Interesting Links for 19-09-2017

Sep. 19th, 2017 12:00 pm

(no subject)

Sep. 18th, 2017 04:49 pm
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
[personal profile] maju
I thought it was going to be another fairly warm day today, but in fact I've been just barely warm enough all day in a t-shirt and shorts, and I had to put on some socks because my feet were cold. I love it, even though the humidity is very high. I went for an early run this morning (about 4.8 miles/7.5 km) and ended up almost completely drenched in sweat.

A few weeks ago (probably before I went to Australia) I bought some fabric printed all over with cats to make a pair of pj pants for Violet because she is a big cat lover. Today I finally got around to making a start on the pants. Well, technically I started last week by cutting them out, but today I sewed them together. Now all that's left is to hem the top and bottom and insert elastic. When Violet wears them I plan to tell her she's the cat's pyjamas.

(no subject)

Sep. 17th, 2017 03:18 pm
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
[personal profile] maju
There's something sad and lonely about weekends when you're alone. Somehow the days seem purposeless, even when I'm doing useful things like laundry and grocery shopping. So today I decided to take myself out to use up some of those long hours. I went by Metro to Tyson's Corner to visit LL Bean, a 3 hour or so round trip. I wanted to look at LL Bean's selection of luggage, as the bag I've been using for about the last ten years is showing lots of signs of wear, and no wonder after several trips to and from Australia, a few to and from England, and a few domestic flights. I'm quite surprised the bag lasted as long as it did, considering how luggage gets thrown around by baggage handlers.

Anyway, I looked at various bags, rather hampered by an over-zealous store clerk who kept dashing over to show me things, which I always find super annoying. It makes me lose focus and I find it much harder to concentrate on what I really want to look for. Someone should tell people like her that more often than not, they're shooting themselves in the foot by interfering so much. I've been known to walk out without buying anything when there is somebody over-helpful hovering around even when I found something I wanted and would have bought it if left to myself. Today, however, I did not intend to buy a bag on the spot. I just wanted to look at them and see the quality for myself, then if I saw one I liked the look of, I would come home and order it online. As it happens, I did see one I liked, and I did come home and order it, but I didn't give Ms Officious the satisfaction of letting her know I was planning to do so.

After looking at bags I had an earlyish lunch; unfortunately it was rather forgettable. That's the second mediocre meal I've had while out in the last few days, which is a shame since I so rarely eat out. After I'd been to the dermatologist downtown I decided to have lunch at Union Station before coming home, so I went to a diner where I had a not-very-good chicken burger. The chicken itself was ok, but although the bun was advertised as being whole wheat it turned out to be soft squishy insubstantial white bread, to my disappointment. My lunch today was a quiche lorraine from a chain "French" restaurant. It wasn't very eggy - it seemed more like an egg custard, light on the eggs and heavy on some other liquid, and the stated flaky pastry wasn't very flaky. However, I did bring home from the same restaurant a lemon tart which was delicious. (I've just eaten it with a good cup of tea.)

Gaming and Other Activities

Sep. 17th, 2017 10:01 pm
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[personal profile] tcpip
Have had a fairly busy week in my favourite pastime. Every day this week I've been working on finishing Papers & Paychecks as well as RPG Review 35-36, now a double issue of Antipodean gaming material. To have both out by the end of the month would be ideal, and I think that is certainly going to happen at current rates of work. Much of RPG Review has been helped by [personal profile] reverancepavane whose epic writing for RPGaDay has been nothing less than extraordinary. In actual play on Wednesday finished the classic introductory Stormbringer scenario The Tower of Yrkath Florn which includes nothing less than a Melnibonéan wheel (my calculations put the value at around $3m AUD). As I've wryly remarked this may very well be our Stormbringer; a theme which I don't think the game does well is the idea of tragedy from power. It was also a heavy Eclipse Phase weekend, with a game on Friday night which curiously was chasing down a antagonist whom the players in my Sunday game are close to encountering for the first time. Whilst a good scenario, once again I could not help but chuckle at the author's rather light idea of what a seedy "sex and drugs and gangs" red-light district would consist of - especially in a transhumanist environment.

On Friday finally managed to write up my review of The Residents concert from March last year. On Saturday attended Software Freedom Day and the LUV AGM, where I have found myself on the committee for yet another year. Afterwards went to [livejournal.com profile] usekh's memorial birthday at the Back Bar. Kudos are due to [personal profile] damien_wise for doing most of the organising of the event. Today visited St Michael's to hear Rev. Ric Holland's impressive service on forgiveness, also taking the opportunity to introduce Shupu, to the location. I hadn't been for several months and was never a regular attendee, so I was quite surprised to discover a few people remembered me. The Rev. offered to catch up for coffee some time and I certainly intend to take up that invitation. Afterwards made my way to university, and stumbled upon the a protest against racism and fascism which I attended; the media of course, concentrated on a very minor disruption, ignoring the important message that the Rohingyan refugee speaking was presenting at the same time.

Interesting Links for 17-09-2017

Sep. 17th, 2017 12:00 pm

Trick Or Treat Exchange 2017

Sep. 17th, 2017 07:01 pm
vass: Jon Stewart reading a dictionary (books)
[personal profile] vass
Hi, Ghostwriter or Ghostartist!

Thank you for writing for me, and I hope it's fun for you. I'm heavily cribbing this letter from last year's (which was heavily cribbed from the year before that) because writing Dear Writer letters breaks my brain. /o\

more )

(no subject)

Sep. 16th, 2017 04:04 pm
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
[personal profile] maju
I'm already seeing more and more signs of autumn in our neighbourhood; a few trees are tinged with yellow or gold, and there are more and more dead leaves on the roads every day. After the wonderful weather we were having last weekend, though, it's turned warmer and humid again so it doesn't feel particularly autumnal right now. I don't think we will see any more nights above 20ºC/70ºF though; a more comfortable low to mid 60sF/15 to 18ºC is more the norm now and I'm loving sleeping with the windows open every night.

(no subject)

Sep. 16th, 2017 03:54 pm
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
[personal profile] maju
I'm so glad my daughter and son in law moved away from Wimbledon earlier this year. If they were still living in that area, my son in law could well have been on the train that was bombed yesterday.

Interesting Links for 16-09-2017

Sep. 16th, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

(no subject)

Sep. 15th, 2017 04:32 pm
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
[personal profile] maju
I usually try to have an all over skin/mole check every year, but I skipped last year because I kept putting off making the phone call. I can make an appointment online to see my GP or gynaecologist, but not to see the dermatologist. However, I've had a small sore on my right hand for several months so I was driven to make the appointment and today was the day. The dermatologist burnt off five or six suspicious lesions on my hands and face (including the one that had been bothering me for so long - he didn't think it was anything more than a precancerous lesion the same as all the other things).

He also gave me a prescription for some cream which I've used before which apparently really gets into the layers of your skin and destroys precancerous cells before they are even visible on the skin. He recommends that I use this on both sides of my face and on both my forearms. I'm not looking forward to this treatment because it makes your skin very red, sore, and scabby for two or three weeks. The doctor did say that the skin only goes red because of all the precancerous cells already present. If you used this cream on a baby there would be no redness. One of my sisters treated her whole face with this cream a few months ago and said she was extremely uncomfortable for several weeks, plus she was getting a lot of stares when she was out because of having a completely red face. Remembering how sore I felt when I was only treating a couple of small spots on my face, I know how bad it will probably be when I do half of my face at one time. I have to wait until later in the year before I start, because it's bad to have any sun exposure during the treatment. Doing my arms won't be a problem as long as the weather is cold enough for me to be wearing long sleeves, but my face is another matter.

I am angry about subscriptions

Sep. 15th, 2017 01:13 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker
When I rule the world the mechanism for cancelling a subscription will have to be at least as easy as the mechanism for setting one up.

So, for example*, if you can take out a subscription to the Financial Times online in about 30 seconds online, by clicking on a few options, then you should be able to cancel your subscription by clicking on something on your subscription details on their site. And they should not require you to email their support desk, reply with a second email explaining why you don't want it any more, and then answer a phone call wherein they offer it to you cheaper and then have to insist that, no, really, you don't want it any more.

The rule shall, instead, be that if ten random people take longer to unsubscribe than they did to subscribe that your home page will be replaced by a big flashing sign reading "We will treat you badly in the hope of holding on to your money."

Secondary rule: No introductory offers. Free trials are allowed (but must be easily cancellable, as above), but you can't offer new people a better deal than your existing customers. Introductory offers are a way of tricking people into signing up, and then hanging onto them when inertia stops them from cancelling/moving. Instead you must offer a good deal in the first place, which is sustainable, and which is easily compared to your competitors. I know this makes life harder for companies who are trying to hide long-term costs from their customers. I really, really, don't care.


*Or, possibly, exactly what happened to me at lunchtime.

Interesting Links for 15-09-2017

Sep. 15th, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

(no subject)

Sep. 14th, 2017 11:28 am
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
[personal profile] maju
Hurricane Irma seems to have petered out pretty quickly once it finished wiping out Florida. Last week we were getting dire warning about heavy rains and possible flooding as Irma worked its way north, but we ended up with a whopping ¼ inch of rain.

A couple of days ago I thought to check on our dogwood tree which tends to wilt when it's hot and we don't get enough rain. I thought it would be fine because we haven't had any hot weather for a couple of weeks and we had been having a fair amount of rain up until last week, but to my surprise the poor tree's leaves were looking quite sadly droopy. Last week I had optimistically taken off the green watering bag and put it away thinking I wouldn't need it, so I got it out again and filled it with water, and by next day the tree was looking much happier. I'm resigned to leaving it in place until the tree loses its leaves. I'm so glad I discovered this bag watering system - so much easier than lugging buckets of water across the yard.

Interesting Links for 14-09-2017

Sep. 14th, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

Interesting Links for 13-09-2017

Sep. 13th, 2017 12:00 pm

(no subject)

Sep. 12th, 2017 03:56 pm
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
[personal profile] maju
Many people in Australia are very exercised at the moment by the impending postal survey about whether or not gay marriage should be made legal in Australia. Polls already show that a majority of people in Australia support gay marriage, but for some reason the government is too wimpy to just go ahead and make it legal already.

What makes me mad is that some people complain about the vitriol and hatred flying around from what they claim are both sides of the argument. This is infuriating because the "No" side (i.e. mostly the religious right) is flinging around all kinds of lies, slander, and hatred about and towards gay people, while the "Yes" side is therefore accusing the other side of being bigots and homophobes. These do not seem to be equivalent accusations. If you spread lies and misinformation about a group in order to keep them marginalised, in my opinion that makes you a bigot; therefore it isn't a lie to accuse you of being such. But it is a lie to equate homosexuality with bestiality and paedophilia, and it is a lie to claim that children with gay parents are a "stolen generation" because they are being deprived of having one parent of each gender, and it is a lie to claim that making gay marriage legal will result in loss of both freedom of speech and religious freedom. It might not be a lie to claim that children should have both a father and a mother, but saying this discounts all the single parents who are successfully raising well adjusted and happy children, as well as ignoring all the gay couples currently raising well adjusted and happy children.

Unfortunately I've been out of Australia too long to be eligible to vote, otherwise I'd be making sure I registered my support for the "Yes" side.

(no subject)

Sep. 12th, 2017 03:41 pm
maju: Clean my kitchen (Default)
[personal profile] maju
Well, that was silly of me. I wanted to watch a DVD but I completely forgot we have a DVD player plugged into our TV, so I watched it via the computer that's also connected to the TV. This was more complicated than using the dedicated DVD player because I discovered that Windows 10 doesn't automatically give you a free video player with the OS; apparently you either have to pay to get a Microsoft video player or download a free one. Of course I went the free route, but it was a few extra steps that in the past, with previous versions of Windows, I wouldn't have had to go through. In spite of having to go through more steps to watch my DVD, I did end up with a video player on our Windows 10 computer so it's not all bad. I won't be caught out another time now.

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splodgenoodles

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