Sumer nights

Jul. 26th, 2017 09:13 am
kjn: (Default)
[personal profile] kjn
My honorary nephew Alex had posted the meme with an opossum going "Summer lovin', happened so fast; summer lovin', he scream at own ass" over on Facebook. For some reason, I put "Sumer" in there. This was the result.

Naturally based on Summer Nights from Grease.

Sumer lovin', we did well mesh )

Activity scout merit badges?

Jul. 25th, 2017 09:37 pm
kengr: (gender discrimination)
[personal profile] kengr
I've got an idea for a meta-fiction set in T-America.

I don't think I'm up to writing the actual booklets for the badges, but a history and overview sounds about right.

Not sure what the *actual* names would be, but I expect that many would refer to them as "Girl 101" and "Boy 101".

Girl 101 started out as a couple of seperate ideas. First, a lot of T-girls needed/wanted to pick up "normal" girl mannerisms, behaviors and experiences.

Second, some dedicated tomboys realized as they got older that some of the girly stuff they'd rejected might come in handy on occasion.

The folks puttering around with both ideas eventually got connected and realized that it'd make sense to combine them into a single badge.

The Boy 101 badge probably had a somewhat different history, or it may have gotten sparked by the Girl 101 project.

Both badges have had complaints that they reinforce gender stereotypes. The usual answers are that some people want to follow the stereotypes and that isn't wrong, or that knowing the stereotype and *consciously* learning about it makes you better able to pick and chose which bits you want and which bits to reject.

Some folks have deliberately exaggerated various behaviors. Sometime to make a point, sometimes as parody. But for most, it's a matter of knowing what the expected behaviors *are* lets you chose whether or not to follow expectations or deliberately (as opposed to accidentally) break them.

Some aspects of Girl 101 have been likened to old-style finishing schools. Deportment, grace, etiquette, fashion, etc.

Some aspects of Boy 101 have been likened to boot camp, though that's a much bigger stretch.

But both deal with "proper" behavior *and* improper/informal behavior. After all, the goal is to be able to "fit in" (if they choose to) in all sorts of activities.

It was discovered early on that having the Scouts interact with younger children of their chosen gender was a useful tool. The younger kids tend to be more accepting and while they'd point out differences from the "expected" behavior, they weren't malicious about it.

It also gave experience with games and other activities the the Scouts had missed out on when they were growing up.

(I'm gonna stop here for now and await comments)

It's good to be the Emperor.

Jul. 25th, 2017 01:33 pm
gridlore: The Imperial Sunburst from the Traveller role-playing game (Gaming - Sunburst)
[personal profile] gridlore
Still thinking about a revised Third Imperium for Traveller, and making it "crunchier" and a better setting with more holes and internal conflicts. This is definitely going to be a "weak Imperium" build, as a strong Imperium simply clamps down on too many opportunities for things to go pear-shaped. So today, I'm going to look at the man at the top, the Emperor of the Third Imperium.

There's an old saying in the Imperial corridors of power; "the Counts make plans for the next year, the Dukes make plans for the next decade, the Archdukes make plans for the next century, and the Emperor makes plans for dinner." Although a bit over the top, the truth of the matter is that the Emperor is too far removed from his empire to really have that big an influence on matters popping up in systems that can be months away from Captial. This is why the Imperium has become decentralized, looking to the Imperial hierarchy more for support than real-time leadership.

But in a very real sense, the person of the Emperor is the Imperium, and all authority flows from the commands given by him or his predecessors. Those commands come in several forms.

Imperial Edicts are the most formal and powerful of the Emperor's commands. An Edict is law and will be enforced throughout the 11,000 worlds of the Imperium without question. In the Imperium's 1,100 year history, fewer than 400 Edicts have been issued. Over a hundred were issued by Cleon I and Artemsus in the first century of the Imperium, and these Edicts defined and shaped the state and how it was to be run.

Second in precedence are Imperial Commands. These are orders from the Emperor that directly address issues facing the state. A command might be issued to a Sector Duke to mobilize his military forces to support another sector or a command that a former Count-Elector is an Enemy of the Imperium and is to be found, captured, or killed. Commands are less formal than Edicts and expire once they have been carried out.

Warrants, Patents, and Charters are the next level of Imperial command. These are grants of authority from the Emperor to groups or individuals to carry out duties or activities. Every noble family has an Imperial Patent of Nobility and when a new person ascends to a position as Count-Elector or Duke, the Emperor will confirm their position with a new Patent. Any corporation seeking to do business on an interstellar scale will seek out a Limited Imperial Charter (LIC) which gives the company assurances of Imperial protection.

Warrants are a special case, as they directly give the holder the power to act for the Emperor. Many Warrants are limited in scope. Every naval officer holds a Warrant confirming his commission and allowing him to act for the Emperor inside Naval regulations and orders. Some Warrants have been vaguely worded due to Captial not having a good idea of what was happening.

This is is how Norris, Markgraf-Elector of Regina, was able to proclaim himself Erzherzog of Deneb. He had a Warrant in his possession which granted him full Imperial authority to take any steps needed to secure the Spinward regions of the Imperium from further threats. Norris decided that a united Domain under his leadership was the best answer to that. Strephon is still fuming over that trick.

It must be noted that many of these orders are first issued in the field, as it were, and sent to Capital for the Emperor's approval. This can take years for minor patents and commissions, so the standard has been to assume assent unless otherwise told.

Lastly, comes the Emperor's wishes or desires. These are minor commands that generally are used for issues inside the palace or dealing with the pomp and ceremony that surrounds the Imperial Household. The Emperor might state "It is the desire of the Emperor that Flumb fruit no longer be allowed inside the palace, or at any event attended by His Majesty." Wishes and desires are common when arranging large social events and ceremonials. It is commonly known that many of these orders come from the Imperial Family's large social staff and the Emperor considers such "mindless details" boring.

Day-to-day, the Emperor is a busy man. He is constantly dealing with reports of issues inside and outside his realm and tasked with decisions that can send thousands of warships into a battle or affect the economies of a hundred worlds. Luckily, just down the Promenade from the floating sphere of the Imperial Palace is the towering Moot Spire, where hundreds of nobles work to keep the Emperor informed and plot to keep him focused on their problems.

I'll cover them next.

(no subject)

Jul. 25th, 2017 01:15 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
Yesterday, instead of lounging about the house in my jammies, I had to get dressed to take the sister creature to the ER .. she has a viral chest infection.

I got home right before ten, so I got to watch Midnight TX on tv.

Today, New Book Tuesday, and I am already tired. But, things to do...
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll



The Order of Truth's Aeon Priests have resurrected our May 2014 Numenera Bundle, featuring the tabletop science-fantasy roleplaying game Numenera from Monte Cook Games. A billion years in the future, explore the Ninth World to find leftover artifacts of nanotechnology, the datasphere, bio-engineered creatures, and myriad strange devices that defy understanding. The inspiration for the recent Torment: Tides of Numenera computer game from inXile Entertainment, Numenera is about discovering the wonders of eight previous worlds to improve the present and build a future.



Bundle the first and bundle the second

"You get nothing!"

Jul. 25th, 2017 02:26 am
rosefox: A cartoon figure slipping toward a gaping hole in the paper. (slipping)
[personal profile] rosefox
I'm having one of those "parenting is so hard, when does it stop being hard, oh right, never" days.

I was watching Kit play on their own and glumly thinking that happy Kit is independent and only wants parents when they're sad. Then they toddled over and handed me a stuffed fox, just because. So I know that what I'm feeling is just a feeling and has very little to do with reality. But it's still a big feeling.

Relatedly, having a tantruming toddler scream directly into your ear for several minutes is really quite challenging.

"Kit is so chill," I thought, once upon a time. "Maybe they won't really get toddler tantrums." I was so wrong. Soooo wrong. Tantrums aren't about personality. They're about cognitive and emotional overload. A scream into the void.

(My right ear is the void, apparently.)

(But was I going to stop cuddling my screaming child? Of course not. My ear can cope.)

And now I feel like the worst parent in the world because I couldn't really help my kid, even when they were bottomlessly miserable. There is no cure for the tantrum because it's an existential crisis. You just hold on and say "I'm here" like it means anything. And eventually they stop crying long enough for you to get some calories into them, which almost always helps. It turns out that kids are always basically one minute away from a massive hunger crash, and that rather exacerbates the existential angst.

You could not pay me enough to be a child again. No way. It's genuinely a wonder that kids are ever happy at all. Their bodies do weird things, the world is baffling, everything is too big, they have no control, safety is elusive and fleeting. It's like a fucking horror movie, 24/7. And yet my child comes over and smiles at me and puts their head on my knee for sheer love.

I guess maybe they wanted to say "I'm here" like it means anything.

I guess maybe it does.

Walked to the library

Jul. 24th, 2017 11:15 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Saw a squirrel hop into the back of a pickup truck and wait, giving every impression it was waiting impatiently for something. Does it know trucks move? Is that how it got to the library?

Two questions

Jul. 24th, 2017 07:55 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
I wonder how long it will take the shadowy figures behind the Dragon Awards to count the votes?

I wonder to what degree the award has been gamed by the puppies?

Out now: Stormy Nights

Jul. 24th, 2017 09:54 pm
julesjones: (Default)
[personal profile] julesjones
Release day for my new book. :-) This is a collection of short stories, some reprints and some new to publication. It's available now from all good ebook sellers (and you would not believe how long I spent at the weekend tracking down All The Amazons). Full details including all those buy links are on the page for Stormy Nights on the Storm Duffy site, and you can see the cover below. I don't have an approved-by-publisher excerpt as yet, but will endeavour to provide some snippets over the next few days.

Sex and love, lies and truth, shades in between. Happy endings and might-have-beens. Nine tales of these things between men.

Stormy Nights contemporary gay romance

(no subject)

Jul. 24th, 2017 02:29 pm
[personal profile] martianmooncrab
Between the heat and having things to do, and getting home late... the internets has been ignored.

Reynaud's is a very fussy thing, I like to refer to it as "Goldilocks Disease" because its so damn limiting. Not too hot, not too cold.. which leaves such a narrow window of comfort. With the temps here in the 80s or higher, I just cant function very well. Or its just slow and sweaty... and I dont sweat.

Friday I got errands run, and things collected. But it was late when I got home,and barely got stuff in the fridge.

Saturday, the sister creature and I picked up the Kidlet for her belated birthday trip to Powells and dinner of her choice. We had great parking karma.. in the shade even. Kidlet got some graphic novels, more Percy Jackson, Amulet, Firewings, and I tossed in a couple of books, a Pinkwater... we got a thing on the upcoming solar event with glasses... and of course, we got her book shopping done, and we did a bit for ourselves, I found more books in series for our Wicked Evil Stepmom, and we then went to dinner at Saylors. I got a great parking spot there too, without having to circle the parkinglot. My prime rib had more fat on it than I cared for, but it was still a good meal. We were to take the Kidlet to her Uncle's house in Canby, her parents were off being solo adults. We had to stop at the sisters apt on the way there, she had to use the bathroom ... lets just say, we were delayed, and when it was time to leave, due to a misscommunication between the sister and myself, she got locked out of her place. I didnt have the spare keys with me, but we would deal with it later.

Neither one of us had the address in Canby, but the Kidlet kinda remembered how to get there, and we did. I recognized the nicely groomed shrubberies first. It was her Aunt's birthday, so we hung out there until Eldest Nephew and his wife showed up. Transferred over her book loot and we went to my place where I got the spare keys and then took the sister home to her apt where i let her in.

Sunday, got up before I was completely rested, made dip for the family party, put the sprinkler on in the garden and did some serious hand watering out front.. still have a lot to do though. Picked the sister up and we went to Brothers house for our Wicked Evil Stepmom's 80th birthday party. It was just immediate family. We had a nice time visiting, telling stories, bbq dinner, and then cards presents mini bundt cakes and more. I will give a little grumble that my sister in law is hogging all the time with our stepmom while she is down here, but, I can give her that. I can always drive up to Longview to see her and do stuff. So, I wont see her before they take her back to Longview tomorrow.

Today, dont know, its going to be 90. Ick. Slept in late and really dont feel like doing squat. My sister in law made a suggestion where to find someone to do my little paver patio out front, but I am thinking that can wait for a cooler day.

Please explain

Jul. 24th, 2017 12:39 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
The logic of requiring pedestrians to press a button for the pedestrian crosswalk sign to change, rather than just linking it to the traffic lights.

That Dice-Rolling Hobby

Jul. 24th, 2017 10:09 pm
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
Apart from dealing with multiple medical issues that I've raised in previous posts, I have had the opportunity to engage in my favourite hobby othe weekend - traditional roleplaying games. On Friday evening I participated in what I call Eclipse Phase Mars, on the basis of its standard location (although most recently this has involved extrasolar gatecrashing etc). This particular group meets primarily on Google Hangouts with players in Western Australia, Vietnam, Victoria, and New Zealand. I've missed a couple of sessions of this game, partially due to technology issues (my computer screen was completey destroyed on my last trip to NZ, so I've been trying to work with a dinky Asus Aspire One), and partially because of international trips. Both of these have affected my ability to complete Papers & Paychecks; although I did release an update on Saturday morning following completing the bestiary section, and integration a number of significant changes, even this late in the publication process.

Saturday was also a regular CheeseQuest day with [livejournal.com profile] hathhalla and [livejournal.com profile] ser_pounce. Given the cool weather, our lunch feast consisted of a pumpkin gnocchi and Nova Scotia brown bread. The cheese feast included fried saganaki and halloumi, havarti, maasdam, gorgonzola, Dutch smoked, and two not-cheeses, a faux cheddar and "tree nut" cheese, which are quite tolerable. I was rather taken by the Devil's Corner pinot noir that our guests brought over, light but tasty and with a brilliant ruby colour. After lunch was the second session of our historical-fantasy Dungeons & Dragons game, using the very different 4th edition rules in the setting of Charlemagne's rule. The game went very well, everyone plays up their character ethno-religious background and character class, as they cleared out a old Roman-Germanic temple in Freisland haunted by Wiedergänger.

Sunday was also a gaming day, this time with my own game of Eclipse Phase. This session involved the PCs engaging in a short-case to an autonomist morph resleever on one of Neptune Trojans, then taking a stealth craft to intercept an Ultimate scout ship en-route to Eris. There was an almighty gun-battle that followed which eventually saw the PCs successful, and partially courtesy due an inside agent providing assistance at the last moment. After that was the challenging process of psychosurgery and the literal merging of minds. More on that for the next session. Appropriately I've started reading the two books entitled Dungeons & Dragons and Philosophy (one published by Open Court, 2012 and the other by Wiley Blackwell, 2014)

Fig and Ibid still need rehoming

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:40 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Jasmine provided me with a very apt description for Ibid and Fig: the feline answer to Pinky and the Brain.... So if any Waterloo Region and adjacent people would like a cat who spends a lot of time thinking and one who spends a lot of time ... not thinking, let me know...

(also open to suggestions for rehoming them, because what I am doing isn't working)

Dur

Jul. 23rd, 2017 09:03 pm
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Of course I can review the Kobo Aura. It just never occurred to me I could until someone suggested it.
elainegrey: Inspired by Grypping/gripping beast styles from Nordic cultures (Default)
[personal profile] elainegrey
93.5 °F - Feels Like 106 °F

Just spent a half hour outside, and came in dripping. Ugh.

I was picking the grape tomatoes, squash, collards, and some of the popcorn. The popcorn is a mixture of strains, so every cob is a surprise. Some are much like this "glass gem" corn. Regrettably, pollination wasn't ideal, so there are lots of half populated cobs. Still, given everyone's dismissal of growing corn without a fortress around it, i'm delighted.

I ordered a dehydrator, so the large number of squash doesn't intimidate me. And now i kinda wish for exponential tomatoes, but they don't seem to be coming -- unless i want to pick green and let them ripen in the house. Which is very tempting.

Yesterday i spend outside 10 to noon doing a burn. Most of the time i spent running the hose over myself to keep cool while watching the fire. Usually i keep gathering debris, but not yesterday. I did do some weeding in the shade.

--== ∞ ==--

Christine had what seems like an elephant event last night. But maybe it was just life.

Carrie continues to negotiate bed space with the cats. Turning her back to them is the best thing she's learned so far. They know how to stand up to her when she confronts them, but a big dog back?

Steve (filk)

Jul. 23rd, 2017 06:54 pm
kjn: (Default)
[personal profile] kjn
It was a while since I last posted a filk song here. I haven't quit writing them, but most songs lately have been very situational or little more than fragments. But I finished this one today, named "Steve" after Steve Rogers (in Captain America: The First Avenger) and Steve Trevor (in Wonder Woman). Because, even if the films are very different in tone and message, and the two characters are dissimilar, the two Steves manage to hit the same points in roughly the same order:

  • Played by an actor named Chris (Evans and Pine, respectively)
  • Gets stuck far away from the fighting
  • Gets together with a dark-haired beauty, who helps him
  • Enlists the aid of a small band of companions, in a bar
  • Drives a motorbike through the woods
  • Flies of in an aircraft loaded with weapons of mass destruction in the end


It is based on the song "Balladen om den kaxiga myran" (YouTube) by Stefan Demert.

Jag uppstämma vill min lyra )
dewline: (comic books)
[personal profile] dewline
I watched this last night. Seemed like it has something helpful to say on the subject of that particular mix of envy and sadness you can sometimes feel when seeing work you consider better than your own...and I've been in that emotional state more than once across the decades.

July updates

Jul. 23rd, 2017 11:05 am
dalesql: (Default)
[personal profile] dalesql
Another july, another birthday. I didn't even realize it was my birthday until I was filling in the date on a purchase request at work. So I took off from work a couple hours early, bought a carrot cake and had some of it with mom after supper. Then to keep me from eating the rest of the cake, I went and gave the remainder to the hotel staff.


Monday I took mom to the dermatologist for MOHS surgery for the skin cancer on her nose. This is where they take a chunk under local anesthetic, send it off to lab to see if there is cancer there. if yes, take a slightly deeper chunk and repeat until the sample removed is cancer free. Each cycle takes about an hour. So that was finished around 2pm. Stopped at MickyDs for a late lunch and late into work that day. Burning more paid time off.

Still waiting for the bank to come through with the actual loan. arrrgh. lawyers make everythi8ng more complicated. Bank lawyer sent us a confusing contract that assigns control of the construction contract to the bank if we are late with loan payments. But the 90 days in arrears is more than enough time for the construction company to finish the job, mooting the entire contract. So the contract is essentially meaningless, but it caused us another couple weeks delay while we found our own lawyer to translate contractese into plain english.

The contractor contimues to use our job as a fill in job with subcontractors, so progress continues as our debt mounts up. Kitchen cabinets and countertop complete. Plumbing is all complete. We have working sinks and toilets! Painting of interior is happening now. After that, floors installed, sanded and finished. Then finish up electrical work, install appliances, punch list and occupancy permit. Then move back in. Hopefully around beginning of september.

August I'll be working the folk festival in Bangor maine. My brother will be coming in from seattle to take care of mom while I'm in Maine. He's bringing one or two of his daughters so they can have a chance to meet their grandmom. Hoping that he can wash up some of the smoke stained furniture we saved and put it into the house while he is here.

Life goes on.

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