onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
([personal profile] onyxlynx Jul. 24th, 2014 12:17 pm)
 to [personal profile] beckyzoole !  May this be a beautiful and peaceful day for you!
thuviaptarth: golden thuvia with six-legged lion (Default)
([personal profile] thuviaptarth Jul. 24th, 2014 02:37 pm)
I am in a terrible mood and discouraged about the vid I'm (not) working on, so let's resurrect this meme:

Pick any section of a vid or a paragraph or any passage less than 500 words from any fanfic I've written and comment to this post with that selection. I will then give you a DVD commentary on that snippet of what I was thinking when I made or wrote it, why I wrote it, what's going on in the character's heads, why I chose certain words, what this moment means in the context of the vid or fic, and anything else you'd expect to find on a DVD commentary track.
The truth, they say is stranger than fiction...except, of course, when it is fiction.

I refer, of course, to Wiscon and the ever more bizarre account of the so-called Frenkel Sub-Committee's utter inability to organise a piss-up in a brewery. Or, to take a more relevant example, to bar a punter from a pub for persistent inexcusable ogling and pissing off the bar staff and other patrons.

I'm relying on the account given here by committee member [personal profile] antarcticlust, and the amplifications in the comments*, though I have to say I've been head-desking so hard throughout reading that that I may be concussion-impaired, possibly permanently.

Because they've completely lost sight of the wood for the trees here. They aren't presiding over the International Court of Human Justice at the Hague, for crying out loud. They - Wiscon - a private organisation existing for private purposes, namely putting on an annual event open to subscribing members of the public - are trying to decide whether they should sell another private individual a ticket allowing him access to that event in future. Now, as a matter of freedom of contract, no-one can compel any private person to make a bargain with any other private person, except in exceptional circumstances. In fact, people get turned away from events all the time - I'm going to the Martin Freeman Richard III tomorrow and I don't doubt lots of people will have been turned away from that performance on the basis that the theatre only seats a limited number and that number of tickets have already been sold. What are they going to do about it, set up a sub-committee to look into why theatre auditoriums don't have TARDIS-like properties?

Now, I'll fully accept that there is a long and inglorious tradition of people exercising freedom of contract in various unpleasant and discriminatory ways, which is why one of the limited exceptions to the freedom of contract rule is to protect the interests of systematically disadvantaged groups. So, depending on where you are in the world, you may not be able to refuse people equal access to goods and services based on their possession of a "protected characteristic" (gender, sexuality, race, disability - that sort of thing).

Being a persistent bully, serial harasser and recidivist lech is not normally a protected characteristic, at least, outside of Looking-Glass land. While I'm aware everyone keeps relentlessly going on and on about "But what if he sues?" I don't think anyone seems to have addressed the issue "But what would he sue for?" That is, what would be his cause of action be and what loss would he have suffered?

I can see that as a publisher's representative he might argue that loss of an opportunity to attend a convention at which many of his employer's authors or potential authors might be present would have the potential to damage him in his professional life -- if his professional life hadn't unfortunately been put on hold owing to being sacked for....well, actually, the very acts of harassment which over a year later it now appears to require an entire eponymous sub-committee to find out whether he committed or not, by a process which (from this angle of view, at least) seems to involve losing a vast amount of supporting evidence from the complainants and would-be complainants and believing any old made-up, unsubstantiated, implausible, self-serving exculpatory garbage the accused decides to pull out of his arse. This, apparently, according to the world's foremost feminist science fiction convention, is what they mean by "due process" "a judicial model" and being "committed to making a decision based on the evidence we had -- not rumors, not speculation, not opinion, and not heresay[sic]."

Precisely how "a transcript of the safety log notes, which do not contain the names of the principal witness or the aftermath witnesses" is not, by definition hearsay, when [personal profile] elisem, one complainant and therefore a key person who was able to give direct, non-hearsay evidence was not even contacted is left as an exercise for the reader. Likewise, how anyone who was chairing the committee can declare they are operating due process and then come out with something like this:
I can say that our decision had nothing to do with whether or not we trusted your report. We absolutely did. The possibility that the events you described didn't happen never once came up. We knew, from the write-up of the log notes, that there were witnesses, but I never asked to speak with them, because it honestly never occurred to me personally to doubt your statement. I never took your statement at anything less than face value.

That would be the statement which was included in a document based on another document (a writeup of the log notes) based on an interview given, presumably in stressful circumstances, some 13 months earlier?

If [personal profile] antarcticlust doesn't consider THAT hearsay, what does she consider hearsay?

The problem she's got is that she's got a vague fuzzy idea that "hearsay"="gossip" and is hence BAD, and therefore suggesting that someone's account is hearsay is somehow reflecting on their moral character, rather than a technical (and neutral) term of art describing how the information got to her (do we think it might have been better had she stuck to academic terms like "primary sources/secondary sources"?)

But she doesn't realise that asking someone directly for their account not relying on a third-hand documented account isn't necessarily because of doubting their probity; it might just as much be doubting someone else's shorthand.

Oh, I could go on for ages. But I won't. Instead, I shall quote from my own work, because it's my journal and I can. The Affair of The Asphyxiated Acafan, Sherlock fandom, 2010:

"If the plot required Professor Farintosh to inject herself with contaminated insulin, anyone who'd had access to her personal possessions in the previous few days was a suspect. Given Farintosh acquired a new room-mate as a result of a literally incredible chain of circumstances, of course Heather and Caroline were in the frame. Tell me, is being a gullible imbecile a required qualification for the Deathcon organising committee, or did vampirevictoria somehow rig the elections?"

On the evidence of the last few days, I think we now have an answer to that question.

*There is also a round-up of useful links at Radish Reviews . I am also indebted to m'learned friend (if he will allow the expression) [personal profile] major_clanger who coined the immortal phrase "cargo-cult due process" to describe the Wiscon clusterfuck.
midnightsjane: (Default)
([personal profile] midnightsjane Jul. 23rd, 2014 08:47 pm)
I last posted a week ago..seems like yesterday. I really don't know where the time goes, it just seems to zoom by my best intentions to post regularly. LOL. Actually, I blame my new smart phone. Since I got it, with its ability to connect me to the internet and email, I haven't had to turn on my computer as often. Posting from the phone is a challenge, 'cause the teeny tiny keyboard makes me very impatient. Of course, there hasn't been a lot to post about, other than "hey, working" or "hey, working at my non paying job at the farm". Keeps me busy.

I am happy to say I've had my first harvest from my little garden this week. I picked snap peas, swiss chard and collard greens, and one ripe tomato, and had a tasty stir fry for dinner. The salad greens went straight from seed to tiny plant to seed because of the heat, so that was a bust. The beans are growing like a Jack in the Beanstock bean, and I hope they'll produce lots of beans. I have to plant more stuff. Was going to plant more lettuce and spinach today, but it was raining too hard to work in the garden. Still, I didn't have to water it!

The house is getting closer and closer to completion. The drywallers have been busy, and the builder wants us to pick paint colours, and the outside work is almost all done. The tile guy is putting the tile on the veranda, and the siding is almost all on, and OMG, it all looks so gorgeous. A friend gave Sue a beautiful magazine which is all about using colour, which is a challenge when dealing with a house this big. We want it to keep the flow, but not to look like boring builder beige. Lots to consider.

We have three of our young horses in training, so just about every day one of them is being ridden. We have a schedule so everyone knows what everyone else is doing. Today Dusty got ridden from 9 to 10, Florrie from 10 to 11, and then Sera had a lesson with our dressage teacher at 3p.m. They are all going really well, and we're so proud of them. Florrie has just been started; she's had all of 8 sessions with a rider, and she is being so good. It's a lot of work, because once you start them, you can't just stop. I am looking forward to getting Rochelle going in the fall, but right now we have enough on our plate.
It's so much fun, and so rewarding to see these brilliant young horses getting started on their careers. It's why we work so hard.

I'm going to have a day at home tomorrow. I think I'm going to spend some time going through my closet and toss all those old stained teeshirts, and all the clothes I don't wear anymore but have hung on to. Time to clean house, so to speak.

I might even have time to make a rhubarb crisp. I picked a bunch of rhubarb from the garden today, and I'm thinking rhubarb-apple crisp might be nice.
raincitygirl: picture of Darcy from "Thor" (Default)
([personal profile] raincitygirl Jul. 23rd, 2014 03:42 pm)
Meeting minutes are done, yay! I hate writing minutes, but everybody else I work with hates writing minutes too, so I get stuck with them. Oh well, they say suffering is good for the soul.

Did I tell LJ/DW about Young Miss Weaver’s adventure at the vet last Friday? Read more... )

In other news, the strata council got back to me, and if they get an injunction against Horrible Neighbour while foreclosure proceedings are underway, that could actually delay his exit, because the bank would automatically stay foreclosure proceedings until after any outstanding legal issues were resolved. Well, it’s not the getting of the injunction that’s the problem, it’s the enforcement of it. If he’s already in foreclosure and a judge orders his condo sold because he keeps violating the injunction, he can appeal against the judge’s decision. There’s no appealing against the foreclosure process. Either you have the money the bank wants or you don’t.

Property manager is going to try and find out for me where in the foreclosure process HN is, so we know what kind of timeline we’re dealing with. But it sounds like they have a plan of some kind, at any rate. Property Manager says if the foreclosure doesn’t work out, they will definitely take legal advice. I like current Property Manager a lot better than the old one. Or it could be that the current strata council is more pro-active. They took legal advice about 8 years ago, the lawyer at the time said there was nothing they could do, and they kind of sank into apathy. That of course was before the precedent was set with the 2013 case in Surrey, a case where the trial court’s judgment was upheld by the Court of Appeals. But heaven only knows how much the strata council in question had to spend on legal fees.

Edited to add: I should point out that I gave YMW the sedative with the full knowledge and consent of the vet beforehand. I'm not going around randomly dosing my cat with pills just for fun.
cremains: (Default)
([personal profile] cremains Jul. 23rd, 2014 11:30 pm)
Dream of walking through a tunnel to sit at a table laden with books. French people were milling about. I saw grafitti about the war which troubled me greatly, but I turned my attention back to the books, which were cloth and canvas, like the kind of masekhthoth they were putting out in the 60's, but appeared much older, damaged. Inside were woodcuts of subtely wrong animals. The books were opened, set aside, opened, set aside.
musesfool: Mal (i will not speak to lie)
([personal profile] musesfool Jul. 23rd, 2014 03:35 pm)
What I'm reading Wednesday:

What I've just finished

I am finally finished with The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War. It was good at being a military history of the war in Europe and, to a lesser extent, North Africa, but I feel like it really skimped on the war in the Pacific. Which is fine for a book with the premise "why/how did Hitler lose the war?" (spoiler: the answer: he was a Nazi), but then don't title it the way it's titled. I am just saying. I also found it had a lot of dropped words and even dropped phrases from sentences, which is unacceptable for something I actually paid for. Also, there were a bunch of maps, but they weren't linked from the text or embedded in it, so they were pretty useless, since I didn't really know when to look at them. Which sounds way harsher than I mean it to! A solid 3 stars if you are looking for a military history of WWII in Europe. I did learn more about Stalingrad from it than from any of the other books I've read so far, so there's that.

What I'm reading now

The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein, on the strong recommendation of several people on my flist over the years and what I believe was a rerelease via ebook? Anyway, I'm about halfway through and I'm enjoying it. Though I wouldn't mind a look at the maps they keep talking about. MAPS, PEOPLE. THEY MAKE EVERYTHING BETTER.

What I'm reading next

Probably the rest of the Steerswoman books that I have.

astridv: (ward 5)
([personal profile] astridv Jul. 23rd, 2014 08:31 pm)
Psycho by [archiveofourown.org profile] TheGoddessAriadne
Gen; OC & Grant Ward, team; transcript format; teen
Summary: Everyone knows Grant Ward is a psycho.

Great use of the script format and a very likeable OC.
INTERVIEWER: Good morning. I’m Doctor Seraphina Sen. I am conducting research into sociopathy, criminality and pathological behaviour and I have been granted access to interview you, if you are comfortable answering some questions. So, I'll need to ask a few preliminary questions, just to document the basics. What is your full name, please. [PAUSE] Mr Ward? Can you understand me? Oh for the love of...can I get a translator in here?
PRISONER 0849329: I can understand you.
I: Oh. Ok then. Why didn't you say so?
P 0849329: I don't speak.
I: You just did. Twice.
P 0849329: I'm being taciturn, what is this, your first interrogation? What part of SHIELD are you from?
The foggy, foggy dew (5326 words) by Naraht
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Return to Night - Mary Renault
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Hilary Mansell/Julian Fleming, Hilary Mansell & Lisa Clare
Characters: Hilary Mansell, Julian Fleming, Lisa Clare

What happened after the cave: chapter twenty of Return to Night.

I have spent a long time wondering why I was writing a coda to the final chapter of Return to Night. Newsflash: I generally prefer to ignore the final chapter entirely. But it leaves so many loose ends that I felt I had to bring it out into the light of day. Also, contains bonus Lisa.
Who has ten fingers, two thumbs, and a California Driver's License? That's right; this girl!

Took the written four weeks ago (with the kind DMV clerk scribbling "PERFECT!" across the sheet) and finished with the practical today: Yes, California does make you retake the whole thing, no matter how long you have had your foreign license.

To be fair, in my case it was a reasonable request -- I didn't drive often even when I had a car in Germany, and in the United States I had no car for longer than a week since 2012. And this one comes with a great perk: I get an Identity Card that I can use for air travel and for getting drinks in Portland, Oregon, where a bunch of doormen at bars and lounges won't let you in with anything but a passport...which just so happens to be the document that is not particularly wise to take along on a trip to a watering hole.

Next step: car purchase. If any of y'all have recommendations for small, compact hatchbacks, hybrid or gas, let's hear 'em!
edenfalling: stylized black-and-white line art of a sunset over the ocean (Default)
([personal profile] edenfalling Jul. 22nd, 2014 11:57 pm)
Today I had my first reemployment services appointment with Tompkins Workforce NY. I'm not sure if this is a NY state thing or just a Tompkins County thing, but in order to continue receiving unemployment benefits you are required to have these appointments every three or four weeks -- until you get a new job or the benefits run out, whichever comes first. Today was basically an intro, kind of a "who we are and what services we offer" spiel, along with a whole bunch of informational flyers and some free resume advice. It turns out they have access to a bunch of free training programs (I can learn new office-work type things! yes! this is good and useful!) and also they run one to three workshops a week on various topics. I have sent in a registration request for one on August 1st which is about what Cornell University looks for in employees, and how to tailor your application to best effect. So that's progress.

I have contacted TC3 to request a form that apparently they should have included along with my transcript, but didn't; this is necessary to determine whether or not I have fulfilled ESC's general education distribution requirements. Hopefully they will get back to me soon.

I have paid my credit card bills for the month, and my August rent and health insurance.

I have prepped a batch of chicken soup, which is currently cooking merrily away in my crock-pot. I also baked two chicken thighs, steamed a bunch of broccoli, and put them in the fridge for lunch and/or dinner over the next couple days. And I have six meals' worth of pot roast in two containers -- one which I moved down to the fridge to defrost yesterday, and another still in the freezer -- so I am totally on top of this food business. :-)

I have noticed that I'm cooking a bit more frequently now that I am eating breakfast and lunch at home instead of at work. Of course, breakfast tends to be Eggo waffles, and either lunch or dinner may often be pepperoni and cheese on bread, or bread-and-butter plus craisins plus a hardboiled egg, or cheese and crackers and juice, or something similarly picnic/snack-like, but the point remains. My grocery bills have gone up slightly, but on the other hand, I'm withdrawing cash from my account a lot less often. It's probably cheaper overall this way... or at least if would be if I didn't keep buying wine to go along with dinner. If I'm going to the trouble of cooking actual real food, I want wine to accompany it, because that is what you do in my family: wine with dinner. (It's funny what things you absorb as unquestioned rules from your parents.) I am not buying mad expensive wine or anything, and I usually get five glasses from every bottle, but that does add up.

I haven't written anything over the past few days, and I stalled on AO3 crossposting as well. There wasn't any particular reason behind that. Sometimes you just run out of oomph for certain tasks, even as you simultaneously keep up with others perfectly well. But I think I should be able to get a few done tonight, and maybe even write a couple hundred words of something or other.

So yeah. Life continues, as it tends to do. *wry*
versaphile: (RTFM OMG LOL (Networking Guinea Pig))
([personal profile] versaphile Jul. 22nd, 2014 10:22 pm)
I just dusted off my website FTP in order to remove a previously-innocuous widget from all of my hosted archives. It's called AddThis and it's this little bit of script that makes it easy to share links to the pages that the widget is embedded in. But in the years since I set it up, the AddThis company has turned evil. They're creating something called canvas fingerpriting:

A new, persistent web-tracking technology developed has been used to track web users across many of the world's most popular websites, including those of the White House and even wholesale smut platform YouPorn.

The canvas fingerprinting technique was described in 2012 by University of California researchers (PDF) as a means to silently track the web sites users visit. Surveilled users watched over by canvas attacks cannot defend themselves by clearing the tracking mechanism by normal browser flushing nor guard against infection using apps like AdBlock Plus.


If you use AddThis in any of your websites, make sure you remove it ASAP. This is nasty stuff if you care at all about your privacy (or the privacy of whoever visits your site). Also, check out Ghostery, a browser plugin that blocks widgets like this.
cadenzamuse: Cross-legged girl literally drawing the world around her into being (Default)
([personal profile] cadenzamuse Jul. 22nd, 2014 05:52 pm)
You guys.

T. got his dream job.

We're moving to the Midwest, near my in-laws (and I can unironically say that I really adore my in-laws), to where T. went for college.

I will be able to go to grad school.

We will not starve to death.

We're moving away from my parents (sad).

I am a roiling bubbling mess of emotions (although I still am going to look into all your lovely ideas for jobs).

T. keeps calling people and telling them "I get to shoot things with lasers! I get to do 'real science!'"

I keep calling people and babbling confused things, half terrified...no wait, all terrified, although happy too.

Sad I'm moving away from my church, and D&D group, and favorite yarn store, and my city which is one of the best foodie cities in the States.

I have no idea what I'm thinking. I want to order ALL THE YARN from my current LYS.

In conclusion: HOLY SHIT.

P.S. Oh wait, I should add that we're totally fucking getting season tickets to Blue Jackets games. (T. does not know this yet, but I totally fucking will.) So, you know, if you're in the area, hit us up.
onyxlynx: The words "Onyx" and "Lynx" with x superimposed (Default)
([personal profile] onyxlynx Jul. 22nd, 2014 01:46 pm)
darchildre: herbert is breaking his pencils because you are so dumb.  text:  "you said *what* now?" (herbert is smarter than you)
([personal profile] darchildre Jul. 22nd, 2014 01:34 pm)
There is a lady in the library who has walked over on the ferry. She came over on a whim and so came into the library to find some local info about bus systems and other local towns.

She seems incapable of pronouncing "Poulsbo". We got "Paulville" for a while and, now that's she's seen it written down, we're getting "Paulsborough".

There are absolutely things around here that are not easy to figure out how to pronounce - Sequim, for example, or Puyallup, which still trips me up a little. I would not have thought "Poulsbo" would be one of them.
wychwood: Vala decrees that you may speak (SG-1 - Vala goddess)
([personal profile] wychwood Jul. 22nd, 2014 08:44 pm)
49. The God Engines - John Scalzi ) Bleak, but worth reading; Scalzi obviously has a broader imagination than usually shows.

50. Anansi Boys - Neil Gaiman ) Definitely one of my favourite Gaimans.

51. Broken Homes - Ben Aaronovitch ) I'm deeply ambivalent about the ending, but I trust him enough to see where he takes it. So far.

52. The Three Brides, 54. The Young Stepmother, and 56. The Two Guardians - Charlotte Yonge ) Yonge remains as Yonge-like as ever. Although there aren't many enormous sprawling families in these three, admittedly.

53. Tipping the Velvet - Sarah Waters ) This was fabulous; I'll definitely read more Waters.

55. Self-Made Man - Norah Vincent ) More interesting than I'd expected, if not exactly revelatory.

57. Crown of Renewal - Elizabeth Moon ) An enjoyable read with a sad lack of depth or series structure. And I'm left missing a lot of resolution to the various plot threads.

58. Scenes and Characters and 59. The Two Sides of the Shield - Charlotte Yonge ) More Yonge! Giant families this time, though.
raincitygirl: picture of Darcy from "Thor" (Default)
([personal profile] raincitygirl Jul. 22nd, 2014 11:37 am)
Someone just offered me a homeopathic sleep remedy. I do NOT believe in homeopathy, and in fact, I believe it to be actively dangerous under certain circumstances. So I smiled insincerely and politely refused. No magic water for me. Um, if you believe in homeopathy, you’ll probably want to scroll on past the rest of this post. In fact, definitely.

My mother had this cousin, A, who was a true believer in homeopathy. Nice lady. Had a husband and two kids, one in university, one just about to start university. I went and spent a day with them when I was visiting London in the late 1990’s, and my second cousins took me to Hampton Court Palace to play tourist. A didn’t come with, because she was feeling very tired and achy that day. She explained all about how her mother (so my great-aunt) had died just a few months before after a long illness, and it had been so stressful she’d lost 40 pounds from grief. But she had her homeopathic remedies, which she enthused over, and they’d made such a difference to her health. She didn’t believe in “allopathic” doctors. I wasn’t quite sure what allopathic was, but it was obviously a bad thing.

About 3 months after I returned to Canada, A died. Pancreatic cancer, not diagnosed until very very late, I believe about 6 weeks before she died. See, she kept on losing weight, and finally her husband forced her to see a doctor. Now, pancreatic cancer is a nasty one, and there’s no guarantee that she would have survived even if she’d been diagnosed in a timely fashion. But dosing herself with homeopathic remedies instead of seeing a doctor when she had massive weight loss and terrible fatigue sure didn’t HELP.

On a much lighter note, have 25 Things Every Canadian Would Like You to Know, gakked from [personal profile] rap541.
zulu: Karen Gillam from Dr. Who, wearing a saucy top hat (Default)
([personal profile] zulu Jul. 22nd, 2014 10:33 am)
How is it already Tuesday? The world is a fast-moving place.

So on the weekend, [personal profile] bell and I took a road trip to visit some high school friends of mine. They moved about three hours north several years ago, so it's been tough to catch up in person because when they come back down here, EVERYONE THEY EVER KNEW wants to hang out with them. And it makes sense that they'd give priority to family. So this way, we got to see their apartment, and their neighbourhood, and meet their dog. It was all pretty low key, but that suited us fine; [personal profile] bell had a cold, and couldn't speak above a whisper for a good part of the time, so hanging out and mocking bad movies was about the height of the excitement.

This was only the first of several weekend trips we have planned! This coming weekend we're going backpacking (just a short trip; we aren't terribly adventurous, it's our only regular backpacking trip of the year). Then next weekend is my family reunion with my dad's side of the family at our cabin. That will be crowded and loud, probably, but we can always go floating down the river for a while to escape if necessary.

The summer has been so busy! We've done so many trips. I think the weekend after that, August 9-10, we don't have anything planned and we're very happy that way.

All of which said, now I have to buckle down on work... I promised my advisor I'd read two books by Friday and I'm still in the first one. Then, of course, there's always writing. Two weeks from today I'm supposed to hand in another chunk and that will be a challenge.

I wrote lots and lots of important official emails this morning, though, so that's one thing I can feel good about already!

Thus, onwards! to do )

Hope your days are all going swimmingly. Perhaps even literally so--it looks like a lovely day for swimming out.


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