by and

DC probably has a lot more vacant and blighted properties than its official count says, largely because of loophopes in the counting system. A bill before the DC Council is aiming to change that.


Residents proposed ideas for ways a long-vacant property could be put to better use. Photo by Myles Smith.

In February, Elissa Silverman introduced the Vacant Property Enforcement Amendment of 2016 to work in tandem with a similar piece of legislation she introduced in 2015. Both would shift the burden of proof from DC's Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs to the property owner, meaning it'd be on the owner to show that a buildint isn't vacant rather than on the city to show that it is.

This change would make building owners much more accountable, as well as strengthen DCRA's ability to enforce existing vacant and blighted properties laws.

First, a quick recap of the current situation

Under current law, properties determined that DCRA's Vacant and Blighted Enforcement Unit determines to be vacant are taxed at elevated tax rates of five percent of assessed value if vacant and 10 percent if the property is found to be blighted.

But the process for classifying a property as vacant or blighted and then maintaining the property's classification is onerous; District law states that the Mayor is the only person in the city who has the authority to list a building as blighted, and there are a number of loopholes in the law that allow negligent owners to avoid elevated tax rates.


A vacant building at 824 Kennedy Street NW. Photos by the author unless otherwise noted.

Every six months, DCRA has to reassess the property and determine that it is still vacant and/or blighted. That means that when a building goes onto the list, chances are high that it will revert to the normal non-vacant, non-blighted tax rate even if the owner does nothing at all.

We estimate that there are as many as 5,000 vacant and blighted properties in the District, a number far too large for the small staff of DCRA's Vacant and Blighted Enforcement Unit to keep a handle on.

Silverman's bills do four things:

It reduces from three years to two years the maximum amount of time a vacant property can qualify for an exemption from higher taxes.

  • Currently, property owners can get exemptions from higher tax rates for up the three years by filing for work permits that cost a fraction of the potential tax penalty. In practice, these exemptions can last much longer than three years, as David Sheon and I have documented in a number of cases. There is no requirement that any actual work be done to earn the exemption.

This vacant building at 5112 9th Street has been vacant for three years, but it regularly falls off the list and its owner doesn't get taxed at a higher level consistently. Neighbors complain of loiterers and drug activity on the property.

It shifts the burden of biannual proof that the building is vacant or blighted from being the responsibility of DCRA inspectors and onto homeowners.

  • As the law stands, DCRA has to inspect every one of the 1300 properties on the list plus any new properties every six months. This bill shifts the burden off of DCRA and onto the owners of vacant properties by making them demonstrate with utility bills that the properties are no longer vacant.
It raises fines for failing to register vacant properties or allow DCRA to inspect them.
  • Accepting a fine is often easier and less expensive than registering a property as vacant. This bill reverses those incentives, making it easier for DCRA to maintain accurate lists with up to date information and to take enforcement actions when necessary.
It provides positive incentives by allowing an owner of a vacant property who follows the law and fills the vacancy within a year to receive a rebate of one year of vacant property taxes.
  • There is currently no mechanism for reimbursing owners of vacant and blighted properties who remediate blight and fill vacancies. This law will provide a strong incentive for owners to move quickly and do the right thing.

A vacant building at 615 Jefferson Street NW. Note the stop work order in the window.

The DC Council will take the next steps in July

The Council has scheduled hearings on the proposed legislation for July 12 to July 14. Hopefully, we'll see the bill brought up for a vote following the hearings.

While this bill does not address all of the loopholes, it does fix the most obvious flaws. We are pleased to see this development, and urge Council to add the additional amendments needed to address the above listed issues.





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([syndicated profile] rollingaroundinmyhed_feed Jun. 29th, 2016 09:25 am)

Posted by Dave Hingsburger

Today is our47th anniversary. I did the math, which took me an embarrassingly long time, and realized that we began our relationship in 1969. That's a very long time ago. In gay time, that's nearly the dark ages. We lived our life in the shadows, we crafted truth that concealed a lie, we learned the ways of distance. We didn't touch, ever, in public. Not even the drunken arm over the shoulder, which was one of the few acceptable ways men could touch in those days. We were both terrified that we'd be spotted.

I want to be clear, we weren't afraid of being discovered because we lived with shame, we didn't. We were in love, there was no room for shame. We feared the very real consequences of violence, homelessness and unemployment. We had no protections, from anyone. But we lived with it. Managed it. We knew that we'd been scarred by those first could of decades, but we made it through. We still laugh a lot, we've always laughed a lot. And, I wouldn't have predicted it then, but our love was strong enough to stretch out over 47 years.

Last weekend we were on Church Street at a pre-pride festival and there was booth there wherein one of Toronto's preeminent photographers were taking pictures of couples who love one another expressing that love. Joe and I had done a selfie of us kissing in support of the campaign called 'two men kissing' in response to the slaughter in Orlando which, apparently, had been set off because the shooter had seen 'two men kissing.' We were very cautious with that picture, we don't do public displays of affection.

However, even so, we discussed having a professional shot of us showing affection, showing love, we signed the release forms and went in to get set up. There was a lovely young guy, 43ish, chatting with us, and I told him that I was anxious and a bit afraid. 'The ways of distance' aren't easy to let go of ... Joe and I then both spoke about those years of hiding in plain sight and what touch meant then ... danger, violence, hurt. He, the young fellow, said that it was similar for him when he was young and that there is still a wariness about touch.

The photographer came in, chatted for a few seconds and then we had to kiss, and kiss and kiss again. We had trouble not laughing, we had trouble calming the nerves. but we did it.

Because we have something to celebrate. We have loved in darkness and now we love in light.

Take it from us.

Light is better.

May love always be welcome, may hearts always be free, may kisses never mean death.
([syndicated profile] booksontheknob_feed Jun. 29th, 2016 01:41 pm)

Posted by Books


Birthright: Beacon #1 ($3.48 Kindle), by Valerie Parv, is free from iTunes and Kobo, and direct from the publisher Momentum (MacMillan Pan Australia). From what I can tell, iTunes and Kobo are only free for Canada and some other countries, while Momentum also includes at least the US.

Book Description
A threat beyond anything humanity has ever faced is racing toward our solar system. Will those who can stop it learn to work together before it’s too late?

Adam Desai is a self-made man. From humble and mysterious origins he has built a career as the director of a prestigious space center. He is also a man who knows right from wrong, and something about the impending launch of the shuttle Arrafin seems very wrong.

Deputy Governor Shana Akers is used to handling high-stakes situations. But can she believe Adam’s suspicions? The launch is worth millions to the local area, and she knows she’s not always the most level-headed when it comes to Adam.

On the day of the launch, Adam is confronted by a pair of mysterious visitors, and suddenly everything he has ever believed about himself must change. Faced with a danger that threatens the entire planet, Adam and Shana must find the strength to trust not only each other, but the visitors, whose unusual abilities defy explanation.
Only united do they stand a chance of averting disaster, and their choices will set them on a path to reclaiming humanity’s birthright.

This thrilling story of aliens living among us is perfect for fans of A.G. Riddle, Rysa Walker and Linnea Sinclair.

Get the free ebook from iTunes.
Get the free ebook from Kobo.
Get the free ebook from MacMillan Pan Australia. You have to set up an account and fill in some info, but no CC info. You get a DRM-Free EPUB, so can easily convert in Calibre to read on Kindle.

Note: Any Amazon links go to the post on the blog, rather than directly to Amazon. Just click the link from the blog post itself to go to Amazon from there.

             
([syndicated profile] booksontheknob_feed Jun. 29th, 2016 01:28 pm)

Posted by Books


Hot as Hell: A Deep Six Novel, by Julie Ann Walker, is free in the Kindle store and from Barnes & Noble, Bookshout, ebooks.com, Google, iTunes and Kobo, courtesy of publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca.

Book Description
An exciting prequel novella to New York Timesand USA Today bestselling author Julie Ann Walker’s thrilling new Deep Six series

Harper Searcy didn’t want to fall for a soldier, but she couldn’t forget her hot Navy SEAL friend or their one night stand. When the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan where she works comes under attack by terrorists, there is only one man she knows who would move heaven and earth to rescue her: Michael “Mad Dog” Wainwright.

“The Deep Six series is going to be one exhilarating ride.” -RT Book Reviews

Get the free ebook from Barnes & Noble. Please see this post in regards to backing up your books purchased from B&N and this post if you are having problems with the new web design.
Get the free ebook from Bookshout.
Get the free ebook from ebooks.com.
Get the free ebook from Google.
Get the free ebook from iTunes.
Get the free ebook from Kobo.
Free on Kindle; links on Today’s Free Kindle Books.

Note: Any Amazon links go to the post on the blog, rather than directly to Amazon. Just click the link from the blog post itself to go to Amazon from there.

             

Posted by Books


Getting Started with Electronic Projects ($10.69 Kindle), by Bill Pretty, is free this morning, direct from Packt Publishing.

Book Description
With Getting Started with Electronic Projects, you will create several popular electronic security projects. This practical and accessible guide will show you more than just building handy and useful electronic security projects.

Beginning with what the hams call “DC to Daylight,” you will learn how to build everything from an IR Beacon to an RF power meter and a ZigBee point-to-point network. All you need to get started is a few simple tools and ordinary soldering skills.

The projects eventually become more complex when you start building an infrared flashlight using materials from a dollar store. Here you start with a IR flashing beacon and a motion sensitive alarm with a really cool on/off switch, then you move on to a black box project that will turn your sound card into an oscilloscope and eventually a ZigBee-based alarm system.

Get the free book from Packt Publishing. Click on Claim, log in and the book gets added to your bookshelf; you can download a DRM-Free EPUB, Mobi (Kindle) or PDF. You can also access any code files and send the the book to your Kindle Library from the My Ebooks page.

Note: Any Amazon links go to the post on the blog, rather than directly to Amazon. Just click the link from the blog post itself to go to Amazon from there.

             
([syndicated profile] booksontheknob_feed Jun. 29th, 2016 01:14 pm)

Posted by Books


Get the MP3 download of Robot Stop ($1.29 Amazon) from King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s Nonagon Infinity album, free from eMusic today. (No account required)

This one should get your heart pumping … or your ears bleeding…

Note: Any Amazon links go to the post on the blog, rather than directly to Amazon. Just click the link from the blog post itself to go to Amazon from there.

             
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([personal profile] telophase Jun. 29th, 2016 09:12 am)
I had to buy this game off Steam before I finished reading the review: Regency Solitaire. XD
Tags:

Posted by Markus Reuter

Beliebtes Streetart-Motiv, das bei den Gezi-Protesten in der Türkei auftauchte. Foto: CC-BY 2.0  igb

Beliebtes Streetart-Motiv, das bei den Gezi-Protesten in der Türkei auftauchte. Foto: CC-BY 2.0 igb

Die Türkei hat einem Bericht von Vocativ zufolge nur eine knappe Stunde nach dem Anschlag auf den Atatürk-Flughafen Twitter und Facebook landesweit mittels einer Drosselung (selective bandwidth throttling) blockiert:

The order, issued by the Turkish Prime Minister’s office on the grounds of “national security and public order,” bans sharing of any visuals of the moment of explosion, blast scene, emergency work, of the wounded and dead, or any “exaggerated narrative” about the scene. It also bans the act of sharing any information about the suspects.

It was initially posted to the website of the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (known by its Turkish acronym, RTUK) at 11:15 pm Turkish time. Less than an hour later, an Istanbul court extended the ban to “all news, interviews, and visuals regarding the incident,” and said it applied to “any written and visual media, digital media outlets, or social media.” Turkish internet service providers quickly blocked access to Facebook and Twitter.

Das Laden der Twitter-Startseite dauerte nach Angaben von @TurkeyBlocks etwa 23 Minuten.

Mittlerweile scheint auch Youtube gedrosselt zu werden. Das berichten zahlreiche türkische User – auf Twitter. Unter ihnen der Türkei-Korrespondent der Welt, Deniz Yücel. Die Dienste sind mittels Virtual Private Network (VPN) weiterhin erreichbar. Die Nutzung von VPNs ist in der Türkei wegen der häufig vorkommenden Zensur weit verbreitet.


Unterstütze unsere Recherchen und Berichterstattung für Grundrechte und ein freies Internet durch eine Spende.

by


Photo by Craig Sunter on Flickr.
More rent than income: Incomes for DC residents have gone up 33% over the last 34 years, but that doesn't keep up with a corresponding 86% increase in rent. Rents have increased much more than inflation, and across the US nearly half of renters are considered "cost-burdened." (DCist)

Space > preservation: Alexandria is tearing down its historic Ramsey Homes, and will build 52 mixed-income apartments in their place. Removing all existing homes, versus keeping one for historic preservation, will create more open space for residents. (Post)

SafeTrack solution?: You might be able to take an express bus from Franconia-Springfield to Pentagon during the next SafeTrack surge. The Yellow and Blue Lines will shut down from National Airport to Braddock Road from July 5 -11. (Post)

Make way for drones: Flying drones can't make deliveries in DC because it's a no-fly zone. But starting this fall, DC will allow companies to test sidewalk drones to make deliveries. No other US city has permitted sidewalk drone testing. (Urban Turf)

Blame for the blaze: Monday night's electrical fire at the Gallery Place Metro happened because a loose rail fastener led to electrical arching. Metro has sent the equipment off for lab testing. (WTOP)

I-66 expansion, go: Virginia has the Feds' green light to expand I-66 outside of the Beltway. That means HOV lanes, new commuter lots for ride sharing, high frequency bus service, and express toll lanes by 2020. (WTOP)

Baltimore ships that: Bigger ships can now pass through the Panama Canal, and Baltimore is one of only 3 east coast ports that can handle the biggest among them. That could mean new jobs are on the horizon. (WTOP)

Maryland's fork in the road: With the economy pushing cities to be more dense, Maryland's cities must decide how to best meet the demands of residents young and old. Some will prosper, and it's quite possible some will collapse. (VA Pilot)

Walmart's new use: Nationwide, big box stores are becoming obsolete. But some places are turning the buildings into schools, churches, and office spaces. The 99% Invisible podcase goes in-depth on "ghost boxes." (99% Invisible)

Have a tip for the links? Submit it here.

7 comments

([syndicated profile] cakewrecks_feed Jun. 29th, 2016 01:00 pm)

Posted by Jen

 

 Me: AAAUUGH! BWAHAHAAA!

John: What? [seeing cake] What IS that?

Me: [laughing]

John: Is it a cow? Buried face down?

Me: [still laughing]

John: Wait, no, I think it's a tree. A birch tree.

Me: [shrill cackling punctuated by honking, bugle-like snorts]

John: Is there a two-liter in that thing? Seriously, look; I think there's a soda bottle in there! Jen?

Me: [wiping eyes] Oh, so you're saying it's all bark and no bite?

John: Ug, that's terrible. We need some good puns.

Me: Hey, if you don't like my puns, you can make like a tree, and GET OUT OF HERE.

John: That's it. No more Back to the Future marathons for you.

Me: Awww. You are my density, baby.

 

Thanks to Amanda C. for proving there's nothing shady at all about a tree stump with two limbs.

*****

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

twistedchick: daffodils in rain, my photo (Default)
([personal profile] twistedchick Jun. 29th, 2016 09:37 am)
I have deleted the Brexit post, which I should have thought about more and then not written, and I apologize to all those who were hurt by it.

While the Greek vacation was lovely, I’m told my Mom had one complaint: “He always has his nose in that cell phone!  He’s missing everything!”

Which is interesting, because it mirrors the complaint she always had of me on vacation as a kid: “He always has his nose in a book!”

I remember endless vacations as a kid where my Mom told me to leave the damn book in the car.  And half the time I’d smuggle it along anyway, sneaking a page in here, half a chapter there, re-reading when necessary.  I tried not to do it when there was anything interesting happening – though it often took me a while to determine that conversations not directly involving me were interesting – but what everyone always seems to forget is that a lot of vacations are about standing in line, getting tickets, trapped in that interstitial area between Point A and Point B.

I don’t mean to be rude, I really don’t.  But I’ve got two problems that have always shadowed me: I get bored very very easily on travels, and crowds of people overwhelm me.  When I have the energy, I try to strike up conversations, but being among so many people rubs me raw as sandpaper.

For me, reading (whether that’s a book or Twitter) is a mini-way to recharge so I don’t melt down.  It’s like bobbing into a pool of cool water on a hot day – I’m generally trying to rinse off some excess stress quickly so I can get back to whatever semblance of normal I have.

The world’s a little overwhelming right now, so I’m gonna dart off into this closet to forget where I am.  Then I’ll pop on back.

(And the truth is, half the time when I’m not looking at my book and/or cell phone, I’m not there either.  I wonder whether I became a writer out of some defense mechanism, because while you’re looking at this beautiful Turkish countryside, I’m wandering through a fictional world I’ve created, wondering how the economy in a floating castle works.  I spend a lot of time not here, and the cell phone’s just the obvious sign.)

And I know it’s substandard.  Sometimes I do miss out on conversations, try though I might.  Sometimes I know people wanna share things with me and they can’t get my head out of the otherworld in time.  Sometimes they wanna talk to me and I don’t look like I care.

It’s a weird balance.  Because the truth is, if I put the book down, I don’t think it’d be a much better experience for them.  I’d be more stressed, and more likely to snap, and more likely to withdraw into myself in weird depressions.  (People who travel with me have seen me get overwhelmed, and I promise you it’d happen more without the books.)

The truth is, I am a carefully perpetrated illusion.  I function as a human being because I have very carefully controlled my environment to manipulate myself into productivity – my social life is carefully orchestrated, my social media is designed to allow me the personal contact I need, my outings brief and preplanned.  People like me because I’ve engineered my life so I show up at the good moments and close the shutters when the bad days come.

(Even as part of that environment involves revelatory posts like this, so those who know me understand me on some level.  I’m addressing this to my mother because she’s the one who inspired this, but part of that environmental shaping involves friends and acquaintances reading this and going, “Oh, yeah, that’s who he is.”)

So yeah, I’ve got my nose in a cell phone, or a book.  And I get that it’s annoying.  You have a right to get annoyed, because honestly I’m annoyed.  If I was a normal person I wouldn’t need to retreat.  If I was a normal person I wouldn’t need this continual pressure valve of me nipping off to Elsewhere to come on back a little stronger.  If I was a normal person I could spend three hours at a party without having to close myself in the isolation of a bathroom for a bit so I can breathe.

But I’m not.  I try.  But you have a right to be annoyed because I wasn’t listening when you needed me to, because you wanted to share this experience and it flittered by before I could see it with you.

My life’s a compromise some days.  I’m sorry about that.

I’ll try to look up more.

Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.

oracne: turtle (Default)
([personal profile] oracne Jun. 29th, 2016 08:39 am)
I read books!

Sister Mine by Nalo Hopkinson was more upbeat than I had been expecting. The narrator is a twin - a former conjoined twin - and her twin has all the magic. I particularly loved how the various gods/godlings (their relatives) were portrayed, distinct personalities that fit their spiritual roles but were never too human, despite having once been human. Also, the sister relationship was deep and complex, and really rewarding to read about.

Madensky Square by Eva Ibbotson has been in the TBR for a really long time, and I'm not sure why. I started it while doing laundry and stayed up way too late to finish it because I was worried about everyone having happy endings, though they pretty much got them (Warning: a sad animal death). The book takes place in Vienna shortly before World War One, and that was at the back of my mind the whole time, though the characters were mostly unaware, save one career army man. Like other Ibbotson I've read, if I had to come up with one adjective to describe it, I'd choose poignant.

I meant to save League of Dragons by Naomi Novik, the last Temeraire book, for vacation, but couldn't wait. I found it a satisfying end to the series; I will miss these characters.
So the next issue of Nazi Captain America comes out today, and spoilers released yesterday confirm what people who know comics, the same people Marvel head honchos and writers have been sneering at for being movie fans who don't understand the traditional rhythms of comic book storytelling, have been predicting from the beginning — that in fact, spoiler, if you care. )

Someone named Andrew Wheeler wrote up a long, thoughtful piece on what's gone wrong, priority- and communication-wise over #SayNoToHydraCap. (It shouldn't make you mad -- he's pointing out how audiences have changed so that the people Marvel thinks they're writing for have outsized influence among the audience that actually exists, i.e., the diverse one.) I keep trawling through tags and comments on Twitter and Tumblr, looking through reactions, and the one I keep seeing that doesn't sit right with me is outrage on behalf of "Jewish readers and POC gentiles."

Someday I've got to write up the piece explaining that seeing something related to Nazis or WWII and knee-jerk responding "IT MIGHT OFFEND JEWISH PEOPLE!!!!" is. Not how antisemitism works, for the most part, and it's not actually being much of an ally. There was this girl in my grade growing who was always just kind of stupid and endlessly irritating. Virtually every time there was a possibility of something being hard, she'd raise her hand, whine "But that's not faaaaaiiirrrrr" and find the most specific, unlikely reasons why X could present an issue to Y person. I don't actually think the whole Hydra Cap thing is antisemitic, for all that it's incredibly thoughtless, and I definitely think we should reserve the word for things that genuinely are toxic and dangerous, like this shit and attitudes like it. (Or this shit, which EVEN THE NYT calls out!!) With Spencer & co, I'm more offended that this reaction was totally predictable and yet it was deemed an acceptable offense in the name of ~edgy storytelling (which, not edgy! how old are you dopes?).

Anyway, tl;dr, the world and especially Tumblr (trolololo) needs to level up on its nuance, news at 11. I totally have the power to change this.
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([personal profile] marthawells Jun. 29th, 2016 08:11 am)


I have five codes to give away for free downloads of the audiobook of The Edge of Worlds, narrated by Chris Kipiniak, from Audible.com. You can listen to a sample here.

To enter: Comment on this post (at Live Journal, Dreamwidth, or the GoodReads feed) and tell me why you want it. (The drawing is random and I'm not judging you, it just makes it more interesting to read the entries that way.) You'll also be able to enter on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, but please only enter once (in total, not once on each site).

I'll be drawing the winners on Friday morning, July 1, 2016.


(I'd also really appreciate it if people left reviews, on Amazon, B&N, GoodReads, or LibraryThing (or just added the book to their lists there) but it isn't necessary to enter or win.)


Part I: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1096503.html
Part II: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1100922.html
Part III: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1104619.html#cutid1
Part IV: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1108537.html
Part V: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1112216.html
Part VI: http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/1124762.html


Help! I'd like clever individual titles for these chapters as well - now taking suggestions for all 7!


“It’s some big, nasty, anti… anti-us ward?” Willow frowned both with effort and confusion.

“Very good, Willow.” Giles spoke through gritted teeth. “I did tell them we were coming...oh, bollocks.” He fell silent, gripping the wheel.
Read more... )
skygiants: Ben Sisko with hands folded and goatee (diplomacy!)
([personal profile] skygiants Jun. 29th, 2016 08:30 am)
I don't actually remember why [personal profile] genarti decided I should read Doctor's Orders, Diane Duane's Star Trek McCoy-centric TOS novel, but it ended up on my shelf and so I did.

BECCA: all of Duane's TOS characters are always so pleasant and philosophical and well-intentioned and consistently competent
I don't know if I believe it but it is soothing to read
GEN: heee, right?
I am very fond of that part
also they all stop and think fondly about astrophysics in ways that I do not think fits what's actually onscreen but DO think fits what ought to be true of people in this career path so I'm good with it
BECCA: 'snappy banter,' says McCoy, thinking earnestly about how the crankiness is a useful persona that he puts on when it's convenient for the well-being of the rest of the crew
GEN: hahahahahahahaha
and for his own entertainment, but yes
BECCA: they DO stop and think fondly about astrophysics with GREAT FREQUENCY
and biology
and the value of gathering scientific data for the sake of gathering scientific data
way more than any character on TOS ever has

I mean it feels -- and it is -- very much the kind of fanfic in which the author firmly writes all their own ethics backwards into canon.

GEN: To me it's always felt like she's writing the attitudes of 70s/80s TOS fandom into TOS
like, "I know all of these super geeky writers who are really into space and whom I really like as people, THIS IS THE STAR TREK OF THEIR HEARTS"
BECCA: hah that is probably also true
I mean it also very much does feel like fanfic
'Chekhov's catchphrase!' says Checkhov, in his first appearance, and then wanders off to be competent somewhere offscreen
'Nurse Chapel's off taking her doctoral exams!' says a throwaway line, a/n: 'ok it's always been my headcanon that Nurse Chapel eventually moves up to MD'

The actual plot involves the Enterprise going to investigate a planet where three different intelligent species have independently evolved and trying to convince them to join the Federation; everyone frantically runs around taking soil samples and trying to get enough linguistics data to calibrate the universal translators, Kirk leaves McCoy in charge as a joke and then beams down and gets lost while having a philosophical discussion with an alien, some cranky Klingons show up and everyone rolls their eyes at them, there's one or two space battles but mostly, you know, it's philosophical discussions and harassed linguists complaining about verbs. As I said, it's a pleasantly soothing read! And significantly more invested in the actual day-to-day labor of the scientific and exploratory process than any episode of Star Trek ever has been or will be.
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([personal profile] kaberett Jun. 29th, 2016 01:39 pm)
I have just received an appointment letter for the thoracic medicine clinic! Lung stuff investigation now scheduled for the end of July.

demanding scans and tests and NOT CONTRIBUTING and
copperbadge: (bad day)
([personal profile] copperbadge Jun. 29th, 2016 07:27 am)
There's been a weird malaise in me recently, which is amusing given how busy I've been -- my motto for June was "Survive June" and I seem to have done fairly well, though June's not quite over yet. I had two conferences bookending a week in Texas, and I survived all of that, at least. Mostly productive work, though towards the tail end of conference #2 I was dragging a lot, and that hasn't passed off yet.

I'm running a 5K not this weekend but next, in Chinatown, and while in theory I'm capable (I did the Color Run a few weeks back, at the start of Survive June, and broke my personal best pace/time), it's been rough going on the running front lately. I was meant to get up and run this morning and somehow managed to just straight-up sleep through three alarms. Fortunately alarm #4 is the "Get up if you want to get to work on time" alarm and that one got me up, but that's very unusual for me. Usually I wake up at four regardless of alarm.

I know googling medical symptoms tends to cause Google Hypochondria in a lot of people, but does anyone else ever feel super-relieved when they google what they think they might have and it becomes immediately obvious they don't? Like I did google mononucleosis, just in case, but I don't have enough symptoms other than "Man I'm tired" to qualify, and anemia is out since I had a blood test for it relatively recently. I'm just effin' tired.

But there is a three-day weekend coming, and at least the weather's nice for running; tomorrow I'll try again. I have a new route I want to try, which is 5K itself with a turnaround at a 24-hour hot dog stand in the middle; I'm considering the French Fry Invitational....
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