(no subject)

Oct. 7th, 2015 12:03 am
ruthi: a photograph of a dormouse eating a berry (Default)
[personal profile] ruthi
Today was my third bass guitar lesson. Abi brought her spare bass and left it here, for me to use.
It's been weeks since the last lesson, because she was abroad. And I did not have a bass, so I did not practise. A couple of fingers are tingling. Are there thimbles for playing bass?


The organic-veg-box gave us chicory, I looked up a recipe for it, and since I had all the ingredients, I cooked it:
recipe )


On Sunday there was The Pembury and seeing Abi for the first time since the 9 Worlds Convention in August. She has returned from traveling in the Americas.

(no subject)

Oct. 6th, 2015 04:52 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1349 aged 37 Queen Joan II of Navarre (my toy,wikipedia). Grandmother of Joan, who married Henry IV. Joan (this one, not the grand-daughter) would have been Queen of France as well as Navarre (her father was) but the Estates General decided that Queens Regnant were NOT ON; also there was some concern over whether she was really her father's child.

Born on this day in 1476 to George York , 1st Duke of Clarence and Isabel Neville, Richard of York (my toy,wikipedia). Died very young, but the only person I have who was born today. Sorry for the depressing.
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
I was sleeping in, but the doorbell woke me up. Two bright-eyed enthusiastic girls in their late teens were standing outside. One of them did all the talking.

She: Hello! I'm ___ and my friend here is called ___. We're doing a survey. Would you like to take part?
Me: (blearily) Go on.
She: Do you think morality is declining in our society?
Me: No.
(her friend writes it down)
She: Can you explain why?
Me: I don't have any reason to believe that previous ages behaved any more morally than we do. And if morality does seem to be declining, it may be because of increased visibility and better reporting.
(her friend is scribbling frantically)
She: Right. And what do you think could improve the morality of society?
Me (thinking slowly, still half-asleep): Well... there are many reasons for unethical behaviour, but it seems to me that much of it is due to lack of ability to choose otherwise. If your family's hungry, you're more likely to steal to feed them. And even when things improve, this turns into a habit of behaviour. So we need to reduce social inequality.
She: More freedom for people?
Me: Yeah-- freedom means you have more choices.
She: Thanks. And finally, do you think religion has a part to play in increasing morality in society?
Me (suspicions confirmed): Yes, because in order to play a part in society you have to be aware of your context within it... the big picture, and religion is often a good way to learn to think on that scale. Of course you can get that in other ways, as well-- it's not restricted to people of faith.
She: Thank you. Er, did we wake you up?
Me: Yes, but it's okay. It's not often people get me out of bed to discuss ethical philosophy.
She: This has been very philosophical. Here's a card with some more questions-- we'll be back next week to talk about what you think about those. Is the house next door number ___?

Good luck to them. If they're going house-to-house in Salford asking questions about ethics, I hope to God they stay safe.

So, toilets

Oct. 6th, 2015 03:38 pm
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[personal profile] flick
You know what no one ever uses, or builds, buys, digs or makes in the Little House On The Prairie books? Now that I've realised it, I'm intensely curious....

Mike went off to London today, for a consulting job that looks like it could involve a fair bit more. Unfortunately for him, he was back shortly after lunch and, as none of the neighbours can make it, that means he gets to come to the ballet with me this evening. Poor Mike.

Going my own way

Oct. 6th, 2015 01:38 pm
[personal profile] mjg59
Reaction to Sarah's post about leaving the kernel community was a mixture of terrible and touching, but it's still one of those things that almost certainly won't end up making any kind of significant difference. Linus has made it pretty clear that he's fine with the way he behaves, and nobody's going to depose him. That's unfortunate, because earlier today I was sitting in a presentation at Linuxcon and remembering how much I love the technical side of kernel development. "Remembering" is a deliberate choice of word - it's been increasingly difficult to remember that, because instead I remember having to deal with interminable arguments over the naming of an interface because Linus has an undying hatred of BSD securelevel, or having my name forever associated with the deepthroating of Microsoft because Linus couldn't be bothered asking questions about the reasoning behind a design before trashing it.

In the end it's a mixture of just being tired of dealing with the crap associated with Linux development and realising that by continuing to put up with it I'm tacitly encouraging its continuation, but I can't be bothered any more. And, thanks to the magic of free software, it turns out that I can avoid putting up with the bullshit in the kernel community and get to work on the things I'm interested in doing. So here's a kernel tree with patches that implement a BSD-style securelevel interface. Over time it'll pick up some of the power management code I'm still working on, and we'll see where it goes from there. But, until there's a significant shift in community norms on LKML, I'll only be there when I'm being paid to be there. And that's improved my mood immeasurably.


Oct. 6th, 2015 07:37 am
flaviomatani: (Default)
[personal profile] flaviomatani
(attempt at early night doesn't work very well when you wake up at 5:00 am with the plots of the books you're reading all mixed up with the inner worlds of your dreams all going round in your head and getting tangled with every day stuff like 'I have to insure the car' and 'where's my life going from here' and can't go back to sleep....)

The Martian

Oct. 5th, 2015 06:02 pm
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[personal profile] flick
This afternoon, we went to the cinema for the first time in years, to see The Martian.

It's very good. I might have to re-read the book, now.

I was, however, utterly bewildered by the adverts beforehand. Particularly the one about putting horseradish in your macaroni cheese.

(It is about a decade since I've regularly seen adverts, so maybe I'm just not used to them any more!)

(no subject)

Oct. 5th, 2015 02:26 pm
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1285 aged 40 King Philip III of France (my toy,wikipedia). Father of Margaret, who married Edward I. Philip was proclaimed king whilst Crusading in Tunis, and later Crusaded against Aragon. Neither of these places are especially holy Christian sites, clearly crusading was not entirely "lets try to get Jerusalem" by this point...

Born on this day in 1658 to Alfonso Este IV, Duke of Modena and Laura Martinozzi, Mary of Modena (my toy,wikipedia). Wife of James VII and II. After their deposition from the throne of England James and Mary moved to France, where they were accepted at the French court. Mary fitted into French court life much better than James. After James' death Mary was "regent" for her young son James (the Old Pretender) until he was 16.

Film festival reviews: the rest

Oct. 4th, 2015 07:36 pm
ceb: (films)
[personal profile] ceb
Scene By Scene: A collection of clips from Scene By Scene, a series conducting interviews with film producers/directors/actors. Fairly interesting, except that apparently next to no-one interesting in Hollywood is female, and those who are get asked about personal relationshps and make-up rather than the eternal verities of film-making. Finished with an interview with David Lynch, who reassuringly didn't know where Twin Peaks was going either.

Waste Land: A Belgian thriller about a policebod who plays by his own rules &c. and also gradually goes mad. Not bad.

Show of Shows - 100 Years of Vaudeville: Archive footage of carnivals and vaudeville shows from before the dawn of the Health & Safety Act, including such delights as boxing toddlers, elephants playing cricket, and people high-diving into implausibly small pools.

Splendor Solis - incoherent screaming, also very repetitive. For an art gallery not a cinema.

Why Me? - A Romanian thriller about a rising star policebod who gradually goes mad because he's gaslighted by one of the many Romanian secret polices. Contains a completely beautiful scene where they turn up to investigate a suspect who has brought a camerabod to record the investigation - the camerabod turns out to be the film camerabod.

Sweethearts of the Gridiron - surprisingly moving documentary about try-outs for an American football half-time all-female dance troupe whatsit.

Last day of summer....

Oct. 4th, 2015 06:20 pm
flick: (Default)
[personal profile] flick
(Probably. We've got a wet few days coming up, and then possibly the first Atlantic storm of the season after that. Still, it has been a lovely couple of weeks! (Comparatively) masses of people in the woods this afternoon, taking advantage of it.)

With the leylandii were taken out, and even though the new fence line is slightly further out than the old one was, the drive is suddenly much wider, which will be handy. Today, in between adding compost to the soil and planting a mixed bag of blue and white bulbs where they used to be, we made it wider still by pulling up the layer of grass that's grown along the edge of it. Should make it much handier when we have people to stay, although I still doubt I'll be up for reversing out of the garage with another car on the drive!

I got some garden-ready pansy plug plants the other day, and I've put them into the big empty patch in front of the house that the tomatoes left behind. I'm trying to decide when I should plant out the ornamental cabbages that I started in pots from seed: the packet, and internet, are somewhat non-specific about what constitutes being ready for it. Maybe next week. We're still picking tomatillos, and the plants are still flourishing, so they must be a bit more hardy than the tomatoes, the remaining outdoor ones of which have all gone manky and black. Randomly, a teeny tiny aubergine has appeared on the grafter plant, which we gave up for dead a month or so back!

And I've ordered my sweet pea seeds for next year, so those can be started off in the conservatory soon. I caved in and bought a rootrainer tray: although loo rolls stuck on top of small pots do the job, they're top heavy so they're forever falling over.

(no subject)

Oct. 4th, 2015 11:00 am
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1160 aged 20 Constance of Castile (my toy,wikipedia). Mother of Margaret who married Henry the Young King. Constance was the second wife of Louis VII, his first marriage (to Eleanor of Aquitaine) had been annulled because (officially) they were second cousins twice removed, but Louis and Constance were second cousins... Just 5 weeks after Constance's death Louis married a third time, since he had no sons yet. Having sons was a big obsession with Kings.

Born on this day in 1160 to King Louis VII of France and Constance of Castile, Alys of France (my toy,wikipedia). Daughter of the above and sister to Margaret. Alys was engaged as a child to Richard who would later be Richard the Lionheart; and was sent to live in England as the ward of Henry II; Henry allegedly made her his mistress, and died before she could be married to Richard who went on to marry Berengaria whilst still officially engaged to Alys. She eventually married the Count of Ponthieu.


Oct. 3rd, 2015 11:14 pm
flick: (Default)
[personal profile] flick
Oh my, I have the misfortune to have been swapping between R4 and WS on a Saturday night and oh lord: Quote Unquote had gone 'funny'. Wow, it's bad....

Finished Masters

Oct. 3rd, 2015 08:55 pm
ceb: (really tiny pirate)
[personal profile] ceb
On Tuesday I handed in my Masters project report. Now I am free! I can do things again!

Since Tuesday I have been idly doing things with no great pressure, including nominating things for Yuletide, ticking off a few of the small jobs that have been piling up over the past few weeks, and unpiling some of the literal piles of things that have been literally piling up because of lack of time to put them away. Today I cooked! It's amazing how much less of an brain-filling imposition it is when my brain doesn't start out already full.

Because of timing infelicities I also did some exciting things in the week before the deadline, including a book-making course (photos to follow when I unearth my camera) and a Night Vale Live show (mini-review: excellent but not as good as The Librarian (spoilers), which had stretches of complete genius).

ETA: I've just replied to my Yuletide comments from last year! Only 9 months late... must do better this year.

How do we stand the excitment?

Oct. 3rd, 2015 03:23 pm
flick: (Default)
[personal profile] flick
This morning, we went to the Country Store, because they were having a sale on horse and pet stuff. The car is now full of sacks of feed, which we keep forgetting to take out (Edit: yay, got most of them out. Damn, forgot to get the last one...).

This afternoon, we went to the opening of the new village hall. Unfortunately, we only arrived fifteen minutes late rather than, say, forty: we were early enough to get the speeches and the Cutting Of The Giant Ribbon by An Old Lady Who Was Born In The Village And Never Left, but too late to get the free fizz.

It does look very nice inside, though, and the new shop is hugely better than the old one (admittedly, that was in a small shipping container, so it's not much of a leap. You could now go in there and leave with the ingredients of a basic meal, though, and they had some nice-looking small-producer frozen ready meals). I picked up a leaflet for the WI, and I'm glad that I did: I've been thinking about going for ages, and meant to go last month but didn't because I had to pick Mike up from the station. Instead, I decided that I was definitely going to go this month but, as I've learnt that it's the AGM, I think I might wait until November!

The new fences are all done, and the dodgy gates fixed, and everything is nice and tidy other than the huge piles of Stuff To Burn, which we wouldn't let them set fire to as what little wind there is has been going towards next door. The forecast for tomorrow looks good for us having a bonfire, though. Igor's Minions are very hard workers, and very nice chaps; their English has vastly improved over the last two years, too, so no more three-way phone calls via Igor. I'd recommend them it would be useful to anyone reading this.

It was foggy this morning (at least that means we didn't get a frost, unlike yesterday morning), so we put off riding until this evening, much to Bugsy's disgust ("If you're going to make me come in from the field then I expect my dinner to be on the table in the bucket waiting for me then I get here!"). They were both good boys, though.

Actually, one vague bit of excitement: I had an annoyed text recently from Not Very Next Door Neighbour, complaining that the hunt had been up near her house and she'd not been warned. Today, though, I had a another text saying that it wasn't actually The Hunt, it was a disgruntled former huntsman, recently taken to court for illegal hunting, who'd been given permission by Bad Farmer to go on his land. All very mysterious. Apart from anything else, where did he get the hounds?

(no subject)

Oct. 3rd, 2015 11:00 am
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1431 aged 26 Thomas Beaufort , Count of Perche (my toy,wikipedia). Great-grand son of Edward III. Thomas was a commander during the 100 years war

Born on this day in 1390 to King Henry IV of England and Mary de Bohun, Humphrey Lancaster , 1st Duke of Gloucester (my toy,wikipedia). Humphrey was a more a scholar than a fighter but fought in France during the 100 years war anyway, and was wounded at Agincourt. He was Lord Protector for the infant Henry VI and later claimed the Regency (but the council didn't like that). His second wife was executed for witchcraft, which did nothing to increase his popularity.
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
Again in an attempt to bring my outstanding leave down to a somewhat manageable level took two days off work this week leading into an additional day with the Grand Final public holiday. A buyer visited to pick up some items from the Quicksales RPG store, specifically a small moutain of Spacemaster material and added some Rolemaster to his haul. I was pleasantly surprised to discover they still have an active game of the former running. I had a blast with it in the 80s and early 90s, but doesn't seem to get much coverage these days. In more actual play, Thursday night was our regular Laundry Files game, which involved an investigation into a chicken farm fire. Hardly the stuff of agenst to prevent Elder horrors? Well, it turned out that one of the chickens fired electrolasers from its eyes. Yep, a cockatrice, albeit developed in the Laundry Files style. The agency is very concerned about the fire, it is threatening Service Level Agreements. Overall, a great session combining the best elements of off-beat science fiction with a lurking fear of an insane bureaucracy in the background.

Today hosted an Oktoberfest and CheeseQuest today with [livejournal.com profile] caseopaya, [livejournal.com profile] ser_pounce, and [livejournal.com profile] hathhalla in attendance. There was a variety of Munich imported beers to drink, and the delights of German cuisine (rotkohl, kohlroulden, spargel, rollmops etc). I made a kartoffelpuffer and kirschenmichel, and we made our way through a selection of Germanic cheese (jarlsberg, Danish blue, smoked handkase (substitute for smoked Austrian) that were included in the famous sketch. Also took the opportunity to play some first edition Tailisman (which, incidentally, I also have as a German edition).

I've been tinkering around with a few computer systems around the house as well. A recommended upgrade path for my aged Debian Mint laptop did not go well, so I've decided to give CentOS a go on that particular machine. In my continuing exploration of retrospective computer games in my closet have also been playing a little bit of American McGee's Alice - another classic from the past. All of this was interspersed with hanging out with the pets whilst given the house a bit of well-needed scrub.

These have been a very pleasant past few days. The weather has been fine and I've taken several ventures outdoors for pretty much any excuse possible. The social activities have come with fine and imaginative conversation. I have been able to delve into some technical activities both familiar and relatively new (at least in part). The house is somewhat cleaner and somewhat which the fastidious part of me derives some pleasure from. Life here is good but my thoughts turn to horrors in Syria and my thoughts darken; There but for the grace of God go I.

(no subject)

Oct. 2nd, 2015 11:19 am
naath: (Default)
[personal profile] naath
Died on this day in 1484 aged 75 Isabel of Cambridge (my toy,wikipedia). Grand-daughter of Edmund of Langley, Duke of York who was a son of Edward III. Isabel was first bethrothed at the age of only 3 (the marriage had to wait) Isabel's father and first husband were both part of the Southampton plot against Henry V and died as a result.

Born on this day in 1452 to Richard York , 3rd Duke of York and Cecily Neville, King Richard III of England (my toy,wikipedia). May, or may not, have killed the Princes in the Tower. Probably not quite as bad as Shakespeare makes out. Lost the battle of Bosworth to Henry VII, and was only recently found buried under a carpark.

(no subject)

Oct. 2nd, 2015 03:26 am
ruthi: a photograph of a dormouse eating a berry (Default)
[personal profile] ruthi
I like this in-browser game: http://adarkroom.doublespeakgames.com/

I am enjoying this web comic: http://www.breakscomic.com/


The landlord has had a new hob installed in our kitchen. It seems to burn much hotter than the previous one (which was old and got easily clogged, and two buttons had broken so we couldn't use two of the four rings). I expect I'll having more food burn and stick to the bottom of pans for a while, until I get used to it.

I sprinkle baking soda on the burnt food, cover it with hot water, and leave it to soak overnight, and that makes the burnt food lift off. I am happy and grateful the internet taught me this trick, it saves scrubbing and pans.


If you like the Hobbit, and enjoy people being forced out of their home and going on an adventure and maybe encountering giant arthropods (like, say, spiders) -
and are okay if it's a little bit more scary than the Hobbit, you might enjoy As Simple As Hunger, by D. Des Anges.
Obviously if you think the Hobbit is not scary at all you are even more likely to enjoy this book. Probably.

If you like Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, and enjoy Regency Magicians and humour and encounters of very strait-laced men with spirited women, (and also reflections on Britain as a colonial power)-you might enjoy
Sorcerer to the Crown, by Zen Cho.

(The fact that both the above people have written things -fanfic things- due to my prompting them might be biasing me, a little, but those are both fine books and I recommend them heartily.)

"Make a house a home"

Oct. 1st, 2015 10:19 pm
rosefox: A half-completed game where one organizes jumbled dots. (order)
[personal profile] rosefox
Right now, our fourth room is our guest room. We have a big pull-out couch in there, and a couple of bookcases that are currently full of kids' books.

Somehow, we need to turn it into the baby's room. That means we need to get bookcases out of J's room and the guest room, get the couch out of the guest room and put it in J's room, build a crib and changing table and rocking chair and kid-size cabinet/closet, and move some of the bookcases back in.

J is able-bodied and fairly strong. R is somewhat able-bodied and not terribly strong. X is quite pregnant. This is more than we can really do on our own.

So! If you're available to come to our apartment (in Brooklyn, very near the Utica Ave stop on the 3/4) and help us move heavy things around on Sunday October 25 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., we would greatly appreciate the help. We will gladly pay you in delicious food and drinks, free books, and even bookcases if you'd like them. The books and bookcases are perfectly good; we just don't have room for the latter, so we're divesting ourselves of the former (and replacing them in digital).

If you're not up for lifting heavy things, come over anyway! You can keep us company, cheer us on, entertain us, go out for more chips, or just take books away. It'll be a fun little low-key party.

Usual apartment warnings apply: we have three cats (who will be shut away for the duration of the movinatin'), and we're up one fairly steep flight of stairs.

Please comment or email and let us know if you'll be joining us!

accessible clothing

Oct. 1st, 2015 02:12 pm
the_siobhan: (SCIENCE!)
[personal profile] the_siobhan
This is kind of neat. Clothes specifically designed for people who use wheelchairs. Zippers located so you don't have to get out of the chair to take them off, skirts cut longer at the back so they don't ride up, and everything designed not to get in the way of wheels or controllers.