And that's terrible

Jan. 30th, 2015 11:30 pm
musyc: Stock photo of a lit cigarette (B/W: Cigarette)
[personal profile] musyc
In the grocery store today, getting cat food, I struck up a conversation with the dude standing next to me who was staring with confusion at the cans. Suggested my cats' favorite kind, fish with baby shrimp in, and he made a sad face.

His cat is allergic to fish.

That poor, poor cat. Can't have fish. Terrible!
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Fire on the @mbta at DTX. At least half a dozen fire trucks here, plus cops and TSA officers. Chaos as everyone tries to commute around. #boston

some things make a post!

Jan. 30th, 2015 07:38 pm
kaberett: Yellow gingko leaf against teal background (gingko)
[personal profile] kaberett
1. Shameless plug: if you like murder mysteries and particularly Cambridge-University-based murder mysteries featuring preposterous shenanigans involving old manuscripts and devious flooding and university library stacks, and also if you want some viciously-observed academic politics, my problematic fave aunt's self-published her novel Scarlet Day, and it is fantastic. (I beta'd it and gave Some Feedback, on which basis I believe it has been improved. It also stars many of my Papa's gobsmacking anecdotes from his years working as a civil engineer for the Cornwall council; and similarly at least alludes to several of the family legends of the "and the only possible solution was to bury the jam at the bottom of the vegetable garden" variety.)

2. The NHM's Wildlife Photographer of the Year 50th anniversary exhibit is brilliant, I gather from browsing the subset of images available online. Fading Beauty by David Maitland is now my wallpaper (replacing my own shot of autumn leaves). A particular shoutout to the best Little Squid.

3. graze has introduced a new roast-giant-corn-and-sriracha-peas thing, and it is my new favourite snack and I wish to buy it by the kilogram.

4. POAST item the first: care package from [personal profile] littlebutfierce as part of a January gift exchange, feat. TEAL in forms various incl. glitter tape (!!!!), gel pen, thematically appropriate chocolate (??? some kind of WIZARD I swear), and -- yes, hurrah, aaaah <3

5. POAST item the second: [personal profile] shanaqui made me a dinosaur-and-volcanoes duvet cover that fits my super-king duvet. It is the best. ♥________♥

6. NOT-POAST item the third: [personal profile] khalinche has sent in my direction some unaccountably gorgeous beaded hair ornaments; I am going to attempt to get photographs!

7. My amazing housemate worked from home today in the interests of getting the estate agent to explain why precisely we had been sent a letter telling us our house was unacceptably schmutzig, recommending their professional cleaner to us as someone to spend money on (as some of you will have heard at length...). They came around; it turns out that they sent the letter at the landlord's request with no clear idea of the supposed problem, and struggled to find anything to point out to us as an issue. It sounds like they are enough on-side, which means I am massively less stressed.

8. ... housemate also made amazing enchiladas for dinner. <3

9. Putting away my laundry LIKE AN ADULT.

10. Newlementary! To watch Shortly iHope.


Jan. 30th, 2015 10:56 am
ysobel: A kitten staring at its reflection; text: through the looking glass (through the looking glass)
[personal profile] ysobel
Family was ... not driving, more like being chauffeured, in something like a small tour bus that was just us? ... to a mountain area called Shenandoah. The closer we got, the more vivid the colors became; the ocean (?) was super blue, the trees and grasses were super green, the flowers were every color of the rainbow.

We got as far as the driveable road went, a gravel parking lot on the edge of a field full of wildflowers, and as we got out a yellow bird with ornate plumage flew in and gave us each a kiss of welcome; I had a camera up to my face because I was trying to photograph everything, so the first kiss landed on the lens, but when I lowered the camera I got another on my forehead.

We walked the rest of the way to our (remote) cabin, and there was a stretch where -- through some escheresque arrangement -- we were high enough on the peak that we were in definite snow zone, but the ocean was high enough that it could wash up overlapping the path; not big splashy waves, but the sort of crawling shallow in-and-out that you get on beaches at the very edge of the waterline. And the residue of water that got left behind with each retreat froze to ice, even though the moving water never did.

The whole setting was just ... very peaceful; everything was beautiful, and despite the whole snow and ice thing it wasn't cold at all. And I didn't hurt at all, or feel tired, and just felt like I could go on walking forever.

Culture Consumed Friday

Jan. 30th, 2015 09:29 pm
vass: Small turtle with green leef in its mouth (Eat your greens)
[personal profile] vass

Read John Scalzi's Lock In, which is fun and fast-paced. He's clearly done his reading about the history of US cancer research, which is good to see. I would have liked it better if a mobility-disabled character without a robot body got a speaking part, but it's still pretty great.

The moment I decided to trust Scalzi:

spoilers for a scene about midway through the book )

I hadn't read much about this book before I read it, so there were two specific things that I had not been spoilered about. I caught one of them, I didn't catch the other. V nffhzrq, pbeerpgyl, gung Funar jnf ovenpvny. V nffhzrq vapbeerpgyl gung Funar jnf znyr - Funar'f traqre vf arire fgngrq. And I'm impressed, while facepalming at myself a little bit for my own assumptions.

I will say, though, that there were a few times when a more explicit discussion of the disability issues (and the history of disability rights) would have made it sound less hypothetical and more like a science fiction exploration of something that really happens today.

There were a few places where I was kind of jumping up and down saying "The slogan you want here is 'nothing about us without us', why not use it?"

And he didn't give a shout-out anywhere in the book to locked-in people who do not have his fictional disease, which is going to leave a lot of uninformed readers thinking he made locked-in syndrome up too. I think that was a serious weakness.

But generally it was a good book and lots of fun. Would adapt very well to TV.


Played Long Live The Queen. A lot. Someone in the comments on a review I read said "It's certainly the best regicide simulator there is." This is hilarious and also true.

I won using a spoiler walkthrough. I've also died five times. I figured out how to dance with women, and one of them sent me flowers. I love that my magic tutor is a lesbian. I'm not quite as happy that if I dance with women, it's assumed I'm not interested in men. (I, the player, am not into men, as it happens. But I see no reason Queen Elodie shouldn't be bi.) But still, progress. And I won the naval battle using magic. That was fun.

Things I'm still working on:
- the thing with the cats. (I was working on that this evening, and I got all my stats right for it - yes, I am spoilering myself right and left, why do you ask? - but forgot to do the basic stuff that would keep me safe until that came up, and got killed at the Grand Ball.)
- surviving the forest side quest.
- the hostage situation
- the power of song achievement. I've read the game transcript of that part of someone else's game, and it was super cool.


Listened to Small Town Heroes by Hurray for the Riff Raff. Liked it. I bought the album on the strength of the music video of The Body Electric (tw: the lyrics are about murder. The video shows it symbolically, not graphically), which remains the stand-out song in the album.


Made my take on [personal profile] kaberett's pasta bake. My version used cannelini, a little bit of celery, olive oil, sambal oelek, crushed garlic, oregano, black pepper, salt, spiral pasta, and passata. The beans were a bad idea: combined with that method of pasta preparation, they made it too starchy. The celery was also a bad idea: it didn't cook fast enough. I should have added cooked veg instead. I knew this, but I was craving vegetables, and it affected my judgement. Apart from that it was good.

Purple pants for Yoda

Jan. 30th, 2015 02:42 am
azurelunatic: Vuvuzela emitting sound waves in a black and yellow road sign style icon (vuvuzela)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Last night was the deadline for papers for a certain internal conference. Not the one I'm running, but the hella one that both lb and Purple were planning to submit papers for. lb submitted his in what must have been a sensible amount of time before the deadline. Up past the point we headed out of work last night (and I had occasion to explain Frank Chu very briefly in the parking lot, much to Purple's utter crogglement), Purple's conclusion was a succinct "(conclusion goes here)" sort of affair, which is more effective in a draft than in a submitted paper. I looked it over. I made a few comments, including a tentative go at a framework of a conclusion.

"$WORKNAME is fine, right?" Purple asked me. "For the paper?"

I reloaded the draft in the public folder of his server share and found my work-standardized legal name in the acknowledgements, tucked in with Mr. Bananas, his manager, lb, and a few other people. Yes, $WORKNAME is best because people can look me up by it. He got back online after getting home, and kept working on things.

It makes me quietly happy that I'm developing a few editing shorthand phrases that I can use with Purple. "Yoda" is one of them. Sometimes when he turns a sentence around, it turns out that he meant something entirely different than the first phrasing implied to me. Things like "it" and "this" sometimes have to get explicitly called, and sometimes, yep, different.

Azz: "Sounds good, Unit Test Jesus."
Purple: "I hope I don't find Unit Test Judas."

He got it submitted a comfortable hour-ish before deadline. By the end, I was able to say, "and it does not aesthetically offend me :)" He took that as the compliment it was meant as.

Azz: "unlike that combination of shirts :-P"
Purple: "that was the camel shirt with the fluorescent green shirt right?"
Azz: "yes"
Purple: "Shame I don't have purple pants"
Azz: "... ... ... you fucking eyetroll <3"

I took a long time to get to sleep last night, so I didn't wake up in time for the presentation I wanted to go to. (Purple, for his part, decided that he was going to wake up slowly reading, and then got a fifteen-minute alarm chime for the presentation, so he dialed in because there is no way to physically make it from his place to work in 15 minutes, and in any event he had been in bed at this point.) Then I had to refuel Vash, so that took longer.

Today I remembered to bring the sack of sawed-off pool noodles to work. I debated bringing one with me to lunch for Purple, but instead brought one to the conference meeting for the chairs. I gave it to Researcher Polka-Dot, and told her that it was a sawed-off pool noodle, and useful for keeping order. She was delighted, and toted it with her for the next three hours of meetings.

It was a long day full of meetings. I am really going to have to see if D16 is unoccupied before the team meetings, because going directly from the committee meeting upstairs to the team meeting is really a pain as it is at the opposite end of the building from the elevator. Since my knees and stairs shouldn't even be in the same sentence, you can imagine how well this goes. (Also, I tend to need the bathroom every hour because I drink a ridiculous amount of water to keep everything else happy, especially in meeting rooms which are overheating, which introduces more time between meetings.)

So today was the off-week for the team meeting, but our (gulp) acting director tracked down one of the higher-ups steering one of the products the team does a lot of work with, and he introduced himself and had some things to say, and the team had questions.

I am not freshly up on all the latest testing methods and also jargon, but the guy said a thing about a testing strategy which I had never heard of before. I wrote it down, resolved to google it later, and asked what his thoughts/familiarity with unit testing was. He had no thoughts, being zero familiar. I hoped that we had not just met Unit Test Judas.

After all that, the (fairly substantial) committee set off for the location where we are to hold the (small) internal conference. Since we were leaving from the ass-end of the building, we went down the stairs. That was two stairs today. I am bad at stairs. Madam Standards looked for me and waited for me to catch up. She is beginning to doubt the concept that I just ~*appear*~ everywhere. I explained the usual method.

Shenanigans resulted in some running around where Madam Standards went off with the people who were going UP the STEPS, despite her plan to walk back with me because she'd forgot her badge. Then she went back but by that time I'd already gone up in the elevator, then we were headed back but she wanted to scope out the power outlets, and so we went back...

By the end of all that, I'd exceeded my steps by a few hundred. I complained to Purple a bit. He was ... "helpful".

Now that I was back at my desk, I shared the hope that this guy is not Unit Test Judas. We all googled the test thing that he had mentioned. Purple, who knows more about testing ideologies than I do, declared that it wasn't quite even a buzzword, as one of the major requirements for a buzzword is buzz. This testing ideology had about as many other supporters besides the clickbait bingo bandits who have their writeup paywalled off as there are other plaintiffs in Frank Chu's labor dispute against the 12 Galaxies.

Eventually it was time to go. This time, I was the holdup -- I'd decided to go ahead and book the conference room we were planning for the green room. It didn't say it was restricted in the calendar system, so I set up an appointment. Then I got the rejection message -- it was restricted after all. Drat it. So I would have to file two tickets: one to ask for the room, and one to ask that the room be named to reflect its status (in accordance with the standards).

I filed the ticket to book the room. In doing so, I discovered that there were two ranks of tickyboxes, none of which were relevant to my needs in booking, but both of which were required, with no 'n/a' selection. So I would have to file a third ticket about that. Then, upon submitting, I saw that the terrible green UI showed up blank, although the terrible blue and white UI showed the details. Fourth ticket.

Again, I was still swearing when Purple came to retrieve me. I thanked him for being supportive and listening while I wrestled with the fucking thing. We headed out by way of the kitchen -- I had grabbed some toast and hot chocolate earlier, and had a plate and cup to drop in the dishes -- but the kitchen floor was being actively washed. I left the plate on a nearby table, as this was the lesser inconvenience.

He didn't see my car at first. "Where did you park?" "Near you." We rounded whatever it was that was blocking the view, and he saw the little white sedan in the space right next to his car, and he mused that he had in fact been in to work a little later than he'd planned on, due to the presentation that morning.

We chatted for a while in the parking lot.

Purple: "And the guy was -- what's-his-name, British, in a lot of romcoms..."
Azz: "...Alan Rickman?"
Purple: *doubles over laughing* "You're certainly watching different things than I am!"
Azz, slightly defensively: "The only British [male] actors I know are: Alan Rickman, Bendydick Cummerbund, Sir Ian, Sir Patrick... Oh! And John Cleese! Eric Idle! Eric-the-half-a-Bee!"
Purple, howling with laughter: "ERIC THE HALF A BEE IS NOT A REAL ACTOR. HE'S A BEE. HALF A BEE."

Somehow (via "Bad Touch") we got onto the time I sprayed myself in the face with glitter, twice, as a result of being too tired to play with physics.

We hugged goodnight. We still had a few words left. Then I bent over a bit, exposing the top of my head to him. He scritched me gently on the head, then told me I was weird. :)

(no subject)

Jan. 29th, 2015 08:00 pm
ketsu: (Default)
[personal profile] ketsu
So... Dreamwidth?


Jan. 30th, 2015 12:57 am
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
(An aside: I sent my mother one of the bits of Rilke and the translation I massively disliked; she e-mailed back agreeing it was terrible and had a much better stab at it herself. We were duly scathing about the bit of the introduction that claimed that the Robert Frost quote - about poetry being the thing that is lost when a poem is translated - did not apply in this case. I can think of instances where it definitely doesn't, but...)

todo )

tada )

bonus tada for today because wow )

hello Internet, you're my favourite

Jan. 29th, 2015 09:55 pm
kaberett: Clyde the tortoise from Elementary, crawling across a map, with a red tape cross on his back. (elementary-emergency-clyde)
[personal profile] kaberett
[personal profile] sebastienne is a rock star, okay. (This is literal as well as metaphorical, which is why it's my favourite way to describe them being incredible. I mean, in part it's just a lot of fun to explain to people that they're having a bath LIKE A ROCK STAR but! also!)

-- right, so, today I had a GP appointment about whether a PTSD diagnosis might be appropriate. Upshot: hurrah my GP is awesome.

More details. )

s. was brilliant about letting me hold their hand & Just Dealing With It when I went "um, I'm really sorry, I can't unpack, can you explain what I mean by and then facesfriend pulled a face and Dan Was In My House?" and then letting me drag them around the Natural History Museum (new stegosaurus! an entire minerals gallery I'd been oblivious to because it's sociology-of-minerals not the scientific collection!) to calm myself down and then letting me feed them such that I ate dinner - housemate is off having dinner with my boything tonight, eyeroll ;) - and. yes. things? things happened.

And I got home and wrote a first draft of the sodding conference abstract; it will need lots of reworking BUT I HAVE WORDS DOWN ON PAPER. I win.

Cats AKA Little Weirdos

Jan. 28th, 2015 09:38 pm
musyc: Slytherin text icon: We're all mad here (Slytherin: All mad here)
[personal profile] musyc
Earlier today, I caught a glimpse of movement at the back door. Our cats come to this door and knock when they want in - it's a sliding door and they raise their little paws to poke the glass. It's adorable - so of course I thought it was one of them.

No. It was a grey cat with a white spot on its chest. For half a second, I swear to little green fishies that I thought Lady Jane Grey had come back. Which is impossible, as she's dead and Stephen King lives nowhere near here. (Though if there ever is a zombie cat uprising, I'm fucked, because there are ... (*counts* Hawkeye, Kokomo, Cayman, Tiger Lily, Lady Jane Grey, Harleyquin, Tabitha, and a Lost Boy kitten that didn't live one night) eight cat graves at the edge of the property. I digress.)

This grey kitty looked right at me and meowed. Curiouser and curiouser. I got up and opened the door, just to see what would happen.

This kitty was very obviously a non-neutered male cat. Very, hugely, obviously not a neutered male cat. And he jumped into the house, meowed at me again, then sauntered straight into the kitchen, around the corner into the pantry, and to the food bowl. Grabbed himself a couple of bites and a drink of water, then scampered back outside to go patrol by the fence which is where some damn fine hunting is, according to Bear.

I have never seen this cat before. Not in my yard, not on the street, not anywhere in the neighborhood. As far as I know, this is the first day this cat has ever been within miles of my house.

And he not only knew to come meow at the back door, he knew exactly where the food was. And not one of my four cats gave him the slightest trouble as he came into THEIR house and ate some of THEIR food. Sam and Jesse just kind of stared at him. Tails bushed out, but nothing more. Gidget didn't notice. Bear didn't even bother to wake up.

Either they're all in a gang I don't know about and he's a member, or there are little feline hobo signs somewhere on the property. Kind lady lives here.

Liebes-Lied | Rainer Maria Rilke

Jan. 29th, 2015 12:39 am
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
Wie soll ich meine Seele halten, daß
sie nicht an deine rührt? Wie soll ich sie
hinheben über dich zu andern Dingen?
Ach gerne möcht ich sie bei irgendwas
Vorlorenem im Dunkel unterbringen
an einer fremden stillen Stelle, die
nicht weiterschwingt, wenn deine Tiefen schwingen.
Doch alles, was uns anrührt, dich und mich,
nimmt uns zusammen wie ein Bogenstrich,
der aus zwei Saiten eine Stimme zieht.
Auf welches Instrument sind wir gespannt?
Und welcher Geiger hat uns in der Hand?
O süßes Lied.

Wednesday Reading Meme

Jan. 28th, 2015 07:19 pm
sineala: Detail of Harry Wilson Watrous, "Just a Couple of Girls" (reading)
[personal profile] sineala
If you are reading me because you wanted me to talk about me reading things that weren't comics ever again, I apologize.

What I Just Finished Reading

The Ultimates 1, The Ultimates 2, Ultimate Iron Man, Ultimate Hulk vs. Iron Man: Ultimate Human, The Ultimates 3, Ultimatum: I am... still not sure how I feel about Ults. It is basically a series of awful things happening to awful people, but, like I said, I kind of like how their reactions to typical superhero-level threats are more realistic. I could do without the racism, sexism, homophobia, etc etc., and, okay, I am kind of curious what happens when they come up against 616, but I think really I'd like to know what they do that doesn't involve punching each other in the face. Which I am not sure canon will give me.

(A quiz: People who would non-consensually drop Bruce Banner from great heights into combat to make him Hulk out: (a) Ults Cap, (b) 616 Cap, (c) both. Siiiiiiiiigh.)

Also don't read Ultimate Iron Man. It is by Orson Scott Card and I think someone told him that Tony was a child genius and he decided that therefore he needed to write a bizarre remix of Ender's Game. Also it's awful.

What I'm Reading Now

Ultimate Armor Wars. I suspect, given that regular Armor Wars was not really an immense amount of fun for 616 Tony Stark, that the Ults version will be brutal. I do appreciate that he's decorated his offices with a version of The Creation of Adam in which he is posing as Adam, with strategically-placed Iron Man helmet. That's the kind of tastefulness and restraint I associate with Ults Tony! (616 Tony, as we all know, decorates with pictures of Captain America.)

(This week's comics: New Avengers. I forgot after reading twenty of them in a row that they are really slow when you read them one at a time.)

What I'm Reading Next

More Ults, I suppose. (I'm not actually reading all of Ults -- just, you know, the stuff about the Ultimates. Mostly Tony. And Steve. And probably Miles when he shows up, because Miles is cool.)

And then at some point, actual books.
ursamajor: people on the beach watching the ocean (Default)
[personal profile] ursamajor
post-tags: instagram, crosspost Kids tobogganing down the snowpack at the foot of our street yesterday. #bosnow #latergram #blizzard2015

A high compliment

Jan. 28th, 2015 01:51 am
azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
(linkdude has linked a thing where some straight person seems to be performing poutyface about having overheard some queerfolks blow off steam about "the straights" or whatevz, and is being all "LOOK IF YOU'N REALLY TRULY *WANT* ALLIES...". Channel has taken a digression or two. Highlights-involving-me with some context follow.)

Read more... )

The loonpills, they do nothing!

Jan. 28th, 2015 01:21 am
azurelunatic: "Where's the goddamn NERF BAT when you *really* need it?" Animated cartoon tech support loses her cool.  (headset)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
04:22 Sunday, 25 January, 2015
This weekend is being much less exciting than last weekend. So far, I have: gone on a minor Costco run Friday night, slept, slept, gone out in semi-fruitless search of sourdough bread (the good sourdough at Sprouts vanishes quickly), and now re-indigoed my hair.

00:58 Wednesday, 28 January, 2015
Tuesday: didn't get as much sleep, slogged into work. Had a fascinating hallway chat with Mr. Wizard Beard, who has pruned his formerly glorious facial tresses back down to a reasonable inch or two of starting point. Lunch was nice even though the sandwich was uninspiring. Purple and the guys were talking about heat sinks. (A lot of times various of the guys will ask Purple to explain a thing. It's great.) I googled up illustrative pictures.

The Dean has made the jump from Extra Special Groundskeeper to HR (Parties Division). I think it's a good change for him. He wandered through on his way back from lunch. We are trying to pin down a date for the kickoff of the You Haven't Seen That?!?!? movie night series. On his way off, he made some casual reference to the contents of Blade Runner. I indicated confusion and unfamiliarity. "You haven't seen that?!!??!!" he asked, proving the relevance of the series title.

I do like taking notes on a nice large sheet of paper. I should make sure to do the Printout of Things for the 1:1 more often again, as it's a helpful framework. My manager said some reasonably encouraging things, even though they were not the sunny-day path. Also, some projects! Whee!

Among many other small items of the day, there was a fellow bemoaning the lack of jam in his building on [off-topic]. One of my unofficial duties is to make sure that random stuff that comes up in [off-topic] gets properly handled, so after mentioning that I had seen jam in my building (today, with no boom), I cracked open the user console for the helpdesk. After a few false starts, I selected the category most likely to correspond with jam tomorrow, even if there was no jam today.

"Jelly in [off-topic-guy's-building] invisible. Jelly in [ajlunatic's-building] visible. Please look into this." File on behalf of: remove ajlunatic, insert off-topic-guy, submit.

Watch confirmation page load. Look for link to ticket to add ajlunatic as cc. Realize that last week's overhaul of user-facing console removed the module containing the most recently filed ticket link from the left-hand side, perhaps because it was too fucking wide on a page with generally shittastic use of space. Realize that because some fuckhead thought all Facilities tickets (kitchen issues included) should be fucking private as all fuckery, I can't jump over to the terrible blue-and-white interface to add myself (or, well, grab the ticket number and whine to helpdesk).

Write up the newly fucking discovered goddamn bug involving the workflow of the fucking assistant, and file it the fuck against the goddamn system.

Call helpdesk. "Hi, I need to be added to a ticket I just filed on behalf of a colleague."
"No, I don't know the ticket number, and I can't find it, it's in Facilites."
"Let me spell his name."
Two minutes pass.
"No, it wasn't technical, it was in Facilities. Under Food & Drink, I think."
Another three minutes.
I spell my own user ID, and I am at last added to the ticket.

I am still cursing in IRC when Purple shows up to drag me away from the computer for the night. (My dad is much better about praise and constructive criticism.)


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