Did I mention...

Sep. 25th, 2017 01:11 am
blackmare: (coin 1)
[personal profile] blackmare
... I ordered an Oyster Mushroom Growing Kit?

This makes me ridiculously happy. It hasn't arrived yet; sometime this week.

Good Weekend

Sep. 24th, 2017 08:34 pm
everchangingmuse: (chapi's overjoyed)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
Saturday, we got up early-ish and headed out to the apple orchard. We picked about 10lbs of apples, which was under my carry-limit, so I could help carry the bag around, woot! The orchard is owned by the family of our former school secretary (she retired a year or two ago), and she's the one who bakes the delicious pies the orchard sells, in addition to its other apple delights. I got to see her for a few minutes, and I was so happy! She was my lifeline when I first started teaching 15 years ago, and we've developed a nice friendship over the years. Even if we hadn't been able to get a single apple, getting a hug from her would have made the drive worth it.

But, apples we did get! And salsa and jam and butter and peach cider and a cookbook! And we ate lunch at the orchard (delicious hot dogs with chili and crushed dorito chips on top), then went back into the bakery area to get dessert (slice of apple cake for me, pie for my wife). It was really fun, and we'd decided it would be the final test of my stamina. I am very happy to say that I was able to tromp around the orchard, ducking in and out of trees, carrying things, no problem.

The problem actually came from stopping at Walmart on the way home. We'd forgotten a couple of things at the grocery store that we needed, and decided to stop there, since it was on the way. Something about the way the lighting is done, and the ceilings, makes me dizzy and saps my energy. It's always done that to an extent, but since my surgery, I've noticed it a lot more. That 10-15 minutes in the store wore me out in a way the orchard didn't, and I ended up taking a nap for a couple hours when we got home. We bought a crumb-top apple pie at the orchard, and had that for dessert last night, after a dinner of lentils and savory scones. There's still half a pie left, after lunch today, so we're storing it in the oven and eating it for another day or two.

Today, we've done stuff around the house. I graded everything yesterday (go me!), and meant to put things into our LMS, but haven't gotten to it yet. I've got planning first thing in the morning, so I'm not super-concerned. Plus, I need to talk to the kids tomorrow about some of the assignments. Instead, we did a hardcore dusting of the bathroom - ceilings, walls, vents, etc. We did up the dishes, and washed the linens. We've looked over the budget and the money for the rest of the month, and we've also tidied a bit. I'm going to get my backpack and lunch together soon, so I'll have less to do in the morning.

For dinner tonight (since lunch was leftover lentils), we took the gift card that my department gave me in their "get well soon" card and went out to the Italian place up the street. Super tasty! The calzone I got was big enough that I have half left for tomorrow night's dinner. We also got dessert, which was a treat for us. And luckily, I had cash on me to leave a tip, since they can't run tips on gift cards.

So now, freshly showered, I'm curled up on the couch. I need to remember to get to bed early tonight, since I'll be waking up super-early tomorrow again. At least I'm used to getting up with an alarm. I've had it set for 7am for the last two weeks, and made myself get up and out of bed when it went off, even on the weekends. Even if it's later than what I need for school, it's getting me back in the habit of getting up and moving with the alarm.

I am beyond excited about going back to work tomorrow. I get to see my kids!!! I get to do things!!! I get to see my colleagues!!! I'm going to have to curb some of my enthusiasm, or I'll end up bouncy for the morning classes, and crash in the afternoon. Moderation. But I seriously cannot wait to see everyone and get back to work again!
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
R: [chess partner] lost one of my black bishops from the chess set last weekend.

Sam: You should go to the thrift store and find something cool to replace it with! That’s how you get a really unique chess set.

R: So you’re saying his mistake became….a mistakapportunity? 

Sam: Of the millions of words that I thought you might say when you paused, mistakapportunity didn’t even make the list.

from Tumblr http://ift.tt/2y0YuXL

Remix Reveals

Sep. 24th, 2017 06:33 pm
lost_spook: (dw - bill)
[personal profile] lost_spook
The main Remix collection was revealed today, so I can admit that I wrote:

Coffee and Crumbs (The Idiot in the Attic Remix) (2145 words) by lost_spook
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Doctor Who (2005), Sarah Jane Adventures
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Twelfth Doctor & Sarah Jane Smith
Characters: Sky Smith, Twelfth Doctor, Sarah Jane Smith, Mr Smith (Sarah Jane Adventures)
Additional Tags: Remix, remixrevival, Post-Episode: s08e01 Deep Breath, Episode: 2013 Xmas The Time of the Doctor
Summary: The Doctor always returns to Bannerman Road at the important moments. It's the timing that's so hard to get right...

It's a remix of [personal profile] paranoidangel's Tea and Biscuits, because we just can't avoid each other in these things! Anyway, it was fun and I had plenty of options to choose from, but my heart wanted this one. I'd actually beta-ed Tea and Biscuits (and it was a gift fic for [personal profile] dbskyler, too), which is a little odd, but so far in my remixing, I've always gone for stories I've loved and that's what drew me to T&B quite quickly. I'm not sure what the key is (I'm sure you could remix almost anything with a bit of work and inspiration), but certainly a story that speaks to me, one I can say something in response to is maybe what that sudden, "That's the one!" spark is. Anyway, this was fun. I was little worried about effectively switching Eleven for Twelve, because it borders on going too far - but on the other hand, the Doctor is the Doctor, and I know Paranoidangel doesn't have an aversion to any of them. (Well, as far as I know!)

And I see that I have [personal profile] estirose to thank for the remix of my Dungeons & Dragons fic! (Madness is still unrevealed, although I do have a suspicion...)


Sep. 23rd, 2017 11:03 pm
justice_turtle: Millennium Falcon captioned "Fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy" (fastest hunk of junk)
[personal profile] justice_turtle
"Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes."

Okay, let's see...

Read more... )

(no subject)

Sep. 23rd, 2017 04:45 pm
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
[personal profile] tree_and_leaf
Belated happy birthday, [personal profile] nanila!

What I've Been Watching

Sep. 23rd, 2017 01:21 pm
lost_spook: (Dracula)
[personal profile] lost_spook
Now I've finally finished my Thriller (Part 1) review/picspam post, I am behind again. Let me talk about what I have been watching over the last couple of months (or more), other than the first 5 discs of Thriler.

1. I finished Secret Army. I did mostly enjoy it, although I got impatient with it again at the end. Terence Hardiman as Reinhardt (who doesn't give a damn about anything since they've lost the war and most of his friends have just been executed in the wake of the assassination attempt on Hitler) did liven things up, though. He was great, and not even actually evil, either. (Particularly his exit when Spoiler ) Kessler is rightly both awful and complex, of course, and Clifford Rose was very good in the role.) Bernard Hepton spent most of the last series in prison, on film, but he did eventually escape and return to the studio, and I gave it a lot of plus points for what eventually happened with Monique, too. Anyway, I watched it! I now know where 'Allo 'Allo is coming from.

2. I skipped ahead briefly to watch Suzanne Neve's second Thriller, and while I'll cover it in its turn, I can report that she is better at terrorising innocent Americans than James Maxwell: she sticks them in her underground pottery kiln and bakes them, no angsting required. 1970s Suzanne Neve is so far a lot more evil than 1960s Suzanne Neve. (I would side-eye the ending of the 1968 Dracula here, but personally, I blame Ed Bishop for throwing her down the stairs in UFO.)

3. I finally got to the E-Space trilogy (DW), watching Full Circle and State of Decay (before an appropriate break for the BBC 1977 Dracula). Full Circle has a good SF idea at the heart, but nothing else much with which to pad it out. Except Adric, but, er, well...

I enjoyed State of Decay a lot, though, especially in comparison to Full Circle (it's good to see that future spaceships will go on with BBC Acorn computers on board!). Plus, the whole Time Lords and Vampires mythology backstory is potentially fun to play with and Romana gets two great costumes, while Adric spends at least an episode unconscious, and it has a great look, particularly for that era, especially the location scenes. What more could I ask for? (I'm sorry: Adric wasn't bad in this one! I'm mean, I know.)

4. And so, then, what more appropriate than that I pause to watch the TV show that caused State of Decay to be postponed for 3 years and gave us Horror of Fang Rock instead? (Accidentally; my viewing is not really that well planed!)

I'm not really sure why the BBC were so nervy about this version of Dracula that they thought DW doing vampires at the same time might make them look silly, but apparently they were. They had no need: this is lovely. It's unlike most of the old TV I've been watching - it was 1977 doing glossy event TV with a 2 1/2 hr feature-length version of the novel that's probably the most faithful adaptation still. (Although there are some changes, of course.) It was very good! I recommend it even if you're not usually into old TV, but are into Dracula. (I believe it is up on YouTube, and I got the DVD pretty cheap anyway.)

Cut for further Dracula rambling )

6. I then decided that I should stop being wimpish and watch the rest of Mystery and Imagination. I'd already seen "Dracula", the Ian Holm "Frankenstein" and "The Suicide Club" (the one with David Collings and the cream tarts and the invisible hyenas and Major Geraldyne, because obv. that is the one that David Collings would be in). The Freddie Jones "Sweeney Todd" was out because I Do Not Do Sweeney Todd, which left me with "Uncle Silas" and "The Curse of the Mummy" out of the Thames adaptations, so I watched "The Curse of the Mummy." More about 1960s TV Victorian horror ) After that, I thought I'd had more than enough horror for a bit and left "Uncle Silas "unwatched and returned to Doctor Who and E-Space.

7. Warrior's Gate was very weird and also had Clifford Rose being excellent again. It was definitely the good weird, though, in that way only Classic Who is every once in a while. I mean, it looks like the stranger kind of 80s pop video (one that would definitely get nominated for Yuletide), so it wouldn't be for everyone, but still: the good weird/meta, I think, with bonus believably mundane, petty villains and random lion people. (It must be Doctor Who. <3)

8. I recorded Mrs Miniver off the telly, and the main thing I have taken from this is that Julian Fellowes stole the flower show plot for Downton Abbey. And given that I already know that he stole two plotlines/backstories and a minor incident from Duchess of Duke Street (as well as acting in it), I am now wondering with some interest and amusement, where exactly he swiped everything else from. (Anything from Upstairs Downstairs, maybe?) It's kind of engagingly blatant swiping, though. And gives us May Whitty vs Maggie Smith! Oh my. (I did like it, but it was made mid-WWII and so is very patriotic etc. But well done! There were some really good scenes, and Dame May Whitty as well as Greer Garson, and it was very watchable still.)

9. I also recorded the next old series Drama was offering as well, which is When the Boat Comes In. It stars Jack and Esther from New Tricks (James Bolam and Susan Jameson, who are married in rl, and going out in this). It is early 20th C Tyneside and the first episode was grim about shellshocked returning soldiers, the second had a poor orphan shipped off to Australia alone, and then the continuity announcer went, "And next, things get even harder..." It is, as they say, grim oop north. It seems good so far, though. And maybe one day the boat will come in; there are at least 40 eps on my DVR already and they may not all be equally depressing...

* I don't know if this is really a downside, though. It is very funny.

Power Rangers

Sep. 22nd, 2017 06:08 pm
everchangingmuse: aoki izumi portrait (morie)
[personal profile] everchangingmuse
So, so much Power Rangers. I've been binging while I'm recuperating from my surgery. I'd started in August, before surgery, and had gotten a little over halfway through season one of Mighty Morphin, which is 60 episodes long. At the moment, I've got 8 episodes left before the end of season 3. From there, it's the Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers, followed by Zeo, Turbo, etc. I've decided to watch ALL the extant Power Rangers episodes. All 800+ of them.

It's interesting to watch, because I can remember some of the episodes from way back in middle school, almost 25 years ago. I used to watch with my then-6-year-old brother, because it was easier than playing with him as a 13 year old who wanted to just read, thank you (even if we did make an amazingly epic story about pirates when we'd play with his vast collection of Lego). But as I've gone through the seasons, and especially into season 3, I remember less and less. I had no idea this was where Katherine came in. I've just watched the episode where she's able to break Rita's conditioning, and Kimberly passes her power coin on to Katherine. It's really sweet.

That's something I'm discovering as I watch/rewatch this show I used to pretend was a chore to sit through (it was middle school - I was weird enough as the Cartoon Girl and the Trekkie without adding the Power Rangers into the mix). This show is really sweet. There's a lot of heart, and a lot of care in these stories. Even with the villains, who argue and bicker and insult all the time. Rita doesn't kick her brother out when he fails over and over - she gives him another chance, even while she grouses about it, because he's her brother. And when it's (finally) discovered that Rita tricked Zedd into marrying her by means of a love potion, and Goldar forces Finster to spray Zedd with the antidote, we discover that it doesn't work. Zedd may have been tricked at first, but he is genuinely in love with Rita, and she with him (though at the beginning she used the marriage as a way to regain power).

There's a lot of good stuff in the old Power Rangers episodes. Yes, they're cheesy. Yes, they're intentionally cheesy in parts. But they aren't self-mocking. They tell stories with depth I wouldn't have expected of a 90s kids' show. They tap into a lot of different childhood and teenaged experiences, and treat them with sincerity. That, as much as the Zord fights and ninja/karate/kung fu/martial-arts-flavor-of-the-season, is what made so many people connect with the series, and why it's still going strong 24 years later.

Think about it. Power Rangers will have been around a quarter of a century next year. Continuously. Yes, casts have changed, villains have changed, etc, but the core of the series has remained the same. Kids - young adults - who have good hearts and strong morals unite and get super-powers BECAUSE OF their goodness and morals, and fight alone to protect Earth from all manner of evil, while keeping their identities a secret. Each group follows the same 3 tenets, by Zordon in the first episodes. They're not bad tenets for life, actually.

1. Never use your power for personal gain.
2. Never escalate a fight unless the bad guys force you.
3. Never reveal your identity to others. No one may know you are a Power Ranger.

So, let's look at those.

1. Never use your power for personal gain. Don't be selfish and self-serving. With all the abilities the Rangers have, it would be easy for them to help themselves to a lot of things. The nerd could get rid of the bullies with his/her newfound superior strength. And while that does happen, it is never because the nerd sought to do so. No one ever uses their enhanced physical abilities to win the ubiquitous martial arts' tournaments. They use their own personal strength and agility, and call on the Power only when they absolutely have to, to protect others.

2. Never escalate a fight unless the bad guys force you. Self-defense only. Defense of those weaker than you. Stand up to the "bad guys", but don't take the fight to them. If only more people took this particular piece of the Power Rangers' creed to heart. For all the action and fighting sequences in the show, the rule was not to engage in a fight unless you absolutely had to, either to defend yourself or others. Do not attack first. Even in the martial arts' competitions, the fighting skills were mostly for show - a display of discipline and training, not open combat. The mental and spiritual aspects of martial arts were focused on more in the kids' everyday lives than the fighting aspects - those were the dressing used to teach the morals of dedication, discipline, hard work, honor, etc.

3. Never reveal your identities to anyone. No one may know you are a Power Ranger. Don't go gloating or bragging about your good deeds. The Power Rangers, for all that they are in the spotlight, are anonymous heroes. And interchangeable, when it comes down to it. Those who possess the qualities that make someone a candidate for becoming a Ranger usually end up being a Ranger. But they don't brag. They don't show off. This is easily transferable to a real life setting. Do good deeds because you want to help, because you are kind, not because you want recognition or reward. Each of the Rangers participates in community service projects, teaches classes on a volunteer basis, works in shelters, etc. They are engaged in the world around them, and working actively to make that world better, both in and out of uniform. And they don't brag. They just do what they feel is right, and take pleasure in helping. The work itself is reward enough.

There's also an element of found family to Power Rangers that appeals. A group of teens brought together by circumstance, who share a close bond as comrades-in-arms. They lift each other up, encourage each other, and push each other to improve themselves. They care for one another deeply. While we do see parents on rare occasions, and mention is made of them getting permission to do things, the parents are largely absent, unless the story requires. Kimberley's last ten or so episodes before she left dealt with her divorced mom remarrying and moving across the world to Paris, France. Aisha, the current Yellow Ranger, spoke with her parents and asked them if Kim could live with them until the end of school. While this was a big change for Kimberley, the fact that Aisha was there for her, and her parents were so welcoming, made the transition much easier for Kim. Her friends, her found family, supported whatever she wanted to do, just as she did for them.

There's a lot to unpack in Power Rangers is what I'm saying. It was there in the new movie, too. But in a long-form long-running TV show, it's easier to look for and notice trends. And the characters stay with you longer. To the kids watching, they become a kind of family. I've been reading interviews and articles about the original cast, and David Yost, the original Blue Ranger, mentioned that he's spoken with people for whom Power Rangers was the One Good Thing they had growing up. That Power Rangers taught them about kindness and discipline and helping people. It kept them going when they'd otherwise give up. And that, more than the silly monsters or giant robots, is the true legacy of the Power Rangers. And why late 30s me is an unabashed, unashamed fan of the series in all of its iterations.

Do I laugh at it? Do I mock the cheesy effects? Yep. I mock from love. I cheer at good triumphing over evil, I get emotional when long-running characters leave, but in the end, I adore what ends up on-screen.

(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2017 09:28 pm
lurkingcat: (Tech Support)
[personal profile] lurkingcat
I'm exhausted which may explain why I've been sitting staring at the latest XKCD in disbelief and delight for a good ten minutes.

[personal profile] battlehamster has gone to a Larp this weekend, leaving Kheldar in charge of the house. It's probably good timing because I had to work late today and I'll have to go back into work on Sunday. As long as the building security guys remember to call me that is. If they don't then I'll have go in at Far Too Early O'Clock on Monday instead. There's some power work being done on the building so everything had to be switched off and unplugged before I left the office this evening - coffee machines, classroom kit, the entire server rack, eeeeverything.

I'm going to spend the rest of the weekend fretting until they call me and tell that the sparkies have finished and I can go and power everything back up again. We have a course starting on Monday that can't run without internet access so I'm really hoping that all the ISP and Corp team kit boots back up okay. On the plus side most of what's in the rack is less than a year old so shouldn't have died from shock just because it's been shut down.

Only Mostly Dead

Sep. 22nd, 2017 11:51 am
blackmare: (artichoke)
[personal profile] blackmare
 I'm around, reading here more days than not, but life is, well, the usual. Classes, art-making, calling Senators and begging them not to kill citizens in order to give tax breaks to billionaires. You know. All that stuff. 

And I have another class in an hour so I do have to go. And then dog-and-horse-sitting through Tuesday morning. How are y'all? 

Story update: "Small Hands"

Sep. 22nd, 2017 07:39 am
shirebound: (Default)
[personal profile] shirebound
As my offering for the Baggins Birthdays today... here is chapter 4 of my fluffy Cormallen story. I hope you enjoy it! Only one more chapter is planned.

"Small Hands"
Chapter 4: "Wax On, Wax Off"




primsong: (Default)

September 2017


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