Reading notes

Jun. 23rd, 2017 09:22 am
wildeabandon: (books)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
Gosh, I've not done one of these for a while...

The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla
This is a series of essays about the experience of being an ethnic minority in the UK. A lot of the ideas were things I'd encountered before, but all presented thoughtfully and engagingly, so it would be a really good starting point for someone who hadn't thought much about race relations to introduce themselves to some of the common ideas and experiences. But there was also a lot that was new to me. Thoughts about representation and tokenism in popular media, about the relationships between generations with different levels of integration, about colourism and casteism, and about the impact on ethnic minority children of growing up learning that stories are about white people.

Seed to Harvest (Wild Seed, Mind of my Mind, Clay's Ark & Patternmaster) by Octavia Butler
This is a collection of four of the five Patternist novels (the fifth is set in the same universe, but I understand doesn't include any of the same characters, and is disliked by the author). These are all exciting and easy to read novels, but other than that and the plot thread that runs between them, they have surprisingly little in common. Wild Seed is alt-history, Mind of my Mind is a near future story about psychic mutants, Clay's Ark is gritty apocalyptic stuff, and Patternmaster is in a distant future that feels more like fantasy than sf. They're all great though - lighter than Kindred, but still packed with ideas about society and hierarchy.

Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe
This book has a phenomenal amount of detail about the anatomy involved in five major lifts - the squat, deadlift, overhead press, bench press, and power clean. A fairly tedious read, but one which I hope will make me less likely to injure myself.

Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity by Fr James Martin SJ
I really like Fr James Martin, and his "The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything" is one of the best books about life and religion that I've ever read. This is a short book in two parts; first an essay based on a talk about how the Church hierarchy and LGBT Catholics can heal the divide between the two groups, and secondly a series of suggestions of bible passages and questions that LGBT Catholics and their allies might find useful in prayer and reflection. I liked the essay, although more because it echoed a lot of my own thoughts back at me than because I learned much from it. I think that the more traditionalist members of the church could benefit a lot from reading it and taking it to heart. I think that most LGBT people, especially those who aren't Catholic, would find the suggestion that they too need to show respect, compassion and sensitivity towards those in the hierarchy who have hurt and oppressed them quite frustrating. I have a lot of sympathy with that, but ultimately I think that Fr Martin is correct, both because we are called to love all our neighbours, not just those whom it's easy to love, and because I don't think we will see change any other way.

Hobbyish revival

Jun. 22nd, 2017 08:51 am
wildeabandon: musical notes on a stave (music)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
Apparently it's the time of year for reviving old hobbies. I recently got to the top of the waiting list to join the London Gay Men's Chorus, so I'm going to be starting rehearsals with them in September. I'm a bit nervous about this, because singing in public is scary, but also really excited. I'm switching my piano lessons to singing ones for the time being, which should help with the nerves, and having external things to practice for will hopefully mean that I'm a more assiduous student than the last time.

Yesterday I also went climbing for the first time in years. I used to climb quite a bit when I was a teenager, and then about five years ago I tried going with [personal profile] emperor as a day trip from Ardgour, and found it depressingly difficult. Since then my strength to weight ratio has improved significantly, so last night I had a much easier time hauling myself off the ground. I was still distinctly conscious that the kind of strength you need in order to lift a heavy thing and then lower it five times before putting it down and having a break to recover is quite different from the kind of sustained effort you need to put in climbing a wall. I started with what was probably the easiest route on the wall, and then gradually increased in difficulty until I found a couple of routes that I made it up but just barely, and a couple more that I couldn't manage, but which are now on my target list for next time.

Shopping 2

Jun. 20th, 2017 09:33 pm
lovingboth: (Default)
[personal profile] lovingboth
Annoyingly, my Sandisk Sansa Clip Zip mp3 player is dying. I see I got it in 2013, when JA broke the clip that attaches them to your clothing on the Clip+ that she took to Switzerland. Getting the newer model meant getting a proper colour screen rather than the multi-monochrome one on the Clip+, but it still ran Rockbox, the very impressive third party firmware that lets you do all sorts of nice things. Including, if you're silly enough, play Doom on it.

More annoyingly, it's out of production and the successors to the Clip Zip, the Clip Jam and Clip Sport do not run Rockbox. If Sandisk had any sense, they'd have it as the official firmware, but no...

Even more annoyingly, the price for second-hand Clip Zips reflects the fact that they're the last ones that run Rockbox. It's silly money time. Even Clip+'s are over-priced for the hardware compared with the price of a new Jam or Sport: the Rockbox effect again.

Grrr.

At least my ten year old Sandisk e280 still works and it does.

(no subject)

Jun. 19th, 2017 06:19 pm
vvalkyri: (Default)
[personal profile] vvalkyri
And my phone keeps being unsure of connecting to the network. which is intensely unhelpful.

Leaving Florida. Slowly.

Jun. 19th, 2017 05:55 pm
vvalkyri: (Default)
[personal profile] vvalkyri
I'm really out of it right now. Cold where I've been sitting near the place I've plugged in the computer, and, well,
I am regretting choosing to still get up toward DC tonight instead of rent car have another evening with Dad drive back to airport early. Thought maybe I'd catch up with Orlando folks. And wasn't sure what was going to happen with PT appointment and phone was being annoying.

 

'course now I've been sitting on the airport floor 2 of the 7.5 hours before my flight up to BWI, and I've got people expecting to pick me up at oh dark early, and they're folks I've not really seen in forever and ever. But still. Feels like the wrong answer. Flight problems on the way down meant I didn't get in until midnight Tuesday night, and this would have replaced that night.

But I'm so tired. I don't want the driving or the dealing with booking rentals or any of it. And it would antagonize Stepmother anyway.
It's sorta helpful now that I wouldn't be able to get back home until the very end of the day if I changed it now, but that wasn't the case when I made my decision -- there were several early flights at that point, but I was hungry and tired and thought maybe I'd get together with one of the Orlando people, but Steve is teaching yoga til 9 and catching up with Geminigirl's been impossible for years even with a car. And I'd been wanting to find the time to write, but ugh.

So how'd I get here?
UNHAPPY. MAY NEED RIDE FROM BWI unsure. When I printed my boarding document on arrival to the airport my flight was 15 min delayed. I missed the automated call going through TSA and stopped for coffee; when I got to the gate there was a huge line, because it, and most other flights in and out of the DC area and in fact the Eastern Seaboard are canceled due to storms. I've of course already returned the rental car. And there's no way I'll be able to get home in time for Luxs Spotting Tour, Comes to DC, which I've pretty much had as my only goal since I sprained my ankle on 4/23*. It won't let me try to rebook my flight on line and I don't know what to even try for, because I have PT tomorrow midday and an honor flight early evening. And I have to find everything and prep and pack for a camping trip at the end of the week. Maybe I can get to BWI or IAD later tonight. But Fsck. Really. The one thing I've had as a goal since the sprain. I take spotting seriously and I really wanted to go to this 4 hr class tonight. I don't know that i could even hang out with the orlando folks in the next hours what with no car.
I checked in last night; it didn't suggest I change the flight. But I'm sad not to have more time with Dad if I wasn't going to get home today. And if I can't get out til tomorrow that sucks in a different way.
.
.
*like, I didn't do a bunch of other things that would probably have been most likely safe to do, because I wanted to make extra special sure I would be good in time for this class.
In the "things that make me feel loved" category, I all but immediately had 4 offers to pick me up at BWI even though it was looking like 1 or as it turned out 2am. Jonathan, who lives in Centerville, was willing to finish a dance in Bethesda at midnight, trundle to BWI, get me home, and then go to Centerville. I accepted Kathleen and Greg's offer to crash at their place and catch Marcline in time to get to my PT appointment midday.

I'd tried to call PT right after booking my flight, but my phone was being weird and there was too much background noise and they couldn't hear me. And I was hungry and less than caffeinated (early on, I'd spilled my whole Starbucks and hence had no napkins and hence couldn't touch any of my food as it had leaked)

It's been forever since I've been able to really spend time with them and I missed a party this weekend, but... I was so sad to not get the late evening with Dad on Tuesday; I should have added the couple hours drive back and forth to get this evening with him. Except I was kinda ready to leave. And it definitely would have antagonized Stepmother. She's been really avoiding*.  

Everything's wrong down here. I bought a new wireless keyboard and it and the computer wouldn't talk and then they did talk and everything's missing and for a little bit there was network and now it doesn't believe it even has the ability to do wireless. And maybe that's yet another reason why I should have gone back up.

I don't think the gal who cooks for him and showers ever got there today. She was going to come tomorrow all week, and I know her kid was sick, but could she at least have told me she wasn't coming? Was today by noon and at 1 she wasn't there yet.

I need to find a Geek Squad equivalent and have them go out and just set stuff up. It's as though it's entirely a new computer. When I left last it was Windows 10 and now it's Win7 and none of the pictures I've put on it over the years are there and none of dad's documents either. Thank goodness his book is up on Google Drive.

I need to get the book edited, still.

Naked swimming was nice, I guess.

I have no idea how I'm going to be ready to leave for Baitcon. I'm meeting up with someone in Philly. It'll be far easier to do the drive Friday if I drive to Philly Thursday night but now I've got no time at all.   And so little inclination, either. But I feel bad bailing on the guy in Philly.  And there's people I haven't seen in forever and if I get there I"ll be happy but just ugh.  And there's a big birthday I'd planned on going to around here if it hadn't been the same weekend.

And shortly thereafter, 3 years since Mom died.  It's still wrong.

*Somewhat my fault. I left the adventium door open when I took the fish out on Wednesday night and she somehow managed to hit her head on a boob height door and ended up with a full lone ranger mask black eyes.  I knew she'd walked into the oven door and apologized.  I learned 2nd hand that she had black eyes and went to ophth and then to get a scan, and she's fine.   


West wing, ep 1, first commandment

Jun. 19th, 2017 05:23 pm
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
I've bashed my head on this before but not got a specific answer. Now I read through it in some more detail.

Summary

In West Wing episode 1, Josh insults some evangelical christian leaders. In a meeting trying to resolve this, the following happens.

* One of them proposes a radio address (presumably by the president) on a topic important to them, including public morals, school prayer or pornography. Apparently meaning "people in school should not have access to condoms", "people in school should be forced to perform christian prayer" and "we don't quite know what we want you to do but we're very upset about pornography".

* There is a muddle of people speaking at once, and he cuts in again, saying, "I'd like to discuss why we hear so much talk about the First Amendment coming out of this building, but no talk at all about the First Commandment."

* He says, "The First Commandment says 'Honor thy Father'."

* Toby breaks in, and says that's wrong, that's the third commandment. He is very long-suffering.

* He says, what is the first then?

* The president enters the room and quotes: "I am the Lord your God. Thou shalt worship no other God before me."

Analysis

I'm fairly sure the intended impression is, talk show guy spoke without thinking and screwed up something basic, Toby and the president correct him.

But firstly, the first commandment seems SO basic, it's hard to see how he could get it wrong. Whether or not he's a good Christian overall, quoting the commandments, especially the first one, seems like the sort of thing he'd do all the time.

Secondly, when I first heard it, I assumed this was "honor your father and mother", but now I wonder if it's supposed to be honoring *God* thy father. Although that doesn't quite fit any of the specific sentences either.

I'm not sure if the commandment he was quoting was supposed to be directly related to the previous discussion or not. Either of the possibilities doesn't seem directly relevant to the school stuff, but it's possible it is in a way that's only familiar if you know the usual arguments people make.

Several people point out that all the people involved have *different* traditional commandment numbering. Toby is Jewish. The christian leaders are protestant. And the president is catholic. I assume in America the protestant version is widely known and often considered canonical? I spent some time on wikipedia checking the different traditions for how to break up the commandments into ten.

But that doesn't seem to fit much better. The president could be quoting the protestant version (or possibly a slightly abbreviated catholic version?)

There's no way to make "honor thy father and mother" into 1 or 3, it's 5 for both protestants and jews (and 4 for catholics).

It could instead be "have no other god" or "don't take God's name in vain" but that doesn't quite fit, either the numbers or the quote.

My best guess is that someone wrote an exchange that worked, probably based on the traditional protestant numbering[1]. And then it got edited for various reasons, and ended up in a version which sounded good but didn't actually make sense.

The best alternate explanation is (a) Christian leader guy genuinely didn't know what the first commandment was (or forgot in the heat of the moment) (b) Toby was trolling by deliberately making something up, knowing no-one could call him on it as he had a different numbering anyway (c) the president (an intellectual catholic) knew the confusion of the numbering, but quoted a first commandment that would be expected to protestants and wasn't exactly wrong by his own tradition.

But to me that seems too complicated, if all that was supposed to be there, there'd be more indication. The mistake would have been one where it's more clear how he came to make a mistake. Toby would have sounded different if he was blowing smoke than if he was correcting people. There'd be some acknowledgement that SOMEONE would have known the first commandment, that this isn't exactly an obscure piece of theological trivia the president researched.

[1] West Wing does much better at research than most shows, but they seem to research a particular topic, it still seems like minor things not the main theme of an episode get overlooked sometimes.

Transcript: http://www.westwingtranscripts.com/search.php?flag=getTranscript&id=1

Cooling the tube?

Jun. 19th, 2017 05:07 pm
dancefloorlandmine: (London)
[personal profile] dancefloorlandmine
An interesting article about temperatures in the tube tunnels, and approaches to reduce them.

www.ianvisits.co.uk/blog/2017/06/10/cooling-the-tube-engineering-heat-out-of-the-underground/.

One interesting note is that the tube tunnels used to be a lot cooler, but the clay around them, a highly effective insulator, has, over the years, pretty much reached its thermal capacity.
reddragdiva: (geek)
[personal profile] reddragdiva

Dear Lazyweb! How do you manage keeping spring boot applications up to date?

We run an arseload of Java webapps. Our devs have taken a strong liking to spring boot, where everything including the Tomcat is uploaded as a JAR. A delight for them, but somewhat of a concern for the sysadmins who are the people first dealing with security issues.

So I've been asked to come up with recommendations to deal with this, and I haven't a clue as to how to do this other than laborious iterative checking, or automated versions thereof. Nor can I find recommendations.

Has anyone else got this problem or one like it? (Where applications are uploaded as a package that then runs.) What do you do?

More tv/books

Jun. 19th, 2017 12:00 pm
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
Community. Rewatched first two series. Got bored in series three. I think there was still a lot of good things after that, but I wasn't as excited by each episode.

Rewatching s1 of west wing. Still very good. See twitter for running commentary. It's strange that WW made so many things famous you can't look up if they're true or not, you just find they were in the WW.

When I was being excited by Natural History of Dragons #3, I forgot to say, they investigate translating an ancient syllabary language. made me think of rochvelleth :)

Watched Doctor Who "Veritas". Some things are tedious: that's not how computers work, and that's not how random numbers work. It's almost the opposite. But overall I enjoyed it quite a lot.

Read the latest wild cards. Weird that it just happens to be set in Taraz (Talas) in Kazakhstan when ghoti et al are visiting that country. Although it unfortunately doesn't include much actually specific to Kazakhstan.

There's so many things that are really interesting about the wild card books. Partly that lots of famous authors show up writing a really different style of thing to what they usually write, often more straightforwardly engaging. Partly that main characters in one story thread show up as minor characters in other story thread, and you get a good triangulation on them, how they think of themselves vs how different people see them -- often with no Word-of-God on which is more accurate.

Too hot....

Jun. 18th, 2017 08:15 pm
flick: (Default)
[personal profile] flick
I spent much of the day in the hammock. Jo is also too hot, poor thing.

The last couple of years, we've had a paddling pool on the patio for Jo to go in after her walks. It's not entirely satisfactory, as it's bigger and shallower than she'd like it to be, and takes so much water that I don't like to change it often, so it gets very icky. I did some noodling around online last week, and discovered the existence of something called a plasterer[']s['] bath, which is used to mix stuff up in and sounded like a very good size: 4'x2'x1' deep.

Jo does seem to like it, but it doesn't like being left full of water....



(It looks even worse now, the other side's also bowed out. I suspect it's going to die a death next time she climbs in!)

Bizarrely, GB seems to have bonded with one of the mares: when we brought them down the hill, he stood in the corner of the stableyard watching them, and when we put the boys to bed he was calling to her. Most unlike him, he's much too old to suddenly develop a taste for the ladies!
dancefloorlandmine: Me pointing at camera (Kitchener)
[personal profile] dancefloorlandmine
This may be of interest to some people - the ORBIS project. ORBIS is "The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World" - a tool that allows you to calculate how long it would take, and how much it would cost, to move between one location and another.

The current version is here, but there is a pop-up warning that it works best with Chrome or Safari. (Presumably Firefox is so uncommon that it is unsupported?) You can either go ahead anyway, or switch to the old version.

(May also be of interest to anyone running a Roman-era RPG.)
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
http://cartesiandaemon.livejournal.com/1030046.html

OK, I'm going to assume everyone who wanted to think about the original problem unspoiled has probably done so, and assume comments have rot26 spoilers from here on.

Read more... )

Bitey

Jun. 18th, 2017 10:02 am
flick: (Default)
[personal profile] flick
I am completely unsurprised to have woken up this morning with the evidence of yesterday's work in the field on my legs: four horsefly bites, the first of the season.

(And I've realised belatedly that my sister's wedding is in the middle of horse fly season, which may well scupper the plan to make my mother happy by wearing a dress!)

Agnes is, if not actually fine, back to her normal level of limpiness today, so I guess that the pick-her-up cure did the trick again.

Hot hot hot...

Jun. 17th, 2017 08:17 pm
flick: (Default)
[personal profile] flick
This morning, we went up to the summer pasture and set up the electric fence (to keep the boys away from the (rickety and barbed-wire-topped) real fence), and then took them up there. It was quite warm. As ever, they spurned the water trough up there and so drank all the water in the stableyard when they came back down. Sigh. (It always takes them a few weeks to deign to drink from the trough up there, presumably because it tastes different: it's a stone trough when they're used to plastic, and/or the water doesn't go through the softener that treats our water.)

I'm a little concerned by Agnes, aka Limpy McDinosaur Duck. She's being even limpier than usual, and holding her wings very strangely as she hobbles around the place, and when she's lying down she's been wibbling her beak and twitching her wings. I was half thinking I'd pick her up for a quick check when we put them to bed, even though she hates being handled, but she made it easy by getting most of the way to their house and then just collapsing with a splat on the ground. Couldn't find anything obviously wrong, and I'm not going to be calling a weekend evening vet for her, but I am quite worried that she's suddenly got much worse. Fingers crossed that the magic 'pick her up to see what's wrong' cure will work and she'll be better tomorrow.

The garden, on the other hand, is going along well. The polytunnel's looking very green, and there's at least one actual tomato set on the early russian variety:



(10th May, to compare: they have grown!)

We've also got actual you-could-eat-those baby courgettes, very teeny squash, lots of tomatillo cases with baby fruit inside, and runner bean flowers. This afternoon, we shared the first mange tout of the season. The wild strawberries by the riding school are also doing well, and the jar of strawberries in vodka is filling up nicely.

I have been appreciating my hammock, which is on the grass in the shade, and so lovely and cool. I *almost* came inside to get a light blanket when I was in it a couple of days ago!

Huh

Jun. 16th, 2017 10:08 am
flick: (Default)
[personal profile] flick
While I was mucking out this morning, I saw the wren, mouth stuffed with insects, hop through the drain and into the empty stable. I was only a step or two away, so I poked my head around the door to see where he went next.

After perching on a stack of pallets for long enough to give me a suspicious look, he flew up and delivered his insects to the row of open mouths waiting in the swallows' nest.

I guess that the wrens decided that a disused swallow nest was a nice place to raise their brood, but now I'm wondering where the swallows are living this year!

More thoughts

Jun. 15th, 2017 12:19 pm
lovingboth: (Default)
[personal profile] lovingboth
One of the reasons why I suspect that the recent Grenfell Tower disaster was down to the refurbishment was my late father.

He was a fireman through the 60s, 70s and a big chunk of the 80s. He stayed at the sub-officer level because, unlike the officers, they went out on the shouts. So he'd been to a lot of incidents before health problems meant he shifted to fire safety.

One memory from my childhood is going to the AmDram theatre my mother had been part of when she was younger. We were in the balcony and he was VERY uncomfortable, to the point that we left at the interval.

The place burnt down a few years later. Fortunately no-one was in it, because anyone in the balcony would have been in trouble: the pre-war small theatre had a narrow wooden staircase up to it. It got rebuilt with a wider concrete one. He'd go back then.

For some years, he was at a station responsible for a stretch of the M1. There were types of car he wouldn't go in. (If he could have afforded one, he'd have had a Saab.)

There was one shop in the town centre he wouldn't go in.

Once during a fire alarm, my sister's teacher kept them back until they'd been given their homework. Let's just say they never did that again.

When I lived on the third floor of a house, he checked that there was a ladder escape.

But he never had a problem with going into a tower block. He'd been to fires in them, but he trusted the designs would contain any incident not involving a gas explosion until people could be rescued.

And that's what didn't happen this week.

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