Radio 4

Dec. 21st, 2014 11:31 am
flick: (Default)
[personal profile] flick
I've been getting increasingly annoyed with the R4 Christmas trails: a collection of clips from Christmas programming, followed by the direction to check the R4 website for more details. The website doesn't have more details, as far as I can see, other than the full schedules. One of them was Dead Ringers doing The Reunion, and searching for Dead Ringers got me the schedule (yay, a whole new season! And it looks like it's in the Friday evening slot, so it might even make it onto the podcast).

I was sure I heard David Sedaris in one of them, so I did a search of the R4 programme: nothing. I did manage to find it by doing a search of the whole BBC website (11:30 on Christmas Eve), though, so I suppose that that's ok?

But it would be nice to know what the other things, the ones that I couldn't immediately identify them from a five second clip, a) are and b) will be on. Fortunately, Google has provided: there is indeed a page listing the highlights, which I'm glad that I've finally found. Why the hell isn't it linked to from the R4 front page, though?

(And Good Omens, natch, but why on earth is it on so late at night?)

(Super Home Front on Friday, though!)

"Day is done, gone the sun"

Dec. 21st, 2014 12:20 am
rosefox: A cartoon figure slipping toward a gaping hole in the paper. (slipping)
[personal profile] rosefox

That's about all I've got in me for solstice vigil and ceremony. Are the dark days always so very very dark? It seems really awful this year. (Emotionally and psychologically, I mean. The weather's actually not been too bad.)

But we made it through to the turning of the year. January will be no worse than December, and then February will be terrible but short, with improbable frost-defying buds on the trees--I always fear for the magnolias, and they always come through just fine--and then spring spring spring.

Write a story about the sum...

Dec. 20th, 2014 11:56 pm
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
A primary school test asked me "write a story about the sum 6+4=10". I had no idea what it was asking me to do, so I made a guess and wrote "One day 6+4=10 went for a walk. Then it came back. The end."

Yuletide again

Dec. 20th, 2014 01:09 pm
ceb: (squee)
[personal profile] ceb
I am getting THREE Yuletide stories! This is wildly exciting, I am becoming incoherent.
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[personal profile] tcpip
Some pretty good gaming experiences in the past week are worthy of jotting down. Firstly, last Sunday put the Werewolf Yugoslav Wars game on hold for a while to start a 7th Sea Freiburg as recommended by [ profile] usekh. We pretty much did character generation and an opening scene, for the standard (and extensive) scenarios offered in the Freiburg set, although I do find the libertarian governance of the city to be highly improbable at best. On Thursday ran another session of Masks of Nyarlathotep, where the Investigators managed to get quite a lot done, visiting a range of strange individuals, accumulating an enormous array of clues, and even catching up with a person who they have been chasing for several game-months. After such a success and elation, true to the Call of Cthulhu theme, it'll be appropriate to send them mad or to the maws of monsters in the next session. Also, as expected, my review of Pirates & Plunder has been published on The next issue of RPG Review ("Pirates & Swashbucklers") is due this week, however I have my suspicions that it will be delayed.

Last night went to see 20000 Days on Earth, the Nick Cave biography documentary, at the Astor. Nick was present for a Q&A session afterwards. Erica managed to get her copy of The Birthday Party Definitive Collection signed along with And The Ass Saw The Angel, whereas I have reviewed the show on Rocknerd. This week I also wrote an article for an upcoming gay music 'zine, entitled Industrial: Music of A Cyborg Sexuality in the Fin de Si├Ęcle. Tonight I am off to see and review The Underground Lovers. I swear, I am a bloody demon when it comes to reviewing or critiquing music, I could easily do several a day if I had the opportunity to do so.

Suki rat's owners came over on Wednesday night; we had managed to keep her alive and well for that period with an aforementioned course of forced feeding of critical care, antibiotics, and of course a great deal of human empathy. Instructions for care were passed on to her owners, who were both pleased to see and also concerned with her state. However we have since been informed that she's recovered somewhat and is now eating of her own volition. The household is now however ratless, and I'm suffering from withdrawl symptoms. Whether as young nutters bouncing around the place or as elderly sleepers. Despite this immediate desire, [ profile] imajica_lj has made the sensible suggestion of finding rescue rodents post-xmas.

Buy ALL the groceries!

Dec. 20th, 2014 12:40 pm
skud: (Default)
[personal profile] skud
This is a crosspost from Chez Skud. You can comment here or there.

Remember when, back in the day, I used to post pics of my market haul? I was inspired by the excellent book Hungry Planet: What the World Eats which shows photographs of families from around the world with a week’s groceries.

Well, today I did what passes for a Christmas shop at my place, which is to say I went to the shops with the main intention of buying tasty things to see me through the next week or so, and without being too finicky about the budget. I wound up spending $93, which is about the national average for an adult’s food for the week, but way more than my usual (which is half that or less). That’s okay; I got lots of tasty stuff, plus I restocked a few pricier items that I’ve run out of lately.

groceries laid out on a table

The full haul: $93 worth.

Read the rest of this entry ╗ )

Today has been great

Dec. 19th, 2014 11:49 pm
ceb: (squee)
[personal profile] ceb
I had a day booked off work today, during which I sorted all the remaining Christmas presents, ate steak frites, visited the Whipple, had coffee and cake, investigated laptops, got home to find a Lego Research Institute waiting for me, and hosted another lovely Yuletide writing thing (at which I betaed a story and wrote two drabbles, one of them collaborative, and almost everyone finished their stories).

Actually yesterday was pretty nice too. One of my study co-ordinators gave me a Christmas present, I won some very pretty cake tins in the Christmas party raffle, and one of our receptionists picked me to ring for help when she was stuck in traffic (a double-edged sword but quite flattering).

Tomorrow promises cake decoration and a preformance of some Edgar Allen Poe stories, so will probably also be good.
hairyears: (Woolly Monochrome sketch)
[personal profile] hairyears
Does anyone remember the Trafigura toxic waste scandal a couple of years ago?

Dust off the newspaper cuttings, or look up that link: it - or something like it - will be news again, soon. Or worse, not news: secretly disposed of, and silently killing people.

A bit of background on 'Tank washing'... )
The short version... )
So my prediction is: the recent tumble in crude oil prices will have extremely negative environmental effects.

There will be other effects, and I won't have heard of them - would anyone else like to chip in?

Eww, chickeney

Dec. 19th, 2014 04:18 pm
flick: (Default)
[personal profile] flick
I've been stripping chickens this afternoon (special offer from Tesco), and paused part-way through (much to Jo's annoyance) to wash my hands and bring the boys in.

GB came over in the field to demand his treat and then refused to take it from me: Mike had to do it instead, there and in the yard after they'd come in. I guess I didn't wash my hands as well as I thought I had!

Wrapping up the year

Dec. 19th, 2014 08:16 pm
skud: (Default)
[personal profile] skud
This is a crosspost from Chez Skud. You can comment here or there.

It’s a cliche to blog about how seldom you blog, so I won’t. Instead I’ll just take the opportunity to reflect a bit on 2014 in terms of my home life.

It’s been a dog of a year. It’s been difficult to focus on anything much, let alone communicate about it. The first half of the year I was buried in personal stuff, and the second half of the year had more of that and then a lot of travel and busy-ness piled on top.

Most days I’m happy if I eat regular meals. I’ve had some great food this year, but mostly it just seems like a slog, trying to balance my body’s need for fuel, my inner self’s food-related hangups and issues, and the logistics of having food in the house, and having space and time to prepare it. I’ve had to cut myself a fair bit of slack on convenience foods and on food waste. Sometimes it’s better to buy a pile of fruit and vegetables just so I have them as an option, even if in the end I don’t eat them all and some of them wind up in the compost. Or to open a jar of something perishable so I can eat well now, even if I’m going away tomorrow or the next day and know I can’t finish it.

When times are hard I just keep trying to slog through it, do what I can, and remember nobody’s standing over me with a clipboard awarding points or writing down criticisms in red pen.

Some things I cooked/ate this year and didn’t post to the blog:

broad beans and leek from the garden, with ham, on homemade sourdough

broad beans and leek from the garden, with ham, on homemade sourdough

salad with red rice, sprouted lentils, tomato, kale, fetta, olives, and marinated artichoke hearts

salad with red rice, sprouted lentils, tomato, kale, fetta, olives, and marinated artichoke hearts

nettle soup

virulently green nettle soup with potato and ham


nachos with black beans and fresh jalapeno peppers from the garden

birthday lunch of ethical pork and beef ribs, corn bread, and coleslaw (eaten in a blanket fort! best birthday lunch!)

birthday lunch of ethical pork and beef ribs, corn bread, and coleslaw (eaten in a blanket fort! best birthday lunch!)

I’ve been doing a lot, a lot, of knitting and other crafts. Not least because I’ve had periods where all I can do is watch soothing TV and do something calm and repetitive. I’ve not been good at posting about it, though, nor updating Ravelry, and I have to admit that I’ve been casting on an awful lot of things for the “whee!” feeling of a new project, and not completing them. By my count I currently have at least 17 WIPs, most of which haven’t yet hit the “half done” mark.

I’ve instituted a kanban board on the wall of my living room for my craft projects (with an extra, innovative “> 1/2 DONE” column, because casting on and then putting it aside is a big issue for me) so I can see how many I have to finish. Sadly, it doesn’t work all that well to stop me casting on new things, because I just conveniently “forget” to add a sticker for the new project. Sigh. Oh well, at least every so often I can bring it up to date and it helps me remember what I have going, better than a pile of mystery project bags in the coffee table drawers ever could.

A week or so back I decided to try and reduce my WIPs considerably. My new rule (and let’s see how long I stick to it) is to have one large and one small/portable project out and work-on-able at any time, choosing the easiest to complete at any given time, according to the debt snowball method. Right now I’m working on a pair of fingerless mitts made from the tail ends of two colours of Mountain Colors Bearfoot, and a deathly dull product-knitting slog: a black hoodie in Bendigo Woollen Mills Classic 8 ply and in mostly stocking stitch. Both are made-up patterns, the hoodie being vaguely EPS-based, and the mittens basically just tubes with thumb-trick thumbs.

half-finished black hoodie

boring hoodie of boringness

red and brown striped fingerless mitts in progress

slightly less boring, but only just

My only escape from the “get through some bloody WIPs” effort is that I’ve told myself that I can knit hats for charity using wool from my charity-knitting basket, which I gathered up from all the odd scattered places and put in one pile last week. A hat usually takes about 2 evenings and is a quick distraction if I really must cast on something new. There’s at least a dozen hats worth of wool there, or roughly one for each reasonably-finishable project on the WIP list. (Some of the WIPs aren’t reasonably finishable, as they’re things like a mitred sock yarn blanket that will take years to gather odds and ends to make, or are super low priority, like the charming half-finished Scandinavian cross stitch table runner I found at a craft swap day — I have no qualms about that sitting quietly where it is for a long time.)

As for the garden… it’s a mess, and I’m late with planting everything, and that’s okay. I’m eating from it if not every day, then definitely every few days, and I have tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant coming along nicely for later in the summer. No clipboard, no red pen, right?

One thing that has been going well for me is that I’ve been making a pretty steady practice of getting rid of stuff. Somehow I’ve got to a point where it gives me a good, clean feeling to finish something and not have it any more, or to put something unused in the pile for the op shop (which seldom gets bigger than I can carry in my bike basket). Yesterday I had a momentary bout of “what if I applied for this amazing job and had to move house again?” and it made me think even more about how much stuff I have that I don’t need. I’m not going to apply for the job, but it did give me a kick in the pants about all my stuff.

A friend’s recently been talking up a decluttering guru who talks about getting rid of things that don’t spark joy, and it’s been good for me to think of my excess stuff in that way. It makes it much easier to say “no”. I don’t think I’m anywhere near Japanese minimalism (lol, no) but it does make it easier to get rid of things I’m keeping out of a sense of “ought”.

Finally, today I got a cleaner in, and she’s going to be coming regularly. I’ll be interested to see how much it changes my sense of overwhelmedness and whether it helps me get back on a more even keel with some of the other stuff I want to spend my energy on. I’ll give it a few months and then evaluate the costs/benefits; it’s a big chunk of my fairly tight budget, but I hope a worthwhile one for my mental health, which in turn is good for my so-called “actual” work.

I’m not going to make any new year’s resolutions, because they don’t work well for me. But here’s hoping 2015 is a good one!

(no subject)

Dec. 19th, 2014 03:59 pm
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[personal profile] ideological_cuddle
Watched and listened-to (first on the ABC News24 stream, later on the 774 audio stream as News24 dropped it two-thirds of the way in!) the memorial for Stella Young. It was by turns moving and funny, which seems appropriate.

I particularly enjoyed Stella Barton's eulogy. You might expect that hearing her speak via a machine would make it less "real", but it really didn't, not one bit.

Afterwards I sat down to watch zombie shows. I didn't know Stella, but even so vaguely suspect from the things I've heard from friends who did know her that she'd have approved.
skud: (Default)
[personal profile] skud
I'm afraid I'm going to have to mostly bail on [personal profile] liv's question, asking me to talk about "when mainstream feminism goes around reproducing lots of other hierarchies and oppressions", because I've been turning it over for a few days and I'm really not sure what to say.

I guess the short answer is: this is something I've been learning about and working on for the past 5 years, and I've been trying to improve my own practice around it, and to speak to people when they do faily things and I think I can usefully help out as an ally. The other thing, I suppose, is that I don't really engage much with "mainstream feminism" if by that you mean the sort of institutionally established liberal feminism that's out there; my feminism is Internet feminism, informed by fandom and geekdom and twitter and tumblr, and I'm not very involved in the stuff that actually gets covered in mainstream media or gets funding from mainstream bodies or whatever. And the feminism I am involved in is pretty aware of "other hierarchies and oppressions" most of the time, I hope.

Anyway I think this answer crosses over a bit with what I wrote for [personal profile] transcendancing under how my feminism has changed over time so I'll just point you there as well.

Sorry I couldn't write more :(

New Patheos post: Blue Yule

Dec. 18th, 2014 05:42 pm
compilerbitch: That's me, that is! (Default)
[personal profile] compilerbitch

This was a really difficult post for me. I broke down in tears trying to read it to Gina — though this was a usual part of my final editing process before I submit a column, normally I’m not fighting tears and gasping out the words. Some of you may know the history I’m talking about, most won’t.

Anyway, I’m going to leave it at that. The post is online at Patheos now, so rather than spoiler it further, I’ll just let you read it where it is.

Blue YuleQueer of Swords: Blue Yule

Please note: this was cross-posted from my main blog at -- If you want me to definitely see your replies, please reply there rather than here.

#QueerofSwords, #TransgenderActivism

2014 books: 52-59

Dec. 18th, 2014 10:38 am
the_siobhan: (Margaret Atwood)
[personal profile] the_siobhan
eight books by three Canadians )

I expect the last book to take me close to the end of the year, so I'm going to say 59 is my total. 6 books more than last year. This is another two shelves people!

By my estimate it will take me approximate 376 years to completely clear out the house.