Drive-By Post Rec

Jun. 23rd, 2017 10:06 am
kerravonsen: What is essential is invisible to the eye (essential-invisible)
[personal profile] kerravonsen
Go look here for a fascinating discussion about men, women, the world, and the chimerical concept of "the rules".


Jun. 22nd, 2017 07:08 pm
lurkingcat: (Default)
[personal profile] lurkingcat
[personal profile] battlehamster is off to a weekend larp event. Kheldar is absolutely convinced that if he guards the luggage his human won't be able to leave him. This is guarding. Really. Nothing is going to get past this cat.

clocketpatch: (dynamo of volition)
[personal profile] clocketpatch
Based on nothing but hunches and madness, but still tucked under a spoiler-cut, because I suppose it is vaguely possible:

Spoilerful speculation under here )


Jun. 21st, 2017 09:59 pm
everchangingmuse: oozora yuuhi looking thoughtful (yuuhi pondering)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
I am slowly adjusting to being back from vacation. We left Hershey early-ish in the morning yesterday, after a stop at Duck Donuts for breakfast and, rather than take the highways home, we decided it would be more fun to take the scenic route. So, local highways and US-highways, rather than the Interstates. We stopped when we saw places that we liked, drove through a bunch of adorable towns (why, PA, why do you not need Latin teachers? I loved the places we drove through and stopped!), and generally meandered our way home.

By the time we crossed into VA, though, we were ready to just be home. We grabbed the Interstate system again just over the border, and used it to get as close to home as we could before the necessary hop back onto the US-highways and local roads. We got back sometime between 5:30 and 6, I think. Honestly, I can't remember. And we'd left our hotel in Hershey before 10.

But, home! Honestly, part of what I like about vacation is the appreciation for home I have when I get back. Back to my own bed, my own shower, my rooms. Rooms, plural. Being able to exist in separate spaces made both me and my wife very happy after a week of sharing very close quarters.

We went out together just for a little while this morning - quick trip to the local grocery to pick up what we'd need to tide us over until proper grocery shopping. May have to pop out again tomorrow, because the local only had one gallon of my tea, and I can drink that down in a day. But, then she had work, and I had time to myself in the house, which was nice. I'm still tired, but I've done some tidying and started the laundry (two loads done!).

Tomorrow, I go out on my own - something I don't tend to do in the summer. The DCI (Drum Corps International) is having a showing of some of their bands in movie theaters via Fathom Events, and one of my students is in one of the corps marching in the show. When I found out his corps was going to be featured, I made sure to nab a ticket. I love the marching shows in general, but I especially love it when I know one of my kids is out on the field performing. My wife isn't as interested, so we're meeting for dinner when she gets off work, and then she's going home and I'm hitting the theater. The show is 2 hours, and doesn't start till 8:30 - I won't be getting home till way late, and I'll be driving on my own in the dark. I'm a little nervous about that, but I know the roads well, and I plan on resting up and eating well before the show, so I won't be too tired when I'm driving.

Next big thing on the agenda: OBGYN appointment on Monday. After that: my sister's wedding in July. After that: Field Trip to the Newseum AND the African-American History museum in early August (for professional development credits!). And then, the big events are done, and it's time for school again. But, that's well over a month away. Plenty of time to enjoy being home and to do things on my terms.
dbskyler: (DT and Lis)
[personal profile] dbskyler
It all started when a friend of mine happened to mention the language-learning site Duolingo ( I was immediately drawn to how addictive it was, how fun it was, and how free it was. Ironically, I first wanted to improve my Spanish, as that is the foreign language I had been using (trying to use) the most. But I also took French in high school, and soon I couldn't resist using Duolingo to find out how much French I remembered. I quickly discovered that I had lost a lot of it -- in fact, Duolingo's test took me right back to the beginning, "Basics 1" -- but I also discovered that it started to come back to me, and the more I progressed through Duolingo's lessons, the more lessons I was able to test out of. I am now two lessons away from completing all of Duolingo's French lessons, and I am at least as good at French as when I took it in high school, and possibly even better.

Besides Duolingo, I have been able to practice my French with lots of other free resources on the internet. In fact, it's amazing how many resources are out there if you go and look. Here are my favorites so far:

-- Watching episodes of a French anime series, "Les Aventures de Ladybug et Chat Noir" (The Adventures of Ladybug and Black Cat). I have [personal profile] primsong to thank for this; she recommended this show and it is both charming and addictive to watch. I watch in French with English subtitles, although I sometimes watch without the subtitles just to gauge how good I am at picking up the French without the translation. (Not too good yet, but improving.) The episodes can be found on youtube.

-- A site that has you watch French music videos and fill in pieces of the lyrics. Sometimes there are technological hiccups (asking for the word before the video played the word; not allowing you to type in apostrophes while requiring apostrophes for the correct answer), but it's so much fun, I have to list it here. Also, the site has introduced me to the French musical group "Carrousel," and I now love their music, especially the song "Le Manque De Place." Here's the site:

-- Reading fanfic in French on AO3. So far, I have read several French Doctor Who fanfics and a few Marvelous Ladybug fanfics (i.e., Les Aventures de Ladybug et Chat Noir). I have also managed to comment on the fics in French, although you'll have to ask the authors how comprehensible I was. Anyway, it's another great way to strengthen my reading comprehension with material that I'm actually interested in reading.

(no subject)

Jun. 21st, 2017 09:51 pm
lurkingcat: (Default)
[personal profile] lurkingcat
Things you don't normally expect to deal with when you have Raynauds? Heat rash.

My body is trolling me. On the plus side, my usual collection of poor circulation aches and pains are non-existent right now. And of the two things, heat rash is so very much easier to treat.

Sadly for me the temperature is due to drop tonight. Kheldar is likely to be unhappy about this too but at least we got a glorious few days of hot summer sunshine. It's due to rain as well and the garden will be very glad of that.

ETA: Kheldar just arrived and rubbed his very wet head around my legs. Normally this indicates that it is raining outside. It is not raining outside. Only the front half of the cat is wet. He has clearly Had An Adventure.

Network Sale!

Jun. 21st, 2017 09:33 pm
lost_spook: (pg - lynda)
[personal profile] lost_spook
I am having rl this week; it is rubbish. (Or at least, it was hot and now there is a Thing I have to go to tomorrow; everything will be at least better once the Thing is over and I have recovered, or more or less; it's a multi-part Thing, as so often in life. Stupid Thing.)

And then just now I happened to look and Network are having a 45% sale again!. And guess who still has nearly all her b'day money? Oh, yes, I do. Now I just have to decide what to spend it on, so at least that will be some sort of an antidote.

If you are in R2 or can play R2 discs, you too can snag yourself obscure old British telly! (Mostly ITV, it tends to be other companies that release the BBC stuff.) I have been poking through to see what's on offer from my wishlist (lots! \o/) and can tell you that you can also get Press Gang, Enemy at the Door, Public Eye and Sapphire and Steel at bargainous prices! (Also Manhunt, The Power Game, The Sandbaggers and Mr Palfrey and Undermind and Zodiac). So you should go out and buy them and then write me all the fic, obv.

Anyway, I thought I'd give the heads up and enable my like-minded souls on my flist. ([personal profile] liadtbunny, I am shocked that you did not already tell me this! I rely on you for these things! ;-D)
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I was reading this one at the same time as I was reading Sorting The Beef From The Bull, which was like a natural sciences one-two punch; I would read Sorting while commuting, and Remarkable Creatures in bed at night. 

Remarkable Creatures is the fictionalized story of two real-life people, Mary Anning and Elizabeth Philpot, who were fossil hunters in Lyme Regis in England back when we were just starting to like, figure dinosaurs out. It follows their relationship, and their struggles to be seen as legitimate contributors to the scientific record, for several years.

I didn’t actually know the account was based in real life until after I’d finished reading, which did ameliorate some of my disappointment with the book, because it’s hard to make a climactic narrative out of peoples’ real lives – reality just doesn’t flow as smoothly as fiction. But I won’t lie: I am still pretty disappointed that Elizabeth and Mary didn’t end up together. I thought that was totally where we were heading.

Mind you, the story of their friendship is compelling, and Chevalier did find a way to create rising action within the story, even though as she put it in the afterword, Mary Anning basically did the same thing every day for years, in terms of hunting fossils. 

As an account of fossil hunting, of the religious wrestling that people had to do with the concept of extinction, and of the way women were treated in the era, it’s a really great book. And it’s also a fast read, which I’ve come to expect from Chevalier. And honestly, this is the first book of hers I’ve read where the female leads don’t get married, though this is in part because the real-life Mary and Elizabeth didn’t either. 

But it still feels like Chevalier’s books are always about women settling. It’s the same problem – I know that’s what women have had to do, and I’m sure she does it intentionally at least in part to remind us of that fact. I just want more for these heroines. 

But if you’re interested in paleontology, Do Recommend, it’s a good book. Less frustrating than The Last Runaway, certainly, and the characters feel more compelling, more three-dimensional, than some of those in Girl With A Pearl Earring. 

from Tumblr


Jun. 20th, 2017 10:04 pm
lurkingcat: (Default)
[personal profile] lurkingcat
One other advantage of the current burst of hot weather is that I've been more willing to get out and about for a stroll at lunch time and since it's hot and dry rather than hot and rainy that means more Pokémon hunting. I've found a couple more new-to-me Pokémon in the last week one of which was a result of the current Solstice event and one of which was a happy random find after walking round the back of my work building and setting off to explore the small green area that I could see from the window of one of the classrooms.

There seems to have been a change in local spawning locations as well, which has made the walk into work slightly less predictable than it has been... and it looks like one of the Pokéstops in Cabot Circuit is about to become a gym. Which may encourage me to participate in the gym end of the game a little bit more since it's under cover and can therefore be battled over even when it's raining.

Kheldar cares about none of this and continues to attempt some form of patrol duty even in the heat. It's funny when there's a breeze because his tail perks up and then the rest of the cat perks up and he positively bounces off into the garden. He seems to be mostly enjoying the weather now despite that fur coat of his. The balcony door is open most of the time which means that he can sit in the shade of the doorway and sniff at his garden without having to exert any effort at all.
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I don’t know why it surprises me, my summers are always bananas, but July looks especially bonkers this year. Of the 20 possible workdays in July, I’m out for conferences, vacation, or workshops for a full half of them. I’m properly working only ten days in the entire month of July. 

I mean, I’m not unhappy about it. And thank god for a great paid leave package. I’m going to be traveling to cool places and doing neat things. It’s just kind of surreal. Like how last year I was only in the office for one week in all of June. 

from Tumblr

Hershey is Sweet

Jun. 19th, 2017 05:04 pm
everchangingmuse: dresses in BeruBara look like cupcakes^^ (BeruBara cake timez)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
We chose well when we decided to do the Hershey museum and gardens rather than the theme park. There have been brief but terrible thunderstorms this afternoon, and the theme park was shut down. Meanwhile, we had a fun time going through the exhibits about the town, and about Milton Hershey and his wife Kitty. Hershey is such a cute place! And it was designed by Mr. Hershey to be a good place for his employees to live (and inspired by the brothers Cadbury, who'd done something similar near their plant in England) and work and play. And, I learned that Mr. Reese, he who created the Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, was from here as well, and started work while Mr. Hershey's factory was a thing - and Hershey encouraged him to do his best and helped him with his start-up. How cool is that?

We had lunch at the cafe in the Hershey Story museum, which is when we saw the first of the storms. But, the museum was safe, so we were good. Delicious food (though we were too full for an ice cream sundae), and then more museum time (there was a special exhibit about the different types of factory workers and their respective jobs), before we headed back to the car and drove a few miles away to the Hershey gardens. We got there just as another wave of thunderstorms came through, but the butterfly garden was indoors, and that was the main attraction we'd wanted. There were so many gorgeous species of butterfly! One even landed on my back and crawled up it, through my hair, and onto my head before flying away. I took so many pictures. So very many pictures. I ended up having to delete music from my ipod because, for the first time, I ran out of storage space. I've had this ipod for at least two/two and a half years, and only now run out of space. I suppose that's a good thing. I need to clear old pictures out so I have room for the new ones.

And now, we are happily tucked into our hotel (motel? I can't remember the difference) just a couple of blocks from the Hershey museum. Across the street sit a row of brick houses, built for the factory workers back in the early 20th century, and they are beautiful. I want to live in one. I also love the fact that the workers were able to buy their properties from the Hersheys and the mortgages were really low, so they could have pride of ownership and further stakes in the town and company doing well. The town was meant to be a family town, and it shows.

We'll be going out in a bit to find a place for dinner. Breakfast is provided here, so woot! One less worry.

Loyal Companion

Jun. 19th, 2017 07:24 pm
lurkingcat: (Default)
[personal profile] lurkingcat
It is so beautifully hot here. People in the office keep complaining that it is too hot and then going out sit in the park at lunch during the hottest part of the day. I'm loving it though.

Kheldar is torn between wanting bask in the sun and wanting not to have a fur coat. We've put extra water bowls outside for him and yesterday [personal profile] battlehamster was kind enough to keep him company on the balcony.


We chose the right year to buy a bench for the balcony :)
copperbadge: (literate men need books)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Taking a little break from Tracy Chevalier (we’ll be back to her soon)...

So, [ profile] terrie01 recommended this book to me during a discussion on food fraud, and it’s been a really...interesting experience. On the one hand it’s a very informative book, packed full of detail and data, but on the other oh man is it dry. I didn’t realize what a struggle it was to get through until I started reading Extra Virginity this morning, which is about the same general topic (focused on olive oil) but is much more engagingly written.

Sorting the Beef From The Bull focuses on food fraud from a legislative and economic angle; I can imagine for people working in the industry it’s a little more accessible, and I don’t think it’s a badly written book. It’s just jammed with a combination of dense law and complex biochemistry, when what I (a non-lawyer, non-scientist) wanted was like...war stories about food fraud.

text )

Mooooving..... *sigh*

Jun. 19th, 2017 08:39 am
shirebound: (Pippin bonnet)
[personal profile] shirebound
I have now finished creating a 3-page, single-spaced list of things I need to get accomplished before (and after) our move at the end of July. It's a massive, massive list. I have one quote from a moving company, and will have two more by tomorrow. It's EXPENSIVE to move 'stuff' across the country! But Shiremom will be very anxious (more than she is already) not to be surrounded by familiar furniture and possessions in our new home. Her quality of life is my main concern.

We're planning to drive across the country with Pippin, if we can get Shiremom's car in good enough shape for the journey. Good thing Pip is such a good car traveler. :)

Unconventional Courtship

Jun. 19th, 2017 02:15 pm
lost_spook: (dw - bill)
[personal profile] lost_spook
[community profile] unconventionalcourtship is running again! It is the fest where you take a romance novel summary and kill it with fanfic write your own story from it (actual romance not necessary). It's always a lot of fun. There are banners, those are fun too. (I don't have one to hand right now, but there are lots at the comm. Some of them are even proper ships and things and not ones people made for the lols because of the tempting nature of the template.)

In the meantime, because of that, and because it's being summer, which is always unreasonable, have some summaries from the Unconventional Courtship Random Generator:

Cut for the usual ridiculous )

(no subject)

Jun. 19th, 2017 08:24 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Before we begin, a quick reminder: when you submit a link and a blurb, you guys are your own best advocates. Try to look at the sites you're submitting and think, If I knew nothing about this situation, would what I'm seeing be helpful? And if not, try to include more context. You can give me more than one link, and it's often helpful to do so.

(This isn't specific to this week, just starting to notice a trend over the last six months where not enough context is available for me to write the blurb, let alone for others to be informed about it. Just a gentle nudge in the right direction!)

Ways to Give:

Julie is raising funds to cover rent; she has a job lined up but won't have a paycheck in time for July's rent. (This is a link I'm sharing rather than one that was submitted to RFM, so while I wasn't sure I should post Julie's username, I'll vouch for her personally.) You can read more and support the fundraiser here.

[ profile] charlietheskonk is fundraising for a new Montessori preschool with wrap-around care; the fundraiser is to support startup and licensing costs, and supports a queer-owned business. You can read more and reblog here, or check out the fundraiser and give here.

[ profile] digitaldiscipline linked to Jenn Vs. Trevor, a charity deadlift battle to raise funds for the winner's local Humane Society branch. You can reblog the link here and read more and donate here.

[ profile] rilee16 is still struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and hasn't been cleared to return to work, thus can't earn money to cover basic living costs, let alone the bills they've received, including a recent rent increase. They are frequently running out of money for gas to even do odd jobs for pay. You can read more and help out here.

Help For Free:

Anon linked to the EPA, which is soliciting public comment about the Second Five-Year Review Report for the Hudson River PCBs Superfund site. The report indicates that the levels of PCBs in the river are still too high, but the EPA is not planning any active measures to reduce them. You can read more here and find contact information here to tell the EPA the Hudson River deserves better.

RSF linked to public comments solicitation about a plan to "trim" the US National Monuments; activists are working to make it known how important they are, and that monuments like Bears Ears should be saved. You can learn more and comment here.

News to Know:

[ profile] drgaellon linked to a linkslist for religious LGBTQ people who are struggling with their faith's attitudes towards their orientation; included are sites that validate queer orientations for Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths, including a site specifically for trans Jewish people. You can find the links and reblog here.


[ profile] worldsonpaper is looking for a new flatmate in Sydney, 15 minutes by train from the CBD. She is LGBT+ friendly but requests no male applicants. Bedroom with a shared bath, $250/wk plus internet; electricity and water are covered in the rent. $900 bond. You can contact her via ask on tumblr or at wieldswords at

[ profile] blackestglass is looking for a roommate in the greater DC/Northern VA area, to move in on August 1. She is in a 2br/2ba condo, Metro accesible, with free parking, gym access, and in-unit laundry. Master suite is available for $1290/mo plus utilities, or the smaller suite is available for $1190/mo, with lower rent if the parking space isn't needed and can be rented out. You can read more and get in touch 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. 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!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.


primsong: (Default)

June 2017


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