lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
Or rather, I'm an excellent social media correspondent, but it's not always hitting here.  And I've yet to figure out how to connect this blog to my main one... 

Lawless Lands is On the Loose!


Changements de latitudes, changements d'attitude


A little Devil's West Updatery


Meanwhile, my sister and brother-in-law and his mother were in town for a family member's 90th birthday party, so it was good to see them and all the mishpocha (extended family of blood and marriage) from his side.  The weather was warm (HOT, by Seattle standards) but they seemed to be enjoying it.  I took one day off to play semi-local tour guide, and then hid in the tasting room all weekend.  You have to keep wineries/tasting rooms cool, to keep the wine stored in back (much of it in barrels) cool.  A useful hint, next time you get stuck in a heat wave....

Busy week ahead.  Thankfully, temps are supposed to drop 15-20 degrees back to Seattle-normal by tomorrow.  And not a moment too soon...
lil_m_moses: (crafty)
Slow Progress

I just did the first double-letter score block, 15 more to go, and that'll be the last of the board. I decided to do a test of the letter tiles before moving on; I think it works.
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lil_m_moses: (crafty)
Ouch. My quilting class homework took quite literally all day, and my back is killing me from standing on the carpet-covered concrete floor and leaning over a table. Part of that was rotary cutter-trimming the strips I'd previously cut with scissors a smidge wide, using rulers that were too short. We'd also been told to have 40 strips, but then in class she said we only need 30, so as I wanted to use those fabrics for my star blocks, I had to trim those down by an inch before I could cut them to length.

And then I was not being very decisive on color combinations for the star blocks, while also trying to mix them up. We hadn't been given any fabric shopping guidelines as far as a design perspective in the pre-class supplies list, so I didn't realize I'd need some higher contrast options, which made the decisions harder.

I should press the pieces, since not all of them are quite flat, but meh. I've spent enough time on this for the weekend.
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silentq: (post via email)
Met with the condo handyman at 7:15am yesterday (! - we'd set 7:30, half an hour before I leave for work, luckily I woke up a bit early and saw his text about coming 15 mins early).
Mostly notes for myself:Read more... )
Still not happy that I'm stuck with all the on the spot meeting with people, but at least owner#1 is coming by to mow while I'm away this weekend. He seems to have made a decision to be more involved and is following through (second time mowing).

My internal to the condo past due to do item is to settle on and order 3 ceiling fans (the second bedroom one is dying a slow death, the living room was dead when I moved in, and the first bedroom one died at the tail end of summer). I have a quote for installation (2 people, 2 hours, much better than me struggling with it for a day, so throwing money at the problem it is). I've lost the link to the one I found and thought I'd book marked and I'm lost in a sea of choices. I think I'll go with the Hunter brand whisper quiet ones, just trying to decide if I get all three the same, or make fashion based choices on a per room basis. :-) Mostly worried about spending enough that I don't have to replace them again in a couple years. Tips welcome!

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jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)

Friday is almost finished with this first draft…

 

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)

Senate Republicans have finally released what appears to be the draft text of H.R. 1628, the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017.”

It’s 142 pages, and to be honest, I’m having a hard time deciphering it all. (Not a lawyer or a legislator.) But here are some things that stood out at me…

Elimination of the individual and employer mandate. (Pages 10-11)

Tax repeals on medications, health insurance, health savings accounts, etc. (Pages 25-29)

This includes the “Repeal of Tanning Tax” on page 29.

The continuing attack on abortion rights.

“Disallowance of small employer health insurance credit for plan which includes coverage for abortion.” (Pages 8-9)

“No Federal funds provided from a program referred to in this subsection that is considered direct spending for any year may be made available to a State for payments to a prohibited entity,” which is then defined as an entity providing abortion services except in cases of rape, incest, or when the woman’s life is in danger. (Page 35)

#

According to a USA Today analysis, this bill would:

  • Reduce or eliminate most subsidies for individuals and families
  • “Eliminate the ACA’s requirement that insurers can’t charge older customers more than three times what younger customers pay for the same coverage. Instead, those in their 60s could be charged five times as much, or more.”
  • Eliminate penalties to large employers who choose not to offer health insurance. (Elimination of the employer mandate.)
  • Make it easier to drop coverage for things like maternity care and mental health issues.

CNN points out that the bill would also:

  • Defund Planned Parenthood for a year.
  • Require coverage of preexisting conditions. However, it also lets states “waive the federal mandate on what insurers must cover… This would allow insurers to offer less comprehensive policies, so those with pre-existing conditions may not have all of their treatments covered.”

A PBS article says the bill would:

  • Cap and reduce Medicaid funding, and allow states to add a work requirement for “able-bodied” recipients of Medicaid.
  • Provide $2 billion to help states fight opioid addiction

Fox News, unsurprisingly, focused on what they saw as positive in the proposed bill:

  • It preserves health care for people with preexisting conditions (with the potential exceptions noted in the CNN bullets, above), and allows children to stay on their parents’ insurance plan through age 26.
  • It expands health care savings accounts.
  • It provides a short-term stabilization fund to help struggling insurance markets.

The Congressional Budget Office is expected to release their report on the senate bill next week. The CBO estimated that the House-passed bill would result in 26 million fewer insured Americans by 2026, and would cut the budget by $119 billion over the same time. (Source)

#

Nothing here is particularly shocking. I’m glad I and my family can’t be kicked off our insurance for our various preexisting conditions…though some of those conditions might no longer be covered, which sucks. It would hurt the poor, the elderly, women, and the mentally ill, among others. None of my readers will be shocked to hear that I think this is another step backward. The ACA was far from perfect — it’s like a patient with a broken leg, but instead of trying to fix the broken leg, we’ll just throw them through a woodchipper, because hey, it’s cheaper!

It looks like this may be a tight vote, which would make this an excellent time to call your Senator.

Please keep any comments civil. I’m angry about this too, but I don’t have the time or the spoons to moderate fights and nastiness today. (Which probably means I shouldn’t have posted this in the first place, but I never claimed to be that bright…)

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

silentq: (post via email)
According to Fitocracy's summary emails, over the last two weeks I've travelled 22 + 23 miles. Only 6 of that is biking, and I did a 3 mile run on Monday that's not included. Longer runs + a long hiking trip = sore feet. I stepped wrong on a cobble during a 6ish mile walk to look at the tall ships for Sail Boston on Saturday and had to rest a bit to let my big toe joint calm down, but it was fine for a run two days later, but I'm happy to be in my ramping down/rest period before Tough Mudder on Saturday, that will add 10+ miles to this week, but on grass and mud, so no more concrete for a while. Coincidentally, talked to a colleague today who's in a boot since she just had bunion surgery. She hadn't been able to run because of it. I'm not looking forward to that possible surgery in my future, but I'll give up running if I can still walk. I did find a nervy part on my foot when I was stretching the other night - sitting legs straight, toes pointed, the top of my foot is often tight, but this sparked.
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copperbadge: (Default)
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. 

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lil_m_moses: (hurricane)
Why, hello there, Potential Tropical Cyclone 3 Tropical Storm Cindy! Please be kind!

(We're currently under a Tropical Storm Watch, TBD whether it'll become an official storm, but it looks like it'll hit sometime tomorrow, and we'll almost certainly be on the clean side. Either way, we should have strong winds from the north/east quadrant, and some rain, but probably not egregious amounts of it.)
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jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)

“We’re so conditioned to believe that white is the default that we write ourselves out of the worlds that we create.”

Invisible 3 CoverDawn Xiana Moon is one of the contributors to Invisible 3, which comes out on June 27 and includes 18 essays and poems about representation in science fiction and fantasy. You can preorder the collection at:

Amazon | Kobo | iBooks | Smashwords | Google Play

(It will be available for Nook as well, but we don’t have that link yet.)

Any profits from the sale of the collection go to Con or Bust, helping fans of color to attend SF/F conventions.

As with Invisible and Invisible 2, the contributors to this third volume have shared work that’s heartfelt, eye-opening, honest, thoughtful, and important…not to mention relevant to so much of what we see happening in the genre today.

#

Of Asian-Americans and Bellydancing Wookiees, by Dawn Xiana Moon

We have always existed.

In the early days of the internet, back when we were on Prodigy or CompuServe and email addresses were long strings of numbers with a comma in between, I was answering distress calls on derelict starships. America Online (because it wasn’t yet AOL) launched an ad campaign that envisioned an internet with graphics; I dodged Borg at Warp Six. I outsmarted Q when he appeared on my bridge, launched photon torpedoes at Romulans, and flirted with fellow Starfleet officers in Ten Forward. I was thirteen. And like a good overachiever, I wondered if I could list being second-in-command of the CompuServe sim group Fleet 74 on lists of my activities and accomplishments, right next to years of piano lessons, parts in theatre productions, dancing and singing in the community show choir, and the environmental and video game clubs I’d started (and of course led as president).

My father is an aerospace engineer; by the time we moved from Singapore to the US, I was five years old and already lived in a world where discussing wrap drive was normal. My AP Biology teacher was shocked when I mentioned a singularity in class one day, surprised that a high school senior would know the term (which she made me define in front of the class before she was satisfied), but I’d been raised on a steady diet of Star Trek, Star Wars, Babylon 5, and every science fiction and fantasy novel I could get my hands on—my father handed me Isaac Asimov books in elementary school and I read them, wondering why I didn’t have a robot nanny or automatic food-making gadgets. I am a native speaker of technobabble.

All that to say: I’ve always been a nerd. And proudly so. But growing up I rarely saw people that looked like me onscreen—sure, we had Sulu, but George Takei was closer to my grandparents’ age than mine. Asian characters were few and far between, and girls? Girls didn’t like Vulcans or computers. Girls especially didn’t like dancing and princesses and talking about the space-time continuum all at the same time. Or so I was told.

But I was Asian. And female. And I existed.

I was the girl who hung out at the arcade playing Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat, first surprising boys who saw a girl in front of a fighting game, then shocking them when I won. I was the foreigner who walked into first grade in the middle of the school year, a Chinese kid from another country but a native speaker of English. I was the founding member of the high school forensics team who learned quickly that judges gave higher ratings to performances of minority stories by minority students than they did mainstream stories by minority students—so while the handful of black students I competed against performed passages from Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, I lent dramatic flair to Amy Tan’s Joy Luck Club. I often won.

And now? I’m the bellydancer, firespinner, singer-songwriter, and nerd who designs and codes websites. I obsess with sparkles and sequins and makeup and then wrestle with merge conflicts in GitHub. I flirt with audiences and shimmy to Balkan brass bands and then debate backstage whether Daleks or Cylons would win in a fight. I sing 19th century French poetry layered on piano parts in 7/8 time inspired by traditional Chinese folk music, Americana, and jazz. I break stereotypes into tiny pieces and eat them like candy. I exist.

#

Growing up, the few Asians I saw in media invariably fell into tropes: the martial arts master, the submissive woman, the uber-nerd/scientist, the Dragon Lady seductress. None of these matched my personality. While I was able to beg my way into flute and voice lessons—in addition to piano—my father refused to let me study tae kwon do on the grounds that it would be “like handing a kid a loaded gun and telling him not to use it.” People told me I was bossy—my heroes were characters like Princess Leia and Babylon 5’s Delenn, forces of personality who were fully themselves and didn’t need rescuing. I was more Captain Kirk than Yeoman Rand. I was a geek, but I had far more interest in music and dance than I did in math or chemistry; science interested me primarily as story. And I had no idea what it would mean to be seductive—my conservative evangelical church preached “modesty,” and Bible camp banned spaghetti strap tank tops, two-piece swimsuits, and short shorts on the grounds that they would evoke lust in the boys.

I didn’t exist.

I grew up around Americans who discussed race in black and white terms, expressing couched racism with the assumed understanding that I was one of them. Those were the same Americans who complimented my English, told me my face was flat, and pontificated about how eating Chinese food was great except that you were hungry again immediately afterward. After the last election, CNN disseminated a chart of votes with breakdowns by both race and gender: Black men voted this way, black women this way, Hispanic men and women these ways. Asian-Americans didn’t appear on the chart—we were literally “Other.”

As an Asian-American theatre major, so often I was cast as that literal Other: I spent two summers performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream in college. The first year, I was one of the fairies. So were most of the black students. The one who wasn’t a fairy was cast as Hippolyta, the Queen of the Amazons. The second year, we reprised the show; I was cast as Hippolyta. All of the black students were fairies. The Greeks and lovers were uniformly white.

How often do we cast an Asian-American as the protagonist, the superhero whose origin story we follow? How often do we allow an Asian-American to lead a movie as a swashbuckling rogue, the resistance fighter who marries a princess along the way, the rockstar with thousands of screaming fans? Hollywood casts Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One in Doctor Strange, Scarlett Johansson as Major Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell, Mackenzie Davis as Mindy Park in The Martian—with so few roles available to begin with, we’re often denied even characters who should look like us. We’re over 5% of the US population, but only 1.4% of the lead characters in studio films released in 2014. According to Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, the majority of media features zero named or speaking Asian characters. Zero.

Two years ago I attended a curated acoustic music showcase where every single one of the musicians was a white guy with a bushy beard. Most of them wore plaid. Producers often think of diversity in terms of instrumentation or musical style; I’ve released two albums of original music, toured 10 states, and performed hundreds of shows, but it’s rare to see another folk singer-songwriter of color. While the genre is dominated by white people, Asian-Americans are making this music. And making it well. We exist, but we’re not part of the narrative.

#

Living in a world where people who look like you are functionally non-existent yields odd fruit. As an ambitious elementary school kid, I wrote (what I considered then) a novel. Starring ninjas. Based heavily on the Ninja Gaiden video game. Of course I Mary Sued my way into the story. But I always envisioned my surrogate as white. And male. (Because, we’re told, the appropriate protagonist of an adventure story is white. And male.) Likewise, when I wrote other stories, every character—heroes, villains, NPCs—was white.

Bryan Lee O’Malley of Scott Pilgrim fame talks about how he never realized that he’d whitewashed himself out of his own story until seeing his comic in movie form and realizing that no one looked like him. As I’ve talked with other Asian-Americans, I’ve realized that I wasn’t the only one—many of us did the same thing. Even the excellent Ted Chiang—one of my favorite writers, and the first Asian-American I can recall encountering in science fiction—falls into this. We’re so conditioned to believe that white is the default that we write ourselves out of the worlds that we create.

#

I refuse to be invisible.

Faced with a culture that minimizes the existence of Asian-Americans in the arts, I’ve long created my own projects. In 2012, I founded Raks Geek, joining my love of geekdom and dance to form a nerd-themed bellydance and fire performance company that features a primarily Asian and LGBTQIA cast. While our society pigeonholes Asians as socially-awkward scientists, perpetual foreigners, and weak submissives, I’m determined to show Asians can be creative, tough, and unconventional.

“To dance is a radical act.”*

A body on a stage makes a statement. A female, POC body on a stage makes a statement. When I dance, I’m changing the narrative, the story of what an Asian-American woman is allowed to be. When I dance with Raks Geek, I’m making an audience laugh at the ridiculousness of a Wookiee shimmying, but I’m also bringing a new audience to an insular dance form, teaching them what bellydance looks like at a high level of technical and artistic proficiency, and defying a host of model minority and immigrant stereotypes.

Visibility matters. Few would conceive of an Asian-American bellydancer performing as a Wookiee. Or Mystique. Or the TARDIS. But I do, and I hope to challenge perceptions of who we are and can be every time. We exist, and we have always been here.

We exist.

_____

* “To dance is a radical act because doing so implies that there are forms of knowing that cannot be mediated to us in words, which give words their meaning.” -Kimerer LaMothe

***

Dawn Xiana Moon is a lifelong geek that has worked professionally in almost every area of the arts. She the Founder and Producer/Director of Raks Geek, a nerd-themed bellydance and fire company that’s garnered acclaim from WGN-TV, MSN, Chicago Tribune, The Daily Mail, and UK Channel 4 TV. As a singer-songwriter, Dawn has performed in 10 states and released two solo albums; her latest CD, Spaces Between, fuses elements from traditional Chinese music with jazz and alt folk pop. She performs with Read My Hips tribal bellydance, spins fire with Acrobatica Infiniti circus, works as a UX designer and web developer, and has written for Uncanny Magazine, The Learned Fangirl, and RELEVANT Magazine. Though she loves Chicago, she periodically needs to flee the US; her wanderlust has brought her to 20 countries (and counting!) thus far.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

copperbadge: (Default)
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. 

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copperbadge: (literate men need books)
Taking a little break from Tracy Chevalier (we’ll be back to her soon)...

So, [tumblr.com 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 )
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copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
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.

[tumblr.com 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.

[tumblr.com 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.

[tumblr.com 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:

[tumblr.com 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.

Housing:

[tumblr.com 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 gmail.com.

[tumblr.com 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.
lil_m_moses: (to-do)
Every opportunity:
- work on applications

what's past is past )

Monday:
- all day realtime OJT, or speed reading course in AM, if I get in
- ask about extending vacation a day to relax after travel
- deposit check
- weightlifting
- clean the dish drainer, microwave, kitchen counters, and misc. dusting
- clean our bathroom sink, mirror, and toilet, plus misc. dusting

Read more... )

Sometime These 2 Weeks (ideally, tasks to be assigned to days as I go)
- crunch numbers for Josh's open enrollment
- call arborist to come prune dead stuff, raise canopy, trim side oak back from house
- get boxes to Sa
- call Mo's general contractor and the one I found an ad for, and maybe try that website again with a different need path, to arrange for hall bath remodel/plumbing fix/mold cleanup, and to arrange for living room ceiling mold remediation and rebuild
- schedule massage w/ gift cert - call to see if they'll even honor that gift cert
- get new passport photo taken
- watch Fantastic Beasts and return to Netflix
- more stuff off big list as inspiration/time dictates
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lil_m_moses: (sun)
ProtoquiltHoly crap, it is too damned early in the summer for this kind of heat. The local airfield recorded a heat index of 110 this afternoon (on 95°F temperature), and I totally believe it. It's really fucking hot out there, and has been all week. When the day starts at 80°F and 90% humidity, you know it's going to be horrible. My mentor is moving to Denver to work for Sierra Nevada and we were outdoors at her going-away happy hour this evening, so the heat exacerbated my jealousy for where she'll be soon.

I'm catching lots of awesome Pokemon that we don't often see in this fire and ice solstice festival, but man, walking around for them is sweaty work. So many of them are strong, though, that I'm going through a load of balls. I taught myself to throw the sparkly curve balls tonight (though I usually just get curveball credit for not throwing quite straight *shrug*). I could have evolved a Typhlosion tonight, but opted to evolve a better Quilava first, now that I actually have a selection, and same story with Piloswine. I actually caught a wild Charizard on Wednesday! I've been happy to see some other non-fire/ice rarities pop up too. I got my Ampharos and Houndoom last week. I _just_ hatched another Tyrogue, but still not the kind that'll give me a Hitmontop.

Had my house valuation protest hearing first thing this morning, which required getting up way too damned early to drive to the opposite end of town during rush hour. It went OK, I guess. I had asked for a value reduction of $25k. The emailed counter offer was a reduction of $1.4k (hahahahaNO). The review board this morning said they'd recomment a reduction of $16k. I'll take it, I guess; I do have the ability to appeal, but it's not worth the effort.

Spent the work day (actually got in only an hour late, since I was mostly going in the reverse commute direction) at a work retreat. We talked about our Strengths Finder results and the group dynamics of that, and some other general stuff, plus one of the Flight Directors came in and gave us a talk, but sadly we didn't talk about any really substantive department issues.

This evening I went to Jo-Ann and picked out some fabrics for my quilt (Spoonflower couldn't have printed and shipped me anything in time, even if I had been anywhere close to a decision on the day I got reacquainted with their site). It's not The Best Fabrics Ever, but I generally like the ones I picked and it'll be fine. They're all blues and teal blues and bluey purples, one of my favorite color families. I'm still a little fuzzy on what we need other than a bunch of 2.5" strips, so I got 6 different half-yards that I'll cut up into those strips, and I got a coordinating remnant and a few other coordinating prepackaged fat quarters that I may or may not need for the central stars. And the materials list didn't even talk about backer fabric, so I guess we'll talk about that in class at some point.
lagilman: coffee or die (Castiel)
 So, I spent the a few days in the (VERY COLD) Oregon woods, sleeping in a tent and cooking over an open flame (ok, and using those nifty jetpackish water heaters for coffee), reminding myself about the Importance of Civilization, and came home to the discover that the trade paper reprint of THE COLD EYE  (1/18) is up on Amazon for pre-order!

Amazon US / Amazon Canada / Amazon UK /

(as soon as other outlets have it up, I'll do the formal and important "where to buy everywhere" update for those of us who prefer to buy elsewhere)

But this means I can (finally!) show you the nifty new cover by artist Emma Rios, who did an amazing job capturing so much of the Devil's West in one illustration....

(seriously: I gasped when I first saw the sketch.  As much as I loved the first take by Palencar, showing us Izzy in all her glorious non-Anglo self, this hits the spirit of the Territory, dead on.)

 

(link here if image won't load)

THE COLD EYE

 

 

 

 

 

And no, I have no idea if they will be repackaging SILVER ON THE ROAD as well.  Nobody tells the author nuthin' until it's already underway....

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Dutch Baby is by far the most dramatic of all the pastries. 

Look how impressed my owl spoon rest is and DO NOT look at how oh my god filthy my stove is….

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