It turns out that while I'm a utility rider, and I will probably continue to waltz Matilda all over Ottawa, my natural distance is, well, medium-long. It turns out that I feel wobbly and weak and thirsty and crabby for the first 5 km of every serious ride not because I'm out of shape but because it takes me 10-15 km to get warm, loose, and happy. So there is probably some gentle touring in my future, and Matilda isn't the bike for that.
I've been looking at the MEC Mixed Tape for a while now, and now it's on sale, which MEC being MEC suggests it may be going away entirely or else being radically altered for next season. So now I need to make a call: am I buying this bike?
The main con it presents from my POV is that I love Kunstadt. I adore them. They are my bike shop forever, but they just do not have the bike I need.
However: I don't know a tonne about bikes. I'm learning — my tool kit and ability to fix minor issues is improving radically. I'm learning the lingo, but DAMN there is SO MUCH.
So, as I know there are many people here very fluent in Bike:
Is there a bike of which I am not aware which beats this bike and that you want to tell me about?
There are certain features I absolutely need in a bike, or else have decided I don't want to do without:
1) I require a step-through frame or a LOW mixte. The advantages of a diamond frame are entirely irrelevant unless you're getting me a new left hip, so please assume I'm aware of them and don't need to be told. Please also assume that I've read enough blog posts on how crap step-throughs are that I'm defensive on the topic and may bite if you take this as an invitation to air your theory, which you're certain will be new to me, about the crapness of step-throughs.
2) I require an almost entirely upright riding position. Again, unless you're an orthopedic surgeon looking for shoulders to rebuild, please don't try to convince me otherwise. My skeleton is hooped, and while conditioning can palliate this, it's going to stay hooped and throwing my weight onto my shoulders while I ride will lead to pain and injury.
3) I'm willing to put up with a lot of compromises to have an internal hub, and after serious research have concluded that the Nexus 7 is reliable, rugged, and possessed of all the ratio I expect to need anywhere in Ontario or Quebec I can forsee riding to in the next decade. It seems to be the sweet spot of affordable, effective, and reliable - the newer hubs have more gears but also more problems.,
4) I'm not willing to spend my life at the bike shop, so ruggedness and tolerance of the crappy pavement around here are more important than super low weight or incredible performance.
5) I'm not looking to pay a lot more than this - this is nearly twice what I paid for Matilda and that seemed like a lot at the time - though for the right bike I'd trawl second-hand bike ads. I love the Electra 7-is I've ridden, but they're heavy and yeowch the price.
I need it to be available in Ottawa, or at a stretch Toronto or Montreal. I'm not happy with the notion of buying a bike I have not test-ridden.
So. Anyone want to tell me about a bike I should test-ride before I go for this one?
While I was at it, I reduced the sugar, upped the cocoa and vanilla, of which no recipe ever has enough, (so if you're one of those cooks who, like me, habitually ups the cocoa in brownie recipes: um, don't. I already did that and this really does appear to be the upper edible limit) and added fruit, nuts, and chocolate chips for maximum decadence.
Very rich, not very sweet, very dense.
Preheat oven to 350F/180C
1/4 cup melted salted butter OR unsalted butter + 1/8 t salt.
1/3 C sugar, white or brown. For a sweeter brownie, 1/2 C.
1 T vanilla
1/4 T baking powder
1/3 C cocoa powder
1/4 C flour
In a fairly large bowl, using first a whisk and then a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients together in the order they're listed.
When no dry or white patches remain in the mixture, add (if you like)
1/4 C semi-sweet chocolate chips and
1/4 C dried cherries and
1/4 C pecans or walnuts
Spoon mixture into a well-greased small pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Between the Wars (2113 words) by MarnaNightingale
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Betty Ross/Bruce Banner, Jane Foster/Thor Odinson, Pepper Potts/Tony Stark, Pepper Potts & Natasha Romanov, Sam Wilson & James Rhodes, Natasha Romanov & Nick Fury
Characters: Bruce Banner, Sam Wilson, Pepper Potts, Natasha Romanov, Thor Odinson, Jane Foster
Additional Tags: Slice of Life, Aftermaths, Rolling Remix, post Age of Ultron, pre civil war
Which was the originating fic, so I didn't remix anyone, but I was remixed three times, which was tremendous fun and they're all great! (I also didn't guess before reveals because - heh - having done my bit, I had mod privileges).
For Team SSR:
Skin in the Game (1930 words) by Sholio
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe, The Avengers (Marvel Movies), Captain America (Movies), Iron Man (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Sam Wilson (Marvel), James "Rhodey" Rhodes, Tony Stark, Steve Rogers
Additional Tags: Friendship, Team Bonding, Not Captain America: Civil War (Movie) Compliant
Sam didn't realize Tony's offer to build him a new set of wings was going to come with quite this much baggage, emotional and otherwise.
For Team Tony Stark: (I don't know why this is still showing as Anonymous; it's Sevenofspade
DEFCON 3 (1530 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Natasha Romanov
For Team SHIELD:
There Is No In-Between (the Fight The Good Fight remix) (3274 words) by tielan
Fandom: Marvel Cinematic Universe
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Maria Hill & Peggy Carter, Maria Hill & Clint Barton, Maria Hill & Steve Rogers
Characters: Maria Hill, Steve Rogers, Clint Barton, Peggy Carter, Melinda May
Additional Tags: Backstory, Friendship, Parallels
We’d rather have you with us, than against us, Peggy Carter told her after Madripoor. At the time, Maria thought it foolish flattery – appreciated it, sure, but it was a sweetener, not the truth. Then again, she’s now Deputy Director of S.H.I.E.L.D, so it seems the former Director was right.
The full list of fics, writers, and writing order is here, and you should go read! The rolling remix set-up was huge fun and produced an awesome supply of fics.
And, of course, thanks one more time to muccamukkfor being such an awesome, patient, hardworking mod and more particularly for a wonderful beta.
Quoth our clever and talented organiser and mod
There was one original fic, and three streams of remixes, if anyone would like to make guesses as to the order of the streams and/or the authors of the fic, please have a go in comments. No prizes past bragging rights, but I would consider checking the archive numbers of the fic cheating.
Go forth, enjoy, comment!
(This is a little late due to anticipated rl on my part)
Reveals of order and authors 5 August.
Combine in a largeish saucepan:
2 -3 fillets of cod, thawed
1/2 brick of medium-firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch chunks.
1 can coconut milk
A solid dollop of Trinidadian green seasoning
Ginger, to taste. I use the stuff that comes in a squeeze bottle, but powdered would work fine or you could grate fresh. I used about 2T and the results are noticeably gingery.
Creole-style hot sauce, to taste. I used about 1T and there's a definite bite, there.
Pinch of salt
Let simmer covered on low for about an hour, then add
3 cups leftover white rice (you could obviously make fresh rice and pour the fish and tofu in sauce over it, but I just dumped it in and broke up the chunks)
Leave covered on lowest possible heat until the rice is heated through.
It looks like chunky rice pudding, but it's flavourful and pleasantly spicy.
As we also have leftover salad from the cottage, there's supper sorted out nicely.
A song for Canada Day:
A song for Memorial Day (Newfoundland):
A song for Pride (Toronto):
And a song for Moving Day (Montreal):
ETA: and one for Independence Day (USA):
And really, I assume you all know how to grill a sausage.
Patio Season Convinces Ottawa Woman She Doesn't Live In Desolate Arctic Hellscape Ninety Percent Of The Year.
"We are preparing for a very bad day," Allen said.
Then, his voice breaking with emotion, the fire boss who called Tuesday the "worst day" of his career, tried to sum up his feelings.
Tens of thousands have fled the city
"We successfully evacuated 88,000 people," he said. "No one is hurt and no one has passed away. I really hope that we can get to the end of this day and we can still say that."
I hope so too, sir. I hope so too.
In a time of death, some men—the resisters, those who work hardily for social change, those who preach and embrace the unpalatable truth—such men overcome death, their lives are bathed in the light of the resurrection, the truth has set them free. In the jaws of death, of contumely, of good and ill report, they proclaim their love of the brethren. We think of such men, in the world, in our nation, in the churches; and the stone in our breast is dissolved; we take heart once more."
benet: Oh, I have had an MRI, actually. That was my impression although, you know, I was on a looooot of Ativan
And I had already had [unpleasant medically required thing done] so anything shy of that basically seemed like a garden party
well, I'm ripped on codeine to prevent coughing.
I really want to do a track called Pelvic MRI now
benet: Might need to be an installation...
commodorified: I like it. Can I do the voice?
benet: the voice?
commodorified: You know: "the next segment will be four minutes of noise"
benet: oh yeah!
commodorified: You can do the "hold still" parts, your voice is more menacing
benet: You know, we kid, but a convincing MRI simulator that doesn't cost a packet a go might actually be useful for anxiety
commodorified: Hmm with the heavy blanket of soothing and the nice breeze. I do like the breeze.
benet: Actually I was thinking for anxiety about having an MRI
commodorified: Oh. I find them, um, pleasingly womblike.
I'm a hopeless freak, aren't I?
benet: No, I think it makes sense.
commodorified: Add a lightshow on the ceiling and I'd do them for fun.
benet: I mean, my ideal bed is basically a cave.
commodorified: Last time I didn't get the heavy blanket or the airflow so that was more twitchy.
This time they put a weighted blanket over my pelvis so my breathing wouldn't move it. Much nicer.
benet: I cannot remember those things but I prob had the blanket.
We talk about this stuff, some, and we talk a lot about the broader education of a queer activist. About racism, and poverty/classism, and feminism, and sex education, and reproductive justice, and disability, and what I came up calling 'linked oppressions' and is now referred to as intersectionality ...
And then again about vulnerability and shame and addiction and trauma and how they can echo down the generations of a marginalised subculture as they do down the generations of a family, and about building community and sometimes about psychology and sociology and anthropology and history and art ...
At one point I was tossing a bunch of books and names at him and suggested that I ought to make him a bibliography, and then, on further pondering, that maybe I should crowdsource it a bit, because while in some ways he and I are different enough for me to be useful to him - I'm a woman, I'm twice his age, my activist and academic experiences and preoccupations are different - at heart we're just a couple of white semirural Protestant SW Ontario kids not that far off the farm or the railroad.
Plus, it might be useful to people other than him.
So, here's my invitation/request: if you identify as an academic—formally or otherwise—and/or as an activist, tell me (him, us) about the books and essays and writers/artists and works that changed you, informed you, showed you aspects of yourself and the world that changed you and changed how you went to work. Your touchstones, as it were.
Everything is welcome: Movies. Music. Poetry, prose, fiction, academic works, famous or obscure, any field, any era. I'm particularly interested in works outside your own usual interests that turned out to be extremely important to you.
1) You don't need to explain why you're recommending something, but you are very welcome to. You also don't need to provide links, but they will be appreciated.
2) All works will be assumed to be both luminous and flawed, which is to say, do not challenge other commenters on their choices, or post dispargements/anti-recs. Those can be very valuable, but not here and now.
If you're reccing something that you consider problematic but still really valuable—or even valuable because it illuminates a really problematic mindset—you're welcome to say so, absolutely. Footnoting other people's recs is not so helpful here. If you know a better work on a topic, just rec it, okay? The goal here is the broadest possible net, and we won't get that if this turns into "your fave is problematic."
3) You can make as many recs as you like, or only one. Pick things that have lasted for you, things that have held up over the years, things that you're profoundly grateful not to have missed.
4) Feel free to link this, but I'd much rather it be linked to individuals or small groups who will be very interested than to larger groups who will be largely indifferent.
ETA: also, please don't reply to comments, as I'd like people to be able to come back and edit their comments (or add to them themselves if they can't edit for whatever reason), plus it makes everything easier to read.
"What is a rolling remix?", you ask, possibly in Maggie Smith's best Duchess voice.
WELL. I AM GLAD YOU ASKED ME THAT.
I quote Mucca:
One person writes a fic and posts it (without tags) to a locked collection on AO3.
The mod sends that fic to someone else, who remixes it in the tradition of remixes everywhere.
They post their (tagless) remix to the same locked comm.
The mod sends the remix (but NOT the previous story) to someone else, who would remix the remix.
Repeat steps three and four until we've run out of people.
Intrigued? Full rules and info at the above link, signups here.
This week's episode did, however, make me yearn for an Elementary/Rivers of London crossover.
Or, at least it caused me to ... forcefully ... quote Whispers Underground at the screen, to wit:
"and woe betide any officer who breaks the chain of evidence, for they will be sat down and have what went wrong with the O. J. Simpson murder trial explained to them at great length. With PowerPoint slides.”
I can think of things Sherlock would hate more, but not of things he would hate more which could lawfully be done to him within the confines of a police station and which would leave him no grounds for a complaint against the officers involved.
And oh, man. If the show has a big honking proceedural flaw, that's kind of it.
*looks hopefully at Tiny Fandom*
ETA: the actual PowerPoint prestentation, of course, was created by the long-suffering bastards actually responsible for custody of evidence, which is why it is 200 slides long and the audio includes, in the DNA section, the entirety of Every Sperm Is Sacred, as a low-quality .midi file, accompanied by images of cartoon sperm dancing around a crime scene.
ETA2: Joan would get dragged into sitting through it too. Her revenge would be epic.
I always wanted to do one that did the reverse, so here it is: fifteen questions my music collection asks me regularly, to be answered by you in any way you please.
Note: This is not a lyrics quiz.
Note2: Responses are public.
Note3: Yes, please, steal this idea.
Who knows where the time goes?
Where is this love?
What about everything?
See how I miss you?
Where are you tonight?
Who by fire?
Which side are you on?
Is it wrong to wish on space hardware?
Is there anybody out there?
How many times do you have to fall?
How shall I your true love know?
Why does the sun shine?
Where are we now?
Are you experienced?
Oddly, I WAS diagnosed as a child. I was also overmedicated, in retrospect—you know what, it was the 70s and from all I can find out everyone on Ritalin was getting too much of the stuff; I don't even know my exact dosage but it was 4-6 Ritalin/day—which led to a 30-year refusal to try again, and also, probably to my benefit, a life-long wariness of recreational drugs, on the grounds that if my experience of speed was so very very different from what other people described, I was not interested in finding out what happened if I took, say, psychedelics.
This is my brain on drugs, probably. If this were a spinning .gif with the saturation hiked up and the
"...[G]irls’ symptoms include:
a tendency toward daydreaming
trouble following instructions
making careless mistakes on homework and tests."
Oh man, so you know how I turned into such a good proofreader? ABJECT TERROR. Which is NOT the way to develop a life skill, really.
Most of the things I'm really good at I acquired through a combination of a) hyperfocus and b) fear of being screamed at.
Senior Cat: Sovay. Calico. Rescue. Mildly psycho.
Junior Cat: Dreadful. Tuxedo. Diabetic, after a nasty bout of pancreatitis a few years ago. On a carefully restricted and timed diet.
Inevitably, they have a tumblr.
We're currently feeding Sovay in my room, on top of my dressing table. This allows us to free-feed her, which is good as she's a nibbler, and Dreadful can't get to the dressing table so he can't steal her kibble.
EXCEPT Miss Sovay has taken to expressing her distaste for kibble which is insufficiently recent or otherwise does not meet her exacting standards by pushing her food plate off of the dressing table. (or, possibly, Dreads is paying her.)
And that is why I woke up in the middle of the night last night to the sight of the back half of Dreadful, protruding from the drawer where I keep my hair product, yowling pitiably and need of rescue.
One kitchen door, one over-the-door hanger, some cloth tote bags, and the root vegetables are now living in style.
Took about ten minutes to do, and an embarassingly long time to think of.
Walrus bag to rainbow bag, there's: potatoes, squash, cabbage, onions, carrots.