another amusing story

Mar. 26th, 2015 05:31 pm
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[personal profile] badgerbag
I had forgotten this but my mom reminded me. During our trip to the Dude Ranch over 10 years ago (Moomin was maybe 3 or 4?) There was a scene where a little girl younger than Moomin had accidentally locked herself into the bathroom, sort of an outhouse dealy in between the different cabins. The little kid was screaming, and people were all crowded around freaking out and trying to tell her what to do, and suggesting different things like calling the fire department and I walked up to this scene, took out my leatherman which I was wearing on my belt, and unscrewed the hinges off the door without really consulting anyone. As I recall I muttered something in the way of informing them what was going to happen. Problem solved. My mom says it was pretty hilarious. I think now I find it more amusing than I did then. Like then I would have just felt momentarily smug at getting to use my leatherman, like, perfect opportunity. Now I see a little more how odd or maybe alien that must have looked to everyone else and it must have made them feel slightly silly. I probably didn't do the human interaction part correctly at all or defer in the proper gendered way to whatever Dudes were taking charge of what was to be done. Not making any big deal out of that just doing it swiftly before anyone could object. So, I am now extra smug. Maybe I was then too and have just forgotten it. It is nice that my mom liked it and considered it characteristic but it also felt a little like she considered it characteristic of my being able to shoot lasers out of my eyeballs unexpectedly when I was a baby.

Birthday greetings and felicitations

Mar. 25th, 2015 08:53 pm
onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 to [personal profile] staranise  (It's still the 25th in this time zone!).  Happy day!

ah ah ah

Mar. 25th, 2015 09:54 pm
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[personal profile] lotesse
urgh dad if you want to set me up for a networking dinner with, as you put it, "the local gentry," let me know beforehand!!! he says "wanna grab a burger after yoga," he means "show up and impress strangers." i mean, i would at least have put on some fucking lipstick and not shown up in my leggings and flannel.

... i did impress the strangers, anyway, so there's that.

Licence to drive

Mar. 25th, 2015 03:49 pm
ide_cyan: Dalbello peering into a screen (Default)
[personal profile] ide_cyan
I passed the road test. I now have a driver's licence!

A Call for Help from Tablesaw

Mar. 23rd, 2015 10:51 am
tablesaw: -- (Real1)
[personal profile] tablesaw
Short version:

I've been laid off again, and I'd like help taking a month or so catching up with technology and programming, most likely with the goal of starting a new career, but also for my own fulfillment.

OK—deep breath—let me elaborate.

At the beginning of February, everyone in my department was called into a room at the same time despite being in offices across the country, and we were informed that our department was being outsourced. This has happened before. The last time it happened, I ended up working temp assignments pretty much immediately, and I worked continuously (though at temp-job salary) for about a year, when I got a permanent position. It was a good permanent position with a good salary, but everything's come around again, and my last day of work is on Friday.

I've been putting off planning what I'm going to do next, because up until last week, I'd been busy planning a wedding (mine, yeah, happened last week, sorry I didn't mention it here). But now, satisfactorily wedded, I'm turning my attention to the empty days ahead, and what I need right now is a lot of help.

See, I know that if I wanted to, I could go back to the placement agencies and go through the same cycle again, but because I do a pretty niche administrative job, outsourcing seems eternally inevitable. And it's not a job I particularly enjoy; the thing it had most to recommend itself was stability, and it's clearly lost that. I'm looking toward something new.

I'm skirting around this paragraph, because it feels like I'm giving into cliche. I want to get into programming!!!1! That's the hot new thing, right? I was at this pool party and a man leaned over and whispered into my ear, "Programming," and now I'm going to do something on the World Wide Web!

But it's more than that. I started programming when I was six, but I stopped in college when I shifted focus to arts and performance to help ease my growing depression. And as time went on, I fell more and more out of sync with things. The world became plug-and-play, and I got complacent. Through it all, I missed programming, but felt like I never had the time to bring my programming expertise literally out of the twentieth century. I know how to code, I just don't really know anything to code in any more.

The last time I was laid off, a friend encouraged me to shift to web development, and I was just about to start looking at Rails, but the temp work came in fast, and I let it all slide. I don't want that to happen again, so I'm telling the placement agency that I'm taking a month for myself to learn new skills. I've got a cushion from the severance package, so I don't need to worry about income immediately, certainly not for a month. So I'm looking at April, at least, as a catch-up month.

And now, I get around to the help. I am friends with lots of very smart people in all areas of technology and programming (psst, that's you), and I'm hoping that I can both get lots of help, but also spread that amongst a bunch of you, so I don't feel like I'm leaning too hard on anyone. Some things I'd like to hear your thoughts about right now:
  • What sort of programming should I be looking at doing? As I said above, I have a good friend who's pushing me strongly into doing webdev, which seems promising. But I know I have firends (who don't see me every week for gaming) in other fields who might want to stump for their own specialties. Any thoughts?
  • What references/manuals do you recommend? I'd like to get any books I should look for sooner rather than later.
  • What sort of technology am I going to need? I've got a cheap, basic prebuilt desktop computer that I bought at Staples five years ago. It has been intimated that I might need a laptop or something stronger.
But knowing myself, I think these next two are the most important:
  • What sorts of challenges can I set up for myself to drive learning?
  • Can I bug you for help and encouragement?
I know that I learn best when I can apply techniques to a specific problem, and it's hard for me to invent those out of thin air. And I'm always a little anxious about making direct contact with folks, so knowing that it's okay will help a lot.

I don't really know what's going to come of all of this. It's possible that at the end of all of this, I'm going to go back to doing the same kind of job, or shift to an administrative IT position, but I just want to feel like I'm caught up with everything.

Thanks for everything.

Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth

Mar. 22nd, 2015 07:01 pm
onyxlynx: Green background, white letters (purple heart) "Hulk offers love..." (Hulk offers love & feminist solidarity)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
There is probably a shorter name for the "Famous Parent (usually Mother) Messed (fsvo "Messed") Up My Life" publishing genre; the examples I can think of off the top of my head are Mommie Dearest, about Joan Crawford, and the essays by Rebecca West's and H. G. Wells' son Anthony, Anne Roiphe's daughter Katie, Bette Davis' daughter B. D., and Brooke Hayward (Haywire). (Michael Joseph "Prince" Jackson Jr.'s book, if he writes one, is going to be interesting.)

Feminists' daughters who veer politically rightward (like Katie Roiphe) may allow conservatives to feel validated (although statistically, it's bound to happen; there is that rebellion period in adolescence; there are changed generational circumstances; there's propaganda). So it is that a daughter of lesbian mothers decries gay marriage because she missed having a father figure. (This is complicated by the fact that, as she also says,
My dad wasn’t a great guy, and after she left him he didn’t bother coming around anymore.
Or as one might say, Issues.)

There is no such thing as the Perfect Parent, and even if there were, there are children who would find that situation painful.


Mar. 20th, 2015 01:13 pm
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[personal profile] boxofdelights
I just saw an ice-cream truck go by. "Little girl running and the little boy too/Got their money tucked up in their hand..." Well, no, they don't, it is 1:13 p.m. on Friday, in March, they are all still in school.

I got some old brick from my friend who is moving away, when she was cleaning up her place to sell it. I started making a path to the alley, so I can take the trash out even when it's muddy. I put some down in herringbone pattern and some in running bond, to get an idea of what it would look like. Today I started moving it closer to where I want it, and discovered that the earthworms were already at work, making their paths, digging tunnels and gluing the soil to the undersides of the bricks.

Planted potatoes yesterday and peas today. How does your garden grow?

time zone lords

Mar. 19th, 2015 03:20 pm
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[personal profile] badgerbag
I am in the trippier bits of Crown of Stars book 4.

One protagonist is going through a fabulous feminist hero-journey ascending through the seven celestial spheres while taking off all her clothes, processing her trauma, and finding out some more of the Real Truth about alternate Charlemagne's descendants.

The other protagonist has been thrown back in time through standing stone gateways instead of dying, to something like 2000 BC or cave-people time and is having mega adventures saving the world from the alternate history Aztec elf aliens, encountering dwarves, merfolk, centaurs, sphinxes, phoenixes, and accidentally getting the snakebite universal translator superpower. He manages to keep his faithful hounds, Rage and Sorrow, alive through it all.

They keep accidentally having visions of each other and imparting new revelations and reinterpreting everything. Meanwhile Zond7 has just been texting me from taiwan where he is pausing on the way to Manila and I want to send him lapis lazuli rings, phoenix feathers, strange mystical fire, planetary daimones, cave paintings, and the underground marketplace where the dwarven beings hang out with their earth elevator train cars and rivers to trade with the freshwater river merfolk.

Instead I am complaining about having a cold and he is texting me photos of his breakfast and a hello kitty store.

Pretty much the same thing....

I made it through the morning at work, barely and then fell asleep for a while in the sun. taking the rest of the day off to blow my nose and nap some more.

Swimming today and good PT progress

Mar. 18th, 2015 05:57 pm
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[personal profile] badgerbag
I felt like I was getting a cold last night, woke up feeling more sure, but was able to work anyway and have my meetings. I then went and took the bus to the pool for my Wednesday PT. Glad I went.

I feel invigorated when I do it even when it can be a bit painful. I missed one week, and then last week was not able to keep up or do all the things and felt unstable in the water (was still walking with a cane, not always able to put my weight on my right leg) Today I felt very bounced back, and back to my baseline from a month ago. I still can't bend all the way over or bring my knees up both at once and am cautious about bringing up my right knee. But, this is awesome.

Differences from 4 months ago pool and now:
* I can stand in the pool with my feet pointing "up" towards the shallow end
* I can walk back and forth the whole time with only some pauses for muscle spasms
* 30+ kickboard presses (pushing it downward, or back and forth in the water) instead of around 5
* 30 or more squats and do them in shallower water, from maybe 5

From the daily home PT exercises, I notice that my stomach is way stronger. With the lower abdominal exercises, I started out not even able to tell where the muscles were, or if I was doing the exercise at all. Now I can feel them all tense up and can keep them solid for a long time through many reps.

Here are my exercises! Once or twice a day I do complete sets and during the day I do some extra if I think of it.

* lie on back, knee hold 10 seconds each, alternating, 3x
* ankle loading, sit, lean on knees, raise heels, lower very slowly. 10x
* standing hamstring stretch at wall. 10-15 seconds 2x each
* Theraband ankle push (Lying down or sitting)
* Sit to stand. Sit in a chair, slowly stand up with body straight and knees bent, like doing a squat, then sit again. For many years I got up by leaning on my arm sideways favoring my bad side.
* Squeeze a kickball between knees, lying down, do arm raises sideways while tensing transverse abdominus 10-30x
* butt squeeze (What it sounds like) 30x at least (hurts on right side, i have like no muscle there)
* clamshell leg thingies but lying on back using theraband around knees (I can't manage these sideways despite YEARS of doing them; 9 months in ankle boots killed it)
* ankle cross move with theraband (I mostly skip this, it fires off a world of pain)
* Bridges (Absolutely not, nope)

I need more knee-strengthening. My ankles still always hurt. LIke it hurts to move them around even non-weight bearing. Progress there is really slow.

This is the longest I have stuck with PT in a consistent way. Combination of my life being more structured/stable, good physical therapist luck (they are great), warm pool that I can get to, and the pain/insomnia behavioral therapist, who is also great, and having the money to do all this.

Hippo, Birdie, Two Ewes

Mar. 18th, 2015 04:13 pm
onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 to [personal profile] james_davis_nicoll , and may your day have been splendid and fun!
kiezh: Tree and birds reflected in water (Default)
[personal profile] kiezh
Everyone is so excited about the new Vorkosigan book, and I feel like I am the only one who is worried.

Bujold used to be my very favorite author; nowadays I cringe when I hear a new book of hers is out, because the last several were so heartbreakingly disappointing. I wanted to love them! I want to love everything she ever writes! But she used to write great books, and now…

(Structural/thematic spoilers for Diplomatic Immunity, Cryoburn, and Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance follow. If critical comments about these books would harsh anyone's squee, feel free to skip! The fact that I am sad about the state of the Vorkosigan saga does not mean I want to rain on other peoples' parades.)

Diplomatic Immunity )
Cryoburn )
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance )

Overall, there has been a pattern of Lois Bujold backing away from her old plot generator: “What’s the worst thing I can do to this character?” She doesn’t seem to want to make her characters face any real trials anymore. They don’t struggle, they don’t have to make choices that matter, and they don’t grow.

I’m not thrilled that she’s writing a Cordelia book. I’m terrified that she’s writing a bad Cordelia book.

(Also I expect that whatever she’s done with Jole will be a lot less interesting than Dira’s fanfic version. Arkady Jole forever!)

Buffalo Ready for Transport

Mar. 17th, 2015 09:26 pm
lavendertook: close up of saki alert (Saki)
[personal profile] lavendertook
Saki has been very excited since she saw [personal profile] baranduin post Harry's advertisement.


She wants Harry to know that she has a genuine Maryland buffalo that she would like transported. In fact, she scoffed when I said she couldn't read the fine print. "On the contrary," she told me, "I like those odds. They're great!" And here's her buffalo . . .

right here . . . )

Crown of Stars hijinks

Mar. 16th, 2015 07:44 am
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[personal profile] badgerbag
I am reading book 3 in the Crown of Stsrs series and have started a wiki to keep track of things:

I love books where I have to take notes or re-read to really get wtf is going on. It is very satisfying. I don't think you *have* to but it's pleasurable to flip back to book 1 and see the connections and hints & how it all ties together.

Currently: mind blown as I realize parts of the family tree of both of Liath's parents. But only part. I don't have it figured out yet. Muahaha!

Spoilers below
Read more... )

Birthday greetings and felicitations

Mar. 15th, 2015 09:12 pm
onyxlynx: Festive pennants in blue & purple with word "Birthday" centered. (Birthday)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
 to [personal profile] andreas_schaefer , and many more!

the happy throng

Mar. 14th, 2015 10:53 pm
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[personal profile] badgerbag
lots of people came over! i experimented with vegan pie. danny hid in the bedroom to sleep and not germ everyone up emerging only for pie. he is very sick with a cough and a 101 fever. He is a good sleeper. "trombone? what trombone?

lovely to see everyone. adina, jamey, heidi, frances, seth. zach couldn't make it. jamey brought 3 kids. claire came over and so did milo's friend thomas. milo and ada cleaned up and helpd make pie and arrange a space for hospitality.

I love my friends!

here is my recipe for vegan lemon meringue pie.

vegan Lemon Meringue Pie

This is a complicated recipe with multiple stages and you will get several bowls and pans dirty. It tasted like regular lemon meringue pie but was a little bit pudding-y because we didn't wait to chill it. It did not taste like coconut.

I combined several different recipes for this and added some things to taste (it was not sweet enough and the meringue was bland, I htink taste it and add more vanilla/lemon as you like. Bitters or grand marnier or some other liqueur might make the meringue more interesting. I would also try a flaxseed meringue which it looks like you can definitely brown on top. It might also work to sprinkle a little brown sugar across the top, then brown the top with a little dessert blowtorch.

1) Make a vegan pie crust. (Crisco is vegan) Bake the crust 15 min. and let it cool.

2) Make the filling and let it cool.

3) Make the meringue.

== Filling ==
3/4 c. lemon juice - About 12 lemons (maybe more)
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. corn starch
1/4 t. agar powder
1/4 t. salt
1 1/4 c. coconut milk (full fat)
1 c water
1 1/2 t. fine-grated lemon zest

Put all of this in a sauce pan. Heat it up on low while stirring intermittently. Then bring it to a full boil so that it foams up, while whisking it to keep it from getting lumpy or overflowing the pan. Boil and whisk it for about 4 minutes. Take off heat and let it cool. It should cool off for a couple of hours.

== Meringue topping ==

Make this in 2 stages.

=== Set the agar ===

1 1/3 t. agar powder
1/4 c. cold water

Mix the water and agar in a small saucepan. Stir it constantly over medium heat until it simmers. whisk vigorously as it simmers for 1 minute. Let it cool off. It will turn clear and set to a jelly.

=== Whip the meringue ===

1/2 c. powdered egg replacer
3/4 c. cold water
2/3 c. confectioners' sugar
1 T brown sugar maybe a bit more
1 T vanilla extract
1/2 t lemon juice

In a big deep bowl (metal or glass) beat the egg replacer and water till it is very fluffy. Then beat in the sugar, vanilla, and lemon. I beat this with an electric mixer on high for over 5 minutes. it never got as stiff as egg whites, but it mounded up and kept its shape pretty well.

Then, beat in the cool, jellied agar mixture. This will take a while. You want to completely break up the agar so the meringue is stiff and smooth with no lumps. You can get it to be firmer if you chill it, then beat it again.

== Construct the pie ==

Pour and spread the meringue over the pie. Make peaks on the top with a fork or a spoon. You can just eat it right away as we did but I think chilling the pie for at least an hour would give it more structural integrity.


Mar. 13th, 2015 12:18 pm
onyxlynx: 5 purple crocus in a NJ spring (Crocus 2006)
[personal profile] onyxlynx
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