Hope Not Hate have launched a US site!

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 07:14 pm
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] thisfinecrew
Thanks to [personal profile] cesy for the heads-up -- Hope not Hate, a UK group who've been working tirelessly and effectively against fascist, racist and far-right groups over here have launched a US site:

Hope Not Hate (Twitter: [twitter.com profile] hopenothate_USA)

By way of making a dramatic entry, this seems to have been timed to co-ordinate with the announcement of their epic undercover project: Patrik Hermansson, an extremely brave young Swedish grad student, infiltrated the alt-right and lived undercover in the movement in London and the US for nearly a year, wired for sound and carrying hidden cameras. This ultimately included being at Charlottesville and witnessing the car attack that killed Heather Heyer.

The documentary is coming soon, and the comprehensive report on the international alt-right (for which the infiltration was part of the research) is here:

The International Alternative Right

News reports:

New York Times: Undercover With the Alt-Right

Raw Story: ‘It’s gonna end with concentration camps’: Alt-right executive boasts of a future Europe with Hitler on their money

I love HnH; I've supported them for years and have friends who've volunteered for them. They have a long history working against fascist and far right groups in the UK, through research, infiltration, legal action, anti-racist/xenophobic education and campaigning, and their work seems to have naturally become international as the "alt-right" itself has (e.g. with the "Defend Europe" boat).

So I think their expertise (and the willingness of their reporters to put their necks on the line like this, holy fuck) is going to be a hugely valuable resource for people fighting this shit in the US too.

Moon and Hummingbird

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 01:03 pm
yourlibrarian: Butterfly and Alstroemeria by yourlibrarian (NAT-ButterflyAlstroemeria-yourlibrarian)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian posting in [community profile] common_nature
This is the most recent case of what I dub a "low moon" -- meaning that it seems very low and large in the sky.

Read more... )
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
[personal profile] reviews_and_ramblings
Tal Bauer Enemy Within (The Executive Office #3)
Gay - Contemporary Romance
Series: The Executive Office (Book 3)
Paperback: 483 pages
Publisher: Independently published (March 27, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1520907931
ISBN-13: 978-1520907932
Amazon: Tal Bauer Enemy Within (The Executive Office #3)

The White House, infiltrated. The president, running for his life. A traitorous general, intent on burning the world to the ground. When everything falls apart, who do you trust? President Jack Spiers fled Washington DC on the heels of a devastating attack on CIA headquarters, masterminded by one of America’s own, former General Porter Madigan. While the world believes Jack was killed in the bombing, he embarks on a wild infiltration mission, smuggling himself into occupied Russia to rescue the love of his life: former Secret Service Agent and First Gentleman Ethan Reichenbach. Reunited, Jack, Ethan, and deposed Russian president Sergey Puchkov, along with President Elizabeth Wall—the only person left in Washington DC who Jack trusts—must work together. They piece together a desperate plan, hunting Madigan to the ends of the earth and the bitter frigidity of the Arctic, where Madigan’s world-shattering doomsday plan comes together. Outnumbered, outmaneuvered, and outgunned, Jack, Ethan, Sergey, and the rest of the team struggle to put a stop to Madigan and his army. In the desolate extremes of the Arctic, their resolve, their strength, and even their love is tested, pushed to the absolute limits as choices must be made: choices that pit the fate of the world against the love in their hearts, and the loves of their life. As the world crumbles around them, Jack and Ethan find themselves waging a war on two fronts—against an enemy they can see, and another, hiding within their ranks. Who can be trusted when the enemy is within you?

2017 Rainbow Awards Submission: Tal Bauer Hush

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 06:01 pm
reviews_and_ramblings: (Default)
[personal profile] reviews_and_ramblings
Tal Bauer Hush
Gay - Contemporary Romance
Paperback: 460 pages
Publisher: Independently published (July 28, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1521946493
ISBN-13: 978-1521946497
Amazon: Tal Bauer Hush

A federal judge running from the truth. A U.S. marshal running from his past. A trial that can plunge the world into war. Federal Judge Tom Brewer is finally putting the pieces of his life back together. In the closet for twenty-five long years, he’s climbing out slowly, and, with the hope of finding a special relationship with the stunning Mike Lucciano, U.S. Marshal assigned to his D.C. courthouse. He wants to be out and proud, but he can’t erase his own past, and the lessons he learned long ago. But a devastating terrorist attack in the heart of DC, and the subsequent capture and arrest of the terrorist, leads to a trial that threatens to expose the dark underbelly of America’s national security. As Russia beats the drums of war, intent on seeking revenge, and the United States struggles to contain the storm before it races out of control, secrets and lies, past and present, collide in Judge Tom Brewer’s courtroom. With the world’s attention fixed on Tom and this case, he suddenly discovers he may be the only person who can put everything together in time to stop the spark of a new world war.

Hard Things

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 03:50 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Life is full of things which are hard or tedious or otherwise unpleasant that need doing anyhow. They help make the world go 'round, they improve skills, and they boost your sense of self-respect. But doing them still kinda sucks. It's all the more difficult to do those things when nobody appreciates it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our accomplishments and pat each other on the back.

What are some of the hard things you've done recently? What are some hard things you haven't gotten to yet, but need to do?

Old Soldiers, Chapter 9: (not) dodging bullets

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 01:33 am
solarbird: (tracer)
[personal profile] solarbird

Sorry this one took so long. I'm not good at large action sequences, and this chapter was difficult to write, mostly because of that. I was trying to keep it gamelike, in that it would be evocative of a failed charge onto take a point with a payload on it in game, as opposed to a realistic infantry scenario. I hope it works.

If nothing else, it's way longer than most of my chapters, so at least nobody's being short changed. ^_^

[AO3 link]


The opportunity came sooner than expected. An arms shipment, escorted by Los Muertos, task force almost certainly to be led by Jack Morrison - or, as it seems they called him, the white ghost.

Jesse McCree had been the one to catch the rumour, talking with some of his old Deadlock Gang contacts, who, turns out, would be happy if a rival gang did not get to run goods through their territory. And so, they passed the news to him, and he passed it to Amélie, who passed it to Venom, who gave it to Overwatch, and Gabriel Reyes, who built a plan.

Mockingbird lay atop the crest of the hill, silent, even her breath inaudible, even to herself, even she wasn't entirely sure she was bothering to breathe right then, as the small three-vehicle convoy stirred itself, beginning its early-morning trundle out of the two-building ghost town that had once called itself Cloverdale. There had been more here, once, before the climate warmed, but really, it had ended before then, a former bit of a farming town, a little store, a dance pavilion, enough water - just - for a bit of crop and cattle raising, but now, even that last was gone, which is, of course, why they were all where they were.

The sniper had been in her nest since two days before, had watched the convoy trundle its way across the desert and to a stop, loading out into the little stone ruin, and calling it a night. She had not slept; she did not need to, for this watch. Once everyone had tucked themselves in so nicely, so quietly, she'd then confirmed via radio to Gabriel that Jack Morrison was, indeed, in the front truck, and that they were not, in fact, transporting refugees or undocumented workers - there were no innocents to get in the way. Just a simple cargo delivery - maybe the weapons, maybe a side delivery before the main delivery, no way even to know.

Not that it mattered, really.

She watched as the convoy slowly rode its way west, towards her and past burned out soil, past former farm gates, now collapsing along the road, the paint bleached in the sun. She took in a breath, just enough to speak. "They're on their way."

Gabriel's voice in her ear. "Do you have the target?"

Lena allowed herself the smallest of smirks. Less than a kilometre. No breeze, at all. Crystal clear skies. Do I have the target. Honestly, Gabe. But she kept it to herself. "Target confirmed and moving into go/no go. Do I have go?"

Reyes ran through the numbers one more time in his head. Everyone in position for the ambush. A lot more fighters on the Los Muertos side - more than they expected, and it bothered him - but only one hard target. The gang side wouldn't be trying for a capture - they'd be shooting for kills, without hesitation - but Overwatch had surprise on their side.

"Nearing optimal range, Gabe. Go or no go?"

Who knows when we'll get intel even this good again, he decided. "Action confirmed. All team, on my mark - go."

Venom - no, Mockingbird - smiled the spider's smile, and pulled the trigger. Morrison's head jerked to the side as the tactical visor went flying out across the desert in pieces, and he swore, loudly, in Spanish, blinded by his own blood, but not really hurt, despite the proximity of the bullet. The transport vehicle swerved, blocking the road forward, but did not fly out of control, and seconds later he was shouting orders to his team as the Overwatch group moved in from the northeast, from the dried-up spring.

"Visor down," the sniper confirmed, as Mei threw up a wall behind the convoy, Gabriel lay down fire blowing out the front vehicle's tires, and the unlabelled Overwatch carrier blared its orders to drop weapons and be commandeered. Pharah charged into the air, letting loose with a series of rockets aimed at vehicle engines, as Mockingbird readied for a spray of long-range discouragement fire from her position, to keep the grunts under cover. She grinned as she watched the Los Muertos gangsters circle their vehicles and swarm for weapons, and then her grin froze as Jack darted away from her sight, without a visor, then reappeared on the other side of the transport vehicle, with one.

What th'...?! She looked back towards the wreckage of the visor. Yes, there, pieces, still on the ground. She called into comms, "Gabe, he has a second visor somehow, watch it!" just as Jack triggered the device, visual overlay screen appearing almost instantly, knocking Pharah out of the air just as she'd disabled the third vehicle. Mockingbird adjusted her sights and took a second shot, surely hitting him dead on, but somehow apparently not as he just kept shooting through the visor, after briefly jerking to the left.

She waited for a third shot, and Jack's head popped up again, again through the front transport, behind two windows. Mockingbird reacted instantly, and fired. Her vision seemed to blur, and suddenly, it was a Los Muertos grunt splayed out across the sand, her head smashed, and Jack Morrison was still firing.

Nobody's that lucky, she thought, coolly. Something's going on.

Los Muertos got a shield generator running as Mei threw up another wall while taking bullets to the shoulder and chest, saving Gabriel, who had also been hit and hurt by the barrage of bullets. Pharah limped back into the air, got off a single rocket knocking Morrison down, and went down again herself almost immediately, Mercy flying to her wife's side. Gabriel, Mockingbird, and - a moment later - Mercy's fire kept most of the rest of the Los Muertos fighters ducking for cover, as Winston leapt down, shield in place over the wounded Mei, Tesla cannon keeping braver Los Muertos back, as Athena flew in as pickup for the injured.

"Gabriel, Tracer here," Mockingbird shouted into comms, trying to force some emotion back into her voice. "Mockingbird's hit this guy in the head three times and he just shakes it off, something is very wrong. We need to..."

And then Jack fell to the ground, unconscious, and an older woman's voice came over the Overwatch comms, saying, "He's down, but it won't last more than 30 seconds. Get your wounded out while you can, and regroup at my position. Tracking beacon enabled."

-----

"A second visor?!" Gabriel - limping, but mobile - looked incredulously at Mockingbird as the small Overwatch strike force mended its wounds at the beacon site deep in the hills to the north. "He can't have a second visor. It's unique to each soldier. It was wired into his brain."

"Don't care," insisted the woman in black and green. "I shot the first one off, just like we planned it. It was on the ground, in pieces." She folded her arms. "My sight takes pictures, I can show you."

"But a second visor - that's not possible," Gabriel insisted.

"I know I hit him. I know I did. Three times. There's something we've missed, Gabe. This should've been easy and it was a disaster."

"You look very familiar," said the older woman with the beacon, looking with narrowed eyes at the younger sniper.

Mockingbird blinked, and looked over to the older woman, finally realising who she was seeing. "...no question of it on my side," she said, recovering. "The legendary Ana Amari, in the flesh. You're supposed to be dead. What the hell, mate? And how'd you get on our comms?"

Gabriel glanced away from Mockingbird and brushed dust off his hands, looking resolutely unsurprised. "Ana, this is our sniper specialist, callsign Mockingbird. Mockingbird, this is Ana Amari, apparently not dead."

Ana snorted at her former Blackwatch friend, and gestured over to Mockingbird. "You think that can replace me?"

"You have been dead since 2069," said Winston, stepping in between the new and the old, "as far as we knew." He gave Reyes a look, a look that said they would be talking about Reyes's lack of surprise in the very near future. "She's an independent contractor willing to work with us, and we're happy to have her service."

"I know that kit," said the Egyptian, with a sideways glance back to the younger woman. "And I know that blue tinge. Working with Talon, are we, now? Maybe Jack's not so crazy as I thought."

"Not with Talon, luv," Mockingbird lied. "But I always buy from the best. No second chances in this game. 'Cept for you, apparently. And Jack." She looked around at Angela and Gabriel and Ana, and frowned. "And apparently all you old lot."

Amari glanced disdainfully at the young assassin, then returned to ignoring her, looking back to Gabriel. "And where's the so-called Hero of Old London supposed to be, then?"

Mockingbird glared, anger a flash across her face. No, she told herself. Lena's not here. Ana's trying to provoke you. Realising that, she found she didn't even need to bring up the web further to keep control. It's a game. She knows, she just wants us to admit it. Spill the beans, grams? Not likely.

"We all thought it was for the best if she stayed out of any direct action involving the man who left her to die in the Slipstream." He looked directly into the sniper's eyes. "Knowing you're here, I'd say that was the right call."

"Afraid she'd lose her cool, get hurt?" She made a little unimpressed sound, a kind of pffft. "And yet here you hand whatever they've made of her" - she waved at Mockingbird, without looking - "a sniper rifle. You're fools."

Lena almost spoke up, then almost laughed, but kept her expression flat. Nice try, she thought. "So I shouldn't ask for your autograph, then?"

Winston shook his head at Mockingbird's verbal jabs, and Gabriel crossed his arms, with a frown. "I have no idea what you're talking about, Ana. More importantly - where the hell have you been all these years?"

"Really? You're going to keep up this laughable facade?"

"Whatever. You gonna tell us where you've been all this time?"

Amari glared. "No. But I will give you this." She pulled a small memory card out of a coat pocket. "It's video and notes from a... previous attempt to solve the Jack Morrison problem. If you're going to try to kill him, I need you not to make things worse."

"We aren't trying to kill him," Winston said, taking the card. "We're trying to bring him to justice."

Amari spat at the ground. "There's no justice for what he did, or for what he's become. I thought you understood that."

Well, thought Mockingbird, there's one place we agree. She found she didn't like the agreement. "That's what I thought, too. Maybe I ought t'reconsider the point."

"Does it always make this much noise? Maybe it should be reprogrammed again."

"ENOUGH OF THIS." Mercy glided down from the flat spot on the hillside above, where she had been tending to Mei and Pharah, watching since Ana showed herself, stunned to see her mother-in-law, of all people, reappear from the dead - not her way, but alive and well the entire time.

"Angela, why are you mixed up in this idiocy? I thought you'd know better."

The field medic marched over to the old military officer, and slapped her across the face, hard, staggering her back. "You dare show your face? You dare act like this to my friends, after what you have put us through?!"

"Woah!" interjected Mockingbird, jumping forward to restrain the doctor. "Angela, no! It's fine, she's just horrible!"

"No," she said, looking back, and shaking her arms free, "it is not fine!" She turned back to the old soldier, and pointed to Pharah, unconscious, but recovering. "She mourned you. You ignored her as a child and she loved you anyway and then you died and she put it behind her and now you are here and alive and she is here and wounded and you have not even acknowledged her existence?!"

"I've done what has been necessary, and I've stayed out of the way of the medic while she works. Fareeha will understand that."

"Will she? I hope not! But I will make sure she knows. I will make sure she knows everything. Including how horribly you have just abused our Mockingbird. 'It?! '" She shook herself, as though fluffing feathers she did not have, except in her wings. "You call her an it?! She is a person, not a tool, and you have become a monster."

Quietly surprised, Lena's heart tore, just a little, at the medic's furious defence. "Doc, really, it's fine, she's just digging..."

"I know what she's doing," Mercy said, not looking at Lena. "And I don't care why." She turned to the openly astonished Reyes and Winston. "We should get the wounded out of American territory as soon as possible. They will not be happy with our actions today."

"I agree," said Reyes, taking the opportunity. "Ana, we can pick this up later. Do any of your old dropboxes work?"

"No. Do yours?"

"Boxburg does."

"I'll leave a contact point there, then."

"Thanks. And... thanks for helping out."

"You're welcome. Maybe next time we can work together, make sure the grown-ups are in charge."

Mockingbird's face showed absolutely no sign of emotion, and her hands did not tighten visibly on her rifle.

"We'll talk later," said the former Blackwatch head. "Team - back to the ship. Mockingbird, give Mercy some help with Mei; Winston, I wouldn't mind a little help myself. Let's roll out."

The Lunar gorilla offered his friend an arm, as Mockingbird turned towards the Chinese scientist with a curt "acknowledged." Behind Venom's mask, beneath the web, the assassin roiled viciously, but no hint of that storm made it outside.

Maybe I've got more than one problem to solve, she thought, as she guided the semi-sedated Mei up off the ground. Maybe I've got two or three.

Many Faces chapter 39!

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 10:33 pm
fayanora: Steph Candy (Steph Candy)
[personal profile] fayanora
“The Many Faces of Har—er, Adira Potter: Chapter 39”
By = Fayanora

Chapter 39 of The Many Faces of Har--er, Adira Potter is now published!

Chapter title: Hypatia's Gambit

Chapter blurb: Some secrets are revealed, Hypatia uses her Slytherin side to get some information, and Mr. Crouch - gone mental - appears and disappears.

Archive Of Our Own version

FanFiction dot net version (I changed the title at FF.net finally and the links appear to have changed as a result but old links still appear to work so *shrug*)

Big Closet version

Start at Chapter One: "Feeling Sic" = AO3, FF.net, BC

Nominations Queries Post Two

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 04:45 pm
morbane: uletide mod image of guinea pig among daisies (mod)
[personal profile] morbane posting in [community profile] yuletide_admin
We have been working on the tag set for 102.5 hours, and the number of individual fandom nominations has gone down from 5058 to 1660. There are 2054 approved fandoms now in the tag set.

Thank you for your answers to the previous queries! We have some more, and some lingering:


Дуэлянт | The Duelist (2016) - We can't find Pyotr Yakovlev's brother. Could the nominator please confirm he appears in the film?

Extraction (2013) - We can't find a Victor. Could the nominator please confirm he appears in the film?

灵契 | Ling Qi | Spiritpact - This has been nominated with overlapping characters, using Japanese and Chinese names respectively: You Keika, Tanmoku Ki, Tanmoku Rakugetsu, and You Nei; and Yang Jinghua, Duanmu Xi, Duanmu Siming, and Qin Siyao. Could each nominator please confirm which media they mean, and can we please combine these character names using one of the versions?

No Game No Life - Kamiya Yuu - we're a little confused by the character 『 』| Kuuhaku | Blank. Could the nominator please give their reasoning for nominating this character separately?

A Place to Call Home (TV) - We can't find the character Tom. Could the nominator please give us a pointer?

Plantagenets Series - Sharon Kay Penman - For Geoffrey Plantagenet, could the nominator please confirm they mean Geoffrey V Count of Anjou, or some other character?

Six of Crows Series - Leigh Bardugo - It's not clear to us that Nikolai Lantsov belongs here. Could the nominator please give us their reasoning?

Smosh - the characters nominated are Keith Leak Jr., Noah Grossman, Olivia Sui, and Shayne Topp. Could the nominator please clarify if this is a nomination for RPF, or for fictionalized characters that share the names of the real people?

Sylvester or the Wicked Uncle - Georgette Heyer For Lady Marlow, could the nominator please confirm whether they mean Lady Verena Marlow or Lady Constance Marlow?

These Old Shades - Georgette Heyer - As far as we can tell, Dominic Alastair does not appear in this book. (He is also nominated in The Devil's Cub.) Could the nominator please give their reasoning for nominating him here?

Trial and Error (TV 2017) - We can't find the character Anne Cox. Could the nominator please confirm and give us pointers to when she appeared?


All Media Types fandoms
We need clarification from the person (or people) who nominated the following fandoms. Please specify a single version of the canon and provide a link to your nominations page so we can confirm the nomination. If these aren't answered, the fandoms will be rejected:
  • Gone With the Wind - All Media Types, characters: Belle Watling, Careen O'Hara, Mammy, Melanie Hamilton (Gone with the Wind - All Media Types)

  • The Martian - All Media Types, characters: Beth Johanssen, Chris Beck, Mark Watney (The Martian - All Media Types)

  • A Room With a View - All Media Types, characters: Charlotte Bartlett, Eleanor Lavish

  • The Witches of Eastwick - All Media Types, characters: Alexandra Medford, Darryl Van Horne, Jane Spofford, Sukie Ridgemont [if we don't hear back from the nominator on this one, we may go with the 1987 film]


Ensemble characters
We will accept labels like “the Council” or “the hunters” for characters in cases where the ensemble does not have different distinct characters in it. For the following fandoms, please either confirm that there are no distinct characters in the group, or pick a single character out of the group you’ve nominated.
  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency (TV 2016) - The Rowdy 3

  • The Scarlet Pimpernel - Baroness Orczy - The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel

  • Velvet Goldmine - Flaming Creatures


Ineligible RPF fandoms
The follow RPF fandoms are too large and will not be approved. Nominators, please suggest an alternative category; if we do not hear from you, we may either fold the characters into another nominated category, or reject the fandoms & characters.
  • Formula 1 RPF - characters: Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna

  • Pop Music RPF - characters: Beyoncé Knowles, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake



If you are commenting about your own nomination to say what you would like done with characters or fandoms, please link your nominations page! It is the page you get by clicking ‘My Nominations’ from the tag set.

If you notice any problems with your approved nominations - mis-spellings, etc - feel free to comment on this post.

Augh, meant to be here...

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 12:07 am
archangelbeth: Bleary-eyed young woman peers up, pillow obscuring the lower half of her face. Text reads: SO not a morning person. (So Not A Morning Person)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
But wasn't, don't know if contractor showed up, went gallivanting off to check on some things in the next town over (so to speak). Gah.

Got some beads out of it, anyway. *sigh* They are very pretty, very cheap, shiny gimcrack beads.

Mother-in-law has huge blood clot in leg, and they are gonna keep her in the hospital for a wee bit till they have the blood-thinning med dose set up right. We are pondering figuring out how to loan her an Apple Watch to see if she'd use it to Stand Up More, because lack of moving legs is Not Good.

I also ....blanking... blanking...blanking... Ugh, brain. Anyway, spouse was being taxi for his mom a lot, including in the ER while they got the ultrasound done (they did not get it done after waiting HOURS, like till 10pm, last night, 'cause the Venous Ultrasound person'd gone home), and getting her checked in.

Then spouse and kid went for dinner, and I did trash night all alone -- including having to deal with the trash bags being in the garage. Our kitchen floor is higher up than our garage floor, for Reasons. Geologic ones, even. So we have stairs in the garage up to a little landing, and then a door into the house. The bottom of the stairs is currently blocked by the metal scaffolding that our contractor guy is using to get at the ceiling. I have discovered -- after Flicker-cat made a break for the garage FOR GODS KNOW WHAT REASON last night, and had to be lured out from under things -- that I can (as I suspected (yes, there are too many dashes and parens in this; sue me)) put one foot over the stair railing, slide that foot under the stair railing so there's enough Stair there to support me, and swing my other foot over.

So I tossed the trash bags over the railing, basically, followed them over, and bagged the trash. Left it in the garage near the door, went back over the railing, through the house, out the front door, to the car. Backed it up, opened the door, loaded the trash into the back, closed garage door, drove the 300 foot driveway IN THE DARK (I am not hauling the trash out by hand; are you kidding me??), with headlights of course (I specify the darkness because NOT HAULING IT BY HAND IN THE DARK FOR 300 FEET!), unloaded, came back, parked out of way of spouse's car, and went back in the front door.

Most of the accomplishment is the railing, but the context around my railing escapades is important.

Really.

Hush.

...did I mention getting to bed at 5 in the morning again? *sigh*

Oh, hey, I wonder if this looks like crap or not in reality. -_-
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1549781367

Havva Quote
I will end with some wise words from Reverend Mord: The universe is not uncaring. It cares about very strange things sometimes, but the great powers within it care even for the creatures as tiny as you and I.
--sabine (DW)


INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

A lovely walk in the woods by a river...

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 04:09 am
autographedcat: (Default)
[personal profile] autographedcat
A lovely walk in the woods by a river...
A lovely walk in the woods by a river...

(Sitka National Historical Park)

Juneau, Alaska!

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 04:09 am
autographedcat: (Default)
[personal profile] autographedcat
Juneau, Alaska!
Juneau, Alaska!

(Mount Roberts)

Pears in Progress

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 10:38 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I got back out to pick up pears, so we cleaned half a bucket of them, and I put the bits in a crockpot to cook into pie filling.  :D

usability struggles

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 10:51 pm
cellio: (Default)
[personal profile] cellio

I spend a lot of time on, and am a volunteer moderator for, several Stack Exchange sites. (Mi Yodeya is one of them.) SE has a banner ("top bar") that is the same across all sites. It contains notifications, information about the logged-in user, and some key navigation links. For moderators it contains a few more things relevant to that job.

Until recently it looked like this (non-moderator view):

original

The red counter is the inbox (waiting messages) and the green one is reputation changes. If there aren't any, you just get the gray icons that those alerts are positioned over. If I were a moderator on that site, there'd be a diamond to the left of my user picture and a blue square with the flag count to the left of that.

They've just changed this design. (Well, the change is rolling out.) Here's what it looks like now (for a moderator):

new, notifications

The most important links for moderation are the last two things, the diamond and the blue box with the number (flags). They're on the far right, where they're less likely to be seen for various reasons. (Non-moderators don't get those indicators.)

In the old design, those moderator indicators -- which are important -- were toward the center where they're easier to see. Also, all the numbers were a little bigger and easier to see.

When this was announced there was a lot of immediate discussion in the moderators-only chat room, during which I got a little upset about the reduced usability, especially those moderator controls -- which had a good chance of being scrolled away in a not-huge browser window, because SE doesn't use responsive design. After I calmed down I wrote a post on Meta about how this was going to make it harder for me to do my volunteer job, particularly with vision challenges. I expected to get a few sympathy votes, some "get a bigger monitor" snark (which wouldn't help, by the way), and no results.

That post is now one of my highest-scoring posts on the network. And I have a meeting with the product manager and a designer at SE next week to demonstrate my difficulties in using this in more detail.

Meanwhile, I've gotten some help with userscripts from some other moderators. It's hacky and a little buggy and it slows down page loads and I have no idea how to adjust some things, but at least I can see my notifications and the moderator stuff is in a better place. It'll do for now.

I sure hope I can get them to bake some of this in, though. The page-load delay is a little disconcerting as stuff jumps around on the screen. (Also, userscripts do not work on my Android tablet.)

Beyond the immediate problem, though, what I really hope for is to find some way to raise a little awareness that usability is hard, designers are not the users, there are all kinds of people with all kinds of usage patterns and constraints, and you need to somehow, systematically, figure out how to design for the larger audience. That's going to be the hard part.

Fiction: Family Stories (part 4 of 6, working)

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 07:56 pm
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Family Stories
Words by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 4 of 6
word count (story only): 1191


:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, this is a Finn family story which includes Shiv, Boss White and the Ebonies and Ivories. ::


back to part three
to the Finn Family index
on to part five




“Okay,” Heron patted the air lightly. “That's not what I was insinuating.”

“Insi-- what?” Shiv threw his hands up, and the momentum pulled him to his feet, balancing lightly on his toes before beginning to pace between the front door and the short wall that held both his bedroom door and the bathroom door. The young man paced, loping strides pulling him nearly nose to nose with the wall before he reversed direction to lunge toward the opposite wall.

“In-sin-u-ate,” Heron repeated blandly, though he was careful to pronounce each syllable. “it's hinting, but subtly, or jockeying for position or a favor. Like...” Long fingers curled as Heron snapped his middle finger away from his thumb. “Muuuum,” he mock-whined, “my legs hurt, and the back seat is squashed up against yours and Da's.” Another minuscule shrug followed as the faintly petulant expression faded away. “In that case, insinuating that sitting in the front passenger seat would be more comfortable.”
Read more... )
pameladean: (Default)
[personal profile] pameladean

This is very long and detailed, so I’m going to try to put in a cut tag.

All right, I can't get that to work, not if it was ever so. I'm sorry.

 

On Tuesday Raphael and I went to Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge. The forecast was for a sunny, almost windless day with a high of 87. The air quality was moderate. I complained about this the day before and Raphael asked if I'd prefer not to go. But Sherburne is actually a good place to go on a less than perfect day, because there's a seven-mile wildlife drive with stopping points for viewing whoever happens to be around; also a tiny oak savanna (1/10-mile loop) trail and a prairie trail with an oak grove in the middle with a bench (1/2-mile loop). And it's September; hiking season will be over at some point.

We got a late start but arrived with about five hours of daylight ahead of us. Sherburne is near Sand Dunes National Forest, and its soil is also sandy. It's a lightly rolling landscape full of marshes, pools, and prairie, broken by lines and clumps of trees. You drive through a short stretch of mature restored prairie to reach the actual wildlife drive. It was awash in blooming goldenrod and blue and white asters and rich brown grasses.

 We stopped at the Oak Savanna Trail and had a sandwich, read the list of plants presently blooming (six kinds of goldenrod, four kinds of white aster, two kinds of blue aster, rough blazing star, and boneset) and then walked out on the tiny boardwalk. We examined what looked like an abandoned bald eagle's nest through one of the spotting scopes provided, and then started looking at spreadwings (yet another kind of damselfly) in the tall grass that the boardwalk runs through.

 Here is an image of a spreadwing that one might see in Minnesota, though I don’t know if that’s what we did see.

 http://museum.unl.edu/research/entomology/Odonata/lere.html

 A flicker of motion in the distance caught my attention, and I looked up to see three sandhill cranes landing across the prairie near the road we'd come on. "A family," said Raphael, looking through the binoculars. "See the juvenile?" I did see the juvenile, which did not have all its red in yet but was almost as large as its parents. The cranes started walking through the grass, not unlike herons stalking through shallow water; occasionally they would bend their long necks down and poke around in the grass roots, and occasionally one of them would make a sharp dart and come up with food and swallow it.

It was hard to decide whether the cranes were more awesome through binoculars or just as tall shapes against the pale road and prairie, bending and straightening, wandering apart and together again. If you didn't look through binoculars you could also see meadowhawks darting around, the spreadwings rising to catch tiny insects and settling again to eat them, the unexpected wind shaking the oak leaves and the grass and the asters. From time to time a darner moved across the larger prairie, veering after prey or just powering along.

At last a truck came fairly fast along the road, raising a cloud of dust, and the cranes paused, considered, opened their huge wings and rose up, gawky but graceful, and flew away low over the grasses. We went back to looking at smaller wildlife

I was trying to spot a spreadwing through the binoculars when I saw what looked like an animated tangle of brown grass. I said to Raphael, “There’s some kind of mantis there!” and when Raphael expressed astonishment, I added, “It’s very stick-y,” which allowed Raphael to come up with the actual name: It was a stick insect. It took a few moments for me to describe its location and for Raphael to see it, and then I had trouble finding it again through the binoculars, but it was busy clambering around against the wind, so we did both get a good look at it. It was only the second stick insect I’d seen in Minnesota. The other was at Wild River State Park. That one was much larger and was rummaging around in a pile of leaves at the edge of the parking lot. This one was fascinating because its camouflage was so great, and yet it did have to move around, so you could differentiate it from the grass if you worked at it.

We’d arrived in the deep of the afternoon when smaller birds are quiet. We heard a few goldfinches murmuring, and a phoebe carrying on, and a chickadee. We left the boardwalk, admiring the asters waving in the non-foreseen but welcome breeze, and walked around the oak savanna loop. The little oak saplings tangled among the other shrubbery were already starting to turn red. White asters poked their flowerheads through leaves belonging to other plants, to startling effect. Autumn meadowhawks floated and hovered and darted, snatching up gnats from the clouds around them. We had seen a monarch butterfly in the asters while we were eating our lunch, and also a dark-phase swallowtail wandering over the grass; now we saw a painted lady butterfly.

We made an attempt to leave, but a darner landed on a drooping dead branch of an oak tree right in front of the car. The sun was behind it and we couldn’t get a good look without tramping heedlessly into the prairie, so we didn’t, but its silhouette was lovely against the brilliant sky.

 We drove on, past tall browning and reddening grasses, clumps of goldenrod, clouds of asters. Darners flew up from the sides of the road and zoomed away. We found at the turning that the refuge had reversed the direction of the wildlife drive since we were there last, which was momentarily confusing; but we found our way, and stopped at the Prairie Trail. I pointed out some thoroughly spent plants of spotted horsemint. We’d seen it in bloom, if you can call it that, at William O’Brien. It’s a very weird-looking plant. Here’s a photo:

 https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/spotted-horsemint

 This observation continued my inability to accurately provide the names of things; I’d just called it horsemint and Raphael reminded me that that particular weird plant was spotted horsemint. There are other horsemints, but they don’t look so strange. As we stood looking over the rise and fall of the little prairie, with folds of alder and sumac, and lines and whorls of different grasses and goldenrod, all truly starred with the blue and white asters, I said that I loved how big the sky was at Sherburne. Raphael noted that it was a slate-blue just now; we assumed that was the haze of the wildfire smoke all the way from the west coast, a somber reminder of far too many things.

 We took the grassy path, startling small grasshoppers out of our way and stirring up meadowhawks from the tall plants and shrubs. We saw a monarch; we saw a painted lady. Passing through a little grove of young alders, on almost every tip of the dead trees intermingled with the living there was a meadowhawk perched. They swept upwards, snatched a gnat or fly, landed to eat again. Raphael showed me how to identify a female autumn meadowhawk: they have a definite bulge just below the thorax, which was easy to see against the sky. Darners zipped past from time to time. If it was a green darner we could usually tell even from just a glance. The others were mosaic darners, but harder to identify in passing.

 I think it was as we approached the oak grove that we started seriously trying to identify the grasses. We’d known big bluestem, aka turkey-tail, for years. After seeing it labelled repeatedly here and there, I could pick out the charming clumps of little bluestem, just knee-high, with their pale fluffy flowers lined up and catching the light. We’d looked at an informational sign at the trailhead, but its drawings of Indian grass and switch grass didn’t look right. Raphael pulled up the photo of the sign about grasses at the visitor center at Wild River, which had struck both of us at the time as much more informative than other attempts to depict native grasses; and we could suddenly identify Indian grass after all. It has a long, narrow rich brown seed head with varying degrees of spikiness; some are quite streamlined and others are tufty and look as if they need combing. And we felt more confident about the switch grass with its airy spreading seed heads.

 Raphael pointed out a beetle on the path, maybe a Virginia leatherwing, and then realized that it looked like a moth. A little research when we reached the oak grove and sat down showed that it was a net-winged beetle, and the entry even mentioned that it looked quite a bit like a leatherwing.

 The bench we were sitting on was made from boards of recycled plastic. At some point Raphael had had enough sitting and went ahead a little way just to see what was there. I’d noticed when I sat down that there were verses from the Bible printed on the back of the bench in some kind of marker. On the left was the passage from Matthew that begins, “Come unto me you who are weary and heavy-laden,” and on the right the passage from John that begins, “For God so loved the world.” These might have been written in different hands. But the passage in the middle was definitely in a different hand, and began, “We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine.” The ending of the passage was a bit smeared and I couldn’t read all of it, but at the bottom the name “hunter s. thompson” was clear enough. I followed Raphael and relayed the beginning of the passage. “Hunter s. thompson!” said Raphael, going back to the bench with me. “It’s from <i>Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas</i>.” Raphael looked this up too, and showed me the unsmeared passage on the cellphone.

 Giggling a bit, we went on our way. We were now well around the loop and into the straight stretch back to the car. From the other side I’d pointed out a lovely layering of grasses, goldenrod, a narrow cleft of willow scrub, and a candy-red line of sumac. Now we came to the sumac from the other side. On the path in front of us was a butterfly. “What is that?” said Raphael. “It’s a Red Admiral,” I said confidently, but it wasn’t. It was another Painted Lady. Raphael consolingly told me that they were both Vanessa, very closely related, but the Red Admiral is very common in Minnesota and I was chagrined that I’d misidentified something else as that.

 We came to a little stretch of boardwalk over a marshy area. On a shrub was a shimmery amber-tinged odonate. I pointed it out to Raphael. It turned out to be another autumn meadowhawk, though it looked as if it ought to be an Eastern Amberwing, or at least a Band-Winged Meadowhawk. It had perched on a bit of red-stemmed dogwood, just to be extra-cooperative. We went on through the cattails and willow, past a minute patch of open water and up onto the grassy path again. Raphael pointed out that where the path climbed back out of the tiny marsh there was a nice view over the rest of the open water and the winding marsh with more willow, and cattails, and a shrub we should have known but didn’t. (I briefly misidentified it as more red-stemmed dogwood, because it was my day to misidentify everything; but it had deep purple stems and leaves just starting to turn reddish.)

 On our right for the end of our walk was the brilliant sumac and the cleft of alder saplings, all their leaves fluttering and twinkling in the wind and sunlight; on the left a long slope of prairie grasses interrupted by goldenrod and asters. More darners sailed by. The sky had lost its smoky cast and was a fine late-summer deep blue. We came back to the car and Raphael began to drive away, but I exclaimed at the sight of a big clump of stiff goldenrod covered with pollinators. We didn’t get out, but looked our fill from the car. Big bumblebees, a Ctenucha moth, beetles, ambush bugs. Once Raphael started reading it, I had to edit this entry to correct the Ctenucha moth's name and type, so have another link, since they are very handsome:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ctenucha_virginica
 
There’s one more trail you can actually walk along, near the end of the wildlife drive, but there was a sign at the beginning saying that it was flooded. Before that we drove past long stretches of marsh, open water, and rolling prairie, all patched with clumps of trees. From time to time there would be a wider spot in the road, sometimes a formal space big enough for three or four cars, with a bench or two, or a platform over a low spot with spotting scopes and some informational signs about the wildlife; others just a metal platform with railings, where you could stand and look over the water. We tentatively identified the spot where we’d once common moorhens, which are not so common that we weren’t deeply excited. We’ve also seen muskrats and various ducks in these locations, and once there was a gigantic cloud of mosaic darners all brown and yellow – I seem to recall that some of them were lance-tipped darners, but I may be wrong. This time we heard water birds making a ruckus, but couldn’t see them. Darners came by in about the density that they had been all the while. Over one platform we saw what turned out to be a northern harrier; these guys have an amazing acrobatic flight, and they’re reddish on the underside and bluish on the back. I excitedly called this one a kestrel, which would be smaller and have the colors reversed: bluish on the underside and red on the back. We also very clearly saw a nighthawk with its white wing bars, though the sun was still up.

 We also saw some cedar waxwings fly-catching from a tree with a dead top, and heard a yellow warbler.

 At last we came to a stretch of water, islands, and snags so large that it had two separate viewing-spots. From the first we saw several groups of large white birds. I thought the first were swans, but they were white pelicans. There were also some swans, however. We came finally around a curve of the gravel road to an observation station in a little oak grove, overlooking the far side of this large sheet of water. This is where most of the dead trees are, and here, to our delight, we saw as we’ve seen before several times a very large number of cormorants. The sun was setting by then, off to our right. The sky was pink and the water reflected it. Many cormorants were roosting already, but some were still coming out of the water; they would land on a branch, sometimes settling and sometimes glancing off several different trees before finding one that suited them, or one in which the other cormorants accepted them. It was hard to be sure. Then they would spread their wings out to dry, looking as if they were practicing to be bats for Halloween.

 We found the swans and pelicans we’d seen from the other viewing station, though it was getting pretty dark by then. Cormorants still flew up into the trees and spread their wings. Through binoculars you could see the ones that had folded their wings now preening their breast feathers. Some of them had pale necks and brown fronts rather than being entirely black. I mentioned this to Raphael, who looked it up in Sibley and confirmed that those were juvenile cormorants.

 It was getting quite dark by then and the mosquitoes were starting to think about biting us in earnest. We drove past two more pools; beside one two groups of people we’d seen pass earlier, a third car I didn’t recognize from before, and a man using a wheelchair were standing and gesticulating. We pulled up and got out. The water and trees were lovely in the twilight, but we didn’t see any wildlife. The solitary man went away in his wheelchair, the unfamiliar car left, and we followed, watching the varied texture of the grass and flowers fade away into the dark.

 

Pamela

a couple brighter spots

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 08:25 pm
lireavue: A section of the Preludia from the Bach Partita in E, text "rests are imaginary" between two staves. (rests are imaginary)
[personal profile] lireavue
*It is fucking amazing how much the right setup makes for fiddle playing. I just. Wow. I knew it was bad before, but I've honestly spent my ENTIRE violin playing career dealing with stuff that wasn't Quite Right because I have a rather long neck compared to how long most shoulder-rest manufacturers seem to think the default is. And now I have one that's basically infinitely adjustable depending on how my muscles are yelling TODAY and it's so. much. better.

No of course I didn't break out the old Haydn concerto what do you take me for.

...that's tomorrow. Today I broke out the Bach Partita.

*Our new all-clad skillets are fucking amazing.

*...I am SURE there was something else specific to today that went here but I lost it, so instead: I just wandered through my list of crafts projects and lo and behold I DO in fact have 3-5 stitching projects that don't take a lot of setup, which will be RATHER crucial to my sanity as there's only so much of the lace mesh for bottle holders I can take. Or the garter for the straps.

*One of these days I might ever get back to participating in politics instead of skimming my feeds in horror, but it is not this day and the rest of the month isn't looking so fucking good either. I just can't, with a whole lot of shit right now, which is SO not helping any of the mental stuff but at the same time... I kinda really have to prioritize keeping me and mine from totally losing our shit? So.

Reminder!

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 01:02 pm
timetobegin: (ouat [ burn baby burn ])
[personal profile] timetobegin posting in [community profile] iconthat


Amazing Entries so far, but we can always use a few more. Challenge 67 ends over the weekend. If you haven't voted, it would be lovely if you can vote as well.

And again, sorry for the delays lately. I don't seem to have as much time in the weekend as i'd like!!

Pinch Hit #10

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 07:24 pm
withinadream: (Default)
[personal profile] withinadream posting in [community profile] femslashex
 To claim, comment on the Google Group or e-mail femslashexmod@gmail.com

Pinch Hit #10
Fandoms: Overwatch, The Bold Type, RWBY, Game Of Thrones, Black Sails, DCU (Comics)
Medium/s: Fanfic
Claimed!

[ SECRET POST #3912 ]

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 07:01 pm
case: (Default)
[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets

⌈ Secret Post #3912 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

01.


More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 01 pages, 24 secrets from Secret Submission Post #560.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.

Tuesday Yardening

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 04:24 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is warm, partly cloudy, and muggy.  We went out to the orchard and removed many many field weeds from under the pear tree.  It is a bumper year for pears, they are all over the ground already, with plenty left overhead.  If I have the energy, I'll go back out later and pick up a bucket of them to make pie filling. 

Unconventional Courtship 2017 Masterlist!

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 09:45 pm
aralias: (eight's shoes fit perfectly)
[personal profile] aralias posting in [community profile] unconventionalcourtship
Congratulations everyone who took part by writing stories, making banners, or laughing at silly summaries.

Here are the things that were written in 2017:

Aug 18th:
Unconventional Countess by [personal profile] meridian_rose (Black Sails: Max/John Silver, Billy Bones, other characters appear)

Aug 19th:
Fugitive Pilot by [personal profile] merryghoul (Doctor Who: Heather ("The Pilot")/Bill Potts, River Song)

Aug 20th:
The Scheme You Propose by [personal profile] mara (Kamen Rider Ex-Aid: Kujo Kiriya/Hojou Emu)

Aug 22nd:
The Bad Bridesmaid
by [personal profile] out_there (Sherlock: Mycroft/Lestrade)

Aug 26th:
A Vague of Zombies by [personal profile] liadtbunny (Adam Adamant Lives!: Adam Adamant, Georgina Jones)

Aug 27th:
Clint Barton's Wedding Rules by [personal profile] out_there (MCU: Clint/Coulson)

Aug 31st:
Matters of Seduction by [personal profile] spikesgirl58 (Man from Uncle: Napoleon/Illya)

Sept 2nd:
The Hunter's Moon Hustle by [personal profile] pameluke (Shadowhunters: Alec/Magnus)

Sept 4th:
Finding Blake by [personal profile] vilakins (Blake's 7: Roj Blake/Jenna Stannis

Sept 6th:
Night of the Undead Science Project by [personal profile] paranoidangel (Blake's 7: Tarrant/Dayna)

Right Dress, Wrong Girl by [personal profile] desertvixen (Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys: Nancy/Frank)

Sept 8th:
Discipline of the Blue Book by [personal profile] still_lycoris (X-Men: Apocalypse: Charles/Hank)

Sept 11th:
Indecent Suggestion by [personal profile] aralias (Blake's 7: Blake/Avon)

The Monocled Rake by [personal profile] arnie1967 (You Rang, M'Lord?: Teddy/Rose)

Sept 12th:
Home to Family by [personal profile] luvbarryfefe (Days of Our Lives: Max/Chelsea)

Sept 17th:
The Oldest Living Bachelor in Oakdale by [personal profile] misslucyjane (MCU: Steve/Bucky)

Page Six Stunner by [personal profile] sidhe_faerie (Arrow: Oliver Queen/Felicity Smoak, past Oliver Queen/Laurel Lance, Sara Lance, Dinah Lance Quentin Lance, Moira Queen, Thea Queen, Tommy Merlyn)

(no subject)

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 09:56 am
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
I just spent several minutes trying to figure out where the hell the mysterious rustling noises were coming from.

One of my cats (Alex) was entirely hidden within the depths of a shoebox-size Priority Mail box. He has just now emerged, and his sister Erin has vanished inside.

No cat photos because I don't have an X-Ray camera.

BookFest St Louis–this weekend!

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 08:04 am
ann_leckie: (AJ)
[personal profile] ann_leckie

So, here I am in St Louis and if you saw yesterday’s blog post you might have noticed there are no St Louis dates on the tour.

BUT.

Thanks to Left Bank Books, there’ll be an event in the Central West End called BookFest St. Louis. There will be lots of writers there, and the vast majority of panels and whatnot are free! (I think there are, like, two exceptions.)

There’s going to be a Science Fiction panel at 5pm on Saturday, September 23, with Charlie Jane Anders, Annalee Newitz, Mark Tiedemann….and me!

If you are in St Louis this weekend, come to BookFest! Left Bank Books is a lovely store with a very nice SF section and worth visiting on its own, but just look at all the folks who are going to be here! Do come to the CWE this weekend if you can!

Mirrored from Ann Leckie.

Reaction Post: Season 2, Cassette 2: Ulster Museum (1973)

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 07:57 am
dreamwriteremmy: a trail of lights on a dark landscape with hills at the horizon and the words: "myriad worlds" (myriad worlds)
[personal profile] dreamwriteremmy posting in [community profile] institute_studyprograms
Museum Audio Guide #2: Ulster Museum, 1973
Season Two Episode 2 of 10


Download, listen, discuss.

Another Obamacare repeal attempt is afoot

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 09:23 am
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] thisfinecrew
Via [tumblr.com profile] vassraptor:

[tumblr.com profile] realsocialskills: Urgent: The GOP is close to destroying the ACA and Medicaid

The GOP is trying to repeal the ACA and cut Medicaid again. They almost have the votes to do it. We have the chance to stop them from getting the votes, if we act *right now*. We need to put overwhelming pressure on every senator to vote no.

Summary of the current situation, who to contact, and an excellent script for phone calls/e-mails from the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.

Leaving Academia

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 03:16 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Here is an essay about a professor leaving academia

I went to U of I.  There were parts of it that I enjoyed, and the culture wasn't that bad.  But I can see parallels.  For me it was more a matter of looking at the way education was going, and deciding not to get involved in public education as a teacher.  It was obviously going down the tubes, and that was decades ago; it's infinitely worse now.  So too, many colleges.  :/  I couldn't stop it.  I could sure get the hell out of the way.

Poem: "So Closely Allied"

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017 02:34 am
ysabetwordsmith: (gift)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the February 2, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [livejournal.com profile] my_partner_doug, [personal profile] wyld_dandelyon, and [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "separation and reunion" square in my 1-23-16 card for the Valentines Bingo fest. This poem has been posted as a birthday present for [personal profile] callibr8. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Read more... )

Poem: "Learning and Growing"

Monday, September 18th, 2017 11:14 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Victor Frankenstein in his fancy clothes (Frankenstein)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the September 5, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] sweet_sparrow, [personal profile] technoshaman, [personal profile] readera, [personal profile] gingicat, [personal profile] ari_the_dodecahedron, and [personal profile] librarygeek. It also fills the "vampires" square in my 1-1-17 card for the Dark Fantasy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. It belongs to the series Frankenstein's Family.

Read more... )

*facehands*

Monday, September 18th, 2017 10:54 pm
lireavue: A male lion, left forepaw covering his face in classic facepalm. (facepaw)
[personal profile] lireavue
I would like to be done with having this broken-ass excuse for a brain ANYTIME okay.

Things, in no particular order.

*I am apparently losing about a month to PTSD and the resultant depressive spiral/anhedonia/miasma of Awful. Thus far, a month. Who the fuck knows how much longer: I FEEL like I might be climbing out, somewhat, but I honestly don't know, and every time I think I'm starting to get a grip something else comes along to knock me over again? So I'm just acting like it's NOT going to end and applying the appropriate coping mechanisms. It's immensely frustrating.

*Despite this I'm slowly, slowly picking up weaving terminology and I know where to go for lessons, so that's something, I suppose.

*At some point I'm probably going to have a BUNCH more awkward conversations that amount to "no he's also an asshole" and I am very tired of these conversations. I would like to skip to the part where we admit there is abuse and now we figure out how to handle it.

*Jag talked me into watching all of The Defenders in two days and now I want all the femmeslash fic ever. SO MANY POSSIBILITIES, YOU GUYS.

*I would probably feel a fuck of a lot better in the overall if I could convince myself that exercise was a thing, even in the most minimal way possible, but I am TOTALLY out of spoons for convincing myself of new shit after dragging myself through routines on a daily basis, AND it's supposed to be disgustingly hot the rest of the week. Especially for September, but generally as well: turn on the AC kind of hot. Maybe I'll try and get my brain convinced that wandering out to the playground picnic table and sitting at a pokestop with some knitting is a good idea in the morning, some day this week. I don't even fucking know.

*There probably should be a few more things here but every time I try to write an entry it all falls out of my head because, see aforementioned broken-ass brain, and also it's nearly 1130 and I've taken my melatonin, so I should probably try and sleep.

Poem: "Reasons Not to Hurl the Planet into the Sun"

Monday, September 18th, 2017 10:44 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls. It fills the "chocolate" square of my 4-1-17 card for the Month of Rainbows bingo fest. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] bairnsidhe. This poem belongs to the Mallory thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Read more... )

these are musical musings, of a sort

Monday, September 18th, 2017 09:51 pm
[personal profile] chanter_greenie
Forgive me for a second, folks. Chanter's going to ramble about Broadway.

So, the mayor/storyteller/one of the primary narrators in Come From Away intrigued me from almost the moment I heard his voice and his lines. As information for those who haven't heard the soundtrack, and I'm trying to avoid the heck out of spoilers here, there are multiple people describing events in Gander as they happen during the show, some openly timestamped, some not. We get perspectives from both local folks and plane people throughout - that's the whole framework of the musical - but as true narration goes, it's the Ganderites who get the timestamped snippets. There's a newbie reporter, two or three different schoolteachers whose time references are less to-the-minute but still important, at least one man whose name is never revealed, and the town's mayor. It's that last who also, and again I won't spoil without employing a cut tag, proves himself quite the spoken word storyteller in the course of the play. Aaaaand of course, my interest was well and truly snagged when he did so.

Oh, and just to be clear, I'm musing about the character in the musical here, not the real man or the actor who plays him, neither of whom I'm going to name.

Probably inaccurate daydreaming and shameless elaboration under the cut. Here there be mild but present Come From Away spoilers! )

After I wrote the lion's share of this down, I found a very recent article talking about the real people who inspired this musical. There was a quote in there from the real man, the actual mayor, and though I won't muse about him, it is a little eerie just how easily what he said about religion and skin color not mattering when people are in need could have come out of the musical version of the man's mouth, or the storyteller's as I imagine him. If somehow I've gotten his appearance right, I... Part of me wants to know, and part of me does oh so very not. I got close with his age, which is eerie enough; the article gave it as of 2017, and if you backdate to 2001, it's right on. Creepy! I definitely don't want to know if I've somehow got the actor's description - no thanks.

A little further daydreaming. Wherein Chanter is obvious. )

Do I need a Broadway tag? Or a 'Chanter has issues' tag? ... A maple leaves and warm fuzzies tag? Ah frak.

Fiction: Family Stories (part 3 of 6, working)

Monday, September 18th, 2017 08:26 pm
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Family Stories
Words by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 3 of 6 (working)
word count (story only): 1119


:: Part of the Polychrome Heroics universe, this is a Finn family story which includes Shiv, Boss White and the Ebonies and Ivories. ::


back to part two
to the Finn Family index
on to part four



A few minutes later, Heron placed the three jars of honey on Shiv's kitchen counter. “So, there's French lavender flavor, red ginger flavor, and cinnamon flavor, and if you like one better than the other two, or hate them all, just let me know,” he offered, absently tucking his hair behind his ear. “I make five or six varieties at a time now, trying to get ahead of the next few months with my roommates, so making another batch is no problem at all.”
Read more... )

Poem: "Can't It Just Be What It Is?"

Monday, September 18th, 2017 06:13 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the August 15, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] chanter_greenie. It also fills the "food" square in my 7-31-17 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Calliope thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Read more... )

Stressy day

Monday, September 18th, 2017 10:48 pm
archangelbeth: Bleach's Captain Byakuya, three-quarters view. Captioned: sigh (Sigh)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
1: Spouse -- with his mom -- has been waiting for their turn at the ultrasound machine, in the ER, since... 3:30pm or so? Well, with a stint at Urgent Care, but UC sent them up to the ER for an ultrasound to rule out a blood clot. It is now 10:50pm. He is still not home. Nor have I heard from him since before I and kid went to seek food.

2: The garage is not usable as an ingress to the house just now, as there is scaffolding there, because we had water damage and our contractor needs to see how bad it is. We also have carpenter ants in one corner. The composite board is at least not disintegrating, but I am now of the opinion that composite board should NEVER be on ANY load-bearing floor. Or wall.

Also, roofs should have a rubber membrane that goes up over a foot at any house-join, so that when ICE DAMS happen, they do not overflow the plastic at the joins, come in the back, and RUIN EVERYTHING.

*sigh*

Further, the ENTIRE CEILING of the garage is not up to fire-code. It's only 1 layer of... whatever that stuff is called. Not drywall? The other thing. I can't remember. But it should be 2 layers, not 1. But noooooo, the people who put it together didn't put in both layers. FURTHER, they doubled-up on the plastic sheeting that's supposed to be on only one side of insulated walls (to keep moisture from being trapped in the middle layer and turning the insulation into Mold Surface Central), and didn't secure the wood slats of the ceiling grid (that holds up the insulation) to all the two-by-fours correctly. Especially at the edges. AND they didn't use long enough screws in the ceiling such that he was being surprised that we hadn't had a chunk of ceiling start coming down.

Having a friend who is a total stickler for code come and SUPERVISE house-building seems like a worthwhile investment at this moment.

3: If you are a lunch restaurant and are closed to customers 10 minutes before your closing time, I am going to tell Apple Maps that your closing time listing is wrong, unless you have a note on the door that the kitchen had to close up early or something. YES, I think people should get to go home promptly! However, I also think that presenting "closing time" to staff as "time we should go home by" is going to make for cranky customers. (We're not the only ones who were hoping to get in under the wire.) Staff should be paid for hanging around till the No More Customers Allowed In closing time! I believe Management is not setting correct Staff expectations. (Or, possibly, not paying them enough for those expectations.)

I am more sympathetic to an evening restaurant closing a little early if they have no customers in the building. I mean, they don't expect last-minute people and it's dark.

It is frustrating to hit BOTH of those in one day, though. -_-

Havva Quote
E____ says, “...The Widowmaker/Sombra ship is Spiderbyte and I will hear nothing to the contrary.
https://twitter.com/velsmells/status/898341081690943488


INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

Who needs education when you've got a UTERUS?

Monday, September 18th, 2017 08:03 pm
full_metal_ox: (Default)
[personal profile] full_metal_ox posting in [community profile] metaquotes
[personal profile] sasha_honeypalm's musical tribute to Barbara G. Walker's (professionally published!) novel
Amazon:


Don't know much about history
Don't know much about theology
Don't know much 'bout how to write a book
Don't know how to cite the quotes I took
But I know all that I say must be true
And I know if you believed it, too
What a wonderful world this would be

Don't know much about geography
Don't know much sociology
Don't know how to understand folklore
Don't know what a reference book is for
But I do know that one god is bad
And if we'd kept the goddess we once had
What a wonderful world this would be

Now, I don't claim to be a goddess
But I'm tryin' to be
For maybe if I'm a goddess, people
You'll all worship me.

Don't know much about history
Don't know much about technology
Don't know much...


[personal profile] rosepsyche's paean to the Power of Story is also quoteworthy:

I have to call "bull" on Antiope's reasoning that art and music are inferior because they are "not alive" for another reason. No, such creations aren't living, breathing things. However (and I apologize if this gets a bit corny), the best of them can seem as if they are alive, get us invested in their characters, have us cheering about their triumphs and crying over their tragedies. They are just as valuable in their own way for their ability to entertain, to inspire, to teach, to help us grow and develop by seeing the world from a new point of view, and I don't think anyone involved in creating them would appreciate being told that their work can never compare to something that was squeezed out of a vagina.


Context sporks the world's worst Wonder Woman fanfic.

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