Done last week (20170618Su - 24Sa)

Jun. 25th, 2017 06:46 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

I spent pretty much the whole work, during "working hours" anyway, working on a project that's been on my queue for years: getting my lyrics to print two-sided and ensuring that if songs occupy two pages that they span an even-odd two page spread. It's working, as of this afternoon.

There are a couple of subtleties. Notably, if you're just printing a whole bound songbook, you don't care which side of the page a one-page song goes on. If you're printing individual songs to go into a looseleaf binder, on the other hand, you need a cover sheet on the first (right-hand) page to force both pages of a two-page song onto the correct page. And of course if you're printing lyrics to go on a song's web page, you don't want the cover page. But I have it working.

I also got Father's Day calls from both of my kids, got the keys to the new house (in a little party Monday afternoon), scheduled our move out of the apartment (for Wednesday July 12th, which will give us a little time to pack), got in contact with the various utility companies, and, ... I'm not sure there was much else. That's probably enough.

I still have the persistent feeling of not getting much done, and I'm constantly appalled at how much has to be done before we can move into the new place, and how little time we have. I'm still scared about how little money we have, and worried about the amount of stuff we still have to do to the new house to make it work for our family.

Not to mention whether we'll have anything at all left after Trump and his goons get through destroying our social safety net, not to mention the planet.

And speaking of global warming, it's in the 90s this week. For Seattle, that's scorching.

Notes & links, as usual )

The evil Daystar...

Jun. 25th, 2017 04:52 am
kengr: (Default)
[personal profile] kengr
.. it *burns* us.

Ok, I'm not that opposed to sunshine. Record high temperatures on the other hand.

The official high at the airport (2 miles away) was 98 or 99). My apartment *only* got to 97.

Currently, at 4:30 in the morning, 84 (86 at the computer). It's 78 outside but even with the fans running full blast, it's still 84 in here. Bah.

And today is supposed to get even hotter.

Looked at the website and the portable air conditioner I want is still available. But they'd have to ship it. Free shipping wouldn't get it here until July 7th. I can't afford he 2-day shipping at the moment ($69). But I should get my pension sometime this week, so that'll let me order it and *still* get it quicker than the free shipping by *days*.

Torn World

Jun. 25th, 2017 01:13 am
kengr: (Default)
[personal profile] kengr
I'm working my way thru the stories on the Torn World site, and I'm wondering if the site has had some sort of major problem.

Most of the stories available to non-supporters aren't actually there. Or rather, anywhere from a few lines to a couple of paragraphs are, but then they end in the middle of a sentence. Some don't have anything and show a word count of zero. Heck, one had a word count of -1!!!

I'm also seeing things like part 2 or even 3 of a story and no trace of the previous parts.

Anybody know what's going on?

My subconscious is an ass

Jun. 25th, 2017 01:07 am
kengr: (Default)
[personal profile] kengr
A few days ago I had a dream. It started out with me arriving a bit late at a con. The con was being held in some hotel that had a bunch of "themed" areas.

Anyway, after spending some time with friends I went to check in (I think I was going let one of there friends share the room). Amazing the line at the desk was short.

Then came the fun. The elevators were somewhat camoflaged, and the other ways of transition between various areas had a lot in common with them park rides.

I was having increasing difficulty trying to find my room. and kept winding up back at places I'd already been. Mind you, this sort of "maze" behavior isn't that uncommon in my dreams. But this time I was getting cranky because I was tired and just wanted to rest.

Finally had a major league meltdown

About then I started coming awake and just before I woke up, I took one last glance at the paper with my room number on it. and proceeded to heap impreciations on my subconscious.

Why? The room was number 404...

Was it something I said?

Jun. 22nd, 2017 08:41 pm
lemmozine: (Default)
[personal profile] lemmozine
Several people who were on my friends list here dropped off. Such is life. If you want my witty repartee, that's mostly over on facebook. Here you will find primarily (boring) details of my life, health, and finances.

Life: I'm at this moment on my way to Contata. Grisly details: some leftover Delta points were surprisingly enough for a redeye to JFK. I could have brought a small instrument, like a uke, on Delta. But I'm not flying back on Delta. Somehow, I booked a return trip on Frontier. I don't think I knew what I was doing. On Frontier, a uke would count as a carryon. They charge for carryons. So, I have a daypack.

It's OK. I know there will be many kind people who will be happy to loan me an instrument if I ask.

I arrive at JFK at 6 AM. I estimate 2 hours to get to Morristown from there.

Finances: I probably have close to just barely enough cash on hand to cover my share of the hotel room. I'll need more if I'm going to have enough for things like transportation, food, spending money. I brought a few spare CDRs to peddle, plus (good news) I have over $200 in bids so far on ebay auctions that end Monday night. If people pay promptly (most do) I'll be fine. If not, well, I can use my Paypal card, and that should give me an extra day or two, by which time everything will be fine. Worst case scenario: next payday is a week from tomorrow.

Health: Everything seems OK.

Well, I'm almost at the airport now. Bye.

Drums Are Banned in Sweden

Jun. 20th, 2017 10:59 pm
kjn: (Default)
[personal profile] kjn
Well, not anymore, but the Swedish Church Law of 1686 included the following statute:

Ingen Brudeskara må komma til Kyrckian, med Trummor, skiutande, och hwariehanda otienligit Buller; Skeer thet, tå skola sådane plichta efter Stadgan.

Basically, "no bridal group may come to the church with drums, shooting, and miscellanous unhealthy noise. If you do, you will get fined." I couldn't resist trying to set this peculiar piece of history to "Banned from Argo".

The Church of Sweden got its law in sixteen eighty-six )
17catherines: Amor Vincit Omnia (Default)
[personal profile] 17catherines
I've moved temporarily to a four day week - basically for as long as my workload and budget can sustain it.  I've been wanting to do this for some time - I'm so tired all the time, and with wanting to visit my little niece on weekends when we can, there just isn't enough downtime at the end of the week for me to catch up.  This weekend was the first proper long weekend of its kind, and while it wasn't exactly restful, it was what I wanted it to be.

On Saturday, we had been planning to visit my niece, but the whole family is sick and I'm singing in a concert next weekend, so it did not seem like a good time to get a throat infection, so we wound up going to see Wonder Woman instead, which was fun.  I actually don't have very many thoughts about the film at all, I'm afraid.  Most of my reading and media is pretty woman-centred, and I don't see a lot of films or read comics or follow superhero stuff, so I didn't have the whole feeling of it being groundbreaking that other people have talked about.  But I did enjoy it, especially the whole training montage and that first fight sequence on the island.  The bit where Diana walks across No Man's Land was also rather special.  So yes, a fun movie, and I liked it, and I'm glad it makes people happy, but that's about it.

We got home from seeing the film, and I basically sat down and started to write my next Paris story, which had been haunting my brain all week, but which I hadn't actually had any time to work on.  It's called Still Waking, and is for Ternes station, and it's a Sleeping Beauty story.  Since 'terne' means dull in French, and is also a word for an alloy coating of lead and tin that was historically used to cover steel and keep it from tarnishing, I gave Sleeping Beauty a sister who was her opposite - plain to the point that people would forget her features even when she was standing in front of them, strong and stubborn where Sleeping Beauty is charming and yielding, and of course awake while Sleeping Beauty is sleeping.  Which is a good thing, because someone has to keep an eye on all of those princes.  Some of them are not pleasant people at all. 

I'm quite pleased with this one, and I think it's rather sweet, despite some dark moments.  I was not expecting it to have the ending it did, so that was fun.  It does have a lot of adult themes, but then, so does the original story.

(And it's kind of amusing to me, because I can see where the story was influenced by my visit to Darwin and by watching Wonder Woman, and by reading and disliking a bunch of Hugo nominated stories, but I don't think anyone else can...)

The other writing project this weekend was a lot less fun.  A friend of mine is about to go through a very difficult court case, and asked me to write a character reference.  I'm not going to go into any details here, except to say that it is deeply uncomfortable to write such a reference, even when you are saying positive things, particularly when it is for someone who has quite a different value system from your own.  In many ways, you passing judgment on someone's character in a way that you would never do normally in the context of the friendship, and you have to step back from the friendship a bit to do so, which is disconcerting.  I think she's OK with what I wrote.  The one thing I do know for sure – since I was largely bearing witness to my friend's integrity and respect for the truth – is that she would never want me to compromise my own honesty in writing about her!  And she does know that I am on her side, which is important.

Still weird, though. 

On Sunday I had choir practice in the afternoon for the concert that we are doing next Saturday, and then went from there to an Iftar dinner organised by the Australian Greens and hosted by the local Muslim community.  The goal of the event was  to make an opportunity for non-Muslims to talk to Muslims, and generally to promote a sense of community, and I think it was definitely a good starting point.  Though I did feel a bit weird at all the people who came and thanked us for being there – because really, all we did was show up, eat lots of lovely food and try to make conversation.  As shows of solidarity go, this was a pretty easy one, really.  And it worries me a little that this is considered a significant enough effort to be worth thanking people for.

But anyway, it was really lovely, and there was a good turnout, and of course the food was amazing (and ridiculously plentiful)!  They asked us to get there a bit before sunset, and we sat at our long tables with our bottles of water and jugs of lemon drink and plates of dates in front of us, and they brought a split pea soup around, and then we sat there and waited for sunset, feeling thirsty but of course not drinking yet.  A local imam did the call to prayer, and we ate, and then there were evening prayers, and then we ate even more, and then there were speeches by several local politicians and several leaders of the local Muslim community.  I noticed that we had some excellent diversity - half the speakers were women, and most of the women were women of colour.  And there was an opportunity to ask questions, and also just to talk to the people around us. 

So that was a very pleasant way to spend an evening, and I'm very glad I got to do so (especially as I then woke up the next day to the news about the attack on worshippers near the mosque in Finley Park in London).  My Muslim friend at work who let me know about this event has promised to let me know about any similar events that are on, and I think that's something I want to really work at being involved in.

And yesterday was my first, lovely, day at home!  I had very grandiose plans, which were not achieved, largely because Mayhem decided at around 7am that she really wanted to sleep on my face, which was not restful.  But I got a couple of loads of washing done, and went for a long walk, and had a massage, and did two hours of singing practice and spent two hours starting to clean out my pantry and reorganising my spice rack, and planned the weeks menus, and made dinner, and started planning my Europe trip... and actually when I list it all like that, I did get a fair bit done yesterday, didn't I?  Just not any of the writing/research that I had hoped to start on, so apparently, the rest doesn't count.  Hmm...

Also a random recommendation.  We've recently discovered Sammy J's Playground Politics, which is a cross between Play School (an Australian children's TV classic) and political satire, and it is hilarious and horrifying and brilliant.  We've basically watched all the episodes (most of which go for five minutes) over the last few days.  I think my favourite is Musical Pollies, which serves as an excellent introduction to Australian politics, if you recognise any of the names...

He has a new show now, called Sammy J's Democratic Party, which is a full-length show, but which always includes some of the Playground Politics stuff.  Which in my view is the best bit by far...

I'll get back to the Hugo reading soon, I promise.  I took a break from it last week, because I had cramps and felt terrible, and because I kept on running into short stories which had really horrible things happening in them and I just didn't want any more of that in my head.  But one must be brave in the service of democracy, so hopefully I'll finish the Campbells sometime this week...

Definitely not fun.

Jun. 19th, 2017 10:32 am
kengr: (Default)
[personal profile] kengr
Last night (well early this morning if you want to get technical) I was doing the usual bit. Check my blood sugar, and inject insulin as needed.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was (for once) low enough I didn't need any insulin-R. (116 mg/dL)

So I did the usual nightly injection of Insulin-N since I was going to go to bed soon. I know I used the N, because I keep the vials in distinctly different containers, and the R is clear, while the N is milky. I also distinctly remember rolling the vial to mix it (N settles if you don't mix it gently).

The injection went the same as usual. But a while later I was starting to sweat a lot. I figured it was just the fact I'd turned off the fan in the living room window. So I laid down on the bed, hooked up the CPAP and tried to get to sleep.

But I was *still* sweating like a stuck pig. and I realized my heart was pounding. I grabbed the pulse oximeter that I had on the night stand and check. O2 saturation was ok, but my pulse was over 100. WTF?

I suspected i was having a hypoglycemic episode. So I put the oximeter on its lanyard around my neck and clipped my cell phone to it (I do *not* intend to ever be one of those folks who falls down and can't get to the phone, thank very much!). Then I carefully got up (for once I was thank for the crowded state of the room, lots of things to brace myself with).

Just sitting up made me dizzy. Yep hypoglycemia was looking likely. Bleah. Got over to the computer, sat down and grabbed to glucometer. The reading was 39. WTF!

Definitely not good, I worked my way to the fridge and grabbed to bottle of orange juice and got back to the chair. I poured myself a glass and drank it. Then another. (real fruit juice is a recommended way to get your blood sugar up fast).

I could have used the emergency glucose tabs or even some hard candy I keep just in case, but I figured I needed the fluids.

I texted Fay to let her know I was having trouble and to get help if I didn't check back with her soon. It's nice having a friend only a few apartments away. She texted back o ask how long and I told her 30 minutes (it's not like I was going to *die* in that much time, but if I wasn't able to respond, I'd definitely need help.

mildly gross bit )

A recheck of my blood sugar had it up to 130 so that was good. I finished off the bottle of juice, let Fay know my blood sugar was back to normal and made a PB&J sandwich to have something that'd give some longer term carbs.

This is my second (third?) instance of hypoglycemia. At least it confirms what I suspected from previous bouts. Sweating like hell is *definitely* one of my warning signs. This is the first time it was so sudden though.

Previous instances were a case of wake up not feeling great and discover I had it.

I'm just really puzzled by this episode. I mean even if I'd accidentally injected into a vein the insulin-N should have done anything *that* fast, should it? Oh well another question to run past the doc next visit.

And now, breakfast!

Done this week (20170611Su - 18Sa)

Jun. 18th, 2017 01:47 pm
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

The only major news is that we have a firm date for when the previous owner of our house gets all his stuff moved out: June 30th. That's about three weeks sooner than the original worst-case plan, so Colleen and I will have the entire month to get moved in, rather than a week. Yay!

I don't seem to have done much this week. I did get the car charged, and deposited a bunch of checks (including some old enough that I'm not sure they're still good -- I need to get a lot better at that). Mostly I sat around the apartment exploring an assortment of math topics on Wikipedia and YouTube.

It turns out that, thanks to a paper I wrote back at Carleton with one of my math professors, it can easily be determined that my Erdős number is officially 7. Unofficially, if one includes patents as well as actual math papers, it's 4. That still probably exceeds the number of people reading this who knew what an Erdős number is before reading this. The official value almost certainly does.

I did some actual programming yesterday (which I made more progress on today), aimed at bringing my song formatting and typesetting into the 21st Century. Mostly that means switching from postscript files to PDFs everywhere, upgrading to LaTeX2e, and simplifying the build process. There are still a few formatting issues that need to be dealt with; I will be having some fun this week refactoring my horrible old style files into classes.

There was some discussion in comments elsewidth about finding a therapist; I did a little link chasing. Not going to do anything about it until after we move.

Notes & links, as usual )

Two views

Jun. 17th, 2017 08:22 pm
kengr: (Default)
[personal profile] kengr
Now that I have the rules for that poetry form I was exposed to in Junior high, I'm trying it again.

As I did then, I'm finding it useful for considering duality

son son
soft, gentle weak, useless
caring, loving, helping clinging, whining, dragging
joy in a harsh world vulnerable not strong
daughter dead

Well that's done

Jun. 16th, 2017 03:53 pm
kengr: (Default)
[personal profile] kengr
Earlier in the week I had managed to weed all of the plot but where the strawberries are *and* transplant the "stray" strawberry plants into gaps in that section. I wasn't too worried if they'd survive, we've got too [censored] many of them anyway.

Thursday I hoped to plant the rest of the starts Fay'd picked up but it was raining a bit more than I wanted to deal with. I did go ahead and set them out in roughly the spots I'd plant them, but left it at that.

Today, it's obviously been raining off and on, but it wasn't raining when I went out a bit ago. so I managed to get them all planted.
Read more... )

SF and disabilities

Jun. 14th, 2017 07:05 pm
kengr: (Default)
[personal profile] kengr
After reading a post by [personal profile] ysabetwordsmith on disabilities in SF, I got to thinking.

First one I recalled was Arthur C. Clarke's "Islands in the Sky" with a legless guy on a space station (someone else with a better memory reminded me that he was the commander of the station).

That lead me to recall that the Commandant of the Patrol Academy in Robert Heinlein's "Space Cadet" was blind.

And now that I think more, there was Baslim the blind and crippled beggar in Heinlein's "Citizen of the Galaxy" (who turns out to be a lot more than you'd think).

Then I recalled Murray Leinster's "Space Platform" where a good chunk of the workers building (on the ground!) the first space station (they launched it in one piece!!!) were midgets/dwarfs because they could work in tight spaces.

at one point it's suggested they they launch a smaller setup crewed by some of them as a stopgap because they don't need as muchg space, air or food as regular sized people.

And these were all in the 50s!

Later came Anne McCaffery's "The Ship Who Sang". And a book whose author and title I forget whose main character was blinded (on purpose by some nasties) and used a prosthetic that let him see thru the eyes of nearby people or animals. He managed to take advantage of this to figure out what everyone had been trying to do for a long, long time and "map" hyperspace.

C.S. Freidman had a book where one of the cultures was built around almost all the people in it being neurodiveregent in one way or another. And being *designed* to accomdate them.

Anyone else have some stories to add? Fantasy stories are ok too.
thatcrazycajun: (pic#)
[personal profile] thatcrazycajun
This is just to let those of my friends who choose to post only here and have deleted their accounts on LiveJournal. or no longer use them, that I haven't forgotten them and intend to post in both locations going forward.

Oh, hell no.

Jun. 14th, 2017 03:11 pm
17catherines: Amor Vincit Omnia (Default)
[personal profile] 17catherines
Dear Purchasing,

I'm sorry that it's a pain in the neck to return the battery charger that you ordered for me, especially as you ordered it from a different store from usual and you don't really want store credit from them. 

The thing is, I have sent you multiple emails over the last few years about my current battery charger and how it doesn't charge the batteries you insist are the best ones to purchase.  And how this is causing problems for my whole floor, because you have also decided that we like cordless keyboards and mice.  And I have spent hours arguing with Engineering, who refused to believe that this was even possible, even though it really, really was.

And when I never got a reply from you, I asked my fellow DivCos for recommendations, and tested a battery charger that one of them had obtained by direct purchase, to make sure it worked.  I wrote on the requisition form that I wanted this specific charger, because I have spent three years with an unreliable battery charger.

So no, I am not willing to give the battery charger you ordered for me, which is completely different to the one I specified, a try.  Yes, I get that you thought this one was a better one than the one I chose.  But the one I chose WORKED.  And I don't know if the one you chose will, and I really don't want to find out that it doesn't, because I'm pretty sure I won't be able to return it at that point.

And yes, I get that this is inconvenient.  But I was SUPER clear in the comments that it had to be THIS battery charger and not a different battery charger, and I have been emailing you for YEARS about this.

No love,


PS - Also, you know how you don't like people just going off and purchasing stuff directly on their Institute credit cards?  Well, if you don't want people to do that IT MIGHT HELP IF YOU ORDERED THE BLOODY THING THEY ASKED FOR.
kengr: (Default)
[personal profile] kengr
Many years ago in my weekly D&D campaign the party had gotten pretty chewed up. As I recall, no one died, but most of them were pretty low on hit points.

They'd left the ruined castle proper (everything above the ground floor was gone, and there was a partially water filled *crater* in part of the ground floor. An *elliptical* crater). They were heading across the large open area between the keep and the outer wall.

The gatehouse passageway was *huge* (as I recall, something like 50 feet across and 150 feet long). They'd just entered it when they encountered a small party of clerics heading in. From their symbols it was obvious they were of the evil variety.

Being as beat up as they were, the player party would just as soon not have another fight. They'd have almost certainly *won*, but they really didn't need the extra damage that'd ensue.

So some shouted negotiations took place as the two parties faced each other some distance apart. They'd just managed to agree to use opposite sides of the passage (at 50 feet, that was enough separation for both sides to feel mostly safe)

Then it occurred to one of the players that even *evil* clerics have cure spells. And it'd be nice to get healed some before they got back to town.

Since the dungeon was on a large island in a lake and the town was on another island over a mile away, this was actually a good idea. They might encounter some other problem before they got back to their boats, or encounter something while rowing back to town.

So, more negotiations. They wanted to buy some cure serious wounds spells. Much discussion amongst the evil clerics.

"Ok, it'll be a thousand golds apiece."

"A thousand! That's outrageous. They'e only 500 in town!"

The cleric shrugged. "So go to town. We're here, the price is a thousand each."

Much arguing but the player party gave in. Everybody watched carefully as the worst injured got healed. They were somewhat better, and the parties went on their ways. The player party got back to town ok and got healed up and everything.

A couple of months later, they hear some folks laughing themselves silly in a tavern. So they ask what's so funny.

Seems that the story was about how some priests of [????] had swindled some adventures. They'd charged them for cure serious but only cast cure light.

The players were *not* happy, as a cure light (in town) was only 100 gold. So they hadn't paid double the price, they'd paid *ten times* the price.

And this, children is how my players learned a painful lesson about the difference between player knowledge and character knowledge. Among other things.

It was hard keeping a straight face while negotiating that scene. And it was hard to wait all those weeks before I let the players find out. But *oh* was it satisfying. :-)

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