Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 08:02 pm
settiai: (D&D -- settiai)
[personal profile] settiai
Wow. This weekend has been an absolute roller coaster when it comes to D&D. Rambling under the cut. )

(no subject)

Monday, October 23rd, 2017 12:37 am
beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
I think one of the reasons I ever wanted to go to college was that living on campus seems pretty ideal. Not that I ever could. And student rooms are tiny, I need more room for my books.


Walking everywhere, No Cars, places that make breakfast and other foods, small shops (probably too small but the dream has actual food supplies in it), book shops, and a really big library. Plus rooms for to be social and book games nights and so forth. And interesting stuff to study and things to do. And you can go look in the art museum whenever you want to. And just, university campus, all the useful and necessary things, no waiting.

Too many humans, vast majority young, too much noise, weird focus on loud music events, probably lots of stuff going on I couldnt be having with.

But as a daydream, that's what I want. No cars, big library, places to meet.

But I got a degree in a subject I'm kind of Done with, because I get bored tired fed up pointing out all the ways things continue to be the same sorts of annoying.

And I remember how difficult that was and cant even aspire to go do it again in possibly bigger classes.

I don't know how I coped with all the humans but I'm not feeling the benefit side of the cost/benefit any more.

I can think of all the reasons to not do things but then the future will continue to look like the past few years and that's really boring.

I should dream better.

Interesting things to read, people to talk to them about, and places I can get to without crossing a stupid road. Good dream.


Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 07:34 pm
settiai: (Keyleth -- settiai)
[personal profile] settiai
So... as those of you who follow me on Twitter know, I accidentally adopted a new cat last weekend. Oops?

Long story short: one of my coworkers has a teenage son who's in college. Said son adopted a cat back in the spring, decided over summer vacation that she was too much work, and left her with his parents when he went back to school. His mom is severely allergic to cats. They tried keeping her for a few weeks, but my coworker's wife ended up in the emergency room unable to breathe because of it, so the cat ended up with me somewhat unexpectedly.

(I'd volunteered to take her, on the condition that WWIII didn't break out in my apartment when I tried introducing a third cat to the mix, but it was something that was tentative and wasn't planned for at least several more weeks. Then I got a phone call last Saturday night asking if my coworker could come by the next morning.)


Everyone, meet Keyleth (also known as Kiki.)

Garrus and Percy have been fine with her from the beginning. They've definitely been more curious than anything else. She, on the other hand, has been a little more wary. At this point, she's just starting to get used to being in a new environment with two much-larger-than-her cats around. (Kiki's approximately two years old, but she's tiny. Even smaller than Tali was, which is saying something.)

So far, so good. I left them alone without shutting anyone up in the bedroom for the first time earlier today, while I played D&D over at the game store near my place, and the apartment was still standing when I got home. Kiki's still somewhat wary of Garrus and Percy, but the worst she's done is hiss and go pout under the bed for a little while before coming back out. And neither of them seems to be taking offense to it, so they're just leaving her be for a bit when she gets to that point.

Folklorist Walter Gregor: Life of the Day

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 11:22 pm
[syndicated profile] oxforddnb_feed

Today's biography from the Oxford DNB:
Gregor, Walter (1825-1897), folklorist

Wild Weather Strikes Again

Monday, October 23rd, 2017 07:10 am
megpie71: AC Tifa Lockheart looking at camera, very determined (Give me the chocolate & nobody dies)
[personal profile] megpie71
The place we're renting at present came with two massive old Cape Lilac trees, one out the front, one out the back. You'll note the past tense there. This is because during some high winds (about 60 km/h) on Saturday night, half the back tree snapped off, and fell downhill (fortunately all into our garden, not onto the neighbour's place). So we now have one-and-a-half massive Cape Lilac trees.

We've reported it to the real estate agents/property managers, and I'm going to be giving them a phone call on Monday to see whether we can get firstly a tradesperson or similar to come out and deal with the task of removing the half-a-fscking tree from the back garden so we can get at the washing line again, and secondly a tree surgeon to have a look at the remaining half-a-tree which is still standing and recommend whether it can be left alone (doubt it!); whether it needs to be trimmed or lopped (so if it does fall over it won't cause major structural damage to the neighbour's house, the house we're in, or the car parked in the driveway); or whether the blasted thing is so unstable there's no chance of it remaining up safely, and it needs to come down completely.

After clearing a few branches away from where the clothesline access was, we've discovered the clothesline frame has been bent down and forward to the point where the poor thing ain't usable (I would not be wanting to try and straighten out the gorgeous gentle curve the support strut has been bent into, quite frankly - the thing is so old I think it would snap instead). So we have to report that to the real-estate people as well. It also took one tile from the roof of the lean-to shed which contains the laundry and the exterior toilet. Given the size of the blasted thing, I'm almost surprised by the amount of damage it *didn't* do - if it had fallen directly to the right (facing toward the back fence) the blasted thing could have taken out the entire wash-house in a single thump, but instead it fell to the lower right, which means it clipped a single tile from the wash-house lean-to (and given we don't use the exterior toilet anyway, a leaky roof there isn't really an issue) and mostly hit the clothesline.

But either way, I get to call the real-estate people and find out what's going to be happening. I sent a couple of emails through their web-page over the course of the weekend to let them know the state of play; I'll be following up by phone today to see how fast we can get things moving. I may just mention that the longer they delay on this, the greater the chance the passionfruit vine I planted last year is going to regard the whole lot of fallen lumber as fair game for growing into!

I have become a podcast addict

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 04:02 pm
mme_hardy: White rose (Default)
[personal profile] mme_hardy
Apart from everybody's favorite (right?) comedy/D&D podcast "The Adventure Zone", I mostly prefer history. 

There are a lot of bad -- and beloved, in some cases -- history podcasts in which the author postures, makes bad jokes, and assumes you don't know much and only want to know a little more.    Two exceptions to this are "The History of the Mongols", which is excellent and clear and takes a fair amount of concentration, and "Revolutions",* which takes an in-depth look to various European revolutions starting with the English Civil War.   I've just gotten to Charles I leaving London for the last time (although he doesn't know it).

If there were ever a more shining counterexample to the Divine Right of Kings than Charles I, it has to be one of the monarchs who was actually insane or intellectually disabled.

* Revolutions' podcaster, Mike Duncan, is known for an earlier history of Rome, which I haven't listened to but hear is excellent.

If you like true crime that is dispassionate rather than overblown, I highly, highly recommend "True Crime Japan".   The podcasters are gaijin living in Japan, and they do an excellent job of explaining Japanese customs and cultural aspects that are relevant to how crimes took place.   These are not crimes that have been rehearsed over and over in English-speaking media -- no Ripper, Bundy, Lizzie Borden -- which makes them all the more engrossing.

All of the above are, of course, available on iTunes and other aggregators; I'm linking to the authors' sites.

Word Wars?

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 04:09 pm
muccamukk: Diana as a child, riding her horse through a field. (WW: Horse)
[personal profile] muccamukk
Does anyone know a place to have word wars/sprints that isn't irc (which I can't get on) or Discord (which I'm avoiding)?

I have write or die, but some how the other people factor is really better for my productivity.

This week in writing, 10/22

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 11:10 pm
dira: Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Default)
[personal profile] dira
This week included my birthday (and I am still in mid-birthday-weekend-trip) so… less writing. (And I have concluded that I need to let Kinktober go because I’m just picking away for days and days at one day’s story, and missing working on other stuff, so I am pretty decidedly not in The Kinktober Spirit.)

WIPs currently active: 5, since as of this moment I’m not counting the Kinktober thing I was working on.

Words written this week: 1,725

WIPs that got no words this week: 0

WIPs that did get words this week:

Codename: Aluminum Bastard (aka broken dick epic): 142

Born in the Blood: 187, and then I got to a scene break and now I have to figure out the next scene. Oh dear. 

Slavefic #6: 176, although I may have to walk back some of it, because it’s possible I got carried away writing things in direct refutation of a frustrating comment on a previous story. Oops.

Wildly Unmanageable Ace!Bitty Longfic: 194

Jack/Bitty angsty happy ending kidfic: 734

Kinktober Day 9 (Sam/Grant, abandoned for now): 292, and finally I have to admit that writing fanfic of an original thing I wrote is crossing some wire in my brain that is making it weirdly difficult to write a PWP?? idek.

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2z00y2K


Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 11:01 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat


This turaco is disappointed in his elected leadership.

Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Minneapolis Park Board, District 4

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 10:01 pm
[syndicated profile] naomikritzer_feed

Posted by naomikritzer

On the ballot for Park Board District 4:

Tom Nordyke (DFL)
Jono Cowgill (DFL endorsed)


Tom Nordyke

It really takes a special kind of guy to look at the people currently in a political race, take offense at how few women have been endorsed, and decide what that race really needs is for you, a man, to add yourself to the mix.

What was a surprise to him, and others, was that the candidates who emerged with DFL endorsements — including the eight Our Revolution candidates — were nearly all men. The only endorsed woman was incumbent Steffanie Musich in the fifth district, who wasn’t backed by Our Revolution.

After seeing the convention play out the way it did, which included a fistfight between supporters of two third district candidates, Nordyke decided to run himself for district 4. He thought he could bring a measure of calm leadership to a board that seems like it might need it.

And it gets worse:

What diversity do you bring to the Park Board?

Tom Nordyke – “I was the first openly gay President of the Minneapolis Park Board. That is something I am proud of and one of the reasons I jumped into this campaign. We are seeing less diversity in this year’s local election cycle than we have in years. Regarding the LGBTQ community, we are looking at less representation in local government than we have seen in a very long time. I believe as a gay man and member of our LGBTQ community I have a unique and diverse voice to bring the Park Board.”

I mean, let’s talk about this for a minute.

(1) LESS DIVERSITY IN THIS YEAR’S ELECTION CYCLE? The Park Board is currently 100% white. In a city that’s (approximately) 20% Black, 10% Hispanic, 6% Asian, and 2% Native American, every single person on the current Park Board is a white person.

(2) LESS REPRESENTATION IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT FOR THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY? There’s this stereotype of a certain sort of (usually white, usually pretty wealthy, generally privileged) cis gay man who sincerely believes that the only queer people who really count are other white cis gay men, and … I am forced to conclude that Tom Nordyke is in this category. There are two trans people running for City Council. Devin Hogan (candidate for Park Board At-Large) is nonbinaryTequen Zea-Aida, Jillia Pessenda, Erica Mauter, Gary Schiff, Carol Becker, David Wheeler, and Tom Hoch are all LGBTQ, and I’m pretty sure I’m missing some people! How do you look at this list and feel under-represented as an LGBTQ person? Unless the only people you’re counting are Gary Schiff, Tom Hoch, and David Wheeler?

I mean, the election isn’t for another two weeks; we don’t know how many of these people will get elected, but “some” is a pretty safe bet. (Especially since Carol and David are unopposed on their ballot.)

Reading further down in that article I hit this gem from Tom:

There are a number of candidates who have tried to label the MPRB as a racist organization with no concern about racial equity or justice. That is simply not true.

On Tom’s actual website, he promises “civility” and “sane leadership” and he talks about “bring[ing] the Board together after years of acrimony” and “heal[ing] the differences with the staff.”

And, I mean, “civility” and “sane leadership” would be an improvement over the Park Board president losing her everloving shit over the fact that Nekima Levy-Pounds has shown up to speak at a meeting that didn’t have a scheduled slot for community participation. I’m not sure he’d agree with me on where things went wrong at that meeting, especially since he wants to pre-emptively dispute the idea that the MPRB has not shown enough concern for racial equity, and thinks that a board that might have one or more Black people on it is less diverse.

On other topics: he’s solidly pro-pesticide use: “There is simply no other way right now to deal with the invasive species that clog our waters and trails and obstruct or views and access to the Lakes and River. It should be noted that the Park Board is extremely judicious about the use of pesticides. I absolutely support the goal of moving toward a pesticide free system. But to do so now would cause damage to our system that our community would not accept.” I may actually agree with him about this. I mean, my feeling here is that if we have people running things with ideas about drastic reductions, that’s totally worth a try, but there are absolutely things I’m not willing to accept as a consequence of eliminating all pesticides. If the anti-pesticide progressives sweep the board — which I’m hoping will happen, actually — I would encourage those who are on the fence to keep an eye out and speak up if this starts to create actual problems.

(My college has this little artificial lake by one of the dorms. In order to stay a lake, it requires regular dredging. While I was a student, the arb manager talked the college into turning it into a wetland instead of a lake, so they tried it. What resulted was a really foul-smelling swamp. There was a bunch of “just wait, things will get better, it takes time for habitat restoration blah blah blah.” After a year or two, the president called the arb manager in and asked, “when is this going to be nice?” The arb manager said, “what? it’s awesome, what do you mean?” The president ordered dredging the next week and turned it back into a lake. What I’m saying is, sometimes what environmentalists think is super awesome and what normal users of a system think is super awesome are two separate circles with none of that overlapping space that makes a Venn Diagram. Sometimes! Not always! But if you find that the system you wind up with is not the system you want, push back!)

Jono Cowgill

Jono Cowgill is an urban planner, with both a degree and work experience in urban planning. He’s endorsed by Our Revolution, Lisa Bender, Scott Dibble, and Andrew Johnson.

The LWV questionnaire asked this fairly convoluted question (they had 250 words, I think, to answer it):

For the past five years the Trust for Public Land has determined that Minneapolis has the best park system in the nation. Do you agree with this assessment? By what criteria do you hope the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board is measured in the next four years and what steps do you see necessary to ensure that the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board scores highly within those areas? What are your top priorities for the next four years?

Jono’s response focused on new ways we might assess the MPRB: increasing the proportion of park funding that goes to recreation programming, and increasing the proportion of contracts that go to DBE firms. (Tom’s response was a “priorities” answer — things like “finish the renovations and upgrades to Loring Park including paths, tennis courts, lighting and Berger Fountain.”) And I’m a little frustrated that Jono’s actual priorities are pretty opaque to me: he wants “parks for and by the people,” he wants a climate action plan and to move toward pesticide-free parks, and he wants “safe parks for everyone” by which he means “dynamic, intergenerational programming.” This is all pretty vague.

I like his experience as an urban planner, though.

Tom Nordyke arrived on the board in 2006 during a pretty serious ongoing meltdown over a nightmarishly bad Park Superintendent who was an old friend of Bob Fine’s. Gurban was hired in late 2003; in 2004 he was given the permanent job. Tom Nordyke came on the board in 2006; he then didn’t win re-election in 2009, and the new board that took over was the board that kicked out Gurban in 2010. I do think that Nordyke was less-notoriously-awful than some of the Park Board members of that era.

But in any case: this is not that board, and they’re grappling with really different stuff. I think electing a guy who thinks that a board would be less diverse if it gains non-white members and who is 100% confident that the MPRB is definitely not racist is probably not the person who’s equipped to resolve the issues they’re dealing with now. I would vote Jono Cowgill as my #1.

Prince Serebryany.

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 09:43 pm
[syndicated profile] languagehat_feed

Posted by languagehat

I’ve finished Aleksey K. Tolstoy’s historical novel Князь Серебряный [Prince Serebryany] (see this comment), and, well, it’s a great Boy’s Own adventure story if that’s the sort of thing you like. Except that it’s Russian, so if the protagonists are lucky they die in battle and if they’re not they get tortured to death in Red Square. Brief summary: Prince S. returns after fighting in Lithuania for five years and finds the oprichniki terrorizing Russia and the woman he loves married to the aged Prince Morozov (who married her so she could escape the attentions of the unwanted suitor Prince Vyazemsky); he offends Ivan the Terrible, is saved from certain death by a gang of good-hearted thieves, and defeats the Tatars, after which he is pardoned by Ivan but suffers further trials and tribulations. I might not have bothered posting about it except for this passage of linguistic interest near the end:

     — То был мой старший брат, Григорий Аникин, — отвечал Семен Строгонов. — Он волею божьею прошлого года умре!
     — Не Аникин, а Аникьевич, — сказал царь с ударением на последнем слоге, — я тогда же велел ему быть выше гостя и полным отчеством называться. И вам всем указываю писаться с вичем и зваться не гостями, а именитыми людьми!

     — That was my older brother, Grigory Anikin, — answered Semyon Strogonov. — By the will of God he died last year!
     — Not Anikin, but Anikievich, — said the tsar, stressing the final syllable, — I ordered him at that very time to be above the gosti and call himself by a full patronymic. And I order all of you to write your names with vich and call yourselves not gosti but persons of distinction!

The word gosti literally means ‘guests,’ but it’s obviously being used in some specialized sense here; anybody know? (I’m also curious about what’s going on with the patronymic business.)

Also, a chapter about a duel on horseback (which soon gets converted into something else entirely) contains this passage: “но Вяземский, из удальства, не спустил стрелы, а напротив, поднял ее посредством щурепца до высоты яхонтового снопа” [but Vyazemsky, because of his daring, did not lower the visor, but instead raised it by means of the shchurepets to the height of the ruby sheaf]. I don’t know what the “ruby sheaf” might be, but at least those are familiar words; the word щурепец [shchurepets] occurs only here in all of Russian literature and isn’t in any dictionary I can access, and I have no idea what it might be. Again, all ideas are welcome.

Drabble: Playtime

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 05:35 pm
alisanne: (HD bring it)
[personal profile] alisanne
Title: Playtime
Author: [personal profile] alisanne
Rating: PG-13
Word count: 100 x 2
Characters/pairings: Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy.
Challenge: Written for [community profile] dracoharry100/[livejournal.com profile] dracoharry100's prompt 502: High.
This is part 84 of my H/D Auror Series (LJ/IJ/DW).
It starts at part one: The Beginning (LJ/IJ/DW).
Disclaimer: The characters contained herein are not mine. No money is being made from this fiction, which is presented for entertainment purposes only.
Beta(s): [personal profile] sevfan and emynn.
Authors Notes: Draco ups the stakes.

Playtime )

Sunday Indulgences

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 04:30 pm
misslucyjane: you're a very naughty boy gareth (i only look sweet and innocent)
[personal profile] misslucyjane posting in [community profile] ways_back_room
It's Sunday again, Milliways, and you know what that means...

it means oopsie, I forgot last week's entry! My bad! )

(no subject)

Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 03:21 pm
lycomingst: (anya wedding)
[personal profile] lycomingst
Netflix movie Telstar: The Joe Meek Story )

Nothing much happened this week because I kept getting up in the morning and going back to bed an hour later to sleep most of the day away. I have no idea why I was so sleepy. I did, however, at one point make the best chicken stock I’ve ever made.

Meme, cause everybody’s doin’ it.

Without looking beneath the cut, pick five fandoms.

The Office (US)
Mad Men
Midsomer Murders

Now, answer the questions…

Read more... )

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