(no subject)

Aug. 30th, 2014 02:41 pm
copperbadge: (chicago City Boy)
[personal profile] copperbadge
 Gran, what were you up to.

When we cleared out Gran's stuff this past May, out in California, one of the finds was a series of collectors' plates. Mum kept most of them but for some unknown reason, she bestowed upon me a green collector's plate featuring tourist attractions in KANSAS: THE SUNFLOWER STATE. 

I did a bit of googling around and I have come to the conclusion that my grandmother, at some point, acquired a bootleg, counterfeit KANSAS: THE SUNFLOWER STATE collector's plate. It has no factory markings, but it's clearly designed to look like it was produced by the Kettlesprings Kiln. 

Collector's plates, you guys, are a kind of dark sorcery that puts fear in my heart. Don't go where I have passed; stay safely on the porn side of the internet. 

This raises so many questions. Why was anyone bootlegging Kettlesprings Kiln collector's plates? Why would they do it for Kansas? Where did my gran, who had to my knowledge never been to Kansas, acquire such a thing? Why, even if she had been to Kansas, would she acquire such a thing? 

What do I do with it?

It's a really nice plate. Like, I'd like to use it as a plate, but I'm worried I'll give myself some kind of lethal poisoning. 

(no subject)

Aug. 29th, 2014 03:14 pm
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
 So, the last few weeks, settling into the new apartment, I've grown curious about my neighbors. Everyone's really friendly here, which after my last place (where people barely saw each other, let alone spoke) is a refreshing experience for me. But I barely know anyone's name, and then I thought, I'm a researcher...

So I started out by investigating the layouts of the other apartments, until I had a basic ground plan of the floor, and then I started looking into who owned or rented them. I know this is creepy. It's also my job for eight hours of the day, it's hard to switch it off. 

It's an exercise in the study of human nature and also in mild frustration, because like, now I know the guy down the hall teaches at Columbia College Chicago and he seems super interesting but I've never actually seen his face. And I want to tell the woman across from me she is paying too much rent on her apartment. But how do you bring up the fact that you know (from, I need to stress this, publicly available data, I didn't go through anyone's trash) how much rent they pay? 

This is not something I would do anything with. Like, I wouldn't sell their identities or anything. I just like knowing who my neighbors are. 

At the same time, the urge to build a Wall Of Crazy as some kind of awesome art installation is damn near overwhelming. It's not like it would be hard to get the ground plan blown up to poster size, and I have yarn and scissors and the linkedin profiles of about half of them....

damselfish: photo by rling (Default)
[personal profile] damselfish
Yesterday I was productive and settled in to play some Guild Wars 2. But first! A bath. At which point I took a spectacular fall and slammed my knee into the handle of a drawer while thinking "please God don't let my head go through the glass shower door."

My head didn't and I felt the knee injury as a distant sensation of something that should hurt, but didn't. I looked. There was a gray dent in my knee cap in the shape of the handle.

That... wasn't good. Nothing appeared broken and I could stand up with no pain and no matter how I prodded this injury I couldn't feel a thing. After wigging out and getting advice while a blue-gray knot swelled up, I got myself situated on the couch and marveled at how different injuries can be. It wasn't painful, but neither was that time I nearly broke my neck. It also wasn't a funny story like that time I nearly broke my neck.

I looked at my aquarium from an angle I don't usually.

And saw a dead cory.

A weary fury assailed me. I'd found a dead cory yesterday for reasons unknown and this death was equally unexplained. Then, as I watched, the beautiful male molly swam erratically. I heaved myself off the couch, again (as I'd been answering roughly 500 phone calls and wandering around the living room as someone else thought of something I should try for my knee) and fished out the dead and the dying.

And found another dead cory floating behind the sprayer bar. Also two more guppies are missing, lord knows where their carcasses are. Probably eaten by the angelfish.

Despite being told to keep my knee elevated I did a big water change which involves lugging around a bunch of 5 gallon buckets and tested all my water because what the hell is going on. No. Everything was where it should be. No ammonia, no discernible nitrites and low nitrates.

I said I'd give this aquarium the old college try one last time with an all new setup. I did. I failed. I yield. I'm done. I don't know what in the world besides a heavy copper load in the water that will kill cories but not angelfish.

The only guess I have is that my canister filter is pumping evil humors into the water: the tank was fine when I ran two 55 gallon HOB filters. It was even fine again when I had to remove the canister for a while and run a single 55 gallon HOB despite that being way too little for the big tank. But when I run the canister, death prevails. This is certainly coincidence and strange hindsight because I don't understand how the canister could do that.

That's it. My aquarium is haunted. That's my only explanation.

If anybody wants it, I've got a free 75 gallon aquarium, black pine stand and canopy, 55 gallon Aqueon Emperor, Penn Plax Cascade 1000, plants I don't feel like re-using in the small tanks, and any fish that are still alive as of your pickup.

take me to the river

Aug. 27th, 2014 05:49 pm
lotesse: (freedom)
[personal profile] lotesse
re-thinking an exercise from my education:

when I was in the seventh grade, my multi-age grade 6-8 class went on an extended field trip; divided into two groups, the Haves and the Have-Nots, we spent a weekend mimicking c19th farm life. I was one of the Haves, and we were bored; the Have-Nots had to do hard work, but they had a lot more fun. Reflecting on the trip, I'm not actually sure what the lesson on socioeconomic class division was supposed to be. I remember concluding, with my friends, that it meant that it wasn't such a bad thing to be poor - and as our families were relatively poor, it wasn't a bad thing to have reinforced that money can't buy happiness. But looking back I'm struck by the way we were set up to overlook systemic oppression. Of course most kids are going to have more fun doing vigorous playful outdoor work than sitting quietly in an empty room. Cyclical poverty isn't like that. You don't get to go home, and it's not fun working for low/no wages when you're an adult with skills that deserve to be fairly valued. They taught us the wrong damn lesson, and likely lessened some of my classmates' tendency to empathize with the righteous anger of the exploited; we were Have-Nots too, for a weekend, and it was nothing to get upset about. 100% certainly it reinforced the blindness of all of the kids who were Haves, myself included, to the real benefits we gained through our various race/class/gender privileges; we were all of us white.

(no subject)

Aug. 26th, 2014 11:33 am
copperbadge: (cooking salt)
[personal profile] copperbadge
The internet is alight this morning with the news that Burger King is buying Tim Horton's. It appears that literally nobody on either side of the border wants this to happen.

Statesiders are angry that BK, like a lot of pharmaceutical companies, is trying to jump ship to a country with a lower tax rate for corporations. Walgreens tried to move to Ireland last year and failed when it became a PR disaster, which is weird because I don't know anyone who would actually stop shopping at Walgreens because of a moral objection to their accounting.

Meanwhile, Canadians are (justifiably) concerned that Burger King, being a pretty terrible burger chain currently run by a 33-year-old CEO who just got the job in July, might not be so good for a beloved Canadian icon that serves eight out of every ten cups of coffee sold in Canada.

Being a US Citizen of Canadian extraction I am concerned on all fronts, and also seriously craving a trashy Burger King hamburger and a box of Timbits.

creativity thoughts

Aug. 25th, 2014 08:07 pm
likeadeuce: (writer)
[personal profile] likeadeuce
1. Over the weekend, I cleared off a space on my kitchen table, and set up my laptop and desk chair. Suddenly I had a SPACE FOR WRITING. (for logistical reasons, the kitchen table is the best place for this) -- and it was sort of embarrassing how much this increased my interest in writing. Imagine that, I make literal space in my life for something, and I feel more comfortable doing it. I know this observation is as old as Virginia Woolf, but the truth is, I live by myself, because of the real estate market in this area I'm able to own my own space and do whatever I want with it -- so, basically, nobody is keep me from a having a room of my own except me.

2. In a similar vein, I realized with a clarity that I've never had before that I've caught myself in this negative feedback loop where I refuse to give myself time to work on writing -- because, see, I don't deserve to prioritize my creative energies over anything else (like, literally, any other commitment that comes up is by definition more important, because I'm not a serious writer.) And how can I tell that I'm not a serious writer? Because serious writers devote time to it. Which I don't.

2a. I am SO GOOD at self-defeating feedback loops.

3. Over the past year, particularly, I've put energy into thinking as an editor and a critic, and into reading and thinking about what's good or bad about other people's work. (Does this make sense? Slush reading, participating in Hugo voting, talking to and listening to editors, reading about what's good and bad in literature. And while these are all good things, I'm having trouble not only transitioning into creative mode but trusting myself. Currently I'm working on writing for the Shakespeare histories exchange (I know it was due tonight, I did ask for get an extension!) And I find myself worrying about whether I'm doing something wrong, and whether I'm fucking up, and it's getting in the way of telling the story.

4. I feel like I had another thing to say. But I should probably just go write.

5. But maybe I'll give my brain a break and watch some of the Emmys first.

6. Oh, right, Yuletide schedules are up. Nominating is at the end of September! I know I made a list of fandoms earlier but I'm not sure what they all were? I know Hemlock Grove, Max Gladstone's Craft series, and Portlandia* were on there. I'm sure there's something else.

*For the storyline where Fred and Carrie are both dating the same girl.

7. I should sign up for [community profile] femslashex though I'm not busting out with ideas about what to ask for. I forgot to nominate fandoms and I don't think Twilight is on there so I think my perennial Bella/Alice request will need to take a year off.

8. If anybody wants to tell me encouraging things, or remind me of what I wanted to request for Yuletide and/or Femslash, be my guest.

9. You are all great and I adore you.

(no subject)

Aug. 25th, 2014 01:21 pm
lotesse: (Default)
[personal profile] lotesse
hold on wait up - Darren Wilson, the man who murdered Michael Brown in the street in Missouri two weeks ago - Darren Wilson is my age??? Mofo looks like he forty! Guess callousness is prematurely aging.

(no subject)

Aug. 25th, 2014 08:57 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

A note before we start since I effed this up from last week:

[livejournal.com profile] grey_bard is looking for recommendations for general practitioners/family doctors/primary care doctors in NYC. You can send your recommendations to fitzrose at email.msn.com.

Ways To Give:

[personal profile] penta is trying to help a disabled friend acquire a replacement laptop after the last one died -- the computer is their only source of communication (the phone line runs through the computer) and income. You can read more here and support the fundraiser here.

Alemon is raising money to cover rent fees -- while they don't owe rent, the last time they did the state was paying a portion and was late, which caused fees that a court is unfortunately upholding. They have a very short time in which to pay this; you can read more and help them get their fees paid here.

[livejournal.com profile] piperki linked to a fundraiser for Kate Koenig, a college student cut off by her family when they discovered she was gay. You can read more and give to her tuition-and-living-expenses fund here. While she has raised the goal amount, college students can always use an extra few dollars.

[personal profile] soc_puppet linked to The BiCast, a bisexual-culture focused podcast which grew in popularity more quickly than expected, and is looking for help keeping up with costs. You can read more and donate here and check out their site and podcast archive here.

Help For Free:

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] hystericalfeminist, which is hosting an account of a woman's relationship with an abusive partner (trigger warnings for an in-depth account of physical and emotional partner abuse). She has reported him to his employer, Bloomsbury India, where he is the head of social media, and there is information at the post asking people to contact the company (including tweeting and emailing) and urge them to take action.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form or via email at copperbadge at gmail dot com. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!).

lieder ohne worte

Aug. 24th, 2014 06:18 pm
lotesse: (sorrow)
[personal profile] lotesse
I wonder who called the cops on Kajieme Powell, and I wonder how they're feeling about it now. That person may have thought they were doing everything right, after all. They tell you that you shouldn't go in after a drowning person yourself, because you'll likely both die that way; you're supposed to call for specialized help, equipped with knowledge and supplies that enable rescue without further risk of life. And the police are also supposed to be specialized help. Powell was visibly not well, and he did have a weapon, and I can absolutely see wanting to get him help without engaging him directly. He needed help. The police, who have protective clothing and presumably SOME training in getting through to suicide risks, are the logical next step.

What do you do about officers who respond to a suicide's agonized plea - "shoot me!" - with prompt and obedient action? They shot Powell down like a dog, mere seconds after their arrival on the scene, and they kept shooting, and after he's dead you can still hear them demanding that he put his hands up.

It shouldn't be possible to use the police as a weapon for self-killing. The drowning ones need to be safely rescued.

And then the PD tries to present it as a "clean" and justified killing of a young Black man by a white cop, only days after the murder of Michael Brown, an innocent Black child, right there in the St. Louis area.

eta: St. Louis Public Radio has audio of the 911 and dispatch calls. People sound worried; the second female caller's tone is pretty gentle, and she's clearly looking to get Powell help in addition to protecting herself and her business. Nothing that would even come close to justifying the kind of immediate massive violence the police unleashed on him.

Any Updates?

Aug. 21st, 2014 11:05 pm
erik: A headshot of me! (Default)
[personal profile] erik posting in [community profile] wiscon
It has now been three weeks since the concom came to and announced their final decision on the Frenkel case. Which was important and needed to be done quickly (much more quickly than it was, actually, but that is not germane here).

However, the greater questions of member safety, trust, transparency, and so on are still awaiting any sort of public action from the concom. Frenkel was eventually banned from Wiscon, yes. But it took over 14 months, several huge missteps from the concom, and an incredibly painful process for the victims.

I'm quite interested in seeing that never happen anymore, and would like to know what steps are currently being taken to ensure that the next time a bad actor acts badly at Wiscon it doesn't take over a year of suffering on the part of the reporter. Because that's a big drag, and a disincentive to reporting.
likeadeuce: (allison)
[personal profile] likeadeuce
But that's about what I have the brainspace for. Posting them, anyway, not always answering them. This is a fic-writing meme from tumblr. Give me a letter & I'll answer! (My fic archive is here or you can check my tags.

A. Describe your comfort zone—a typical you-fic.
B. Is there a trope you’ve yet to try your hand at, but really want to?
C. Is there a trope you wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole?
D. How many fic ideas are you nurturing right now? Care to share one of them?
E. Share one of your strengths.
F. Share one of your weaknesses.
G. Share a snippet from one of your favorite pieces of prose you’ve written and explain why you’re proud of it.
H. Share a snippet from one of your favorite dialogue scenes you’ve written and explain why you’re proud of it.
I. Which fic has been the hardest to write?
J. Which fic has been the easiest to write?
K. Is writing your passion or just a fun hobby?
L. Is there an episode section of canon above all others that inspires you just a little bit more?
M. What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever come across?
N. What’s the worst writing advice you’ve ever come across?
O. If you could choose one of your fics to be filmed, which would you choose?
P. If you only could write one pairing for the rest of your life, which pairing would it be?
Q. Do you write your story from start to finish, or do you write the scenes out of order?
R. Do you use any tools, like worksheets or outlines?
S. Stephen King once said that his muse is a man who lives in the basement. Do you have a muse?
T. Describe your perfect writing conditions.
U. How many times do you usually revise your fic/chapter before posting?
V. Choose a passage from one of your earlier fics and edit it into your current writing style. (Person sending the ask is free to make suggestions).
W. If you were to revise one of your older fics from start to finish, which would it be and why?
X. Have you ever deleted one of your published fics?
Y. What do you look for in a beta?
Z. Do you beta yourself? If so, what kind of beta are you?
AA. How do you feel about collaborations?
AB. Share three of your favorite fic writers and why you like them so much.
AC. If you could write the sequel (or prequel) to any fic out there not written by yourself, which would you choose?
AD. Do you accept prompts?
AE. Do you take liberties with canon or are you very strict about your fic being canon compliant?
AF. How do you feel about smut?
AG. How do you feel about crack?
AH. What are your thoughts on non-con and dub-con?
AI. Would you ever kill off a canon character?
AJ. Which is your favorite site to post fic?
AK. Talk about your current wips.
AL. Talk about a review that made your day.
AM. Do you ever get rude reviews and how do you deal with them?
AN. Write an alternative ending to a fic you've written (specify by title, link or general description].

The Words You Can't Spell

Aug. 21st, 2014 01:46 pm
damselfish: photo by rling (Default)
[personal profile] damselfish

Anybody have the words they can't spell?

Maybe you know how it's spelled, you just can't type it out.

I'm finally getting around to writing up a retelling of "Prince Lindworm" I mentioned back in December, where I wondered how you get two sons from eating a red rose that'll give you a son and a white rose that'll give you a daughter. Sure, I can see getting a monster out of the mix, but this magical math is not adding up for me.

Turns out, I cannot for the life of me type "shepherdess." It's always sehpherdness.

This is a problem in a story where I decided nobody should have a name and the main character is "the shepherdess."

Help a kitty

Aug. 21st, 2014 12:29 pm
clare_dragonfly: woman with green feathery wings, text: stories last longer: but only by becoming only stories (Default)
[personal profile] clare_dragonfly
Please help fund surgery for a very sick kitty.

ETA: The surgery has been funded! Thanks to everyone who helped!

In happier news...

Aug. 21st, 2014 09:45 am
feuervogel: photo of the statue of Victory and her chariot on the Brandenburg Gate (Default)
[personal profile] feuervogel
I got email about a job interview yesterday from a place I sent an application in February and had pretty much given up on. It's part time (probably only 3 hours a week), but it's teaching German, which I need to gain EXP in, so whatever. Also that's about the right amount of time for me, with everything else I'm doing. So it won't, like, be a huge source of money at all, but it might keep us in beer.

The costumes for DragonCon continue apace. We will be spending much of the weekend attaching hardware and straps (I hope; I'd like to get the bulk of the build done this weekend so we aren't up really late finishing Monday & Tuesday.)

RIP Mylene

Aug. 21st, 2014 09:41 am
feuervogel: Alex on the bridge, deciding a course of action (sad)
[personal profile] feuervogel
We had to put Mylene to sleep on Tuesday. The vet wasn't sure what it actually was, but it wasn't lymphoma. The cytology had histiocytes in it, which made her think it was a histiocytic sarcoma, which isn't treatable at all in cats. There was nothing we could to to make her better, so we had to make her comfortable.

She'll always be my sweet little foxy-faced girl who made the most adorable sound when you touched her if she was asleep.

Some pictures and my favorite picture.

(no subject)

Aug. 20th, 2014 11:30 am
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Today, for work, I researched a psychologist who once treated me.


Fortunately ethics and confidentiality prevent both of us from revealing what we know about the other, so technically I'm in some kind of endless informational standoff with a woman who doesn't know I know how much her home is worth.

My job is super-weird sometimes.

Signal boosting

Aug. 18th, 2014 10:39 pm
clare_dragonfly: HG Wells gets a gold star (WH13: HG: gold star)
[personal profile] clare_dragonfly
[personal profile] d_generate_girl is looking for a place to live in New York. As she writes, I have known her since she was 13 and can attest that she is an awesome person and unlikely to do murders. So if you know of an apartment available in Manhattan or Queens, let her know.

[personal profile] aldersprig is doing a Giraffe Call on the theme of Animalia! She writes awesome fiction so you should prompt her and get an awesome story.

Fiction: Lettered

Aug. 18th, 2014 10:25 pm
clare_dragonfly: an open book next to a teacup (Reading: books and tea)
[personal profile] clare_dragonfly
Title: Lettered
World: The Ursulan Cycle
Word count: 1,262
Rating: G
Prompt: Crowdfunding creative jam: "The community of scholars/physicians, while Morgan is in school."
Notes: This is a rather quiet little story. It surprised me; I thought there was going to be a lot more dialogue. But I guess monks don't talk much.

Morgan did not want to go away to school. He hated the idea of being away from his daughter for that long—bad enough he was going to be away from everything else he’d ever known. But his mother insisted he learn to read and write Latin, and his master insisted, and eventually even Lot insisted, and he gave in.

His mother insisted on bringing him to the monastery in her finest carriage. He would have preferred to go alone, or with a servant or two, on ordinary horses, but she would have none of it. So he wasn’t surprised when the other boys, those few who were also studying at the monastery, gave him nasty or appraising looks.Read more... )

(no subject)

Aug. 18th, 2014 07:30 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

There has been a lot of talk about Ferguson, Missouri this week, and rightly so, and I wanted to take a moment to address it. It can be difficult to sort out what's true and what's not, especially with what appears to be biased media reporting and what is certainly manipulation of the media by police in Ferguson at the moment.

[insanejournal.com profile] shusu has a post up about the events in Ferguson here. I haven't fact-checked the post, but it is pro-protestor, which I believe with regards to Ferguson right now is the proper stance to have, and it contains information about news resources. I have also reblogged a post here containing links to news resources and ways you can help the people of Ferguson. You can also visit the Mike Brown Law petition here and add your support to the petition for a new federal law requiring all law enforcement officers to wear a camera while on duty. (When put into practice, initial studies suggest that body cameras on officers reduce incidents of police brutality, and also complaints regarding police brutality, by 50% or more.)

Ways To Give:

[tumblr.com profile] mouseolaw linked to a fundraiser for the son of a friend, who has Type I Diabetes and is raising funds to get a diabetes alert dog. You can read more about the fundraiser here and support Adam's nearly-there gofund me here.

[livejournal.com profile] etakyma and [tumblr.com profile] rach366 both linked to a fundraiser to help get Bristol, a young girl with Rett Syndrome, from Nebraska to Boston for a clinical trial that could help in ameliorating her disease. You can read more and support the fundraiser here.

[tumblr.com profile] primarybufferpanel is raising funds to get out of long-term unemployment and procure disability aid by selling hand-knitted items, hand-dyed superwash yarn, and other fiber products. You can support her through her Etsy store here.

[livejournal.com profile] merboo linked to a fundraiser for a comic artist to receive his top surgery, which insurance won't cover. You can read more and give to the fund here and check out his webcomic and store here.

Erik linked to [tumblr.com profile] harrimaniac27, who has been accepted to the paramedic program at University of New Mexico, but due to a financial aid mix-up he owes a little over a thousand dollars to UNM, which needs to be paid off by September. You can read more about his situation here, and give to his "paramedic fund" here.

[personal profile] samskeyti linked to a fundraiser to help save the Star Observer, an Australian not-for-profit GLBTI publication that has covered queer issues for the past 35 years. You can read more and support the Star Observer's fundraiser here.

[personal profile] akatonbo linked to a fundraiser for a cat owner who lost her job after extended illness, and needs help covering vet bills their cat, Mohawk. You can read more about their situation here and help with Mohawk's vet bills here.

Help For Free:

[livejournal.com profile] grey_bard is looking for recommendations for general practitioners/family doctors/primary care doctors in NYC. You can send your recommendations to fitzrose at gmail.msn.com.

NG linked to an online project to create a more representative version of the "Time 100" most influential people list. They have nominations open and are requesting a number of different demographic nominations based on world population statistics. I haven't examined the project in detail (I'm not sure where those stats are coming from) so I'm putting a little bit of a caveat on this one, but you can read more and participate here.

Anon let me know that the Smithsonian in DC is seeking volunteers to help with a massive project digitizing their archives. You can read more and find links to the volunteer signups here.

Just For Fun:

[livejournal.com profile] jadesfire linked to an article about E Forbes Smiley III, a map thief who raided rare libraries from 2002-2005. There's a new book out about him, and you can get more info on his escapades and the book here.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form or via email at copperbadge at gmail dot com. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!).


anthimeria: unicorn rampant, first line of Kipling's "The Thousandth Man" (Default)
Lauren K. Moody

Positive Obsession

There is hope in error, but none at all in perfection.
--Ursula K. Le Guin

The universe is made up of stories, not atoms.
--Muriel Rukeyser

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
--Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

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