AO3 Celebrates 25,000 Fandoms!

Jun. 26th, 2017 02:41 pm
otw_staff: 'Comms' and 'Janita' written beneath the OTW logo (Janita)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
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AO3 has reached 25,000 fandoms! To celebrate, we've put together info about fandom tags and how all tags work: https://goo.gl/W4wPxH

The sweetpeas are taking over

Jun. 25th, 2017 05:42 pm
flick: (Default)
[personal profile] flick
Last year, I planted a couple of perennial sweetpea plants in one of the flower beds. They did ok, but weren't really anything special.

Either they needed a little while to get themselves established or they much prefer the weather this year:



I had a go at putting normal sweetpeas along the drive this year, as I had spares and thought they'd look nice if they grew up the fence. They've rather been out-competed by the stuff on the other side of the fence (in the stableyard), though. I think I might get myself another pack of perennial seeds and see how they do there!

We went to see a horse on Sunday: he seemed to have a lovely personality, and looked nicely put together, but he'd never been ridden properly and didn't have a clue what he was doing in the school. Hopefully she'll find him a nice home where he can do nothing but go for long hacks....

I went to London last week, to see the dentist. Some sort of viral thing seems to have come back with me, which explains why I was so knackered all weekend, and probably also the upset stomach. I'm not exactly *ill*, but I'm also not entirely well. Possibly, in the light of this, I should have spent less time weeding today. It did need doing, though: it's been too hot recently to contemplate working in the garden.

We seem to have a lot of what look almost like yellow thistles appearing in the garden this year. Not sure what they are or where they've suddenly appeared from!
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
[tumblr.com profile] sashayed: It’s Not That Bad to F— Up While Calling Your Senator About Something Important

To prove this point, she presents actual transcripts of messages she left on her senators' voicemail, with her reaction gifs.

Sample:

Hi, uh, Sen. [Name]. And staff. [Nervous laughter.] My name is [Rave Sashayed] and I’m a constituent from [place where I vote]. I just wanted to call to thank you for standing up against the AHCA in the Senate. I–it’s an incredibly cruel and stupid and – and vicious bill. You know? And I’m not, like – a person who used to call her Senators all the time! know? I’m, like, a normal person! [Nervous laughter] But this – it’s crazy to me that this bill could become legislation. It directly affects me, it directly affects the people I love. I mean, it kicks millions of people off of Medicare for a tax break for – I mean. You know this. You’re. Uh. A Senator. So. You’ve read the bill. Um.

I would like to remind people that I phoned my MP's office and actually stated (completely incorrectly and randomly) that I lived in a place which said MP does not represent, had this pointed out to me and had to correct myself. AND YET (like Sashayed) I LIVE.

Right now, it looks like the Senate is wavering. Republican Senators are saying they "just don't know" if they've got the votes to pass the AHCA.

If you can't do phoning, you can't do phoning (I am sometimes a person who can't do phoning). But if you can, now's the time. IT IS OKAY TO PHONE AND FUCK IT UP. As long as you can communicate that you are opposed to the AHCA, that's enough.

Also, have some MOTHERFUCKING ICONS (photos of the ADAPT protestors being arrested during their protest at Mitch McConnell's office).

We're back

Jun. 26th, 2017 05:32 am
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Tomorrow)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
Two weeks of roses and playparks, museums and public art, wide open avenues, petunias and rolling hills. Two weeks of Tom and he has failed to notice that I am fundamentally unlikable. He, of course, is perfectly delightful.

We spent one week in Almaty and one week in Astana, with a day in Bishkek and a train journey across Kazakhstan. It was every bit as wonderful as I could have imagined, and we had an amazing time. The people are so lovely and the cities so beautiful.

7. The Lure of the North (various)

Jun. 25th, 2017 09:39 pm
mrs_leroy_brown: (Default)
[personal profile] mrs_leroy_brown
Or, a collection of three Victorian travel pamphlets, each with an alternate title:

"Notes on Norway or, A Brief Journal of a Tour made in the Northern Parts of Norway in the Summer of 1836"

Dude liked drawing the peasants even though they ugly,

"Unprotected Females in Norway or, The Pleasantest Way of Travelling There, passing through Denmark and Sweden, with Scandinavian Sketches from Nature"

Dudes think the landscape is lovely and peasants even more so, but also that they ugly.

"A Cruise on the Hardanger Fiord or, Six in Norway with a "Snark", by One of Them

Dudes be sailing round Norway enjoying nature, and think the peasants be pretty. Also, the way the costumes were described made me think of the handmaid's red dress/wimple thing in The Handmaid's Tale.

All in all, upper class travellin' toffs be patronising and smug. And overly verbose vis a vis titles - was it a rule back then that you had to offer two?

Training things this week

Jun. 25th, 2017 08:15 am
silkyraven: (Default)
[personal profile] silkyraven

Despite the heat we are making some progress I think. He’s getting calmer about saddling using the clicker to reinforce not nipping or puffing out behaviour. He’s standing much better to be groomed although his leg waving habit is very ingrained and will take a while to stop. He walked all the way to the arena yesterday, tacked up, without stopping at any point. So I’m pleased with all these.


The nipping is beginning to come back into the ST work, which is frustrating. I need to step back and take the pressure off again but I was starting to look for 2mm improvements. I think the LFS has improved, and the shoulder in isn’t too bad. The haunches in is still pushy so we need to go one step at a time I think.


He’s enjoying the connection training work so I think once session a week purely at liberty is a good idea. On the one hand this is a bit ‘chasing too many rabbits’ but I do think he enjoys the variety and the nipping and pushing comes back if we focus too much on one thing so I think I’ll stick with it for the moment!


That's right Dino, touch the cone!

Melting

Jun. 25th, 2017 08:07 am
silkyraven: (Default)
[personal profile] silkyraven

What a week. London hit about 34 degrees this week which is too hot for me or the pony! Half Spanish he may be but he was born in Kent and really doesn’t cope with temperature over about 25 degrees. Poor thing. He came out in hives!!!! They’ve gone now but it was a bit worrying in the middle of the week. I think it just a heat reaction and he wasn’t much bothered fortunately.


So we haven’t done much actual training this week. We did have a go at some Connection Training work though, targetting a cone and sending to it and coming away. He enjoys his clicker sessions. Here’s some rubbish video:


I did also get the SLR out again and take some summer photos. He really is my favourite of all his colours at the moment. He’s mostly a sort of deep mahogany to look at but in bright sunlight he goes quite orange!


Summer Dino


Handsome chap


Yesterday it was cool enough to get the saddle out and have our third ride since April! He was really good. It’s still pretty warm but we got some reasonable transitions and a few steps of both shoulder-in and haunches-in on both reins. I feel like we’re getting back to things. Need to arrange to do some hacking though!

Stalking, social networks and scripts

Jun. 24th, 2017 11:24 am
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
[personal profile] samvara
*taps mic* is this thing still on?

Two things
  1. I'm gonna need to vent for a few days (weeks?) until I stop having all these feelings
  2. This was SO MUCH LESS HORRIBLE because I had support and advice and information so I am paying it forward.
In brief: I went to a tech conference, I got a call in my hotel room on my hotel phone at 11pm from a man with an American accent who said he’d been watching me, it looked like I was having fun in my hotel room, and how about he join me in my hotel room. I declined and hung up. My chat group validated my initial horrified reaction and supported me through calling hotel security, getting my room changed, and his eventual discovery and expulsion from the hotel.

On stalking: It is never OK to do this kind of thing, it is not funny, it is not sexy. It made me feel unsafe. It meant the next day, until he was gone, that I second-guessed every interaction at that conference (of which men were probably 90% of the attendees) and wasted a lot of energy managing anxiety when I could have been benefiting from that very expensive conference ticket. I’m probably going to be having feelings about this for a long time.

On social networks: I was too busy being half awake and alarmed to have an effective response when this happened. It took time to process, it was my social network who prompted me through calling security and requesting the room change, I asked for my conference ID badge to be redacted on my own, but it took a few hours before I was thinking strategically and not just feeling overwhelmed. They validated my feelings, made me feel like it was OK to ask for what I needed, and meant I never felt alone.

THANK YOU.

Treasure the good people you meet in your life, nurture those relationships and share your strength when you can.

On scripts: Being prepared, having a response, knowing what I could say or do or expect can make a huge difference to my emotional well being, and to how I choose to act. It enables me to act rather than freeze up in difficult situations, it means I can protect myself, and it means I can stand up for myself and others.

My proposed future Script
  1. Complain to hotel security, that’s what they are for
  2. Request a room change, a different room when someone creepy knows where you are is A Good Thing.
  3. Complain to the police - I am sad I did not do this, awful!person could have been going home with a police record that might contribute to a future someone’s safety.
This is gonna work better from some humans than others, I’m going to wield being a white woman-ish person as hard as I can given it’s what I have to work with.

On positive action: One of my coping strategies is to try and find a positive action I can do, it helps me channel fear and anger into something that generates better feelings, and makes me feel less helpless when faced with something awful. My positive actions for this event are:
  • To share this with you; may this be in some way useful or empowering for you
  • To inoculate my workplace (via complaining about this a lot) in order to a) share my script with female coworkers and b) let my male coworkers know this is not OK and has consequences.
  • To reflect on how lucky I am to have such excellent support networks, that there were responsive hotel staff, and supportive conference staff
Chat transcript )
 

Gah. The End.
watersword: Keira Knightley applying lipstick and looking in a mirror, with the words "a work in progress" nearby (Keira Knightley: lipstick)
[personal profile] watersword
Today I called Sen. Schumer and Sen. Gillibrand and said the following:
Hi, my name is [[personal profile] watersword] and my zip code is [redacted]; I'm calling to ask you to add a tally mark to your count of constituents who have called and are very angry about the Republican anti-health care bill.


Both times I was answered fairly promptly, the staffer was clearly charmed by my "I know you are on my side, I'm trying to help," and I was informed that Schumer's office has gotten ~500 calls over the past ten days on the issue (I'm not sure if that's all the offices, including Washington, or just the NYC office I called), and the Gillibrand staffer I spoke was on his ~60th call on the subject for the day. This is a horrible slog but I am going to keep showing the fuck up.
otw_staff: 'Comms' and 'Janita' written beneath the OTW logo (Janita)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
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Friday glee has a little adventure

Jun. 23rd, 2017 11:15 am
rydra_wong: A woman boulderer lunges up towards the camera for a hold. (climbing -- puccio!!!)
[personal profile] rydra_wong posting in [community profile] disobey_gravity
The Friday post of glee is where you get to tell us about your climbing-related happiness this week.

It can be a new achievement or adventure, or just that you climbed and had fun; it can be that your favourite climbing wall is expanding or that you bought new rock shoes or that you found a cool ice-climbing vid on YouTube. No glee is too small -- or too big. Members are encouraged to cheer each other on and share the squee.

N.B. Please feel free to post your glee on any day of the week; the Friday glee is just to get the ball rolling.

To enhance this week's glee: totally stealing from UKC, but this vid of James Pearson's new E10 7a really is great.

Reading notes

Jun. 23rd, 2017 09:22 am
wildeabandon: (books)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
Gosh, I've not done one of these for a while...

The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla
This is a series of essays about the experience of being an ethnic minority in the UK. A lot of the ideas were things I'd encountered before, but all presented thoughtfully and engagingly, so it would be a really good starting point for someone who hadn't thought much about race relations to introduce themselves to some of the common ideas and experiences. But there was also a lot that was new to me. Thoughts about representation and tokenism in popular media, about the relationships between generations with different levels of integration, about colourism and casteism, and about the impact on ethnic minority children of growing up learning that stories are about white people.

Seed to Harvest (Wild Seed, Mind of my Mind, Clay's Ark & Patternmaster) by Octavia Butler
This is a collection of four of the five Patternist novels (the fifth is set in the same universe, but I understand doesn't include any of the same characters, and is disliked by the author). These are all exciting and easy to read novels, but other than that and the plot thread that runs between them, they have surprisingly little in common. Wild Seed is alt-history, Mind of my Mind is a near future story about psychic mutants, Clay's Ark is gritty apocalyptic stuff, and Patternmaster is in a distant future that feels more like fantasy than sf. They're all great though - lighter than Kindred, but still packed with ideas about society and hierarchy.

Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe
This book has a phenomenal amount of detail about the anatomy involved in five major lifts - the squat, deadlift, overhead press, bench press, and power clean. A fairly tedious read, but one which I hope will make me less likely to injure myself.

Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity by Fr James Martin SJ
I really like Fr James Martin, and his "The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything" is one of the best books about life and religion that I've ever read. This is a short book in two parts; first an essay based on a talk about how the Church hierarchy and LGBT Catholics can heal the divide between the two groups, and secondly a series of suggestions of bible passages and questions that LGBT Catholics and their allies might find useful in prayer and reflection. I liked the essay, although more because it echoed a lot of my own thoughts back at me than because I learned much from it. I think that the more traditionalist members of the church could benefit a lot from reading it and taking it to heart. I think that most LGBT people, especially those who aren't Catholic, would find the suggestion that they too need to show respect, compassion and sensitivity towards those in the hierarchy who have hurt and oppressed them quite frustrating. I have a lot of sympathy with that, but ultimately I think that Fr Martin is correct, both because we are called to love all our neighbours, not just those whom it's easy to love, and because I don't think we will see change any other way.

(no subject)

Jun. 22nd, 2017 05:41 pm
marina: (scifi janelle)
[personal profile] marina
Life is good right now, and I want to record that, before I probably lose my apartment in the next few months, as I do every year for the past 5 years. Probably in some spectacular last minute clusterfuck, as has happened in 2 out of those 5 years.

Anyway, I'm still reading Ninefox Gambit and enjoying it a lot. My health is better. Not "healthy person" better, but definitely better than it's been in say, two years. I'm going to London soon, which is so, so exciting.

The thesis has been... awful, but awful in the usual academic-grind sort of way.

This morning my maternal grandmother's youngest sister died. I couldn't make it to the funeral, but weekend plans (mostly thesis plans) will have to be altered to go grieve with family. Her granddaughter just got married a few weeks ago.

I'm sad, even though I didn't spend a lot of time with her in recent years, since my grandparents died and we stopped celebrating their birthdays and anniversaries as big family events.

My grandmother was 12 when she and her sisters and her mom and her grandma and two of her female cousins were all living in a Nazi concentration camp. This sister, the youngest, remembers that time the least, but she was old enough then to help with the missions, where their mom would send them out in pairs to try and escape the camp illegally and get food and supplies in the nearby village.

Every outing meant risk of capture and death, so the girls always went in pairs with a cousin, not a sister. My great-grandmother wanted to ensure that she could never be blamed for putting her own children ahead of her nieces.

Anyway, it's a sad day. My own grandmother in New York just got out of a 3 month stay at the hospital, and I'm grappling with the fact that it's very likely I'll never see her again.

The sun is shining, and there are flowers outside, and I still have a bed and a kitchen and a closet that are entirely my own. I suppose that's something.

Hobbyish revival

Jun. 22nd, 2017 08:51 am
wildeabandon: musical notes on a stave (music)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
Apparently it's the time of year for reviving old hobbies. I recently got to the top of the waiting list to join the London Gay Men's Chorus, so I'm going to be starting rehearsals with them in September. I'm a bit nervous about this, because singing in public is scary, but also really excited. I'm switching my piano lessons to singing ones for the time being, which should help with the nerves, and having external things to practice for will hopefully mean that I'm a more assiduous student than the last time.

Yesterday I also went climbing for the first time in years. I used to climb quite a bit when I was a teenager, and then about five years ago I tried going with [personal profile] emperor as a day trip from Ardgour, and found it depressingly difficult. Since then my strength to weight ratio has improved significantly, so last night I had a much easier time hauling myself off the ground. I was still distinctly conscious that the kind of strength you need in order to lift a heavy thing and then lower it five times before putting it down and having a break to recover is quite different from the kind of sustained effort you need to put in climbing a wall. I started with what was probably the easiest route on the wall, and then gradually increased in difficulty until I found a couple of routes that I made it up but just barely, and a couple more that I couldn't manage, but which are now on my target list for next time.
rydra_wong: Lee Miller photo showing two women wearing metal fire masks in England during WWII. (Default)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
The Guardian: Millions of mysterious 'sea pickles' swamp US west coast

“One of the things we are figuring out is have these guys been off the coast and we haven’t seen them? Are they moving inshore for a different reason?” said Sorensen.

YES AND I THINK WE KNOW WHAT THAT IS. Let me know when they reach Washington.

They're known as the "unicorn of the sea", apparently, so should clearly be claimed as a symbolic animal by you (glowing) asexual people out there.

yes I know it's not the same kind of asexual okay

ETA: Wikipedia just provided me with this beautiful quote:

"I have just watched the moon set in all her glory, and looked at those lesser moons, the beautiful Pyrosoma, shining like white-hot cylinders in the water" (T.H. Huxley, 1849).

June 2017

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