September 21st, 2017
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 08:49am on 21/09/2017
Happy birthday, [personal profile] italiceyeball!
September 20th, 2017
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)

What I read

Finished Boys will be Boys, which was still very familiar although it is many years since I last read it. Wonder if Turner would really have liked to be writing something a bit more serious about matters of popular culture; and would have liked to be nerdish in the archives of the publishing companies, because there are sometimes wistful asides about the mysteries that might be solved thereby. Pretty sure this is where the very youthful [personal profile] oursin first acquired that apprehension that each generation disses upon what the young of next are consuming (whether print or radio or more latterly other media) as A Road to Ruin (I wish I could locate my copy of his Roads to Ruin).

Also finished The Witch of Syracuse: worked well, did not have that sense one so oft has when scattered short stories on a character/s are brought together of 'fix-up', but that it worked as a narrative arc. Also thought it worked well on the historical contingencies, nature of the deities, etc. (Very unfluffy Hellenic/Punic goddesses.)

Being somewhat smitten with travel angst, read various short things, comfort re-reads, etc.

Did read the novella Suradanna and the Sea by Rebecca Fraimow (2016): very good, even though I couldn't remember why or when I'd downloaded it.

On the go

Finally began Victoria Bates, Sexual Forensics in Victorian and Edwardian England: Age, Crime and Consent in the Courts (2015) - very good so far.

Also currently in medias res, Patricia McKillip, Kingfisher (2017) - very good, but my bar for riffing on/mashing up Arthuriana is set very high with Naomi Mitchison's To the Chapel Perilous.

Up Next

Dunno.

*Among other sights seen today, Rynek Underground.

oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 08:45am on 20/09/2017
Happy birthdsy, [personal profile] sharpiefan!
September 19th, 2017
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)

This morning it was overcast and a bit cool, by this evening via mildly drizzly has become colder and wetter.

Nontheless, we have managed some flaneurserie around the Old Town, a visit to St Mary's Cathedral with its massive gothic altar, and several museums:

The Gallery of C19th Polish Art at Suikiennice

The Jagiellonian University Museum Collegium Maius

The temporary exhibition of 350 items from the The Princes Czartoryski Museum

Pharmacy Museum, Jagiellonian University Medical College

All of which leaves me rather too overwhelmed to say much beyond: that's a hell of a lot of old scientific instruments/apothecary paraphernalia, and dealers across Europe must has seen the Czartoryskis coming, with their interest in associational historical items (I would guess scamsters moved into this after the decline in fake relics?).

There was also (v expensive) coffee taken in a very plush place with numerous historical associations.

Place is generally heaving with tourists and tour groups.

September 18th, 2017
oursin: Sleeping hedgehog (sleepy hedgehog)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 09:11pm on 18/09/2017 under , ,

Today has been mostly airports and planes - both flight AND connecting flight were delayed, so even more hanging about airports than anticipated.

Now fed and in hotel - serious lack of/unhelpful positioning of power sockets. But at least free wifi and brekkers inc.

oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 07:01am on 18/09/2017
Happy birthday, [personal profile] auguris and [personal profile] fitzcamel!
September 17th, 2017
oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 08:36pm on 17/09/2017 under ,

Bread during week: a loaf of the Khorasan (kamut) flour, made as per instructions on the packet.

Friday supper, Gujerati khichchari, very nice, even if yet again I put in ground cumin instead of cumin seeds.

No Saturday breakfast rolls, as we were using up bread before going away, so had toast.

Today's lunch: lemon sole fillets, seasoned and panfried in butter, served with Ruby Gem potatoes roasted in goosefat, garlic roasted sweet sprouting cauliflower and tenderstem broccoli, and padron peppers.

oursin: Hedgehog saying boggled hedgehog is boggled (Boggled hedgehog)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 01:24pm on 17/09/2017 under , ,

A pregnant woman working at a Queenstown ski field found a colleague had left a condom filled with mayonnaise and a crude note on her desk during a staff morale boosting event.

And okay, perhaps this is me being Very British Problems, but I'm fairly creeped out by the concept of

an event dubbed "woo week" where staff were encouraged to boost each other's morale using notes and gifts.

An event poster from NZ Ski encouraged staff to "Let those romantic and creative juices flow, to show your affections and/or appreciation for your woo'ee. "Whether you're single, married, defacto or other, woo week is fun for everyone. "You are assigned at random one person to woo in secret from 23-29th July," the poster read.

The ughfulness is terrific. I feel thar even short of the reported crudity, this has enormous potential for problems.

tcpip: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tcpip at 10:01pm on 17/09/2017 under , , ,
Have had a fairly busy week in my favourite pastime. Every day this week I've been working on finishing Papers & Paychecks as well as RPG Review 35-36, now a double issue of Antipodean gaming material. To have both out by the end of the month would be ideal, and I think that is certainly going to happen at current rates of work. Much of RPG Review has been helped by [personal profile] reverancepavane whose epic writing for RPGaDay has been nothing less than extraordinary. In actual play on Wednesday finished the classic introductory Stormbringer scenario The Tower of Yrkath Florn which includes nothing less than a Melnibonéan wheel (my calculations put the value at around $3m AUD). As I've wryly remarked this may very well be our Stormbringer; a theme which I don't think the game does well is the idea of tragedy from power. It was also a heavy Eclipse Phase weekend, with a game on Friday night which curiously was chasing down a antagonist whom the players in my Sunday game are close to encountering for the first time. Whilst a good scenario, once again I could not help but chuckle at the author's rather light idea of what a seedy "sex and drugs and gangs" red-light district would consist of - especially in a transhumanist environment.

On Friday finally managed to write up my review of The Residents concert from March last year. On Saturday attended Software Freedom Day and the LUV AGM, where I have found myself on the committee for yet another year. Afterwards went to [livejournal.com profile] usekh's memorial birthday at the Back Bar. Kudos are due to [personal profile] damien_wise for doing most of the organising of the event. Today visited St Michael's to hear Rev. Ric Holland's impressive service on forgiveness, also taking the opportunity to introduce Shupu, to the location. I hadn't been for several months and was never a regular attendee, so I was quite surprised to discover a few people remembered me. The Rev. offered to catch up for coffee some time and I certainly intend to take up that invitation. Afterwards made my way to university, and stumbled upon the a protest against racism and fascism which I attended; the media of course, concentrated on a very minor disruption, ignoring the important message that the Rohingyan refugee speaking was presenting at the same time.
Mood:: 'content' content
location: Willsmere
Music:: Shadowland, The Residents
September 16th, 2017
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 05:39pm on 16/09/2017 under , , , ,

Why can’t we read anymore?.

When the author complains that he barely reads four books a year, I think we should be told how many he was wont to read before he got addicted to the distracting dopamine rush. (I write here as someone who considers that her number of books read per annum has almost certainly declined: to something in the region of 200-300. But held fairly steady even when I was being an Award Judge.)

I also think that perhaps we should be told what kind of books he's trying to read: in which case, perhaps it's the particular what that he's bouncing off.

(Because honestly, there are times when I find myself bouncing off particular kinds of things, or just not finding whatever it is that will tickle my reading taste-buds. And maybe this is about general mood-factors, and not just the siren song of the digital universe.)

And, of course, I will never not be somewhat amused by the way in which Reading Books has become this culturally worthy activity, because I can remember when it was otherwise...

oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 11:23am on 16/09/2017
Happy birthday, [personal profile] copperwise and [personal profile] noveldevice!
September 15th, 2017
terriko: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] terriko at 02:08pm on 15/09/2017
This is crossposted from Curiousity.ca, my personal maker blog. If you want to link to this post, please use the original link since the formatting there is usually better.

Go Tell the Bees Knit-a-long


This was my second rainbow for pride month, because once you’ve accidentally started such a great theme you might as well stick with it! Here’s the two projects together:

Go Tell the Bees Knit-a-long


Yarn


Bling Bling Sister, a sparkly rainbow gradient from Alexandra’s Crafts. Probably acquired at the Oregon Flock and Fiber festival. You can’t see the “bling” in all my photos, but there is a little thread of silver sparkle in there and it looks great especially as it catches the light.


Go Tell the Bees Knit-a-long


I’d been saving this yarn for something special and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a bit more kinky than the last gradient I used from Wollelfe (I haven’t written up that project yet, sorry!), so it really really needed blocking when I was done. Here it is looking lumpy in the PDX airport:


Go Tell the Bees Knit-a-long


However, even a slightly inadequate travel “block on a towel in my mom’s living room” got it looking great:

Go Tell the Bees Knit-a-long


Pattern


Go Tell the Bees by PDXKnitterati.


PDXKnitterati’s been one of my favourite designers since I first cast on her Fern Leaf Shawlette, which is still the bit of knitwear I wear most. (If you’ve seen me at a conference in the past year, I’ve probably been wearing it!) Her patterns are always beautiful, easy to read, well-tested, and she’s got lots that are in that perfect balance of complicated enough to be fun or to teach you a new skill, but with simple enough bits that I can still get lots done during standards meetings, on commuter rail, or hanging out in the hammock in my backyard. Or in this case, on the couch I gifted to my parents when I left Canada:


Go Tell the Bees Knit-a-long


Also, if you ever get a chance, she runs really great knit-a-longs on ravelry for some of her new pattern releases. Her fans produce beautiful inspiring work and she encourages us all to post pictures and even awards prizes! (I even won some beautiful bee stitch markers and candles!) It’s really fun to be part of her community there for a few weeks. Here’s a picture to commemorate the excitement of my first bees emerging from the pattern:


Go Tell the Bees Knit-a-long


I’ve got quite a few more pdxknitterati patterns in my queue, and just going through these photos again has me itching to cast on something else from her catalog!


Project


This one was cast on in Oregon and finished in Ontario, and it gathered comments from people across the continent because of the bright yarn and the great pattern.


From those first few rows:

Go Tell the Bees Knit-a-long


Through realizing I had a perfect honeycomb bag for my project thanks to my friend M:

Go Tell the Bees Knit-a-long


To taking finished object pictures in the light rain in Ottawa:

Go Tell the Bees Knit-a-long


This one was a super satisfying project, and a beautiful finished object that is quickly becoming one of my favourites to wear.

oursin: The stylised map of the London Underground, overwritten with Tired of London? Tired of Life! (Tired of London? Tired of Life!)

Should probably say that my part of London is pretty distant from Parson's Green.

***

Dept of Fortuity: when you see news of a book that you would be really interested in reading, at eye-watering academic press prices, even for the ebook: and in a day or so having a request from the very same press to referee a book proposal for them, in return for BOOKS to a value that would cover this and a bit more.

***

Dept of O tempora o mores: The Tatler guide to threesomes. If Sir Charles Dilke did do as alleged during a divorce trial, and suggest a 3some with a lady and her maid, perhaps had he read this he would not have got into the hot water he did.

***

Dept of, is this a portent? Rare white giraffes sighted in Kenya conservation area. Are there local tales of the dire consequences of hunting a white giraffe? In this video clip the mamma has a rather 'I'm ready for my close-up now Mr de Mille' expression.

***

Dept of, is this not the return of the prefab: Home sweet micro home: sleep-testing a pod for the homeless.

***

Dept of, so out of touch he's floating in the void: Jacob Rees-Mogg seems to think that the poor are put into the world in order to allow people to acquire merit through charitable activity. O that Simon Raven were around to excoriate him as a fictional character as he did his father.

oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 09:10am on 15/09/2017
Happy birthday, [personal profile] desert_dragon!
kerravonsen: "Homicidal faeries make things more interesting." (homicidal-faeries)

My rambling spoilery thoughts on the first two books of the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire [twitter.com profile] seananmcguire. On audiobook, narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal [twitter.com profile] MaryRobinette.

Rosemary and Rue )

In regard to the audiobook itself, Mary Robinette Kowal did a great job. I don't think I can imagine Toby as sounding like anyone else, now. Of the other voices she did... I love Tybalt the best.

So I went on to "A Local Habitation". Audiobook again. Chores become so much more pleasant when one is listening to an urban fantasy mystery. Massive SPOILERS for A Local Habitation )

Yes, more audiobooks of this series are on their way to me.

September 14th, 2017
oursin: My photograph of Praire Buoy sculpture, Meadowbrook Park, Urbana, overwritten with Urgent, Phallic Look (urgent phallic)

I was mystified, and going 'what's your motivation here, luvvie?' by that guy who said he was playing the piano in a Bristol park to win back his ex and would not stop until he had.

Which seemed to me, along a spectrum from 'aw, romantic gesture' to 'equivalent of holding breath until turns blue', a lot closer to the latter.

Do we not think when he said

"The social media reaction turned it very quickly into something that would cause the one person I didn’t want to hurt embarrassment and pain.
"That was the last thing in the world I had wanted to happen, so I left.”
that that person was himself and not 'Rapunzel' (TWFU)?

And, while there is a folkloric tradition of women setting their suitors arduous tasks - as it might be, go to the Mountains of the Moon and bring me back a phoenix feather, and not just any manky feather, a nice large pinion in mint condition' - do we not wonder, my dearios, whether that was to get them out from under their feet and hanging about in stalkery fashion? (Obvs, is different when it is possessive father setting ordeal.)

I see I remarked some while since about the poem The Glove, that fair Cunegonde was probably hoping the tigers would eat Sir Delorges - but at least she did get him off her back.

I was also reminded of a couple of advice-column things I read somewhere, sometime: one of which was a woman complaining that her husband was always Making Things about the house and their friends would comment and be envious; but that she never got any kudos for the non-performative things she did in the household and would have been grateful for some less showy manifestations of activity on his part.

The other one was similarly about a guy who showed his devotion through DIY, rather than in a more usual and carnal fashion, and she would have preferred a spot of Ye Conjugales.

I suppose this may relate to that trope of 'men have no idea what presents to buy for their wives' and therefore buy things that are trite, inappropriate and unwanted.

This article that I just encountered seems apposite:

I remember, when I was breaking up with one of my exes years ago, he listed all the ways I made his life better when trying to convince me not to go. And I asked him, “but how do you think you make my life better?” and he was taken aback. “I don’t know,” he said. He’d never thought about it.

oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
posted by [personal profile] oursin at 09:14am on 14/09/2017
Happy birthday, [personal profile] ann1962 and [personal profile] brewsternorth!
September 13th, 2017
oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)

What I read

Finished The Citadel of Weeping Pearls, which is indeed very good, just required a little more intellectual energy (and possibly, more concentrated reading time) than available to me during and in the aftermath of an academic conference.

Also finished Mitchison's Ghosts, which was very good, got I thought at Mitchison's own rather Schrodinger position on the supernatural. (Is there, has there been, a book to be written on the literary legacy of Margaret Murray's - exploded but in their day highly influential - theories about witchcraft and The Old Religion? I seem to have seen echoes of this, and Graves' White Goddess, over a range of writers and genres.)

Aliette de Bodard, Ships in Exile: Stories of Xuya - three novellas situated in de Bodard's longer future history, very good, just possibly needing a bit more context, but hey, this was a giveaway, wottahell.

Daphne du Maurier, My Cousin Rachel (1951) - spotted in booksale, and have been wanting to read since seeing the movie as is decades since I first read it. Confirmed that there is a honking great, plot-undermining, misunderstanding of testamentary law (I think there were ways this could have been got round in the narrative, but, really, a will made ten years previously would be voided by marriage. Even the lawyer does not remark on this). Also, up codfish and at 'em for Philip Ashley, no? (I will concede that the only du Maurier I have actually reread multiple times is Frenchman's Creek, it is absolutely a go-to work when convalescing from flu.)

Nicholas Blake, There's Trouble Brewing (1937). I was well pissed off when Georgina, having featured in the first few pages, is despatched to do some strenuous outdoor activity in the wilds of Scotland while Nigel Strangeways goes to, as he thinks, give a talk to a provincial literary society and hijinx nefarious deeds ensue. Quite good, i.e. readable, up to the final pages where we have a detailed reconstruction of how the crime must have been done (we have already come to, surprise whodunnit twist).

Sarah Gailey, Taste of Marrow (2017). Enjoyable.

Oh yes, and finally dragged myself through to the end of the book I was reading for review: very dry.

On the go

(I see that I have things listed as 'currently reading' on GoodReads that I should either mark gave up or on hiatus.)

Dorothy Heydt, The Witch of Syracuse (2017, but actually collecting together short stories published in anthologies during the 80s and 90s: free to download). Enjoying these: partly for the flashback to those days when there seemed more of this sort of thing around - women protags with agency but not necessarily ass-kicking ninjas.

Up next

I'm currently in a havering mood on various things as to whether I read them now or save them up for travel purposes.

September 12th, 2017
terriko: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] terriko at 02:01pm on 12/09/2017
This is crossposted from Curiousity.ca, my personal maker blog. If you want to link to this post, please use the original link since the formatting there is usually better.

I wound up knitting rainbows through pride month, which was fun. This one was an accident (I just like rainbows) but once I realized I did go out of my way to dig out a rainbow ball for my next project. 🙂






Yarn


Bounce Blanket kit from Knitted Wit (“Little Black Dress” colourway, Stroller size)


This was a splurge purchase to celebrate selling off a bunch of my initial stock grant at work. Despite having been in tech for many years, this marks the first time I’ve actually had stock vest and get sold!


Bounce Blanket


My one complaint with this kit is that it wasn’t a perfect gradient — that stupid green skein on the end didn’t quite fit, so I left it at the end where it wouldn’t bug me too much. But I love the yarn, and with the exception of that irksome green, loved the colours. It also was quite generous in terms of amounts: I could easily have made this blanket wider than the stroller size only I legitimately wanted this to fit in a stroller and there’s not much advantage to having it wide enough to drag. So I’m debating a nice rainbow-y project to do with the leftovers. There might be enough for a stripey baby sweater to match!


Pattern


Bounce by TinCanKnits.


This is not a hard pattern, but interesting enough with the rainbow colours that I didn’t get bored! I’ve now done a number of patterns from this team now and took advantage of one of their sales to pick up a few more to try.


Bounce Blanket


Photos


In progress:

Bounce Blanket


Bounce Blanket


In progress with temporary dog (we were pupsitting and it turns out he’s a great knitting companion):

Bounce Blanket


Pre-blocking:

Bounce Blanket


Bounce Blanket


Blocking:

Bounce Blanket


I’m setting this to publish the day the baby it’s for is due to arrive, but I hear babies rarely adhere to schedule so no pictures with said baby for a while. 🙂

oursin: Cod with aghast expression (kepler codfish)

Glancing through Ask A Manager this morning I spotted this (4th question down):

I work in a factory environment and split my time between the office and the factory floor, and when I work on the floor (where it’s always warm because of the machinery, especially in the summer), I usually end up sweaty. When I go back to the office, I do my best to cool off and dry my face and hair, and I often wrap a scarf around my head to absorb the sweat. For some reason, people think this makes me look like a ninja warrior. I’m not making this up — many people (mostly from outside my department) have said this on numerous occasions, and they seem to think it is a hilarious observation. I have lost count of how many people have asked me, “Haha, are you a ninja warrior?” or simply stated, “Oh, you’re wearing your ninja headband today.”
(poster has a health problem causing excessive sweating.)

But people do that much more generally, it's really, really, annoying, because they each of them think they are the first one to have made this hilarious (NOT) comment about your appearance or thing you are doing.

While invoking the health necessity angle may get them off this poster's back, I am not sure there is any way - short of the 'when I am dictator of the universe' scenario* - that one can stop people doing this really very irksome thing.

*When there will be extreme penalties for standing on the wrong side of the escalator or clustering at entrances in such a way that no-one can get by, and stopping dead either going into or coming out from the automatic gates to the Tube (and at top/bottom of the escalator).

(Sustainable alternatives to codfish, suitable for thwacking purposes, will have to be sought.)

.

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