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Learned: capitol hill is steep and not a great idea to attempt on a bike share bike especially if been using inhaler a bit more than usual and ESPECIALLY if not sure have one with. Elevator was slow and gal arrived and noted as asthmatic she really didn't want to climb the stairs. Told her my capitol hill object lesson. She offered Ventolin. Omgthankyou; would otherwise have been dealing all through meeting before could have gone to CVS. I have got to stop changing bags so often.

Better luck next time

Oct. 19th, 2017 04:01 pm
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[personal profile] flick
We went to see a horse this afternoon. He was a very sweet lad, owned by a teenage girl who's too busy with GCSEs.

The only thing that I didn't quite like was that he wanted to run off in canter: he came back ok when I asked him too, but he had a stronger bit than I'd like which makes me worry what he'd be like with a gentler one. (He wasn't very keen on standing still, either, but then I realised that he was only being fidgety when he was by some plastic in a partly-built drainage ditch next to the school, and later found out that it was only put there yesterday so actually he was doing amazingly well with it!)

Unfortunately, it turns out that he doesn't like men much: dad had mentioned that he wasn't too keen, and when Mike got on him he started getting nervous, which made Mike nervous, which made the horse more nervous, which.... He didn't actually do anything dangerous, but he also wouldn't do what he was being asked to.

Ah well. We will find something eventually, right?

Jo's doing much better now that she's got a t-shirt on and can't scratch. Back to the vet tomorrow to have the stitches out, and then soon she'll be able to have proper walks (we hope: she's getting a bit bouncy)!

Wrinkle in Time

Oct. 18th, 2017 01:34 pm
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OK, so I actually read "Wrinkle in Time" (and book #2 but not any more). I think I'd had the impression that I'd read it at some point and forgotten, but now I think I never read it at all, it's really really different to anything I remember reading.

It's very good at what it does.

It's very shivery when they realise how far the horrible grey mist on the universe has spread.

It sets up a very convincing backdrop of angels and other beings fighting against badness with human help, in ways where this is how the universe works, and what people stumble upon is the same stuff that scientists like the childrens' parents are just starting to discover.

The characters of the children (well, mostly Meg and precious Charles Wallace at this point) are very good.

I stumbled on the narrative convention of mentor figures swooping in and saying "hey children, only you can do this, you need to go through this set of trials, when this happens, do this, you don't need to know about X, good luck". Like, that's a common narrative convention that works very well: you just don't question too hard the mentor figures have some special insight into how quests turn out. It's especially useful in childrens books because you can explain what needs to happen directly to the main character and reader. (Think of all the stories of stumbling onto the first person you meet in a secondary world who says, you need to do X, Y and Z.) But eventually you read too many books where it doesn't work like that that you start to question. Even if you don't ask if they might be lying, you wonder, could they really not spare twenty minutes to summarise the biggest risks and how to avoid them? How do they know what's going to happen? If this is all preordained, they why are they providing even this much help, and if not, and the fate of the world hangs on it, can they really not provide any more help?

This is partly me having been spoiled for some simple narrative conventions by being exposed to too many variants, and possibly (?) me not understanding theology well enough (I'm not sure how much this is something that is supposed to actually happen for real, and how mcuh it's just a book thing?) It doesn't always fail me, this is basically how Gandalf acts all the way through LOTR "OK, now we're going to do this because, um, fate" and I'm happy to accept it all at face value, even when other people quibble, but in some books it bothers me.

it's a doozy of a song

Oct. 17th, 2017 09:08 pm
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[personal profile] vvalkyri
The penultimate song of the Saturday Late Night at the Keep was Tall Trees in Georgia, by Eva Cassidy.

It was so achingly beautiful and achingly slow, and I could never have lead to a song that slow and with that little of an obvious beat, but I was lucky and got a dance with an awesome lead from Philly.

It's not often played; John Joven (who also dj'd and who was one of the instructors for the weekend) talked with whomever was djing -- they talked about how they've only found times for it once or twice. I was lucky enough to have the last dance of the evening with John.

Sunday one of the classes I went to was Slow Blues, with John and Kara. Only 9 of us in the class - Bambloozled was not well promoted and it was a gorgeous day so those on the cusp probably chose what was in Bumper Cars. I asked if we'd be working on songs like that one last night. John had it. We worked with it. It was difficult, but marvelous, working on the weight shifts.

I'm also glad I hadn't been listening to the words the night before, because they nearly made me cry:
Tall trees in Georgia they grow so high they shade me so
And sadly walking through the thicket I go

The sweetest love I ever had I left aside
Because I did not want to be any man's bride

But now I'm older and married I would be
I found my sweetheart but he would not marry me

When I was younger the boys all came around
But now I'm older and they've all settled down

Control your mind my girl and give your heart to one
For if you love all men you'll be surely left with none

Tall trees in Georgia they grow so high they shade me so
And sadly walking through the thicket I go
If you've talked with me enough, you probably know why.

But really, go listen to the song. It's beautiful.

On #metoo

Oct. 17th, 2017 12:36 pm
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[personal profile] vvalkyri
I wrote something long, and I want to put it on FB, but I also want to sit on it a little while first, because I'm afraid of the shitstorm. What I'm not going to include on FB is that part of what has made me so angry is helping a male survivor friend find the words for feeling erased and silenced (he later realized he's staying off fb because triggered) over the certainty that within his FB circles were he to post "me too" he'd be assumed to be joking and yelled at for same.

re #metoo. I thought I was a woman without a story, but then I thought a lot more and realized they simply weren't filed that way. Finding the files . . . isn't comfy.

Looking back with a "I wonder if that counts" and a realization that "yeah, that probably counts as harassment" or "oh, yeah, that was actually kinda scary" or "oh I forgot how upsetting/confusing that encounter was despite my realization that $otherparty was probably sure I was good with it.*"

I don't have anything big to share. I get catcalls and honks rarely enough that they usually make me smile (as long as the car keeps right on going). I've never had people stop me on the street and tell me to smile (and it brightened my day immensely the time someone - who kept right on walking - said something like "you're beautiful don't look down!") So on the street harassment side of things either I'm a mutant or oblivious or invisible.

What I wrote in one comment was "Yeah, if I were to post 'me too' I'd have to reach all the way to "well, one of the times when I was walking down the street in FL in a skirted tankini it was a bit freaky because a pickup slowed down a lot and I moved farther from the street, and there was that time I dressed differently for work and one of the guys in Test /thanked/ me not once but twice for wearing that outfit and oh yeah there was that time I made a flasher run away and okay it was uncomfortable when a former coworked loomed over me, hands on the arms of my chair, to suddenly declare his love.**"

Thing is, the more I think on this all the more I notice. The more I notice in the moment as well, that it'd be nice if this guy weren't trying to push for a kiss on the cheek or randomly rub my shoulders.

The more I notice that damn it's awkward when $otherparty posts an ihave and I had decided it wasn't worth trying to hash out what was weirdness before.

The more I'm surprised that I've only seen a couple people bail from FB a few days because it's triggering to them.

The more I watch some of the countermemes and countercounter memes and people trying to assert that saying one has accidentally done harm is not taking responsibility and I want to scream because this Saint Or Unsalvageable culture isn't doing anyone any favors, because damn straight one can realize after the fact that that thing wasn't cool, or was harmful. And even concepts of consent were way different in past decades. And person B can be traumatized while person A thinks there's consent. If everybody keeps insisting only pariahs ever violate consent, then I'm A Good Person So The Things I Do Are Good comes in. If it's recognized that everyone is capable of screwing up then there's way more ability to figure out when one needs to do better.

And there are meme variations I applaud. I applaud that a lot of folks have moved to "If every person who has experienced. . . ." instead of "If every woman," because words matter, and there's very little cost there to being more inclusive***.

I applaud that there's an #ihave meme. That there's a bunch of guys and sometimes gals saying that yeah, there's stuff in their past they're not proud of. That there's stuff they should have known better about, and they talk about what they're doing to make a difference.

I applaud that this #metoo deluge has done exactly what it said it wanted -- to highlight that boyhowdy it's universal****.

I applaud that this #metoo deluge has started a conversation about harassment. About bystander intervention. About saying "hey that's not cool" when someone says something that bolsters thinking it's okay to treat women as objects. Or when someone makes a woman lesser in the workplace. Or jokes about doing something terrible.

I applaud that it looks like this #metoo deluge has helped it feel more safe to speak about things many of us want to hide. Because there is often shame in thinking oneself victim. And there is also shame in realizing one has caused harm.

I'm still not sure how it feels that the #metoo means that stuff that didn't bother me is kinda bothering me ;-/

And yeah, I also get that there's a level of notcool in putting the onus on those on the receiving end. Partly for that reason.

I've been typing too long. This isn't polished. And maybe it's too all-over-the-place. It might be unclever to post this -- I can't spend too much time on the computer today. But it's a bunch of stuff I've been thinking about for several days now.
.
.
.
.

* and yes I recognize that despite what I said I wrote in that one comment I could indeed declare more than just the bits of 'yeah I guess that qualifies' I mention. Thing is, I'm really not keen on claiming the mantle of victim and I certainly don't want to throw the other title on someone for whom it's flat out not accurate. (because people seem incapable of grokking that one can violate consent without that being something one would ever intentionally do.)

**that was 20 years ago. we'd been watching TV in his basement; I'd been surprised his wife wasn't home. He saw how frightened I was and backed away and we had an awkward moment and I left and we had no further contact. He'd been one of my favorite work friends and work travel partners.

*** honestly, it really made me angry that when I suggested "rather than silencing/erasing those who have experienced harassment, assault, or rape and are not women, can we popularize instead the wording of "If all those who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote "Me too" as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem" that was seen as undue catering to the menz. From some of the same folks who criticized women's marches having slogans about vaginas 'because not all women have vaginas' and Joss Whedon for saying he wrote strong female characters by writing a strong character without dick and balls, 'because some women have them.' I get that it sucks to feel erased in those latter situations, but maybe also some empathy for those who are getting a message of 'you're not a woman so your rape doesn't matter?'



**** And I hate that I watched someone get slammed for expressing surprise at just how much of his feed was filled. Especially since it's really based on social circles and what FB thinks you want to see. I know people who are seeing /nothing/ but posts related to this and others who've barely seen any. My feed has included men posting #metoo, and others have seen no men at all.
I need to get off the computer.
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[personal profile] jack
You know that weird feeling where your tests sometimes pass and sometimes don't, and you eventually realise they're not deterministic? But it took a while to notice because you kept changing things to debug the failing tests and only slowly realised that every "whether it succeeded or not" change didn't follow changing the code?

In this case, there were some failing tests and I was trying to debug some of them, and the result was the same every time, but only when I ran a failing test by itself and it passed did I realise that the tests weren't actually independent. They weren't actually non-deterministic in that the same combination of tests always had the same result, but I hadn't realised what was going on.

And in fact, I'd not validated the initial state of some tests enough, or I would have noticed that what was going wrong was not what the test *did* but what it started with.

I was doing something like, there was some code that loaded a module which contained data for the game -- initial room layout, rules for how-objects-interact, etc. And I didn't *intend* to change that module. Because I'm used to C or C++ header files, I'd forgotten that could be possible. But when I created a room based on the initial data, I copied it without remembering to make sure I was actually *copying* all the relevant sub-objects. And then when you move stuff around the room, that (apparently) moved stuff around in the original copy in the initialisation data module.

And then some other test fails because everything has moved around.

Once I realised, I tested a workaround using deepcopy, but I need to check the one or two places where I need a real copy and implement one there instead.

Writing a game makes me think about copying objects a lot more than any other sort of programming I've done.

In very much other news...

Oct. 15th, 2017 06:43 pm
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[personal profile] flick
Is it just me that's feeling faintly worried about the whole Harvey Weinstein thing?

It does, very much, sound as though the man is thoroughly unpleasant, and will in the fullness of time be prosecuted and convicted for the things that he's being accused of.

But he's been thrown out of BAFTA and the Academy Whose Full Name I Forget, and they're talking about stripping him of his honours, when that hasn't yet happened.

What about that innocent until proven guilty thing? Look at the whole Bramall / Brittan thing: it seems unlikely, but what if the outcome of this is the same?

Pooch update

Oct. 15th, 2017 05:57 pm
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We took Jo to the vet this afternoon, for a check up and to get the lab results.

The nipple is healing beautifully, but she has managed to get a bit of an infection in the wound on her side, so now she has antibiotics. We're carrying on with Pooch Corset for another day, after which it will hopefully have dried up and we can switch to a t-shirt instead to let it get more air while still being a bit protected. She's going back on Friday to have the stitches out, unless something else happens before then. Although it's not healing quite as well as the vet would like, it is knitting together ok, so it shouldn't be a problem as long as we can stop her from getting at it.

The lab results were about the best we were hoping for: the lumps did have (cancerous) mast cells, but the one on the nipple is definitely low-grade and the one on her side probably is as well (based on the type of lump it was, as it wasn't possible to test it properly. There is a test that will give more definitive results, but it's £200: we're thinking about it). On the down side, best practice is to remove 10mm of skin all around a mast cell tumour, and they didn't do that much at the time; opening her back up is an option but I don't think we're going to do it.

The vet did suggest an option of doing an ultrasound scan all over her abdomen, to look for signs that it's spread internally, but she wasn't really pushing us to do it given that the chest x-rays were clear. T'internet also tells me that lymph node biopsies are also an option, which I might mention when we're there next week.

So, she's doing ok from this time around, and we're probably just going to carry on as usual, running to the vet whenever we find any kind of lump on her.

Jo Jo

Oct. 14th, 2017 09:13 pm
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[personal profile] flick
Jo is, if not back in her Pooch Pants, currently wearing a tasteful Pooch Corset:



She's been scratching (with her back leg: cone-of-shame / inflatable collar is no use) at the (decidedly Franken-pooch-esque) wound on her side, where they took out the unexpected second lump. It's in a more likely to be stretched place than the nipple, so it's got lovely big external sutures sticking out, and is obviously itching her much more than the actual nipple (which is now practically healed, all with internal stitches). She'd managed to get at it enough to form a scab yesterday, and this morning she dislodged that and it was bleeding a bit. Mike suggested a bit of vet wrap (elasticated, self-sticking-but-not-sticky bandage: bloody marvellous stuff) around her middle with a gamgee dressing under it, and when I eventually got worried enough to try it I was surprised to find that it's mostly stayed in place, rather than sliding forwards/backwards as I was expecting.

Still, back at the vet tomorrow for a check up, so I'll see what she says. I fear it's going to end up with a nasty scar, but it's not like it'll be visible through the fluff.

I was a little annoyed to find that our pica-prone resident rat* had eaten chunks out of half the roll of vet wrap, though. Must check the other rolls in the morning....

* Hoof oil brush, feed bucket but not the feed it contained, feed bucket cover but ditto....

Squish squash

Oct. 14th, 2017 03:34 pm
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[personal profile] flick
The butternut harvest is now in:



I suspect we'll be giving a few away!

(And I *really* want to go at it with a marker pen and draw faces on them all....)

(no subject)

Oct. 14th, 2017 04:26 am
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[personal profile] vvalkyri
crossposted:
:decides that yes she does want to make the noon class:
:considers whether showing up at the late night at 220 am was unclever:
well, yes, but those dances were quite nice.


The whole day was a mess, but as noted it was fortunate the honor flight got there pretty late. They just about coincided with a visiting soccer team who decided that sure, they'd join in the cheering. Which was great. I met the 96 year old guy who will be laying the wreath tomorrow, uh, today. And I danced a little with one guy and talked with him a while. I distributed lipstick prints to take home on badges, and one on a cheek as directed by the photographer.

I talked a long while later, keeping myself from getting to the main dance. Learning about the bus honor flights, and how they also go to the D Day museum in Virginia. And then spent an hour in the parking lot laying some seeds with someone who saw taking a knee as against the military. I mentioned that a navy seal had suggested the knee as a gesture of respect, and then the conversation touched on how it rather sucks that black people are so much more likely to be shot by police in traffic stops. He had strong opinions on trayvon martin, which i ignored in favor of introducing him to Philando Castile, and several others that yeah, he hadn't known of and that was indeed awful. Laying seeds. Teach deescalation. Concepts of unconscious bias. There was more, but i should sleep. I'll try to remember more later.

Then what was to be a short visit with Duncan or initially was to be far earlier in the evening when the Flight was expected to end at 8. It'd been too long. I left 145 and got to the late night at 220, but did get a couple nice dances in. I /think/ it was worth it.

But morning's going to come quickly. Not sure whether to set an alarm.

hi from the Fair Oaks Marriott...

Oct. 13th, 2017 07:50 pm
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Well, I went nuts trying to actually get out of the house in time to make it out here for quarter to 7 but the Vets aren't actually here yet so I've gotten mostly gussied up I'm feeling to find all sorts of things like some of my red shoes or the belt I would like to wear or Fray check so that I don't further destroy that are red and white dress by as it is my timing cuz I don't see any other dancers here... So I've gotten some caffeine into me and maybe I'll show up at the first Bamboozled dance or maybe I'll show up at City Swing or maybe I will try and say hi to Dunkin but things are at least somewhat improved

(no subject)

Oct. 13th, 2017 03:39 pm
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I'm really not doing very well today. I think some of it is likely that asthma is out of whack, and that's contributing to exhaustion, but it really doesn't help that the phone has decided it doesn't make sound (though it will make sound into earphones.)

I'm also less than happy that today is one day too late to pay a parking ticket I'd been thinking to contest, and i really doubt I'll get anywhere contesting, but it was accidentally parking in a metrobus zone, because now that meters are boxes and you go put a slip of paper in your car it's easily possible to walk a carlength to the box and print out a slip and pay to park in a no parking zone. All the other cars around me also had tickets. $100 to pay that ticket was galling, but I'm really hoping they'll at least waive the late penalty.

Remembering I had to deal with that ticket is what kept me from going back to sleep when I could have. And now, I'm planning on going out to an honor flight for 6:45 and I had hoped to find some fray check before that because my beloved Red and White dress is trying to self destruct. Finding any of the belts or other accessories I'd want to wear for this or any other dress isn't happening.

It's truly amazing how much time I can lose.

The plan tonight is to go out to honor flight (bus, really) in Fairfax, and then possibly some sort of dancing (blues at glen echo, swing in dupont, probably not acro or swing in baltimore) and then some of the blues late night, partly because I went and bought a ticket to the workshop weekend, which was honestly very silly given how far from motivated I am at the moment to spend saturday and sunday in classes. I do want to go to the saturday late night at The Keep, though. Sunday will be nice. Maybe I'll want to go to acro for some of it.

I don't actually have to go out there to the honor flight thing, but I know it would be nice of me, and I really miss honor flight. Just even looking for my usual shoes seems insurmountable.

Actually eating something would be clever. I

(no subject)

Oct. 13th, 2017 12:36 am
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[personal profile] vvalkyri
You really gotta listen to A Ha's acoustic Take On Me because it is beautiful.

In other news, the magic after Interfusion is gone, and I've finally cut off the pretty blue sparkly wristband, because I've lost the focus and I've lost the lightness and I've lost the energy and I've lost the momentum. And I don't know how to find it again, because all of that at Interfusion was because so many things intertwined to get there, and it wasn't just Qui Gong, or Mindful Meditation or Tantra or Cuddle Party. But a combination of all those things.

It was nice to wander The Wharf some this evening. I even ended up on the news roasting marshmallows. I went through some things in my closet and am not happy about what doesn't quite fit, and have never tried on purpose to lose weight and on the one hand simply getting anywhere near my prior activity level would likely do the trick and on the other I seem to be incapable of doing anything I'm trying to do.
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[personal profile] reddragdiva

I have an Android phone and tablet. The sound quality is eminently usable, and I have Skype to call people on!

How the arsing fuck do I record it?

There appears to be no standard option. Skype itself has no facility for recording calls. There are assorted extremely dodgy apps that claim to do the job, none of which I want to go near. I can Google for dodgy apps as well as you can — I’m not asking you to do a quick Google for me. What I want to know is — has anyone reading this done this personally, recording a Skype call? How do you do it? What do you use?

(Last time I did it on a Linux desktop — I had to run Audacity capturing the microphone and Audio Recorder capturing the speaker, then put the two recordings together. Hideous and stupid and I don't want to do that again.)

(no subject)

Oct. 11th, 2017 03:57 pm
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[personal profile] vvalkyri
Here, have another dictation post. What's on my mind today? How obnoxious I should or should not be to the local Blues community, in that I could conceivably try to put up a poster at Glen Echo about Saturday night Boilermakers dance since they have not been particularly promoting in general. It would be pretty obnoxious of me. Thing is, bamboozled has historically been a pretty good weekend with Thursday and Friday and Saturday and Sunday night dances and Friday and Saturday late night at a Sunday dance that goes until 3 in the morning and workshops all day Saturday and Sunday. That they'd somehow or on the same weekend as the Boilermakers dance is annoying to all of us including them I'm sure and to my surprise they seem to have barely promoted it at all. Ordinarily I might be posting a bunch about it but I'm not excited and I do want to go to some of the classes cuz I expect they will be good and at this rate I expect they will be small. In other news, I really haven't been showing up at flying feet with any regularity because I've been running a crow jams opposite on Monday night and in the picture I might choose to do more aerial hoop classes instead. It's very strange to not think of myself particularly at the dancer. Tonight I usually would try and go out to the acro jam at CrossFit but last night I ended up on the mall at an Acro Jam that it felt like my leaving would drop the safety level and I worked a couple things I probably shouldn't have and annoyed my wrist a bit . So I think I'll end up at lumsfs tonight in Vienna.

Speaking of lumsfs, that gets back to Keith. I enjoyed what parts of half wave I was around for this past weekend and one thing that got me there when I did was another informal Memorial. Although I also kept expecting to see him whenever I walked into the con Suite or a party.

Baltimore science fiction Society will have a memorial midday the 28th. I should probably add something on the Facebook group.

Weird dreams this morning but didn't write so gone.

Talking with whitebird about the California fires is scary. Oakland Hills fire had been worst in California history since the 90s. Had been. He says lots of these were transformer fires because so little humidity.

Got to go now

Sociopathic characters in fiction

Oct. 10th, 2017 02:19 pm
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I've read several examples of sociopathic characters in several different books, and been left with a bunch of thoughts.

Read more... )

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