oursin: The Delphic Sibyl from the Sistine Chapel (Delphic sibyl)
[personal profile] oursin

Was lately reading something about (male) travellers and those Amazingly Beautiful Women they saw somewhere a long way away after arduous journeying, which might be partly about Exoticising the Other, but also, I think, about there being some place (or time) which is not boring old Here, where things are amazing.

On the, Not Like The Women I Have To Deal With Here And Now In The Present, a friend of mine has a piece somewhere or other (actually I think it's in a volume in which I too am represented) about certain late C19th French (male) intellectuals complaining that women of their day were by no means comparable to the HOTT witty libertine ladies of the Ancien Regime in their salons.

And this led me to the thought that maybe if you are living in it no time is Perfect and Ideal: some may be better than others, for more people, maybe. Just as there were people who found, for them, good lives in times/places that are not usually thought of as utopian eras and most time-travellers would not put on their bucket lists.

Anything close-up and quotidien is, I depose, something the flaws in which you are going to apprehend fairly acutely. Though possibly the upside of that is, that they are the flaws and hindrances that one has developed work-arounds for (see Katharine Whitehorn on the little niggles about one's house that one hardly notices any more but has to warn visitors about).

Free Speech and Nazis

Aug. 17th, 2017 08:42 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Like many of us, I’ve been struggling to process what happened in Charlottesville over the weekend, and what’s been happening in this country for a while now. The racism and hatred and violence didn’t magically appear out of nowhere. It’s been building up for a long time…in fact, much of it has always been there. It’s just boiling over into the open right now, making it harder (but obviously not impossible) to look away and pretend it’s not happening.

Part of the argument I’ve seen centers around free speech and the First Amendment. Free speech is a right, an important one, and rights apply to everyone. Even people you dislike and disagree with.

But freedom of speech in this country is not and has never been limitless. From the U.S. Federal Courts, here are a few examples of actions not legally protected by freedom of speech:

  • Students making an obscene speech at a school-sponsored event.
  • Making/distributing obscene materials.
  • Inciting actions that would harm others (e.g., Shouting “fire” in a crowded theater.)

Now, here are some of the “alt-right” protesters who gathered in Charlottesville.

Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 07:23 pm
resonant: Brian from The Breakfast Club: Demented and sad, but social (Default)
[personal profile] resonant
The news is apocalyptically awful, of course. But I'm a Southerner, and I never expected that I would live to see those statues come down. It was something I didn't even dare to hope for.

I don't want to lose sight of how amazing that is.

Fig

Aug. 17th, 2017 05:48 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Can maintain disdainful detachment even as another, unfamiliar, cat thoughtfully grooms Fig's hind paw.

Schadenfreude on weck

NSFW Aug. 17th, 2017 05:19 pm
petra: A man looking superior and pointing at a woman (Troy Barnes - Yeah really)
[personal profile] petra
( You're about to view content that the journal owner has advised should be viewed with discretion. )
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin

I.e., this week has been mostly getting the new computer to do those things which it ought to do, and leave undone those things which it ought not do -

Among which the most disturbing was the discovery this morning that Thunderbird was marking ALL, yes ALL, incoming mail as Junk and also as Read, fortunately I did discover that this was happening.

There has also been wrestling with getting to be able to talk to the MyCloud as part of my home network rather than via a remote interface connection.

There was the oops, I needed to do a backup of This Thing, That Thing and The Other Thing from the old computer, and having to sort that out.

There is all the finding the passwords and activation codes for things for which I entered a password when I first activated the thing, and never since.

There is also the loss of some things - don't seem to be able to have the little slide-show widget thing of photos on my desktop, chiz - and finding that the new versions of things are Not What We Expect - the new Kobo Desktop App is quite horrid.

But on the whole, we are reasonably satisfied with the New System - its speed in particular is commendable.

However, I am annoyed with Opera, which I was intending using as my secondary browser to avoid Microsoft and Google, but the main thing I wanted a secondary browser for was so that I can log into The Other DW Journal without logging out of this one, but Opera, for some reason I wot not of, insists on autofilling the login screen with the details for this account rather than the other - la, 'tis tedious vexatious.

Lamb ribs

Aug. 17th, 2017 02:14 pm
chickenfeet: (cute)
[personal profile] chickenfeet
 Canadians don't eat much lamb.  It's just not a thing and it's more expensive than most other meats.  Despite that, by and large, only the expensive cuts make it to market.  Recently though butchers have started to sell lamb ribs as a BBQ cut at fairly fancy prices.  This amuses me as, some years ago, one of the more upscale butchers at the S. Lawrence Market tried to sell ribs with little success.  In fact at one point they were giving them to me for free in exchange for recipes.  I still wonder how many Torontonians essayed Côtes d'agneau à la St. Ménéhoulde.

In other world shattering news I have just completed room 9 of Kleptocats.

(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:37 am
mmegaera: (Default)
[personal profile] mmegaera
Things have completely fallen apart with my sister, mostly but not completely on a personal level, but *I'm* going to be okay. She wanted to push me into this particular assisted living place before I could even sleep on it so she could go home to Texas next week, but it's not the right place for me. Granted, I'm way too agitated to be making decisions like this right now, but I at least need to talk to my palliative care specialist to see what I'm *capable* of before I make a decision like this.

I have a guardianship service holding things together for me and getting me to appointments, etc., who will help me settle somewhere better, and, thank gods and my parents, the money to pay them. After this experience, I'm pretty much abjectly terrified of asking for volunteer help because it would have be to be iron-clad reliable and the "I can help" would have to come attached to, "I will not wait until you tell me what I can do -- instead, I can see you need this and I will come do it at thus and such a time and place -- is that soon enough?" I know that's not possible, so don't offer and that's okay. I know that sort of thing is an unreasonable request, especially when made by someone who's always prided herself on her independence and really doesn't know how to draw on friends in a reasonable way in a time like this.

I'll update as I'm able, so please don't ask. And this *is* just an update. The overwhelming sympathy is lovely, but it *is* getting overwhelming [wry g]. I mostly just need to write this out.

(no subject)

Aug. 17th, 2017 05:37 pm
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] negothick and [personal profile] quiara!

No more cakes and ale (race edition)

Aug. 17th, 2017 08:20 am
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
I follow an excellent curated list of reporters. Thrown in as the token conservative is Salena Zito. Zito's claim to fame is that she called Pennsylvania and thus the nation as going for Trump early, and she was right. She has positioned herself as the voice of Forgotten Non-Urban America. (This reached hilarious levels when she toured "non-urban America" and counted in, not only a commuter suburb of Gary, Indiana, but people who actually commuted to Gary.)

Today, Salena retweets a 1994 post in which she explained it all to us, race edition. (Save for nausea before clicking.)

Briefly, the essay says that a black family moved into her white neighborhood in 1969. I'll let her explain it.

Race in Pittsburgh, as in many industrial cities, was volatile in 1969. Society was changing rapidly for whites and blacks and, as with most change, some people reacted with fear, others with anger, and many with no brains at all.

In typically horrible timing, government-enforced integration coincided with Lyndon Johnson's “Great Society,” which bulldozed iconic ethnic neighborhoods — tearing apart lifelong experiences, communities and ways of life — in favor of public housing.

It was supposed to compensate for past injustices but it merely punished one community to make amends to another.

No mention that the "iconic ethnic neighborhoods" included black neighborhoods, of course, or the neighborhoods -- almost certainly including Zito's -- whose sale contracts forbade the owner to sell to a black person.  No, that neighborhood just mysteriously grew up all-white.

Thanks to my parents, the Chatmans weren't considered “black people.” They were just new neighbors, and we did what we always did when someone new moved onto the block — baked chocolate-chip cookies and delivered those to their home.
Three months later — after spending our days jumping rope, playing tag and all of the other things that 9-year-old girls do — a brick shattered the Chatmans' front window; another smashed their car's windshield, and the perpetrators, a couple of teenage boys, tried to burn a cross on the lawn.

“Your dad chased those young teens ... he caught all of them, single-handedly, and held them for the police,” Carnisa recalled. “I remember him telling them how ashamed he was of them.”

And everything was okay then! And Carnisa, her black friend,  repaid her by saving her from a black riot in high school! And therefore:

So the solution to our nation's racial discourse should be handled by us individually, one person at a time — and not by exploiting bad deeds done by both sides that only further the hatred.

Note that it never occurs to Zito that Carnisa had to go to school with the brothers and sisters and friends of those boys who burned a cross.  Or that there were other people who put their resentment of "tearing apart lifelong experiences" into words and action.  No.  Zito made friends with Carnisa and they're still close friends and that's what everybody should do!  And nobody (among Zito's friends) considered the Chatmans black, so that made everything better!

You won't read an essay that better encapsulates the belief that individual virtue is better than collective action.   With a triple scoop of  white privilege.

e:  Chaser.  Mother Jones finally does what nobody else is doing and interviews rural black voters.

Turner’s mom, who cleans houses in town for a living, went to work a couple of days after [the election], and her employer, an older white woman, brought up the results of the recent election. The two had talked politics before—Turner’s mom is a Democrat, and her employer is a Republican. “Well, you might as well come and live with me now,” the employer said. “You gonna be mine eventually."

smilingslightly: little brown bat perched on her finger (Default)
[personal profile] smilingslightly
This seems a beautiful bit of community contribution/organizing in service of lessening contact with police. My knowledge of the event is based solely on the flyer so here's hoping it goes smoothly and helps some New Orleans folks out.



Text reads: )

RT'd on the New Orleans DSA Twitter account: "Out taillights are #1 reason for traffic stops. Traffic stops are especially perilous and life disrupting to undocumented immigrants and PoC. Good taillights provide a sliver of protection."

Worldcon Recs

Aug. 17th, 2017 02:28 pm
juliet: (waveform tree)
[personal profile] juliet

Mirrored from Juliet Kemp.

Here is a list of the recs I picked up from various panels I attended at Worldcon. (These are likely not complete, but they’re the ones that I wrote down.)


In Defense of the Unlikeable Heroine:


  • We Who Are About To – Joanna Russ


Non-Binary Representation In Fiction:


  • Transcendent: The Year’s Best Transgender Speculative Fiction – ed K M Szpara (anthology)

  • The Black Tides of Heaven / The Red Threads of Fortune – JY Yang (forthcoming in Sept)

  • Provenance – Ann Leckie (forthcoming, but read some on her website)

  • Jacob’s Ladder – Elizabeth Bear

  • River of Teeth – Sarah Gailey

  • Pantomime – Laura Lam

  • Killing Gravity – Corey J White

  • Interactive fiction Craft phone games (Choice of Deathless/City’s Thirst) – Max Gladstone (you can play an nb character)

  • “Masculinity is an Anxiety Disorder” (essay) – David J Schwartz

  • Rose Lemberg

  • Foz Meadows

  • A Merc Rustad


Beyond the Dystopia


(This one should be complete as I moderated the panel and made a point of writing them down to tweet afterwards.)


  • Two Faces of Tomorrow – James P Hogan

  • Culture series – Iain M Banks

  • Dragonlance

  • Too Like the Lightning and Seven Surrenders – Ada Palmer

  • The Postman – David Brin

  • A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and A Closed And Common Orbit – Becky Chambers

  • Hospital Station – James White

  • Malhutan Chronicles – Tom D Wright (panelist)

  • Orbital Cloud – Taiyo Fuji (panelist)

  • The Goblin Emperor – Katherine Addison


Older Women in Genre Fiction:


  • All Fun and Games Until Somebody Loses An Eye – Christopher Brookmyre

  • Blood Songs series – Anthony Ryan

  • Remnant Population – Elizabeth Moon

  • Barbara Hambly


Also, Catherine Lundoff keeps a bibliography of books with older women protagonists.


Colonialism and the Space Opera:


  • Praxis – John Williams


Moving Beyond Orientalism in SFF:


  • Black Wolves – Kate Elliot

  • Vixen and The Waves – Hoa Pham

  • Isabelle Yap

  • Ken Liu

  • Stephanie Lai

  • Zen Cho


(Plus one from Nine Worlds in which the MC has Borderline Personality Disorder: Borderline – Mishell Baker)

laying down

Aug. 17th, 2017 07:53 am
ilanikhan: (Default)
[personal profile] ilanikhan
Yesterday I was experiencing some nerve pain.  It felt like someone was touching me with an open, live wire on my instep, just behind the knuckle of my big toe.  The spark extended maybe 2" onto my foot, along the surface.  

It was shocking.  
I'm not sure I would call it "intense", but it was occasionally breath-taking. Some shocks were stronger than others. Some made my foot twitch, some caused a face, some made me clutch.
They lasted between a moment and a couple of seconds before the sensation dissipated.
They occurred at irregular intervals, frequently 10-15 seconds apart.
If I was doing something, I could generally ignore them.  
They were not affected by what I was doing or how I was positioned (standing, sitting, laying down).  

It was annoying but not really troublesome.  

Interestingly, even knowing that lying down did nothing to improve the situation, I wanted to just lie down.  Like everything will be better if I lie down.  This is not the case, lying down means not having anything distracting on the go...  It is perhaps the desire to bury one's head in the sand.

Despite my desire, I reminded myself that keeping going would at least take my mind off it and I did my day 1 with cooking supper, unloading the dishwasher and putting a few things in, while tidying/soaking others.  More kitchen cleaning is on the docket for day 2, and I'm making a list of things I want to do for home improvements.

For those following along at home, the pains have resolved over night.

Orphan Black rewatch

Aug. 17th, 2017 02:04 am
nenya_kanadka: thin elegant black cartoon cat (The Cat Who)
[personal profile] nenya_kanadka
So after watching the (very satisfying) Orphan Black series finale, I'm starting back at the beginning of the series again because I really wanted more of them all.

Holy shit! It's so weird seeing Sarah so wary of everyone that I now know she will come to consider her best friends and sisters. It's so weird seeing Art and Mrs S as semi-antagonists (not that they're evil, but that Sarah sees Art as getting in the way of her plans, and S as "unreasonably" keeping her from Kira, and the viewer doesn't yet know how trustworthy they are). Then to compare with S and Art's scenes with Sarah in the last couple episodes of the show...mind = blown.

And we haven't even met Helena yet! (Mid-episode 3 right now.)

Also it's so strange seeing Sarah as Beth now that I know enough about them to know how very not-Sarah she looks in Beth's outfits. The straight hair, the business-casual clothing...wow. And I care so much more about Beth's story this time around too (plus I know more about why she did what she did, of course). I'd forgotten, too, that it was Beth that got them together in the first place (after Katja looked her up), not Cosima as I'd somehow remembered it. But Sarah-as-Beth is the closest we get to actually seeing Beth onscreen for a good long while after this, until some of the later flashbacks. So it's sort of cool from that angle too.

I'm watching for the first time we see major or recurring show themes, like how soon Kira being unusual comes up, or S's network. The clone sickness was in episode 1 (Katja), and Felix has already met his morgue boyfriend. <3 No Dyad yet.

I may also have snagged seasons 3 & 4 on DVD off eBay, because as much as some of the later plot threads didn't grab me, I love everyone in this bar. And it's one of those shows that I kind of need to own, have on my shelf, watch in future when the urge strikes, remember that someone made this amazing thing, and lend to anyone who will let me press it on them. :P

I love these weirdos so much. <3

ETA: Cat icon! Apparently it's from the cover of one of those The Cat Who... mystery novels (which my grandmother used to send me, having somehow got the idea that I was into mysteries but not that I liked sci-fi; they were fun enough). And so pretty! Not half bad as a cartoon depiction of Kaylee, either. :D More here.

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK

Aug. 17th, 2017 09:57 am
rydra_wong: Doonesbury: Mark announcing into a microphone, "That's guilty! Guilty, guilty, guilty!!" (during the Watergate scandal) (guilty)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
I just woke up to find that somehow Steve Bannon accidentally(?) gave an interview to a left-wing political magazine and I can't cope with these things before multiple cups of coffee.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/17/steve-bannon-calls-far-right-losers-trump-warns-china-trade-war-american-prospect
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/17/us/politics/bannon-alt-right-trump-north-korea.html

I honestly have no clue if that's accidentally or "accidentally", and maybe he's trying to separate himself from the Charlottesville marchers by dismissing them as "losers" and posioning himself as more rational/reasonable than Trump on North Korea before he gets fired, or what the actual fuck. Especially given that he was reportedly delighted and "proud" about Trump's press conference statements.

seriously wtf

Dear FemslashEx Writer or Artist...

Aug. 16th, 2017 10:04 pm
rachelmanija: (Buffy: I kind of love you)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Full letter with prompts to come ASAP. The letter below is incomplete.

ETA: I changed my sign-up since I posted this, so if you looked early on, look again if you're interested - I added a fandom and switched out some of the Original Work ships.

Dear FemslashEx Writer or Artist,

Thank you so much for writing for me! This is my first time doing FemslashEx, so I'm really excited.

(I only requested art for one fandom; however, if anyone is moved to do an art treat for me in any of them, I would absolutely love that.)

Loves, DNWs, and notes/prompts for my fandoms (Aliens, Carrie, Original Work, Star Trek: Classic Timeline, X-Men comics (Marvel 616) and X/1999 below cut). Read more... )

O lousy day

Aug. 17th, 2017 12:24 am
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
[personal profile] thnidu
Any day that features two teeth extracted is not going to be an enjoyable one.

Nine hours later and gums still bleeding.

Lost track of my medications schedule , especially since the dentist prescribed me a new antibiotic in place of the old one, so I have dosed myself much too close together.

Have not been able to think very straight for a number of hours.

Go kommer highbury hjem og som du og kommer strækninger man altid gæster karlekammer vores unikke kæmpe bølge

What I'm reading Wednesday, 8/16/17

Aug. 16th, 2017 08:38 pm
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
Books: Currently in the middle of Abroad by Liz Jacobs, Who Is One Of Us, and about to start reading... one of the two books I still have checked out from the library about the Chicago River and what its deal is.

Books finished: I just finished rereading Persuasion and IT CONTINUES TO BE THE BEST OF THE TWO JANE AUSTEN NOVELS I HAVE EVER ACTUALLY READ.

To the surprise of no one, I did in fact mentally work out the AU where Bitty is Anne, and then [personal profile] staranise lured me into joining her contemplation of the AU where JACK is Anne and in conclusion I am definitely not writing any Persuasion AUs ever.

...Because I am totally onto "what if Jack hadn't gotten an NCAA waiver to play at Samwell after playing in the QMJHL" AUs now.

Ahem. Where was I. READING THINGS, RIGHT.

Fic: Still 15 WIPs bookmarked! [archiveofourown.org profile] maculategiraffe's Fallout 4 series updated today and IT IS GREAT AND MIGHT EAT YOUR LIFE!! I've managed to get my Marked for Later list on AO3 down to... 99! Although my "To reread" bookmark tag is up to 39.

Fic finished:

(A sampling of stuff I’ve bookmarked recently--you can see all my bookmarks at http://archiveofourown.org/users/dsudis/bookmarks)

the black lake by alcibiades (Bucky/Steve, T, 9k) Ohhh boy I hadn't had my heart shredded by a recovering!Bucky story in a while, so this was. OH BUCKY HONEY. PLEASE KEEP GETTING BETTER.

In So Many Words by alocalband (Nursey/Dex, M, 17k) In which Nurse writes stories that... all... seem... to be... the same... story. And they're all about him and Dex even when they're NOT ABOUT HIM AND DEX. <3

Short Circuit by Chiyume (Bucky/Steve, E, 20k) Bucky's arm gets damaged and starts giving him an... unusual... variety of sensory feedback every time it's touched. Which would be a lot easier for him to explain to Steve if he and Steve weren't both firmly convinced that the other isn't interested in him like that. (I would love about a million more stories about Bucky's arm getting cross-wired like this, but this one was definitely A GREAT START. :D)

You Make Me Look Legitimate. by Lanna Michaels (Bitty/Jack, G, 3k) LANNA WROTE FIC FOR MEEEEE ABOUT BITTY GOING TO THE 2018 OLYMPICS AND IT IS ADORABLE AND GREAT!!! <3 <3 <3
scaramouche: All four members of Queen in silhoutte (queen silhouette)
[personal profile] scaramouche
Avengers Academy's Armor Wars event has been cracking me up with its A+ dialogue for Crimson Dynamo, like this bit:

Screencap of Crimson Dynamo & Wasp

And after rolling around in glee, I had to go write fic.

Fandom: Avengers Academy
Pairing/Characters: Steve/Tony, one-sided Crimson Dynamo/Tony
Genre: First kiss, humour, silly, fake relationship
Rating: General
Words: 1800
Crossposting: AO3
Summary: Steve's more than happy to step up when Tony's in trouble.

Strategic Thinking: Armor Wars Edition )

Dear Femslash Creator,

Aug. 16th, 2017 09:45 pm
settiai: (Absinthe/'Nique -- settiai)
[personal profile] settiai
Just to note: my requests include Critical Role, Doctor Who, Dragon Age, Hunger Games, Mass Effect, and Crossovers.

First of all, relax! I'm far from being picky, and I can pretty much guarantee that I'll love whatever you decide to draw or write for me. These are nothing but guidelines, for you to take to heart or ignore to your heart's content. Also, hey! You're drawing and/or writing me femslash! What's not to love? ♥

That said, I thought that I'd elaborate a bit on my requests in case, like me, you're the type of person who likes to have something to work with. Feel free to use and/or ignore as much of this as you want. I've tried to include a mix of vague prompts as well as more detailed ones, to hopefully make things as helpful as possible whether you're drawing art or writing fic.

More details under the cut. )

Requests under the cut. )

Some necessary over-reading

Aug. 16th, 2017 04:52 pm
radiantfracture: (john simm)
[personal profile] radiantfracture
I found a meme I like. It's just an equation on a plain background:


YOUR FIRST NAME
+ YOUR LAST
NAME = YOUR
NAZI-FIGHTING
NAME


A friend posted it from the author Amy Stewart's Facebook page. I like the meme because it worked on me exactly the way it was supposed to work – my eye skimmed over it (ah, one of those name memes), stopped on “Nazi-fighting”, then went back to scan the first line and register the joke.

I like, too, the implication of adequacy here – no need to take on another identity or a new name. Your name is enough as it is. You're already ready.

And look at the cleverness of that line break: "+ YOUR LAST / NAME" – expecting some quirky interpolation of randomness (possibly designed to help hack password recovery questions) – last food eaten, last book read – we find instead just what we already possess.

(The text was probably just centred in a box of fixed size, but that doesn't make me wrong. It just makes me an English major.)

Silliness aside, I like the simplicity of this call to arms.

{rf}

Words!

Aug. 16th, 2017 10:52 pm
schneefink: (FF Kaylee excited)
[personal profile] schneefink
I haven't written fic since *checks* May, huh. But then suddenly I got an idea, and now in the past three days I've written over three thousand words and it feels amazing. Story writing is a thing I can do! Oh man, I missed this feeling of getting words onto a page, instead of being stuck at the image-to-word conversion process in my brain.

Btw, I recently read a piece on writer's block that I liked a lot, So you're having a bad writing day: Consider: the act of telling a story is you CONJURING AN ENTIRE UNIVERSE INSIDE YOUR MIND and then using words as knives to CARVE THAT UNIVERSE INTO REALITY SO THAT OTHERS CAN VISIT YOUR IMAGINATION. “Today I am going to make a world out of my brain that you can go to in your spare time,” you say aloud, hopefully realizing that this is far more significant and far more bizarre than tying your shoes or blowing your nose.
Writing is hard, and that's okay. (Clearly prolific authors who update frequently are wizards.)

(no subject)

Aug. 16th, 2017 03:26 pm
julian: Picture of Julian Street. (Default)
[personal profile] julian
I've lost my ability to drive for 7 hours straight at a time, which means that drives like the one I had yesterday telescope out to 11 hours, but other than that, I had a pretty good weekend+ in the Adirondacks.

I had had the vague impression that my sister-in-law's place was pretty small and uninteresting, but in fact, they own about 1,000 acres of land plus Sampson Pond itself, and have two small-but-well-sealed cabins right *on* the Pond, about 1 1/2 miles off the main road. It is gorgeous and I fell in love on the instant I got there. The fact the electricity and running water are generator powered means a) it's loud and b) more expensive, but it doesn't have to be /on/ all the time, and the expense isn't my problem, so that part was less annoying than I expected. The family originally bought it because they were timber barons off in Pennsylvania, and then some of the family split off and became more minor timber royalty (baronettes?), with way less land, off in New York instead.

They have a nicely symbiotic relationship with the local hunting association, who do some maintenance in return for ATV-and-fishing access.

There are canoes and rowboats and all manner of Things To Do on-Pond, plus some local touristy nonsense for those who are interested.

The Adirondacks have some high peak areas (over 4,000 feet) and some foothills, and a lot of hilly-but-mostly-lakes-and-rivers areas, which is where the Pond is. Sort of central-northern. I didn't get west of there, but in general, it feels like the White Mountains, only wetter and with more ground scrub than the Whites.

I didn't much care about (lack of) internet, although my SiL's family (on Verizon) got service while my brother and I (on Sprint) didn't, which irritated me only because I would either rather have A Phone Blackout or have everyone have phones and internet, and not this weird mixture.

Her uncle has been in the meaner version of A Course In Miracles for 5 years or so, in that he was at the monastery in Utah, where there are undoubtedly many wonderful things, but one is basically expected to never have negative thoughts ever, and if ones does, one should conquer them immediately, and if one can't, one is looked down upon vocally. (I extrapolate from a few discussions we (me and him and my brother & sister-in-law) had, and since I am not a CIM fan, I put a negative spin on it, but it's a reasonably accurate boiling down of some of what he said.) He's leaving in large part because they're moving to Mexico and he didn't like their place in Mexico last time he went, but he's still in the "they're mostly right about me" phase, and /hopefully/ will progress to "we were no longer good for each other" phase sooner rather than later. Though he's 70, so possibly not, but I hope so. He himself is steeped in psych and religion history and I want to get to know him better.

Best part of the weekend: Two nights spent on the pond (one on the dock, one in boats) with the aforementioned crew, star-watching. Saw a bunch of Perseids. Really quite amazing.

(My S-i-L's parents have a much earlier schedule than we do, so didn't join in. Her dad basically suddenly started waking up at 5 am about 10 years ago and can't seem to stop (I know a lot of older folks who need less sleep, which is different but similar), so her mom sticks with being somewhat closer to his schedule when possible. I enjoy them a lot, in a low key way.)

I was in a total news blackout for most of the weekend, so I figured war would break out or something. Instead, I had a vague awareness of Tiki torchlight parades, but then I re-emerged and we'd had protest clashes, deaths, and the President waffling around and then going full Both Sides Did It White Nationalist, which, while teeth-grindingly infuriating, is certainly better than war, but just proves we're having about 5 news cycles per day.

I will probably write up tourist nonsense from the trip over, maybe.

Cheese

Aug. 16th, 2017 05:25 pm
chickenfeet: (mew)
[personal profile] chickenfeet
 A wise man once said "the second rat gets the cheese".  I think my problem is that all my life I've been typecast as first rat.

Sunspots

Aug. 16th, 2017 05:05 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

I was testing the solar filter for the camera, in preparation for Monday’s eclipse. We won’t be seeing the total eclipse, but I’m hoping to get some good shots of the partial.

As I was processing the results, I realized I’d captured sunspots!  (Those dark spots in the upper left.)

Sun with sunspots

Click to embiggen.

For those who wonder about such things, this was taken on the 100-400mm lens, fully zoomed to 400mm. ISO 640, f/10, with a 1/3200 shutter speed. I had to set everything manually, because the camera overexposed the shot if left to its own devices.

I think next time I’ll try to reduce the ISO down to about 100 and see if that gets rid of the minor graininess.

Processing involved cropping the shot, noise reduction, and an orange overlay.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

havocthecat: (mfmm phryne mac walking)
[personal profile] havocthecat
More 'Miss Fisher' Coming in 2018, As Movie Trilogy Gears Up For Filming

Here's to hoping that this is for real! Also that Dot and Mac are in it! Miss Fisher isn't the same without Dot and Mac (or Bert and Cec and Mr. Butler and Jane, but Dot and Mac are my favorites).

45 years

Aug. 16th, 2017 03:06 pm
wcg: (Default)
[personal profile] wcg
On the afternoon of Wednesday, August 16th, 1972, Paula and I knelt before the altar of St. Augustine's Cathedral in downtown Tucson. We swore before God to cherish each other as husband and wife for as long as our beings lasted, not only "until death do us part" but even beyond.

It was not an official service. No priest was present. But we took it very seriously. We walked over to Woolworth's and bought our first wedding rings as soon as we left the church, and even though we got better ones a few months later, those two rings are still in my jewelry box today.

Later, she called her parents to tell them we were getting married. Grady and Thelma were - understandably - dubious. Oh, they congratulated her and talked to me and wished us the best, but then a couple of weeks later they showed up suddenly, packed up her stuff, and took her back to their home in Texas "to give us both a chance to think about it."

The rest of the story is here.

On this 45th anniversary, my thoughts turn to Stan Rogers' song, Forty Five Years. Seems appropriate.

Reading Wednesday

Aug. 16th, 2017 11:05 am
muccamukk: Gregory Peck looks up from the book he's reading. (Books: Hello Reading)
[personal profile] muccamukk
What I Just Finished Reading
The Ariadne Objective: The Underground War to Rescue Crete from the Nazis by Wes Davis
I'll admit that I started reading this as Guns of Navarone background, but even given that I found it pretty shallow. Basically it recapped almost entirely from the reports and journals of the British officers, with the odd German thrown in, didn't consider the Greek perspective in more than the briefest passing mention. I read the first two thirds and then sent it back to the library because I just didn't care.

Coed Demon Sluts: Beth (Coed Demon Sluts #1) by Jennifer Stevenson
I saw the author talking about this on Scalzi's blog, and decided to give it a whirl. Pretty much read it straight through on the plane, and enjoyed it, I guess. On the whole, there was way too much talk, and not enough action (or "action"). I didn't really connect with the characters because a lot of the time they sounded like talking points, not people. The actual plot, when it occurred, was engaging enough. Not sure I'll bother with the rest of the series.

(Though I did have the great pleasure of the preppy young man sitting next to me on the flight asking me what I was reading.)


Hold Me (Cyclone #2) by Courtney Milan
Enjoyed this one even more than the first one. I totally got the issues both MCs had, and why they set each other's teeth on edge, but at the same time their alternate relationship was totally believable and in keeping with that. They had great chemistry and I loved how their genuine issues were resolved by working things out and patience, not but Surprise Drama.


The Edge of Worlds (The Books of the Raksura #4) by Martha Wells
It's always good to get back to the three worlds, and I really enjoyed seeing how all the characters had grown over the years, plus all the new cultures and places they encountered on their adventure. The book also brought something I'd wanted from the start, the glimmer of hope for at least some of the Fell, in an exploration of their culture as well. Heck of a cliff hanger though.

The Harbors of the Sun (The Books of the Raksura #5) by Martha Wells
I'm sad to see the end of this series, but what a great send off. Everyone got something to do, we met all kinds of old friends again, and Pearl and Malachite got to hang out (the Pearl-Malachite show was easily worth the price of admission).

The last act was Very Dramatic (well a lot of the book was), but really how much had changed since the first trilogy, and I love how much of a family everyone now has, and how many forms that takes.

(Loved this series so much, the sting of loosing it is lessened by Murderbot being so good, and by the snippits that show up on Wells' Patreon.)


Days Without End by Sebastian Barry, narrated by Aidan Kelly
** spoiler alert ** I have a lot of mixed feelings about this book. It is a book about a gay man who is somewhat genderqueer who spends the entire book with the love of his life and is still with him at the end (they are in fact married with a family by about two thirds through). It was gorgeous. The writing was stunning. The content was often brutal.

Not in a Tragic Gay way, but in a wow the MCs were in the US army during the genocide of the Native Americans, and in the Union army during the civil war, and then we did another round of genocide in Wyoming. And so... yeah.

But on the other hand, it painted nothing as glorious, and I really appreciated a "Wild West" story that actually showed what was going on, and boy howdy did it not romanticise anything. And while it never excuses any of the characters, it does lay out how a lot of that happened, how even good men got sucked into being monsters.

So, gay HEA, beautifully written, uncountable slaughter, would rec the audiobook, as the reader has a pleasing Irish accent.

(This was strongly recced to me by Dad who goes in for depressing things with pretty writing. He also may have been trying to bond over queer content, which is nice. Your mileage will vary widely on how much you can handle the MCs being complicit in crimes against humanity, even if they were only foot soldiers, and in the army as victims of imperialism themselves.)


Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin, narrated by Ron Butler
I don't have a lot of the historical context for the first half, but the writing is so perfect, and the ideas are clear and sharp, and it's pure pleasure to read. (It's somewhat depressing how little has changed.)


Keeping Her Pride (Ladies of the Pack #1) by Lauren Esker
One of my favourites by Esker (still doesn't top Guard Wolf, but probably edges out Dragon's Luck)! I really liked Debi and her slow road to understanding and redemption. I love how her vision of herself changed, and part of that was just a matter of realising that yes, she could put sugar in her coffee. The business plot took something of a back seat until the end, but it's a fast read, and I mostly loved watching Debi grow.

Fletcher wasn't my favourite hero, but he was solid and his issues made sense. His complicated relationship with his ex wife and their daughter made sense. I liked that the kid was there to be trouble as well as cute, as four year olds tend to be. She was pretty cute though.

Nice guest spots by various agents from the other books, but this was entirely readable as a stand alone. I haven't read Handcuffed to a Bear, where Debi first showed up, and followed it just fine.

(I got a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, which is horridly late. Sorry, Lauren!)


What I'm Reading Now
I've got the first Sharing Knife book going on audio, which I'm enjoying in a peaceable idfic sort of way. I can see why some people want to set it on fire. I quite like it.

I'm also drifting through Sister Emily's Lightship and Other Stories, a collection of mostly fairytale riffs by Jean Yolen, which is very good.


What I'm Reading Next
The Stone Sky is out. Once I've braced myself, I'll start that.

UPDATE: Nazis Fuck Off Rally

Aug. 16th, 2017 10:17 am
rachelmanija: (Default)
[personal profile] rachelmanija
Looks like the Nazi scum saw how many people planned to show up to stand up to them in LA, and ran like the cowards they are. Apparently the Venice Nazi rally has been cancelled (but Nazi rallies are still planned in other cities). But it looks like OUR rally is still on, whether the Nazis show up or not.

I will keep updating but if our rally is happening, I'll still be there. I think it's important to show our solidarity and fire. Hey, just talking about showing up chased the Nazis out of LA before they even came - let's give them crowd photos to haunt their dreams and keep them out.
ann_leckie: (AJ)
[personal profile] ann_leckie

So, Provenance will be out in a bit more than a month! I can’t wait for folks to read it, honestly.

Not long ago, you had a chance to read the opening, oh I’d say half first chapter, for free online. And maybe that just whetted your appetite and now you have to wait until nearly the end of September for the rest?

Well, if you sign up for my newsletter, you can get all of Chapter 1, plus chapters 2 and 3! You might see a black banner across the top of my website asking you to sign up for the newsletter, with a text box for entering your email. You can use that, or if you’ve dismissed that click this link to go to a form you can fill out–a text box for your email, and then under that are checkboxes for which newsletters you’re signing up for. You want to check the “Ann Leckie” one, and you might or might not want to check any of the others, depending, but it’s the Ann Leckie one that will get you the chapters.

Here’s the deal–I hardly ever use my newsletter so I guarantee you won’t be spammed. What it does get used for is things like this. And for announcements of upcoming publications and such. Folks who are already signed up probably already have the chapters in their inboxes. If you aren’t signed up yet, you’ll get the chapters when you do. So, if you want to read the first three chapters early, there you go!

Mirrored from Ann Leckie.

Heimat

Aug. 16th, 2017 11:24 am
chickenfeet: (resistance)
[personal profile] chickenfeet
Much of what I've been working on or reading or watching lately seems to turn on what homeland means to the colonised and how relationships between occupiers and indigenous people play out both in practice and ideology. Who would have thought that there were common threads between Rossini's Guillaume Tell, Scott's Ivanhoe, Tovey's Ancestral Voices and Current's Missing?  For some people writing about opera is all high notes and pretty dresses.  For me it's reading Franz Fanon and John Ralston Saul.

Wednesday is positively summery

Aug. 16th, 2017 03:53 pm
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Finished The Color of Fear: up to usual standard.

PC Hodgell, The Gates of Tagmeth: these have definitely succumbed to a kind of Dunnett syndrome, in which there is some huge mysterious meta-arc going on, occasionally alluded to, but each episode deals with some particular problem that Jame (mostly) has to face (there were a few other viewpoint sections in this one) in the foreground and doesn't seem to be advancing the longer game particularly. On the other hand, kept me reading. On the prehensile tail, so not the place to start. (Are there really only 8 books in the Kencyrath sequence? only I have been reading them for decades, so it seems more.)

JD Robb, Echoes in Death (2017), as the ebook had finally come down to a sum I consider reasonable for an ebook. The mixture as usual, pretty much. Okay, not the most sophisticated of mystery plots, I got this and the twist very early on, but it's the getting there, I guess.

On the go

Discovered I had a charity-shop copy of PD James, The Private Patient (2008), the last of the excursions of Dalgleish, which I had not already read for some reason - possibly because I wasn't at that time sufficiently keen on PDJ and AD to shell out for a trade paperback.

Up next

Dunno, really.

rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Guardian: Trump reverts to blaming both sides in Charlottesville including 'violent alt-left'

Note: this headline is an understatement. The morning briefing headline does not pull its punches:

Wednesday briefing: Trump's words of comfort for Nazis

Mic.com: 5 takeaways from Trump's off-the-rails presser on Charlottesville violence

[tumblr.com profile] la-belle-laide points out a hell of a tell:

ALSO? The moment after he asks to define “alt-right” and is told that John McCain said that alt-right were the Neo-Nazis involved, he said: “Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging at us – excuse me – what about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?“

US.

The alt-right Neo Nazis is “US” to him.


I mean, we knew. I don't think anyone who's been paying attention is surprised that Trump thinks this. What terrifies me is that a) he's out-of-control enough to say this shit in public, and b) the Republicans might let him get away with it.

The Hill: WH sends GOP talking points saying Trump ‘entirely correct’ on Charlottesville

[tumblr.com profile] plaidadder comments:

Anyone you see tomorrow saying that, well, you’ll know they’re ‘just following orders,’ and that they always will.

Also, fuck the Republicans who will oh-so-bravely-and-controversially Tweet that neo-Nazis are evil, but not criticize Trump by name.

In fact, fuck the Republicans who will daringly tut and shake their heads sadly at Trump by name over this, but do nothing to stop him or remove him from power.
kore: (Watergate - guilty guilty guilty!)
[personal profile] kore
This goes into the history of the Klan in US politics and it's amazing. Truly freaky photos I have never seen before of tens of thousands of KKK members marching in DC in the 20s.



(What I knew about this before watching the segment: "Al Smith was the Catholic governor of New York who split with FDR and was from LES" and the only reason I knew that was because of [profile] muccamuck talking about their historical Cap fic research)

And then she did a great interview with Carol Anderson, author of White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide, which is amazing.

Anderson's original article in WaPo in 2014 about Ferguson and the backlash of white rage

America is hooked on the drug of white supremacy. We're paying for that today

Why Are Whites So Angry? (NYT review of her book)

Interviews with Carol Anderson on C-SPAN

This was also great: Racism Is 'A Persistent Infection' In White American Culture | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

100 days of cleaning

Aug. 16th, 2017 08:44 am
ilanikhan: (Default)
[personal profile] ilanikhan
Here I was all worried about day 4, but I think it was fine.  I did groceries, and I made supper, both adulty things to do. I put out the recycling - which included bringing stuff down from upstairs which I almost never do!

Day 5 on the other hand...I'm sure I did nothing.  You can't say I packed a lunch, since technically I packed it Monday night after supper.  I didn't even make real supper, I ate cereal.  I guess I have to start again at 1 today.  Not a derned adult thing.  I ate cereal, while watching Ranma and playing a computer game.

I'm not sure if it's that the 5th day in a row was particularly difficult, or if it was Tuesday.  Tuesdays I go out.  Tuesdays, I get home from work between 4:30 and 5, and leave again before 6.  During which time I have to eat something.  Then I don't get home until after 9, 9:30 and want to go right to bed. We'll know soon enough if it's day 4 or Tuesday, since the next day 5 is Sunday and it's usually when I'm well rested and raring to go.

Tonight I am off work earlier than most days, so I'll head home and tidy the kitchen before popping into a grocery store to pick up fixings for supper and pick up the ironphoenix.
marinarusalka: Wasp from Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes (Avengers EMH: Wasp)
[personal profile] marinarusalka
The Boy proposing to me at the top of the Eiffel Tower last night.

I said yes, duh.
spiralsheep: Death to the fascist oppressors (present company excepted) (chronographia Death Fascist Oppressors)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
"When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time." - Maya Angelou

Yesterday infamous fraudster and US white suPresident Donald Trump retweeted a message calling himself a fascist. Later in the day at an on-the-record press conference he referred to white supremacists as "us" ("Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging at us – excuse me." ETA: now being claimed as an indistinct word despite all the initial reports and transcripts in which he is recorded as saying "us". My points in this post still stand, alas). The white supremacist who killed Heather Heyer by driving his car into her at speed on a crowded street was dressed as Donald Trump. His mother claims she believed he was attending a pro-Trump event. The white supremacist who killed Heather Heyer told the world he is a Trump supporter in words, dress, and deeds. We now know that white suPresident Donald Trump has publicly specifically supported the Trump Youth fascists in Charlottesville in addition to the many white supremacist policies his administration has already enforced. Apart from the murder of Heather Heyer and injuries caused to 19 other people (including another woman with a broken skull), the next most serious set of injuries resulted from about half a dozen white supremacists assaulting Deandre Harris (eight staples in his split head and a broken wrist) and again at least one of those men was dressed as Trump Youth while attacking alongside men self-identifying as Nazis and literally wearing Nazi insignia.




"Mr. Trump probably has trouble condemning white supremacists and neo-Nazis because he hired people with those affiliations to work for him. His chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has been accused of anti-Semitism, famed for running the racist website Breitbart. Other prominent staffers include Seb Gorka, whose family has ties to a Nazi group in Hungary, and Stephen Miller who worked with white supremacist Richard Spencer at Duke University. Mr. Trump’s Attorney-General, Jeff Sessions, is one of the most reviled civil rights antagonists in modern American history, denounced over three decades ago by Coretta Scott King, wife of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

For six months, this team has translated their long-standing racist rhetoric into policy: banning Muslims from travel and immigration, targeting voter rights through a 'voter fraud' commission based entirely on a xenophobic myth, refusing to mention Jews on Holocaust Remembrance Day, renaming the 'Countering Violent Extremism' program 'Countering Radical Islamic Extremism' and proclaiming that white supremacist terrorist groups would no longer be targeted by the government, cutting funding for groups that help white supremacists leave the fold – and that’s to name but a few initiatives." - Sarah Kendzior

(Source: Globe and Mail article August 13 2017, i.e. after Heather Heyer's murder but before yesterday's press conference.)




If we fail to learn from history we are condemned to repeat it. Fascists attempting to seize power invariably deputise fascist militias. The only successful armed coup in USian history involved white supremacist militias.

"How The Only Coup D'Etat In U.S. History Unfolded

Think of a coup d'etat and images of a far-flung banana republic* likely come to mind. So it might come as a surprise that it happened here in the United States - just once, in 1898.

A mob of white supremacists armed with rifles and pistols marched on City Hall in Wilmington, N.C., on Nov. 10 and overthrew the elected local government, forcing both black and white officials to resign and running many out of town. The coup was the culmination of a race riot in which whites torched the offices of a black newspaper and killed a number of black residents. No one is sure how many African-Americans died that day, but some estimates say as many as 90 were killed.

Especially chilling was the fact that the insurgency had been carefully planned - a conspiracy by powerful white Democrats.

Southern Democrats lost their grip on power in North Carolina in 1894 and plotted to wrest control from the biracial Republican Party in 1898 elections. They campaigned on a platform of white supremacy and protecting their women from black men.

As the Nov. 8, 1898, vote approached, whites in Wilmington mobilized. They held supremacist rallies and parades and organized militias of 'Red Shirts' to intimidate blacks from voting. The statewide election restored Democrats to power, and two days later, the white supremacists descended on Wilmington's City Hall.

Their leader, Col. Alfred Moore Waddell, had publicly threatened in a pre-election speech to 'choke the current of the Cape Fear River' with black bodies, according to a 2006 report chronicling the events by the 1898 Wilmington Race Riot Commission. After the coup, Waddell was elected mayor of Wilmington."

* spiralsheep's note: please remember that "banana republic" = fascist dictatorships historically sponsored wholly by the US.

(Source: NPR, August 17, 2008, but I've cut the paragraphs specifically about their radio programme.)




P.S. Yes, the some of the most celebrated founding fathers of the US, including George Washington, were slave owners and personally committed genocide against Native Americans. Acknowledging reality-based history is necessary to prevent fascist propaganda from taking root in culture. Live with it.

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