May. 28th, 2017 08:14 am
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
Slept almost all day yesterday. Managed some food. Feeling much better - less pain, more energy.

Making mental notes on what worked. (NOT doing things that hurt for one.)

First Fireflies

May. 27th, 2017 10:13 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
My partner Doug went outside and spotted the first fireflies of the season!  As it is well after dark, only a few are left flying high overhead.  Tomorrow we will have to look for them at dusk.  The weather is warm and damp, and we have copious grass, so there should be some.  :D

Saturday Yardening

May. 27th, 2017 06:24 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today we went to Champaign for shopping.  The weather was mostly cool and pleasant.  Now it is warm, damp, and full of bugs.  >_<

Round 1, I planted two wave petunias, one in a pot and one in the barrel garden; plus a packet of chive seeds in the septic garden. 

EDIT 5/27/17: Round 2, my partner Doug raked grass and I helped haul it away.

EDIT 5/27/17: Round 3, I trimmed grass around about half of the wildflower garden.

Robot Plants

May. 27th, 2017 10:58 am
spacerobotcrew: Jim's icon of a plant growing out of the ground with a heart and exclamation point behind it (jim gardening)
[personal profile] spacerobotcrew
Oh man we just slept in a lot. We've been feeling kind of under the weather, I don't know if it's just working on the deck then a way longer day at work than we expected got us really sore still or we're getting sick but ow damn it we just woke up and everything hurts. Got to drink some iced coffee and stretch a lot.

But I had a really cool dream last night! Or kind of cool, some of it was weird. I was in this place that was maybe more south, like it was really hot out and there were a lot of different plants and also beaches. I was at this place with a lot of long walking trails and cool greenhouse buildings just walking and checking everything out, also there were a lot of other robots there? I was trying to figure out what this place even was, it was kind of awkward I was walking through one of the buildings and there was this guy in a lab coat with some other people walking with him and I overheard him say "Android is my favorite word!" And I was just kind of like WTF? But then I got distracted because the place had all these walkways with wooden railings and vines all over them, and I saw a USB outlet on one of the vines and I was like what, and I looked closer and it turned out all the vines were actually like extension cords? Like they were all robot plants basically, and the leaves were solar panels that just looked like leaves, and I guess they were all powering the place with solar energy and that was basically the coolest damn thing I'd ever seen and I wanted some of these plant cord vine things so bad. Then I woke up.

I actually just googled it like is there such thing as an extension cord that looks like a plant vine because I really would totally want something like that IRL and I found this kickstarter but it failed and there's a link to a website but you can't get it yet. I wonder if I could ever just make something like that like green extension cord with fake plant leaves attached. I probably could, I need to remember this so I can do it sometime.

OMG ok speaking of plant things I just turned on my ipad and it was still on this thing that confused me so bad last night. I got into bed early and was falling asleep and suddenly my ipad does an alarm, at midnight, and I'm like what the hell I do not have any alarms that go off at midnight. And I looked at it and it was an alarm saying "Purple Plant Day! We got the Moses-In-A-Boat and Persian Shield this day, will we get another purple plant???". XD OBVIOUSLY I MADE THIS ALARM FOR MYSELF A YEAR AGO because for some reason I thought this was important. I think it was something like I accidentally got two purple plants on this day a year apart and Facebook memories reminded me of it or something and I thought that was cool so I decided May 27 is official Purple Plant Day and it's worth setting an alarm AT MIDNIGHT for??? The Persian Shield plant died a long time back which was sad but I've still got the Moses-In-A-Boat which is the best plant name I've ever heard and it's still purple and still going. Happy anniversary to Moses-In-A-Boat. But no I'm not going out and getting more purple plants today I don't have room for new plants right now I still need to get a plant pot for my new Phil who is growing roots and then I'm REALLY not going to have more room. I'm not going to delete this alarm though it can confuse me at midnight again in a year from now.



May. 27th, 2017 08:03 am
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
[personal profile] alatefeline
content note: generally low-pain person complaining about pain, please skip if you like; bad brain; fatigue; anxiety; medical stuff

Read more... )

Rat pic of the day

May. 27th, 2017 01:41 am
silvercat17: (Default)
[personal profile] silvercat17

Wee Nayda

Excerpt from Silver Does Stuff. (Why not post it all here? -Because I always forget to put in a cut and then long posts flood people's friends pages). See it all

Tuskless Elephants

May. 27th, 2017 02:10 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This made me laugh, because people are surprised  by it.  Guys, this is nothing more than natural selection of a typically varied population.  It's what always happens when predators whack the individuals with a certain trait -- it drops out.  Like the silent crickets of Kauai.

Custom Keyboards

May. 27th, 2017 02:07 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
What you get when geeks are really into the typing experience.

LOL yes, Dvorak would bang these boys like a screen door in a hurricane.

Garden Photos

May. 27th, 2017 12:06 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I posted some Friday photos of my gardens

Friday Yardening

May. 26th, 2017 03:34 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is partly sunny and warm.

Round 1, I watered the potted plants on the porch and trimmed grass around the telephone pole.

The mourning dove eggs have hatched into two tiny, fuzzy squabs.  I found a video of one online. 

Raspberries are beginning to turn pink in a few places.  Many of the mulberries are pink.

EDIT 5/26/17 -- Round 2, I pulled weeds around the forest garden.

Also the last shipment of plants arrived today.

EDIT 5/26/17 -- Round 3, I planted three windflowers, two stargazer lilies, and three balloon flowers around the barrel garden; and one White Feather hosta in the purple-and-white garden.

A cool breeze has blown up, downdraft from a storm some distance away.

EDIT 5/26/17 -- Round 4, I planted a white lilac and a black hollyhock.

EDIT 5/26/17 -- Round 5, I sowed more grass in the streetside yard.

It's getting dark, so I'm done for tonight.

Review Catch Up Post 2

May. 26th, 2017 04:02 pm
slashmarks: (Leo)
[personal profile] slashmarks
Again, one paragraph per book, and I'm starting in mid-April so my memory may sometimes be faulty.

Daughters of Miriam: Women Prophets in Ancient Israel – Wilda C Gafney. I liked this! It is so unbelievably refreshing to read scholarship by someone who doesn't just take it as given that the past was a uniformly patriarchal hellscape. Suffered slightly from a lack of nuanced discussion of dating of the Biblical passages it was discussing, but the background in terms of the author's familiarity with archaeology and general Near Eastern history was good enough that it didn't bother me too much because she backed up things with non-Biblical contemporary evidence whenever she could. A couple of her conclusions I'd like to see discussed by someone with a good knowledge of Biblical Hebrew, though, also suffers from imo deeply unnecessary “and this is how this applies to modern Christianity” in places. I will be following up on the stuff about female scribes.

A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent – Marie Brennan. I have owned this for years and never got around to actually reading it. Protagonist is a Victorian lady who becomes a dragon naturalist; this is the first book in the series. Overall a fun book, I think anyone with a deep drive for scholarship will find the protagonist sympathetic and the plot problems fairly interesting. Some fairly major worldbuilding flaws that kept distracting me, though. It's set in an alternate history with primarily cultural divergence, and the culture is nowhere near diverged enough, it's basically renamed!England which is a really big problem because a) I got the feeling the author did this just so she didn't have to be totally accurate with all of the non-England countries and b) the cultural divergence is that supposedly Europe is Jewish instead of Christian and there is NO. FUCKING. WAY. That would precisely produce the exact social conditions and problems of Victorian England, I mean, WTF??? Like yes, there would be problems, but different ones. Also if usable iron was actually really scarce all of history post the Bronze Age Collapse would be deeply, wildly different and the chances of the colonial era happening as it did in our world are nil. But if those things will not make you want to pitch the book against the wall you'll probably enjoy it; I did despite the desire.

Man, that was a paragraph.

The Tree & Other Stories – Abdallah al-Nasser, translated by Dina Bosio and Christopher Tingley. Very short stories by a Saudi author. This is probably the first book I have ever felt totally unqualified to review, mostly because as far as I can tell every single one of these stories was set up to have a punchline and I got maybe two of them. I think this is the translators' faults; ideally, footnotes in translated literature are for explaining that sort of culturally-specific joke, not for unnecessarily explaining what terms for clothing in Arabic mean. So, uh, the prose was interesting, I did not find the plots compelling except for this one particular story, which is spoiled by the intro so I think I'm okay telling you the point is an ironic one about Western culture's disrespect of elders. I found it deeply, compellingly horrifying and accurate and I also hated it intensely so I don't know what to tell you.

Dead and Buried – Barbara Hambly. Another book in the Benjamin January series. I continue to love this series – I love the setting and cultural bits, I love the characters and their relationships, and – new in this one – I also love the plot, which seems to have captured exactly the right points of compelling-yet-hilariously-implausibility to capture me. I'm not sure if I appreciate action more now or if Hambly's gotten better; I suspect the latter. As per usual I recommend the series, which is a mystery series set in the free black community of pre-Civil-War New Orleans, and recommend you start in the earlier books so you know who everyone is, though the internal order isn't crucial. (In particular if you haven't spent at least a few books with Hannibal the reveal in this one will mean nothing to you.)

The Stars Change – Mary Anne Mohanraj. I wanted to like this book, because I liked the short stories I've read by the author and I also read her blog, but alas, I was unable to. There are brief points of brilliance – exasperated closeted lesbian asks her husband what he thought would happen when he cheated on her, relieved to have an excuse to walk out the door; many pieces of the worldbuilding, which is obviously Mohanraj's actual strength and interest; the moment when the community comes together to deal with a mortal threat and immediately begins to cook as step one. However, the prose is wildly uneven, I found many of the characters unlikable, the sex scenes were deeply unnecessary and uncompellingly to wincingly badly-written, and the plot makes no sense. It reads like a series of one shots of varying quality badly stitched together. In particular the ending failed to convince me; there was no reason for all of those people to be there to get killed, and the fact that they could have been needed is not sufficient in a novel where the author decided to put them there for no purpose. I thought it was a first novel until I checked the author's bibliography, at which point I was just confused.

Ran Away – Same series as above. I found this one particularly interesting because of the very long flashback section in which we meet Ayasha directly, Benjamin's deceased wife. I loved her instantly, and I think that view made Benjamin's renewed grief at being reminded of her freshly all the more compelling – it's really impressive, honestly, I knew she was dead from the first chapter of book one and yet I was still hit by it all over again in this one. That said, the portrayal of Islam here is... eeeeh. On the one hand, the Ottomans in particular were so screwed up I am not sure any of it was really wrong for that place and time; on the other hand it would have been nice to be clearer about the parts that were the special, Ottoman interpretation of Islam, particularly since Ayasha is from North Africa and would know. There were ways in which Turkish Islam was both better and worse than European Christianity for women in this period and it would have been nice to see the parts that were better. I think I would have liked it better if Ayasha was still actively Muslim, I don't think it would be a legal barrier to marrying Benjamin in France in this period if she hadn't converted, and if it was her conversion could at least have been in name only.

The Burning City – Alaya Dawn Johnson. The sequel to Racing the Dark, but new readers should know the series is on indefinite/permanent hiatus after this one. I enjoyed this one, and I think it improves on the first in plot complexity and worldbuilding, as well as in prose. The plot increases in complexity and got a lot more interesting to me and the intermixing of mythology with magic and life also becomes more nuanced here. I continue to really love Lana, the relationship with her father was painfully awkward, I really loved the bisexual threesome in the Black Book's plot thread and I think the book does an overall better job with disability representation than the first one, which was decidedly mixed. That said, I also wish the megalomaniac dictator was not violent because, essentially, he hears voices; like, given the worldbuilding I'm absolutely sure it's not psychosis, it's literally a spirit appearing to him masquerading as his dead sister, but it would be nice if it did not come off as psychosis to all of the characters? I am very curious about how Johnson would have tied up the increasingly complicated plot threads, and disappointed I probably won't find out. Also, just, points for high fantasy set in the Pacific Islands and all of the stuff you don't often see in high fantasy, like, government that isn't a misunderstood version of feudalism, civil war fought in a city, etc.

Lawn Craze

May. 26th, 2017 01:34 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Here's a comic about the lawn craze.  Some further thoughts ...

It goes a lot farther back than postwar suburbs.  Lawns started as a status symbol among European aristocracy.

Advice to stop watering, fertilizing, mowing, etc. or to replace lawns with something else is great -- if it's legal.  In many areas it is not, and people are fined or even evicted for being unwilling or unable to keep their lawn in a manner pleasing to others. Such laws are bad for disability and bad for the environment, but those are things fewer people care about than power. Check the local level of tyranny before trying to solve lawn-related problems.

Tinhuviel Moving

May. 26th, 2017 01:22 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
[personal profile] tinhuviel is moving, but has almost nothing to settle into a new home.  :/  There is a WalMart registry and a GoFundMe page for donations.  If you liked Shiv's housewarming basket, here's your chance to do something similar.

Rat pic of the day

May. 26th, 2017 01:48 am
silvercat17: (Default)
[personal profile] silvercat17

I used to take pics of the cage layout. Here’s one from when they were young and tiny. Can you spot Allard?

Excerpt from Silver Does Stuff. (Why not post it all here? -Because I always forget to put in a cut and then long posts flood people's friends pages). See it all

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