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[personal profile] dreamshark
I watched the first half of the first episode, then turned on closed captions and watched it again. Then I went online and found an alphabetical glossary of Canadian slang, which I studied intently. Today I watched the 2nd episode and liked it better now that I had some idea what they were saying. Do people really talk like that in rural Canada? I had no idea. 

I didn't immediately go crazy for it like you did, but I can see how it could grow on me. 

jesse_the_k: barcode version of jesse-the-k.dreamwidth.org (JK OpenID barcode)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k

Read Markdown Simplifies Formatting Your DW Posts for an introduction and the formats you'll use daily.

This sequel covers the rest of Dreamwidth’s Markdown support. 1100 words )

Updates and Stuff

Feb. 21st, 2019 12:14 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Cancer Stuff

We got back about a week ago from my wife’s latest round of chemo. She had an infusion reaction and a painful (but not life-threatening) side effect from one of the meds, but otherwise things went pretty well. The oncologist says the lymphoma is responding well to treatment.

In better news, it sounds like they’re going to transfer her care from the hospital in Detroit to a more local cancer center, which means no more 90-minute drives back and forth, and no more needing to stay in the hospital apartments for 1-2 weeks at a time. (At least until we get to the bone marrow transplant part of the process.)

People have asked what they could do, which is very kind and much appreciated. I don’t think there’s much we need at the moment, so my suggestion would be to look into donating blood. Amy needed a lot of blood products at the beginning, and will probably need additional transfusions, and it all drove home how important it is to have a well-supplied local blood bank.

Writing Stuff

On the writing front, I actually got a little work done on Terminal Peace earlier this week. Not much, but it was something. I’m hoping as the cancer stuff calms down a bit, I’ll be able to keep making progress there. But helping my wife to get well again and taking care of the kids is still the priority.

Thanks to everyone who boosted about Terminal Uprising coming out last week, and to those of you who’ve commented how much you enjoyed it and/or posted reviews. I haven’t been able to do as much promo this time, for obvious reasons, so I’m even more appreciative.

I’m still hit-or-miss on emails and such, but I’m trying to catch up and stay on top of things.

Depression Stuff

I’ve talked about my depression off and on. I’d expect, given everything that’s happened these past two months, that I’d be drowning in a nasty brain-weasel flare-up. Surprisingly, I haven’t seen too much sign of that yet.

Yet being the key word there. My response to crisis has always been to focus on helping the person in crisis and doing whatever I can do. I’ve been in that mode for two+ months now.

I suspect sooner or later it’s going to catch up and knock me on my ass. So I’m trying to watch my own symptoms, and to do what I can to take care of myself. Things like letting other people around town help out, or even asking for help when I need it. I also scheduled an appointment with my former therapist for next week, just to come in and talk and vent and see what happens. Then there’s stuff like sitting around and watching the second season of Dragon Prince with my son to relax and unwind a little.

I know I’m keeping some things stuffed down for now to help me function. But I don’t feel like I’m hiding from it. So far, this seems to be working.

Random Cancer-Related Observation

I’ve lost about ten pounds since this all started. This diet plan sucks!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Snowdon Aviary

Feb. 21st, 2019 03:41 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Aviary IR_2

One interesting thing about going to historical zoos is how seldom the buildings, built to house animals, gave any consideration to the animals at all.

Decimus Burton, the first architect of the zoo is on record as being quite upset that his brilliant designs, made so people can appreciate the animals, were being thrown away because, as it turned out, they were also killing the animals that lived there.

While not as bad as that, this aviary has also reached the end of its useful life and there were signs up about how the zoo planned to replace it soon.

The more we learn, the more we realize just how wrong we were when we thought we knew what we were doing. I think this is true in all fields, but more apparent in the world of zoos.

Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

2 Interesting articles

Feb. 21st, 2019 03:26 am
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
[personal profile] sasha_feather posting in [community profile] access_fandom
Ariel Henly at the Washington Post:

Hollywood should know better: You can't tell evil just by looking.


Moviegoers are supposed to know that characters such as Scar in “The Lion King,” Freddy Krueger and Doctor Poison are evil simply by looking at them. And it’s an impression that lasts long after moviegoers leave the theater, conditioning the general public to fear individuals who, like me, have asymmetrical faces, burns or scars, and to believe that we are not worthy of equality, empathy and inclusion.

Andrew Todd at /Film:

Off the Deep End: ‘A Star is Born’ and Why the MPAA Needs to Include Depictions of Suicide in Its Ratings


Content warning: this article contains forthright descriptions of suicide and suicidal thoughts. It also contains spoilers for A Star is Born.

(no subject)

Feb. 20th, 2019 08:47 pm
boxofdelights: (Default)
[personal profile] boxofdelights
• What are you reading?

The Summer Birds, by Penelope Farmer, because of [personal profile] rachelmanija's recommendation.

• What did you recently finish reading?

The Tea Master and the Detective, by Aliette de Bodard. I think this is the right length de Bodard for me. The other one I've tried was The House of Shattered Wings, which had a similar flavor: melancholy, lots that is unspoken and maybe unspeakable, communication that is clearly conveying much more to the characters than I will ever understand. Maybe it is just too grown-up a flavor for me.

• What do you think you’ll read next?

I want to read all the good books for eleven-year-olds. Here's my list so far:
Suggestions and comments are welcome. No need to read through my list to make sure your suggestion is not on it; more mentions of a book make me more likely to read it.

• What are you watching?

Russian Doll, whenever I get some wifi.

Bad Times at the El Royale. Violent but worth it.

Tully. Really good.

A Wrinkle in Time.
1. This movie is so beautiful.
2. I am okay with it being its own thing, even though it has more love and less math than I would have chosen.
3. I have a surprising sore spot that this movie hit when the Happy Medium, urging Meg to find her balance, yelled, "You can do this, you’re choosing not to."

I don't have a sense of balance, not like most people do. I don't have a thing in my head that is constantly telling me what direction 'down' is. I have a substitute that I have manufactured for myself, from seeing horizontals and feeling pressure against the soles of my feet.

Most likely I was born this way. The nerve endings in my left ear never got finished. My parents noticed that I was deaf in one ear when I was five, but I didn't figure out the balance problem until I was an adult. Fortunately I don't have vertigo because my baby brain was still plastic enough to realize that the signal from my inner ear is not worth listening to.

The balance mechanism in my right ear still works, but the brain interprets any signal from right ear + no signal from left ear = 'down' is whatever direction the right ear is pointing. When I was a kid I used to sit in a swing, raise my feet and close my eyes, to get the illusion that I was spinning, very slowly, clockwise. I was always surprised to open my eyes and see that the swing's chains were not twisted together.

So the yoga exercise that has you stand on one foot, find your balance, and then close your eyes fells me like a tree. It was an immense relief to learn that no, I'm not choosing not to, I just can't.

The Umbrella Academy

Feb. 20th, 2019 09:09 pm
sasha_feather: Person in old-time SCUBA gear on a suburban lawn (Tales from Outer Suburbia)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
The Umbrella Academy - Netflix. 10 episodes

I loved this, but I also have some complaints and reservations. So, spoilers, pros and cons, below the cut.

Read more... )

Managing Twitter

Feb. 20th, 2019 06:28 pm
jesse_the_k: Cartoon of white male drowning in storm, right hand reaching out desperately, with text "Someone tweeted" (someone tweeted)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k

I love being on Twitter. Constant stimulation. Jokes zinging right and left. Art and photos from around the world. Checking in with people who I only see once a year at WisCon if I’m lucky.

I hate being on Twitter. Constant stimulation. Terrible things happening world wide, curated for my attention by people I like. As of November 2016, I've been on a total newsfast to maintain my sanity, and there's a LOTS of content that's toxic.

Therefore: three tools that help me interact with Twitter manageably.

Thread Reader App

read and save threads off site )


real-time at your own pace )


superlative iOS client )

mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa

This is the latest in a recurring series! For more about the series, please read the original post on Marta Randall, or subsequent posts on Dorothy Heydt, Barbara Hambly, Jane Yolen, Suzy McKee Charnas, Sherwood Smith, Nisi Shawl, and Pamela Dean.

The more I do of this series of posts, the more I discover that one of the commonalities of writers I want to feature here is that they write with great variety--both on a range of topics and for a range of audiences. The first Gwyneth Jones books I fell in love with were the series that starts with Bold As Love--all rock, all political, all relationships, all the time. Focused on the near future, the environment, and how people handle it as people--at basically every scale. Healthy dollop of weird science fiction mysticism.

But then I ran around trying to find as many others of her books as I could--a harder feat than it should be in the US, alas--there were very different things. Weird alien SF! Creepy kids' books! Riffs on classics with heart and humanity! There are authors of whom you can say, "Well, it's a one of those again, if you want that," and...Gwyneth Jones doesn't do that. Even the last book of the Bold As Love cycle departs strongly from the patterns and concerns of the rest of it. (The Grasshopper's Child, and I love that one too.) There's a lot of her back catalog for me to pore through bookstores to find, and I'm eager for it.

dreamshark: (Default)
[personal profile] dreamshark
tldr;  Minnesota tax law is not kind to retirees, and is nowhere near as "progressive" as it claims to be.

The 1099 from my brokerage account finally arrived yesterday, and I plugged it into my tax software immediately. I need to get an idea how much I owe so I can figure out how I'm going to pay it when I file in April. For the 3rd year in a row I was baffled to discover that my Minnesota tax bill was higher than my Federal tax. The lowest tax brackets (where my income falls) are 10-12% for Federal tax but only 5.5% for Minnesota.  So my Fed tax should be about twice my MN tax, not 10% LESS. So, WTF?? 

This year I decided to figure it out, and after about 3 hours of digging around I finally realized what was going on. It turns out that Federal tax law is far more progressive than I realized and Minnesota is pretty much "screw the poor." Or anyway, the sort of poor. If you're too poor to have retirement savings, the rest of this will be of no interest to you and you can go back to complaining about the wide, flat, Minnesota tax brackets.

I poked around in the H&R Block software FAQ, got a hint, pursued it down the halls of Google, and finally unearthed the surprising answer. Most people are probably dimly aware that Capital Gains income is taxed at a lower rate than other income. This is invariably portrayed by the media as a "Tax Break For The  Rich." But it's not only rich people that have capital gains income. If you own mutual funds, as most people who have managed to amass any retirement savings do, you almost certainly have Capital Gains income (and maybe even the more esoteric Qualified Dividend income). In my case, 2/3 of the income from my investment account is in those categories. Not because I'm so smart, but because my broker is. Anyway, it turns out that while The Rich do get a tax break on that type of income, The Poor get an even bigger one, at least from the Feds. In fact, if you are in the lower 2 Federal tax brackets, you pay 0% tax on Capital Gains and Qualified Dividends! Minnesota, on the other hand, appears to tax everything as ordinary income. I never noticed this before because when I was working most of my income came from salary. But as a retired person, most of my taxable income is from retirement savings, so it's very noticeable.

Incidentally, this has nothing to do with last year's new tax law (I refuse to call it a Tax Cut). This 0% tax for lower incomes did not change significantly between 2017 and 2018. 

Asiatic Lion

Feb. 20th, 2019 03:12 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat

Asiatic Lions_5

The Asiatic lion used to roam throughout India, Turkey, Iran and the Mesopotamian area. Today, it is restricted to just the Gir Forest in India. In December of last year, 31 of these lions died unexpectedly of – it is believed – disease and parasites. When a population gets too small, it becomes more vulnerable. It is likely that the wild population will die out in my lifetime, so I’m glad I got to see these when I did.

Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

These Are Their Problems

Feb. 20th, 2019 04:03 am
lydy: (Default)
[personal profile] lydy
Ok, who else has seen "Letterkenny"?  And why, oh why, did you not tell me about it?

I am still in the "Oh, my god, what the fuck has happened to me" stage of the experience.  When they say, "This is for mature audiences only" they are not fucking around, my friends.  Is is easily the crudest, most casually obscene thing I have ever seen, with no graphic sex and very little violence, but oh my god, so crude.  Hysterically, hilariously, intensely crude.

Also, and not joking here, it is extremely poetic.  They use repetition in a way that I have not seen, but I believe some forms of poetry do use repetition in this fashion.  

I am unsure if I like any of these people.  But I am entranced by this show.  It is really, really rare to have something with intensely vibrant verbal pyrotechnics combined with an amazing range of obscenity and vulgarity and profanity.  I mean, they fucking use all the goddamn words.  All the words.  

 This, for example, is a description of a bar fight in alphabetical alliteration.  The guy giving the prompt is Daryl, and the guy describing the fight is Wayne, the toughest guy in Letterkenny.  

Warning, there is Language.

board games & golf

Feb. 19th, 2019 02:35 pm
brainwane: My smiling face, including a small gold bindi (Default)
[personal profile] brainwane
I grew up understanding "golf" as "a game rich people play while doing low-key industry networking." Indeed I know at least one executive woman who learned how to play golf tolerably well in order to acquit herself well when invited to play by colleagues, clients, etc.

Here in NYC it feels like game nights/board game afternoons are the golf of the programming class. It's kind of assumed that you can play socially, there are gaming circles that also end up serving as industry networking. And you can invite a coworker to a game night and they'll understand that it's social, and not a date, and it's ok if they play really badly as long as they show good sportsmanship.

Is it like this in other cities too?

Edited to add: By the way, I am someone who loves a few board/card games and doesn't love most of them and is willing to play many of them if that's what everyone else in a group of visitors wants to do, and I believe I recognize many of their virtues and their downsides. What I'm specifically curious about is what other cities have this same kind of scene.

Deja vu

Feb. 19th, 2019 10:58 am
supergee: (pissed)
[personal profile] supergee
In 1968 Eugene McCarthy bravely stood up to the horrible things America was doing. He didn’t win, and he spent the rest of his life being an utter shit about it. #HistoryRepeats


Feb. 19th, 2019 03:52 pm
guppiecat: (Default)
[personal profile] guppiecat


I seldom post other people’s photos, much less photos of other people’s photos.

However, I have to mention that a little over 100 years ago, the largest lizard – with a massively infectious, poisonous, *and* venomous bite (to the point that a bite is often a death sentence, even with modern medical technology, with people dying of infection even years after the bite) came to the London Zoo … and small children got to pet it.

Originally posted at stories.starmind.org.

Which side are you on?

Feb. 19th, 2019 09:33 am
supergee: (coy1)
[personal profile] supergee
There’s a wave of revisionism going around now pointing out that Winston Churchill was a genocidal colonialist. Our other ally in World War II was even worse. And we still were on the right side.
[syndicated profile] sumana_feed

Posted by Sumana Harihareswara

Tonight, I'm gonna attend my local Community Board meeting, which will include an MTA presentation on the Astoria Boulevard ADA & Station Renewal project. (I hope that, after the meeting, I can hang out with other locals and toast to the end of the Amazon HQ2 giveaway.) I wondered aloud to Leonard: how will people at the meeting use the Astoria Boulevard station closure as a demand for more parking spots? (The members of my local community board mostly own homes and cars, and are far more interested in the alleged lack of parking in Western Queens than I am.)

The easy answer is: the MTA is closing a station for renovations, so more people will have to drive, so they'll say we'll need more parking spots. But: who should be responsible for providing that parking, and how? Some satirical answers we came up with:

  • The MTA, by magically creating more parking on Astoria Boulevard
  • Auto manufacturers -- after all, didn't they cause the problem in the first place?
  • The MTA, by letting car owners hitch their cars to the end of subway trains
  • Wesley Crusher, who does not need parking himself and should use his Traveller powers to transport people and cars around
  • The city, which should allow buildings to zone far higher into their airspace and build parking garages into the troposphere
  • The city, which should adopt a form of "congestion pricing" where if you are congested you need to pay extra to enter Manhattan -- this would also have a side benefit of reducing infectious disease. If you already live in Manhattan? You can't leave your home -- the "achoo curfew".

I do not recommend anyone do any of these things. I do recommend you joke about parking-hungry community boards.

Also if you can figure out how to make a good joke combining the Lisp function cdr and the fact that we should lengthen the G train, do make it somewhere and let me know.

Pretty Good Job

Feb. 18th, 2019 09:29 pm
ranunculus: (Default)
[personal profile] ranunculus
The job I'm on at the moment is pretty good. 6 days, which means I'll get overtime on day 6, plus holiday pay for today.  The work isn't hard, in fact it is pretty easy.  The client I'm working for is really nice, but the uber client is a stupid, paranoid international  corp that is taping over our phone cameras for security reasons.  Arrgh.  I'm offended though I really shouldn't be.  So far my crew is only doing 8 hours a day.  That might change tomorrow - or not.

Donald and I are off to Orr Hot Springs for our annual visit this Sun and Mon.  We are leaving Sat for a day of work on the Ranch.  Looks like we might have to work in the rain.  Still I'm looking forward to the weekend with great anticipation.

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