Fannish nomenclature

Apr. 20th, 2019 01:52 pm
vass: Small turtle with green leef in its mouth (Default)
[personal profile] vass
They should call "reverse bangs" gnabs.

I have a laptop back!

Apr. 19th, 2019 11:49 pm
kaberett: Trans symbol with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
To my disgust this hard drive came with Windows Vista installed, where the previous one had Windows 7; I'm getting an e-mailed receipt tomorrow and might grumble at them. In the meantime, this evening has mostly consisted of getting a usable Debian install set up (because for bonus points, I ended up overwriting my install media on Tuesday before the drive death because that was the convenient USB stick I had on me).

Doubtless I will complain endlessly about sharks, including sharks I'd previously solved but not bothered making a note of.

Other things this evening included: takeaway dinner from Roti King with A, in the vicinity of Granary Square, followed by ice cream, because the shop I got this laptop from in the first place was on Tottenham Court Road, so by the time we'd got there sitting by the canal eating dinner while the sun went down seemed like an excellent idea.

... but for right now probably I should just do some Duolingo quickly and then head to bed...

mixed bags with silver linings

Apr. 17th, 2019 08:59 pm
kaberett: Reflections of a bare tree in river ice in Stockholm somehow end up clad in light. (tree-of-light)
[personal profile] kaberett
  • On Tuesday evening, my laptop ran out of battery, put itself to sleep, and lost its hard drive. I have successfully (1) not panicked much, (2) got on with my life or at least the mass spec, (3) got A to help me do some simple diagnostics, (4) taken it back to the place I got it less than a year ago and got them to order replacement parts because alas they couldn't sell me something on the spot so I could just go home and spend this evening sorting myself back out, which means that (5) I had the opportunity to dig out the 12-month repair warranty and set it to one side to take with me when I go to pick the thing back up, meaning that this Ought To Be Free.
  • On Monday, we had [personal profile] alexwlchan around. I got some of the spinach-and-butternut-squash-and-roast-garlic-and-ricotta pasta out of the freezer, portioned out the amount we were going to want to eat for dinner, and then absent-mindedly put the remainder back into... the fridge, not the freezer. Which means that dinner tonight -- I got in a little before eight -- is that pasta, along with the leftover tomato-and-mascarpone-sauce, only I'm the only one eating it tonight so it now also contains a slightly obnoxious quantity of chilli, plus bonus nutmeg.
  • The non-existence of buses between Green Park and South Ken due to the Extinction Rebellion protest (which, yes, is very worthy, but this means there is no reasonable accessible route for me to get into work and I had machine time booked and I'm just quite augh about the ways in which this specifically fucks over disabled people massively disproportionately to the effect on people using public transport who don't need level access) led to me getting up ridiculously early this morning and then pushing from Green Park to lab via Hyde Park. This involved two pairs of Egyptian geese with three spotty little balls of fluff each. (Also there were some Loudly Beeping Moorhens, and a lot of yell birds in general.)

vital functions

Apr. 14th, 2019 11:26 pm
kaberett: Photo of a pile of old leather-bound books. (books)
[personal profile] kaberett
Reading. Got out of the library this week, because they were right there when I was waiting for a loo to come free: Head On, which I had not yet got around to, and record of a spaceborn few, because [personal profile] alexwlchan particularly recommended it. (I was indifferent to the first book and found the second book very soothing and iddy.)

The Push micro-liveblog. )

From the library, via the magic of ebooks: Normal People, Sally Rooney, enthusiastically recced to me by Waterstones staff the other week. I was wary and it's full of triggers but oh dear no actually I love this a lot and have promptly placed a hold on her first book. (It's vivid and intense and evocative and I spent the entire thing feeling kind of breathless, and -- oh dear, children, oh dear.) The thing is, though, that I know why I love it! I just can't quite wrap my head around why everyone else does. (It is A LitFic Phenomenon, if you have thus far failed to come across it.)

Bonus slow progress through my current Shaun Tan, Tales from the Inner City, which is slow mostly because they're incredibly dense and I want to savour them and also their art.

Film/TV. Leverage continues... Leverage. We are just sitting down to watch The Grand Budapest Hotel along with dinner and cocktails, because Date Night; I have never seen it before, but A is fond. (We were going to watch Amélie, and indeed I have got crème brûlée in the fridge to eat with, but we were mysteriously unable to find a copy despite being pretty sure the house ought to contain at least one, so A Different Film It Is and... we will just have to eat more crème brûlée in future.) -- right okay yes I enjoyed that.

Growth. Mysteriously, only one row of cherry tomatoes has hatched. Probably they need to be Planted up but I'm still quite ??? at them. (Okay no wait between writing this on about Thursday and... Saturday evening...? some more started hatching, HURRAH.) Meanwhile, my LEMON TREE has arrived.

Further points: A, who has The Patience Of Several Saints, spent this afternoon on glazing the greenhouse with me. The greenhouse is now done. I am Very Excited??? I need to work out why my bin got a bit sort of sad (mostly because I didn't feed it for a bit over a week, I suspect) and make it happy again, and actually pull up all the dandelions, but the next major project is in fact now finalising my raised beds aaaaaaaaaah.

And! One more chilli! Which may or may not survive, who knows, but chilli-the-largest has A Third Leaf and so does passion fruit-the-largest, so, fingers crossed.

Notable Pokémon. Last week: shiny Articuno traded from A (because he! had a spare!!! this is most unfair!), plus a wild-caught shiny Pineco. HATCHED A PERFECT TURTWIG. Also wild-caught a perfect Weedle, which is actually my second, but I sent the first one to the professor Back In The Day before we had TMs because its moveset wasn't ~perfect~ and I needed the storage space. This week: shiny Lotad shiny Lotad shiny Lotad. Wednesday morning -- right after the bug-type event ended -- SHINY CATERPIE as first Pokémon of the day.

Additionaly and furthermore, hatched BABY SNORLAX and BABY SUDOWOODO (Munchlax; Bonsly) and am Very Excited about their little faces.

... and a shiny Taillow because this is Frankly Ridiculous, and then on Community Day I... got two shinies (neither of them any good) and more importantly traded a bunch of the Bagon I'd caught with A and ended up with a 100% lucky Bagon, aaaaah.

Language. Still attempting to blitz the end of FutureLearn Irish 101; still annoyed by the lack of explanation of pronunciation and especially by the insistence that we watch a video of two speakers in a language we don't yet know repeatedly while... perky upbeat music has been edited into the background. That is a Hard No from me, friends.

A cautionary note

Apr. 15th, 2019 12:59 am
vass: Small turtle with green leef in its mouth (Default)
[personal profile] vass
I was looking at Pliny the Elder's Natural History on Perseus, and I don't know how to break it to you but I think their Google Map of places mentioned in the text might not be quite accurate:

Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.
Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Cato (South Carolina, United States) (4)
Hannibal (Ohio, United States) (1)
Cicerone (West Virginia, United States) (1)
Cicero (Ohio, United States) (1)

tiny adventure!

Apr. 13th, 2019 10:54 pm
kaberett: photograph of the Moon taken from the northern hemisphere by GH Revera (moon)
[personal profile] kaberett
Astronomy Photographer of the Year, which this year included a retrospective of the ten years the award had been running.

Of immediate interest to me: a lot of the photographs are fundamentally of The Same Thing (the Milky Way; the sun; the moon), so quite a lot of everything is in the composition and -- and this really surprised me -- the processing. Because it is absolutely accepted that post-processing is necessary for a bunch of these (not simply compositing exposures but straight-up colourising them, and of course having to process different types of exposure (infra-red; H-alpha and HII; ...). This is in stark contrast to the rules for Wildlife Photographer of the Year, where in addition to the final image the raw files off the camera have to be submitted and enhancement is right out -- and, of course, to some extent WPY has a much greater range of subjects.

I'm glad I went to see this, to be clear, but especially given that it featured highlights from the last decade I doubt I'm likely to make regular trips to Greenwich for this (in the way that I'm happy to take a minor detour to the NHM on my way to work for the sake of WPY). Nevertheless, some favourites! From the People and Space category I particularly enjoyed Me versus the Galaxy and Expedition to Infinity (this is one A & I disagreed about re the merits of humans for scale); looking at the online gallery, I am also very taken by Keeper of the Light, which was not on display. From Skyscapes: Eclipsed Moon Trail, Holding Due North, Circles and Spirals (not on display!). And also Galaxy Curtain Call, Speeding on the Aurorae Lane.

More life

Apr. 11th, 2019 04:24 pm
azurelunatic: The Space Needle by night. Slightly dubious photography. (Default)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
The lawn:
Belovedest has selected a vendor to address Lake Redacted on the lawn. It's the same vendor that did the basement moat. Today they came out to mark the intended dig line. They'll do the work while belovedest is off at a work thing.

The history as I understand it:
* There was once a line to direct the roof runoff to the street gutter, involving 3" perforated pipe to partly diffuse it into the lawn
* The original sump pump installation was ... flawed
* Belovedest and Evil Ex bought the house
* In getting the sump pump up to code, the work crew hooked it into the roof runoff line
* Evil Ex kicked to the curb
* Moat installed in basement
* More water going through line
* Line clogged
* Water comes out of perforated pipe to form Lake Redacted
* Everyone is peeved

Dentist again today for the crown. Yay. Read more... )

Next visit will be some work on the lower right.

Between the annoyed teeth and the cold or flu that belovedest brought home from work, it's been a miserable week. I picked up a box of instant breakfast powder packets on last week's shopping trip, and they have kept me fed when everything else sounded like it would hurt or be too much for my apathetic and wheezing self.


The cats still hate each other. (This, at least, is expected.)
vass: cover of album "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas" (Yuletide Hippopotamus)
[personal profile] vass
How many people (who know this song, I mean) think it's an optimistic song? As opposed to a bittersweet one or even a gently melancholy one?

I ask because I had it stuck in my head for no reason, and I just went to check the lyrics, which I remembered as, while definitely not single-note optimistic, still showing the subject through rosier tinted lenses than I would. But now I think my memory (or rather my previous assessment of the song) was mistaken.

Quick summary: a few days after celebrating Yule, Amber and Jane spontaneously visit Amber's uncle and his family for their own most important winter holiday. Awkward gap-bridging attempts ensue. Amber's uncle Tim considers reconciling with his brother, Amber's father.

(It's never stated in so many words that Jane is Amber's girlfriend, or that Amber's estranged from her parents as well as her uncle and aunt, and not just because she's a Pagan, but I think that's the intended interpretation.)

The major bit I missed in my previous listening was this part:
'When Amber tried to do the dishes, her aunt said 'really, no don't bother'"

I'm not a member of the subculture involved, so I might be wrong about this, but that's a rebuffed gesture of intimacy, isn't it? Amber's trying to act like a family member, and her aunt's telling her no, you're not family, you're a guest.

With that in mind, the lines which I found mildly irritating in the past:

"And where does magic come from? I think magic's in the learning
'Cause now when Christians sit with Pagans only pumpkin pies are burning"

on reflection now sound like either near-terminally low expectations or else a slightly desperate attempt at optimism: hey, they didn't really accept us, but they were civil enough to break bread with us and not burn us at the stake!
kaberett: A series of phrases commonly used in academic papers, accompanied by humourous "translations". (science!)
[personal profile] kaberett
As [personal profile] barrelofrain and I were getting properly into catching up, a family came in and sat down near us. (The King's Cross Ruby Violet has one long table with four chairs each side, plus some bars & bar stools.) One of the parents was talking excitedly about the pear sorbet and I Could Not Help but enthuse about How Good that flavour in specific and particular is.

A little while later, this same parent Explained How Do Science to a very solemn small child, which appeared to be being assumed to be a girl -- something to the tune of Ask Lots Of Questions, and trying things out and seeing what happens, and so on and so forth.

"Sorry for butting in again," I said, "but yes. That is How Science. I am A Scientist and I Approve This Message."

I proceeded to learn that (0) this small child and her sibling had recently Made a Volcano with food dye and vinegar and baking soda; (1) she likes volcanoes but doesn't love them; (2) she is entirely happy saying to strange adults that she doesn't want to share about what she loves; (3) she likes doing experiments; and (4) she's going on an adventure to see the Loch Ness Monster soon. (Probably some other bits, but they escape me.)

I, naturally, explained about (1) The Volcano That Erupts Baking Soda (And Is Why Flamingoes Are Pink), and slightly less comprehensibly that (2) wrapping her water glass in a paper towel would help keep it warm, like how I give my plants a coat over winter so their feet don't get cold.

There was also some back and forth about how I go to big-big-big-BIG-big school, The Biggest School You Can Go To, in response to which I cheerfully explained that it means I don't have to get an actual job.

I spent a lot of time thanking the child's parents for letting me interact and being generally cheerful and good-natured. They spent a lot of time thanking me for Giving Them Facts, and also Being An Example Grown-Up (Girl) for their small child to imprint on, because she is v interested in science and they want to encourage this. (Refreshingly, the wheelchair was not at any point mentioned.)

It was a lovely interaction, even though I am xkcd-crawling-under-my-metaphorical-bed after the fact.

ten good things

Apr. 9th, 2019 11:08 pm
kaberett: Toph making a rock angel (toph-rockangel)
[personal profile] kaberett
  1. My lemon tree is getting delivered at some point in the next three days and I am Extremely Excited! (I also... need to finish the greenhouse, whoops. Perhaps tomorrow evening's greenhousery will be mostly cleaning glass and FINALISING THE BASE.)
  2. Some of the other plotholders have cordless drills they can lend me, which will make Dealing With the raised beds much easier and less expensive (... subject to me getting the greenhouse up so the existing ones can stop being used as a prop for the glass...)
  3. I spent a chunk of this afternoon sat in Ruby Violet with excellent hot chocolate, waiting for [personal profile] barrelofrain to show up so we can have ice cream. I was seriously conflicted about which set of things to get because there's At Least Four that I Want, but happily BoR having had A Day meant that I had plenty of time to dither. (I ended up with the pear sorbet and the marzipan & orange blossom ice cream.)
  4. Via a small pile of anxiety I successfully navigated the BL and used one of the reading rooms for the first time ever. Quiet! Plugs! A desk! Yes good. (I also got to look at a couple of the exhibitions currently on; I skimmed The New Londoner, observed that the third floor has Some Furniture for me to look at more in future, and made a mental note that I want to drag A to spend fifteen minutes looking around Imaginary Cities next time we're in town.)
  5. I have made Some Progress on The PhD Work and am slowly building up momentum again. (It's the thing where If I Manage Some Every Day I stay engaged and have ideas and can think of things to do next; if I let it slide I... really struggle to pick it back up.)
  6. I have introduced my godmother's eldest and my largest smallcousin and they are talking enthusiastically to each other in a group chat I've set up with the three of us, which is thoroughly pleasant to check in with periodically.
  7. We've had some of A's family visiting tonight; we're now at 3/4 parents having seen The Flat, and we successfully Went Out For Dinner including Everybody's Favourite Waiter, me successfully judging how hungry I was, and Managing A Social without immediately crawling under the bed.
  8. The walk back from the restaurant featured an excellent crescent moon glowing orange through an approximation of fog.
  9. I am greatly enjoying my current book, because it's filling in gaps and giving me more detail in re The Dawn Wall, and it's very... communicative of personality in a way I'm mostly charmed by.
  10. This morning's bread worked particularly well, and I am very much enjoying continuing to experiment and learn and improve (both understanding and skill).

FFBE: Desert Despair

Apr. 9th, 2019 12:00 pm
xnera: Photo of my cat sniffing a vase of roses  (Default)
[personal profile] xnera
I miss my Bored icon.

First, a mini pulling party on Friday. We have a new King Mog event this week. Those are farming events where you collect currency for completing a series of battles. There are bonus units released that give you extra currency! I was rather loathe to pull this week as rumor is Akstar is coming, and I want him badly... but I needed some bonus units for efficient farming. So I decided to pull five regular tickets and two 4* tickets:

Reg: Ryuka 3*
Reg: Arc 3*
Reg: Eight 3*
Reg: Reis 4* (banner)
Reg: Russell 3*
4*: Reis 4* (banner)
4*: Reis 4* (banner)

Eight and Russell are crap units, but hey, three bonus units in seven pulls is pretty darn good!

Now, Desert Despair. This is the trial that goes along with the second week of the Xenogears raid. I read the in-game mini strategy guide, but didn't view any videos of others. So I went in almost blind.

One word: Yawn.

This trial was a piece of cake. Not once did I get into any danger. It took me 19 turns because of lack of firepower, but still: easy win.

My party was Basch, Lunera, Sephiroth, Pure Summoner Rydia, and Ayaka (there was a mission for a 5-unit team). Basch kept up breaks, starting with rotating ATK/MAG breaks with physical cover. Later on I started adding in DEF/SPR breaks. Lunera sang. Sephiroth did Heaven's Light to start with, but I eventually switched to Supremacy as it ramps up in damage.

Pure Summoner Rydia was there to fill the esper gauge, as there was a mission to summon two or more espers. After summoning, she helped with damage by dualcasting Tornado.

Ayaka had Lakshmi as her esper, and did Unstoppable Protection, mostly. She didn't really need to heal at all thanks to Lunera's Elf Song. The party was taking minimal damage, even without Basch's cover up.

Everyone was immune to paralysis. Not once did we get hit with Stop, thanks to Ayaka being able to spam Unsstoppable Protection.

gear! )