synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
* It's difficult to cook when the cat demands, every two minutes, that you fix his food bowl. ('Fix', in this case, defined as 'push all the food back into the center of the bowl from the corners he licked it into'.) It is possible Gabe is a bit spoiled.

* I am so incredibly mellow about this holiday prep it's not even funny, although I'm sure that in another eight hours I'll be doing the "...but what if we don't have enough FOOD" panic. I can't even find my schedule. I know it's here somewhere, I just don't know WHERE. And I'm not at all fussed by this. As long as the turkey is in the oven by 1PM, it's all good.

* It occurred to me tonight that if I ever become a superhero, I can bring all my superhero friends to holidays with me no problem even if they want to be introduced by codename, because over the last twenty years, my parents have been conditioned to accept hearing "Oh, this is my friend DinosaurKitten" without batting an eyelash. (Exactly twenty years, in fact; the first Thanksgiving guest I brought home From The Internet(tm) was in 1995.) They stopped even wondering why all my friends seem to have five or six names that people call them after a few years!

* The best part of having [personal profile] arie here for Thanksgiving (I can't say 'visiting for Thanksgiving', because by now this is also her house even if she's only here two or three times a year) is that I know I can leave the sink full of dirty dishes and the house elves will magically clean them by the time I wake up again.

* ...which will be in six hours, because I am harnessing my sleep disorder to do all the prep the night before, but that means I will not be getting much sleep. Ugh.

* My attempt at Serious Eats' Birdie Bread Rolls did not turn out quite as adorable, but they are still pretty fucking cute. (I used raisins instead of chocolate cereal pearls for the eyes.)

And now it's time to feed the cat again (it's been a whole TWENTY MINUTES since he got food!) and try to sleep for a bit. Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate!

Civil War Trailer

Nov. 25th, 2015 01:20 pm
commodorified: a capital m, in fancy type, on a coloured background (Default)
[personal profile] commodorified
You know, the best trailers are a form of benign trolling. Some of those cuts were ... VERY strategic, just sayin'.

So, you know, speculate madly, I sure intend to, but keep in mind that they want to mislead us, yeah?

(no subject)

Nov. 25th, 2015 12:30 pm
commodorified: a capital m, in fancy type, on a coloured background (Default)
[personal profile] commodorified
Snaffled from ars technica

Stanford researcher Mark Jacobson likes to take current thinking about renewable energy and supersize it. Rather than aiming for 50 percent renewables, like California is, he has analyzed what it would take for each of the 50 states to go fully renewable. It would apparently involve so many offshore wind turbines that hurricanes headed toward the States would be suppressed.

I feel like that's an unalloyed good, am I missing something here?

Has anyone figured out

Nov. 24th, 2015 04:08 pm
commodorified: a capital m, in fancy type, on a coloured background (Default)
[personal profile] commodorified
How to remove album artwork from iTunes 12?

Because I can't seem to get it to stay deleted, which is displeasing me mightily.

In fannishness because I do have some

Nov. 24th, 2015 09:51 am
commodorified: a capital m, in fancy type, on a coloured background (Default)
[personal profile] commodorified
I seem to be plotting, with enthusiastic help from [personal profile] staranise, a Flashpoint/Rivers of London crossover.

I assume I'm looking at, like, five readers here, and I'll probably end up getting four of them to help beta, but the heart wants what the heart wants, which in this case seems to be Ed Lang attempting to grapple with the logistics of a situation involving fucking magic, seriously? while Peter Grant and Thomas Nightingale are stuck kibitzing via Skype and can't usefully do any actual spells.

commodorified: A cartoon of a worried looking woman in a chef's hat (cooking for people who don't)
[personal profile] commodorified
This was actually sort of an impulse, created while doing other things, so the quantities and times are a bit imprecise, sorry. It was sort of inspired by a jam Mel made a few years back with a piece of venison and a lot of onions that made me think that sweet and savoury was a taste thing I could get behind after all, but I wanted to do one with more fruit and no meat plus, you guys, I have a lot of dried fruit in my pantry and wanted to do something other than put it on oatmeal.

A handful of prunes, chopped smallish.
A scant handful of dried currants.
About 8 green peppercorns, cracked up in a mortar with two pieces of dried garlic (they were selling dried garlic at the Ukaranian festival this summer and you guys, it is amazeballs. Sharp and rich and just generally fun to play with.)
An enthusiastic glug of dry sherry
A slightly less enthusiastic glug of balsamic fruit vinegar.
A small glug of fruit juice to bring the liquid level up (I used cherry/cranberry, because it was sitting on the table when I was flailing about looking for ideas)

Cook it for several hours covered on very low heat (I have a tiny crockpot, which is what I used) wandering past and tasting it occasionally and when the vinegar starts to taste a bit sharp turn it off and add

One onion, carmelised.

Let it sit for a couple of hours while you do other things. Put it on stuff.

Thanksgiving accomplished

Nov. 24th, 2015 08:15 am
commodorified: the words Anglican Socialist Weirdo on a Green and Yellow abstract background (Anglican Socialist Weirdo)
[personal profile] commodorified
1) Rather late: [personal profile] fairestcat and I were in Rossland with my sister and Mom for Thanksgiving proper, so we did it this weekend, having luckily been able to get Meletor and her delightful Man up here for four hectic, awesome days.

Mel and I took over the kitchen and did Interesting Things with food, ably supported by our long-suffering spouses, who variously drove us to two grocery stores, organised the table, did a million dishes, rescued the bread when the kitchen, being cold and dry, killed the first round of yeast dead, chopped things, reminded us of things, hugged us, tasted things, stirred things, consoled us when things did not go as planned and had to be rejigged on the fly, ate and praised our efforts, and did a million more dishes while we sat around dazed drinking port and high-fiving each other hysterically while exclaiming WE DID THE THING. As one does.

Mel's rabbit pilaf was the hit of the night and my savoury jam wasn't too bad either. There were two kinds of squash and [personal profile] fairestcat's amazing brussel sprouts and I did a slightly experimental pie that was nearly exactly right (condensing all the fruit worked well but I needed a fraction more liquid) and we ritually harvested the last kale from the bathtub and [personal profile] fajrdrako and [personal profile] reyl and his awesome daughter Em came and helped us eat it all and it was an excellent Thanksgiving/Harvest Festival meal.

Monday we had to take Mel and James to the airport, which was exceeding sad.

2) In other news we got a fancy dehumidifier with a HEPA filter, and the difference is shocking. I confirmed on this trip that no matter HOW clean a space is, if it's damp it WILL contain enough dust mites to make me ill, so when I got home to a week of rain we splurged. I'm rationalising it on the grounds that with the price of Advair what it is we'll save the 300 CDN back right quick, and honestly I think that's true, and that's before we compare the health effects of spending it on steroids versus spending it on not needing steroids.

My other big discovery of this year is that allergy attacks = inflammation and fluid retention/production which = increased pain. I have usually tended to have less pain and fatigue while out in the mountains and then collapse on arriving home but I guess I thought it was adrenalin followed by a crash. Nope.

When I walk into a place I react to, on what was a good pain day, I can reliably predict that my back and shoulders will start to hurt twenty to thirty minutes later. I now have a whole new theory of that whole "my knee tells me what the weather is going to do" thing.

I pass this on for what it's worth to folks with both allergies and chronic pain.

3) Pursuant to my policy that snow is not permitted before my birthday, I am snarling feebly at the extremely fluffy white rain outside today. Fortunately I have to do a bunch of cleaning, so am saved from actually going out to encounter it in person.

4) As of December 15 I will, for the first time in some time, no longer be married to a member of the OTW board. In the meantime, yes, I AM pointedly ignoring the current rash of posts on the topic, and intend to continue doing so.

I may at some point alter the policy I have had since [personal profile] fairestcat first joined the board back in whenever of publically having No Opinion Whatsoever about the OTW's workings, but frankly it's extremely restful so very likely not.

I'd like to continue to believe that you are all the kind of people who, upon reading that, will NOT feel compelled to leave me a comment designed to bait one of us into engaging. Please assist me in maintaining this innocence.

5) I have no original or useful thoughts about current world affairs, and if Afghanistan and Iraq taught me anything it's that there's really not a lot of point in arguing unless you can arrange to do so in front of policymakers anyway.

My immediate response and current plan is that I am going to call the local Red Cross and get myself back on the Disaster Relief roster and see what classes I can do. Because things are uncertain (things have always been uncertain) and when bad shit goes down in the world there is always room for more people who are willing to show up with tea and blankets and sandwiches, or organise the procurement and delivery of same, and freely give them to those in need, without qualification.

5 items make a thing

Nov. 23rd, 2015 11:33 am
jamie: colorful light coming thru them (buildings alight)
[personal profile] jamie
As predicted (sorta) I had no brains on Sunday. I had physical energy though which bodes well for my continued improved health after the flu. Still, I managed to build a bit of Ikea furniture and do some housecleaning so yay? Doing that spurred B to clean off the kitchen table of her planner stuff so we have enough room to gracefully do turkey day.

Nano has been both more successful than I expected for me and less than I hoped. I got a few new small pieces done and I've wanted to write more but flu zaps ate a lot of my creative power. Bodes well for the longer term though.

In my heart of hearts I want to commit to seeing the British Isles in the next year but every time I do that something incredibly stupid happens in my life and I can never afford to go.

I now have a new to me truck that's 15 years newer than my nearly dead Saturn station wagon. I bought it from a friend for way less than market value - go-go-gadget con family. I also broke down and bought a new laptop to replace the 5 year old failing one that developed the click of death and no longer worked with an external monitor. Yes, November was expensive.

Thanks to saved up vacation and a paid work closure I'm off work from Dec 12 to Jan 3. Longest break from work since I got hired here in 2009 and I'll only be burning 8 vacation days.

(no subject)

Nov. 23rd, 2015 11:07 am
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Mondays, 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!)

(no subject)

Nov. 23rd, 2015 09:58 am
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
We had to put Brandy to sleep this morning -- heart failure leading to blood clot that blocked off circulation to his back legs. It was a very easy decision, at least, and he was perfectly fine up until suddenly he wasn't and then it was over an hour and a half later.

RIP, monster. You were an asshole, but you were our asshole, and you were a great cat.

(Please no quotes from the rainbow bridge poem with your condolences, if you don't mind!)

In bizzaro world

Nov. 21st, 2015 11:30 pm
jamie: grumpy cat wearing raindeer ears for winter holidays (holiday)
[personal profile] jamie
So I ended up going to bed early last night, slept 11 hours (whut?). When I got up I spent a few hours building out my staff's schedule for the conference in February, then I finished a necklace, organized a bunch of stuff, and then did some coloring. All by 5pm.

Did some cleaning, made dinner, and ran an errand and now bed again.

Bet I have no brains or energy tomorrow, though.

(no subject)

Nov. 21st, 2015 02:28 am
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
I keep forgetting to mention, but if anyone doesn't have plans for Thanksgiving, we are hosting and would love to have you! We will also be having our usual New Year's Eve gathering.


Nov. 20th, 2015 05:24 pm
jamie: bitter panda saying not quite zen (Default)
[personal profile] jamie
Hey there,

My local rescue for cats is in the running for some litter from Worlds Best and currently they are dead last. If you wouldn't mind taking a second to vote for them (no email or anything required, just a click) I'd appreciate it.

You want to pick Oakland Cattown Cafe and Adoption (and if you are ever in the area I'll be happy to buy you a cuppa and you can have tea/coffee with the kitties). They work with Oakland Animal Services and have reduced the kill rate of the shelter from 42% down to less than 5%.

If you want to check them out they post cat photos and other loveliness on fb at:
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
The past three days I've been at Deakin University giving the usual set of three HPC courses, except modified for the PBSPro scheduler and for Raijin, Australia's main academic supercomputer. It as a larger than usual class and with an audience who were very mixed in terms of experience (some PhD candidates, some professorial, some general staff), but nevertheless went very well despite some of the quirks of the slightly unfamiliar system. They finished with a resounding applause on the third day, which probably indicates it went pretty well from their perspective. It is probably worth mentioning that I have received the go ahead to make use of the company's ISBN numbers and reconstruct the existing course material into a more general publication - more on that soon.

The daily journeys to and from the university, about 90 minutes each way by mass transit, gave plenty of opportunity for playing with Duolingo (along with Wednesday's German class at the CAE. I have had a mainly theoretical interest in languages for some time, and have picked up a little bit of knowledge (French for fun, Tetum for work and pleasure) but never have I delved so deeply into so many simultaneously. I find that I am engaging in extensive revisions and note-taking, and have developed a genuine feeling for the frustrations and hopes that inspired people like Zamenhof to construct Esperanto as a pan-European constructed auxiliary language (even criticism is appreciated), along with the many variations on the theme (Ido, Interlingua, Lingua Franca Nova).

My anxiety-inducing options has been resolved, albeit not yet with a public explanation, and it really has lifted quite a weight from my shoulders (I must quickly acknowledge this was literary emotive anxiety, not the psychological disorder). It will result in a significant change to my life although not nearly as disruptive as the alternative and the chosen path has also encountered a further elaboration this week which cements the decision even further with greater benefits. I will also take the opportunity for a hat-tap to Richard Tubb who, at the recent OSDC conference made the comment that when facing a choose view the decision from the perspective of your future self. The orientation is interesting because it unconsciously places yourself in where you want to be in the future as well. Whilst both were acceptable, my future self will be pleased with the choice that I have made.
rainbow: text "out of spoons error. please reinstall universe and reboot" (Default)
[personal profile] rainbow
all the kitty toys:

some toys (and also a digitised santa face stocking pattern from the 60s and digital files for making the doctor ornaments i made last year from my paintings):

i want to do a doctor who themed tree again this year. this was the one from last year.

i need to print out lots more art work and get out my paints and glitter <3 MORE ORNAMENTS!
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