And Then...

Oct. 16th, 2017 04:21 pm
poliphilo: (Default)
[personal profile] poliphilo
...the sun turned red.

And the sky turned a sort of dirty yellow, thickened and hid the sun.

I think we're still at the very edge of the action. There's a wind but not a high wind. According to the media the colour of the sky is a mix of desert sand and debris from forest fires in Spain and Portugal.

Storms Old And New

Oct. 16th, 2017 01:01 pm
poliphilo: (Default)
[personal profile] poliphilo
On the 30th anniversary of the Great Storm of 1987 another great storm- originally a hurricane- is sweeping over the British Isles. In 87 we didn't name the buggers, but now we do and the current Great Storm is called Ophelia.

The 87 storm devastated the South East of England. Here on the farm my parents lost a number of trees. That was the downside. The upside was they installed a wood-burning stove and the harvest from the storm kept the living room warm for years. And, of course, they replanted. Thirty years on and the farm- and the area round it- is as bosky as it was before.

The trajectory of Ophelia is to the west of here. Ireland is already being battered and Scotland has it to come but it looks as though most of England will escape. The sky has clouded over now but this morning was so warm and sunny I hung washing out to dry.


Oct. 15th, 2017 11:42 pm
archangelbeth: Woman doing a zombie "braaaaains" pose (Braaains!)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Have a headache -- probably from sleeping on hotel pillows.

But home. I like home. Home is good.

Very little sleep. (Had to get up early enough to go get hotel breakfast -- they stop serving at 9:30 ON THE DOT. They had cheese omelets which were decent but ugly-looking. I had some of those, orange juice, a couple slices of toast with apple jelly, and TEA. I did "room service" for kid, with bacon, a sausage patty, pancakes, one omelet, and orange juice.)

Have done nothing of use all day, except not fall asleep on anyone.

Spouse has not been sleeping well -- possibly a cold, possibly allergies -- and slept pretty much from when kid and I got back (around 10) till 2.

Lo, and that is all of interest today. And not much interest...

Oh, got some editing done for friend. Yay? I will get him to grok commas someday...

Havva Quote
----------------------Quoted by E••••-----------------------
Accordion to a recent study, replacing words with the names of musical instruments in a sentence often goes undetected.

INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

Done last week (20171008Su - 14Sa)

Oct. 15th, 2017 10:56 am
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

On the whole a pretty good week. (I was going to say, "not a bad week", but it may actually qualify for good this time. I'm really bad at evaluating subjective stuff like that.)

I got my taxes done. Probably still some things missing, but since I only owed $117 over what I estimated back in April I'm not going to complain. Much. I'm still in a world of trouble over the lack of withholding on some of the pensions. That's going to bite me. Well, I'll put in an estimated payment for the quarter; that will help.

Naomi came home Sunday with the scooters, and we got one of them out of the van. (G and I got the other out last night with the help of my folding ramp.) And yesterday on the way home from dinner out we stopped at the bike shop in Bayview and ordered Colleen a (purple, of course) helmet.

Meanwhile, I have reconfirmed my dislike for the Mac user interface (Windows would be worse). The main reason is the inconsistent bindings for control, meta, and super (the "logo" key). It's almost tolerable with a Thinkpad keyboard and x2vnc, but the key bindings in Emacs are wonky and cut-and-paste doesn't work between the two systems.

Also, of course, Raven's handling of its external monitor is broken, and the desk isn't wide enough for it plus the monitor anyway. (It is wide enough for Cygnus to the left of the monitor, so I may end up doing that.) I have Raven on a tray table to the right of the monitor, which isn't ideal because, oh, yeah: my newest Thinkpad keyboard has started dropping keystrokes. Basically unusable at this point, and it's only a year old. Lenovo's QC has really tanked -- I miss IBM. And I can't find the box with my other keyboards :P Unlike the drill and the router, I know that one is in the garage because I saw it there. I blame the cats.

The cats are all doing okay. Even Bronx, who remains a bit fragile and isn't eating all that well.

We are making progress toward making the room over the garage into a usable living space. By not making large structural changes, and not making it an official ADU, we can probably save a lot.

Notes & links, as usual )

An Antique Drum

Oct. 15th, 2017 05:50 pm
poliphilo: (Default)
[personal profile] poliphilo
The Battle of Hastings is now fought annually- and we were there for yesterday's re-enactment. We had flags to wave- I bought one for each team and shouted "Normandie!" and "Godwinsson!" indiscriminately. My granddaughter asked me which were the goodies and I said they both had points in their favour. I reckon that after a thousand years (nearly) all English people must have both Norman and Saxon blood running in their veins.

As Eliot said about a much later conflict,

"We cannot revive old factions...
Or follow an antique drum.
These men and those who opposed them
Accept the constituency of silence
And are folded in a single party."

Incidentally, when the battle was over and the survivors and resurrected dead marched past to applause I was pleased to see that a goodish percentage of them were women.

Roofer has flu

Oct. 14th, 2017 08:49 pm
archangelbeth: Bleach's Captain Byakuya, three-quarters view. Captioned: sigh (Sigh)
[personal profile] archangelbeth

however, contractor was banging all day, and by the time we heard he wasn't going to be in tomorrow, well, we might as well stick to the Plan of staying here. *sigh*

There are noisy kids in the pool and I am exhausted just listening to them.

Also cannot go into the pool myself, because I do not want to attract sharks. *SIGH*

Edited a chunk of Thing for friend. Pondering whether I should set up the other machine for STO. Dunno.

Finished Strange Practice yesterday.

Tweaked my latest Borg story on AO3. Uploaded s'more SSO Prologue to AO3. Got like maybe 2 paragraphs of dialogue on Copper Leaf Bargains? Yay?

Havva Quote
Working at Dogskull Patch today. Have located the legendary Mason Jar Burial Ground, where these noble beasts come to die.

INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

Surprise Completed Draft

Oct. 13th, 2017 10:42 pm
rowyn: (studious)
[personal profile] rowyn
I've been working on the current draft of Demon's Lure since February. Technically, it's a book I started in 2009, but I only wrote around 5000 words back then, plus a rough outline. I scrapped most of the outline and started writing again from scratch. The book went much better this time around.

But, while I'd written a detailed outline for the new version, my draft had severely diverged from the original outline. From where I am now, the rest of the outline works remarkably well all things considered, despite that I've kept changing things as I wrote the story.

The changes I'd made had, however, made the first half of the book much longer than I'd anticipated. I was at 80,000 words and less than 60% of the way through the outline. I complained to Maggie that the book might end up over 150,000 words, instead of the 100-120k I'd been targeting.

"Split it in half?" she suggested.

"Split it in half" is what multiple people advised me to do with Silver Scales and A Rational Arrangement, and in both cases I declined because I don't feel like either book made a satisfying story if I chopped it into two parts. But the way I'd changed Demon's Lure already from the outline did make the current section a reasonably good break point. The central conflict may not have been exactly resolved, but it has mutated dramatically, to the point where it's really a different conflict now. I could finish out the current scene and it ends on a "this obviously needs a sequel" note, but it wouldn't be a total cliffhanger.

So I wrote the rest of the scene and went "Huh. So I guess I finished a book?"

It needs considerable revising and probably some new scenes before I am ready for beta readers on it. I expect that I will plug away at Book 2 as my next-thing-to-write, although I'm not ruling out letting myself work on a different book. I won't be releasing Demon's Lure until 2018 anyway, because I have three books coming out in the next eleven weeks and that's plenty. Really.

But I feel pretty good about having finished a draft and edited three books, with eleven weeks still to go in 2017. I mean, "edit The Sun Etherium and draft another book" was one of my STRETCH goals for this year. I have already finished my regular goals. And those were set when I didn't know Lut had cancer. o__o

Granted, I've decided against serializing Scales and I was still editing it in June and nowhere near releasing it. So my time scale has slipped and I removed one of my goals for business reasons. Even so.

... I still feel kind of like I should finish drafts for another two books this year, though. So I can be sure of releasing three books in 2018 too. And I do have most of a draft of Fellwater written, and book two of Demon's Lure would be comparatively short, by my usual standards ...

I'm not gonna push for this, though. One thing at a time. And Lut is still sick and the new normal is different and not as conducive to writing as the old normal. I need to remember this and not charge off thinking I can write 3000 words in a day and everything else in life will sort itself out.

Regardless: I finished a draft! \o/

Back in a hotel

Oct. 13th, 2017 08:47 pm
archangelbeth: An anthropomorphic feline face, with feathered wing ears, and glasses, in shades of gray. (Default)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
Roofers are DEFINITELY coming this time (and even if they didn't, there would definitely be banging on the house walls), so we are in the oldest hotel/motel in town. (It was the only one that had rooms and was vaguely nearby. All others are full up. I am boggled. What are people in our town for??) We are in one of the original rooms, which used to be an outdoor motel room, so now it's got a window overlooking the indoor swimming pool below.

It is small, especially compared to the awesome one from a couple weeks ago. The bed-lights "turn on" knob is a twist-button thing, but it has to be shoved in and twisted or it doesn't work. The bedside clock was plugged into the power-outlets-and-USB-charger device, but that thing wasn't plugged all the way into the wall socket behind the bedside desk, so the clock wasn't working. Which was probably good, as it meant I didn't try to charge anything and discover it wasn't working! Anyway, the desk was light-weight and thus I could just move it back, fix the plug in the outlet, and ta-da.

The air-conditioner unit is high up in the wall, and has a little airflow-vane that it's waving up and down slowly to circulate the frigid air. I'll have to figure out what to set it to, since it's a little hot when it's not blowing frigid air on me, and way too cold when it is. -_-

But we have probably barely enough outlets for the electronics, and a microwave and a fridge. (No kitchenette this time. Sadness.) And it's not like home isn't 10 minutes away (15 if traffic is terrible).

And I didn't forget my nightgown this time.

(Last night was very rough, and I did not get to bed till 5 in the morning, and THAT was on the foot of the kid's bed. Ugh.)

Havva Quote
It was, in fact, a dark and stormy night, with a little thunder muttering in the east over the Isle of Dogs, and the people he passed on the street were hurrying to get out of it, heads burrowed down in to hunched shoulders. Nobody paid him any attention as he made his way toward the Blackfriars bus stop: just another man in a dark coat, perhaps paler than most, his black hair combed straight back from a high forehead. The overall effect was slightly spoiled by the fact that dampness made his hair frizz.
--Strange Practice, by Vivian Shaw
(This is a paragraph from the page I'm on in the ebook, which went on sale for a reasonable ebook price, which is why I have the trade paperback (at home) and the ebook, and I'm not going to go quote the bit where the main protagonist's purse gets described and I went YES GOOD BOOK, because I'd lose my place. Yes, my prior sentence is terrible and should be shot.)

INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

In This World In Which We Live...

Oct. 13th, 2017 09:56 am
poliphilo: (Default)
[personal profile] poliphilo
...A man who disrespects women is considered unfit to be producing movies but isn't debarred from becoming President of the United States.

Friday's Story!

Oct. 13th, 2017 10:03 am
soncnikralj: (Default)
[personal profile] soncnikralj posting in [community profile] girlgenius_lair

So the phantom menace is defeated and revealed!
Was he acting alone?

(I am glad that it was not the Chief!)

Also, Ivo knows his fighting allright. He should take on Maxim and get a better hat :)

Broken sleep

Oct. 12th, 2017 07:10 pm
archangelbeth: Bleach's Captain Byakuya, three-quarters view. Captioned: sigh (Sigh)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
1: I think my mom's text came in... belatedly. Like, 8am instead of last night. That better be the case, because there is NO circumstance in which I want a non-emergency text at 8 in the flippin' morning.

Especially after getting to bed at, you guessed it, around 4am. Or maybe 3. Still an ungodly time.

But there was the kid having a wake-up-and-need person, and then the PING PING of my phone with the random text, and then somewhere in there the automated pharmacy call happened (yay, pills), and after that the spouse's alarm went off so he could go get food for kid, and eventually I had to get up and eat something because of a school meeting.

And then home and some walking and off to the other appointment (with a stop for snack at a Wendy's), and dinner, and now I'm finally back and at least caffeinated enough that I'm not having to hold my eyes very big and open to keep them from closing.

I need to finish my walking-circle on my watch.

Edit: Just uploaded this.

Havva Quote
I began to feel as if I was in a poultry themed Greek tragedy. You know how what makes a tragedy is that you can see the character flaws leading inevitably to the end? Well, Kevin is basically a heavily-tattooed Francis of Assisi and by now he was sitting out on the deck in the morning, tossing layer pellets (I got something healthier than birdseed) to Strong Independent Chicken and greeting her as "Sweetie" when he drove up in the truck.
(Yes, recycling some of her tweets.)

INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )

Poison Kiss, by Ana Mardoll

Oct. 12th, 2017 12:52 pm
rowyn: (studious)
[personal profile] rowyn
Poison Kiss is a polyamorous fantasy romance, so you can pretty much tell right there why I decided to read it. :)

The story is about half romance and half action-adventure fantasy. The action-adventure half consists of the human protagonists dealing with truly evil, nasty faery folk from an alternate world. The story opens with two of the protagonists imprisoned in the faery world. The faery world is depicted as awful for everyone: worst for the enslaved humans, who have their memories obliterated and are transformed, toyed with, controlled, broken, and killed at the whim of their faery masters, or their masters' rivals.  But it struck me that even the faeries doing the imprisoning sounded like they had miserable, friendless lives full of pretense, backstabbing, and murdering or being murdered by one another. All of it is dressed up with beautiful backdrops, palaces, and fancy balls, but everything is joyless.

Fortunately, most of the book takes place "Earthside", although there is always the specter of being recaptured, and that specter is brutal and terrifying in a way that merely being threatened with death is not. The entire cast consists of people who survived faery enslavement, and everyone feels convincingly like a trauma and abuse survivor. This is well-handled: I didn't feel like the story was wallowing in it or trying to traumatize me as the reader, but I could completely relate to their fears and coping mechanisms.

Some of why the faery world is so grim is revealed over the course of the story, and is fascinating itself.

I am not a big fan of "brutal and terrifying magical world", as anyone who's read my work can probably guess. The fantasy plot was solid and well done, with the resolution of various arcs surprising yet logical. I had some minor quibbles ("why doesn't anyone at least suggest [obvious patch for problem]") but nothing serious.

The characters are loveable; I found the choice to make the male protagonist a naïf charming: it's a part men rarely get to play. And he is adorable and sweet, if less well-established than the other characters.

This is a love-at-first-sight book: the three protagonists form into a happy triad within two or three days of first meeting their third. I am not a big fan of love-at-first sight*, but that aside, they make a lovely, supportive triad and I enjoyed the HEA.

So on my "enjoyed it"scale, I'll give it an 8. No actual flaws, just a taste mismatch on tropes.

* Yes, even though I do write love-at-first-sight. Romance where the characters don't start out hating each other and gradually fall in love is hard, y'all.

[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:
   Registrar URL:
   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
   Name Server: [REDACTED]
   Name Server: [REDACTED]
   DNSSEC: unsigned
   URL of the ICANN Whois Inaccuracy Complaint Form:

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, 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?

Once A Parent Always A Parent

Oct. 12th, 2017 12:52 pm
poliphilo: (Default)
[personal profile] poliphilo
You never stop feeling parental responsibility.

My sons and their families are coming down for a brief visit and we're all going to go to Battle to watch the re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings- and I'm having to resist the urge to micromanage everything. The boys, I keep having to remind myself, are adults now- and not young adults either- but married men with jobs and mortgages....

[tech, DW] Dreamwidth API Design

Oct. 12th, 2017 02:52 am
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
If you want input into Dreamwidth's API, it's under discussion over on [site community profile] dw_dev for imminent development work.

If you have an interest in that, go check it out immediately, and chime in.
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Years ago, I came across a passage that I seem to recall was attributed to Einstein, from a private letter written to a young mathematician, about how the world is filled with more seductive scientific/mathematical problems than a person can tackle in a lifetime, so one has to be careful to chose the right problems to work on.

I cannot find it; it doesn't seem to be in the books that I had thought I'd seen it in. I'd like to find it again. I tried googling "einstein's letter to mathematician" and discovered that he apparently carried on a voluminous correspondence with every living mathematician at the time. Brute force searching isn't going to work.

Does anybody happen to recognize this passage by description?

Long drive day - I stayed home.

Oct. 11th, 2017 10:33 pm
archangelbeth: A dandilion puff, seeds being blown off in the wind. Above, the title: "Dreamwidth." (Dreamwidth Dandilion)
[personal profile] archangelbeth
And did NOTHING PRODUCTIVE. Which is kind of annoying but at least I had some time to just putter around being unproductive without anyone near me. Hashtag Introvert.

I think when I finish uploading (to AO3) the SSO Prologue "logs," I will maybe pull out Queen of Lilies and just make sure that it's at least got an off-site backup on DW, in a filter.

(Earlier, we walked. It is tricky to pick up the fallen pears now because WASPS FOUND THEM. Who knew such a tiny pear could hold THREE WASPS? Ugh.)

Still no pounding on house, which is mixed, because while it would be nice to have progress, I have not gotten to bed before 4am for ages now. Plus hoping that our contractor is not having medical issues. Plus I would like to put my car in the garage again someday! Before it snows!

Havva Quote
When it's all over, the words that you dragged out one at a time in tedium read exactly the same as the ones made of white hot inspiration.

(This is true. Though I remember at least one white-hot inspiration, and gods but I wish I could do that more.)

INwatch+Bookwatch )

Dragons under fold )


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