Julian Clare May (1931 - 2017)

Oct. 20th, 2017 10:03 am
Angry Robot Books reports the death of Julian May.

Gratitudes

Oct. 20th, 2017 09:58 am
1. Beautiful sunny morning. Beautiful hills. Beautiful skies.

2. A latte. Because latte.

3. Goofy kid-and-kitten shenanigans this morning before school.

4. Shabbat is coming and I get to have Shabbat dinner with some people I love!

5. The Good Place is on On Demand, so last night I watched the two-part S2 premiere and it made me happy.

How are y'all?
So, it used to be that we hadn’t upgraded to Windows 10 because our IT department hadn’t cleared it as “secure” enough (it’s not that it wasn’t secure, it just hadn’t gone through the security affirmation process). Now apparently it is, since they upgraded me to 10. I’ve never really had 10; I decided not to upgrade my personal laptop, though for a while the laptop I used for travel had it. 

I know this is just me getting older, but I am weirdly suspicious not of Windows 10 as a system but of the Windows 10 aesthetic. Everything is too smooth and square. Things that should be rounded are pointy and things that should be pointy are rounded. Everything is well-animated and in soothing pastel greys. 

I come from an era where computers weren’t even MEANT to be soothing, where it was just accepted that they would challenge you visually as well as implicitly. And I’m not saying we should go back to a Windows 3.0 aesthetic or anything, I don’t want computers to be difficult, I’m just saying. It’s…

It’s quiet. Too quiet. 

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dilemma solved!

Oct. 20th, 2017 09:29 am
Thanks to everyone who offered guest gift suggestions! So many great possibilities I feel silly for not thinking of; sometimes I get stuck on one thing that won't work, and can't wrench my brain away to look beyond it to things that will.

In the end I went to Ten Thousand Villages (well, Dix Mille Villages) and got a couple of paperweights/worrystones, one engraved "Joy" and the other "Peace." They're pretty and friendly, not so expensive or so cheap as to be embarrassing for anyone, and fitting for a church-related function. Plus they won't be degraded by spending ten hours in the car before being presented! Yay.

And I'm supposed to be on the road in two minutes and I'm not ready yet aaaaaa. Happy weekend, all!
From TED: Multipotentialities.

I wish someone had sorted this out about 40+ years ago... but at least it's out there now.

Today's ambiguity

Oct. 19th, 2017 10:47 pm
"Resent" is both how one might feel about being told an email never arrived and also what one might do in response.

Wait

Oct. 19th, 2017 10:47 pm
The month was only half over last weekend. How can it be almost three quarters over only a week later?

まるです。

Oct. 19th, 2017 11:00 pm

Posted by mugumogu

 


ここに、ホタテの貝殻があります。
さあ、いざ勝負です!
This is a shell of scallop.
And I hold a championship now.


まる:「勝負!?」
はな:「なんかわかんないけど負けないから!」
Maru:[Championship?]
Hana:[I don’t know at all. However, anyway, I do not want to lose.]


まずはまる選手。さすがの貫禄です。ホタテの大きさを微塵も感じさせない安定の乗せっぷりです。
It is Maru player first. That’s great! He is dignified. His face lets you forget the size of the shell.


そしてはな選手。これはもはやカッパです。
ということでこの面白対決は、僅差ではなカッパの勝利です!
And  it is Hana player. This is a kappa already.
This championship of fun is her victory!  Congratulations!


まる&はな:「いい加減にしなさい!」
Maru&Hana:[That’s enough!]

はいすみません!
Excuse me!

 

Plugin Problems

Oct. 19th, 2017 07:06 pm
My Journalpress plugin is no longer posting things to Dreamwidth. I've seen reports that this is due to a change Dreamwidth made in their site security or configuration, but I'm not sure.

I'll be looking for solutions, but in the meantime, you can always find everything on the website at http://www.jimchines.com/blog/
My iPad is always within reach, but it doesn't have cellular service. Could I get a mobile hotspot and use it as a phone?
more details )

[ SECRET POST #3942 ]

Oct. 19th, 2017 06:47 pm
case: (Default)
[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets

⌈ Secret Post #3942 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

01.


More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 01 pages, 09 secrets from Secret Submission Post #564.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.

Tor.com giveaway of Winter Tide

Oct. 19th, 2017 04:13 pm
Tor.com is giving away the ebook of Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys until midnight October 20.

It is a response to Lovecraft, but Kirkus describes it as "essentially a story about identity, found families, wrapped in a cozy mystery. With magic. And monsters. Except the monsters are not exactly who you expect them to be."

https://giveaway.tor.com/
Today was entirely about the last day of the offsite. We worked for several more hours, learning about projects and engaging in activities. One of our activities was about our brand, and it involved each of seven groups doing a performance; my group sang a song we made up to the tune of "Teach Your Children Well". I'm sure we were horribly out of tune, and I know we didn't stay in sync with the music a few times, but I think it had some moments of cleverness in it (though we didn't have enough time to polish it entirely).



So overall, my experience on my second Blockstream offsite?

I felt like a member of the team. I know many of these people, I like many of these people, and I've worked with many of these people. So while I felt a bit awkward and out of place last time, this time I was able to entirely dive in.

The locale this time was a lot cooler, but the venue wasn't as good. Our main conference room was cramped for the team, and sitting around a big square of desks wasn't the same as sharing individual tables with people. The hotel, overall beautiful, also had some quirks: such as a horrible internet, unless you paid a $20 a day ransom; doors that looked identical from both sides, offering no hints as to whether you should push or pull; and a very strange bathroom near the conference room that you had to go through three doors to get to, making it always seem like an endless labyrinth.

But, despite any quirks, it was a good offsite in a good locale at a good hotel, and I think it helped bring the team together, which is important for a distributed team.



The final dinner was at "Zur Letzten Instanz", which advertises itself as the oldest restaurant in Berlin, founded in 1621. We were up on the second floor, up a tight spiral staircase. Overall, the entire atmosphere was pretty cool.

The food was good, though I once again had to dodge huge chunks of beef by ordering the vegetarian option. Sigh. There's just too much beef in Berlin. The best thing we ate were the absolutely delicious potato wedges.



And that's the end of my work week in Berlin.

I have a free day tomorrow, where I have a get-together in the morning, then museum visiting planned afterward. Then maybe gaming in the evening?

As silly as it may sound, I also look forward to trying out the subway system.

And I suspect that it is Very Much Not Done to yell 'Speak up' or 'Use the Mike' when someone is giving an important formal lecture signifying professional advancement.

Maybe my hearing is getting even worse than I thought? Or maybe that lecture theatre has really crap acoustics.

(Speaker is a lovely person who does lovely work, and I bought the book that was also being launched and had it signed, but I was really rather frustrated by the actual lecture.)

But at least there were some really lovely visuals which were entirely relevant to the topic on hand.

Also put in a bit of a strop by the young person who checked my name off the list, and said 'join the queue', waving in the opposite direction to where it turned out the relevant queue was forming.

But I did see two people I knew (besides speaker) and did a little bit of catch-up with them, so I have socialed more than I recently have.

So, I think someone high up in management at my institution got hacked last year or something, since in the past year we have developed some serious paranoia regarding data security. Not to say that data security isn’t important or that I dislike the changes, I think they are for the most part sensible, but we went from like, zero to Steranko-System-in-Leverage in the course of a month or two. 

The latest development is a mysterious edict that we all have to leave our computers at work but logged out tonight so that they can “encrypt” our computers somehow – I assume it’s some kind of software they’re going to install, but there’s been a dearth of information over what exactly this Encryption Of Computers entails. Furthermore, I was told that my computer is incompatible with encryption (loose lips sink ships, laptop!) so it will have to be wiped completely and upgraded. Which I’m fine with, all my work is on a network drive anyway and I just had to remember to move a few files. 

But my laptop apparently heard them and knows it’s being wiped. Yesterday the flash stopped working and today my Outlook has decided to neither send nor receive any email. Additionally, a retail clothing website just broke Firefox so hard it no longer allows me to log into anything. 

What I’m saying is that this laptop is going down swinging, and I kind of admire its fighting spirit, but goddamn, could it not have waited until the end of the workday so I wouldn’t have to use Microsoft Webmail to do the last two hours of business today. 

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My long-delayed trip

Oct. 19th, 2017 11:12 am
Two years ago, I meant to go to Japan in November. And then I had the most horrible two years of my entire life, and the trip was shelved.

I'm going to Japan in November! I'll be there for two weeks, divided between Tokyo, Kyoto, and Fukuoka. The last is a city further south than I've been before, with some very pretty day trips.

I'm going to use AirBnb, which I also haven't used before, but it looks pretty great. I have two lovely apartments all to myself for cheaper than a hotel room would be, and one room in a house with a lady who cooks breakfast, has a friendly toy poodle named Piccolo, and says understatedly, "I am a former hotelier who worked in the five star hotel. I think I can assist you well during your stay."

Any of you done anything fun in Japan?
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