(no subject)

Oct. 18th, 2017 06:30 pm
fadeaccompli: (risky)
[personal profile] fadeaccompli
The last time I posted here, it was about heading back to Minneapolis.

You may gather from the long silence that the semester has been damn near crushing with the workload. I'm tired all the time, and stressed quite a lot. Greek is very hard, Latin is challenging but mostly just a lot to do, the comp lit class has difficult reading (which is at least in English), and teaching Latin...

...well, I actually love teaching Latin. But needing to be chipper and focused and performing in front of the class at 8am five days a week, then grading and handling emails each of those five days as well, plus meetings with my supervisor and so forth, does rather add to the workload.

I'm not getting nearly as much writing done as I'd like. By a long shot.

Very tired.

In other news... Um. I dunno. I read various good books, mostly in snippets every morning on the bus (woo, ebooks on phone): The Stone in the Skull, Provenance, The Nightmare Stacks, An Alchemy of Masques and Mirrors, Ruin of Angels, probably a few others I've been forgetting. Continuing to enjoy Squirrel Girl. Really got into The Good Place. Went to a great picnic at Hidden Falls Park. (The falls were indeed hidden, but not well enough to keep me away.) Got to see Rob again for a week. Walked the dog many times. Bought some new (used) shoes. Learned to gel my hair in place against the difficulties of bike-riding, speaking of which, started using the bikeshare program here. Stocked a shelf at the office with pudding cups and apples and trail mix for all the nights I've been staying until 7 to get things done. Had a lot of fun conversations about grocery stores and high school graduation rituals and dogs with my Norwegian law school flatmate.

Very tired.

Gosh, I'm so very tired.

I should stop typing this and stagger home to eat something slow-cooked, and walk the dog, and then translate Latin until it's time for sleep.

A couple of tumblr posts

Oct. 18th, 2017 09:29 am
marthawells: (Default)
[personal profile] marthawells
* My publisher made Murderbot tattoos and sent them to me: https://marthawells.tumblr.com/post/166534388472/i-have-murderbot-tattoos-and-arcs-of-the


* Another quote from The Murderbot Diaries: Artifcial Condition for Book Quote Wednesday on Twitter: https://marthawells.tumblr.com/post/166536276597/for-book-quote-wednesday-on-twitter-the-murderbot

Apologies like the birds in the sky

Oct. 18th, 2017 05:29 am
sovay: (Haruspex: Autumn War)
[personal profile] sovay
I have been having an absolutely miserable night, but after venting at length to [personal profile] spatch about Brian Jacques' Outcast of Redwall (1995) I spent at least an hour reading about various mustelids online, including several species (tayra, hog badger, ferret-badger, grison) I hadn't known existed, and I think that was good for me.

(I liked ferrets. I found them clever, beautiful, charming creatures. I had had a stuffed animal black-footed ferret since late elementary school. By the time Outcast came out, I even knew several domestic ferrets in person; they were playful and I did not object to their smell. That was the novel where I realized that Jacques' species essentialism was immutable, and I felt painfully betrayed. I understood the long shadow of The Wind in the Willows, but I couldn't understand how Jacques could miss that his readers would at some point identify with Veil, the orphaned ferret kit adopted into a society of mice and voles and moles—the outsider, the one who feels there's something wrong with them for just being what they are—and then fail to see how it would hurt them to have Veil confirmed as irredeemable, genetically evil after all. He went so far as to give a morally ambiguous character a selfless death scene and then retract it a few chapters later. That ending accomplished what endless recipes for damson and chestnut and Mummerset dialect could not: I burnt out on the series on some deep level and have never even now gone back, despite positive memories of the first four books and their unique combination of cozy talking animals and total batshit weirdness. If you can't appreciate ferrets, I'm out of time for you.)

[hist] Oh, hey

Oct. 17th, 2017 11:57 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
It was just brought to my attention that per the date traditionally held to be the one on which Luther nailed the 95 Theses to a church door, this Hallowe'en is the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation.

Vallista, by Steven Brust

Oct. 17th, 2017 07:05 am
mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa
Review copy provided by Tor Books. Additionally, the author has shown by his behavior that despite what I've said in previous review disclaimers about his books, he is absolutely no friend of mine.

However, quite often people who have made me sad, angry, and/or disgusted with their behavior write books that are too dreadfully written to bother to read, and this is not the case with Vallista. This is another entry in the Vlad Taltos series, and like the others it is not doing exactly the same things as its predecessors. It is expanding the universe of the series, it is messing with everything that has gone before and recasting it. It is definitely not an episodic "like this one, but more of it" entry in its series, and the trap-building nature of the vallista comes satisfyingly into play.

What was less satisfying for me this time around, and this may well come into reviewing the author rather than the book as I am trying not to do: everyone has tolerance limits on the First Person Asshole voice. It's no surprise that a substantial portion of a Vlad Taltos novel is written in First Person Asshole. Some people's tolerance is about a page and a half, some infinite; mine is, at this point fifteen books into the series, fraying. (I would also like it a lot if someone would write a study of how FPA voice shifts in a long series so that it always feels contemporary and therefore includes very mild contemporary phrasing that's almost but not quite invisible and ends up being the prose tic version of a long mystery series looking like it only spans two years and yet starting with the protagonist using pay phones and ending in them using smart phones. Someone who is not me should do that using several authors as reference. Thanks.) But Vallista also has, for very good plot-related spoilerific reasons, forays into other prose voices than that, which made it a lot easier to read just when some of the "look at me I'm clever" bits of narrative voice were not feeling quite as clever as hoped and had repeated the not-clever multiple times just to make sure you had a chance to not-laugh at it again. I liked...hard to describe for spoiler reasons...pieces of other prose voice, and the reasons why they were there.

There is quite a lot of Devera in this book. If you're here for serious forward momentum on ongoing plot arc and for Devera: here you go, this is the one you're looking for. Relationships among other characters in the series, a great deal less so, but there's a great deal of "can't have everything" going around in the world, inevitable that some of it would end up here.

Pull the Football

Oct. 16th, 2017 11:44 pm
swan_tower: (Default)
[personal profile] swan_tower
The "nuclear football" is the nickname for a briefcase of codes the President of the United States can use to launch a pre-emptive nuclear strike at any time, for any reason, with about five minutes elapsing from the moment he gives the order until the moment the missiles launch.

I don't care what you think of the current president, or the past one, or any that might come in the future. I care about the fact that no one should have that kind of unfettered power. No one should be able to start World War III on a whim.

And the good news is, we can take that power away.

Courtesy of Rachel Manija Brown, who started the "Pull the Football" social media campaign, here's what you need to know.

Both House and Senate have bills to prevent the President from launching a pre-emptive nuclear strike without a congressional declaration of war. They're both called the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 - Senate, HR 669 - House.) Passing those bills may literally save the world.

How to save the world:

1. Contact your representatives in Congress. Ask them to co-sponsor the bill NOW, before it's too late.

2. Contact EVERYONE in Congress who might want to prevent a nuclear war. Usually people only speak to their own representatives. But with the fate of the entire world is at stake, it's worth contacting everyone who might listen.

3. Promote the Pull The Football campaign on social media. Trump isn't the only one who can use Twitter. Get on it and start tweeting #PullTheFootball.

Share this post on Facebook or Dreamwidth. Put up your own post on whatever social media you use. Ask your friends in person. If you know anyone in the media, contact them to get the word out. If you're not American, you can help by publicizing the campaign on social media that Americans follow.

How do I contact my representatives?

1. Resistbot is a free service that will fax, call, or write your representatives for you. Just text the word "resist" to 50409 to begin.

2. Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to the representative of your choice.

I've contacted everyone. What now?

Contact them again. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. One water drop can be brushed away. Many water drops make a flood. Call, fax, or write as often as possible. Set aside 15 minutes every day to make as many calls or faxes as you can in that time. Relentlessness works - it's why the NRA is so successful. If they can do it, we can do it.

What do I say?

Page down for a sample script. Or speak or write in your own words.

Democrats to contact:

Every Democrat not currently sponsoring one of the bills. Thank them for their courage and service to the nation, and ask them to act now to save the world.

Thank the Democrats currently sponsoring the bills. There are 57 in the House and 9 in the Senate. Especially, thank Congressman Ted Lieu (sponsor of the House bill) and Sen. Edward Markey (sponsor of the Senate bill). Encourage them to step up their efforts to make it pass.

Republicans to contact:

The Republicans listed below are the most prominent who have voiced concerns about Trump. This is not an exhaustive list. There are more Republicans who might be receptive. For instance, all the House Republicans who just voted for more aid for Puerto Rico, and all Republicans who are retiring from their seats and so not worried about getting re-elected.

Sen. Bob Corker (202) 224-3344) warned us that Trump is setting the nation on a path to World War III. If you only contact one Republican representative, contact him. Thank him for his courage and urge him to follow through on his convictions.

Rep. Walter Jones (202) 225-3415 is the only Republican to support the bill. Thank him for his courage and urge him to get his colleagues onboard.

Other Republican senators to prioritize contacting: Susan Collins, Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, Orrin Hatch, Dean Heller, John McCain, Lisa Murkowski, Marco Rubio, and Ben Sasse.

Sample Script

Hello, my name is [your name.] I'm calling to ask Representative/Senator [their name] to co-sponsor the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. (S. 200 - Senate, HR 669 - House.)

I believe Republican Senator Bob Corker when he says we're on the brink of World War Three. No one benefits from a nuclear war. But we can stop it if we choose to. This may be the most important action Representative/Senator [their name] will take in their entire life. It may literally save the world. I urge them to co-sponsor the bill restricting first use of nuclear weapons. Thank you.

*

Don't tell yourself "it could never happen." Don't rest in the assumption that nobody would really launch the nukes -- it's all just posturing, right? We need precautions in place to make sure we don't wake up tomorrow morning to annihilation.

Or don't wake up at all.
sovay: (PJ Harvey: crow)
[personal profile] sovay
I am not really catching up on anything. The night we got home from New York, there was an exciting cat-related incident at five in the morning that kept everyone from sleeping until after the sun came up (everyone is fine, cats included), and this morning we were awoken shortly after eight by the sounds of construction thinly separated from our bedroom by some tarpaper and shingles. It is the roofers finally come to prevent further ice dams, but they were supposed to come this weekend while we were out of town and instead they are forecast for the rest of the week. I assume I will sleep sometime on Saturday.

1. There is a meme going around Facebook about the five films you would tell someone to watch in order to understand you. I've been saying Powell and Pressburger's A Canterbury Tale (1944), Ron Howard's Splash (1984), Derek Jarman's Wittgenstein (1993), John Ford's The Long Voyage Home (1940), and The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953). Which is hardly complete, but adding postscripts feels like cheating, so I haven't. The internet being what it is, of course, I first saw this meme in the mutated form of the five weird meats you would tell someone to eat in order to understand you, to which I had no difficulty replying: venison, blood sausage, snails, goat, and raw salmon.

2. In other memetic news, I tried the Midwest National Parks' automatic costume generator:

National Park Costume Ideas


and while I don't think "Paranoid Hellbender" is a good costume, it'd be a great hardcore band.

3. I haven't done an autumnal mix in a while, so here is a selection of things that have been seasonally rotating. This one definitely tips more toward Halloween.

The sound of a thousand souls slipping under )

I would really like to be writing about anything.

P.S. I just want to point out that if you have recently seen The Robots of Death (1977) and you open a copy of the official tie-in anthology Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View (2017) and see a pair of characters named Poul and Toos, it is extremely confusing that the former is female, the latter is male, they are respectively a senior and a junior officer aboard the Death Star, and neither of them has a problem with robots.

What we tell them and when

Oct. 15th, 2017 10:24 am
mrissa: (Default)
[personal profile] mrissa
Friday night Mark and I took our ten-year-old goddaughter to her first jazz concert, a real grown-up concert in the atrium at Orchestra Hall, not a kids' concert, tailored to her interest in drums. It was a smashing success and I have been telling people the joyful parts of being able to share this with her, how captivated she was, how the other concertgoers were delighted by her.

There's another tiny piece I haven't mentioned, but it's the week it is, the year it is, the world it is.

When I went out to the bathroom at intermission, Orchestra Hall had the pre-ordered drinks sitting on a table completely unattended. No staff near the table, no staff even visible. People's names were under the drinks, patrons were milling around. I was appalled. And when I went back in, I mentioned this as a terrible idea, and I said to Lillian, "Sweetie, don't ever, ever, ever take a drink that's been left unattended. You always, always, always watch who has had control of your drink." And she nodded solemnly and said, "Yes."

She is 10.

I did not say "rape" or "rohypnol" or "GHB." At her age, she probably honestly filed it away as "someone could spit in that, gross." But...she is 10. She will be in high school before we know it. And you have to grab the moments you can. You have to take the opportunities. If you sit a kid down for a lecture, here is all the stuff you need to know, some of it will fly past, some of it will not go in. And you will forget to say some of it. If they only hear stuff once, some important stuff will be lost.

I was not that much older than she is when my cousin told me the same thing, always know who has had your drink, do not drink an unknown punch at a party, even if they tell you it's non-alcoholic, maybe especially if they tell you it's non-alcoholic. Watch them make your drink, keep your drink with you, do not leave it on the table if you go to the bathroom, finish your soda, get a new one after.

She is 10.

She is 10, and I hope no one has said Harvey Weinstein's name to her. She watches Big Bang Theory, and I wish she didn't, because it's full of toxic bullshit, and because Mayim Bialik is trying to tell her that if only she's good enough, if only she dresses the right way and wants to be a good smart girl it will be enough. It will not be enough. This thing I am telling her, at 10, about control of her drink, about how to hold her hand when she punches, about kicking for joints and soft places on the body and running like hell, about how she is worth it and never think she is not worth hitting as hard as she can, as hard as she has to: it will not be enough. I cannot promise that it will be. It is what I have. I can give her that my friends think it's amazing that she loves the drums, my friends want to introduce her to the lead percussionist and help her see all the cool percussion instruments. I can give her grown-ups who see a tiny pixie child intent on listening to jazz and want to give her more of the world, not less. Who say, when you go out in the world, this is what you do--not, don't go out in the world.

She is 10, and I told her, never take a drink that's been left unattended.

It will only get more like this, in the years ahead. As the adults, we always want to think it's too early to have to say the words, and by the time we're comfortable, it's too late, they needed to hear them already. We want to protect them from the words, and we can't protect them from the world. So the opportunities come in the strangest places. It's fun when it's "do you know what Cubism means?" This one was not a fun one. But you take the moments you get. She didn't have to dwell on it, she nodded and went on with her evening, which she declared to be joyful hours. It's still lodged in my heart, though. She's 10, she's 10, she's 10. I want that to be a magic incantation, but it isn't.

Update

Oct. 15th, 2017 07:13 am
sartorias: (Default)
[personal profile] sartorias
I am on the island now, and relishing what is for me dead of winter weather (i.e. sixties, rain) -- in fact, it rained all day yesterday, whereas SoCal rain tends to rush in for ten minutes, then it's gone again for weeks or months.

My one day in New York was splendid, except for the part where I managed to get onto the subway going the wrong way Every Single Time. Once it was not my fault. The woman in the info booth told me that the train to our right was uptown and it was downtown. That was mean.

But I had a great dinner with the DAW team, many of whom are young, smart women, giving me the feeling that publishing will be in good hands.

A very pleasant drive through Brooklyn (which is much larger and more varied than I'd thought) and then along the coast to Wood's Hole.

Yesterday afternoon it was good to sit with tea and laptop listening to the rain as I tried to do some catchup work. Today more catchup, then the workshop begins.
sovay: (Lord Peter Wimsey: passion)
[personal profile] sovay
We are returned from our whirlwind trip to New York. Notes, because I need to fall over—

It is probably just as well that the Great Northern Food Hall is two states away, because otherwise I can see myself eating there until I go broke or burn out on the taste of rye flour, neither of which I want to happen. Not only do they make a superlative cold-smoked salmon, which if you order it as smørrebrød comes on a dense, chewy rye with thin slices of pickled cucumber and radish and generous dots of stiff savory sour cream and if you order it off the regular menu changes up the radish for celery pickle (which it seems I like much better than any other format of celery) and offers you slices of a lighter, crusty sourdough to plate it on for yourself, they serve a pink peppercorn and raspberry shrub which reminded me strongly of Fire Cider, only in a different key of flavors. Their beef tartare had too much red onion for [personal profile] spatch to eat safely, but we both liked the cubes of smoked beet and the startling green dollops of chive mayonnaise. The roast beef mini smørrebrød had a kind of remoulade on top and then little reddish-purple shells of endive. The avocado mini smørrebrød may or may not have needed green tomato pickle, but the chili oil was a nice touch. The server advised about two small plates per person; in fact three small plates at the Great Northern Food Hall was about half a plate more than either of us could handle, but it was all so delicious that we left only bread. I even got to try the sorrel sorbet because they were giving sorbet away for free, saying quite honestly that they had too much left at the end of the week and didn't want it to go to waste. It was a juicy green, vegetal-sweet, and I licked at it as we ran for the trains to Lincoln Center.

I want some kind of credit for changing all of my clothes except for socks and shoes in a stall in the orchestra-level ladies' room of the Met, especially since I had a laptop-containing backpack and my corduroy coat to manage at the same time. I had brought nice clothes for the opera and I was going to wear them, dammit. I dropped nothing in the toilet and got complimented on my hair afterward.

The opera was wonderful. The thing about Les contes d'Hoffmann is that Offenbach died while working on it—he had a complete piano score but only partial orchestration and a lot of dramaturgical questions unresolved—and as a result there has been an ongoing argument about authenticity and convention and dramatic coherence and musical feasibility for the last hundred and thirty-six years. A non-exhaustive list of variations would include: the order in which the second two acts are staged; how one of them ends; whether there is recitative or spoken dialogue in the tradition of the opéra comique; whether the four soprano roles are performed by the same singer; the degree to which the mezzo role is present in the story; which arias are performed by the bass-baritone; how the opera itself ends. Counting Powell and Pressburger's The Tales of Hoffmann (1951), I have literally never seen or heard the same version twice. Not all of this one worked for me as either an interpretation or an edition, but as a production it was oustanding. I liked Vittorio Grigolo's Hoffmann, self-destructive and feverishly hopeful and not one minute sober; I loved Laurent Naouri's Lindorf and other villains, the same dry dark amusement in his voice each act like his changes of coat, different styles, all black; Tara Erraught made the most complex Muse I have seen, a conspirator in each of Hoffmann's romantic disillusions until she begins to wonder if the eventual art is going to pay off the cost or if she's just going to break her poet instead. The mise-en-scène was generally 1920's Mitteleuropa, with excursions to a Parisian fairground for the Olympia act, a remote and wintry forest for the Antonia act, and a smoky Venetian bordello for the Giulietta act, cheerfully and non-naturalistically peppered with waiters in the whiteface of the Kit Kat Klub, carnival callbacks to Tod Browning, and Venetian courtesans in green glitter star-shaped pasties. (Rob said afterward, "That was more skin than I expected from grand opera." Then he got Tom Waits' "Pasties and a G-string" stuck in my head for the rest of the night.) And here the notes started to run away into an actual review which I had to break off abruptly because it hurt too much to type; I'll try to say more tomorrow. At the beginning of the Giulietta act, the Muse in her guise of Nicklausse the student woke up in a pile of pasties-and-G-string ladies with her vest unbuttoned and her cravat untied and I hope each and every one of those ladies went home and wrote an epic poem, or painted, or sculpted, or composed a song. I don't see what else waking up in a pile with the Muse is supposed to do.

We stayed the night with friends who live in Morristown, who had not managed to catch dinner before the opera, so at one-thirty in the morning we were at a diner somewhere in New Jersey, variously ordering things like Greek salad, Tex-Mex rolls, disco fries, and hot chocolate. This is the most collegiate thing that has happened to me in years.

Unfortunately I woke on their semi-fold-out couch the next afternoon with my shoulder frozen and screaming at me, which meant that a lot of getting around Manhattan today was accomplished by Rob carrying my backpack and me making noises whenever I tried to pick anything up, but we made it to the Strand and now I have copies of Derek Jarman's Kicking the Pricks (The Last of England, 1987) and Smiling in Slow Motion (2000) and we had dinner at Veselka, as is now our tradition. They make a borscht better than anything I can get in Boston. I always remember the Baczynski is huge, but forget quite how huge that is, although at least it means I can eat the second half some hours later on the train when I'm hungry again. Much less elevatedly, I can't remember ever eating a Twix bar before, but Rob brought one back from the café car and a lot of candy bars confuse me, but I can say nothing against a biscuit layered in caramel and chocolate.

(It is a small reason among many, but I do resent the resurgence of actual Nazism for making it more difficult to describe the shoutily officious gateman who ordered the woman next to me to drop out of line so that the business class passengers could have their own line to board first from—he kept yelling at her to move over and I along with two or three other people yelled back, "There's nowhere to move!"—as a tin Hitler.)

My shoulder is now hurting in the way it has been all week where the pain runs down my arm and into my fingers, which I suspect means I should call a doctor about it on Monday and definitely stop typing now. But it was worth it. It was a good birthday present.
sovay: (Sovay: David Owen)
[personal profile] sovay
Stanislas Petrov died this year. When I saw the news, I wrote, "I feel this is a bad year to lose a man who knew how not to blow up the world."

The nuclear football is the briefcase containing the launch codes for the nuclear weapons in the arsenal of the United States. Currently, in order to open the football and take advantage of its contents, a President of the United States need do nothing more than positively identify himself. The two-man rule requiring the assent of the Secretary of Defense before proceeding to the use of nuclear weapons is something of a fig leaf since, while the Secretary of Defense must verify that the order really came from the President, he cannot legally countermand it. Currently the President of the United States is a man who shows every sign of wanting quite seriously to use nuclear weapons and he can do it without warning and without authorization; he can do it on a whim and I feel that trusting in on-the-spot interference to prevent him—his generals actually tackling him, taking the football out of his hands—is an only marginally less wishful fantasy than the actual ghost of Stanislas Petrov appearing to arrest the turning of launch keys at the last minute, although I'm not saying he shouldn't do that if he feels like it. I would just prefer not to reach that stage if we can help it.

We can help it. There is right now a bill in the Senate and the House—S.200, H.R.669, the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017—that would remove the power to launch a preemptive nuclear strike from the President and return it to Congress, which would need to declare war before the authorization of a nuclear strike could even be considered, and [personal profile] rachelmanija has started a campaign to get this bill passed. It is called Pull the Football – Save the World. Its principle is simple. Call your Congresspeople. Write them letters, e-mails, postcards, faxes. Tweet at them. Message them on Facebook. If they are already co-sponsors of the bill, thank them. If they are not, tell them to co-sponsor the bill and then keep telling them. Call again. Write again. Tweet to break the monotony and then call some more. Even if there's not a hope in the domain of much-maligned Hades that they'll act like reasonable human beings, keep reminding them that you expect them to. See Rachel's post for sample scripts, phone numbers, and other helpful information. And if you haven't got Congresspeople at all, please share this information on your social media so that it can reach even more people who do. The idea is the same kind of wave of public outcry as the protests against the repeal of the ACA, only this time in favor of taking action—and in defense of more than just American lives.

I belong to the only country in the world that has employed nuclear weapons in war. For many, many reasons, let's not do it again. And let's start with the football.

Political activism

Oct. 13th, 2017 06:15 pm
sartorias: (tosh)
[personal profile] sartorias
I usually avoid politics in this blog, but I am worried about nuclear war wiping us out as powerful and irresponsible leaders (who of course would never be in any danger) joust with their joysticks.

If you are worried, too, then read this post. If you feel you can't do anything about it, definitely click this post.

If, of course, you think everything is fine and you are happy with the President and his team, then pass right on.
sovay: (Rotwang)
[personal profile] sovay
Normally I write about trains while I am on them, but today the wireless on the Amtrak Regional was broken until about fifteen minutes before we had to change for the Metro-North at New Haven and the Metro-North doesn't have wi-fi, period. It's a beautiful day to watch the world slide past: light striking dryly off everything, roofs, windshields, fenders, the not yet turning leaves, the daguerreotype glitter of the water beneath a dissolving, overexposed sky and then suddenly crisp metallic blue under the mathematical swells of bridges and between the billows of salt marsh, tawny with fall like the weeds at the side of the tracks. I got the window seat to New Haven, [personal profile] spatch gets it to New York, left-hand side so that we can properly see the sea. A black-bottomed boat bobbing by the docks in New London, a fountain pouring water from the lifted flukes of a bronze whale's tail. Old pilings standing raggedly in the water by a power station in Bridgeport. Small islands in an inlet outside Cos Cob, one or two trees to each, and rowers in a scull like a water strider stroking toward them. Gulls. Graffiti. I never remember to bring a camera, I just stare at the panorama and try to put it into memory. I really like this planet. I'd really like us not to cook it to death.

Around Darien, I looked across the aisle on the Metro-North and the woman with the copy of the New York Post was reading an article with the title "'Psycho' Analysis" with two photographs of Janet Leigh in the shower scene, reminding me that I still owe a review I want very much to write. This week disappeared into work and doctors, as too many of them do.

There is wi-fi in Grand Central Station, or I'd never get this posted. To dinner, and then to meet friends, and then to opera. [edit] The Great Northern Food Hall has superlative smoked salmon. I only wish I had room for the sorrel sorbet.

Pull the Football -- Save the World

Oct. 13th, 2017 02:11 pm
pameladean: (Default)
[personal profile] pameladean
[personal profile] rachelmanija is launching a campaign to support and get enacted the House and Senate bills each called the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act of 2017. The Senate version at least was introduced on January 15th of this year, but there doesn't seem to have been much motion on it.

Here's the link to Rachel's journal entry detailing how to create that motion. Please go there to see what the bills do and how you can push Congress to act on them.

https://rachelmanija.dreamwidth.org/2163007.html

Given the current state of, well, everything, this may have a much greater chance of succeeding than a lot of other campaigns to get Congress to wake up.

Pamela
tbonejenkins: (Default)
[personal profile] tbonejenkins

Last night, Scrivener informed me that I had passed the 150K overall word count on Willow. Which made me wonder what the original word count was in the 1st draft. I did some digging and came across this blog post that I did a little over 10 years ago, when I had finished the first draft. 

First Draft Total:

Word Count: 462,257
Chapter Count: 79 and a prologue

Third Draft Total (pending)

Word Count: 151,179 (as of today)
Chapter Count: 44 (firm)

Wowwwwww. That's a pretty dramatic cut. A lot of that was tossing out a bunch of extra storylines, dropping a lot of supporting characters arcs (some will get pushed to the next book if it happens), and simplifying a bunch of things. It's taken me ten years to figure out it. I have to say though, this 3rd draft of Willow is the easiest draft to handle yet. I can actually work with it--I think writing the novella helped me with that. And I now can see the completion of this book looming close. I want to try shooting towards completing it by the end of this year, but we'll see. ^_^

This also makes me want to go back and reread all the older posts I did back when I did more blogging. Man, my writing process has changed soooo much. I've been meaning to go back to more blogging anyway. 

 

sovay: (PJ Harvey: crow)
[personal profile] sovay
Mayor Curtatone finally made a public decision I don't agree with, but he picked a doozy: "Somerville is preparing a regional proposal for Amazon's new headquarters." First of all, I have hated since the start of this process the very idea that Boston has to court Amazon, has to flatter the largest internet retailer on the globe into gracing our brick-and-mortar backwater with its $135 billion presence; Bezos' ego doesn't need the extra stroking. Second, I don't want Amazon in Boston: I don't want to become the Seattle of the East Coast or, God forbid, the San Francisco. I don't want to live in a company town. I especially don't want to live in a company town with Amazon's well-documented, exploitative employment practices. And I really, especially don't want to see Somerville, which is struggling enough with costs of living and gentrification and rents approaching asymptote, turn into an exploded shell of itself with the neutron star of Amazon at its core. When I feel less like a bomb went off in my head, I will try to write some less furious version of the above and send it to the city. I cannot see any way in which an Amazon "campus" in Somerville ends well, except for Amazon.

[tech] whois behavior?

Oct. 12th, 2017 01:23 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
I have a domain for which I don't have any sort of privacy protect - it's for my business, so I have my business info attached to it and am happy to have it public (free advertising!).

But when at the commandline I do whois mydomain.tld the record that comes up is very terse, and has no information about me or how to contact me at all:

   Domain Name: [mydomain.tld]
   Registry Domain ID: [REDACTED]
   Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.enom.com
   Registrar URL: http://www.enom.com
   Updated Date: 2015-10-[REDACTED]
   Creation Date: 2011-10-[REDACTED]
   Registry Expiry Date: 2021-10-[REDACTED]
   Registrar: eNom, Inc.
   Registrar IANA ID: 48
   Registrar Abuse Contact Email:
   Registrar Abuse Contact Phone:
   Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited https://icann.org/epp#clientTransferProhibited
   Name Server: [REDACTED]
   Name Server: [REDACTED]
   DNSSEC: unsigned
   URL of the ICANN Whois Inaccuracy Complaint Form: https://www.icann.org/wicf/


That's what I get from both my mac terminal and the shell at my hosting company.

Adding "--verbose" doesn't change anything.

When I go elsewhere, say to whois.domaintools.com, I get the whole record I expect to see.

What's going on here, does anybody know? Is there some way to convince my local whois to return more full records?

World Fantasy Schedule

Oct. 12th, 2017 07:23 am
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
[personal profile] marthawells
I'm toastmaster for the World Fantasy Convention which is in San Antonio, TX, this year. The headliner guests are: Tananarive Due, Karen Joy Fowler, Gregory Manchess, David Mitchell, and Gordon Van Gelder.

And the full programming schedule has now been posted: http://wfc2017.org/wfc2017/programming/program-schedule/


and here's my schedule:

Thursday

* 2:00 I've Got a Secret: Introducing our Guests
Part interview, part get-to-know-you chat, our Toastmaster will ask our honored guests to share their thoughts on "secret history" -- their own, or the importance of "secret history" in their work.

Martha Wells (m), Tananarive Due, Karen Joy Fowler, Gregory Manchess, David Mitchell


* 8:00 Molly Weasley Was a Bad Ass: Aged Protagonists in Fantasy
With the aging of our readership why do we have so few mature female characters in fantasy literature? Can the pernicious Youth Culture be subverted, or are we doomed to keep reading about fresh-faced young sorcerers eager to become saviors? Our panelists discuss representation, power and common tropes in fantasy works that include an older woman (middle aged and upward, such as in Tananarive Due's The Black Rose and Nancy Kress' The Prince of Morning Bells) as a protagonist, including examples of what they want to see more of, and why it matters.

Sharon Shinn, Martha Wells, Elizabeth Moon, Tracy Caulfield



Friday


* 10:00 Spotlight - From Angry Fairy Queens to Flying Lizard People: An Interview with Toastmaster Martha Wells
Rachel Neumeier interviews Martha Wells about her work and career, including her Ile-Rien series and the Books of the Raksura, her other fantasy novels including Wheel of the Infinite and City of Bones, her media tie-in and young adult work, and her new SF novella series The Murderbot Diaries.


* 8:00 Our Signature Event
Sometimes called the Autograph Reception, sometimes the Mass Autographing, there is only one autograph session at a World Fantasy Convention. Every convention member is invited to come to the Fiesta Pavilion, pick up their name plate and choose a seat at the autographing tables. This is a reception; hors d'oeuvres will be served.


Saturday


* 1:00 Reading - Martha Wells (1 hour)
(I'm not sure what I'm going to be reading yet. Maybe some Raksura and some new Murderbot.)


* 8:00 Art Ahow Reception


Sunday


* 1:00 Banquet and World Fantasy Awards Ceremony

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