semyaza: (Japanese toy)
It was smooth sailing once they'd got past the smallpox.

semyaza: (Gay Johnny)
A female Doctor. So yesterday. *yawns* *is bored*

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sulien: (Reading)
 I was reading an AU fanfic of the Harry Potter 'verse that diverged in year 5 and took Hermione to a place I'm not sure the character would go and it made me wonder about choices I've made in my own life over the years at various turning points.  To get myself out of the introspective and slightly dark mood that put me in, I decided to go through the process of generating an account on Pottermore by answering as I would have answered when I was a teenager, at least to the best of my ability.  This time, I was sorted into Hufflepuff instead of Gryffindor, my wand would have been English Oak and phoenix feather instead of Cedar wood and dragon heartstring and my patronus would have been a ginger cat instead of a thestral.  My Ilvermorny house remained the same: Thunderbird.  Anyway, I just think it's interesting how the cynicism and hardness that developed from my initial idealism through life experience were reflected in these little quizzes.  Has anyone else done this?  What were the differences in your results, if any?
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semyaza: (Japanese toy)
If you're interested in the history of science, have three hours to kill, and haven't seen this 2009 BBC series, I'd recommend it. Chemistry, optics, algebra, astronomy... All that and a bit of travelogue although even in 2009 there was a limit to the places where one could travel safely.

Read more... )

I struggle to accustom myself to social networking as it is now. I'm used to thinking that when I say 'you' I'm talking to three or four hundred people, not six or seven hardy souls (on a good day). If LJ is dismal, DW is worse. I haven't found a single community of any substance.
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nightdog_barks: Red Mobil Pegasus flying over an open book (Pegasus and book)
It actually rained a bit this morning and is still overcast, giving us a temp of 86 degrees (30 degrees Celsius), which is amazing for mid-July. Unfortunately, the humidity is 70%, making it feel as though it's 95 (35 Celsius). I'll still take the cloud cover.

Was very sad to see this news -- Maryam Mirzakhani passes away, aged 40. First (and so far, only) woman to win the Fields Medal, genius mathematician. Wife and mom. And just 40. JUST FORTY. What else might she have accomplished? Seriously, cancer can go DIAF.

Sigh. Still curious to see who the 13th Doctor will be, even though I fell out of love with the show this season and I'm really not sure why.

Here, have a somewhat blurry pic of Layla (taken this afternoon) --



Oh! Editing to add that I forgot to mention I saw a bat last evening, flitting around our backyard at just dusk when the sun was going down! I think Layla was barking at it. :D
sulien: Made from my favorite photo of Big Lagoon, Humboldt, CA (Default)
 Well, I am now about 3/4 of the way through the right sleeve of a project that is worked from left to right, which means I'm very nearly finished crocheting my first sweater.  Yay!  Go me!  Yeah, I'm quite pleased with this project, even though it's nothing special, since it's the first time I've dared try crocheting an actual garment.  Now all I have to do once I finish the last 8 rows of that sleeve is to block it, sew the sweater together and crochet the edging.  

I have the feeling that sewing this thing together is going to be the hardest part of the project, since I've never actually had to sew a crochet project.  I'm going to use the nearly invisible (at least, theoretically) locking mattress stitch as detailed in the book Designer Crochet, by Mr. Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby.  We'll see how it goes.

Edited to add: Forgot to mention that I finished the Tea House Wrap pattern.  The project itself turned out beautifully, but I don't care as much for using self-striping yarn in this pattern as I thought I would.  Next time, I'll just buy the palette of colors that I want and change out the colors manually.  The yarn itself, Premier Yarn's Sweet Roll in the color way Punch Pop, is lovely and wonderfully soft, but just not exactly what I wanted here.  If you enjoy wrapping up in triangular shawls, I very highly recommend this pattern, it works up very quickly and is surprisingly warm, despite the gaps between the yarn.  


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semyaza: (Medieval feathered helmet)
Music by Armand Amar, voice of Salar Aghili.


nightdog_barks: (Dry Farmhouse)
Roofers are done, THANK GOD. We've lived in this house for thirty years and in that time we've had three (now four) new roofs put on, and every time I forget how INCREDIBLY NOISY IT IS. Good lord. Layla was mostly okay with it all -- she was more concerned at the end when one of the guys walked around the deck using a leaf blower (leaf blowers are her Mortal Enemy).

Reading Paul Farley and Michael Symmons Roberts' Deaths of the Poets and liking it greatly.

Here is a very cool little clip of some kind of little white shorebirds making fantastic flashing patterns in flight. :D
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nightdog_barks: (Sunflower)
Because we had a huge hailstorm in the spring with golfball-sized hail, lots of folks in our area had to have their roofs replaced. Yesterday and today it was our next-door neighbor's turn. Tomorrow it will be OUR turn. :-P

I finished Lev Grossman's The Magicians, and, unlike so many of the people on Goodreads, I ... well, I loved it. I thought the story was engaging and I stayed up until almost 3 in the morning reading two nights in a row. I know the publisher apparently marketed it as "Harry Potter for grown-ups," but I'm one of the seven people on the planet who never read Harry Potter so I don't think I was coming to it with any real baggage. To me, there were echoes of Bret Easton Ellis (some people behave very badly in the book) and Ursula LeGuin, René Magritte and Giorgio de Chirico, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. (Not to mention our old friend, Donna Tartt.) There was a point in the book when I thought, "Oh my god these people are HORRIBLE and I hope something bad happens to them!", and another point when I breathed, "Oh, shit!" when something very bad did begin to happen. Yes, there are a couple of missteps by the author, including a moment when a minor Native American character is described as having a "hooked nose." It's perfectly plausible that someone who IS Native American could have the facial characteristic of a hooked nose, but ... um. Not a comfortable moment. I winced and shook my head, and kept reading. And now I'm ordering Grossman's next book in the trilogy.

So. Two thumbs up, a strong recommendation for a gritty, lyrical story with some deeply flawed characters struggling to figure out life, love, and the whole nine yards.
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nonesane: (How Jeeves _really_ manipulates Bertie.)
...yaaaay, lists. No seriously, lists help me not panic about All The Stuff I Want To Do. I know I won't get all of this done, but getting it all written down in an overview like this helps :)

Also, I've promised myself only to have two writing projects on at the same time, to prevent me from dilly-dallying and only writing two orders on each of my gazillion WIPs.

Updated: 2017-07-14
To-do list 2017 )
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semyaza: (Default)
nightdog_barks: 1930s movie poster of Buster Crabbe and a lion (Movie Poster -- Jungle Man)
And by warm, I mean it's about 95 degrees and feels like 105. :-P

Layla got me up at about 4 in the morning, woofing (very softly) that she needed to go out (she was lying). Anyway, I was sitting in one of our deck chairs while she lounged on the deck, when our wind chimes suddenly ... chimed. EXCEPT THERE WAS NO WIND. It was dead calm, close and stifling, with what appeared to be a full moon. So I got up and aimed my trusty little flashlight at the chimes. (These are our wind chimes. I love them.)

There was an anole lizard clinging to one of the chimes. "Oh, hello," I said. Made me smile. :D

Reading Lev Grossman's The Magicians, enjoying it so far.
semyaza: (Japanese toy)
On a cold, rainy February night in New York, I remember a story Andre Malraux used to tell -- and which, at some remove, was told to me -- about Mallarmé's cat, whose name, almost needless to say, was Blanche.

On a cold, rainy February night in Paris, a thin and bedraggled alley cat, wandering the streets, looks in the window of Mallarmé's house and sees a white, fat and fluffy cat dozing in an overstuffed chair by a blazing fire. He taps on the window:

“Comrade cat, how can you live in luxury and sleep so peacefully when your brothers are here in the streets starving?”

“Have no fear, comrade,” Blanche replies. “I’m only pretending to be Mallarmé's cat.”

-- From “Anecdotal Evidence,” by Eliot Weinberger, in the Fall 2003 issue of Conjunctions. [reprinted in Harper’s Magazine, June 2004 and in An Elemental Thing 2007]
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