"You get nothing!"

2017-Jul-25, Tuesday 02:26
rosefox: A cartoon figure slipping toward a gaping hole in the paper. (slipping)
[personal profile] rosefox
I'm having one of those "parenting is so hard, when does it stop being hard, oh right, never" days.

I was watching Kit play on their own and glumly thinking that happy Kit is independent and only wants parents when they're sad. Then they toddled over and handed me a stuffed fox, just because. So I know that what I'm feeling is just a feeling and has very little to do with reality. But it's still a big feeling.

Relatedly, having a tantruming toddler scream directly into your ear for several minutes is really quite challenging.

"Kit is so chill," I thought, once upon a time. "Maybe they won't really get toddler tantrums." I was so wrong. Soooo wrong. Tantrums aren't about personality. They're about cognitive and emotional overload. A scream into the void.

(My right ear is the void, apparently.)

(But was I going to stop cuddling my screaming child? Of course not. My ear can cope.)

And now I feel like the worst parent in the world because I couldn't really help my kid, even when they were bottomlessly miserable. There is no cure for the tantrum because it's an existential crisis. You just hold on and say "I'm here" like it means anything. And eventually they stop crying long enough for you to get some calories into them, which almost always helps. It turns out that kids are always basically one minute away from a massive hunger crash, and that rather exacerbates the existential angst.

You could not pay me enough to be a child again. No way. It's genuinely a wonder that kids are ever happy at all. Their bodies do weird things, the world is baffling, everything is too big, they have no control, safety is elusive and fleeting. It's like a fucking horror movie, 24/7. And yet my child comes over and smiles at me and puts their head on my knee for sheer love.

I guess maybe they wanted to say "I'm here" like it means anything.

I guess maybe it does.

peeks at the news

2017-Jul-25, Tuesday 00:36
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
shuts the computer down and goes to bed.

Taking a break from Sense 8

2017-Jul-24, Monday 23:10
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
And watching "The Worst Witch", a children's show. Which would be relaxing except for all teh second hand embarassment I feel as the main character gets into all kinds of scrapes. I enjoy her acting though, her name is Bella Ramsey and she plays Lyanna Mormont on Game of Thrones. That child blows all the child actors in this show out of the water.
[personal profile] alexbayleaf

Originally published at Spinster's Bayley. You can comment here or there.

As I mentioned recently, I’ve been wanting to talk about Agile software development methodologies and how they relate to permaculture – Agile permaculture for short – for yearsandyearsandyears, and it finally seems like time to do so. Over on Making Permaculture Stronger, Dan is making an inquiry into permaculture design processes, and how much design […]

That Dice-Rolling Hobby

2017-Jul-24, Monday 22:09
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[personal profile] tcpip
Apart from dealing with multiple medical issues that I've raised in previous posts, I have had the opportunity to engage in my favourite hobby othe weekend - traditional roleplaying games. On Friday evening I participated in what I call Eclipse Phase Mars, on the basis of its standard location (although most recently this has involved extrasolar gatecrashing etc). This particular group meets primarily on Google Hangouts with players in Western Australia, Vietnam, Victoria, and New Zealand. I've missed a couple of sessions of this game, partially due to technology issues (my computer screen was completey destroyed on my last trip to NZ, so I've been trying to work with a dinky Asus Aspire One), and partially because of international trips. Both of these have affected my ability to complete Papers & Paychecks; although I did release an update on Saturday morning following completing the bestiary section, and integration a number of significant changes, even this late in the publication process.

Saturday was also a regular CheeseQuest day with [livejournal.com profile] hathhalla and [livejournal.com profile] ser_pounce. Given the cool weather, our lunch feast consisted of a pumpkin gnocchi and Nova Scotia brown bread. The cheese feast included fried saganaki and halloumi, havarti, maasdam, gorgonzola, Dutch smoked, and two not-cheeses, a faux cheddar and "tree nut" cheese, which are quite tolerable. I was rather taken by the Devil's Corner pinot noir that our guests brought over, light but tasty and with a brilliant ruby colour. After lunch was the second session of our historical-fantasy Dungeons & Dragons game, using the very different 4th edition rules in the setting of Charlemagne's rule. The game went very well, everyone plays up their character ethno-religious background and character class, as they cleared out a old Roman-Germanic temple in Freisland haunted by Wiedergänger.

Sunday was also a gaming day, this time with my own game of Eclipse Phase. This session involved the PCs engaging in a short-case to an autonomist morph resleever on one of Neptune Trojans, then taking a stealth craft to intercept an Ultimate scout ship en-route to Eris. There was an almighty gun-battle that followed which eventually saw the PCs successful, and partially courtesy due an inside agent providing assistance at the last moment. After that was the challenging process of psychosurgery and the literal merging of minds. More on that for the next session. Appropriately I've started reading the two books entitled Dungeons & Dragons and Philosophy (one published by Open Court, 2012 and the other by Wiley Blackwell, 2014)

therefore, heavy.

2017-Jul-24, Monday 11:53
tree: four fingers on a naked back ([else] if i tell the truth)
[personal profile] tree
this was originally written and posted privately on the 20th of april last year. i'd forgotten about it, actually. there was a hashtag on twitter #wheniwas filled with personal experiences of childhood sexual harassment and assault. there was an article about it, too. and it brought up some stuff. well, doesn't everything?

a breakable takeable body )

I dont watch Stranger Things

2017-Jul-23, Sunday 17:52
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes


But this is an EPIC trailer. Well done trailer makers!!!

"Close enough for jazz"

2017-Jul-23, Sunday 03:13
rosefox: Me snuggling a giant teddy bear, entirely contented. (sleeping)
[personal profile] rosefox
Vacation to-do list/wishlist summary: not too bad! Especially given that today was totally eaten by stressful unexpected circumstances. (Everyone is fine now.)

Things without deadlines (fun):

* Watch Voltron: Legendary Defender and do some knitting
* Stroll in the Botanic Gardens (I didn't do this but did go read in the park near our house)
* Maybe steal the baby from daycare early one day and get extra baby time
* Read (three books! in one week!)
* Cook
* Lunch with my mom
* Sleeeeeeeep

Things without deadlines (productive):

* Shower and dress in real clothes every day (mostly)
* Tidy room enough for vacuuming
* Unpack
* Vacuum (well, I swept, but it's pretty clean underfoot now)
* Catch up on laundry
* Celebrate the 1st anniversary of Story Hospital (!)
* Call insurance company about that bill
* Call doctor's office about that prior auth
* Finish setting up Tinybeans
* Remake OT appointment for next week
* Do a family Readercon debrief/postmortem
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
sense 8. will at least try 2nd season. i can def see why it got cancelled tho. way too fucking slow and while the actors have improved line delivery there are still problems right up til the 12th episode. i cant understand how they just let some of this thru to be honest. and i am cranky at how badly jonas is teaching will who the sensates are and what they can do. he just talks trash philosophy and alludes to shit instead of dropping concise facts and figures about what the fuck is going on.

Read more... )

A Star Has Fallen

2017-Jul-22, Saturday 23:52
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[personal profile] tcpip
"Fiery the angels fell; deep thunder rolled around their shores; burning with the fires of Orc"

Yesterday I was informed that an old friend and former housemate in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Erica W., had died of a stroke. For those that knew her, this has been a terrible shock. She was relatively young, and seemed so alive, and seemed to have so much to contribute to this world. It is a harsh reminder that friends can be lost at any time with the randomness of life.

When I first met her she and her partner at the time, James, were in their mid-teens. Intelligent, attractive, highly alternative, and very fashionable, they were already living together and regularly visiting local nightclubs, where they were very well-regarded for the characteristics mentioned. There was an especially amusing moment when a local newspaper printed her in a vox-pop what her preferred nightclub was - and mentioned her age in the credit.

"Morphology, longevity, incept dates"

Whilst in Perth we shared two households at different times - the first was the famous "accelerated house", a dilapidated duplex pair with questionable plumbing. Part of the duplex was the home of the Accelerated Men, a goth band of some repute. The place was wired up a local area network with a AlphaMicro AM-100, and came with its own stray cat (Velocity) which I adopted. Several years later, at the final place where I lived in Perth, we were in more normal accommodation. I could help but chuckle a little at my highly fashion-conscious housemates who could spend hours in preparation on going out. I also remember showing them the Internet at the time; a text-based interface to usenet groups. "This", I implored sagaciously, "is going to change everything". I don't think they quite believed me at the time, so it was with great fondness catching up with James just a couple of years ago, and recalling that moment, he said: "And you were right!".

At the time Erica was suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, and despite being a witty conversationalist, was physically in the doldrums. A few years later however, and I suspect heavily because of the direction provided by our mutual friend Bruce T., there had been a complete change, as she had become quite a figure in the fashion industry and was running her own label and store, Alysian Empire. I still have some of their clothes to this day. Later she would go on to have another fashion label of even greater renown, ericaamerica.

In the post-Alysian Empire period we only caught up in person a couple of times, and more recently exchanged a few messages, courtesy of the 'borg of social media. Despite this we had the sort of friendship where years could literally go by and when we did get in contact our banter could continue as if no time had passed at all. It was a friendship built on mutual understanding and respect, of affirmation of each other, of strong and happy shared memories. The mention of her name in conversation would always brighten my day and bring me joy; but not this time.

"Tyrell had told me Rachael was special: no termination date. I didn't know how long we had together. Who does?"

a place of execution

2017-Jul-22, Saturday 22:25
tree: cropped shot of scully's mouth, chin and nose in the top right corner ([xf] i'll just be waiting here)
[personal profile] tree
even now, with everything i know about memory—how easily it can be manipulated, how the act of recollection changes the memory itself—there is still a part of me that feels betrayed by my childhood self. and i wonder if the reason that i have no memories of my early years is because i had to erase them in order to participate in the lie of my parentage. i helped to deceive myself.

/consider: a word problem

if x = 3 (my mother married my stepfather) and y = 6 or 7 (my earliest memories), calculate the distance from one truth to another.
there were two trains. they were going at what speed?

/consider: the self as a city

i razed it and rebuilt.
no tracks and no disputed ground.

/consider: the present tense

how do i trust myself?
how do i forgive?
'an indeterminate or undefined place or state.'
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

Second of the Spatterjay (sub-)series in Asher's Polity universe. Takes place about ten years after the end of the previous book. We do, again, follow several different viewpoint characters, on all sorts of moral sides of any situation that may happen in the book. Some are returning characters, some are new.

I'd definitely recommend starting with the first book in the series, but all in all an eminently readable book.
leecetheartist: A lime green dragon head, with twin horns, and red trim. Very gentle looking, with a couple spirals of smoke from nose. (Default)
[personal profile] leecetheartist
 https://plus.google.com/+AliciaSmith-leece/posts/jdAkGE3JcDP

someone pls

2017-Jul-19, Wednesday 22:51
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
arrest r kelly. and throw him under the jail.
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Yeah. Mozambique decriminalized homosexuality. Fuck the british for criminalizing it in the first place. progress! Let us hope that we can continue to climb up and not fall back down
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
poc. matter of fact not even then, i dont trust the showrunners not to fuck it up.
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
to run on our tvs an alternate history in which the confederates win the war and black folk are still enslaved up until the present day. in trumpian white nationalism rising america. where police are murdering black folk with impunity and our attorney general is rolling back what little justice reform has been passed and the prisons, full of mostly black folk are boiling hot due to climate change, caused by white folks greed. and an entire city of mostly black folk is out of water and cacthing diseases due to white folks greed. and i could go on and on and on.


When will white folks lose power over us? I would really love to be able to ignore them? That would be paradise, to be able to focus on other things because white folks have lost all power over us.

"You can't always get what you want"

2017-Jul-19, Wednesday 01:31
rosefox: A Victorian woman glares and says "Fuck's sake, what a cock"; someone out of the frame says "mm". (disapproval)
[personal profile] rosefox
Archiving some Twitter threads here regarding cons and congoing.

Thread 1: You are not entitled to be a panelist at a convention.  )

=====

Thread 2: Cis People Please Don't Do This. )

Comments are off because I'm on vacation and don't feel like moderating them. Feel free to share the link to this post.

watched the first ep of sense 8's season 1

2017-Jul-19, Wednesday 00:27
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
and am already pissed. the white saviour plotline with will is some white fuckery. the lines those mfs gave that black nurse and what looks like an afro latino cop when they were interacting with a black child that was MAYBE thirteen and gunshot? when cops be shooting black folk in real life like they have a quota on our asses? no ma'am. that is some white supremacy storytelling.

also the dialogue is kinda stiff and overly wordy,several actors had trouble naturally saying their lines. and the pacing is too slow.

look. can we get rid of the idea of diversity in which its vast majority of whites and one of each for everyone else? because its utterly irritating to have to hold your breath and worry about the characterization of the one main POC character that shares your race while white folks can pick and choose freely over their myriad main character options.

and can we have more interracial lgbt couples that DO NOT have a white person as a part of the partnership? and can we have more same race lgbt couples that aint white? i promise you poc same race same sex couples will not destroy the world as we know it, gay creatives; pls stop this shit.


Yeah for the trans actress. yeah for the cinematography. yeah for the idea itself, its pretty interesting. yeah for the characterization of the sensates, they look like interesting people. I am going to see how far i can make thru the series and hopefully even if i have to drop out due to racist and or boring storytelling i might at least be able to look the fanfic and see if i can entertain myself there.

Medical Matters

2017-Jul-18, Tuesday 21:38
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[personal profile] tcpip
It's been a curious past few days; I spent most of Saturday working on the course for the researchers at Orygen Youth Mental Health which I presented on Monday. It went extremely well; I provided an overview of high performance compute clusters, environment modules and job submission using their preferred applications (MRtrix, Matlab, Octave, R, and especially FSL and Freesurfer. They were a large and very switched on group, and it brought me great pleasure when I received some rather positive responses in person and in email.

On Sunday visited the Unitarians to hear a presentation by the president of Dying With Dignity to speak on the upcoming legistlation such matters. Last year to the state government committee I contributed two submissions from different organisations on the matter, and legislation is expected soon. In a less positive manner, an old friend of mine has just found his way into hospital and I suspect he's in the position that he might not be getting better. Three years ago he appointed me enduring power of medical attorney. To top it all off, [livejournal.com profile] caseopaya's mother has found herself in hospital as a complication arising from her continuing illness.

It surprises me that there are those who begrudge public revenue raising and expenditure on health, as if the wealthy have more of a right to live than the poor. Even using the criteria of the 'dismal science', economics, it is obvious that having people alive and well is not just a private benefit to the person in question, it is also a public benefit. The is equivalent matter here with education as well, and likewise the private-public benefit is a continuum which includes current and future productivity of the person in question. All of this, of course, on top of matter of being in a society that cares for its less fortunate.

"R&R"

2017-Jul-18, Tuesday 04:26
rosefox: Me looking out a window, pensive. (relaxed)
[personal profile] rosefox
Once more unto the vacation to-do list/wishlist. A whole week of vacation when I'm not ill! Such luxury!

Things with deadlines:

* NONE AT ALL

Things without deadlines (fun):

* Watch Voltron: Legendary Defender and do some knitting
* Stroll in the Botanic Gardens (needs to happen today if it's going to happen, because the weather's going to be too hot and unpleasant the rest of the week)
* Maybe steal the baby from daycare early one day and get extra baby time
* Read
* Cook
* Lunch with my mom
* Sleeeeeeeep

Things without deadlines (productive):

* Shower and dress in real clothes every day
* Tidy room enough for vacuuming
* Unpack
* Vacuum (or ask J to if my arms are sad)
* Catch up on laundry
* Celebrate the 1st anniversary of Story Hospital (!)
* Call insurance company about that bill
* Call doctor's office about that prior auth
* Finish setting up Tinybeans
* Remake OT appointment for next week
* Do a family Readercon debrief/postmortem

(no subject)

2017-Jul-17, Monday 23:37
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Moral premise

6 months of pots Happily and enthusiastically make shitty art without thinking too much.

via [personal profile] umadoshi

Castlevania

2017-Jul-17, Monday 22:38
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Thank goodness this thing is only 4 episodes long. It is not to my taste at all. The voice actors do not sound natural, the animation is blah, the story is annoying (can we stop with the woman fridging fuckery? Please) the jokes are corny and the fights are nothing to write home about.
Ah well. At least its just 4 episodes.
[personal profile] alexbayleaf

Originally published at Spinster's Bayley. You can comment here or there.

I recently took part in a Permaculture Design Course (PDC) – 15 days of classes and hands-on activities covering everything from ecology to passata-making, spread over the first half of this year. I’d been told that doing a PDC makes you see the world differently. I must admit that I didn’t find this to be […]

Ah crud

2017-Jul-17, Monday 21:09
rbarclay: (rad)
[personal profile] rbarclay
Last week the bicycle chain slipped off once, and on the way to 'ork today it wouldn't change gears properly a couple times. Did a quick check of the chain (like in this video) and concluded that it's probably on its last legs.

Went by the shop close to home, where my diagnosis was confirmed, but they didn't have the correct length in stock. So, since the next service would be due in 1-2 weeks anyway, I ordered a "heavy duty" chain (the mech guy claimed that it should last "at least twice as long as your current crap": well, I'm perfectly willing to be pleasantly surprised) and made a service appointment for Thursday.
jducoeur: (Default)
[personal profile] jducoeur posting in [community profile] dreamwidth_meta

Just a small signal-boost for those who might be interested:

One of my longtime frustrations with the social-networking ecosystem has been the cross-posting situation. Yes, it's fairly easy to set things up so that, when you post here, a link gets posted to Facebook. But the fact is, not too many people follow those links. What I really want is to be able to post here, and automatically copy the post over to there, so folks can read it directly. (I can wish that all my friends were here, but the fact is, Facebook is still the 800-pound gorilla; if it doesn't show up there, most of my friends won't see it.)

So a little while ago, I sat down with IFTTT (which has finally gotten powerful enough), and puzzled out how to do this right. This IFTTT Applet takes your Dreamwidth RSS feed as its input, and requires that you hook IFTTT up to your Facebook account. Given that, whenever you post something to Dreamwidth, it (eventually -- it takes a while) reads that post off your RSS feed, rebuilds the HTML into something that looks acceptable on Facebook (basically, it turns your post into Markdown), and posts it as a status update on Facebook, with a link back to the original DW article.

I can't promise that it's perfect -- it handles the most common HTML, but almost certainly will choke on complicated stuff. But it seems to be a pretty good compromise, and I've been using it successfully for a month or two now.

Here is the source code for the Filter at the heart of that, if anybody wants to take it in hand and enhance it for their own use. For an example of how things get translated, see this DW post and how it looks on Facebook.

Use it as appropriate, and please pass this along to anybody who might care...

Safe in Singapore

2017-Jul-17, Monday 21:15
leecetheartist: A lime green dragon head, with twin horns, and red trim. Very gentle looking, with a couple spirals of smoke from nose. (Default)
[personal profile] leecetheartist
 Very tired now, just chilling in Changi Aerotel until our non stop flight to Helsinki is ready.

https://plus.google.com/+AliciaSmith-leece/posts/gYUVwrs2r1p will have to do, images require too much brain to get them over here.

"The travel-model baby"

2017-Jul-17, Monday 02:29
rosefox: A zombie from a Nintendo game. (zombie)
[personal profile] rosefox
We are HOME. I have rarely in my life been so tired, and I have spent much of my life being tired. This is non-Euclidean tired that collapses in upon itself. I'm sort of impressed by it.

As usual, Sam was thrilled to see me, Sophie was thrilled to see X, and Alex pretended to have entirely forgotten our names until we ordered pizza and he decided he wanted some. Tili took very good care of them. She also pointed out that our inexplicably huge basil plants grew enormous flower spikes during the three days we were gone. The leaves are yellowing a bit; might be time for more fertilizer.

I cannot overstate how tremendously lucky we are to have such a good travel-bean. They were really clearly Done With Everything around 2 p.m. yesterday, and very polite about our inexplicable failure to take them home right then. They didn't nap much on the train today, though they did sleep on me for about half an hour—it's such a pleasure to be slept on by a baby, and we were all jockeying a bit to be the one that Kit napped on; I only won because J needed to get up to get something and I snagged the sleepy baby and the blanket—but they were generally cheerful and amenable to distraction nonetheless, and as soon as we got home they chugged a bottle and sacked out. They even signed "train" while we were waiting for the train, and they made friends with another toddler who was riding in our car, trading many high-fives and handshakes. They really liked the train trips; we should do more train travel with them.

Next year, more and better planning. Definitely. But on the whole it was a very good con.

07 ghosts anime

2017-Jul-16, Sunday 22:07
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Once upon a time, the god of death fell in love with the Chief of Heaven's daughter.  Fuckery ensues.


Nearly a thousand years later,  Teito Klein, an enslaved boy with very powerful battle magic who is just about to graduate with honors  from a prestigious Barburg Empire military academy; overhears one of the top brass discussing something about his painful past. Fuckery ensues.

There are 7 ghosts with a job to do, 7 ghosts to bind "him", 7 ghosts to save our souls, and Teito Klein will find them.


Yes, I do recomend this one. Great animation, interesting story (I really loved the way they reworked Christian myth to get this story's lore). And fun fights if you like stuff like that. Which I do.

Church welcome

2017-Jul-16, Sunday 15:57
maco: white brunette woman with a white headcovering and a blue dress (Default)
[personal profile] maco
This morning I went and visited the Skyline Vineyard Church in Virginia. I was very impressed by how friendly they were, and I wanted to write it all down.

Welcome in the Vineyard church

It starts with arrival. I had my Google Maps telling me where to go, but you know how sometimes it's a bit off about exactly how far down the block a place is? Handily, they had these 10-15ft tall flags either side of the driveway. I spotted them before I even saw the steeple.

There was a greeter (in a Skyline Vineyard t-shirt) standing on the front porch. "Hi! First time here?" He shook my hand and introduced himself. Then he opened the door, pointed out the refreshments table, and introduced me by name to two people who'd been chatting in the lobby.

I went to get a cup of tea. They had someone stationed to pour coffee and hot water. That person also made a point to welcome me and introduce himself. As I was putting the lid on my cup, a woman walked up to me and introduced herself. She handed me an envelope (8.5x5.5) and told me this is their welcome packet. She told me that inside I'd find a connection card, and I probably should've let her finish explaining just to see what she said, but I knew what a connection card was thanks to the Church Communications group on Facebook. She did explain a little, that it's just to get some information, and that there's space on the back for feedback and space in case you have something you'd like them to pray for. You don't always see those on connection cards. The back also asked how you found them.

Also inside the welcome packet was a paper explaining what communion is and how they do it.

The guy who poured the hot water for tea/cocoa and poured coffee also pointed out snack trays. There were a few round cocktail tables near the snacks to encourage people to stand around and chat a bit rather than head straight to their seats.

Welcome in a Friends meeting

Often our meetings are in schools and other rented space. Even in meetinghouses, meetinghouses just aren't that recognizable to people who aren't already used to Quakers. I'm not sure I've ever seen a meeting with a lit-up sign until my meeting got some solar spot lights a few months ago (so good luck finding a meetinghouse at night). Mostly if there's a meetinghouse, the sign tends to be simple painted slabs of wood, with text of an appropriate size for foot traffic or perhaps the horse & buggy traffic that was common when the place was built. The text is usually too small for someone driving a car at speed to read, though. There's one meeting I've visited several times and accidentally driven by every time. You'd think I'd learn to recognize it, but I only visit annually, so it's like I'm a newcomer every time. If there's not a meetinghouse, just rented space, then a 1m tall A-frame sign (like you see for advertising the specials at a sandwich shop) seems to be normal.

So, off the bat (and really, this isn't just me, I've heard it from others before, including about the one I keep driving by), if you've had trouble finding the place, you're starting off a little harried and maybe a little late if you had to double back and look for the building.

Joshua from Church Hoppers podcast recorded an episode after he visited a Quaker meeting for the first time. He tells me nobody talked to him until after worship was over. I can see how that'd be the case. (And ok, I've finally listened to the episode now.)

From what I understand, tradition would have worship start as soon as the first person sits down to worship. Traditional meetinghouses don't have lobbies. Thus, if you're in a traditional meetinghouse and you follow that "worship starts on arrival" tradition, the porch is the only place to talk to a newcomer, say hello, chat a bit, explain the way we worship, etc. Given a goodly sized porch roof and nice weather, that probably works out. Winter's probably not so good, though. You'd want to get straight inside where it's warm, and then you get in there, and no matter how "early" you got there, everyone's already in worship, and... well, this is where that joke about the newcomer tapping the guy next to him to ask "when does the service start?" ("when the worship ends") comes in.

At least at Adelphi Friends and Friends Meeting of Washington (FMW), people file in ahead of time, and then the start of worship is actually announced. FMW has head of meeting read out a brief explanation of waiting worship. Adelphi has singing (call out a hymn number) until it's time. When the piano stops, the worship starts. Both have a lobby type area. Neither is very big, but you can fit a few people. This allows more chance to greet new people than the old fashioned way.

I've been to a bunch of other meetings (Pittsburgh, Marlborough PA, Fifteenth Street in NYC, Takoma Park, Bethesda, Stillwater, Greene Street, London-Euston, Frome). Some of them do the first thing. Some do the second. Pittsburgh has a larger lobby area. The really small ones, I've usually been there at the right time to be handed something and put to work with setup, so I don't know how showing up after setup would be. Or, you know, I've walked in late. That happens too.


My first visits at 2 Quaker meetings

I'm just going to use a couple meetings I know well as illustrations, but I assure you, I've seen these patterns elsewhere.

I don't think I ever had the "normal" new person experience at either FMW or Adelphi, though. At FMW, I went to the little meeting next door because I was nervous about the huge crowd in the main meetingroom. Turns out you can be anonymous in a crowd more easily. Oops. At Adelphi, my first visit was with my husband, who'd grown up as a kid in that meeting. I don't think I'll ever have the "normal" new person experience at any meeting, unless I wear my hair down and go in costume as a regular 21st century woman.

If I'm remembering December 6, 2009 correctly (not guaranteed), then I think someone was at the door to Quaker House when I arrived. A brief hello and a point up the stairs to the room where worship occurs. Afterward, there was an announcement of tea/coffee/cookies in the meetinghouse basement. I went over, and I'm not sure I even grabbed anything to consume. I walked into the assembly room door and stood just inside the door, against the wall. A young woman named Lucy saw me from across the room and made a bee line. "Hey, you're new here, right?" Turns out we were going to the same college (I as an undergrad, she as a grad student). She introduced me to some of the other young adults. The next week I went to the main meeting, and I absolutely did not introduce myself during "stand and introduce yourself" time. That was a room with 70 strangers. Heck no. What if that turned into an altar call like at that Baptist church I visited with my family the week before? Nope. No way.

I don't remember much about my first time at Adelphi. By then I'd worshipped at FMW for 3 years and Friends of Jesus for about 6 months, so there wasn't shiny newness about going to meeting. Like I said, my husband grew up in that meeting. I don't particularly remember anyone talking to me before going in to join in the singing, but there are greeters, so that probably happened. There's a potluck lunch every week after worship. We hadn't brought anything, so we didn't stay (thinking it'd be rude). Nowadays, they make a point to say "whether you brought something or not, you're welcome to join us." At the end, just like at FMW, newcomers (and "returning after a long absence") were asked to stand and introduce themselves. By this point I'd visited other meetings and was more used to that routine. And we'd shown up with the intention of asking the meeting he grew up in to marry us, so we weren't worrying about the ability to slip away.

The usual

Ordinarily, FMW has someone on the front bench stand at the start and read out a welcome and an explanation of what's about to happen with us all being very quiet. Ordinarily, someone is posted at the top of the stairs, at the indoor entrance to the meetingroom. I don't believe anyone is posted at the wheelchair-accessible entrance or the other two exterior entrances to the meetingroom. Someone might be at the entry door that's at the foot of the stairs. (I can't remember) Also, it's been a few years since I regularly attended there, so things could've changed—grain of salt.

I don't think I have ever been given a welcome/newcomer packet when visiting any meeting. I know Adelphi has them, and I know they're not new. Maybe things were just a little hectic at the time, or they'd been misplaced or whatever. They do give them out now. Most meetings seem to go for "there are pamphlets over there; help yourself."

Some meetings also have the doors close at worship time (what it seems Joshua was expecting, since he was surprised to find his noise had been audible to the worshippers). Some meetings expect latecomers to open the door and walk in. Some expect them to wait for a particular time before they go in (especially if they keep kids in for the first part of worship, then have them leave for kids stuff). Friends Meeting of Washington switched from one to the other while I was there. That they're supposed to wait until a certain time may or may not be clear to late newcomers. I don't know how common it is for the greeter to wait until the late arrival time to catch late-arriving newcomers.

The Differences

Here are the two main differences:
  1. who bears the burden of introductions?
  2. when do you get to meet people?
Who bears the burden?

At the Vineyard church, the greeter recognized me as new. The greeter introduced himself immediately. The greeter remembered my name long enough that he introduced me. The regulars were proactive about introducing themselves.

In every Quaker meeting I've been to, the guest is expected to proactively introduce themself. "Please stand up in a room full of strangers and introduce yourself to us." In many meetings, everyone wears nametags. Do we rely on our nametags and fail to introduce ourselves? Probably. I'm pretty sure I do. I need to work on that.

Do we know our own communities well enough to immediately recognize new people? I'm sure the small meetings do. It's easy to say "you're not one of the usual 8 people." It's harder with a bigger group, but it's worth the effort. Greeters really need a certain gift for recognizing faces.

When do you meet people?


At the Vineyard church, the time before worship was dedicated to getting to meet and talk to folks. Afterward, people seemed to just grab the kids and head out. I did chat a little with a couple of people who turned out to be very interested in Pennsic. (One had asked whether I had any travel planned.)

In most Quaker meetings, the time after worship seems to be dedicated to getting to meet and talk to folks. There either is no time before worship or it's dedicated to a Bible study, Bible reading, or hymn singing. Joshua says in his podcast that he found it awkward to find his way through to the right room, discover the door had been open and his saying "wait, which way do I go??" in the hallways had been intruding, and then sit down silently with a bunch of perfect strangers and no introduction. The "good morning" didn't come until the end. Awkward start; friendly end.

Conclusions

I think Quakers need to rethink these two points. Well, I'm sure many churches need to work on choosing and training greeters well and cultivating a culture of proactive welcome. A lot of them are bad at it!

I know, I know, we're a denomination full of introverts (speak for yourselves—I'll talk your ear off, once I have a topic). But there's a difference between being introverted and being rude. If you're an introvert and find yourself face to face with a guest, spot your nearest extrovert and introduce the two.

The part about making people feel comfortable before they enter worship is something I think is worth exploring. Joshua said in his podcast that even having signs saying something like "please join us in silent worship in this room" would've been helpful toward making him feel less awkward/embarrassed about his arrival. Is it actually a theological imperative for us to hold socialization until the end?

And I know those tall flags aren't cheap, but a 10-footer is $200 if you have dirt to jam it into or $250 if you need to set it out on the sidewalk. VistaPrint's probably got coupons too. They've always got coupons running. Maybe that's something your meeting can work into its budget if it's having trouble with visibility. (Yes, Philadelphia. I know, Philadelphia. You have gigantic highly-visible meetinghouses. Thanks for rubbing it in.)
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

This is the, what, ninth? eighth? book in Stross's The Laundry Files and the wheels on the hand-basket are truly on their way out, along a radial trajectory.

This book sees the return of many faces from previous books, as we slowly see things unwind around Bob. I am trying real hard to not let anything slip here, you see, as I feel that approaching the book spoiler-free is the most, ah, enjoyable? way of reading it. Surprising at least.

Anyway, Laundry Files, if you've read some of them before, you know what to expect. If you haven't, might I humbly suggest that this is perhaps not the best starting point (although it may well work as an intro novel). We do a fair bit of POV shifting in this book, even if it's primarily a "Bob" book (we also follow Mo, Mhari and Cassie, as well as the occasional follow-the-baddies).

All in all, a gripping read. I shall blame technology (and not being completely done with the previous book in time for the release) for taking this abysmally long to finish off something that was released a whole 4 days ago.

"Gonna fall down any day now"

2017-Jul-16, Sunday 02:11
rosefox: The Readercon logo flipped to read R F. (readercon)
[personal profile] rosefox
We are at Readercon! We are having a very good time.

We took the train up instead of driving. There was a mess leaving Penn Station—we had to get off our broken train and get onto another one at the last minute—and a friend couriered much of our luggage, so that was all a bit of a logistical headache, and it's stressful being bound to an external schedule. But I actually haven't missed having a car (or even thought much about leaving the hotel) and I definitely haven't missed being the only licensed driver for a long trip. Maybe the train again next year; maybe not.

Me being sick for the crucial two weeks (two full weeks! June 26 to July 10! let's never do that again!) when we would usually do all our planning led to many hilarious planning failures, including not packing enough underwear, packing the wrong bra, not bringing enough warm clothing for a freezing cold hotel, never getting around to going swimming (after much fuss about making sure we all had swim gear—though of course we forgot Kit's swim diaper!), not bringing toothpaste, not bringing enough cash for housekeeping tips, forgetting that my new eyeglass prescription means my hoarded last pair of contact lenses was useless, and not scheduling enough babysitter time. Rarely has my behavior.planning.agley tag been so apt. X and J did their very best to make up for my incapacity, but we're all used to me being the primary planner, and at this age Kit is very distracting and makes it hard to focus on planning. I suspect that we're going to go home, sleep for a week, and then plan out our entire schedule for next year in advance.

I gave a talk on habit reversal training for writers that was extremely well received. That was very gratifying and enjoyable, and set a good tone for the rest of the weekend. I attended a few panels, was on a couple more, read none of my book and knit none of my knitting, had a really lovely time hanging out with friends, stayed up very late—the usual.

Some of it has been a bit strange. I'm now at the age where my friends tell me about their divorces; I was not quite aware I had reached that age, but it's happened twice in two days, so here we are. (To be clear, I am very glad I could be there for those friends. I just wasn't expecting it.) No one's slept much except Kit, who remains an absolute champion traveler and has taken a solid two-hour nap every day we've been here, including on the train on the way up (and will ideally do so on the train home). But we're coping.

I was nearly falling asleep during my own room party, and then after it was done I went out to the patio because 1 a.m. Readercon patio conversations are a superb vintage I only get to taste once a year. We talked about consciousness upload and replication, which led to digressions on neuroscience, parenting, and karma. Good times.

I must go sleep a lot now. A whole lot. Tomorrow: home.
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
lately. Slashed, darkskinned black gay men. With them taking care of each other. Being soft and sweet to each other.
Wow. This is the first time I have ever seen this in all my years of fanfic reading. I would love love LOVE to see more.

T minus 2 days

2017-Jul-16, Sunday 01:20
leecetheartist: A lime green dragon head, with twin horns, and red trim. Very gentle looking, with a couple spirals of smoke from nose. (Default)
[personal profile] leecetheartist
https://plus.google.com/+AliciaSmith-leece/posts/cHkBcjrRvdu

A link for now, hard to get the images across from my phone to DW.

LJ account compromised?, deleted

2017-Jul-15, Saturday 18:03
damerell: NetHack. (normal)
[personal profile] damerell
Today, I got an email from LJ to the effect that my LJ account had been logged into from 212.129.2.227, which is J. Random IP Address in France. Mysteriously, although this was some hours ago, I don't seem to have embarked on a spree of Viagra posts/comments or anything. Hence I've ended the unknown login session, changed password, deleted account (weirdly, all of which I could do without agreeing to the evil new T&Cs).

I imagine this is a manifestation of the downfall of LJ, but:
worth checking yourself (www.livejournal.com/manage/logins.bml ) if you ain't already deleted your account?
let me know, please, if I suddenly go spammy anywhere else...

2017 - #72, "The Skinner", Neal Asher

2017-Jul-15, Saturday 13:55
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

This is the first book in the Sptterjay series, set in Asher's Polity world.

Time-wie, the Spatterjay books fall well after the rest of the series (bar, possibly, Transformation), but as the first two books takes place entirely (or almost entirely) on the planet of Spatterjay (see how the planet meshes with the name of the series...), it's not massively important exactly how it lines up timewise.

We follow a couple of different viewpoint characters. Ehrlin is a Hooper (that is, someone who's been infected by the leech virus, present in most (if not all) lifeforms on Spatterjay), who's been away from Spatterjay for a while, having adventures. Janer is employed by a sentient hornet hive, that he (some decades ago) spent two years indentured to, for killing one of its bodies at a football match. Sable Keech is a reif (basically a cyber-enhanced walking corpse), and ECS monitor. Sniper, a war drone. And Windcatcher, which I shall say nothing about. And a few more, who get walk-on POV roles.

Fundamentally, this is a story about loss and revenge. And how these things change, as time passes. I guess there's some talk about life and what immortality may mean for the human condition.

Again, this is a Polity book so it's kinda grimdark, in places.

Question thread #54

2017-Jul-14, Friday 20:47
pauamma: Cartooney crab holding drink (Default)
[personal profile] pauamma posting in [site community profile] dw_dev
It's time for another question thread!

The rules:

- You may ask any dev-related question you have in a comment. (It doesn't even need to be about Dreamwidth, although if it involves a language/library/framework/database Dreamwidth doesn't use, you will probably get answers pointing that out and suggesting a better place to ask.)
- You may also answer any question, using the guidelines given in To Answer, Or Not To Answer and in this comment thread.

Life without Dead Time

2017-Jul-14, Friday 23:09
tcpip: (Default)
[personal profile] tcpip
The Situationists famously sought life without dead time and whilst I cannot say my own life fits the wild and tangential excesses of such bohemians, at least not in these elder decades, the past several days have certainly had their share of activity. Nevertheless I do worry sometimes that so much of my work these days - indeed these years - now falls under the category of 'boring but important'. Yet, much of this fits my intellectual disposition. I despair when I see people try to force the complex problems of reality into simply solutions, because these are invariably simply wrong, missing the issues of scope-appropriate solutions, partiality etc. It is not helped when the country's Prime Minister, of all people, remarked "The laws of mathematics are very commendable but the only laws that apply in Australia is the law of Australia", in the context of a debate on encryption.

Workwise the week started with the regular two days of Introduction to Linux and High Performance Computing and Shell Scripting for High Performance Computing. Not a bad group at all, and there were some plenty of awake individuals, especially on the second day. Later in the week spent a better part of a day carefully working through a particularly troubling install of Gaussian to ensure there had been no precision errors in compilation (their hadn't been, of course). Confirmation was received for a presentation at the HPC Advisory Conference, so there will be another visit to Perth at the end of the month. In addition an abstract has been put in for the Open Stack Summit in Sydney for November. Next week will be a training course for the neurologists at Orygen; I hold this one in very high regard - their work is extremely important.

In more social events, Wednesday night was our regular gaming session, and the second session of Andrew D's Megatraveller campaign, with an unexpected test of the combat system and the acquisition of a starship from religious fanatics. Thursday was the Bastille night evening and we had nephew Luke visiting. True to the day (or at least an educated peasant's version thereof), I cooked a pretty tasty coq au vin with a jug of French red, a selection of cheeses and fruit, and all to the sounds of Quatre mains pour une révolution. We provided a potted story of our journey, along with an exposition of the salacious tales of Serge Gainsbourg. Appropriately I have composed tonight my thoughts about Bastille day, and its contemporary relevance.

Hugo reading 2017 - Best Series Part 3

2017-Jul-14, Friday 21:49
17catherines: Amor Vincit Omnia (Default)
[personal profile] 17catherines
The concluding episode in my Hugo reading marathon!  Huzzah!

The Craft Sequence, by Matt Gladstone, consists of five novels so far.  We get all of them in the Hugo Voter Pack, and, due to time constraints, I have read only the first one. 

By which I mean, I have read the third one, Three Parts Dead.

Read more... )

On reflection, I think my ballot goes Vorkosigan, Craft Sequence, Temeraire, October Daye, Rivers of London, The Expanse.  Temeraire might have been more fun than the Craft Sequence, but I think this was much cleverer. 

Here ends the Hugo reading for 2017!  I may read the zines for my own interest, but there's no way I'm going to have time to review them.  And it would be nice to read something for enjoyment, rather than critically and with the intent to compare it with everything else on the ballot.

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