Under the wire

Feb. 8th, 2016 10:32 pm
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)
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[personal profile] tcpip
Brought almost everything related to the cluster back online this week, hitting 90% utilisation by Friday, with reviving a downed node saved for other's use. Also this week have dropped into ResBaz. There was a couple of hundred people involved, so it's been quite a show, and ran into Yaokang W., who is interested in the fascinating field of using the Natural Language Tookit in case law. In a couple of weeks I'll be travelling to Wellington to present and MC at Multicore World. My paper has puns in the title; A Laconic HPC with an Orgone Accumulator.

The Isocracy Network has a new article by William Hathaway on a Long Term Strategy for the Left, but also a timely new national policy for asylum seekers developed by Damien Kingsbury, myself, and other troublemakers. 'Timely' is used in the disturbing context of the High Court deciding that the children of asylum seekers born in Australia could still be sent to offshore detention. Attended the large (and mainly unreported) snap protest at the State Library for those of us still opposed to the torture of babies (has it really come to this?).

Three other events attended this week; GURPS Middle Earth and Laundry Files games on last Sunday and Thursday respectively, the latter quite notable for using characters and setting from The Man Who Would Be King. Went to Robina C's et. als, exhibition on Friday at The Food Court; an interesting space and indicitive of an area that has been over-developed - nows the artists are moving in.

i made it out of clay

Feb. 4th, 2016 12:37 am
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
One of our Christmas presents this year was a "Basic Wheel" class at Baltimore Clayworks, and if you are in the Baltimore area and are looking for a new creative outlet, I highly recommend them!

There are a wide range of classes, from "absolute beginner who just wants to try a one-day class to see if you like it" to "I am an experienced potter who wants to learn some new skills". They're just enrolling for spring sessions now; there's a range of class length from one day to three months. Prices are $120 for members and $140 for non-members for a one-month class and $355/$375 for three-month classes. (Membership starts at $40 per year for one person and $75 per year for two people, and it's tax-deductable; if you intend to take more than one class, it's a money-saver.) You can also arrange for "clay parties" if you and a bunch of friends want to get together and have a clay night.

Why it's awesome: The Baltimore Clayworks is a nonprofit org that combines class instruction with studio space for potters, and the classes are all taught by artists-in-residence, so you get instruction from working potters. The workspace is gorgeous; it's in the old Mt Washington branch of the Pratt Library and the conversion was really well-done. With your class registration, you get unlimited studio time (as long as there's a wheel free, and in our experience, there's usually a wheel free most nights of the week even when classes are scheduled; there are three classrooms total). Class tuition includes 25lb of clay and unlimited bisque firing. (Glaze firing is a small fee; if you're enrolled in a class, you get the student rates for glaze firing.) If you're a member, you can do work exchange for up to half your tuition waived for your first class and full tuition waver once you've established yourself as reliable.

The classes are fun, but the unlimited studio time makes this a fantastic deal. (We spent four hours tonight making stuff, for instance!) If you've been looking for a new creative thing to get into, or just think this sounds like fun, I highly recommend. Sarah and I can testify that the Basic Wheel class is suitable both for complete beginners who have never touched a wheel before (her) and people who used to be pretty darn good at this pottery thing 20+ years ago but haven't touched a wheel since (me; I did two years of independent study in ceramics during high school and then never went back to it).

Dad's pens

Feb. 1st, 2016 05:28 pm
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
People wanted to see some of dad's pens! I don't have a bunch readily available, but I found a few (with bonus keychain), including the ones he made as wedding favors for Susan and John's wedding. Please forgive the shitty pictures; I did not try too hard with them, heh.

If there's interest, I can also kidnap a few of the bowls he's made us to show those off, too.

Read more... )
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
We drove up to Delaware on Saturday morning to see Dad (and came back last night in time to make our pottery class). It's amazing how well he's doing: aside from having lost a lost of weight and a lot of muscle, he's up and about and looking surprisingly spry, if a bit creaky from, you know, having had his sternum sawed open twelve days ago.

(The first thing he did when Sarah and I got there was grab on to both our hands and tell us, very sincerely and all choked up, how grateful he was to us. See, nobody remembered to tell him that when he woke up from the anaesthesia, he'd be on a ventilator breathing for him. (Or, they told him, but it was in among all the rest of the stuff that they were throwing at him and it didn't quite register.) He remembered waking up and freaking out because he felt like he was suffocating -- "I don't remember much, but I remember knowing that I was dying." Sarah and I had been hanging out in the recovery room and as soon as he started waking up and freaking out, we both grabbed a hand and started talking to him -- "it's okay, you did great, you've got a machine breathing for you right now but it's totally normal, don't fight it, stop biting down on the tube, I know it hurts but they'll get you some pain meds as soon as your blood pressure comes back up a little more, this is totally fine and you're doing great", etc. He said he doesn't remember much from that night but he does remember hearing us and it helped so much.)

Dad being Dad, he made sure that Mom brought his portfolio of hand-lathed pens to give to the cardiac surgery team and the nurses that took care of him. He got a real kick out of the fact that the cardiac surgeons -- people who move veins around in your body and stitch them back into place at a scale you can barely imagine -- wound up standing around his bed gushing in amazement about the craftsmanship involved. "These are the guys who used to practice surgical techniques by cutting into a cigarette paper without cutting through it, and they couldn't stop talking about how much skill my stupid pens show!" (They're not stupid pens. They're amazing pens. But he has a serious problem with believing that his work is actual art.)

Anyway, he's doing great. He's already going a bit stir-crazy with the enforced idleness, but Susan taught him how to use the Amazon Fire stick to watch TV and play solitaire, which is helping. (And then Dad turned around and taught Mom how to use the Fire stick, thus prompting me and Sarah to stand there laughing our asses off, because Dad being better at technology than Mom is a definite harbinger of the Apocalypse.) We went over to walk on the boardwalk on Sunday morning to take advantage of the gorgeous weather, even!

Also, I taught him the word 'douchebro' and he laughed so hard it hurt. (Which is easier when your sternum got sawed open twelve days ago.)
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)

NFS and Other Adventures

Jan. 30th, 2016 11:33 pm
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[personal profile] tcpip
Much of the past week at work has been spent dealing with amazing NFS cluster woes, the worst I have ever had to deal with. It took days to bring access to user data back (not helped by a public holiday in the middle of the week), and there is still an issue with job submissions. However I do think there is some light at the end of this rather dark tunnel. Appropriately attended Linux Users of Victoria's meeting on wireshark and tcpdump this afternoon, which had plenty of people in attendance. Finally, this evening went to visit some good ol' friends who were having printer networking problems which proved relatively easy to fix (which lead to concluding the night with a few rounds of Cards Against Humanity).

Apropos gaming have had a couple of storygame sessions in the past couple of nights with Cats Against Cthulhu on Thursday night and Eclipse Phase Mars on Friday night. Tomorrow will be GURPS Middle Earth. The RPG Review Cooperative has started its own github, where an old GM friend has added his "visual combat simulator" for Dungeons & Dragons v3.5 and Rolemaster. For an organisation that is a barely a month old, I am quite happy with how the RPG Review Cooperative is faring, although it must be said that it doing so from a well-established base. It seems beneficial for such community associations to operated with a well an established timetable for activity, to offer a number of services, to publicise, and with new activities every couple of days among the committee to retain momentum.
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Every week, let's celebrate ourselves, to start the week right. Tell me what you're proud of. Tell me what you accomplished last week, something -- at least one thing -- that you can turn around and point at and say: I did this. Me. It was tough, but I did it, and I did it well, and I am proud of it, and it makes me feel good to see what I accomplished. Could be anything -- something you made, something you did, something you got through. Just take a minute and celebrate yourself. Either here, or in your journal, but somewhere.

(And if you feel uncomfortable doing this in public, I've set this entry to screen any anonymous comments, so if you want privacy, comment anonymously and I won't unscreen it. Also: yes, by all means, cheer each other on when you see something you want to give props to!)

found on Tumblr

Jan. 26th, 2016 01:53 pm
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Types of Fanfic Summaries and What They Mean by [tumblr.com profile] get-fortunate.

Cracking up like a motherfucker because it is so true.
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