Progress of sorts...

Sep. 24th, 2017 06:09 pm
hrrunka: My garden in the summer (garden)
[personal profile] hrrunka
Most of the rest of Saturday was more of the same.

It's been a fine sunny day, if not especially warm. This morning I joined the usual radio club Net on 160 metres for an hour or so, and then spent a while trying to sort out some family and radio club loose ends. After lunch I tackled the trimming of the hedge on the western side of the garden. It needed a lot of trimming, and it would probably have been better if it had been done a while back, but the folk next door had also decided to tackle their side of it, and the weather meant it wasn't an unpleasant task. It did take a while, though. Inevitably the garden bin, which was emptied on Friday morning, is now full again, and won't be emptied for almost a fortnight, but that's OK.

Now, time to try to deal with some of the other loose ends that need it. Ingress is done. Duolingo next.

(no subject)

Sep. 24th, 2017 12:53 pm
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley
We don't have any problem with convicted felons on the NFL field, but political dissent is right out.

Music and me: a rec story

Sep. 24th, 2017 08:42 am
kouredios: Triple Nerd Score on a Scrabble board (Triple Nerd Score)
[personal profile] kouredios
My first romantic relationship was when I was 15.

I was a sophomore at an all-girls Catholic school, acting in my school's production of Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None." Because it was an all-girls school, our director had adapted the script to make as many characters female as possible. Or, at least as possible as a Catholic imagination could manage in 1990. Only 4 boys' parts were left after the adaptation, and we acquired the boys from our brother school across the neighborhood. One of them became my literal favorite person. We talked *all the time.* Everyone else in the cast decided we were married. He introduced me to both REM and They Might Be Giants, which, if you know me, pretty much sums up the core of my musical DNA.

He was also, as he finally managed to figure out some time later, thoroughly gay.

When we were 15? This was not remotely a problem. There is a closeness that happens quickly when you are working on a performance. There is a level of trust that much be built up, and an intensity that can't really be simulated. We talked, we bantered, we hugged, we stood too close to each other. The whole time we considered ourselves "going out," (about 9 months) we saw each other outside of school functions and meeting up at the bus transfer our schools shared a total of maybe 3 times. That was fine. We talked on the phone almost every day.

And we made mixtapes.

If you were a teen in the '90s, you know already the power of mixtapes. But let me see if I can articulate it. Before iTunes, before Spotify, before Pandora, before fucking *Napster*, the only way the average kid had to create their own personal playlist was to record their songs of choice to a cassette tape. And the only really effective way to do this was to own a stereo with dual cassettes and manually hit record when the song you wanted began on one side, recording it to the blank tape on the other side. And you tried like hell to get the songs to blend smoothly, maybe rewinding a smidge when you got a couple notes of the next song accidentally recorded onto the blank.

What I'm saying is that it was a long, arduous process. It wasn't what we do now with today's playlists, adding a song with a click of a button, rearranging as we go. It was deliberate. It was thoughtful. If you weren't going to think it through, you weren't going to do it at all.

Every song meant something.

I mean, at least the way I did it. You couldn't make a mixtape without also listening to the song as you recorded it. I think at some point, the technology existed to speed up the recorded song as it was taped by like 2X or 5X, but why bother? Listening to each song as you placed it in its order like a string of beads that you would then present to your love with a smile? The entire fucking point.

I still have the tape John made me, somewhere. The same way I have the notes he wrote me, the card attached the to the rose he gave me, and the pictures of us at one school dance and the trip to the local amusement park that both our schools went to on the same day at the end of the year.

That tape introduced me to Erasure, and Tori Amos (so much makes sense in retrospect, you guys. I digress.)

All of this is to say that the narrative trope of pining characters speaking to each other through songs? Touches me at a deep, deep level. I like songfic a lot in general, but when it's done exceptionally well? I fall, hard.

This is all to say that right now I am deeply in love with Setting Sun, by LittleLostStar.

But let me back up for a minute.

When I got super fannish about Yuri On Ice!!!, I started by reading the big fandom hits, like you do. Then I got obsessed for Otayuri, and found not only fic, but playlists based on that ship, and I poked through them, found my favorites, curated my own playlist out of my individual favorite songs on different playlists, etc. Like you do.

A lot of the stuff that would pop up on Otayuri playlists was appropriate, but also obvious. Like, it started to feel like most of it was just made up of whatever songs were already popular right now--the stuff that shows up on Pandora's Teen Radio station all the time. I enjoyed it, and I started writing some songfic for them based on the ones I thought *really* fit best (which I should totally finish one of these days, whatever), but I also got occasionally annoyed at how US-centric the song choices always were. But my critique/celebration of cultural translation in YOI is an entirely SEPARATE POST.

The thing that is special about Setting Sun isn't just that it's the story of Yuuri and Victor literally speaking to each other only through song lyrics, and each song has very pointed and specific meaning (I mean, that's obviously A LOT of what I love about it, see above re: mixtapes), but it's also a playlist with a narrative attached. It's not a pile of songs with a certain aesthetic (which the Otayuri playlists generally are, and that is fine and good and I enjoy the thing). I've re-read Setting Sun several times, and listened to the playlist at the same time every time so that now I can just listen to the playlist and relive the story, deep in my feelings. And that is also what listening to a mixtape was like. You relive the feelings that a person makes you feel, anytime you want, by listening to the music they send you.

Not all of the songs in Setting Sun are explicitly romantic. A ton of them are sassy. Some of them are pissed off. A bunch of them express Yuuri's anxiety, or Victor's depression. And then a bunch of them are just pure sex. And it's alllllll good. The narrative, and the songs that go with it, earn the sexy songs, which you know makes them that much better.

And the songs themselves? Some of them I already knew (Savage Garden, Fiona Apple, natch). Some of them were new songs from bands I knew but hadn't followed closely in a while (Pompeii, Tegan and Sara, Lucius). There's not as much European or International pop as I'd realistically expect from Victor and Yuuri, but there's enough, and at least not every song is in English (Latin counts, okay?) And enough of the music is both new to me and also deeply moving and very good that I've also just started diving into the back catalog of some of these new-to-me artists.

And I've started just sharing individual new fave songs with people (hi [personal profile] kass!) and had to explain that, yeah, I got this from a YOI fic.

It doesn't matter how you feel about Yuri On Ice!!! Seriously, listen to this song.
This means you, [personal profile] heresluck.

For the past year, I've been listening to music more and NPR and podcasts less. It was partly because I wasn't commuting an hour anymore (more like 2 minutes, seriously) and partly because I just desperately need to not listen to the news and to, just, stick an IV of joy into my veins. YOI was part of that IV of joy, but now the music I've been acquiring because of YOI has also taken up this job, and it's much more portable. I bought a bluetooth shower speaker so I can start every day with the right mood. I wear headphones at my desk while I compose assignments. I wear headphones at home while I read fic on my laptop in the living room and the kids watch Dan and Phil on Youtube, or Jay watches trail runners. And I always, always listen to playlists in the car.

It isn't always Setting Sun, but it often is. And sometimes it's the offshoot playlist I made of just the fuck jams. Because sometimes you don't need the full narrative. Especially if you've already internalized it.

Playing those on my way to and from UMass to submit my final PhD paperwork worked pretty well, I'll tell you what.

This is all to say that, if you like Yuri on Ice!!! OR mixtapes, or just great music, maybe check out some combination of the fic and the playlist. I bet you'd be glad you did.

I can't remember, [personal profile] sanj, if I dropped this one into my stream-of-consciousness-on-hangouts-reclist for you, but even if I already have, consider this a bump up to the top of the reclist.

(Oh, also. It's still a WIP, and it updates slowly, but it's canon-parallel, and already over 80K, and the author is still clearly working. And even if it ends now, it's thoroughly satisfying at this point, so no worries.)
calliopes_pen: (oraclegreen Drummond Dark Shadows)
[personal profile] calliopes_pen
Yesterday, the bill arrived for Comcast. We expected this month’s bill to still reflect things from before we cut out watching cable due to whatever reason, but no. It’s better than that. This month, we seem to owe nothing, and we have been credited $65. So…next month the bill should be $5 once that's subtracted, until this returns to the expected $70 in November, I suspect.

Odd, but nice for once.

Meanwhile, as I hunt for a new computer, I realized that just in case of any emergency that requires me to go—either due to being forced to travel out of state again, or not—it might be best to search for laptops. So I’ve been looking at the HP* Pavilion 17 inch sort, since that’s held up well for Dad. He hasn’t had any problems with his, since he got it in 2013.

And since I prefer Windows 7, I purchased an OEM for Windows 7 Professional 64 bit, which should arrive sometime next week. I’ll use it once I have an appropriate laptop actually in my possession. I have also done in depth research of the Intel CPU, which one would allow an installation of 7 over 10, and which ones wouldn’t. I think I’ve figured that one out. I have far too many links gathered for all the steps to everything, so that’s what I’ve been doing this week! I also gathered all relating links to drivers that still support Windows 7 in either the CPU of Intel or AMD.

I also asked questions at Reddit, Seven Forums, Tom’s Hardware Forum, and Bleeping Computers so that I would have everything straight. As a side note, from one of those I gained the alternative of the Acer Aspire desktop, should other ideas not work. So that’s why I’ve been a bit quiet—research!

And on a non computer note, The Collinsport Historical Society has their round-up of everywhere that Dark Shadows can be found this Halloween season. If only I had Decades and TCM, I would be so happy on October 28th.

*We have a local place that works on all things HP, so if anything happens, straight to the manufacturer it can go.

Sunday Sweets: Stained Glass

Sep. 24th, 2017 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed

Posted by Jen

"Color is to the eye what music is to the ear."

- Louis Comfort Tiffany

What does "stained glass" make you think of? Church windows? Fancy light fixtures?

How about gorgeous cakes?

(By Queen of Hearts Couture Cakes)

Ooh la la! So soft and pretty; I love the watercolor feel to those colors.

 

(By Paige Fong)

This cake practically glows, it's so vivid. And I like how the flowers are mirrored in the artwork.

 

(By Maggie Austin Cake)

I can't imagine the time it took to pipe and paint even one of these layers, much less four.

 

(By Corrie Cakes)

These cookies look like sun catchers! Doesn't the blue background look like a cloudy sky showing through?

 

(By Melissa Alt Cakes)

One of my personal favorites today! There's a great little Tiffany museum here in Florida, and this one reminds me the most of some of his windows there. Something about all those glowing greens and rich orangey-browns... Just lovely.

 

(also by Queen of Hearts Couture Cakes)

Both are amazing, but that blue! WOW.

 

(By Bittersweet Pastry)

Perhaps more of a mosaic than stained glass, but I'm blown away by the 3D flowers! Such a great design.

 

And another tile mosaic:

(By Passionate Cakes)

So much detail! Can you imagine how long it would take to place all those tiny pieces?!

 

These flowers look like they're bursting out of the glass design:

(Also by Maggie Austin Cake)

So. Cool.

 

And finally:

(By Vinism Sugar Art)

I take it back; I think this is my favorite. The balance of dark and light, the perfectly blended colors, that butterfly...! It belongs in the Tiffany Museum! Or my belly. One of the two, anyway. ;)

 

Hope you guys enjoyed! Happy Sunday!

*****

Thank you for using our Amazon links to shop! USA, UK, Canada.

elbren: (icon)
[personal profile] elbren
Mother Ann Lee founded the community of ‘Shakers’, enduring abuse and humiliation in order to build up a community where women were honored as equals, where modesty and hard work were valued, and where people could confess their shortcomings openly and rely on one another in mutual growth and support.
mother ann lee in 1/4 profile, with a white sheer cap on her head

Mount Fuji!

Sep. 24th, 2017 08:49 pm
the_shoshanna: my boy kitty (Default)
[personal profile] the_shoshanna
Kawaguchiko is not actually a very pretty town, unfortunately. But we have still had a great time! )

I'm a couple days behind on blogging, so I want to get this posted. We go home tomorrow!

Old

Sep. 24th, 2017 07:24 am
jhetley: (Default)
[personal profile] jhetley

Air temperature 58 F, dew point 56, calm, clear. Back to scraping paint. Old people and old houses . . .

wpadmirer: (Default)
[personal profile] wpadmirer
That was the last line of my horoscope this morning, and I really like it.

I'm up early because Pat is going bicycling. But I have no obligations today. That is rare for me. There's usually something that I have scheduled, or that must be done. Instead I find myself with the morning alone and nothing required.

Whatever shall I do?

I had a lovely lunch with my friend Patti. It was good to catch up. We hadn't seen each other in a long while.

I heard about her trip to New Jersey to see her grandson, and how they had fared through the storm. They lost power for five days. Otherwise they did pretty well. I'm glad.

I took another long nap yesterday afternoon. I just feel really tired this weekend. I think that it's a combination of a hard work week, hard boxing lesson, and I'm still processing shit from my mother's death. I have had multiple dreams which she appears in.

The human brain is a weird thing, and the heart no different.

Bergen

Sep. 24th, 2017 09:49 am
poliphilo: (Default)
[personal profile] poliphilo
My mother has been watching bicycle racing from Bergen. The cameras track and follow the action through the streets of the town and up into the hills above the estuary. I don't take much interest in the sport but I'm enjoying the scenery. I love how the Norwegians paint their houses in bright primary colours.

Lisa Kudrow

Sep. 24th, 2017 12:00 am
[syndicated profile] quoteoftheday_feed
"You have to surrender to the fact that you are of too many in a highly competitive field where it is difficult to stand out. Over time, through your work, you will demonstrate who you are and what you bring to the field. Just stay with it and keep working."

Tom Hanks

Sep. 24th, 2017 12:00 am
[syndicated profile] quoteoftheday_feed
"I'm glad I didn't have to fight in any war. I'm glad I didn't have to pick up a gun. I'm glad I didn't get killed or kill somebody. I hope my kids enjoy the same lack of manhood."

H. L. Mencken

Sep. 24th, 2017 12:00 am
[syndicated profile] quoteoftheday_feed
"The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind."

George Bernard Shaw

Sep. 24th, 2017 12:00 am
[syndicated profile] quoteoftheday_feed
"The English have no respect for their language, and will not teach their children to speak it."

Not enough sleep for brains

Sep. 23rd, 2017 11:40 pm
archangelbeth: Bleach's Captain Byakuya, three-quarters view. Captioned: sigh (Sigh)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Got to bed around 3:40. Roofers showed up around 9. If that's "maybe 5 hours sleep," then yeah, this is why I have no brain.

I have 2 things I need to edit. ...gods, the roofers will show up again tomorrow, around 9 again. *sob* Hopefully I'll have more sleep.

Or at least a shower. They are not in any position to see in the window if I take a shower, really...

Kid is shattered by all the roofer noise. *sigh*

Oh, and we discovered a bad bit of construction that means a few corners of the house are going to be rotted out. (Particle Board Sux, people.) AND we're gonna wind up re-roofing the whole house after all. And contacting insurance on Monday...

At least the new gray shingles look Very Nice.

Havva Quote
M•• decides he doesn't want to be an alpha male. Will be a stable release male with regular update packages.
arcangel giggles
I__ says, “I think I'm still in beta at best.”
I__ says, “There are so many bugs. ;_;”
M•• [to I__]: You don't have bugs. You have features. :)
I__ [to M••]: That's nice of you to say, but the meltdowns are very much /not/ a feature.
E~~~~ says, “Even if some of them are undocumented.”
M•• {to I__} tries to be positive.
E~~~~ [to I__]: Even the best software runs out of RAM or disk space sometimes.
M•• {to E~~~~} nods.
I__ [to E~~~~]: <3


INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

(no subject)

Sep. 23rd, 2017 10:50 pm
skygiants: Clopin from Notre-Dame de Paris; text 'sans misere, sans frontiere' (comment faire un monde)
[personal profile] skygiants
Thanks to the kindness of [personal profile] aamcnamara in loaning a copy so I did not have to fight through the library line, I read The Stone Sky - third in N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth trilogy, following up on The Fifth Season and The Obelisk Gate - last weekend.

I don't think Essun destroyed any cities at all this book! I'm so proud!

The rest is disconnected spoilery thoughts )
austin_dern: Inspired by Krazy Kat, of kourse. (Default)
[personal profile] austin_dern

So what we absolutely expected to see at Story Book Land were little houses for the Three Bears, with or without Goldilocks. Beehive mailboxes outside that. Pack of squealing kids running up to them before we could get in. Good, spirited stuff. And they had animatronics. The bears would look around, forever discovering their porridge bowls empty and their chairs tampered with. These were in good shape, too. The bears might have looked a little like they were off from the Chuck E Cheese line, but they looked like they were fresh off that. I don't know how recently Story Book Land's had renovations, or whether they just keep stuff in rather good shape all the time. They were looking in great shape, though.

They also had a building that was nothing but model trains. It put me in mind of Roadside America, which as a kid I thought was the most fantastic place to be ever, and which I'm still surprised I haven't taken [profile] bunny_hugger to. Maybe when we get to Hershey Park and Dutch Wonderland next, since as Stuff In Eastern-ish Pennsylvania they're surely all close together, right? Anyway, this was several tables, at different heights, filling up what used to be a post office it looks like. And there were so many buttons to press, to make some part of a loop or a shuttle track start running. If I were ever taken here as a seven-year-old I would never have left.

Not a surprise: they have a Santa's Home, with elf statues out front and a house all decorated for Christmas. This was maybe the most Holiday World moment of the park. More of a surprise: they didn't have a Santa there. They only have Santa when the park is open for the Christmas season (something they've been doing since the late 70s) and for one Christmas-in-July event. I understand not having him around all the time, but one busy month and then one extra day seems like under-using the character. They do have some other buildings, not adjacent to Santa's Home. One is a reindeer stall with again button-activated reindeer animatronics. Another is the Workshop, featuring elves assembling toys and a reindeer animatronic that's trying to work the old-fashioned adding machine or write a letter with a pen. I guess good on Santa for not letting physical limitations keep people from jobs they like, but they don't seem like the workspace otherwise accommodates that, like, pens are gonna slip out of hooves.

Surprising, although in that way that afterwards yeah, this does seem like the sort of place that would happen: they had a chapel. It was, says the plaque and the book about the park's history that I bought, a private chapel built in the area and moved to the park in the Like 70s. They've had at least one wedding performed there. It was someone who'd had a career with the park. Whether they'd be open to letting anyone rent the park for a wedding ceremony is, to me, a mystery.

Of neutral surprise content: they've got a garage with a bunch of vintage cars and even old fire trucks, used for parades and other publicity events. Yes, they've got statues of Dalmatian fire fighters

Near all this is a fine little building, a cylindrical tower in the middle of a pond, named Goosey Gander's Castle. And there are a couple geese penned into it. This is, according to that book I got, a return to form. For years they had kept ducks there. I have no explanation for the duck interregnum. But this did serve as a warning that the park keeps live animals. That isn't by itself a bad thing; many parks do, especially ones that aim for appeal to kids. But the park did have some larger enclosures, near the back of the park, and as we approached those we would start to worry that they might keep something way beyond the ability of a small family-owned amusement park to keep well.

Utterly baffling: one of the non-animatronic statues up front is Moby Dick. He's been there for decades and is beloved by longtime parkgoers, says the history book, none of whom seem concerned by how Moby Dick isn't a fairy tale and is really nothing fairy-tale-like, in fact. I would've thought they'd at least have used the Whale From Pinocchio. It's got the air of an idiosyncratic choice that, by long exposure, has become impossible to even question. So be it. What's the point of a park like this that hasn't got odd choices in it?

Trivia: The British government declared the Continental Navy's privateers were pirates and criminals in the Pirate Act of 1777. Source: Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America, Peter Andreas.

Currently Reading: Binary Fusion and the Millennium Bug, Beth Bridgman. This is one of the more genially dopey science fiction novels I've read in a long, long while.

PS: Halloweekends Friday after Cedar Point closed!

SAM_7731.jpg

View from the Hotel Breakers of the park by night. The Power Tower is at the center; to the right, Corkscrew, and to the left, ValRavn.


SAM_7733.jpg

Old stained-glass window that's been set up in the Hotel Breakers, near the new entrance and somewhere that it can attract appreciation.


SAM_7735.jpg

Main lobby of the Hotel Breakers, decorated with skeletons and decrepit-looking fake horses, some of which shudder when approached. We don't know what the hotel looks like during the summer when it isn't trying to be spooky.


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