rosefox: A bearded man in a yarmulke shouting L'CHAIM! (Judaism)
[personal profile] rosefox
Last year I wrote a long Haggadah full of quotes and readings that I found thought-provoking and meaningful: some analytical, some mystical, some poetic. My brother edited it down to a very efficient 12 pages (in large type for easy reading aloud) that's more suited to our mixed multitude, and to our practice of celebrating Passover at a restaurant and squeezing the service in between placing our orders and food arriving at the table. I retaliated coped balanced it by moving the readings into an appendix. They remain the best part of the Haggadah for me, and I thought I'd put them here in case they enrich anyone else's Passover. L'shalom!

Cut for length )

(no subject)

Apr. 21st, 2019 12:12 am
rbarclay: (donald)
[personal profile] rbarclay
Sp, spring is finally here. Time to mow the lawn once so that the automatic mower can then take over until fall. After that, it's time to manually mow the lawn once before winter sets in.

According to father-in-law, the best course of action for accomplishing this task is:
- get the car with the trailer connector
- hook up trailer
(- usually now comes "drive to the recycling centre, empty the trailer of whatever garbage has accumulated")
- coordinate with other-daughter, drive over
- haul lawn mower onto trailer (taking extra care so that it always remains perfectly upright, otherwise it's drain-the-spark-plugs time)
- drive over
- get mower down
- mow
- hook up trailer
- coordinate with other-daughter
- haul lawn mower onto trailer (taking extra care so that it always remains perfectly upright, otherwise it's drain-the-spark-plugs time)
- drive over
- get mower down
- give mower back
Twice per year.

My take on all of that:
- buy a fucking mower.

I opted for a mechanical one ("rotary mower" I guess). No motor. Very few moving parts. And I was done with fucking mowing the lawn when FIL was backing the trailer back into the driveway. Including me driving to the garden centre and buying the thing.

Having done that with a purely mechanical mower now, I'm also quite unsure why there's electric/petrol-powered mowers around at all. I mean, I was done with ~800m² in under 2 hours - pretty much exactly the same time it takes me with the petrol-powered one (lots of trees and other obstacles). I mean, back when I was a kid I hated grandpas rotary mower with a passion - but that was just because I had to rake up the cut grass. Current models come with a sack that collects the cut grass, just as their powered siblings do. And the rotary mower ain't any harder to push around.
(Lawn tractors for actually huge areas are another topic. Hereabouts it's just twice-a-year, other than that automation rules.)
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
With the Australian Federal Election called some ten days ago I've been putting together a couple of paragraphs per day on the most news-worthy items. The governing LNP has had a very rocky start with various signs of political nepotism, corruption, and dumping four candidates; it's somewhat amazing that they can still scrape together c47.5%TPP under the circumstances. Meanwhile, drawing heavily upon my studies in public economics, I've published a piece on the Isocracy Network on The Idea Size of Governments, which will be followed up with a piece of voting methods and social choice theory (a recent discussion with the Proportional Representation Society suggests that they are currently insufficiently bold to get out of their demographic decline).

Livejournal has turned twenty! I first started making use of it a few years later, in 2003, as a means to stay in touch with people whilst I was in Timor-Leste. Apparently, I've made over a thousand posts in that time. Of course, like many people, various reasons (e.g., changes in policy) these days I typically cross-post to Livejournal via Dreamwidth. It's pretty much the same technology but I do wonder whether the forking will lead to the technological decline of the former over the latter (consider what has happened to OpenOffice vs LibreOffice, or even older, Mambo vs Joomla). Still, whatever the fate of LJ there can be no doubt of its extremely important role in social media technology, many features are still not replicated by Facebook, for example. Also, on-point, LJ continues to survive whilst others like Google Plus did not.

Apart from this, I've had my nose heavily in the books (virtual and literal) as I revise for my economics exams. Not just economics of course; some higher education study and my test to be a Software Carpentry instructor was held this week as well (I passed, natch). I've had a couple of social events, including a Megatraveller game on Thursday night, and Brendan E. and Dan T., visiting today (we were also supposed to have Asher Wolf as well - next time!). Work and social events mixed well this week with Dan and I having both breakfast and lunch on Lygon St with Ann B from the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, discussing the possibility of an HPC Educator's conference. Breakfast was French, lunch was Italian, and it does remind me of a gorgonzola-stuffed mushroom dish I made earlier this week; it called for breadcrumbs in the stuffing and it just so happened that a couple of days prior I had made a bread loaf with tomato and basil; You know what that would be like two days later as the flavours seep through. One day I'll do my "pauvre mais élégant" cookbook.

Books read in March 2019

Apr. 20th, 2019 11:37 am
nou: The word "kake" in a white monospaced font on a black background (Default)
[personal profile] nou

As discussed last month, I’m redirecting the energy I previously used for providing content warnings into writing a little bit about what I thought about the books.

(This isn’t why this post is late. There was minor Medical Drama involving unexpectedly low iron levels and some rather unpleasant tests to try to find out why — short version is my internal organs are fine, we still don’t know where all my iron went, but iron tablets are magic, and that’s good enough for me.)

Definitely recommend

Swordheart, T Kingfisher. I somehow wasn't expecting this to be a romance. But it is! As well as fantasy. I’d read it again.

The True Queen, Zen Cho. I loved the first book in this series (The Sorcerer to the Crown) and I love this one even more. Dragons! Powerful older women! Wit and banter that are actually funny! And other reasons to love it that would be SPOILERS.

The Martian, Andy Weir (re-read). I keep confusing [personal profile] bob by referring to this as “the potato book”, but honestly the POTATOES are the thing I love about it. There’s at least one potato reference that made me laugh out loud simply because of its precision and dryness (which may or may not have been intended by the author). Some of the book is a bit clumsy (the stereotypical German, the insistence that humanity never leaves anyone behind when it’s set in the near-future with no indication that the problems of poverty, famine, institutional racism, etc have been fixed) but overall I like it and may well read it again.

Maybe recommend

The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd, Agatha Christie (re-read). Hercule Poirot mystery with an unreliable narrator. I'd read this before many years ago so knew the twist, but enjoyed trying to figure out where the gaps in the story were and how it was all managed. The thing with Agatha Christie is that you can be reading along quite smoothly and then suddenly there's half a sentence of casual and entirely unnecessary racism, anti-semitism, ablism, etc, and then it goes back to being an interesting detective story. (Some of her books are worse than this, with the racism or rape-apologism embedded in the plot — I will never read Nemesis again.)

Clockwork Boys and The Wonder Engine, T Kingfisher (re-read). I decided to read these again after enjoying Swordheart, as they’re all set in the same universe and although I didn’t enjoy these two all that much the first time round, many other people seem to have loved them so I thought I’d give them another go. Still not my favourite: too much sexual longing, plot very slow. There are individual lines that are hilarious, though.

The King Must Die, Mary Renault (re-read). I read this when I was a kid and was absolutely astonished by it. It's still very readable, but although I'm aware of how pioneering it was in terms of retelling the Greek classics, I much prefer the more recent and less male-oriented works like Circe.

Wouldn’t recommend

The Valley At The Centre Of The World, Mallachy Tallack (DNF). This was just kind of boring. Also, there were too many short, choppy sentences that kept pushing me out of the story. I tried to work out if there was some pattern to these, some reason for them, but either there wasn't or it was too subtle for me. I got 27% of the way through and kept finding myself wishing I was reading something else, so I stopped.

The Invisible Library, Genevieve Cogman (DNF). This was kind of the opposite of The Valley in that it's all action and very little scenery. I again got fed up of it around the 27% mark and stopped reading.

Hot Money, Dick Francis (DNF). Not enough horses, too many unpleasant rich people. I stopped reading at the point where one of the main characters stated that a disabled person would have been better off dead.

Infomocracy, Malka Older (DNF). It's the future! Everyone has Wikipedia installed on their Google Glasses, police push their way through crowds by poking people with plastic triangles, and global elections are conducted with wards of exactly 100,000 people each. I decided not to buy this after reading the Kindle sample, so I don't know if the author ever explains what happens when someone dies or reaches voting age.

City Of Lies, Sam Hawke (DNF). I tried really hard to finish this! I should have liked it! It describes food and plants and technology, and has disabled protagonists! But I found it very boring and a little sanctimonious, and I kept forgetting which of the two POV protagonists was the current one, since aside from their disabilities and jobs they were fairly indistinguishable.

The Shipping News, Annie Proulx (re-read) (DNF). I read this years ago and remember liking it, so I thought I'd give it a re-read, but unfortunately I've also seen the film so was unable to get Kevin Spacey out of my head.

Flying Finish, Dick Francis. I appreciate that he included reproductive justice activists, but also hormonal contraception doesn't work like that. I liked all the detail about how you transport horses by air. But generally this isn't great. Too much about the perils of communism.

A Is For Alibi, Sue Grafton. This book is really weird about people's bodies, especially fat bodies. Aside from that, it's a fairly generic detective story with added tedious heterosexualling.

Muppet debate, part 4

Apr. 19th, 2019 09:04 pm
sabotabby: two lisa frank style kittens with a zizek quote (trash can of ideology)
[personal profile] sabotabby
Peterson's reply.

ZIZEK IS HAAAAAARD I don't know how to respond.

more )


Zizek you have never tried to be as short as possible.

more )

rebuttals )

questions )

Conclusion: That was really bad. Like funny ha-ha bad, but also just bad-bad. Despite the pretence of talking about Weighty, Important Subjects, there was really none of that, because you need the other party to at least have the same reference points, and Peterson is just not that well educated. Also because Zizek's a dick and has gone red-brown, making him a shit spokesman for contemporary Marxism. It was like a 4chan cartoon come to life.

I guess the best thing that came out of it was that some of Peterson's fanboys, having seen their idol soundly humiliated, might now flock to Zizek, whose ideology, though demented, is substantially less harmful.

Save yourself some suffering and watch the toilet speech again:

Muppet debate, part 3

Apr. 19th, 2019 08:30 pm
sabotabby: two lisa frank style kittens with a zizek quote (trash can of ideology)
[personal profile] sabotabby

Zizek starts by talking about China's economic success.

Zizek you are using big words Peterson will not understand this.

more )
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
By Marge Piercy

The courage to let go of the door, the handle.
The courage to shed the familiar walls whose very
stains and leaks are comfortable as the little moles
of the upper arm; stains that recall a feast,
a child’s naughtiness, a loud blattering storm
that slapped the roof hard, pouring through.

The courage to abandon the graves dug into the hill,
the small bones of children and the brittle bones
of the old whose marrow hunger had stolen;
the courage to desert the tree planted and only
begun to bear; the riverside where promises were
shaped; the street where their empty pots were broken.

The courage to leave the place whose language you learned
as early as your own, whose customs however dan-
gerous or demeaning, bind you like a halter
you have learned to pull inside, to move your load;
the land fertile with the blood spilled on it;
the roads mapped and annotated for survival.

The courage to walk out of the pain that is known
into the pain that cannot be imagined,
mapless, walking into the wilderness, going
barefoot with a canteen into the desert;
stuffed in the stinking hold of a rotting ship
sailing off the map into dragons’ mouths,

Cathay, India, Siberia, goldeneh medina*
leaving bodies by the way like abandoned treasure.
So they walked out of Egypt. So they bribed their way
out of Russia under loads of straw; so they steamed
out of the bloody smoking charnelhouse of Europe
on overloaded freighters forbidden all ports—

out of pain into death or freedom or a different
painful dignity, into squalor and politics.
We Jews are all born of wanderers, with shoes
under our pillows and a memory of blood that is ours
raining down. We honor only those Jews who changed
tonight, those who chose the desert over bondage,

who walked into the strange and became strangers
and gave birth to children who could look down
on them standing on their shoulders for having
been slaves. We honor those who let go of every-
thing but freedom, who ran, who revolted, who fought,
who became other by saving themselves.

* "Goldeneh medina", Yiddish, literally "Golden Land", idiomatically America

Muppet debate, part 2

Apr. 19th, 2019 07:50 pm
sabotabby: two lisa frank style kittens with a zizek quote (trash can of ideology)
[personal profile] sabotabby
APPLAUSE! The Muppets have arrived! Announcer announces that there is to be no recording or heckling.

Stephen Blackwood is the moderator, says some self-congratulatory shit, and then welcomes the Muppets.

Lobster in a suit, Oscar looking slovenly as always in a polo shirt and pants that don't reach his shoes.

Oh shut up Stephen, this is not "real thinking about hard questions" this is mud wrestling.

IDEOLOGY! *takes a shot*

Stephen just claimed that neither are primarily political thinkers. Broken clocks, etc.

"Surprising agreement on deep questions" yes they both have cryptofascist leanings.

"Let's hear it for psychoanalysis!" Audience cheers.

I am pretty sure no one has ever called Zizek "dazzling" in his life until now. Zizek facepalms, then yawns, then claps for himself.

Audience is overwhelmingly Peterson fanboys, judging by the cheers.


There is far too much San Pellegrino and not enough coke on this table.

EACH OF THEM GETS TO MAKE A 30 MIN OPENING STATEMENT oh god. Then each has 10 min to reply. Then there's 45 minutes of fanboys asking questions. It's going to be a loooong night.

more )

Muppet debate, take 2, part 1

Apr. 19th, 2019 07:32 pm
sabotabby: two lisa frank style kittens with a zizek quote (trash can of ideology)
[personal profile] sabotabby
Found a totally legal stream. No sound so far. No one on stage either, but it looks legit. Apparently there is no sound on the paid one yet either.

The audience looks about half empty. I guess not that many people wanted to pay $500 for a ticket? There's, unfortunately, a live chat as well, and it is full of fascists, tankies, and people just typing "sniff" over and over again.

Now faded to a galaxy thing with an ominous silhouette.


more )

Kermit vs. Oscar

Apr. 19th, 2019 05:50 pm
sabotabby: two lisa frank style kittens with a zizek quote (trash can of ideology)
[personal profile] sabotabby
Turns out the livestream of the Kermit vs. Oscar debate is $15, because there is nothing that Peterson will not shamelessly monetize. Obviously I am unwilling to pay this (I wouldn't be if the filthy lucre wasn't going to Peterson, but it is). Unless something changes in the next hour and a half, I hope you're all cool with me holding off on the lulzy commentary until tomorrow when the torrents go up and watching the season finale of Disco instead.

"Getting paid for every jar"

Apr. 18th, 2019 10:26 pm
rosefox: A person in a gas mask. (illness)
[personal profile] rosefox
Today I got blood drawn to verify my immunity to measles, mumps, and rubella.

If you're in or near an area with an active measles outbreak, or if you happen to be seeing your doctor for some other reason, I encourage you to get your immunity checked, especially if you're too young to have had measles and too old to have gotten a second dose of the vaccine when that recommendation was added in 1989. For all the talk of unvaccinated kids, it's non-immune adults who can do the most harm, because they're the most mobile. The guy who started the Michigan outbreak assumed he was immune, and thought he had bronchitis; then he infected 40 people. So please get checked out, and get your MMR if you need it, and do your part for herd immunity to counteract those who won't or can't.

My pediatrician was on the ball and I got an MMR in 1991. I'm almost certainly immune. But we live on the edge of one of the neighborhoods that's had reported cases*, and we frequently shop in that neighborhood, and Kit plays on the local playground with kids from that neighborhood... so we're all getting blood tests just in case.

* I've been thinking about how easy it is for this to turn into "I don't want my child to play with those dirty children from that segregated community" and the like. I have been reading some Orthodox Jewish news sites—all of which are pro-vax, bless them—and one published an op-ed that bluntly said, "Letting your kids get measles instead of getting them vaccinated plays right into 'dirty Jew' stereotypes and harms the whole community." So I am being conscious with my wording, and glad that that discussion is happening within Orthodox communities, and keeping my very non-Orthodox self the hell out of it.

Kit's pediatrician says the dose Kit got at 12 months will protect them until they turn four and get the second dose, and there's no need to give it early (which he does do for children traveling to epidemic areas). But he's keeping an eye out for reports of measles on our end of the neighborhood, and giving babies their first doses as early as it's safe to do.

I hate this. I hate every part of this. I hate how easily anti-vaxers prey on vulnerable people. I hate that this is still, still, based on fear of autism (and don't get me started on autism and Jewishness, because whoo boy there's a lot to talk about there). I just want everyone to be safe and healthy, especially the little babies who get no say in any of this.

well that sucked goat balls

Apr. 18th, 2019 08:33 pm
sabotabby: (magicians)
[personal profile] sabotabby
Poll #21847 Multilayer failcake
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 20

Should I hate-watch Season 5 of the Magicians when it comes out?

View Answers

Yes, you like it when shows make you angry and torrenting it doesn't give them any money
4 (20.0%)

No, everyone has suffered enough
9 (45.0%)

I have no idea what you're talking about but I like ticking boxes
7 (35.0%)

<input ... > 

Spoiler party in the comments if anyone else feels the need to vent!
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
From CBS News:
Dozens charged in major opioid bust across U.S.
By Brian Pascus
Updated on: April 17, 2019 / 10:36 PM / CBS News

Dozens of people, including 53 medical professionals, have been charged for their alleged participation in the illegal prescription and distribution of opioids and other narcotics, Justice Department and Department of Health and Human Services officials said Wednesday. Federal law enforcement and health officials held a press conference in Cincinnati where they announced charges resulting from the Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force takedown operation that began only four months ago.
[...] According to the indictment, one pharmacy in Dayton, Ohio prescribed over 1.75 million opioid pills
Wait what. Pharmacies can prescribe? Is that a thing? I thought the whole point of pharmacists existing was to separate the prescribing of drugs from the selling of drugs to eliminate the conflict of interest?
The indictment states one doctor in the Western District of Tennessee, who called himself the "Rock Doc," would exchange opioids and benzodiazepines with patients in return for sexual favors.
This is your friendly reminder that if a physician is prescribing medications to someone, the recipient of that prescription is that physician's patient, and a physician having sexual contact with a patient is, depending on jurisdiction, somewhere on the continuum from profoundly unethical to frankly felonious. Further, that someone with an addiction is someone with a mental illness that makes them desperate for relief. This is not an exchange for sexual favors, this is a medical professional sexually extorting the vulnerable mentally ill. Jesus Fucking Christ. This is like saying that a manager "exchanged promotions with subordinates for sexual favors", only worse. There is no sense in which this is a meeting of equals in which consent can obtain.

But all that said, turns out this "Rock Doc" person is not a physician. From The Tennessean:
Young, 43, a Tennessee nurse practitioner who called himself 'Rock Doc' and once piloted a reality show about his Jackson clinic, was indicted with federal drug trafficking charges this week, accused of trading drugs for sex.
*rolls eyes* Do NPs get to prescribe unsupervised in TN? Or is there some physician whose license this was done under?
rosefox: My feet on a pebbly beach. (travel)
[personal profile] rosefox
Sunday of our trip was just as delicious as Friday and Saturday.

So delicious! )

Kit was asleep when we got in, and X was glad to see us but also wiped out from a tiring weekend of solo parenting. We scavenged food and went off to our separate rooms, deeply contented from an excellent vacation.

Coda 1: I did indeed try using the shoe boxes for a bit of shelf organization. I think I prefer cloth drawers, though. Marie Kondo can get her kicks from efficiently using whatever she has handy. I get mine from everything having a unified look.

Coda 2: On Monday, I picked Kit up from school (they were SO HAPPY to see me). When we got home, they didn't want to go inside, so we hung out on our front patio for a bit. While watching them run around, I stuck my hand in my coat pocket and found the half-empty pack of almonds. Kit demanded a tithe, so I gave them a few and ate the rest. I loved having that little vestige of vacation still with me as the daily routine resumed.

(no subject)

Apr. 18th, 2019 02:24 pm
china_shop: Close-up of Zhao Yunlan grinning (Default)
[personal profile] china_shop posting in [community profile] metaquotes
[personal profile] melannen:
How many miles to AO3?
Threescore miles and ten.
Can you get there by ticky-box?
Yes, and back again.
If you tag your tags and you sort your docs,
You can get there by ticky-box.

Context "would DEFINITeLY travel by ticky-box if given the option."

also, fuck the ucp

Apr. 17th, 2019 07:39 pm
sabotabby: two lisa frank style kittens with a zizek quote (trash can of ideology)
[personal profile] sabotabby
Alberta, WTF were you thinking? Did you look over at Ontario and see how screwed we were and go, "I gotta get me some of that?"

Also, someone needs to out Kenney. I don't know if it'll hurt his brand with the bigots and troglodytes but if anyone ever deserved to be outed, it's him. You come after the gay kids, you come after all of us, asshole.

More-or-less mended

Apr. 17th, 2019 11:44 pm
rbarclay: (rad)
[personal profile] rbarclay
On Monday I felt fit enough to transport an air purifier to 'ork (since I stopped smoking tobacco I don't need it any more, pollen-allergic folk at the office think it's a godsend...), and then took the bicycle home.
The latter with much swearing, as every couple hundred meters I noticed something else being bent out of shape.
The most annoying thing (handlebars) was fixed in the shop in under 20 seconds, other stuff was easily (although sometimes repeatedly) fixable by Yours Truly (mudguards scraping on tire walls; it's a sound akin to fingernail-on-chalkboard...).
Bottle cage will probably have to be replaced.

Could've been worse.

various things

Apr. 17th, 2019 10:22 pm
flaviomatani: (galaxy)
[personal profile] flaviomatani
Easter break but I'm rather very broke. The only upside of that is being able to get up late, practise a lot of guitar and read a lot.

Seeing all the waves of grief and then counter-grief about the destruction of Notre Dame, people asking people to donate to causes that benefit people instead... which is fair enough, there is so much in the world that needs fixing and that needs help. To an extent, though, I feel it is a bit like when people say we shouldn't have space programs or Large Hadron Colliders because there is poverty or hunger. The problem, as I see it, is not that there are space programs etc. It is not an either/or situation. There is value in all those things that merits the investment, and there is need that needs to be met and probably could if all the riches being made in the world weren't tied in next quarter's profits and the greed that is encouraged by the system we live in.

Dentist today. Root canal treatment, just when I cannot afford those things but had to be done. That did mean that today there's been less of all that reading and practising guitar, particularly now that the anaesthesia has worn off...

Need to get a few more private pupils, Instead, I've lost my star pupil who'd just done a fantastic Grade 8 and was preparing an ARSM diploma because the family are having difficulties. Funny roller-coaster times.

Finished reading the latest (maybe the last?) instalment of 'The Expanse' books, 'Tiamat's Wrath'. I loved it. Isn't perfect -there are some points in the book where you almost shout at one character or another "Why are you doing that, that's really stupid" but, overall, it is very very good at its mix of character and politics drama and the awe in the face of titanic forces in the vast canvas of the story.