An agent for Good

Aug. 29th, 2015 01:26 pm
sine_nomine: (Default)
[personal profile] sine_nomine
Wow. I have just gotten permission from Mr. Client to hire a regular cleaning person for him (thank goodness; the less said about the place, especially the bathroom, the better!) on an every-other-week basis and then shifting to every week at some point in future.

The person I want to hire, CB (re-named because too confusing if I want to talk about D who is -- of course -- [personal profile] synecdochic, played a huge role in getting his place clean including some of the more challenging parts of it. She is presently very underemployed, has cleaned houses for a living before, and is considering a career working with hoarders and the like (as she keeps getting hired to do it and she's good at it, though dealing with mental illness on a regular basis can be problematic). In short, she'd be ideal.

And what I really like about this is that I get to put back into the Universe all the positives that were and have been and continue to be thrown my way when I've required assistance of various kinds. It may even help facilitate her move back to this area (in which case I'm getting her connected with my temp agency, as well... because she'd be great at what they keep asking me to do).

I have to find out what he was paying previously, and how frequently the company was there... I wasn't working directly with him any longer when he terminated that relationship (which imploded when I was no longer there oiling the wheels). I suspect he's accustomed to paying more than she would normally charge, which is a good thing.

(no subject)

Aug. 29th, 2015 11:10 am
copperbadge: (chicago City Boy)
[personal profile] copperbadge
So, I don't eat a specific method diet or anything but my nutritionist did put me on a high-protein kick that involves a lot of beef, shrimp, almonds, pita bread instead of actual sliced bread, et cetera. I am fortunately at a point in my life where I have both the time and money to go to four different stores on a Saturday morning to get the food I need (being fair they're all in a row, not like, across town from each other) but poverty dies hard, so I always feel ultra smug when I get a good deal.

Like this morning, when I bought some nice thick beef cuts at Whole Foods, and I said, okay, yes, it's Whole Paycheck, but it's on sale and it's good meat and anyway it's the exact cut I want. And then I went to Target, which sells meat -- btw, if you're over the age of about thirty, do you find it as weird as I do that you can now buy steak at Target? -- and checked the prices just to see how badly I'd overpaid, but it turns out the Whole Foods beef was cheaper than Target. And the prepackaged Target almonds, bizarrely, were cheaper than the bulk almonds at Whole Foods that I had decided not to buy because $11/lb for almonds seemed excessive.

So I got home with cheap meat AND nuts, and I feel like while this isn't Paleo, I sure am doing a lot of high-value hunter-gathering. Maybe tonight I'll light a fire and paint some horses on the walls.
spiralsheep: The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity (ish icons Curiosity Cures Boredom)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- Reading, books 2015, 99.

96. Runemarks, by Joanne Harris, WARNING for nightmare fuel (in the book but not this review). Blah blah Chosen Girl blah blah Quest blah blah Prophecy blah blah Death blah blah. ALSO, features the same oddly Me Generation threat from the baddie as in Shada, which I read recently, except one is technological (science fiction) and the other is religious (fantasy). I wanted to like this but almost everything about it is long-windedly average. (3/5 although I admit I'll probably read the sequel, because I thought there was a four/five book buried in this one and am interested to find out if Harris managed to write it second time around.)

Clue for wannabe North-Western European mythologisers: if you're rly obviously shoe-horning a scene from Aladdin, or any other immediately recognisable source, into your decidedly non-Aladdin story then it's probably better not to lampshade it LITERALLY by having a Norse deity mention "Al-Adhinn and the enchanted lamp" and your 14 year old yokel Whitey Whitesdottir protagonist immediately understand the reference.

Clue about technology in a basically pre-industrial North-Western European style village: your 14 year old yokel protagonist probably wouldn't describe a smell as "a sharp scent of burned rubber" due to it being unlikely she's ever encountered a precious substance like rubber at all, burning or otherwise.

Clue to wannabe Epic Fantasy authors: if you're not PTerry then don't do this in the middle of your srs filosophical nouvelle... "[...] a dead prince in all his regalia is no less dead than a dead street-sweeper, sewage worker or maker of novelty spoons." [Definition of "filosophical nouvelle": same flakey pastry, different glazing... MOSTLY MY EYES.]

Clue on not deflating the epic ending you've spent 500 pages building up: ten pages from the end, on page 493 (because the author is too famous for editing, obv), in the middle of the Epic Law Versus Chaos Battle don't treat any remaining readers to this snigger-worthy line: "You broke your word to bring me to life. What kind of a basis is that for a meaningful relationship?" CALL THE CLICHE COPS AND THE PROSAISM POLICE! We have a "meaningful relationship" crime in progress!! ALSO, while we're at it, PAGING MISS MANNERS for advice to lovelorn Norse deities!!1!!

99. Runelight, by Joanne Harris (1/5) )

Read "Triage"

Aug. 29th, 2015 03:09 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 [personal profile] finch has written "Triage" based on my prompt in his Birdcage event.  I asked for a supervillain with a problem that can't be solved by hitting.  This definitely qualifies.  But Mary Sand is trying a supervillain approach anyhow.
sine_nomine: (Default)
[personal profile] sine_nomine
I am a die-hard flip phone user. They can pry it from my cold, dead hands. I used to be a bar phone user until they finally figured out how to make the flip phone not break in half when it got dropped. And I'm not ceasing to use it for what I presently use it for, which is to say phone calls and texts; it is a phone, after all. And one that fits comfortably at my ear and so on; I can't stand the flatness of a smartphone.

That said, Mama had been very very strongly suggesting (some might say telling me) that I get on Glide Video Text Messaging. She noted (as had I) that it would improve our communication (she sends glides like breathing; texts? not so much) so when I found myself at Costco with a friend who wanted to buy a smartphone (the latest and greatest Samsung Galaxy6+ or some such as it turns out; amusing choice for someone who would be using this instead of his flip phone (I teased him that it's such a large phone it's designed for size queens) that I ended up asking if we could get me one too on his plan... so now I'm paying more than I expected to but a) LOTS of data (12GB shared), b) it doesn't get metered (which it would have on tMobile), c) independent of my (non-existent) credit, and d) rather a better plan than the TMobile I would have upgraded to. And so on.

Oh, and really? I only wanted it for the data but a tablet doesn't fit in one's pocket!

So now I can do the Glide thing and also have a GPS for work (oh... right... download the CarRental Company app!... okay, done), and who knows what else?

(My friend kept saying "Wow... look at you... you are so happy about this!" and I wanted to know if he was seeing what I was feeling... because I was anything but... except I wanted to do as I was told and I wanted to make sure the phone rang the way I wanted it to)

Viridi Game

Aug. 28th, 2015 07:51 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 Viridi is a game for people who don't like shooting, hitting, lots of blinking lights, nerve-wracking counters, or the other stuff typical of video games.  You grow succulent plants.  :D  It's meant to be a more relaxing, meditative experience than other games.
bibliogramma: (Default)
[personal profile] bibliogramma

I thoroughly enjoyed India Edghill's Queenmaker: A Novel of King David's Queen, the story of Michal, daughter of King Saul and wife of King David. Basing her interpretation on a few Biblical references, Edghill fleshes out the character of Michal (and the other women in David's life, including Bathsheba and Abishag) in a highly believable fashion.

Equally interesting is her portrayal of David, from the young shepherd, harper and hero beloved - and feared - by Saul, to the ruthless warrior who united Israel, defeated its enemies and secured the fortress city of Jerusalem as its capitol, to the corrupt leader who killed both allies and rivals to get what he wanted, to the grief-stricken father who saw his sons conspire against him and each other for his power and his crown.

Edghill has written several other historical novels set in the kingdom of Israel featuring women mentioned in the Old Testament, and though normally this is not one of my favourite historical periods to read about, I'll be looking forward to reading them.

Real Sex Education

Aug. 28th, 2015 07:25 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Here is a hawt video of a Hispanic pr0n star demonstrating how to use condoms safely and effectively.  (Hey, you want to learn a topic, ask an expert!)  Gorgeous, full-view imagery of a guy having a good time with his body and his personal safety supplies.  :D  Now if we all had access to stuff like this, it would absolutely hold the attention of the sexual folks, entertaining as well as educating.  (Ace students may prefer a different demo using a banana just in case they ever need to explain to a friend.)  Obviously that video is NSFW for most folks.

This is one reason why Terramagne-America has a healthier view of sexuality, with consequently lower rates of teen pregnancy and other problems related to not knowing how to handle a crotch safely.  The good high schools have sex ed that looks kind of like this, and the banana option for people who don't want explicit demonstrations.  Once you are old enough for legal consent, you better know what you're doing; age-appropriate materials are available for younger classes.  Similar content is very widely available online -- especially in the darknet.  One of its more thriving uses is spreading accurate sexual information, along with the regular supply of pr0n, to places that don't want people to have that data.  So hey, you can educate your kids, or Kraken can do it for you.

Yes,  I have supervillains who are better at sex ed than most high schools.  LOL

Ocean Currents and Flotsam

Aug. 28th, 2015 03:23 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
My partner Doug tipped me to a story about finding a very old message in a bottle from a science experiment.  That reminded me about the rubber duckies, which you can see on maps like this, or here with some time stamps.

So much of science comes down to "Let's see what happens."

The Great Forgetting

Aug. 28th, 2015 02:11 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Civilization is relatively new, and not as great a thing as most people think, only they've forgotten the other options

Doing Paganism Right

Aug. 28th, 2015 12:03 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (muse)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Here is a wonderful article about what it really means to be Pagan, and indeed, what Paganism is for.  Some of the quotes are by people I know, like Anne Niven -- it's always fun to cross paths that way.  For my part ...

I do magic because it works.  I am a devout empiricist; I don't care what other people say, I care what I can observe.  What I observe is that I get better results from behaving as if magic works than as if it does not, as if there are divine beings than as if there are not, and so forth.  I'm always looking for the model that delivers the best results.

Hence Paganism, doing science to magic and magic to science, and often annoying people on both sides of the field.  But to me it's not a pair of pigeonholes.  It's a torc, bent so that the two ends face each other and sparks dance across the gap that holds things like quantum mechanics.

One thing I've noticed is that climate change is changing how magic works.  This is not actually new, same thing happened when the Ice Age conked out, and wow was changing the climate inside a human lifetime something I did not  need to see again.  But at least I know how fast Gaia can move when she feels like it: quite a lot faster than most humans think.  Anyhow, it used to be the case that weather was fairly amenable to human input, if one had the relevant talent, skills, and/or knowledge.  Moods, yes, but mercurial ones; the clouds might ignore a request sometimes, but most of the time would mind a good weatherworker.  Now, not so much.  Trying to talk to the weather spirits now is like trying to talk to someone on a rampage beating cars with a bat.  O. Kay. Then.  0_o  So I learned, partly with input from some Pagan friends, to nudge the weather in less psychotic directions by asking the land spirits to intervene.  "Hey, could you ask them to tone it down enough to avoid tearing loose the trees?"  It helps.  

Another thing is thinking about context.  I've landscaped the yard for wildlife and human benefit.  Much of it is modeled after ecosystems -- the prairie garden, the savannah, the forest.  So too the magic is built into it, layers of shields for protection, and one other thing.  I created a kind of large-scale deadman switch, so that if civilization collapses, it will pull the handle on what amounts to an ecological life-raft.  Energy comes up from the node, hits the tight package of biodiversity, and then spreads outward carrying the plants and animals with it into what is currently barren monoculture. Hopefully we won't need it, but it's there just in case. 

Even in its dormant form, that kind of magic has influence.  One day a storm snapped a tree about 20 feet up from the ground.  I did a little quick research, discovered that standing snags are useful, and decided to leave it.  But there was all the rest of the tree in the way.  So we had that cut into firewood and reduced to wood chips.  Yay, mulch pile!  And here's where it gets interesting.  The mulch pile came into existence, and then it rained for two days straight.  On the third day, I went out to look at the new mulch pile.  It was already fully inhabited.  I could see webs of fungus spread over it.  There were pillbugs, beetles, centipedes, and spiders crawling through it.  Curious, I poked the chips with my trowel, and out hopped a toad.  The detritus food chain here at Fieldhaven is three days to apex.  Three days,  mind you, not three weeks or three months.  That interfaces with the macro food chain through small vertebrates such as toads and birds.  The whole process worked in miniature as soon as a situation called for it.  Great job on the storm drill, folks.

A lot of what I do with magic just comes down to making things work better, faster, more focused.
spiralsheep: A raven (spiralsheep Raven Logo)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- Random Hereford Cathedral stonemasonry. The guardian lion is from the font in the nave and the other pieces are piled in the cloisters. The light in the cloisters is coloured by the windows. I didn't add a filter.

Lion font guardian, Hereford Cathedral, 09-14

- Meme: three of your favourite songs at present. I have lots of long term favourite songs and can never cut it down to a short list, so have three new(ish)-to-me songs I've enjoyed in the last few days and can rec for one reason or another:
Stand By Me, by Golden Earring (glam rock courtesy of this post from my lj flist by [personal profile] electricwitch)
Hold On, by Wilson Phillips (pop, mainstream girl group including short hair and fatness, yay!)
You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone, by Charlie Monroe and His Boys (bluegrass... and His Boys)

Decorative stonemasonry, cloisters, Hereford Cathedral 09-14

(no subject)

Aug. 28th, 2015 07:36 am
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I’m working on cancelling a newspaper subscription at work (we no longer read that particular paper) and I have what is really obviously a robot on the other end of the please-cancel-my-subscription customer service chat. I’m kind of okay with talking to a robot, though I do wish they wouldn’t pretend it’s a person and have it tell me its name and stuff. Like, I’d RATHER deal with a robot than a person, just let it be a robot.

But now the robot’s trying to talk me out of cancelling the subscription and if there is one thing I will not tolerate it’s being haggled with by a robot.

NOT UNTIL YOU ATTAIN SENTIENCE, SUN-TIMES ROBOT NAMED ANGELLO.

Power Reveals

Aug. 27th, 2015 11:44 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 I was intrigued to see this article point out something that I have said for ages: Power doesn't corrupt, it reveals.

It was a day

Aug. 27th, 2015 11:03 pm
sine_nomine: (Default)
[personal profile] sine_nomine
Well, I managed to get to CarRental Company and got to be messenger, even. Nice day. A bit short but I was exhausted. It also allowed me to take a friend to visit his SO in the hospital. Haven't seen her in a bunch of years as she's pretty much had one health thing after another. Thank God she got to the hospital this time; her surgeon said it's likely she wouldn't have survived if she'd waited one more night. All things considered, given that plus the fact that she had surgery late Monday night, she looked pretty terrific. Until the pain meds wore off... and I knew about five minutes before she did that her pain meds had worn off. Her affect changed, her color changed and she was obviously fighting it. Thankfully they came pretty quickly to shoot her again and then they work fairly efficaciously (thank you Dilaudid right into the surgery site). Still, it was clear it had tired her out and her SO and I were both pretty tired so we headed out, and they'll talk later.

Tomorrow I finish up this phase of Mr. Client's project. Had wanted to talk to him tomorrow about what all we did and to start talking about next steps but he said it wouldn't work for him. He asked about next week. I gave him days. He hasn't responded. So typical. And so frustrating. Have to figure out how to get time to talk to him because there's lots to move ahead on (and, given lead times, we're pretty much shot in terms of finding him a new place in time though some of his stuff can get re-used if we go bigger. I want to change out his couch, though, if he'll let me.

Saturday looks like chill out time. Unless it's retrieve my car from service place. Sunday is singing at the church I've been doing some volunteering. Monday through Wednesday may be CarRental Company (note to [personal profile] synecdochic: did you get a chance to talk to Schedule Holder?). May also be renting a car given the laundry list of what is possibly wrong with my vehicle (because one doesn't really want to drive distance with a car that requires two new catalytic converters and (more importantly) rear brakes that have to be completely and totally replaced). Which means that CarRental Company may be off the table so that my regular guys can evaluate the car and see how much the dealer is lying. Probably a good idea. Though I may *still* be renting... but if I can get it to them on Monday they can evaluate and we can go from there... hmmm... maybe a good idea. Would solve the problem of what to do with my car (and the reason I keep the job at CarRental Company: the discounts).

Yeah, it was a day. And several more ahead.

StarKist Tuna Pays Up

Aug. 27th, 2015 04:47 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
In a rare triumph of justice over corporate fraud, StarKist Tuna has been convicted of underfilling cans. If you bought their tuna since 2009, you can file a claim for $25 cash or $50 in tuna.

What can you do with $50 of canned tuna?

Curried Tuna Sandwiches
Fisherman's Pie
Tuna Quesadillas (if some people don't like salsa, serve it on the side)
Tuna Stuffed Mushrooms

Canned Tuna Recipes (Allrecipes)
Canned Tuna Recipes (Allyou)
Canned Tuna Recipes (Epicurious)
StarKist Recipes

The Sound of Animation

Aug. 27th, 2015 01:24 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
 Here's an interview about the excellent animated short "Get a Horse."  The bit I want to highlight is where they couldn't find a clip of Walt Disney saying the word "red" so they spliced it together out of phonemes spoken in other words.  This is a crucial step necessary to the evolution of technology which reduces and eventually removes the need for actors: the ability to create a 'library' of appearance, motion, and sound which users can employ to compose performances.  It's a very popular way to make entertainment in the future.

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Dee Burris Blakley

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