Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 11:46 pm
I just got re-smacked with a very old plot bunny, or at least part of one.

My DS9 rewatch got me to Crossover, the S2 mirrorverse ep. Which reminded me in a vague way of the AOS mirrorverse stuff I was toying with, but then at the very end when they got back to their normal universe (because Trek reset button) I got sort of smacked between the eyes with an old and very involved plot bunny. From, of all things, Stargate.

The story idea is basically "a Daniel Jackson from an alternate universe switches places with the normal Daniel Jackson and wacky hijinks ensue" story. Parallel universes, and travel between same, are canon in Stargate. I had initially thought that the interesting thing would be the alternate Daniel in our universe, especially once I posited that a) he and alternate Jack had been in a relationship, and b) alternate Jack was in fact a Goa'uld, which led to alt-Daniel reacting in odd and unexpected ways to the sight of regular Jack. Except it turns out I had way more fun with the other universe. With working out how things had happened there -- because there was not one but two pivot points causing divergences from the canon timeline, but there was a sort of feel of "the more things change the more they stay the same" about how the alternate timeline unfolded, and i was having far too much fun smoothing out the wrinkles -- and also, to a lesser extent, figuring out what our Daniel would do in the alternate timeline, once the swap happened.

And one of the things I remember from my fic planning is a stretch where Daniel is obsessively searching through the quantum mirror, like tuning a radio station, trying to find home again. Because unlike the Trek mirrorverse there is no undo button; it's not just a matter of finding a way to hop universes, it's a matter of finding the appropriate universe to hop to.

...undone tunas, which is my iPad's autocorrect garbling of unfortunately, I haven't written anything in forever, so the likelihood of this fic reviving any time soon is low. Plus I haven't watched Stargate in longer than forever, and even if I don't need to rewatch the whole thing (I think I decided the fic was set somewhere around Shades of Gray) I'd need to go for the first few seasons if I wanted to write Stargate. Also, haven't written in forever,

But man do I want to...
Thursday, July 31st, 2014 09:19 am
UKR: Тепер і коней побільшало. Сусіда запропонували подарувати разом з його прикускою і ведмежою хитавицею. Та такі подарунки дуже дорогі в утриманні. Але працювати тепер двох конів, і годувати, звісно, теж. І з копитами його щось робити. Коваля нема і невідомо, коли буде. Сіли ми з власницею, подумали і вирішили, що краще хай копита обламує на камінні, ніж якийсь криворукий коваль обріже так, що змарнує всю роботу нашого. Тепер працюємо двох коней по черзі: я сідлаю, власниця розминає, потім я трохи на управління катаюся. Через спеку вчора вирішили не дуже їх діставати. Через півгодини загнані коні вже пішли пастися.



Подивилися ми на це і вирішили, що на наступне тренування підхвилинки галопа під сідлом їм обом не завадять.

RUS: Теперь и коней стало больше. Соседа предложили подарить вместе с его прикуской и медвежьей качкой. Да такие подарки очень дороги в содержании. Но работать теперь двух коней, и кормить, конечно, тоже. И с копытами его что-то делать. Коваля нет и неизвестно, когда будет. Сели мы с владелицей, подумали и решили, что лучше пусть копыта обламывает на камнях, чем какой-то криворукий коваль обрежет так, что испортит всю работу нашего. Теперь работаем двух коней по очереди: я седлаю, владелица разминает, потом я немного на управление катаюсь. Из-за жары вчера решили не очень их доставать. Через полчаса загнанные лошади уже пошли пастись.

Посмотрели мы на это и решили, что на следующую тренировку полминутки галопа под седлом им обоим не помешают.
Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 10:49 pm
For many months I've been stressed out by things that were going on in my life and one of my reactions to this has been making bad food choices which leads to weight gain which makes me unhappy for various reasons which raises my stress level which...you see the pattern, right?

However some things have shifted around in my life this month and I had an awesomely fun and refreshing vacation trip with friends and so this past weekend I decided it was time to change some things. Improving my general health was near the top of the list, and since it had the side benefit of helping my clothes fit better I decided I now had lots of incentive. (Got to go clothes shopping with my best friend and spent lots of money on pretty and non-work-useful clothes. It was a blast.).

With that in mind, I opened up the MyFitnessPal app I had downloaded after getting my iPad. It had been recommended as a good fitness app, and it was free, so. It has two basic functions: tracking what you eat and what you do as exercise. As you put in your foods eaten it maintains a running count of calories, carbs, fats, proteins, iron, etc. When you log your exercise it deducts the calories you expended from the total. It also provides nutritional breakdowns by the day and by the week, which I think will be useful.

The first thing I've learned is that I have not been eating enough protein. (This seems downright unAmerican, but there you have it.) It seems that all these years I've been eating enough for the weight I wanted to be, and not the weight I really am. Oops. Even worse, I'm not eating enough sodium. This doesn't seem like a huge deal until one considers that live in a place with hot summers and I don't use air conditioning--on really hot days I can sweat a lot, and I need to make sure I replace that lost salt.

The app will calculate eating plans based on your goals, whether it be to gain, maintain, or lose weight. It won't calculate a plan to make you lose more than two pounds a week (and it's set up to *strongly* suggest only one pound a week), which I think is very responsible of the developers. I am currently following the plan to lose one pound a week, but if I can get my eating habits under control I might try for a more ambitious goal. We'll see.
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Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 08:39 pm
I have lost most of this afternoon / evening to a (NSFW) series of blog posts mocking Cosmo.

I am not sorry.

At all.
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Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 09:40 pm
I've been meaning to make this reading meme post since I finished Ancillary Justice so it would force me to write up my thoughts about it. It hasn't yet. I mean, I have thoughts, but not the motivation to go back through and dissect the story the way I want to to see how it's all put together. The thought's kind of exhausting actually. So that's still on my "to do at some vague point in the future which probably means never" list. So, without further hand wringing.

What I just finished: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. I liked it a lot. I like how the story was put together. I loved the world building and I lvoe love love what the author did with the artificial intelligence. I think the world building and the crafting of the backstory that leads to the present is really well done and the actual present-day storyline on the weaker side. This whole book kind of feels like a prologue to the series it will be, though that's probably not entirely fair of me. I'm still thinking about it.

What I'm currently reading: Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire. I feel like I'm reading this book on two levels. On the one hand it's an urban fantasy mystery, which is okay. I feel like the plot is a series of jumping from one thing to another without enough time for the main character to think - she's just reacting to everything and I'm over the 3/4 mark in the book. There's no sense of a mystery unfolding. Also what is it with professional novels always being written in the first person POV? I recognize that my reaction is probably a fandom bias, but it's there. Though, I am, finally at the 3/4 mark, finally feeling less than indifferent toward the main character. I think this may also be a fandom bias, since I'm getting to know her through this story and didn't come in knowing her. I suspect that if I keep reading the series that I will grow to love her.

The other level I'm reading the story on is, you guessed it, structural. (Yes, I am obsessed with story structure right now.) So, the story follows Toby as she reacts to things (including a kind of delightfully twisted traumatic event that sets the stage), and each chapter breaks along the lines of each new location that Toby goes to, to me breaking the chapters where the scene breaks are. This is not a criticism, just an observation. Generally, one or two major things happen, then the scene breaks and it's a new chapter and onto the next thing. It feels very linear and like you don't have to hold too many things in your head at once to keep track of things. Unlike Ancillary Justice, where the linear present plot is constantly cross cut by scenes from the past or stories told about big events in the past, and the events get brought up over and over again as new things are revealed about them.

I don't know if I have anything to actually say about Rosemary and Rue's linear progression. Maybe if it was less linear, it would feel more like a mystery unfolding? Or maybe it feels simple and clean because I've been writing stories with complicated plots and people relationships for too long, where I keep drawing complicated diagrams trying to keep track of everything. It's been interesting to think about.

I usually think of stories happening on two levels (not the two reading levels), the plot that's there and the emotional throughline - what internal journey are the characters on and how do they get there through the plot? I can see the shape of what the emotional journey for Toby is but it's not the driving force of the story, it doesn't feel as urgent. And I think the emotional journey I want her to get out of the story isn't the one I'm going to get in this book. Maybe in the series, but I'll have to keep reading.

What I plan on reading next: As usual I have no idea. On my non-fiction list is Citizen Canine by David Grimm. On my fiction list is maybe sequel to Rosemary and Rue or maybe one of the random books on my bookshelf.


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Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 08:06 am
I just blazed my way through the extant Percy Jackson books, which are actually quite good and which I would have read over and over and constantly over again if I were my son's age. I'm torn between love of Annabeth and love of Hazel (er, Piper too), and have decided I like them all quite well enough that I don't have to decide between them.

Spoilers for both of the series. )

I'm also rereading The Ladies of Mandrigyn, by Barbara Hambly, which I have not read since it was first released. I was single-digits in age at the time, and wow, did I miss a bunch of the subtleties of that book, like how different types of women and women's personalities (and careers) were all worthwhile, and could do so many different things, like take care of the city and keep their businesses going and mount a resistance to an evil overlord type. I totally missed that one woman poisoning her husband for collaborating with the enemy, and the actual lack of narrative shaming of prostitutes. IN THE 1980s.

Clearly, this was the antidote I needed for that one irritatingly woman-less Zahn book that was written just one year earlier.

I haven't been doing much fannish stuff lately. A lot of reading, a lot of Diablo 3, and a fair amount of watching tv that I don't feel a huge need to engage with on a fannish level. It's not so much that I'm getting out of fandom; it's more that fandoms that grab me with the intensity of SG1 and SGA or BtVS (or before that, Forever Knight or X-Files or Highlander) are few and far between. I might've gotten into that level of involvement with Leverage or Fringe, if only I hadn't had major health problems during those shows' airings, and Vampire Diaries was looking likely, except that I could not have cared less about the epic love triangle at the heart of the show. OUaT is great and I'm fannish about it, but I tend to marathon a season at a time, which is not so great for participatory fandom.

I do miss St. Trinian's as a fandom. It's such a delightful pair of films.

I'd say Avengers (MCU, really), but I've also gotten tired of sorting my way through all the boy-focused fanworks to home in on the women-centric things that I want to talk or read about. Maybe Arrow or Sleepy Hollow, but I don't need to write fic, and my favorite characters aren't going to be ficced about much anyway. (Or they are, but primarily in het shipping, and I'm far more interested in them being the focus instead of half of a het pairing. Or, alternately, because there's canon femslash in Arrow, and I want some serious Nyssa/Sara character exploration.)

So I don't know where I'm going, fandom-wise, though I do know where I've been and how it affects me. I do wish I had more time for fandom. Or more energy. I get home, and by the time I get the kidlet to bed, I'm exhausted myself. (I'm sure it doesn't help that I had surgery about four months ago. My stamina isn't completely recovered from that.)

So I want to be fannish, but I haven't managed it for a while. Plus side, I don't know that I need to change it specifically, just to let it happen. But still. It's nice to find things to talk to everyone about. (Especially on Dreamwidth. Tumblr format doesn't particularly work for me, alas.)
Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 08:39 am
Chris Moriarty, Spin State (2004): bought for $1 off [personal profile] starlady and well worth it. (Spin Control, too, which I won't get to for a while.) It almost doesn't need my perfunctory attempt at synopsis: there are AIs and ground-down miners (Irish---why Irish?) and several kinds of genetic/cyborg construct of uncertain legal status and mysteries jacketing the hardboiled protagonist and comes-with-the-job amnesia, all of it with some nuance and heft.

It isn't really my thing currently, but it's written with verve and I've enjoyed it. When I was reading Stephen Baxter's Manifold books eleven years ago, Spin State is what I should've followed them with. Also of interest: the bibliography Moriarty tucks in, with comments about relative off-puttingness for those put off by equations.
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Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 11:26 am
Title: Dief and Turtle's Day Off: Uncle Dief
Characters: Dief and Midnight
Rating: G

day off )
Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 11:04 am
Title: OTP Going to the Movies (Graphic)
Fandoms: Due South and Person of Interest
Characters: Fraser/Rayk and Reese/Finch
Rating: G

movies )
Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 11:26 am
UKR: Вчора обстрілювали трохи місто, а ось у приміському районі - повноцінний бій. З чогось влучили по гуртожитку, де жили смугасті. В сусідніх домах повилітали вікна, як воно зазвичай бува в таких випадках. Так власниця срібного стала власницею ще трьох котів. Тобто, кішок. І одного кошеняти - може воно й виживе. Так і поїхала туди під обстрілом, бо там її клієнтка кинула своїх тварин на призволяще. Знайшла кого змогла. Дві кішки мейн-кун, одна з кошеням, і одна зеленоока сфінксіха (її власників сподіваємось знайти, та не дуже зрозуміло, чи треба - вони ж вже один раз її кинули). Це до купи з манчкіном Сепою, котом з цьго посту. Його тепер звуть Сепаратист, то я можу чесно сказати, що одному сепаратисту я особисто відрізала яйця. Тепер в неї своїх шість, на утриманні від евакуйованих власників - п'ять і ще біженців шість. Одну біженку з того ж посту, що й Сепа, вже віддали на ПМЖ у добрі руки.

І от тепер, панове, в мене до вас прохання. Як ви розумієте, котам треба їсти і в туалет ходити. А притулок для тварин ніхто не збирався створювати, просто так вийшло. Тому дуже треба гроші на корм і на наповнювач для туалету. А найбільша потреба - знайти їм сім'ї. Звісно, такі, які котів на призволяще не кинуть. На вихідних, як будемо живі, і як буде ще місто стояти, і як буде вода, ми всю компанію відмиємо і тоді сфоткаємо.

Ну а як хто може допомогти чимось - пишіть, буду дуже вдячна.

RUS:
Вчера обстреливали немного город, а вот в пригородном районе - полноценный бой. С чего-то попали по общежитию, где жили полосатые. В соседних домах повылетали окна, как оно обычно бывает в таких случаях. Так владелица серебряного стала обладательницей еще трех котов. То есть кошек. И одного котенка - может оно и выживет. Так и поехала туда под обстрелом, поскольку там ее клиентка бросила своих животных на произвол судьбы. Нашла кого смогла. Две кошки мейн-кун, одна с котенком, и одна зеленоглазая сфинксиха (ее владельцев надеемся найти, но не очень понятно, надо ли - они же уже один раз ее бросили). Это вместе с манчкином Сепой, котом с этого поста. Его теперь зовут Сепаратист, и я могу честно сказать, что одному сепаратисту я лично отрезала яйца. Теперь у нее своих шесть, на содержании от эвакуированных владельцев - пять и еще беженцев шесть. Одну беженку из того же поста, и Сепа, уже отдали на ПМЖ в хорошие руки.

И вот теперь, панове, у меня к вам просьба. Как вы понимаете, котам нужно есть и в туалет ходить. А приют для животных никто не собирался создавать, просто так получилось. Поэтому очень нужны деньги на корм и на наполнитель для туалета. А наибольшая потребность - найти им семьи. Конечно, такие, которые котов на произвол не бросят. На выходных, как будем живы, и как будет еще город стоять, и как будет вода, мы всю компанию отмоем и тогда сфоткаю.

Ну а кто может помочь чем-то - пишите, буду очень благодарна.


Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 01:23 am
* Made a dick joke.
* Taught R that "bellend" is a dick reference.
* Refrained from pointing my Overlady in the direction of the non-portable fire. (She knows very well where it is.)
* Helped Lt. Michigander on the road to sorting his Adobe issue.
* Impressed Lt. Michigander and Researcher Carmageddon with my utter fury by calling last Wednesday's tech support guy a shitlord. (My language around my team is a lot cleaner than it is around nearly anyone but customers, friends' parents, and my mother.)
* Sorted out that issue with the helpdesk software: user error (and it wasn't mine).
* Communicated to the Escalation Manager what a fantastically bad idea tech N's idea that I ask every tech to add me to the worknotes was.
* Caused the Escalation Manager to send all the helpdesk techs an admonition to not put stuff meant for the user into worknotes like Shitlord Tech did that time.
* Got reassurances that Shitlord Tech has been Talked To, formally.
* Got the Escalation Manager's email address.
Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 01:05 am
Today is a much better day.
Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 08:31 am
These are not the dumbest things I've ever done, but they're certainly the ones that stick the most in my memory:

1) typo-ing my resume
2) setting a cake on fire
3) forgetting to wear a shirt
4) slicing a light in half
5) accidentally insulting my whole prac group

an explanation )
Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 08:33 pm
...is that there's too dang much to do.

Seriously.

descriptions ahoy )

Also, I am completely and utterly insane and am leveling a tank, as a tank. Except I don't know how to tank.

Well, I do in a general sense: keep the attention of enemies, make sure heal/dps don't get beaten up. But I am not very good with specifics.

Read more... )
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Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 05:23 pm
* All right, I said I like The World Ends with You, but I hadn't expected to play the first 5-8 hours of the game thrice in quick succession: first on the little-used Nexus 7 tablet, then on my phone when I realized that the smaller screen abets combat motions, and now on a warranty-covered phone replacement after the front-facing camera had a mechanical failure.

TWEWY keeps one saved game per Android device, not per account, even though it wants one's Google account credential for tracking MPP, one of the ways that pins evolve within the game. On the plus side, one may gain MPP by "mingling" with one's other device if one has two devices that use the same OS, without buying the game more than once; on the minus side, I was doing pretty well in saved game #2. Bah. (In the original Nintendo DS version, mingling could be done with a second DS that didn't run the game. The Android port---and the iOS one as well, I assume---is less forgiving, though at least not cutthroat about it; that is, at least they didn't turn it into a microtransaction opportunity despite having added a few microtransaction items to the ported version. A few pins may be had only via patient accumulation of MPP.)

* Scheduling earthquake retrofit work---reinforcement of the crawlspace walls, bolting the floor's underside to various things---while Reason's preschool has its two-week intersession: not ideal in retrospect for a child who still prefers and needs to nap for 1.5-2 hours almost daily.

* PD the biologist and farmer (and many other things) has inspected my non-producing zucchini plant pair. We're not sure why some of its leaves are yellow, but the surmise that something was neatly pinching off flowers/nascent veg before I could have any seems correct; moving it to the former carrot space in the raised planter box has yielded four new flowers within two days, though day one had it keeling over from insufficient water. The box also has much looser soil. Tradeoff: I'll have to water it almost daily now because the box dries out (and runs off) much faster than the ground. Since persuading vegetables to come forth in droughtland is an exercise mostly for Reason's benefit, not a supplement to our weekly consumption, I'm not keen on daily visitation---but "for Reason's benefit" encompasses the idea of not giving up merely because it's a bit more work. It's not even more water. Bah. (Rigging an irrigation drip: not yet.)