Etheric Beam Locators

Jul. 20th, 2017 05:04 pm
immlass: (dr. who - weeping angels saw)
[personal profile] immlass
(Yeah, if you know the reference, you know this is not a new discussion.)

This is something I posted on Facebook about the new Doctor Who and I feel like it's still a good summary of where I stand. )

Weekly media report

Jul. 19th, 2017 10:37 am
immlass: (donut powered)
[personal profile] immlass
Very light media week because we were out of town and then had houseguests!

Books:
- none

Movies/TV:
- Class, Episode 5. I forgot a bit about where we were last time but oh, yes, and that, and I really like this show. And I'm bummed that it doesn't look like it's going to get a second season.
- Orphan Black Season 5, Episode 6. We're now rapidly careening toward the series finale with twists galore (some of them foreseeable, others less so) and the heart of darkness finally starting to blow up. I'm going to miss this show when it's gone.

Music:
- none

thingth

Jul. 18th, 2017 01:21 pm
rimrunner: (Default)
[personal profile] rimrunner
Stuff is happening. Like:

- I got bit by something down on our land a week and a half ago. Two urgent care visits, two antibiotic prescriptions, and a shot in my hip later, things are finally on the way toward healing. No more shorts in tall brush for me. I had a follow-up with my PCP today; he was frustrated that there's no way to know what originally got me. It could even have been dermatitis from a plant (there are four on our land that I know of that could have caused it, and two that I haven't seen but whose presence can't be ruled out) though he thinks not. My guess is still ticks. They're way more common than spiders and are really bad this year. I have another few days of antibiotics and a bandage on my leg that people keep asking about.

- Another story came out, in See the Elephant magazine. It's the first story I workshopped at Stonecoast so I'm pretty happy about this one. My publications page is starting to grow.

- I built a picnic table, using a pattern from Popular Mechanics and instructional tips from Erik. I can use power tools. This is good. We have also built an outhouse; with that and the well, basic camping infrastructure has been established.

- I also took a basic home repair class through the local community college. There's only so much one can learn in a single day, but it's also true that a lot of basic repair work isn't terribly complicated. Erik says I get to do the next power outlet replacement. I'm kind of looking forward to it.

- Work continues to be political. After a great deal of back and forth, including a consulting architect who got as far as drafting three plans for a library renovation before being told that the project wouldn't be funded, we're getting a student success center in the library. It's being housed in the currently vacant offices where the associate provost and his assistant used to be, entails renovation of the academic assistance center, and they're taking over our two most-used group study spaces on the first floor as well.

The project isn't a bad idea. Our retention rate is below 80%, which is one reason for our ongoing budget woes (at least the library budget wasn't cut again--as far as we know). But it was more or less dictated from the provost's office, the person in charge of the project has spent maybe an hour in the building and has shown some sign of not really knowing what they're doing (18-foot conference tables??), and the provost herself is on medical leave for the rest of the summer. My boss is supposed to report to her and they didn't have a good working relationship before this.

- I recently finished reading Braiding Sweetgrass. It's a fairly astounding book, much about it telling me that I'm on the right track with some of the decisions I'm making. There's even a chapter about a guy who bought up a lot of recently clearcut timberland and started restoring it, viewing it as helping to fulfill his responsibility to the planet. I'm looking forward to being able to spend more time on the land; right now, dayjob and writing are taking up a lot of that time.

- Last week SPU left a door hanger on the front door indicating that they would be doing construction today and no water would be available from 9 until 5. Of course that's the day I'm working at home because my doctor's appointment was right in the middle of the day. I filled a bunch of water bottles and broke out a bottle of hand sanitizer. I'll still be glad when the water is available again.

- The cat Erik and I adopted last fall, Little Man, continues to be adorable and charming. He's even charmed Erik. It helps that his personality is what many would describe as dog-like.

- I am worried for some very dear friends, whose rough times have lasted for years. I won't delve into the details here. In any case their story is becoming all too common, and is why I am taking certain measures that I am fortunate and privileged to be able to do.

- I'll be a featured reader at Two Hour Transport on July 26th. I'm excited.

DW mobile-friendly style, update

Jul. 17th, 2017 09:04 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
I went with Practicality on [personal profile] jesse_the_k's suggestion; technically the theme is "Calculated Risks" but I changed all the colors and a lot of the decorations so I'm not sure it counts as the same theme any more.

Here's the custom CSS, which is largely ditching a lot of small-caps and extra lines, and making it more boring color-wise. (Edit) Though, if anyone wants to fiddle, there's a thing that's been commented in the code.

CSS )

Thanks for the feedback, all!
immlass: (music - radiola)
[personal profile] immlass
Tears for Fears and Hall & Oates at AT&T Center, San Antonio. July 13. 2017.

There was a third opening act but doors were at 6:30 and we got there at 7:15. Tears for Fears started at 7:17.

Tears for Fears were on fire. I didn't think I knew their oeuvre as well as it turns out I do, including songs I probably hadn't heard in 25+ years and could sing from memory. Their voices were strong, their instrumentation and playing were excellent, and while it doesn't look like they're putting out new material, I'd buy it if they were. Plus they win the prize for most on the nose cover with Creep.

Hall and Oates weren't bad, but it was hard to live up to what Tears for Fears was doing. They didn't really get into the music hard until the encore (which was basically a long second set). And Daryl Hall is almost 70 if not more than, so his upper register is shot and the rearrangement of the songs is a bit disorienting. Especially when the audience is singing along to the radio version.

I'm glad we saw Hall and Oates but Tears for Fears was the clear winner here.

Animated Shorts, Tosca Quartet, Austin Chamber Music Festival at the North Door. July 14. 2017.

We've been to the North Door for shows before and this was clearly the worst configuration for it. The seats were too close together, the AC wasn't working properly to the point where Michael had to leave, and the door was around the back because of construction on Fifth. The music was lovely, including the bandoreon player who gave a great intro to his instrument, and the shorts were nice enough, but we'd seen most of them because more than half were from Fantasia and Fantasia 2000.

I'd like to see another program like this in a better venue with a better selection of animation. The idea was sound, but not the execution. At least the company was good.

DW mobile-friendly style

Jul. 17th, 2017 08:18 am
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
I cannot figure out how to navigate the DW style chooser thing at all.

Is there an out-of-the-box DW style that has comment pages with bigger usernames on the comments listing than Tropospherical? Or, are you using an out-of-the-box style, and does it play nice on small screens? If so, which one?

(This is part of my project of trying to be on DW more.)
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
I made a couple long comments elsewhere and I should archive them somewhere less ephemeral, for reference.

on defining fanfic )

on deciding whether to become a parent )

on forcing a Kindle Fire to my will

Jul. 16th, 2017 09:21 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
I bought the cheapest 8" Amazon tablet on sale this week for $50, because my fairly-new unloved tablet had problems and I had determined to save it only for reading comics and watching video, but it was getting worse and worse, and it was only $50. [*]

So far it's about what I expected--lousy screen, flimsy (the door for the SD card is not going to last the week--but it works. I will report back in more detail later.

The real point of this post is to link to two things:

1) how to install the Google Play store, so you can keep your paid-through-Google apps, which works just fine and does not use require use of adb or anything more complex;

2) how to install a launcher of your choice (I'm using Nova Launcher). I believe I had to power the device off and then back on before the home button detection option came on, but now it works just fine.

[*] It was a NVIDIA Shield K1, which has recently been discontinued; though old, it got good reviews across the board even in current roundups, and so I suspect I got a lemon, because it was a piece of shit from day one. Rebooting itself nearly daily during ordinary use, this exciting nonsense on a system update, etc. etc. Then a hairline crack on the screen edge dramatically expanded, rendering the area containing home and recent buttons unresponsive in the ordinary orientation, so use required constantly flipping, plus once you've got that much of a crack it's just a matter of time. I'll be putting it up on eBay for parts soon.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
My Tweets for this panel were 50% despair at being unable to catch the names of things, as I said in the prior placeholder version of the post. However! Robert Killheffer put together this very thorough list, with links, of stuff mentioned at the panel, and gave me permission to share it! I have tried to revise my panel notes into something with minimal overlap with the document, so please do consult both.

S.A. Chakraborty, Haris Durrani, Robert Killheffer, Darcie Little Badger, Susan Matthews (leader)
Discussions of "genre classics" tend to focus mainly on modern Western works. This panel will discuss proto-genre narratives from antiquity and the pre-modern and early modern era in the world beyond Western Europe, including not only myths and legends but early authored works such as the Hamzanama (The Adventures of Amir Hamza), the Baital Pachisi (Vikram and the Vampire), and Fengshen Yanyi (The Creation of the Gods).

Read more... )

There, that's better. Thanks again to all the panelist, and especially Robert for compiling the list.

Readercon: Life, Love, and Robots

Jul. 15th, 2017 10:05 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
I have a little bit more notes for this! Still not a ton, though.

Jeffrey A. Carver (leader), Glenn Grant, Kate Nepveu, Sonya Taaffe, Sheila Williams
Robots, golems, and other living machines appear human but can never become human, which makes them perfect vehicles for exploring concepts of sentience, emotion, and human nature. Many robots long to be human; it's much more rare to see one that loves being what it is. Far more fictional robots have gender identities than national or ethnic identities. They are often programmed to feel sexual desire but rarely designed to eat a meal or sniff a flower. How do our depictions of robots reflect our changing understandings of what it means to be alive?

I said in my intro that I'm fairly sure my signup for this was just "Murderbot!" and then a bunch of heart symbols, and rather that recap my rec from the panel, I wrote it up for booklog.

Read more... )
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
I was really not awake for this panel and so took almost no notes; this is extremely sketchy as a result, but better than nothing.

Phenderson Clark, Greer Gilman, Victoria Janssen (leader), Kate Nepveu, Naomi Novik
Guest of Honor Naomi Novik's Temeraire books take a slow and clever approach to a common issue with alt-historical fantasy: if magic has always existed, why have historical events gone essentially the same way that they did in our magicless world? Her focus on the familiar territory of Western Europe during the Napoleonic Wars gradually broadens to include other regions that look very different. This panel will examine this and other techniques for integrating magic into history, including using the appearance or reappearance of magic as a timeline divergence point, limiting magic or paranormal entities to a particular region of the world, portraying paranormal communities or magic-users as hidden and secretive, and entirely reinventing history from the Neanderthals on up.

what I can remember )

Annnd that's all I can remember. Feel free to comment, either if you were there or if you want to continue the conversation!

101 in 1001 report

Jul. 15th, 2017 10:57 am
immlass: (break the monotony)
[personal profile] immlass
I went to see the Tosca Quartet and I remembered that we had seen Mother Falcon which marked off another item. So I continue to be ahead.

List under the cut. )

I'm working through a lot of minor items that are winding down, and the exercise and house items plus food trucks are the big remaining things. And financial stuff. My next big gaming thing is I need to work on HOC experience.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
NOW the last one. Can I get to bed before 1 a.m. before the day with three programming items? Why am I doing this, anyway? (Because if I don't know it won't get done and I have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility. Alas.)

Erik Amundsen, David Bowles, Rosemary Kirstein, Naomi Novik (leader), Nnedi Okorafor
Specialized and secret fields of knowledge create barriers to understanding and can become mechanisms of cultural control. They can also be foundations for resistance. They can support or destroy communities and instill gratitude or resentment. All these things could be said of both magic and science, and the wielders thereof. The tradition of pitting magic and science against each other goes back to Tolkien's anxieties about industrialization, but today's speculative works have moved beyond it to recognize that the two can coexist and are often used similarly as metaphors. We'll examine Guest of Honor Naomi Novik's mix of historical technology and dragons, Guest of Honor Nnedi Okorafor's mix of futuristic technology and sorcery, and other successful amalgamations and integrations.

more collated tweets )

Just under the wire before 1 a.m., go me!

Readercon: Terrible... but Great

Jul. 15th, 2017 12:35 am
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
I was going to say, last one for night, and then I remembered I went to three in a row but four total for day. Whee.

Lila Garrott (leader), Bart Leib, Natalie Luhrs, Sonya Taaffe, Vinnie Tesla
Our panelists muse on books that are really bad but in an amazing way! Genevieve Valentine's term "shitmazing" may be appropriate here. What makes something both terrible and great? Are these works worth analyzing and perhaps even emulating, or do they exist simply to be enjoyed (if that's the word) on their own merits (if that's the word)?

more tweets, getting less cleaned up as we go )
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
I am very very tired but I also need to hydrate and then remain upright for a while, so let me see how far I get in cleaning up my live-tweeting of panels.

First up:

Classic YA Book Club: The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper
Victoria Janssen (leader), Sandra Kasturi, Miriam Newman, Sonya Taaffe, Tamara Vardomskaya

panel notes )

If anything was insufficiently unpacked, or if you want to talk about it, come into the comments! (You don't need to have a DW account, just comment anonymous and sign your name or nickname or something at the bottom so we can have continuity of conversation.)

FMA/B rewatch: FMA 1-2, FMA:B 3

Jul. 12th, 2017 11:31 pm
kate_nepveu: Ed in profile, pulling away cloak to reveal automail arm (FMA (voila!))
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Spoilers for all versions of Fullmetal Alchemist.

So the Toast-commenters-in-exile have a Slack, and some people there proposed a Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood watch, which of course is entirely my jam. We're actually interleaving early episodes of FMA as an experiment, since FMA:B shortens some of the opening and does it in a weird order. Specifically:

episode order )

So tonight while waiting for laundry to go into the dryer, I had no brain for anything but some rewatch and live-blogging. Here, therefore, are notes about FMA 1 & 2 (and then I got sucked into semi-watching FMA:B to compare).

live-blogging of FMA 1 and 2, and also FMA:B 3 )

Weekly media report

Jul. 12th, 2017 06:44 pm
immlass: (amazons of mars)
[personal profile] immlass
Books:
- The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, the Power Behind Five English Thrones, by Thomas Asbridge. Finished this, and it was really solid. I was glad I read it.
- Red Sonja, Vol. 1: Queen of Plagues, by Gail Simone. A fantasy icon written by a woman, with a woman-centered cast. More like this please!
- The Coldest Winter, by Antony Johnston. Prequel to the other Coldest story and I liked this one even better.
- Northlanders, Vol. 1: Sven the Returned, by Brian Wood. It's a western with Viking garb but it's a really good one.

Movies/TV:
- Orphan Black Season 5, Episodes 2-5. Four really good episodes, and now we're caught up. The first with a horrible end twist and the second an Allison & Donnie comedy piece, with bonus mando and Highland dancing. Then the evil science on the island and the counterpart of Sarah with S, Helena, and Kira in the next two. I loved the flashback to S1. I think my favorite bit was S as the researcher, which was great bit of acting work by Maria Doyle Kennedy.

Music:
- Fader, First Light. I didn't expect to love this as much as I did on first listen, but I really really did. I think Neil Arthur does better with a strong collaborator and Benge was one for this album.
- Lindsey Buckingham, One Man Show. Replicates the experience of attending his solo shows beautifully. Not a "single hits" listening album but nice music to work to.
- Usher's Island, Usher's Island. Self-titled supergroup doing their trad thing. Familiar and new all at once, and very enjoyable if you like your trad high church. (I do.)

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