hollymath: (Default)

Laptop and Lib Demmery updates

Apr. 24th, 2017 12:13 am
[personal profile] hollymath
Don't really wanna type this all out on my phone (my touchscreen typing is getting worse lately if anything, and I swear SwiftKey is trying to make me look stupid on purpose: last night I thought I tweeted "I missed Doctor Who" but no, it said "I kissed Doctor Who" which made the grumpiness in the rest of the tweet rather inexplicable) but Andrew's got my laptop, and I've got words to get out of my head before I can sleep, so...

I should have the laptop back tomorrow. Andrew's will hopefully work with the replacement part we bought for it, which turned up today. Stuart was kind enough to spend all Friday afternoon and evening trying to fix it. He even soldered the broken part together two or three different ways to see if we could avoid having to get a new one, but his valiant efforts were to no avail. We did get through several cycles of "it should be fine!"/"no, it's fucked!"/"no, wait, this might do it!" which honestly was exhausting even for me and I didn't so anything except make the tea and occasionally hold something still. But Stuart said he enjoyed the process.

So I'll take the new part over, where I left the rest of his laptop the other day, tomorrow. But most of the rest of this week I think I'll be helping Andrew be front-of-house at the local Lib Dem HQ.

What had been a by-election HQ staffed with actual staff (and volunteers) has now been handed back to the local party, just volunteers. I was sitting in a meeting this evening thinking I really enjoyed being a small cog in the big machine, who could just do things and not have to make decisions. Now I'm the same size cog and the machine is...not exactly smaller but moving more slowly.

But we're still just as ambitious. We're focusing on getting through the original May 4 elections first, particularly because there's a council by-election in our constituency (maybe John Leech will get some company as the opposition on the council!) as well as the Greater Manchester mayoral election that day. I'd really love Andy "I'm so convinced I'll win I'm not standing to defend my parliamentary seat a month later" Burnham not to win. Particularly since he seems to have affectations instead of a personality, and his affected northernness is to hate foreigners and call coffee posh.

So anyway, Andrew has said he'll be front-of-house, i.e. make sure there's a human there all day long so when people turn up to volunteer or ask questions or whatever, there's someone who can help them. He reckons that he can sit there with a laptop as easily as here, and is pleased that something he can do will be such a big help to the campaign (most of the obvious ways to help involve things he finds hard or impossible).

But this will inevitably involve some help from me: the one part of this he will struggle with is getting going in the mornings, so I'm actually going to open up and probably do the "until-lunchtime" shifts. Starting tomorrow! So while there's more to talk about, I should try to sleep.
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)

Buenos Aires Book Fair Schedule

Apr. 23rd, 2017 04:51 pm
[personal profile] jimhines

I’m mostly recovered from Minicon…which is good, because on Tuesday, I leave for the Buenos Aires Book Fair!

Wednesday will be a day of recovery and looking around. Thursday afternoon I’ll be doing some press interviews at El Ateneo, one of the most gorgeous bookstores in the world.

Assuming they can pry me out of there, I’ll be doing an interview Saturday afternoon at the Book Fair, followed by a book signing. Later that evening I’ll be participating in the Bloggers Meeting as well.

Sunday, there’s a meet and greet at the bookstore, and then it’s back to the hotel to pack and prepare for the flight home on Monday.

It should be an exciting week. I’m looking forward to meeting my Latin American publisher, and I love that my official schedule has notes like “Embassy driver will pick you up from the airport.” And of course, it will be awesome to meet readers and fans from Argentina!

Blogging and email and such will probably be pretty light, but I should have plenty of pictures to share when I get back. Don’t break the internet while I’m gone, okay?

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

naraht: (Default)

Please, just let me go – Alejandro

Apr. 23rd, 2017 08:18 pm
[personal profile] naraht
Spent the afternoon watching Alejandro Valverde annihilate the rest of the competition at Liège–Bastogne–Liège. I tell a lie, he did it in the last minute, but it was conclusive. No sign of him for the whole race, and then he cruised majestically ahead on the final climb as if no other outcome had ever been possible. He's won six out of the eight races he's entered this year, and the two that he lost (coming in second and ninth) were very minor prep races.

And he's achieved this at thirty-seven, which is distinctly over the hill by cycling standards. All you can say is that the two year doping suspension in 2010 does not seem to have cramped his style.

When asked by an interviewer afterwards, "at thirty-seven years old, how do you explain your physical form?" he just grinned and shrugged and said "nature."

The terrible thing is that I'm rooting for him. I loved watching him slug it out with Alberto Contador, another aging (read: my age) former doper from days of yore, at the Volta a Catalunya earlier this year. Because whatever you may say, they're both characters and they both race like they mean it. I'm starting to feel that my hatred of Lance Armstrong is primarily because he's a jerk and not because he was a doper. (With a side of reaction against the sentimental adulation that he got in the U.S.)

Anyway, it's cycling, what can you expect? Sagan has had a mediocre spring, so I have to root for someone. All I can say is that the Tour is going to be interesting.
rmc28: Rachel standing in front of the entrance to the London Eye pier (Default)

Feeling stressed

Apr. 23rd, 2017 08:09 pm
[personal profile] rmc28
From last weekend until 8th June is literally the busiest I will be all year: 2 OU courses with exams on 6th and 8th, and a third that just started and will run until September. I knew I was going to be stressed and overloaded and wrung out for about 8 weeks and had basically made my peace with it as the price for getting done this year rather than next.

And now 8th June is a general election, and I have no time to campaign, and have to fight the guilt gremlins that think I should surely be able to carve some time out magically, somehow, and funnily enough being even more stressed does not increase my productivity, or help me sleep.  This has not been the best week!

I've now logged out of Twitter and Facebook on my phone, so I can't take the stress with me everywhere.  I've devoted the weekend to resting and sorting out money (thus removing some other stress).  I'm behind on everything, but Facebook reminded me that I wrote this time last year about being behind on everything. While I'm still perpetually running too close to my limits, those limits have expanded in the last year.  I'm routinely working a 5-day rather than a 4-day week, I'm studying at a higher level, and my fitness has improved a little.

So I'm going to trust that if I take care of myself, I can get through this.  At least by 9th June some of my stressors are guaranteed to be gone.


[personal profile] happydork
Friends. I held a seder yesterday. It was amazing. I want to tell you all about it. At great length. If you like, you can skip to the bottom where there are adorable photos.

Cut for many words and some photos )
nancylebov: (green leaves)

Those old typos

Apr. 23rd, 2017 11:41 am
[personal profile] nancylebov
If you see a typo in one of your years' old posts, do you feel compelled to correct it?
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

Four years ago today

Apr. 23rd, 2017 10:35 am
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
A very thin, very dirty stray cat turned up at Jasmine's condo complex, asking for food and shelter.

purplecthulhu: (Default)

Back to Dreamwidth

Apr. 23rd, 2017 01:49 pm
[personal profile] purplecthulhu
I'm going to try to post a bit more here and become part of the Dreamwidth Renaissance triggered by all of us refugees from the Russian annexation of LJ.

So what has been happening?

Writing:

Just bounced a story off Analog and Clarkesworld - not sure what to do about this one. I may send it to Lightspeed when they reopen for SF. Asimov's is a possibility, but my experience is that if one of the big names doesn't take a story none of them will. Suggestions on a postcard please (the story is set on Io so if any of you know of relevant anthologies please let me know).

I was shortlisted for the Clarke Centenary anthology competition at Eastercon. The reading went well, but I didn't win. Would be interesting to see voting figures. I have a plan for this story but need to do some editing before that can be put into operation.

The Novel is being worked on, after some very useful comments the writing group. Coming back to it fresh, and reading/editing it over a compressed time frame leads me to think that it might not be as execrable as I have been thinking for the last umpty years. I'm now about 10000 words from completing another major re-edit incorporating comments form the writing group. This last 10000 us going to be the hardest as it's been suggested that I need to put some more speed bumps in the way of my protagonists, so it's likely to grow from 10000 words, but I think I may soon be able to send it to potential agents. Scary!

Science:

While my own research is grinding along - with the unexpected speedbump of being commissioned to write a (paid for!) paper on 'An Introduction to the Planck Mission' for money! - my PhD students are doing well. My more senior student especially is going great guns right now, with loads of proposals submitted and several projects nearing the point when they can be turned into papers, as well as one paper close to being submitted. People have been asking me pointed questions about when they might be looking for a job, which is a good sign.

More broadly, though, science in the UK is in trouble. We've had flat cash for 7 years which amounts to a real terms cut of about 15%, and there is no sign of this changing in the foreseeable. In fact, what with Brexit coming at us like a steam train, there is no light at the end of the tunnel at all. About 40% of my department's funding comes from the EU in some shape or form - whether ERASMUS students, EU grants or whatever - so things are looking a bit bleak right now. I am looking at possibilities outside academia (see novel above - though I'm not stupid enough to think I can make a living writing SF unless I'me amazingly lucky) and outside the UK. I have one application in for a job in mainland Europe already.

Fandom:

Eastercon was fun - it was a lot less work than being a GoH as I was at Mancunicon, but there were a couple of fun readings - the one above for the competition and another for Shoreline of Infinity who just published a story of mine - as well as the usual. I managed to get to a surprising number of panels as an audience member.

Looking forward to Helsinki in August!

State of me:

It's not easy being bouncy and optimistic when you feel the country you live in isn't yours any more, and when the forces of ignorance, prejudice and privilege are taking hold across the world. William Gibson's view of the future is looking ever more likely and Dystopian is now a recognised fictional form on bookshop bookshelves. Still, we're off to Skye shortly and that always helps.
[personal profile] miss_s_b
... and, inevitably, they are massively cishetwhiteabledmale. This is a bit of a self-reinforcing thing, so I thought I would try to help out.

The people on this list are not all people I agree with all the time, but they are all people you find things out from following, and they are all civil (none of them will start frothing at you for differing with them, although if you attack them they're perfectly capable of defending themselves or blocking/muting you).

  • Journos and Pundits:

    1. Jen Williams - I'm with Gadsden on this, Jen is the best political journalist in the UK right now. Mancunian focus, but covers national stuff too. Forensic with information, and does proper investigative journalism as well as straight reporting. If you only follow one from this list, make it Jen.
    2. Samira Ahmed - freelancer who pops up all over the place, often Radio 4. Her twitter feed is exactly the kind of blend of politics and geekery I love.
    3. Jessica Elgot - Grauniad politics correspondent. This is where you go for straight Westminster bubble news, as it happens.
    4. Emily Maitlis - Presents Newsnight and tweets about politics a lot. Easier on the brain than following BBCLauraK.
    5. Marina Hyde - absolutely brutal yet hilariously funny political columnist.
    6. Judith Moritz - BBC North of England correspondent. Was astoundingly good on Hillsborough, among other things.
    7. Susan Hulme - presents Today In/Yesterday In Parliament on Radio 4. Excellent coverage of stories some others don't pick up - recent example being the gay concentration camps in Chechnya.
    8. Isabel Hardman - writes for the Speccy on politics. Also very good on mental health issues. Not to be confused with Oakeshott, who is Wrong Isabel.
    9. Joanne Douglas - Yorkshire politics, with a focus on Huddersfield. Like Jen Williams, Joanne digs deeper and goes harder than most local paper political journos.
    10. Neil Nunes - yes, that's right, the sexy-voiced radio 4 continuity announcer. His twitter feed is a source of news stories that I don't see a lot of links to, but are usually very interesting.


  • Actual Politicians:

    1. Ruby Chow (lib dem) - Ruby is refreshingly blunt and very precise. I like her a lot.
    2. Zoe Kirk-Robinson (Tory, and Leave campaigner) - look, you've got to have at least ONE Tory leave campaigner, and Zoe is the most reasonable of them that I've found.
    3. Hollyamory (lib dem) - Holly is an LGBT campaigner and an immigrant, and thus has a pretty unique perspective on electoral matters. Always worth reading.
    4. Sophie Cook (Labour) (and football) (and photography) (and LGBT TV)
    5. Dipa Vaya (Lib Dem) - lib dem diversity officer and all around Good Egg
    6. Caron Lindsay - (lib dem & unionist scotpol) - sorry to be having so many Lib Dems on this list, but I can't link you to my absolute favourite SNPer ScotPol account because she's friends-locked. So here is the editor of Lib Dem voice instead.
    7. Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin (labour) - editor of Left Foot Forward blog. Good on internal Labour stuff and things to do with Ireland/Northern Ireland/Intersection between the two.
    8. Caroline Lucas (green) - worth following for both internal green stuff and attempts to reach out cross party.


  • Non-Party-Affiliated and Other Interested Bystanders:

    1. Writers of Colour - this is another absolute essential, as far as I am concerned. Often combative, but always justifiably so when they are. I have learned so much and re-examined so many of my own thoughts from following them.
    2. Number Cruncher Politics - run by Matt Singh, and full of lovely graphs and ananlysis.
    3. Shoni - a lot on intersectional racial stuff. Very left wing.
    4. Ellavescent - absolutely essential for both disability and trans rights issues. Is "A Pox on All Their Houses" politically, so can sometimes be a bit rude about party politics. She's got very good reasons for being so, though.
    5. Milena - generally awesome on politics whether there's an election on or not; Milena is also an immigrant and can't vote in the general election. They've tweeted eloquently about how bloody awful that is.
    6. Shappi Khorsandi - stand up comic and president of the British Humanist association. Manages to be pointed yet hilarious about politics, both party and non, on a regular basis.
Obviously, this list is not exhaustive, and there are plenty of other interesting not!cishetwhiteabledmen to follow on twitter. These are just some of the ones I follow and find particularly useful. I hope you will too.
[personal profile] miss_s_b
... I said all I wanted to say in the title, really. There's 37 more here if ppl want to go look :)
miss_s_b: (Default)

The Blood is the Life for 23-04-2017

Apr. 23rd, 2017 11:00 am
[personal profile] miss_s_b
naraht: (Default)

More observations

Apr. 23rd, 2017 08:22 am
[personal profile] naraht
• There is now, finally, a YoI community on Dreamwidth, [community profile] yurionicefans.

• Pressing onwards with French learning, or at least with Lingvist, which I'm actually enjoying. Last time I tried it, I felt like I got bogged down in endless variants of "peux, tuer, veux, viens..." (or words of that shape), but I seem to have pressed on past that now. It tells me I've learned 538 words so far. If you devote 15 minutes a day, it's really easy to add 20+ words a day, which adds up. We'll see how it all hangs together.

• Waiting with bated breath for the results of the first round of the French Presidential election. Among other things, looking for informed discussion has reminded me how American-centric Metafilter is. The US Presidential elections produced 5000+ comment threads, every few days, for months. The corresponding French thread has 33 comments. So I am watching BFM TV via Worldbox (a fantastic resource hidden within the depths of channel 834 by Virgin Media), even though I don't really understand it.
lizbee: (DW: Bill (garden))

Doctor Who 10.02 - "Smile"

Apr. 23rd, 2017 09:49 am
[personal profile] lizbee
Fun fact! A modern Doctor Who episode is exactly the right length to eat a bowl of cereal, drink three small cups of tea, and apply a fresh nail wrap. The deco styling matches my new Star Wars T-shirt, but I can't quite decide how I feel about this shade of pink. Which is fair, because I also can't quite decide how I feel about this episode!

Spoilers are quoting Bowie. )
cupcake_goth: (Default)

(no subject)

Apr. 22nd, 2017 02:44 pm
[personal profile] cupcake_goth
I was going to spend today pinning and sewing the venise lace onto the edges of the lace collar/breastplate thing I'm making as part of my Vampire Ball outfit. But first I had to take the old lace off, because the base collar/front had originally been a stretchy lace shirt of mine, and the narrow ruffled lace down the front would add too much bulk, not work with the intended design, and make attaching the resin bobcat skull more difficult than it needed to be.

Guess who kept tearing the damn thing? AAAAAAUUUGH.

But hey! Did you know that you can buy lace collar/dickies on Amazon with Prime shipping? So that arrives Tuesday, which gives me enough time to attach the venise lace and do some beading before next weekend, at which point I'll take the whole thing (and bobcat skull) with me to Thea's, where we will figure out how to attach the skull and add even more sparkly accents. And because Thea is 1) an awesome friend, and 2) Queen of Crafting and DIY, she's already said that if I need to leave the whole thing with her so she can work on it while I'm off at Disneyland, that's no problem.

This means I can spend part of today gathering all the assorted burgundy and black floof I may want to add to this hat. It's a few shades lighter than the dress I'm wearing it with, but pretty close to the skirt; if I add darker burgundy accents to it (more lace, silk roses), along with some black tulle (and maybe black roses, IDK), that will tie the whole thing together.

Yes, these are the sorts of things I do for fun.
hollymath: (Default)

Smells

Apr. 22nd, 2017 09:52 pm
[personal profile] hollymath
I went to Levy market for the first time this year (almost two months after it started up again!), vaguely thinking I might get my dad something for his birthday, but instead the only thing I interacted with much was a stall where a guy was selling perfume.

They were in tiny bottles, not sprays but a kind of oil thing, with an applicator a teeny version of a roll-on deodorant one.

The man encouraged me to try a bunch and told me about them. The oils are from Dubai, he says. Some were jasmine, musk, rose, even caramel. One was so fruity it smelled almost like bubblegum. I found a couple of "woody" scents I liked, including the specific cedar as well as two non-specified "woody" ones. It was one of those I bought.

I was really excited because I can't usually do perfumes: most scents and definitely anything that you spray is hard on Andrew's asthmatic lungs. I can't even have spray deodorant without him coughing and complaining I make the whole room "smell pink." (Usually, I think once it smelled purple.)

But since these were oily rub-on things (the guy made a point of saying several times they're alcohol-free), I figured they'd be more likely to be okay, like the solid Lush perfume I used to have.

So I think I like the smell of the one I got, but even hours and hamd-washes later, my wrists and the backs of my hands still smell like a whore's drawers, as the locals would say.
miss_s_b: (Blogging: Internet forever!!)

New Twitter Muting Policy

Apr. 22nd, 2017 09:32 pm
[personal profile] miss_s_b
There's an election on.
I tweet about politics.
I have over 3000 followers, and several of them RT me on occasion.

This all means that I quite regularly attract... People who wish to engage in debate. Some of them in a less than friendly manner.

Now, sometimes, these people are just asking a question. And sometimes, when I answer their question they say "oo, I didn't know that! Thanks!" and we both carry on our merry way after a positive interaction.

Sometimes they are just outright hostile or insulting, and those people I mute straight away.

Sometimes though... Sometimes they are asking a question in the hopes of trapping me, or pissing me off, or just wasting my time. So I answer their initial question, and then they say "yeah but..." and bring up something unrelated, but still opposing, or they build a straw man (or a battalion of straw men), or employ any number of other tactics designed to irritate me.

Life is too damn short for people like that.

Therefore, from today, I have instituted a Three Strikes and You're Out policy for twitter. If you ask me a question, and you respond with "yeah but...", I'll answer. If you respond to the second answer with "yeah but..." then I will know that you are not debating in good faith, you're trying to irritate me and/or waste my time, and I will simply mute you.

Like I said, life is too short. I confidently expect lots of "yeah but..." replies to this post, btw...
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

Took a quick look at the LJ side

Apr. 22nd, 2017 04:01 pm
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Porn spam has rocketed up to 35% of comments.
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats & the membership secretary for Calderdale Lib Dems and run the web campaign for the local candidates. I have a job, a stepdaughter and a life.

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