dickson McCunn (Huntingtower etc)
13. Miss Marple
14. Rudolf Rassendyll (The Prisoner of Zenda)
15. The Dowager Duchess of Denver (Lord Peter Wimsey)


The answers )
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
and then some!

*****************


German Shepherd Mom Tires Out Her Pups In The Most Adorable Way Possible (It is adorable! She alternates between bouts where they can't possibly catch up to her and bouts where they can, clever doggie!)

Scientists Invent a Pen That Can Detect Cancer in Seconds

For Centuries, People Celebrated a Little Boy’s First Pair of Trousers

“Do Sign Languages Have Accents?” (Video, or you can read the transcription)

Is there a single food that you can survive on forever?

The island people with a climate change escape plan

Here’s why you should pay attention to this weekend’s German election

There is meddling in Germany's election — not by Russia, but by U.S. right wing

What A Doctor Calls A Condition Can Affect How We Decide To Treat It

When the Idea of Home Was Key to American Identity

Parents Who Pay to Be Watched (OMG.)

Colombia partners with locals in order to stop cocaine production, US warns it may not be enough

Behind the scenes, Zimbabwe politicians plot post-Mugabe reforms

Iraqi Kurds set to vote on independence, panicking neighbors and Washington

What is behind clashes in Ethiopia's Oromia and Somali regions?

Facebook’s war on free will

Facebook Enabled Advertisers to Reach ‘Jew Haters’

The basic physics of climate change have been known for more than a century, but it is in recent decades that the fundamental science of global warming has solidified

The Minuscule Importance of Manufacturing in Far-Right Politics

Stop acting surprised, America: Donald Trump is a white supremacist

In Month After Charlottesville, Papers Spent as Much Time Condemning Anti-Nazis as Nazis

The Republicans Aren't Even Pretending This Is About Healthcare Anymore

Christians in U.S. Military ‘Serve Satan’ If They Tolerate Other Religions, Air Force Chaplain Says

Making war illegal changed the world. But it’s becoming too easy to break the law

Anatomy of terror: What makes normal people become extremists?
sovay: (Rotwang)
[personal profile] sovay
Erev Rosh Hashanah: I misplace the keys to my parents' house and cannot help with the cooking as early in the afternoon as planned, but my brother and his family turn out to have been laid low by some opportunistic bug (the preschool year has started) and don't make it for dinner after all; my father drives their roast chicken and their challah and their honeycake out to them in the evening. We eat ours after I light orange taper candles that technically belong to Halloween because that's what's in the house. The chicken is brined and stuffed with lemon halves and fresh rosemary; the huge round challah with honey drizzled lightly over its egg-washed crust is from Mamaleh's; the honeycakes are homemade and the twice-baked potatoes were introduced by [personal profile] spatch and me. I know it is not precisely the customary use of the Shechecheyanu, but I find it useful to have a prayer thank you, God, that we've made it this far. The year starts anyway, ready or not. I'd rather recognize it as it goes by. L'shanah tovah, all.

Carrying

Sep. 21st, 2017 04:01 am
[syndicated profile] dumbingofage_feed

Posted by David M Willis

Here is a reminder that TOMORROW, FRIDAY, September 22, I will be at Vintage Pheonix Comic Books in Bloomington, Indiana, from 5-7pm!  I will have books and probably character magnets and my nigh-charming self!

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