Off tomorrow!

Sep. 20th, 2017 07:43 pm
17catherines: Amor Vincit Omnia (Default)
[personal profile] 17catherines
On my grand and crazy choral adventure through Europe.  So you won't be seeing a lot of me here, though I will undoubtedly be all over Facebook like a rash.  Incidentally, it turns out that I'm in Paris for the Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre, which is very exciting, and means that I have been madly signing up to free exhibitions and tours of all sorts of things.  I shall report back when I can.

I finished up work on Friday, but have been running around like a madwoman ever since, because what with everyone around me having horrible health scares or worse this year, I'm beginning to feel a bit morbid about my trip and wanted to see everyone before I left just in case I died while overseas.

Yeah, that's the inside of my brain right now.  It does not sleep.  Sleep is for the weak!  (Or for the plane.)

I also have apparently decided that I am only allowed to ignore the postal survey if I have written EVERY IMAGINABLE POLITICS BLOG POST before I leave.  So in addition to the one from last week, I wrote an epic piece yesterday fact-checking one of those long lists about all the ways countries lost their religious freedom after achieving marriage equality (hint: they really didn't. Also, some people are really paranoid about gender fluidity), and I'm working on four more pieces which will publish at various points while I'm away and after I come back.   Because I'm nuts.

Oh, and I posted my vote back on Monday, because that's rather more important than just writing endless essays...

For a different flavour of nuttiness, we're doing the Global Challenge at work this year, and our team is called 'one small step for science', which pretty much mandates an astronaut theme – and so on Saturday, I led my team on our first big group walk to the planetarium.  We met in Brunswick, at Handsome Her, a café that has achieved peak Brunswick by being vegan, environmentally sensitive (glass straws, no disposable cups or serviettes, free compost out the back for your garden) and feminist (men have to pay an 18% surcharge, which is donated to a women's shelter, and the walls are covered with vulva-themed art.  Except in the bathrooms, which have a menstruation art theme.  It's quite... something.).  Also hipster - every item on the menu has about twenty different elements, including things like charcoal brioche buns, smoked avocado and strawberry baobab ice cream.  Oh, and also all menu items are named for feminist icons.  And there are four kinds of non-dairy milk available for your coffee.

It's hilarious.  The food's pretty good, too.

Anyway, having stuffed ourselves silly on vegan yummies, we embarked on our journey, which quickly turned into a bit of a death march because everyone had arrived late, which meant we hit Brunch Peak Hour, which meant we left late, which meant we had just over 2 hours in which to walk the 12 km to the planetarium before our show started.  Ouch.

We started by walking along the Capital City trail, through Royal Park, until we met Flemington Bridge. Which we hadn't been expecting to meet, but evidently we got onto the wrong trail in Royal Park.  Fortunately this was, if anything, a short cut. Then we wandered through the streets of Kensington, and along a rather pretty path between houses and gardens with rather farm like fences that made us feel as though we were being herded like cattle - we were on the site of the old abbatoir, as it turned out!

Next we walked along the Maribyrnong River for a while, past the glorious golden Buddha statue, and then sadly left it behind us to walk along a rather busy road and under the Westgate Bridge. We had to take a slight shortcut at this point, which was a pity, because we missed a nice little footbridge out over the water.

Finally, we reached the planetarium - five minutes before our show was due to start!  We rushed in, and got to watch a gorgeous show about stars and how they work, which had really spectacular artwork - they would visualise the star as it would look, then stylise it into an art-deco / stained glass sort of design, and it was just stunning.  This was followed by a guided tour of the night sky over Melbourne in September, which referenced the indigenous constellations, and was really fantastic.  Finally, we got a special extra video about the Cassini mission to Saturn, which had of course ended the night before.  So that was really a nice touch, and we all walked out resolving to do some actual star-watching at a later challenge date.

And then we caught the ferry home, because if you can catch the ferry, you must catch the ferry.  That is the rule.

It was spectacular, and fun, and I got 26,700 steps and hurt all over for two days.  But it was worth it.

And this is me signing off for now - I have politics blog posts to write and a bag to pack.  See you next month!

Augh, meant to be here...

Sep. 20th, 2017 12:07 am
archangelbeth: Bleary-eyed young woman peers up, pillow obscuring the lower half of her face. Text reads: SO not a morning person. (So Not A Morning Person)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
But wasn't, don't know if contractor showed up, went gallivanting off to check on some things in the next town over (so to speak). Gah.

Got some beads out of it, anyway. *sigh* They are very pretty, very cheap, shiny gimcrack beads.

Mother-in-law has huge blood clot in leg, and they are gonna keep her in the hospital for a wee bit till they have the blood-thinning med dose set up right. We are pondering figuring out how to loan her an Apple Watch to see if she'd use it to Stand Up More, because lack of moving legs is Not Good.

I also ....blanking... blanking...blanking... Ugh, brain. Anyway, spouse was being taxi for his mom a lot, including in the ER while they got the ultrasound done (they did not get it done after waiting HOURS, like till 10pm, last night, 'cause the Venous Ultrasound person'd gone home), and getting her checked in.

Then spouse and kid went for dinner, and I did trash night all alone -- including having to deal with the trash bags being in the garage. Our kitchen floor is higher up than our garage floor, for Reasons. Geologic ones, even. So we have stairs in the garage up to a little landing, and then a door into the house. The bottom of the stairs is currently blocked by the metal scaffolding that our contractor guy is using to get at the ceiling. I have discovered -- after Flicker-cat made a break for the garage FOR GODS KNOW WHAT REASON last night, and had to be lured out from under things -- that I can (as I suspected (yes, there are too many dashes and parens in this; sue me)) put one foot over the stair railing, slide that foot under the stair railing so there's enough Stair there to support me, and swing my other foot over.

So I tossed the trash bags over the railing, basically, followed them over, and bagged the trash. Left it in the garage near the door, went back over the railing, through the house, out the front door, to the car. Backed it up, opened the door, loaded the trash into the back, closed garage door, drove the 300 foot driveway IN THE DARK (I am not hauling the trash out by hand; are you kidding me??), with headlights of course (I specify the darkness because NOT HAULING IT BY HAND IN THE DARK FOR 300 FEET!), unloaded, came back, parked out of way of spouse's car, and went back in the front door.

Most of the accomplishment is the railing, but the context around my railing escapades is important.



...did I mention getting to bed at 5 in the morning again? *sigh*

Oh, hey, I wonder if this looks like crap or not in reality. -_-

Havva Quote
I will end with some wise words from Reverend Mord: The universe is not uncaring. It cares about very strange things sometimes, but the great powers within it care even for the creatures as tiny as you and I.
--sabine (DW)

INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

Stressy day

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:48 pm
archangelbeth: Bleach's Captain Byakuya, three-quarters view. Captioned: sigh (Sigh)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
1: Spouse -- with his mom -- has been waiting for their turn at the ultrasound machine, in the ER, since... 3:30pm or so? Well, with a stint at Urgent Care, but UC sent them up to the ER for an ultrasound to rule out a blood clot. It is now 10:50pm. He is still not home. Nor have I heard from him since before I and kid went to seek food.

2: The garage is not usable as an ingress to the house just now, as there is scaffolding there, because we had water damage and our contractor needs to see how bad it is. We also have carpenter ants in one corner. The composite board is at least not disintegrating, but I am now of the opinion that composite board should NEVER be on ANY load-bearing floor. Or wall.

Also, roofs should have a rubber membrane that goes up over a foot at any house-join, so that when ICE DAMS happen, they do not overflow the plastic at the joins, come in the back, and RUIN EVERYTHING.


Further, the ENTIRE CEILING of the garage is not up to fire-code. It's only 1 layer of... whatever that stuff is called. Not drywall? The other thing. I can't remember. But it should be 2 layers, not 1. But noooooo, the people who put it together didn't put in both layers. FURTHER, they doubled-up on the plastic sheeting that's supposed to be on only one side of insulated walls (to keep moisture from being trapped in the middle layer and turning the insulation into Mold Surface Central), and didn't secure the wood slats of the ceiling grid (that holds up the insulation) to all the two-by-fours correctly. Especially at the edges. AND they didn't use long enough screws in the ceiling such that he was being surprised that we hadn't had a chunk of ceiling start coming down.

Having a friend who is a total stickler for code come and SUPERVISE house-building seems like a worthwhile investment at this moment.

3: If you are a lunch restaurant and are closed to customers 10 minutes before your closing time, I am going to tell Apple Maps that your closing time listing is wrong, unless you have a note on the door that the kitchen had to close up early or something. YES, I think people should get to go home promptly! However, I also think that presenting "closing time" to staff as "time we should go home by" is going to make for cranky customers. (We're not the only ones who were hoping to get in under the wire.) Staff should be paid for hanging around till the No More Customers Allowed In closing time! I believe Management is not setting correct Staff expectations. (Or, possibly, not paying them enough for those expectations.)

I am more sympathetic to an evening restaurant closing a little early if they have no customers in the building. I mean, they don't expect last-minute people and it's dark.

It is frustrating to hit BOTH of those in one day, though. -_-

Havva Quote
E____ says, “...The Widowmaker/Sombra ship is Spiderbyte and I will hear nothing to the contrary.

INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

Dear Love Your Sister...

Sep. 18th, 2017 10:52 pm
thnidu: Box, labeled: "Contents: One infinite universe. Open other end (arrow)." Caption: It figures... From lj:lapislaz (it figures)
[personal profile] thnidu
Apparently today is the birthday of the great lexicographer Samuel Johnson. When I clicked on the Google Doodle, one of the hits that came up was about another Samuel Johnson, apparently one well known in Australia: Grieving Samuel Johnson says he might as well ‘sell some f***ing socks’. It begins:

SAMUEL JOHNSON has continued his sister Connie’s crusade to find a cure for cancer by launching brightly hued fundraising socks.

Connie Johnson died after a long battle with breast cancer earlier this month.

Samuel sees the socks (which reference their nicknames Connie Cottonsocks and Sammy Seal) as an extension of The Project host Carrie Bickmore’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer initiative.

“Seeing as Carrie has the whole Beanie thing covered, we thought we’d bung out some ‘Connie Cottonsocks’ and try and cover this cancer conundrum from head to toe,” Samuel wrote on the Love Your Sister Facebook page.

“Connie doesn’t have any use for your sentiment now. If she wanted anyone to take anything from her life, it was to highlight the importance of medical research. And we all need socks right?

“In the name of my dear gone sister, I’m asking. Please buy some socks and then maybe we can share the absolute bejesus out of this post and turbocharge our push for a cure, so families need not continue to endure the baseless trauma that cancer so cruelly provides.

“I want my sister back but seeing as that’s not going to happen, I might as well sell some f***ing socks so that other families don’t have to go through this pain.

I remain, more than ever, very truly yours. Samuel Johnson Head of Cancer Vanquishment.”
Well now! That looked worth following up.

But... Here's the text I just sent them:
I've about given up on most of my charitable giving, since I'm retired and on a small income, but I want to buy some socks, especially in memory of my wife. HOWEVER... You say in small print "We only ship within Australia", and your page says "City and state are mandatory" (though the form accepts only Australian states). So if I give you as much of my address as you'll take, your page will refuse the rest. And even if I somehow succeed in ordering socks, how the heck are you going to get them to me?
You know, if you're going to ask the whole world, you really ought to allow the whole world to answer.

archangelbeth: Woman doing a zombie "braaaaains" pose (Braaains!)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Liralen, I have the email! I need to send you data! I have not had brains for a few days.

I read The Brightest Fell by McGuire today. Fae families can be really, really screwed up. *pats some of them very carefully* (There's a Babylon Candle in it, though, and apparently that theme is MY CATNIP because I like many bits of the book and I like those bits ALL OUT OF PROPORTION.)

Havva Quote
“That’s thirty for me!” Rek’Vada roared over the sound of tearing metal.
“We’re not keeping score!” Carter shouted back, firing his phaser at the towering, spider-like creature in front of him.
“You’re only saying that,” [t]he Klingon warrior tore another Tholian in half, “because I’m winning!”
“Thirty-two!” Carter yelled back.

INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

Current Reading

Sep. 17th, 2017 04:03 pm
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
[personal profile] stoutfellow
Ever since I got my Kindle, I've been making trawls through Project Gutenberg, grabbing whatever looks interesting. It's not always successful; the copy of Pepys' Diary that I downloaded was a Victorian edition, considerably bowdlerized.

One recent pickup was "Bearslayer", an epic poem by the Latvian poet Andrejs Pumpurs. It's kind of a Latvian analogue of "Kalevala"; Pumpurs gathered together a bunch of folk tales about the legendary hero Bearslayer and wove them into a single poem. I finished it the other day. It's rather interesting; the Latvian gods appear, along with devils, witches, ogres, and assorted other monsters. It's set, however, in a fairly recent time-period, during the invasion of the Baltic states by the Teutonic Knights. Bearslayer is a leader in the doomed defense. There's one bit which jarred me, though. As Bearslayer's prophesied doom approaches, it is suddenly revealed that he has bear's ears, and if they are cut off his power will be diminished. No foreshadowing at all; his bride never asks, "Honey, what's wrong with your ears?" Still, it was fun.

My current Kindle reading (I rotate through them):
Lad, a Dog, Albert Payson Terhune. Yes, Terhune was a racist, and it's very explicit when it comes up. Fortunately, it's only come up once in the first 80% of the book. Other than that, they're standard dog stories.
The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliffe. I think this is one of the books that Jane Austen mocked in Northanger Abbey. Not too much Gothic yet, but I'm still in the early part of the book.
Sir Walter Scott's Journal. It's pretty interesting; we get glimpses of James Fenimore Cooper, the Duke of Wellington, and various other early-nineteenth century figures. There's a story of a man who'd been exiled to Australia and, feeling for some reason indebted to Sir Walter, sent him an emu. Scott accepted it, being under the impression that an emu was a sort of large parrot. He was unpleasantly surprised by the truth. (There's a later entry: "I offered the emu to Lord ####." No indication that the offer was accepted.)
Morphosyntactic Change, by Los, Blom, and Booij. This is a rather technical work on particle verbs in Dutch, German, and English, today and through history, and I'll admit I'm in over my head. But it's interesting to see what questions they're wrestling with, and what kinds of answers they give.

I'm also rereading Peter Hamilton's Judas Unchained. It and the preceding volume, Pandora's Star, are doorstops, but the story is intricate and absorbing.

Long day!

Sep. 17th, 2017 02:46 am
azurelunatic: Polyamory infinite hearts, in a polymer-like grid (polymer)
[personal profile] azurelunatic
Breakfast with partner and metamour Leopard Girl.

Seanan McGuire event in Silverdale. We brought tribute, and were briefly Seanan's favorite. (Diet Dr Pepper and candy corn. Seanan is a being of predictable tastes.)

Mini muffin tin quest!

Partner made a note they should chat with our mutual friend in London about stuff. Hooray, viable communities.

Dinner for the extended polycule, with many dishes thanks to Trader Joe's. (Rice, orange chicken with extra zesty sauce but no carrots since we ran out, BBQ pork buns, pot stickers, spring rolls, and green beans. The rice and green beans weren't pre-packaged, and I do a little customization to the chicken by adding orange peel and scallions. The gyoza and bao steam over the rice, and the spring rolls could bake with the chicken. The green beans start frozen and get gently fried with seasonings. Usually it's butter and Montreal steak seasoning, but Stray Puppy Girl is very lactose intolerant, and Leopard Girl dislikes red pepper. So I went for sesame oil, garlic, onion, pepper, salt, ginger, a packet of soy sauce that needed using, and the excess teriyaki sauce from the other night. It turned out well. To my immense gratification, my partner really likes all the iterations of the green beans that I have made so far. Generally they disappear immediately.)

Club night. Without going into excessive detail, one of the groups near the people I was with were having a hilarious time, and kept setting each other off giggling. That prompted our group to giggle. The glee was infectious.

Everyone is spending the night. We hauled the camping pads out of the alleged guest room (it is currently not in a state for guests as my textiles have exploded all over it) and they're set up next to the futon in case it turns from cozy to crowded in the middle of the night. Things are well set up for breakfast, and there should be cheesecake at some point (thus the mini muffin tins).

I need to get to bed.

Sep. 17th, 2017 02:17 am
archangelbeth: Bleary-eyed young woman peers up, pillow obscuring the lower half of her face. Text reads: SO not a morning person. (So Not A Morning Person)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
It's already 2 am. My day was not very exciting.

Conuly found this cool game.

Havva Quote
---------------------Quoted by w•••••••---------------------
Dammit, when it's an abstract concept, you use "less". Less time, less money, less trouble. When it's something you can count, like Nazis, the word is _Fuhrer_.

Er, that is, "fewer". I meant to say "_fewer_ Nazis".

INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

Dear Houghton Mifflin...

Sep. 16th, 2017 03:27 pm
thnidu: Mirrorverse bearded Mr. Spock, I FIND YOUR LACK OF LOGIC DISTURBING. lj:stevemb's variant of icon by lj:madfilkentist (logic)
[personal profile] thnidu
(Ị am addressing this message to Technical Support because there is no more appropriate contact listed on your "contact us" page. Please forward it to the appropriate editorial department.)

In your American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edition (open in front of me) and still in the 5th edition (, the marginal illustration for "paraboloid" shows a diagram of a circular paraboloid with the caption


The equation for a circular paraboloid is:
x²/a² + y²/b² = z


(The caption has the fractions in vertical format with horizontal lines, which I can't reproduce here, but the equation is mathematically unchanged.)

That is the general equation of an elliptical paraboloid, of which the circular paraboloid is a special case. To quote from Stack Exchange


[T]he equation of an elliptical paraboloid is given by

z/c = (x/a)² + (y/b)²

If a=b, then this elliptical paraboloid is also a circular paraboloid.


The divisor c is irrelevant here, so we can write

z = (x/a)² + (y/b)²

In other words, the equation of a circular paraboloid is

z = (x/a)² + (y/a)²

or in your arrangement

x²/a² + y²/a² = z

or more simply

(x²+y²)/a² = z


4am bedtime again, oh well

Sep. 16th, 2017 01:35 am
archangelbeth: Bleach's Captain Byakuya, three-quarters view. Captioned: sigh (Sigh)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
We'll see what I manage tonight.

Healthcare thing is driving my kid into issues (the very upsetting kind that means interactions with anything but Special Interest Topics is shattering, which is, clearly, not helpful), so please call your Senators and express a wish for something that is not going to make it harder for my family to get healthcare. (I am quite into fixing the crappy parts of the current situation, but block grants is not the way to go...)

(I do rather like my bandaid of a Federal, 100% tax deductible "MedicalGoFundMe/Patreon" thing where people could help each other more easily, but it's a bandaid. ...on the other hand, it's a bandaid that could be applied to politicians. Want healthcare, O Politician? Better make sure that your constituents like you. They're the ones paying. Directly. FOIA applies to donor identities, of course. *evil grin*)

(I know, I know, it's probably not actually workable. But ah, a gal can dream.)

I have acquired the latest Seanan McGuire book -- she broke into Hardcover with the Tobeyverse! That's a cool one to see. I hope that it enables her to have fewer worries about caring for her cats and mom and family. (Now I just need to have enough brain to READ it. *sigh*)

We, meanwhile, have discovered there are weird stains on the garage ceiling, probably from when the ice dams came up over the waterproofing under the siding where garage meets house, and now we have a bunch of stuff in the garage so C____ can climb up and tear a hole there to see how bad the internal damage is. What's rotten in the state of attic? *siiiiiigh* He did not set up the scaffolding because it will be blocking the stairs into the house, and he wouldn't be able to get much done before vanishing for the weekend. And it's raining today. So. Monday.

Oh! -- any prices I should be addressing? O:>

Havva Quote
C_______ says, “Arright. Let's see if I can get through the first ep of Black Sails before game.”
C_______ says, “... For some reason I did not expect this show to be this bright and colourful.”
C_______ says, “Not sure why.”
f___ [to C_______]: Oh yes. It /remembers/ that it's in a tropical zone with very bright sunlight.
f___ [to C_______]: So you get all the grubby pirates and the grubby buildings they hang out in, but also the GREEN and BLUE and YELLOW and glossy sea and, well, so forth. It's one of the things that keeps it from being all Shades Of Brown.
f___ [to C_______]: (...though it did mean I mistook 'We shoot all these flashbacks through a different filter' scenes for 'We shoot all these scenes through a different filter because the quality of light is different in London', aheh.)
C_______ [to f___]: It's so *pretty*!
f___ [to C_______]: Yes! ...and you can actually tell the various grubby white dude pirates apart with their distinct hairstyles and ways of speaking!
C_______ [to f___]: I'm mostly telling by facial hair and/or scarring, so far!
f___ [to C_______]: Oh, yeah, the scars help too.
F~~~~~~~ [to C_______ and f___]: what's this you're talking aboout, arr?
C_______ [to F~~~~~~~]:
f___ [to F~~~~~~~]: Black Sails! It is a good show.
--Spread the word!

INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

A Memory

Sep. 15th, 2017 11:19 am
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
[personal profile] stoutfellow
I have no particular reason to post this, but it's a memory that keeps popping up in my mind, and I thought I'd share it. It's a scene from the old Get Smart show. After Hymie the robot defected from KAOS, they sent some agents to try to bring him back. One of the agents, talking to Hymie in private, says the following.

(to Hymie): "Hymie, what happened to you? You used to love to kill, and to hellodolly, and..."
(to himself): "Hellodolly? That's not right."
(singing softly): "DUT-dut-DUT-dut-DUT-da-DUT-da-DUT-DUT, Ma-"
(to Hymie): "Maim!"

Still cracks me up, after half a century.

Elevator Incident

Sep. 15th, 2017 08:39 am
stoutfellow: Joker (Joker)
[personal profile] stoutfellow
I'm not good with faces.

Yesterday, a little before six, I headed over to Peck Hall for my Linear Algebra class. On arrival, I went to the elevator and punched the "Up" button. (It's on the third floor, the stairs are kind of steep, and my knees are not in good shape. I'm entitled.) As I waited, a young man joined me. When the car came, I stepped in, pushed the "3" button, and asked him what floor. He replied, "Same as you." This stopped me for a moment. Hmm, evidently this fellow has ridden up in the elevator with me several times this year. Aloud: "I'll try to remember that next time." At that point he informed me that he was one of my Linear Algebra students. I recognized him then, of course.

I'm really not good with faces.

Dear Power Thesaurus...

Sep. 15th, 2017 09:33 am
thnidu: Tom Baker's Dr. Who, as an anthropomorphic hamster, in front of the Tardis. ©C.T.D'Alessio (Dr. Whomster)
[personal profile] thnidu
I wanted synonyms for "hemorrhoids". One of them was "piles", which is the one I was looking for, the one my grandmother used and I didn't understand.   The first 20 also included 
– none of which have anything to do with hemorrhoids but which are all clearly synonyms for the common colloquial meaning of "piles".  

Synonymy is not transitive.  


Worldcon 75

Sep. 15th, 2017 12:49 pm
mbernardi: (Default)
[personal profile] mbernardi
On Wednesday morning I caught the train to Pasila - Bole; single ticket was 2,90€, got to Messukeskus - exhibition centre by 9:43.
Went through registration in minutes.
Had a wander and chats. Read new Bujold Novella in food court. The iOS app program guide uses WCON75, and there is free wi-fi in the centre. I'll make some general comments then a daily breakdown, list of programme items I attended can be found here.
There were a few things that weren't up to snuff, the most important that the number of attendees was higher than expected (over 6000) and many program items were over subscribed. (Despite queuing and 3 additional large rooms, I didn't get in to any of the NASA program items!)
This was probably due to the high number of first time attendees. Long time con attendees frequently only attend a couple of program items (not including ones they are on). I, however enjoy programming and try to get to as many as I can, in addition to viewing the art show and trawling the dealers room and fan areas. (Details of the programs I actually attended are in a separate post).
The newsletter was not reprinted, so if you missed its original publication you didn't get a copy (there is a PDF version on website though), the app program guide was awesome & regularly updated. The on site food was better than the usual fast food, though there was little nearby, (the train to the city centre ran regularly and only took 5 minutes - so all restaurants there were easily accessible).
Also kudos to the con organisation, as they had arranged for free public transport during the convention (saving me about 20-30€). Generally prices in Helsinki were high, partly due to the country, but also that it is the capital. So rather than spend 5-15€ for each meal I went shopping in Lidl's and bought milk & cereal for bfast and bagels & cream cheese + apples for lunch for the whole stay, for less than the price of 2 meals. As my hotel had a shared kitchen, with free tea and coffee, and a fridge for storage, I was well situated. I only had to buy a single meal per day at the food court.
This con had 49 program items uploaded to YouTube so you could have a more programmed Worldcon than I did (sadly the Hugo Award's appear to have been lost). I can just be glimpsed at the end of Pre-Potter Wizarding School.
Apart from the video recording, and the Hugo for series work (won by Lois McMaster Bujold) the most unique appearances were the blacksmith setup out side and the number of local choirs that performed in the program, and as flash mobs around the con.
I met a number of listies around the con, excluding the James B curry meet on Thursday. Discovered on Saturday that one of the other people staying in the hotel also going to Worldcon so we had a chat before bed. On Saturday I got my first experience of 3D VR - circus acrobat, got really close up without fear of getting hit by a flying limb! Upgraded my Dublin 2019 membership to attending after they won the bid. Went to both the Hugo's & the Masquerade (started queuing early for the latter) in the big auditorium - fairly packed.
And then it ended on Saturday afternoon, and back to my hotel room for the last time (from the station).
For the rest of my trip see the August entry.


Sep. 15th, 2017 12:01 am
archangelbeth: Bleary-eyed young woman peers up, pillow obscuring the lower half of her face. Text reads: SO not a morning person. (So Not A Morning Person)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
I went down and walked, and made my watch happy. Then I had only 1K more steps to make my fitbit happy, so I did that. And I finished a STO fanfic. I need to do a cover for it, though.

I got to bed around... 3:30? Ish? Yay? Didn't sleep as well as I'd have liked, though. Woke up after a bit and took my thyroid pill -- must check and see if they got the prescription filled, tomorrow -- and then had a while getting back to sleep. Blah.

Need to get paying fic done next. But at least I don't have that mood-piece griping at me.

Havva Quote
f___ says, “You know those 'look, a student at Hogwarts does everything through /cool mechanical stuff/ instead of /magic/!!!' things that float across Tumblr periodically?”
C_______ does.
f___ says, “Lost In Oz is pretty much Dorothy doing that, except without the subterfuge or other people being baffled by it.”
f___ says, “She's just completely non-magical /and/ great with mechanical stuff.”
C_______... ooh.
f___ says, “(Also, magical items appear to be usable by anyone; it's the 'cast spells' stuff that seems to be dependent on being magical oneself. She's... like a Soldier rather than a celestial, kinda?)”
f___ says, “I worry that the aspect of the monkeys being mind-controlled is not dealt with in sufficient ethical nuance! Well, yet.”

INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

Well, solved the doorbell problem...

Sep. 13th, 2017 11:04 pm
archangelbeth: Bleach's Captain Byakuya, three-quarters view. Captioned: sigh (Sigh)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Disconnected the wires.

As I said in comments: Well. It happened. And then again. And then I creeeeeeept up on the front door, and peered out the window, and... nothing. But I heard the gnawing sound in the wall, faintly. THEN AGAIN RIGHT NEAR MY EAR! I yanked open the door! NOTHING THERE!

We disconnected the wires from the chime 'cause a flying squirrel was chewing up the wires. *sigh*
When rodent go MUNCH, doorbell go BR-RING BR-RING BR~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ghk.

At least we have a nice door-knocker instead. And now a postit note saying that a mouse ate the wires, because while I am almost certain it's one of the dadgum flying squirrels, "mouse" was easier to fit on the post-it note.

Bed at 4:40 or so. Slight improvement. I should try to get me and kid to bed sooner tonight because I have to drive tomorrow and... guh.

Havva Quote
f___ says, “...West's mother just showed a picture of three women, and explains the woman in the middle is Glinda; "she always insisted on being in the middle in pictures, because she wanted to remind us that she brought the two of us together." Gosh, I really hope that is as gay as it sounds.”
f___ says, “Aw, drat, the second 'your mom' was to Dorothy, regarding her mother as the third in the picture, so. Probably West does not have two moms. BUT I CAN HOPE.”
--on Lost In Oz

INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

And bed at 5 again

Sep. 12th, 2017 10:48 pm
archangelbeth: Bleary-eyed young woman peers up, pillow obscuring the lower half of her face. Text reads: SO not a morning person. (So Not A Morning Person)
[personal profile] archangelbeth

I am not actually happy with this.

Oh, when I went out and looked at the doorbell again, later that night:

But I think he was way too small to ring the doorbell. (He coulda sat on my thumbnail and most of the thumbnail left over!)

Looked at the bushes where someone would've had to get 'round... I'm really thinking that -- while I would still like a deer-cam to be sure -- it was more likely to be something in the walls biting the wrong wire. Getting into the bushes and out again without killing oneself, in the dark, sprinting around back of the house to avoid the camera, getting into a car or on a bike... all before I got to the bathroom window? Uhhhhh, doubting it.

Deer-cams sound like they'd be pretty neat anyway, though...

Havva Quote
[Regarding the Amazon series "Lost in Oz"]
f___ says, “She has met a cop made of bricks, a flustered clerk, and now an amazingly hot goth girl who is probably the daughter of a wicked witch. I hope she sticks around.”
f___ |
f___ says, “So far the amazingly hot goth girl has been referred to by snotty classmates as 'West', so, you know, I'm pretty sold on my theory. They are not being subtle.”
f___ says, “...they are sharing a fruit that makes you smile. With rainbow-colored teeth. I WILL MAINTAIN ALL MY HEAD CANONS.”
f___ says, “West is /great/, I want to very respectfully hug her and support her possibly evil plans.”
I•• says, “Same, and I haven't even seen her.”
f___ says, “I linked a photo with West!”
I•• says, “...oh! So you did!”
I•• says, “Oh. Oh /wow./”
I•• says, “Welp, I'm really gay right now.”
f___ says, “
f___ says, “An image of more of her! Among other things.”
f___ says, “And yeah, feeling kinda gay right now myself.”
I•• hi5s.
I•• ooo.
I•• says, “I just want to be swept off my feet by a tiny semi-wicked witch, IS THAT SO WRONG”
arcangel [to I••]:
I•• [to arcangel]: Good! I assume I have your blessing for dating semi-wicked witches, then.
[[They do.]]

INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

Worldcon75 Program Guide

Sep. 12th, 2017 04:44 pm
mbernardi: (Default)
[personal profile] mbernardi
My Shedule of Events at Worldcon 75


Summary: Opening Ceremonies []
101a&b - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
The Opening ceremony is the official start to Worldcon 75. It will take you to a journey through the Finnish seasons with dance and music and introduce our Guests.
Start: 2017-08-09 15:00
End: 2017-08-09 16:00

Summary: Fandom as Collaborative Culture!
206 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
SF fandom has always been based on collaboration: filking, fanzines, conventions, book circles - you name it! One might argue that without collaborative culture, fandom isn't fandom anymore! The panelists discuss the old and new ways of keeping our fandom collaborative!
Start: 2017-08-09 18:00
End: 2017-08-09 19:00

Summary: Infamous Bad Book Cover Show
209 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Come see the worst covers of novels - ever!
Start: 2017-08-09 20:00
End: 2017-08-09 21:00


Summary: Tove Jansson's Illustrations for The Hobbit
203a - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Tove Jansson famously illustrated the second Swedish translation (1962) of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, and the illustrations were also used in the first Finnish translation of the novel (1973). Some were also seen in the Tolkien Calendar 2016. The talk examines the illustrations and their background, reception in Sweden and Finland, how Jansson's illustration style changes, and the comparisons between The Hobbit art and her other work (Moomins, Lewis Carroll) from around the same time. This is an updated version of the talk given at Finncon 2014 and Oxonmoot 2014.
Start: 2017-08-10 10:00
End: 2017-08-10 11:00

Summary: Guest of Honour Interview: Nalo Hopkinson
103 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Guest of Honour Nalo Hopkinson interviewed by Juha Tupasela.
Start: 2017-08-10 11:00
End: 2017-08-10 12:00

Summary: Guest of Honour Presentation: Walter Jon Williams
103 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Start: 2017-08-10 12:00
End: 2017-08-10 13:00

Summary: Moomins!
103 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
The panel discusses the Moomintroll books of Tove Jansson - what was their impact on them as children, or as adults?
Start: 2017-08-10 15:00
End: 2017-08-10 16:00

Summary: Guest of Honour Interview: Johanna Sinisalo
101a&b - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Guest of Honour Johanna Sinisalo interviewed by Jeff Vandermeer
Start: 2017-08-10 16:00
End: 2017-08-10 17:00

Summary: Perils Of Book Collecting (James Bryant)
215 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Discussing the pitfalls and challenges of collecting books: how to store and sort them, getting back books from people who borrowed them, checking the structural integrity of the floor, and finding places to store them.
Start: 2017-08-10 18:00
End: 2017-08-10 19:00


Summary: Audiobooks: What's the Deal?
Hall 3.2 (NEW!) - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Audiobook Markets are increasing year over year as busy people rely more on their earbuds than their eyes to consume fiction. What does this mean for authors, producers, narrators, and reader/listeners?
Start: 2017-08-11 10:00
End: 2017-08-11 11:00

Summary: Caribbean Science Fiction
101c - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Three writers from varying Caribbean islands, creative backgrounds, and personal experiences discuss: What does Caribbean science fiction even mean? How do the faces, voices, experiences, and landscapes of the islands shape readers' perceptions of the future? What do those landscapes have to teach through the lens of science fiction? 
Start: 2017-08-11 11:00
End: 2017-08-11 12:00

Summary: Guest of Honor Presentation: Nalo Hopkinson []
Hall 3.2 (NEW!) - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Start: 2017-08-11 13:00
End: 2017-08-11 14:00

Summary: Two's Company: Collaborative Genre Writing
Hall 3 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Collaborative writing: How does it work and what are the benefits?
Start: 2017-08-11 16:00
End: 2017-08-11 17:00

Summary: Concert: Unreality
101a&b - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Unreality's concert collects some of our choir's best songs and you can hear the most amazing extended program in all our history!
Come with us and listen to the music of far planets and unknown dimensions. We'll be travelling both in time and space, battling invaders side by side with giant robots, rebels and kind hearted braves. Step into the unknown with us and experience one unbelievable adventure after the other!
Start: 2017-08-11 17:00
End: 2017-08-11 18:30

Summary: Hugo Awards Ceremonies
Hall 1 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
The Hugo Awards Ceremony is the absolutely unmissable event at Worldcon 75! Come join Toastmistress Karen Lord and presenters from around the world to be the first to hear who has won the mostprestigious awards in science fiction!
Doors open at 19.00, the Hugo Awards Ceremony will begin at 19.30.
Start: 2017-08-11 19:30
End: 2017-08-11 22:30


Summary: Girl power! Cool comics written by women
216 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Women have written comics for a long time, but what are some recent examples of cool comics written by women? Our panel discusses female comic writers and recommends their favourites.
Start: 2017-08-12 10:00
End: 2017-08-12 11:00

Summary: My First Novel - How to get Started
101a&b - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Many people dream about writing a novel, but never actually get started. The panel discusses the various ways one may find the inspiration and drive to actually put the pen to paper (or characters on the screen).
Start: 2017-08-12 11:00
End: 2017-08-12 12:00

Summary: Concert: Pixel Sisters
102 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Acapella concert by the Pixel Sisters!
Start: 2017-08-12 12:00
End: 2017-08-12 13:00

Summary: Science Fiction Gone Wrong
101a&b - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Sometimes science fiction is a prophetic vision of the future. However, science fiction often turns out to be wrong. This can happen either through the actual dates of science fiction arriving on the calendar or scientific discoveries. We celebrat science fiction's triumphs, but what about its failures? What can we learn from science fiction gone wrong? What does it show us about the state of collective consciousness at the time it was written?
Start: 2017-08-12 13:00
End: 2017-08-12 14:00

Summary: Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance
101c - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Paranormal romance exploded into the SF scene a few years back, but urban fantasy goes a lot further. Very often these two get mixed up, but are there any similarities between the two? The panelists also recommend their favorite books!
Start: 2017-08-12 14:00
End: 2017-08-12 15:00

Summary: Pre-Potter Wizarding Schools []
Hall 3.2 (NEW!) - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Harry Potter wasn't the first piece of fiction with wizarding schools, although it did make them hugely popular. The panel discusses some of the older examples of wizarding schools and why does this type of boarding school -genre still remain popular.
Start: 2017-08-12 15:00
End: 2017-08-12 16:00

Summary: Masquerade
Hall 1 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Lights!  Camera!  Action!  Come see our costumers and cosplayers cross the main stage to show off their creativity and skill.  Color, cut, construction, all combined to create a spectacle for all ages!  Who will be your favorite?  Who will the judges select?  Stay for the Halftime entertainment, provided by Sassafrass, while waiting for the judging results.
Doors open at 19.00, Masquerade will begin at 19.30
Start: 2017-08-12 19:30
End: 2017-08-12 22:30

Summary: Masquerade Half-time []
Hall 1 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
While the judges deliberate, enjoy the music of Sassafrass.  This a cappella group has been performing for almost 20 years.  Their repertoire is predominantly original works with fantasy, mythology and science fiction themes.  They will be performing works from their Norse Mythology song cycle.  More information can be found at
Start: 2017-08-12 20:00
End: 2017-08-12 21:00


Summary: Book Blogs
207 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Blogging/vlogging about books has caused some recent controversy. Some authors have claimed bad reviews in book blogs have resulted in poor sales. Book bloggers and authors discuss the importance and power of book bloggers/vloggers.
Start: 2017-08-13 10:00
End: 2017-08-13 11:00

Summary: Guest of Honour Presentation: John-Henri Holmberg
103 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Start: 2017-08-13 11:00
End: 2017-08-13 12:00

Summary: Concert: Worldcon 75 Choir
102 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
The Worldcon 75 Choir will perform a selection of songs.
Start: 2017-08-13 12:00
End: 2017-08-13 13:00

Summary: Oral Storytelling on Audio
215 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Audio as a format of storytelling is not a new thing, but it is very big right now through podcasts. Are there differences in telling your story in writing versus on audio?
Start: 2017-08-13 13:00
End: 2017-08-13 14:00

Summary: WorldCon: Who We Are and Who We Think We Might Be
Hall 3 - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
Starting at Worldcon 71 and continuing through Worldcon 73, we have collected data on the demographic variables represented by those attending our conventions. As popular culture conventions continue to grow in popularity and as we strive to be a diverse and inclusive community of fans, it is important to rely on objective and empirically-based information to both understand who we are and what purposes Worldcon fulfills for its attendees.
Start: 2017-08-13 15:00
End: 2017-08-13 16:00

Summary: Closing Ceremonies
101a&b - Messukeskus
Messuaukio 1, Helsinki, 00520
The final big event of the convention. Come along to relive the best memories of the past five days and say goodbye to Worldcon 75 as we pass the torch to the Worldcon 76 team from San Jose.
Start: 2017-08-13 17:00
End: 2017-08-13 18:00

August 2017 (excluding Worldcon)

Sep. 12th, 2017 04:34 pm
mbernardi: (Default)
[personal profile] mbernardi
Maya (D's cat) has finally, after a year of being stopped by a "gate" at the top of the stairs, has discovered she can leap over the bannisters and I find her at the bottom of the stairs when I go down for breakfast.
As part of D's plan to relocate, drove over with S. intending to try to find living quarters and other requirements, not very successful (S didn't really pull his weight as part of the reconnaissance.
Only 3 days dancing this month due to teacher taking 2 weeks off and I went to Helsinki for Worldcon (see separate post for details) Two classes and last Saturday social. Line dancing has finished for the moment ;-(
I caught a Norwegian Airlines flight from Gatwick to Helsinki (take of was about a half hour late, caught the train to the city center, after much wandering finally found hotel on fifth floor of the building.
Took me over an hour from getting off the train to getting to my room!
Using the same train daily to get the the con the walk normally took less than 20 minutes! On Tuesday I spent the day walking around the city, including
On Wednesday Worldcon 75 started with the Opening Ceremony at 3:00pm
On Thursday evening James B invited over a dozen fans, most fans of Lois Mcmaster Bujold, out for a delightful curry at a restaurant in the main city center. A wonderful time was had by all both gastronomically and conversationally.
Friday Evening was the Hugos and Saturday was the Masquerade, the Closing Ceremony was Sunday afternoon.
Monday I tried to remotely renew my library books, but had run out of renewals (had to physically return the boks to the library on my return).
Read a little then went to the information centre, where I bought a 48 hour pass for 39€, this gave access to one of the hop on & off bus services (with commentary) and to various bus tours. It did not however give access to public transport.
First thing I did in the afternoon (as my feet hurt), was a boat cruise around the islands of Helsinki, nice sunny day so very enjoyable. On return to mainland caught Hop on and off bus and stayed on for the complete circuit of the city; took over an hour with "free" earbuds allowing access to the commentary (available in multiple languages).
On Tuesday visited the Island of Suomenlina, and went to the Ehrensvärd Museum; on the island (all included in the price), went back to my room and slept for a couple of hours!
Went on the Imperial evening cruise starting at 7:00 with commentry on the Imperial Russian connection to Finland 200 years ago.
Wednesday I was due to fly out in the late afternoon, but caught the train to the airport just after noon. Had 3 hours to wait between arrival and boarding. Was on the same plane and in the same seat as on my journey out! (plane was named after Jean Sibelius)
Got back to Gatwick airport and caught 7:05 train home, after renewing my season ticket. Luckly I had booked Thursday off work, since I had to buy som food, and return my overdue library books, which entailed a journey to Brighton.
Back to work on Friday, and had to change all my passwords, as they had all expired while I was away. Heard Sir Bruce Forsyth had died on getting home.
Saw the US total eclipse on CNN, watch for an hour or so. Booked ticket to London, as want to see the robot exhibition at the Science Museum. Also booked appointment to see a Physiotherapist
Got the most recent collected editon of The Rivers of London: Black Mould (Graphic Novel). Also started watching the coolest reality show "Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes?"


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