Monday, June 26th, 2017 09:28 pm
I have turned into some sort of ridiculous food hipster. Well, only a little bit? Maybe?


  • Because I am a lazy cook AND I am kinda-sorta following a ketogenic diet, I am perfectly willing to keep my freezer stocked with bags of pre-made cauliflower "rice". Tonight it meant I could make a faux mac 'n cheese. The cauliflower rice made a good binder/vehicle for ALL THE CHEESE (and bacon).

  • Speaking of cheese, I Have Opinions about what brand of the puffed cheese bites are the best. (They're ... baked puffs of cheese. That's it. Om nom nom.) For the record, Trader Joe's makes the best ones.

  • Did you know that there are organic, non-gmo pork rinds and pork cracklings? I bet you didn't. Not gonna lie tho', they're delicious. And fill that need salty crunchy snack NOW craving that I still get.

  • But you want really ridiculous food hipster? There's a store in PDX I may have mentioned before: The Meadow. They sell cocktail bitters, fancy chocolate, and fancy salt. That's it. I just mail-ordered cocoa nib and vanilla sea salts. (To be fair, it's one of my favorite stores in PDX, and I try to go there when I'm in town. But still. I just mail-ordered fancy salt.)



... and that's not even getting into how our household only buys coffee from a local artisan coffee roaster and uses a cult favorite coffee press every day.
Tags:
Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 12:30 am

Posted by Dave Hingsburger

Waiting is never fun.

We left Vancouver well over an hour late because the plane had a slight mechanical problem which needed fixing before take off. So it was dark when we landed, Joe needed to wait for a shuttle to take him to the car, the shuttle wasn't accessible so I had to wait in a different spot not knowing when he'd be arriving. I wasn't in a bad mood, but I was tired. My face, at rest, looks angry. My face when I'm tired makes me look very severe. I know that. People leave me alone as a result. I'm got with that.

So, I was surprised to be spoken to.

A girl of maybe 12 or 13 was standing beside me looking at me intently. She was with her mother, who like me, was watching an unending flow of cars for one she recognized. I looked over to her, not quite hearing what she said, "Pardon me?" I asked.

"It's not OK you know," she said.

I didn't know what she was talking about. "I'm sorry, what's not OK?" She paused, took a breath and said, "The way people stare at you, it's not OK." I was flabbergasted. Partly because I hadn't been noticing others noticing me, I was just looking for our car in the long line up of cars coming to the pick up area of the airport. I looked around and did notice the occasional stare or two. I didn't know what to say to her.

"People sometimes stare and me and my mom, and it's not OK." She was quietly adamant. She and her mother were both people of colour and I could imagine exactly what she was talking about. I was sorry that she had had the experience of 'othering' that comes with being stared at.

I measured my words. My first response had been, "I'm used to it," but that had been when she first spoke. I was not going to say to a child that hurtful behaviour becomes the norm and that one grows accustomed to it. I simply wasn't going to say it. I couldn't.

So, I just said, "Yes, it's wrong. People know better." She nodded her head, "Good, so you know," she said.

I nodded my head and we both fell back into waiting.
Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 12:54 am
New DW Communities

[dreamwidth.org profile] drawesome is "a friendly community of fan-artists who enjoy drawing. We hope to inspire and motivate each other to practice and hone our drawing skills in a stress-free, supportive environment."

[dreamwidth.org profile] comicsroundtable is "a fannish community for comics discussion, reviews, and general chat."


Fannish/Geeky Things

Neat Twitter thread on Wonder Woman costuming, written by a costume designer.

"Wonder Woman Actor Says Chief Is Actually a Demi-God". [io9]

"Dungeons & Dragons Wouldn’t Be What It Is Today Without These Women".

"More Murderbot Adventures from Martha Wells". [Tor.com]


Miscellaneous

"Disney Princesses Reimagined Years Later As Queens By Daughters And Mothers". "The main idea was to portray the relationship between a true mother and daughter as the same princesses a generation apart to show the similarities, the features that are alike." (Related ~10-minute YouTube video, which I haven't watched.)

"Report Finds Diverse Movies Outperform White Ones At Every Level".

"Declawing: A new study shows we can’t look the other way".

"Host a Silent Reading Party in 7 Easy Steps". [Book Riot]

"Why Honeybees Are The Wrong Problem To Solve".

"Invention Saves Wildlife From Drowning in Swimming Pools".

"Sitka artist designs slinky dress from 20,000 salmon bones".

"How I use comic books as a learning tool in my social studies classroom". [March 2016]



On Atlas Obscura:

--"Most of the World’s Bread Clips Are Made by a Single Company".

--"Jupiter Is Even Weirder Than We Thought".

--"Laurel Dinosaur Park: This dig site outside D.C. is known for its exceptionally high density of baby dinosaur fossils and dinosaur eggs".

--"The Wartime Spies Who Used Knitting as an Espionage Tool".
Monday, June 26th, 2017 08:40 pm
Jenna Black's Replica is a YA sf novel that I picked up from the library one-cent-a-book discard sale along with its sequel Resistance. I have just finished Replica and have not yet read Resistance, although I plan on getting to it soon. My verdict is that this is a good novel, but it could have been so much better.

I was attracted to Replica because clones and faux!amnesia are bulletproof narrative kinks for me. You have to work to foul those up for me. Here's the back cover copy:
Sixteen-year-old Nadia Lake's marriage has been arranged with the most powerful family in the Corporate States. She lives a life of privilege, even if she has to put up with paparazzi tracking her every move, every detail of her private life tabloid fodder. But her future is assured, as long as she can maintain her flawless public image--no easy feat when your betrothed is a notorious playboy.

Nathaniel Hayes is the heir to the company that pioneered human replication: a technology that every state and every country in the world would kill to have. Except he's more interested in sneaking around the seedy underbelly of the state formerly known as New York than he is in learning to run his future company or courting his bride-to-be. She's not exactly his type...not that he can tell anyone that.

But then Nate turns up dead, and Nadia was the last person to see him alive.

When the new Nate wakes up in the replication tanks, he knows he must have died, but with a memory that only reaches to his last memory backup, he doesn't know what--or rather, who--killed him.

Together, Nadia and Nate must discover what really happened without revealing the secrets that those who run their world would kill to protect.

What's good: there's a lot packed into the premise. Nadia is genteelly raised, but far from spineless, and easy to sympathize with. Nate is a closeted gay man in a social class of a future society that strongly discourages homosexuality, and one of his major motivations is to protect his lower-class lover. And Nadia and Nate's friendship with its ups and downs is believable.

Neutral: the Executive class of elites allows women to inherit, but there's a behavioral double standard as to what men and women can get away with, which is why Nadia has to watch her every move so she doesn't cause scandals while Nate can act out all he wants. The narrative states that this is some kind of throwback to the nineteenth century (Western, presumably?). There isn't much explanation given for how this developed, but I've seen sillier setups in sf so I was willing to go along with it.

What's less good, without going into spoilers: As far as I can tell, the entire named cast minus one character (Chloe, a friend of Nadia's) is white. There is lip-service paid to Chloe feeling like an outcast because she's black, and then Chloe is very rapidly shuffled off-stage and we never hear from her again.

That's not actually my biggest complaint about the novel. My biggest complaint about the novel is that it has a lot of tense action and still never manages to punch hard enough. And I don't mean this in the social justice sense of punching down or sideways or diagonally or whateverthehell. I mean this in terms of narrative impact on the reader.

I can't discuss further without spoiling the whole thing, and I am really frustrated by the fact that this fairly good novel could have taken my favorite tropes and done them even better, so let's have a spoiler cut: Read more... )
Tags:
Monday, June 26th, 2017 10:34 pm


Mosque approved despite pleas to think of the little turtles and an odd assertion that the mosque would produce more sewage than "normal " spiritual use.
Monday, June 26th, 2017 09:55 pm
It was the first day at St. Bonaventure University, to which I was transferring after two years above the Adirondacks at Potsdam State. One of the girls down the hall, who had been there for a couple of years, was showing me around the campus and filling me in on which professors to take for which classes, and which to avoid because they weren't as good, and which to avoid because they hit on the students -- all good things to know.

After we'd wandered around most of the buildings, she took me to the nature trails, on the wilder part of the campus by the river. The trails had been there for a century or more, weaving through the woods and the nearby swamp; the longer trail we ended up on ran from the village to the west, past the campus, and into a park halfway to the city of Olean, on the east. It was well-worn dirt, not bad for walking, and she was talking and gesturing as we walked and I listened.

Then I looked up.

There were trees on both sides of the trail, so we were walking under the arch of their branches. And on one of those low branches -- say, 15' from the ground -- there was a bald eagle, and it was staring at me. It shifted around on the branch to face me full on.

I tried to get her attention; I couldn't manage to interrupt her, and we kept walking forward toward that branch.

The eagle lifted off, watching me the whole time, and swooped low, its claws nearly touching my head, and swung off into the woods.

The girl with me never saw a thing.

I learned later that the eagle was one that had been found injured in a farmer's field, had been taken to a branch of the Audubon Society, where they had a vet who patched up wounded birds, and rehabilitated. When she was released, she built a nest on the edge of the swamp, near the river. That wasn't a bad choice for a fish-eating bird -- that river had four-foot carp, not to mention catfish and other fish.

I used to see the eagle again, when I was walking through the trails, taking a break from class. There was a small clearing in the woods, with a stone bench that caught the sun, and it was a good place to study or catch up on reading -- I've never been able to study with other people around me. After a while, the animals would come out to see what this odd thing was that smelled like a human but didn't move like one. I would see deer fairly often, and parts of wild turkeys (you never saw a whole one -- they always kept part of a tree between you and them), and once or twice a fox. But they left when I moved, and none of them gave me the intense close encounter that I had with that eagle.
Monday, June 26th, 2017 09:42 pm
Ibid has a ... troubled history with Nigel so we're holding off on that.

No histrionics but somehow Rufus established himself as a cat Fig needs not to annoy, whereas Nigel is someone Fig will happily follow around.

Also, Fig made himself sick eating daisies, then tried to eat one again.
Monday, June 26th, 2017 09:34 pm
It's been a lovely day. I slept in, for moderate values of "sleeping in," and then had as brief exchange with the person at the press who is managing my current editing job, which ended up with me basically being told to take the rest of the week off while they try to catch up to the work I've already done on the manuscript. Okay then!

Then I had a long phone call with my best friend, whom I hadn't had a chance to catch up with in a while. I got on the treadmill for half an hour of the first real exercise I've gotten in weeks; I'm just getting over a wicked cold that settled in my lungs, and before that I was crazy busy for a couple of weeks.

And then Geoff and I went round to the local independent canoe and kayak and general boating outdoorsiness store and picked up our new kayaks! Geoff's been wanting to get them for a couple of years; he grew up sailing, and we went kayaking when we visited his brother and brother-in-law a couple of years ago, who live on a waterway. Now we have kayaks and life jackets and paddles and a roof rack for the car, and we took them all down to the edge of Lac Saint Louis (which is really just a wide spot in the Saint Lawrence River near us) and launched them! We spent about an hour paddling around, seeing ducks and making jokes about playing pirate on the occasional sailboat and just rocking gently in the waves. I expect my shoulders will be achy tomorrow, but we calculated we have to go out about twenty times before buying becomes cheaper than renting, so we will keep it up!

We came home, figured out how to get the kayaks off the roof rack and into the back yard, and -- after showering the river water off -- went out to dinner, because by that time it was almost seven. And when we came home I sacked out on the couch while Geoff made a loaf of banana bread with not only extra bananas but a good half cup or more of rum. It is hot and moist and delicious and we may eat the entire loaf before we get to bed, I'm just saying. (Not all the alcohol seems to have cooked out, but since Star Trek: The Final Frontier is on TV, that may be a good thing.)

So far, this year of my life is going pretty well!
Monday, June 26th, 2017 06:03 pm
This is it folks, this is the big one. I don't need to tell you that, I suppose, but here we are. Even in California, where my Senators are firmly No-votes and leaders in the resistance, there are things we can do to stand up and fight -- here's a short to-do list for anyone who lives in a state with two Democratic Senators.

A few links on healthcare:

And other things:
  • The Brookings Institution put out a scathing editorial on voter suppression in the United States, a good overview of recent court decisions with some damning statistics.

  • The Associated Press published a report on the effects of gerrymandering, and it's not pretty.

  • It probably shouldn't come as a surprise that the Democrats lost the special election in Georgia's 6th Congressional District, and in fact the narrow loss continues the trend of being competitive in districts that ought to be safe GOP, but given how much effort and money we poured into that district, it's also understandable that people were disappointed. But the rush of pundits and BernieBots to blame Nancy Pelosi for the loss is both a headscratcher, and almost unbearably stupid. Charles Pierce explains why.

  • And maybe before you get too invested in demonizing one of the most powerful women in the Democratic party, maybe you should consider who is in the trenches, doing the actual work in places like the Georgia 6th.

  • Meanwhile, another Congressional special election flew completely under the radar: the South Carolina 5th. The Republican won that seat as well, but by an even smaller margin. This is not a seat that any polls suggested ought to be competitive, and the Democrats spent almost no money here. This ought to scare the GOP; we'll see if they heed the warning.

  • Maryland and the District of Columbia have sued Donald Trump for violations of the emoluments clause and other conflict of interest laws.
Monday, June 26th, 2017 08:53 pm
Sign ups are due to end in 48 hours. What time is that for me?

I'm a little worried because we're currently under 20 sign-ups and I'm not sure if we're going to get enough to make matching possible. Hopefully everyone's waiting till the last minute. Hopefully everyone's waiting till the last minute. Tell your friends, tell your enemies. Encourage them to sign up!
Tags:
Monday, June 26th, 2017 05:33 pm
Today we went hiking. (Me, sib, mom, dad - our fourfold knot in the family web.)

Aunt needed some space. Her mom is over there taking care of cousin. We'll see them tomorrow.

We hiked up to the top of the ridge, added stones to a cairn, and said a few words.

My aunt on my mom's side and one of her grown sons, my oldest cousin, met us for dinner at the lodge, and we talked.

The woods here are so lovely--
Tags:
Monday, June 26th, 2017 11:00 pm

Posted by Samuel Pepys

(Lord’s day). Up, and Sir J. Minnes set me down at my Lord Sandwich’s, where I waited till his coming down, when he came, too, could find little to say to me but only a general question or two, and so good-bye. Here his little daughter, my Lady Katharine was brought, who is lately come from my father’s at Brampton, to have her cheek looked after, which is and hath long been sore. But my Lord will rather have it be as it is, with a scarr in her face, than endanger it being worse by tampering. He being gone, I went home, a little troubled to see he minds me no more, and with Creed called at several churches, which, God knows, are supplied with very young men, and the churches very empty.

So home and at our owne church looked in, and there heard one preach whom Sir W. Pen brought, which he desired us yesterday to hear, that had been his chaplin in Ireland, a very silly fellow. So home and to dinner, and after dinner a frolique took us, we would go this afternoon to the Hope; so my wife dressed herself, and, with good victuals and drink, we took boat presently and the tide with us got down, but it was night, and the tide spent by the time we got to Gravesend; so there we stopped, but went not on shore, only Creed, to get some cherries, and send a letter to the Hope, where the Fleete lies. And so, it being rainy, and thundering mightily, and lightning, we returned. By and by the evening turned mighty clear and moonshine; we got with great pleasure home, about twelve o’clock, which did much please us, Creed telling pretty stories in the boat. He lay with me all night.

Read the annotations