QotD

Sep. 20th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Rosh Hashanah is about relationships. Whether between individuals and the God in whom they believe, communities and the traditions which define them, or simply between individuals, whether any God or tradition is part of their lives, it's all about sustaining relationships which sustain us and help us do the same for others." -- Rabbi Brad Hirschfield

Today is...
Gregorian: 2017 September 20
Julian: 2017 September 07
Hebrew: 5777 Elul 29 --- sundown will be the start of 5778 Tishrei 01
Islamic: 1438 Dhu I-Hijja 28
Persian: 1396 Shahrivar 29
Mayan: 0.0.0.13.0.4.14.14
Indian: 1939 Bhadra 29
Coptic: 1734 Thout 10

A Blast From the Past

Sep. 19th, 2017 06:05 pm
kevin_standlee: (Hugo Logo)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
Yesterday, I had called to my attention the list of what we would today call the finalists for the 1956 Hugo Awards. The historical listing on The Hugo Awards web site did not include finalists because we did not have a list of them, nor did any of the other historical archives on which we based our initial load of finalists/winners. So I spent some time between the end of work and heading off to BASFA entering the data. (And for the most part it appears faithfully reproducing typos in the original, some of which I've now corrected.) So we now have the 1956 Hugo Awards page updated with finalist information.

It's important to realize that 1956 was only the third time the Hugo Awards had been presented. The 1954 Worldcon didn't present them after 1953 ran them. The Awards could easily have been a "one-off" thing had 1955 not decided to present them again, and 1956 continued them. However, in those far-off days, there wasn't a long document listing the rules for the Awards. The members didn't make the rules through the Business Meeting. It was all made up on the fly by the individual Worldcon committees, who as far as I can see could do as they pleased subject only to their own scruples and how they thought they'd be treated by their fellow fans. Thus you end up with variable-length finalist lists (and no indication of how many nominations it took to make the short list), write-in votes, first-past-the-post voting, and (if rumors I recall reading can be trusted), cases where "close enough" was enough to generate a "tie." I don't know if that tie in Best Fanzine is "real" or not, and it's quite possible that we'll never know for sure.

As time has gone on, Worldcon's model for running the Hugo Awards has evolved considerable, to the model today where the rules are specified by the members through the WSFS Business Meeting, and the Administrators are expected to release just about every piece of information other than the raw ballots themselves. This is pretty consistent with an assumption that runs throughout the structure of WSFS, which is "I trust nobody but thee and me — and I'm none too sure of thee." We cede the bare minimum necessary to keep the organization running, and deeply distrust all central authority. This structure seems crazy to many people, and yet it has lasted for more than 75 years.

QotD

Sep. 19th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

[I feel, based on my own reactions each time I think about the loss described here, like I should provide some kind of content-warning to avoid ruining someone's day if this is their nightmare fuel. But I'm really not sure what form this warning should take.]

Linda Ronstadt describes what she can't do. May be upsetting to artists. Many people may just calmly think 'oh, that's sad'. )
omnia_mutantur: (Default)
[personal profile] omnia_mutantur
 Stepping into the shower at the gym today, I crashed, all of a sudden flooded with the thought "I'm not getting any better", and proceeded, unable to shake it loose.
 
Immediately before this thought, I was thinking I needed a nickname for Light's girlfriend, but none of the things I can come up with sound value-neutral enough, and I don't know her very well, and I asked him if he wanted to invite her to see a movie with the three of us, and it's not that I especially want to hang out with her, I just know that I'm supposed to be chiller than I am, and so am going to force myself to perform more chillness than I feel.
 
My mother always told me to behave as if I was happy, that it was close enough to being happy, that it was what everyone wanted. I never bought it, I knew she just wanted me to be easier for her to deal with, but apparently I internalized it enough that the bully that lives inside my skin reminds me it's my job to be easier for other people has the litany memorized.
 
I try so hard to be unflappable.  I'm not, but I try so hard.  Though a couple nights ago I announced that I thought I was a harpy, but then had an internal conversation with myself externally (it was late and we were on our way to bed) about how maybe being a harpy is like being attractive, it's in the eye of the beholder and only the beholder knows how they feel about harpiness or attraction.
 
I fall down so often and so thoroughly and I don't know how to stop.  I feel like whatever the emotional equivalent of my knees is spends a lot of time skinned and dirty. I need to be able to let Abundance and Light be poly in whatever ways they need, despite my fears of losing everyone.  I think Delight doesn't get factored into this conversation because despite my deep, deep love for her, since we don't cohbait, we see each other a couple times a week and while Starchild may mean I get less of her attention, I suspect Starchild will also mean I see her more often, when things settle out.  I need to be more confident, less scared, less volatile.   And I'm 41 years old, there are a lot of places I'm feeling like if I haven't gotten there yet, I'm probably not going to get there in the future.
 
 Self-pity's such a good look, you know.
kevin_standlee: (Business Meeting)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
Having finally reached a high enough bandwidth connection to do so, I have now posted the four official 2017 WSFS Business Meeting videos to the Worldcon Events channel. These are the recordings taken by the WSFS videographer (Lisa Hayes), supplemented in a couple of places by cuts from the live-streaming video that Worldcon 75 shot when there were gaps in the official recording. These official recordings also omit everything outside of the meeting, skipping over recesses and other non-meeting time.

I would have pushed this out sooner, but since the Worldcon 75 live stream video was available, I elected to take my time getting the official recording edited together and making sure everything was in place. WSFS.org is also now similarly updated.
dpolicar: (Default)
[personal profile] dpolicar
(A comment from another discussion)

I acknowledge, of course, that we are all imperfect humans, and what an individual officer does in a specfic situation is always the result of a million variables that are impossible to predict and often impossible to determine after the fact.

That's why I tend to focus more on training and evaluation protocols than on specific events. It's unjust to expect officers to do X in a sitution if they've been trained to do Y, but it's perfectly reasonable to expect officers to be trained to do X if we prefer that they do X in a situation.

I would prefer that police be trained and evaluated as peacekeepers rather than killers. So I would prefer, for example, they be trained and expected to identify situations that don't require a death, and to act so as to not create a death where none is required.

That said, how police are trained and evaluated is a collective decision, and if we collectively prefer police to choose deaths that aren't required -- for example, if we prefer to train and equip police as military officers who happen to deploy among civilian populations -- then that's how we should train and evaluate them, regardless of my preferences. That's part of the price I pay for living in a collective.

If police _are_ trained to choose unnecessary deaths, we should (individually and collectively) treat calling the police, permitting them into our homes, and otherwise making use of their services as a use of deadly force. Consequently, if we don't individually endorse the use of deadly force in those situations, we should not call the police, any more than we would fire a gun.

Those are individual decisions, not collective ones, and it's perfectly reasonable to hold one another as individuals accountable for them.

I acknowledge that this means that individuals who eschew deadly force in a situation may find themselves in conflict with any police who may arrive. I don't like this, and I don't endorse it, but I acknowledge it.

QotD

Sep. 18th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2017-03-08:

"I found much that was alarming about being a citizen during the tenures of Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. But, whatever I may have seen as their limitations of character or intellect, neither was anything like as humanly impoverished as Trump is: ignorant of government, of history, of science, of philosophy, of art, incapable of expressing or recognizing subtlety or nuance, destitute of all decency, and wielding a vocabulary of seventy-seven words that is better called Jerkish than English." -- Philip Roth, novelist

[ http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/01/30/philip-roth-e-mails-on-trump]

(submitted to the mailing list by Mike Krawchuk)

Rusty Roller

Sep. 17th, 2017 06:49 pm
kevin_standlee: (Rolling Stone)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
It having been roughly three months since the last time I spent a week in the Bay Area on board the Rolling Stone, my travel-packing skills are a bit rusty. I didn't forget my razor this time, but as I was coming down the mountain, I remembered that I'd left my after-shave ointment (Cosmetic Lad by Lush) behind. That I could fix by stopping at the Lush store in Roseville, although I got away from Fernley so early that I had to kill a little time waiting for the mall to open.

After Roseville, it was on to Sacramento to spend and hour visiting with my sister at the nursing home. It appears that all of the postcards I sent from Germany, Finland, and Iceland have now arrived. I sure hope the poster tube I sent from Helsinki with the small WSFS banner makes its way to me in Fernley before next year's Worldcon!

Something I'd been unable to locate while packing was my washcloth. My towel is on board the RV, but I couldn't find the washcloth. So in Fremont (where I also had dinner), I stopped at Bed Bath and Beyond and bought a new one. So of course when I was unpacking for the evening, I found the old cloth. I apparently had put it away in a cupboard in the RV where I usually don't store such things. Like the Cosmetic Lad, it's not a big deal, and there's nothing wrong with having a spare. Indeed, I wish that I'd packed a washcloth for our European trip. By now I should remember that most of the hotels in which we've stayed in Europe don't include a small washcloth among the standard bathroom linens, which is particularly strange when they only include bath gel instead of bars of soap. It's as though they assume their guests will be bringing their own washcloth. Travel shows you where there are different assumptions about things, I guess.

It was also a day of travel contrasts. It was chilly leaving Fernley, and quite literally freezing (as in 0°C) at Truckee. I had to run the heater for a while going over the top. But by the time I was at Roseville, it was warm, and by Sacramento, I had the air conditioning running. Definitely autumnal weather. That's fine with me, though; much better than the heat of summer.

(no subject)

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:51 pm
omnia_mutantur: (Default)
[personal profile] omnia_mutantur
 Newsy posts totally count when I don't have the stamina for anything emotional, I tell myself.
 
I went to a memorial today, back in the coastal massachusetts town my grandfather used to own a house in.   When he died, his three sons (my father and his two brothers) couldn't agree on what to do with it, (my father is not talking to one of his brothers, and the other brother, my favorite uncle, runs gobetween).  The whole family was there, including a bunch of basically-cousins that I barely remember. 
 
The ocean was warmed than we expected, and so when my nephews and their fathers (my brothers) charged into the ocean, so did I.  So I got to hang out in the ocean for the third day in a row, laughing racuously with small people and having an absolute blast.  The fog was thick in a stephen king kind of way, but this was the same beach we went to every summer for my entire childhood and then some.   
 
We didn't vacation as children, my mother had epic and awful road trips with her four siblings and my father just didn't travel.  (the running joke was apparently that my grandmother believed you needed a passport to go outside of 128).  This was it, and I mostly hated it because it was just so much family time and so much sun  Still these days I look so pale next to any member of my biofamily.
 
Then home, and dog to the dog park, and puzzle and Survivor with Abundance and Secret World with Light, and I have a new Kris Delmhorst sticker for my laptop.   Today I tore through yet another adorable lesbian romance and now it's time for bed.
mem_winterhill: (Default)
[personal profile] mem_winterhill posting in [community profile] davis_square
Friends just pointed me to this nerd comedy event coming up at the Armory. I am a fan of new ways to reach out on science topics in fun ways, and this sounds good to me. 

Saturday, September 30 at 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM EDT. Ticketing info over at facebook. 

https://www.facebook.com/events/116424495686654/

Come hang out with Boston Skeptics and enjoy a night of comedy between science friends.

"You know how Larry the Cable Guy's act pretty much consists of him yelling "Git 'er done!" every five minutes or so? Scientist-turned-comic Tim Lee's material is the diametric opposite. Lee, who got his PhD before realizing where his true talents lay, blends science talk (complete with PowerPoint presentations) with comedy. The hilarious result is like what would happen if you crossed your high-school chem teacher with George Carlin"
- The Boston Phoenix

QotD

Sep. 17th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Just because your electronics are better than ours, you aren't necessarily superior in any way. Look, imagine that you humans are a man in LA with a brand-new Trujillo and we are a nuhp in New York with a beat-up old Ford. The two fellows start driving toward St. Louis. Now, the guy in the Trujillo is doing 120 on the interstates, and the guy in the Ford is putting along at 55; but the human in the Trujillo stops in Vegas and puts all of his gas money down the hole of a blackjack table, and the determined little nuhp cruises along for days until at last he reaches his goal. It's all a matter of superior intellect and the will to succeed.

Your people talk a lot about going to the stars, but you just keep putting your money into other projects, like war and popular music and international athletic events and resurrecting the fashions of previous decades. If you wanted to go into space, you would have."

-- George Alec Effinger (not sure which story -- I can find lots of sites repeating that it is from Live! from Planet Earth, but I haven't seen any saying which story in that anthology the quotation is from)

(no subject)

Sep. 16th, 2017 10:45 pm
omnia_mutantur: (Default)
[personal profile] omnia_mutantur
 It's been a good day.

When I woke up this morning, I had another headache and a deep inability to wake all the way up.  And I hadn't even increased the ambien like I'm supposed to.  (the story gets better).  Abundance found me asleep on the couch with the dog when he got up and sent me back to bed.   When I woke back up, I realized that it wasn't the right place in my head for a migraine (migraine - stabby pain behind right eye, headache more like full-skull dull ache).  

I still doubt that I reallly have migraines, maybe I'm just faking it for the good drugs and the excuses they provide. Hell, I still sometimes wonder if I'm faking my alcoholism (thanks, parents!), for attention and excuses and all those things, to be special in some backwards sort of way. My couples counselor tried to give me permission to tell myself maybe sometimes things are just hard, I don't need to doubt all my reactions all the time.

After Abundane ran with the dog, we toasted blintzes from baza, and I ate them with my magical strawberry chocolate jam from Baza.  Then we dropped Light off at Bloc 11 and drove to salem to be on the boat.  It took me a little bit to re-adjust to the boat, it's been a while, but my hot pink watershoes were there and I got to be naked and have sex in a boat on the ocean, and then I even jumped off the boat.   Since we took Nonsense to Revere Beach yesterday, this means I went in the ocean two days in a row.  Took me until September, but I guess that's the way of it.   Well, technically I believe I was in the ocean many times in a row on vacation, but that's different.

Light pointed out that Irma destroyed our favorite vacation spot, and I keep randomly thinking about the strays on the  virgin islands, and thinking I should really try to get to australia and snorkel before everything is ruined/gone forever, but then maybe I should actually try to get SCUBA certified first, and how the hell am I going to find an instructor who actually understand the problems with lots of body fat and stumpy little arms.  

Then we came home, took Nonsense to the dog park.  Even though both Light and Abundance seem to enjoy watching Nonsense run around and it certainly makes my life easier having three pairs of eyes on the dog (I'm a worrier, I worry a lot about being That Dog Parent at the park.) I wonder if it's boring them, if it's selfish to not just take her myself.

Then we went to the book riot book club at PSB, which has the delightful format of a handful of people who j ust talk about whatever it is they read that month, and I got a recommendation for a childrens book that is, among other things, a subtle takedown of toxic masculinity according to the woman who talked about it.  

Then we went to It, up in Burlington with the fancy seats with footrests that pop up at the push of a button.   I do enjoy jump scares, like little tastes of the coming haunted houses this year, but I don't think I enjoyed the movie. I don't think I'll ever see the miniseries or read the book, but I do still love the experience of seeing movies in the theaters.

I've started reading Gena/Finn by Hannah Moskowitz and it's maybe a little on the nose about weird internet friendships/relationships (dear gods it makes me uncomfortable to think about how many folks from alt.goth I got into intense internet relationships with in my college years) and being some sort of crazy and one of the main characters is starting college and writes this vaguely unhinged letter to her parents she never sends and it just set off all the feels and so much of the college-related anger I still remember.  Abundance and I and Light and his girlfriend will all be in Philadelphia attending a con in November, and I think I might take Abundance to see my college campus, even if I don't know how I'll react.  (gods, it'll be my twenty year reunion next year.  Maybe I can convince Light and Abundance and Delight to all come with me, openly as my partners and see how that plays out.)

I'm all over the place, and it's time for bed, and I kind of want to talk about how all the things are making me feel old and my weird psychiatrist suggesting I have more of a schedule or get a retail holiday job and it just made me feel like I was either overreacting or explaining things badly, because I do have a schedule most days and I can't imagine a retail job doing anything other than wearing me thinner than I already am these days.  

Packing for a Week Away

Sep. 16th, 2017 06:20 pm
kevin_standlee: (Rolling Stone)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
I haven't been in the Bay Area since June, and the Rolling Stone has mostly sat parked in front of the house since then, so it was a bit dusty. (Not as much as if it had been out to Burning Man, but still....) So this morning, Lisa and I first took it over to Flying J and filled the tanks, then took it to Hanneman's Car Wash and gave it a quick rinse. This afternoon, I loaded it up with my clothing for this coming week when I'll be working at the Bay Area office. Aside from my computers and toiletries (they go out tomorrow morning before I leave), I'm ready to go. I'm a little rusty at RV living now that I don't have to do it every other week or three, but it should be okay. I'm glad to see that the weather will be good, with likely comfortable evenings. Because I have to be up so early to stick to my 6-to-3 work schedule, getting to bed early each evening is very important to me.

Lisa and I worked on a household project that had been put off for lots of reasons, but today's weather was perfect for working around the property. I also cut a bunch of bushes back along the fence line, so I don't have to put up with them snatching at my hat every time I walk down our sidewalk.

Lisa is sorry I have to go away for a week, but she did say it's easier to do some of the cleaning she wants to do when I'm not underfoot.

(no subject)

Sep. 16th, 2017 04:28 pm
42itous: (Default)
[personal profile] 42itous
a butterfly seen head-on on a flower
"If I turn sideways, you can't see me."

QotD

Sep. 16th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"Writing this novel is 30% words and 70% evicting the cat from the keyboard. #amwriting https://t.co/Wlm9hpQJe3" -- Karen Osborne, 2017-01-16

(@alitmag's reply: "Writing tip: Make sure to have more keyboards than cats. For extra security, pack two spares!")

Fernley Friday

Sep. 15th, 2017 08:44 pm
kevin_standlee: (Fernley)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
There was a fundraising event at the Fire Station this evening, with food and games, but when we walked down there (expecting to buy dinner from the BBQ), the music they were playing was so loud that we were driven away. We also noticed that very few people were sitting in the seating area with the tables and chairs, which was right in the focus of the booming music. So instead of spending our money there, we walked back home and drove down to the Black Bear Diner and had dinner there. I also had $40 worth of free-play coupons (you had to spend $10 to get $40 in free play) at the Fernley Nugget casino. Lisa played her favorite machine, and we had a run of pretty good luck. Remember that you can't cash in the free-play coupons; however, when we were done playing through those, we had $42 in actual cash out, less the $10 it cost to get the free play coupons, so that's a nice little win for the evening.

It's definitely cooling off. We still have the windows open, but the fans aren't running. I'm happy to see the weather cooling off after this long hot summer.
bettyw: (Default)
[personal profile] bettyw posting in [community profile] davis_square
 There will be fireworks at Spy Pond at dusk (around 8pm) for Town Night/Day.

Turning the Weather Corner

Sep. 15th, 2017 06:27 am
kevin_standlee: (Fernley)
[personal profile] kevin_standlee
One way of saying, "Autumn is here" in Fernley: yesterday was the first day since we got home from Europe that I didn't run the swamp cooler on "cool" mode (i.e. evaporative cooling). We ran the fan for a while to move cooler outside air into the house, but otherwise didn't have to do anything else. Today it's about 10°C cooler than it was on Monday, which is a great relief.

Of course now we need to be thinking about scheduling having the fireplace chimney cleaned and laying in the first load of firewood. We don't need it yet, but it won't be that long.

QotD

Sep. 15th, 2017 05:24 am
dglenn: Me in kilt and poofy shirt, facing away, playing acoustic guitar behind head (Default)
[personal profile] dglenn

"As long as we're valuing capital over labor, we have a future in store that's owned by the 0.0001% where the rest of us get to pay for the privilege of being allowed to breathe their air and live on property they own. Where I get stuck at is how we get out of this bind--with people like the Mercers and the Kochs and the various Putin-orbit oligarchs holding the rights to so much of the world's wealth, how do we devalue, divest, and otherwise claw back those resources to a place where we can use them for the good of society, rather than the plutocrats?" -- Boussinesque, commenter at Balloon Juice [thanks to [info] realinterrobang for quoting this earlier]

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