spiralsheep: Einstein writing Time / Space OTP on a blackboard (fridgepunk Time / Space OTP)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
As ever, feel free to skip the commentary and just enjoy the pictures.

I'd never visited Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire before and t'interwebz assured me there was a "Heritage Trail" around the town so I came, I saw, and I flanned. Indeed, I committed June challenge flan II(c) "local council walk" twice over because the same Historic Tewkesbury leaflet also included an Alleyways Trail and as I've never done an official alley tour before I managed to fit that in too. I walked the Heritage Trail first but out of order and breaking off in the middle to extend my walk to a memorable sculpture on the outskirts of town. I then completed the Alleyways Trail backwards but failed to find one alley so I did some of the zig-zags by zagging when I should've zigged and zigging when I should've zagged. The order of the day was 1, 2, 10, 12, 13, 14, 11, 9, 8, 7, 8, [diversion to Margaret's Camp (medieval moated site named for Margaret of Anjou), The Arrivall (sculpture), Bloody Meadow (1471 War of the Roses battlefield)], 5, 6, M, L, 4, 3, K, [couldn't find J], I, H, G, F, 16, 15, E, D, C, A, and lastly B. A less casual navigator than myself could combine both trails in a single walk. The leaflet is unusually well written, with a brief paragraph for various points of interest, and made the walk much more enjoyable. My favourite discoveries were the many odd signs, some historic, some artistic, and some comedic, although it's occasionally difficult for an outsider to determine which signs belong to which categories. I was clueless about whether the several cat themed plaques in the alleys were history or art or both, and which of the Shakespeare family signs were truth or fiction, and whether a railway heritage plaque was in the correct place, but even I recognised that parts of the "history" celebrated on a Victorian obelisk varied between unlikely and impossible, lol. In conclusion: I found Tewkesbury charming, quirky, and not quite what it might seem.

Ye Olde Black Bear Inn was reputedly Gloucestershire's oldest pub... until it closed recently, although Tewkesbury has many other historic pubs in the town centre including a Wetherspoons which combines full disabled access, through the old coaching doors, with ceilings inside so low that tall men have to duck their heads.

01 Ye Olde Black Bear ex-pub on Mythe Road, Tewkesbury 06-17

10 more small images. )

The Arrivall is a monumental sculpture created to commemorate the Battle of Tewkesbury, 1471, one of the decisive battles of the Wars of the Roses, which took place nearby including on the aptly named Bloody Meadow. This half is called Vanquished.

11 The Arrivall, Vanquished, commemorating the Battle of Tewkesbury 1471, 06-17
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

Second (and last, I think) book in Hamilton's Chronicle of the Fallers sub-series of his Commonwealth books (now up to about N, maybe N log(N), sub-series).

We follow a few main viewpoint characters, some of which were present for the previous book. It's eminently readable and while there's some on-page sex, it's at least pretty much down to "sex happens" rather than stroke-by-stroke descriptions, which is better.

Would I recommend this? I am in two minds, if you've read a bunch of Commonwealth books, this is likely to evoke the same feeling. If you haven't this really is not where to start.

Daily Happiness

Jun. 25th, 2017 01:06 am
torachan: a cartoon owl with the text "everyone is fond of owls" (everyone is fond of owls)
[personal profile] torachan
1. The city fireworks show was tonight and it was sooooooo loud and really scared the kitties, but they've all come out of hiding now and seem to be back to normal. I gave them lots of treats when they finally came out.

2. McDonald's has these really tasty blueberry cream pies right now. Carla loves the strawberry ones, too, and has gotten them a bunch, but while I thought those were okay, I wasn't super into them. But these blueberry ones are so good! And it's weird, because I usually like strawberry more than blueberry, but idk. The blueberry one is so much better.

3. Everybody loves this box so much. It's got nice flaps to make you feel hidden, and rustly paper inside to play with. Just the best box. Three out of three kitties recommend.

(no subject)

Jun. 24th, 2017 01:01 pm
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity
[community profile] holmestice finished posting! Reveals are on the 27th; in the meanwhile go and admire all the lovely things! I particularly recommend my own gift, "The Case of the Deceased Marmalade Thief", which is an utter delight.

--


It's been ages since my last proper update. Highlights!

I got a camera for my birthday back in March...

obligatory kitty pics )

obligatory I-can't-stand-my-face selfies )

Then the current round of Holmestice began, PRECISELY when the Livejournal TOS fuckery hit the fan. I will not say that this round has been a clusterfuck, because I think it mostly hasn't been? But pulling off this round has been more effort and cursing than any of us planned for. Happily, I have great co-mods, and there is wonderful satisfaction in looking at ALL THE THINGS and knowing we facilitated that happening. Even if we're still trying to finish backing up the damn comm.

In early May we went to Colorado and Wyoming for a week to visit [personal profile] grrlpup's family. Not half an hour out of the airport, we got caught in an impressive hailstorm; Grrlpup is still wrangling with the rental car and insurance companies over how many thousands of dollars that storm is or isn't going to cost us. The rest of the trip was pretty good, but socially taxing. As always, it was wonderful to see her friends and family; as always, I was very happy to get back home again.

In June, [personal profile] grrlpup had her birthday. We have become my parents' generation: when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she asked that I actually do that one home-improvement task I'd been promising to do for two years. So I spent a few days bolting and screwing bookshelves to the wall, while pretending I wasn't doing any such thing.

Her: What are you doing? Are you painting boards? Why are you painting boards?
Me: [flagrantly painting boards] Boards? What boards?

front room shelves )

Later today, [livejournal.com profile] crazy_marcia, for whom we crewed the Badwater Ultra and with whom I used to climb mountains, is coming to visit.

(For those who didn't know me back then, the Badwater Ultra is a 135/143-mile footrace through Death Valley and up to the top of Mt. Whitney, always held during the height of summer. And by "height of summer," I mean 120-degree heat, woot! The two mountains I've climbed with her are both non-trivial: Mt. Whitney by the Mountaineer's Route, and Mt. Rainier, which involves glacier travel, and thus is a technical climb. Both mountains are near-abouts 14,500 feet high and Exciting Shit Went Wrong on both peaks.)

Anyway, I'm weirdly nervous about seeing Marcia -- it's been an age since we last spoke, and I got lazy and fat and don't have adventures anymore, and what if she doesn't like me now??? -- but scanning back over these old trip reports, I feel very silly. We're going to sit around and gossip, not pull one of our what-were-you-even-thinking-people-die-doing-that-shit adventures. What could possibly go down today to be worth being nervous about? I mean, seriously.

(Actually, given that Marcia will be in attendance, I would not be the least bit surprised if we save someone from a close brush with death later today. FURTHER BULLETINS AS EVENTS WARRANT.)

Daily Happiness

Jun. 24th, 2017 01:11 am
torachan: tavros from homestuck dressed as pupa pan (pupa pan)
[personal profile] torachan
1. I finished another book tonight, which makes thirty-three for the year so far. I have moved my initial goal from twenty to thirty and then to forty, but I'm thinking I'm going to have to move it again at this rate, because the year's only halfway through.

2. I spoke with the insurance claim person today and she said that it sounded like since we were both backing up, it would be a 50/50 thing, which would mean our insurance wouldn't go up and we would be liable for half the deductible. So, possibly still have to pay a lot in car repairs, depending on how much it costs to repair the damage, but it could be worse.

3. Look at this fluffy Chloe tum! She just loves the tummy scritches. :)

(no subject)

Jun. 23rd, 2017 08:51 pm
halley: (Default)
[personal profile] halley posting in [community profile] lj_refugees

I hope it's alright for me to post this here.

Reviews

Jun. 23rd, 2017 07:46 pm
slashmarks: (Leo)
[personal profile] slashmarks
The Sultan of Byzantium - Selçuk Altun. My main advice to you in deciding whether to read this book is to first ask yourself if a book that is mostly about the Turkish protagonist wandering around Byzantine ruins and thinking about history, with some intrigue to spice things up occasionally, is appealing to you; and if yes, to read about a chapter and decide whether the protagonist is obnoxious or charming. If you find him obnoxious, you will hate the rest of the book, so just put it down there. I, however, actually liked him; it helped that he is possibly the most obviously autistic character I have seen in a while (he speaks to inanimate objects regularly; can read hundreds of pages of history in an afternoon; and displays the plot relevant ability to stand in a room and skim mosaics with hundreds of pieces, then quickly find the one tile out of place – after which he is vaguely embarrassed about having accomplished a difficult task implausibly fast and hangs around pretending not to be finished for a while. I found this almost unbearably relatable.) I also was amused by his blase acceptance of his childhood sweetheart coming out as a lesbian, followed by visiting her in Italy and staying with her and her girlfriend for a few weeks to catch up.

That said, he is also very, painfully arrogant, and the sexism in this novel is really just – weird. On the one hand, it's hard to say the protagonist is particularly oblivious to women when he doesn't seem to notice anyone at all unless they're involved with something he's obsessed with; on the other hand, there's some really creepy behavior in the romance subplot that otherwise affects nothing, and the protagonist repeatedly hires sex workers and is polite but oblivious to them as people, too, so that may bother some readers. (I found the parts of the romance subplot that weren't creepy and stalkerish cute; he meets her when he has to ask her permission to gain entrance to ruins she is currently supervising work on, falls in love with her in the back of a lecture she is giving on Byzantine history, and their courtship consists of three weeks of wandering around Byzantine sites in Istanbul while he provides exposition and she takes photographs and notes. As far as I can tell they discuss nothing else during this time. You see what I mean about autistic coding?)

Pile of Bones: a Novel of the Parallel Parks – Bailey Cunningham. This is a portal fantasy with a twist: the protagonists are essentially participants in a fantasy, immersive MMORPG, which they access via a park in their city. I had trouble getting invested in the basic premise because I had trouble believing anyone would voluntarily go back to the park once they found it; the life of low level players, working drudge jobs until they find an opportunity in a world much more casually violent than modern earth, seemed too miserable to actually work as escapism, whatever the lure of adventure. I also just did not like the constant low level grossness – like, it's possible to write characters sneaking in through the sewer without graphically describing the filth and specifying that they don't have time to wash after, you know? I just don't want to read that. Most people, I would venture, don't find it appealing. That said, once I was invested in the characters and plot it got a lot more interesting, I appreciated the random classical history dropped into the park, and I really loved the slice-of-life academia sections in the real world; I also loved how all of the characters are queer and one of them is a queer woman and a single parent, whose parenting is shown on screen.

Spanish Society: 1400-1600 – Teofilo F. Ruiz. Research reading, described by its author as a social history of Spain. The problem with this work is that it is only unwillingly a social history; the author is really interested in economics and political violence, and spends most of his time talking about those things. The two chapters on topics that are undeniably social history – food and clothing; and popular culture – are probably the worst scholarship in the book and the sections on food in particularly are painfully judgmental and downright bizarre (a pound of bread, half a pound of meat, vegetables and a liter of wine is inadequate food in one sitting? What on earth does the author eat? And please stop telling me about how Fat Heavy Diets Are Bad, this is a history book, not a diet manual). The rest of the book is fine, and useful, with the author's judgmental tendencies obnoxious but mostly limiting themselves to misplaced but ignorable adjectives like “bizarre” and “miserable.” A decent overview of the economics and political violence of Spain immediately post-Reconquista, with some useful citations on food. Ignore everything he says about clothing.

The Ruins of Us – Keija Parssinen. An American expat who married a Saudi man twenty-five years ago discovers her husband has taken a second wife without telling her; the slowly unraveling dysfunctions of their family are abruptly revealed all at once, and things explode. Also involved is a second American expat, a friend of hers from college who works for her husband. The major strengths of this novel are the characterization – everyone is complex and believable, if their behavior is not always likable – and the prose; I found it gripping even when I really wanted to put it down. I think the plot was mostly reasonably well handled, just not my sort of thing. I'm not sure if I bought the denouement, it seemed like the events of the conclusion should not have been so easily swept away, but what was logically difficult to believe came off as mostly emotionally satisfying and fit the generally somewhat dreamlike tone.

In the Labyrinth of Drakes: a Memoir by Lady Trent – Marie Brennan. And the series continues to improve. Loved the archaeology in this one, loved the attempts at experimental science instead of solely fieldwork, loved the protagonist's brother showing up and their sibling relationship loved the romance plot – intellectual companionship plus hilariously in character impulsive decision making, I actually went back to reread one particular scene – but was kind of torn on the setting; I really want an explanation for how the alternate history sets up the Arab caliphate(s) existing and a city that I had the impression was based off of medieval Baghdad, without the Mongol conquest or the subsequent Safavid and Ottoman rule in the region. Like, either write secondary fantasy or don't, you know? Half-accuracy is distracting. The culture also felt oddly thin in places, probably because the early modern middle east is a setting I've actually studied. But overall I definitely enjoyed this one.

why are women always tripping and

Jun. 23rd, 2017 10:52 am
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
falling down in anime all the time?  Also I am SICK of the dead woman love interest trope in all of media. I would honestly like to ban that shit for the next 540 years.

Also, was trying to watch Star Trek Beyond and why is Kirk so fucking TERRIBLE at negotiation? Is he or is he not supposed to have been tops in all his subjects? So why was he so sarcastic and impatient and lacking in empathy? Why was the entire negotiation scene played for jokes? Star Trek is SUPPOSED to be about diplomacy  as well as fighting, these motherfuckers can only focus on action? Frankly I wouldn't want to live anywhere near the Federation, they are clearly the same shitheads that militaries today are. Which was not quite the intention of the original. This medicore ass, fratboy ass white imperialistic ass fuckwittery tho. Its so frustrating when the fanfic IS SO MUCH BETTER than the shit these so called professionals GET PAID FOR.

Finally watching Cowboy Bebop. SO GOOD. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the architecture of the world, the gates are BADASS and the diversity of the characters?! There are darskinned folk up in there! And I love the fact that they are having adventures but it aint about war. I am so SICK of war. I feel like describing war as action adventure is erasure. War isn't adventure. Not by a long shot.
One thing about it that I didnt like was the story line about terrorist environmentalists. Made me annoyed because I feel like I keep seeing movies in which environmentalists are set up as cuckoo terrorists who go too far. Considering teh fact that coporations and their captive govts are responsible for the current destruction of the planet for human habitation ... says a lot about the ideologies of the ruling class. More environmentalists as heroes I say. And more corporations as the destructive moneygrubbing villians that they are. Speaking of, I need several articles that look into the specifics of corporate welfare.  The drumbeat of lazy mooching poor continues unabated while corporations make billions more than in tax dollars the poor ever manage to but have their misdeeds cozily hidden by our fourth estate. Then again corporations own the fourth estate.  Apparently folk are going to have to learn up close and personal AGAIN that monopolies are bad for us. Hoo-fucking-ray. 

I would like to seee a movie in which a James Bond type or platoon of them come in to fuck up a government in a POC majority country and the heroes are the security forces of said countries  who repel the invaders and embarass the shit out of the colonizing country.  Actually I would like to see several movies about this.

I need to write more. I am brimming with ideas but the resilency to sit down and write is lacking. Because I keep getting hung up on the fact that what sounds great in my head doesnt come out as such on paper. *sigh*
spiralsheep: Einstein writing Time / Space OTP on a blackboard (fridgepunk Time / Space OTP)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- Women in engineering and Cornish Black history: I've mentioned Black people in Kernow (Cornwall) before, such as musician and composer Joseph Emidy, and y'all know my passion for engineering, so here's a combination of both. While in Penwith I visited the excellent Telegraph Museum in Porthcurno and was lucky enough to have a guide who used to work there when it was a telecommunications engineering college for Cable and Wireless (back when the people of the UK all owned a share in that successful nationalised international business). My volunteer museum guide was Black. I only mention this because it's likely that if I didn't then most readers would assume otherwise.

Engineer Oluyemisi Ojo from Nigeria, in Porthcurno, Cornwall, 1973, was the first woman engineering student at this Cable and Wireless college.

Engineer Oluyemisi Ojo from Nigeria, Porthcurno, Cornwall, 1973

Engineering students from Vanuatu, Qatar, and Tonga, in Porthcurno, Cornwall, during the 1980s.

Engineering students from Vanuatu, Qatar, and Tonga in Porthcurno, Cornwall, 1980s

One more small image, and three book reviews. )

• [...]
four steps forward and three back, and yet nothing
remains the same, for the mountains are piled up
and worn down, for the rivers eat into the stone
and the fields blow away and the sea makes sand
[...]

Daily Happiness

Jun. 23rd, 2017 01:06 am
torachan: nepeta from homestuck (nepeta)
[personal profile] torachan
1. Went out to lunch with my mom today for my birthday (which is actually Monday). We went to California Pizza Kitchen and I got the carne asada pizza, which was delicious.

2. I got in a car accident on the way home, which sucks a whole lot, but it was on the minor side of accidents, so I'm trying to keep positive about that. There's only a little bit of bumper damage to my car and the other car and no one was hurt. (I had just pulled in a parking space and was readjusting my parking, and the other person was pulling out of her space opposite me, and...crunch.) I'm hoping the repairs don't cost too much, are covered by the insurance, and don't make my payments go up too high. *crosses fingers*

3. Jasper!

Weekly Reading

Jun. 22nd, 2017 05:10 pm
torachan: ewan mcgregor pulling his glasses down to look over the top (ewan glasses)
[personal profile] torachan
What are you currently reading?
I have just one chapter (about twenty pages) left to go in The New Jim Crow, so I will probably finish that either tonight or tomorrow. One thing I learned in the most recent chapter, which I had no idea about is that although prisoners cannot vote while imprisoned, the prison populations are used in creating voting districts and such. Most prisons are built in rural areas with very low, mostly white populations. These areas should hold very little power based on population, but because their numbers are padded by thousands of non-voting (mostly black) prisoners, they gain much more weight. Like the extreme gerrymandering in so many areas, this is nothing but an obvious power grab by republicans who know they don't have the numbers to support themselves in a fair vote. >:(

I'm also just a few chapters away from finishing The Library at Mount Char, too. This book is definitely a wild ride and I'm looking forward to seeing how it ends.

What did you recently finish reading?
I finished up Public Library and Other Stories yesterday, spurred on by the fact that it was due back at the library today. Overall I enjoyed the stories, but found the title and cover blurbs a bit misleading. There was no story called Public Library, and the stories were not so much library-themed as language- and book-themed. They were still good stories, but it wasn't quite what I was expecting.

What do you think you'll read next?
Well, I had pre-ordered the new 7 Seeds and just got an email from Amazon last night that it had been downloaded to my ipad, so I will probably be reading that pretty soon. The last chapter apparently came out this month, but I'm not sure how many more volumes that will be since I don't follow the chapters as they're published, but probably just one or two. Maybe more if she does bonus material like she did for Basara.
torachan: (koi-iji)
[personal profile] torachan


Title: Koi-iji: Love Glutton
Original Title: こいいじ (Koiiji)
Author: Shimura Takako
Publisher: Kiss
Genre: Josei
Status in Japan: 6 volumes, ongoing
Scanlator: Megchan's Scanlations feat. Migeru
Scanlation Status: Ongoing
More Info: Baka Updates

Summary: 31-year-old Mame has been in love with her childhood friend Souta ever since she can remember. Despite multiple rejections, her love has stayed constant. It's become a habit more than anything, but is it one she'll ever be able to break and get on with her life?

Chapter Summary: Souta's reaction when Mame tells him she broke up with Kawada-san is the last thing she was expecting.



Chapter 18: Something's Gotta Give

All the cool kids are playing Bingo

Jun. 22nd, 2017 02:11 pm
jesse_the_k: Macro photo of left eye of my mostly black border collie mutt (Default)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
on twitter & FB...but I'd rather do it here.

I made this card at
http://myfreebingocards.com
Then I download others' cards, use a photo editor to check off shared interests, and repost.

Jesse the Kingo card

Jesse the Kingo card described )

bingo card meme

Jun. 22nd, 2017 02:11 pm
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
Personal bingo meme that people are playing on Twitter and elsewhere!

You can google "bingo card generator" and fill one out with your interests. Then you can use a photo editor to check off interests that you have too.

My card is also at Flickr:
https://flic.kr/p/VL1xcd

Screen Shot 2017-06-21 at 2.37.46 PM

transcription )

Daily Happiness

Jun. 22nd, 2017 01:16 am
torachan: karkat from homestuck looking bored (karkat bored)
[personal profile] torachan
1. My library book was due tomorrow and I was afraid I might not finish it in time, but I ended up finishing it this afternoon after work, and then we took a walk to the library this evening and dropped it off. (Bonus Happiness: This branch has a fancy book drop off outside where it actually scans the book as you put it in the slot, so there's no more worries that you drop it off and then it doesn't get properly checked in and you're shown as overdue.)

2. We stopped at Hungry Pocket on the way back from the library and got lamb shawarma for dinner. Haven't been there in ages, but it's as delicious as ever.

3. Look at these two sweeties sleeping together!

sineala: (Avengers: Sign it)
[personal profile] sineala
This was not on my fic WIP list, but it kind of just happened. You know. Like these things do. After this it's back to regularly-scheduled programming, I swear.

The Right Thing (1987 words) by Sineala
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Marvel (Comics), Marvel 616, Avengers (Comics)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Steve Rogers/Tony Stark
Characters: Steve Rogers, Tony Stark
Additional Tags: Anniversary, Hydra Steve Rogers, Not A Fix-It, Civil War (Marvel), Secret Empire (Marvel), Avengers Vol. 7 (2016)
Summary: Today is a very important anniversary for Steve and Tony, and the fact that Tony's currently comatose isn't going to stop Steve from celebrating it.

You know how sometimes you get to thinking about how people used to call Tony a scumbag fascist dictator because of Civil War? You know how then you start thinking about what would happen if Actual Scumbag Fascist Dictator Steve Rogers, the leader of Hydra, showed up at Tony's bedside to tell him how much of an inspiration Tony has been to him? Wouldn't that be great? Hey, where are you going? Come back!

Fads of youth

Jun. 21st, 2017 09:25 am
badgerbag: (Default)
[personal profile] badgerbag
I was thinking last night of fads. In the 70s I had an official "Pet Rock" which I loved. The manual on care and training of Pet Rocks was very amusingly written (at least to my 7 year old mind). Pet Rocks were particularly great at learning to "stay" and "play dead". It came in a little carton full of straw with the manual and I think, a leash.

My dad was a good model for how to gently enjoy human absurdity and I remember him being super entertained by the pet rock and playing along with it super well.

September 2011

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