dancefloorlandmine: DJing at B-Movie Nov 04 (DJ)
[personal profile] dancefloorlandmine
A trip to WC1 on Saturday, as one of the trio of DJs for the Gothic Valley Women's Institute's Halloween party. Pretty good venue (the Old Nick), enthusiastically decorated, but the volume level, due to upstairs neighbours, was a bit too low to really get things going fully energetically. Taking turns with DJ's Traumahound and Andy Ravensable, we did two sets each ...

Set 1 )
Set 2 )


2017-Oct-22, Sunday 08:02 pm
settiai: (D&D -- settiai)
[personal profile] settiai
Wow. This weekend has been an absolute roller coaster when it comes to D&D. Rambling under the cut. )


2017-Oct-22, Sunday 07:34 pm
settiai: (Keyleth -- settiai)
[personal profile] settiai
So... as those of you who follow me on Twitter know, I accidentally adopted a new cat last weekend. Oops?

Long story short: one of my coworkers has a teenage son who's in college. Said son adopted a cat back in the spring, decided over summer vacation that she was too much work, and left her with his parents when he went back to school. His mom is severely allergic to cats. They tried keeping her for a few weeks, but my coworker's wife ended up in the emergency room unable to breathe because of it, so the cat ended up with me somewhat unexpectedly.

(I'd volunteered to take her, on the condition that WWIII didn't break out in my apartment when I tried introducing a third cat to the mix, but it was something that was tentative and wasn't planned for at least several more weeks. Then I got a phone call last Saturday night asking if my coworker could come by the next morning.)


Everyone, meet Keyleth (also known as Kiki.)

Garrus and Percy have been fine with her from the beginning. They've definitely been more curious than anything else. She, on the other hand, has been a little more wary. At this point, she's just starting to get used to being in a new environment with two much-larger-than-her cats around. (Kiki's approximately two years old, but she's tiny. Even smaller than Tali was, which is saying something.)

So far, so good. I left them alone without shutting anyone up in the bedroom for the first time earlier today, while I played D&D over at the game store near my place, and the apartment was still standing when I got home. Kiki's still somewhat wary of Garrus and Percy, but the worst she's done is hiss and go pout under the bed for a little while before coming back out. And neither of them seems to be taking offense to it, so they're just leaving her be for a bit when she gets to that point.

Book about a changeling child

2017-Oct-22, Sunday 05:55 pm
findthatbook: A pile of books. (Default)
[personal profile] soundofsunlight posting in [community profile] findthatbook
There are folk tales of fairies stealing human babies and leaving a changeling in their place, and in this book, that was exactly what happened. The changeling is the main character, so the story is from her point of view. She is a thin and sickly child, and she has an unhappy childhood because everyone is suspicious of her being a changeling (and they are correct). She does have one friend, though; I can't remember why he is friends with her when everyone else shuns her. He might be an orphan or something?

Anyway, since she's so unhappy in her life, she decides to run away and find the land of the fairies, and her loyal friend goes with her. They rescue the girl who was stolen to be a servant to the fairies, and take her home to her parents, and then...I think she and her friend continue traveling, since they don't really fit in anywhere, except with each other.

Based on other books I was reading at the time, and what I remember of the physical book, I think the book I'm looking for would have been published somewhere between the 1940s and 60s. Maaaybe 70s at the latest.

(no subject)

2017-Oct-22, Sunday 03:29 pm
randomdreams: riding up mini slickrock (Default)
[personal profile] randomdreams
I just finished framing in the window downstairs. A while back, we got a concrete company to come in and cut out a tiny window and install a window large enough for a person to exit through, thus converting our two bedroom house into a three bedroom house, woo hoo. The down side is that they did a pretty messy job cutting through the concrete/stucco and it had been sitting like a festering sore for a long time. N found some stucco repair material and filled in the major holes, but that still left raw concrete all around the window. Framing it in was complicated because the window frame was only about 14mm wide, but inset about 150mm from the front of the wall, so I needed to get some very wide but thin material that could stand up to exterior exposure (albeit somewhat sheltered: it's under the back awning.) I got some redwood, that I cut and mitered to fit. The complicated part was that the concrete sawing wasn't particularly perpendicular to the wall, so I had to fit the boards to the concrete by removing bits of the backs until they presented a nice rectilinear surround. The more complicated part was that for whatever reason, they cut the sill so it tilted somewhat towards the window. I need to have the sill tilted away from the window, so rainwater doesn't end up settling against the window. Even more fun, the bottom ledge of the window was maybe 14mm above the concrete cut, so I needed to have a sill, sloping downwards, with its highest point below the edge of the window so it can swing open, and its lowest point still above the concrete lip that's tilting the wrong way. I came to the conclusion that with an eight degree slant, using 12mm thick redwood, everything would work.
The top was pretty easy to cut, the sides were only tricky in that I had to match the reverse slant of the concrete, then use a backsaw and chisel to cut in the sill at its eight degree slope. Fitting the bottom was kinda awful. I'd misjudged my eight degrees, that was too much, so I had to plane off a large quantity of the front bottom edge of the sill to clear the concrete, and that left me with a horrible sliding block puzzle: the concrete tilts downwards so the side boards have to be put in place by tilting them in, but the sill won't slide into its slot because there's concrete in the way. If it were all assembled in place it would be perfect, but there's no way to get it assembled in place.
So I chiseled one slot wider, with a bevel, so I could load in one side piece, the sill, then put the other side piece diagonally into the window, raise that side of the sill, get it into the slot in the side piece, then push the side piece into place, and finally jam in the top piece like a keystone.
And after all that, once everything was in place the window wouldn't open because it hit the back edge of the sill, as the sill was touching the concrete and slightly bowed upwards.
I got to undo everything and hand-scrape the sill to fit. This is a technique I learned from [personal profile] gfish and Neuro. Usually it's done to make a dead flat surface, but I used a variant to match two surfaces. I scrubbed the sill back and forth on the concrete, flipped it over, and chiseled out anything that had been marked by the concrete, then put it back in and scrubbed it again. After about 20 iterations of that, I have something that's flat, well-supported by the concrete (as it touches in about 15 spots), and clears the window.
Now it needs to be painted and have some silicone caulk applied.
Framed in:
Wood shavings everywhere:
I mostly used my Stanley #4 plane, aka the Stanley Sweetheart, and that damned vorpal wood chisel from the 1880's that wants to draw blood every time I get near it. It does an amazing job in redwood, let me tell you what. But I did have a chance to use my Stanley #8, a plane that is quite a bit longer than my forearm/hand. It removes a *lot* of wood per pass, a strip 35mm wide that is painfully hot when it comes off the blade, and the reason I rarely use it is that I'm not strong enough to use it to its full capability. It requires more power than I can provide.
But at least it's done.

Fitbit goal check

2017-Oct-22, Sunday 10:56 pm

(no subject)

2017-Oct-22, Sunday 09:56 pm
fail_fandomanon: (Default)
[personal profile] sunnymodffa posting in [community profile] fail_fandomanon

New Rule updates:
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Murdered Gods

2017-Oct-22, Sunday 01:51 pm
book_love: Spine of an old book. (Default)
[personal profile] marycatelli posting in [community profile] book_love
Murdered Gods by Marina Finlayson

Book #2. Spoilers ahead for Stolen Magic

Read more... )

H. P. Lovecraft's 'The Cats of Ulthar'

2017-Oct-22, Sunday 02:20 pm
scans_daily: (Default)
[personal profile] cyberghostface posting in [community profile] scans_daily

“The cat is such a perfect symbol of beauty and superiority that it seems scarcely possible for any true aesthete and civilised cynic to do other than worship it.”
- H. P. Lovecraft

This is an adaptation of Lovecraft's story from Jason Thompson.

Warning for animal cruelty.

Images under the cut... )

An assortment of TV

2017-Oct-21, Saturday 11:45 pm
emperor: (Default)
[personal profile] emperor
I quite enjoyed Rellik, though it seems it wasn't popular generally. The premise is that the series starts nearly at the end of things, and then keeps moving backwards in time (along with some slightly odd backwards-video effects). It's an interesting idea, particularly the way this means you see character development in reverse - people who initially seem quite sympathetic turn out to have previously been unpleasant, and so on. Unfortunately, they seemed to think it was OK to include a lot of cop shop cliches since they were doing something new with the narrative structure. But still, it worked for me.

In a different vein, Lucy Worsley's programme on choral evensong - a gentle look at the history of the early Reformation, and how Henry VII, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I each made their mark on the music of the Chapel Royal and more widely across the country. I'd have liked longer segments of music (and less talking over them), but it was still an hour well spent.

Finally, there was Chris Packham: Asperger's and Me, where the naturalist tells us a bit about how he finds living with Asperger's. I don't want to generalise, but he's very good at explaining how he relates to the world, and how his autism affects that - both its highs and its lows. It's very personal, and you can see he's describing very intimate details about himself; I think to try and get the more neurotypical of us to try and see the world a little as he does. He then goes to the US to see how they try and treat people with autism there, and it's obviously very painful - both to hear people describing autism as a disease that should be eradicated, and to see the impact of dealing with autism on the people he meets and their families. Chris is clear that now he wouldn't want his autism cured, but that equally he might have made a different decision in the past, and that he's been lucky to be able to find a career that lets him play to his strengths.

Thought for the Day

2017-Oct-22, Sunday 11:22 am
bcholmes: I was just a brain in a jar (brain thoughts)
[personal profile] bcholmes

I am sick of having to suffer so a man can grow. What is this, every Hollywood movie ever made? I am tired of having to confess to someone else’s crimes. I am tired of showing up at the banquet dripping blood like Banquo’s ghost. This should be your ghost, not mine. I am not the one who should be ashamed that you have done these things. I am not here to make you see the error of your ways. I am here to get through my life every day without inhaling thick lungfuls of smoke.

Because that’s what this is. This is like getting people who have gotten cancer from secondhand smoke to come testify together as a way of solving the problem. But you are the one who needs to stop.

— Alexandra Petri, “Men of the world: You are not the weather”, The Washington Post

Mirrored from Under the Beret.


2017-Oct-09, Monday 12:43 am
bcholmes: (meshes in the afternoon)
[personal profile] bcholmes

One day in the late 80s, I was back at my parents’ house, between semesters at University. “I think you look like my father,” my mother said, rather matter-of-factly, and somewhat out of the blue. She went off to another room of the house and came back with a cardboard stationery box that I had never seen before. Inside the box, she produced a large head shot photo of her father, Walter Dynes, for comparison purposes.

I’m pretty sure that I was in my early twenties. Until that moment, I had never her say a word about her father. I don’t think that she ever mentioned him again.

At some point in my life, I’d come to understand that her father had died quite a long time ago, and that the person I considered to be my grandfather was, in fact, her step-father. Certainly, by the time of the great grade 7 family tree homework assignment, the details provided by my grandfather clearly spelled out the three maternal grandparents. But my bio-grandad’s figure seemed to cast no shadow over my family: he wasn’t talked about, no photos were out, and no stories about him were ever told. When I refer to him, I often call him my “biological grandfather” — a term that feels distant and removed. But it also feels apt because he seems distant and removed.

My father’s father, Vidal Holmes, was also dead. He died shortly before I turned two. But I was aware of his absence in a way that I was never aware of Walter’s absence.

Read the rest of this entry »

Mirrored from Under the Beret.

Fly Tomorrow

2017-Oct-22, Sunday 10:55 am
vango: (Default)
[personal profile] vango
We fly tomorrow from Bucharest to London to Denver.
I have about 6 more days of stories.
I'll have to post those when we get home.
For now I have got to get to bed. Five forty five comes awfully early.

The Hill

2017-Oct-22, Sunday 10:49 am
vango: (Danube)
[personal profile] vango
It is know as Tsarevets where the palaces of the Bulgarian emperors and the Patriarchate, the Patriarchal Cathedral were located. There are a number of administrative and residential building surrounded by a thick walls.

We visited the entrance to the compound that used to be the location of the ruins of the King's palace, a large Orthodox Church, and all the rich people. The entrance bends up the ridge of the hill starting with the Lion Gate. A second gate is located about 100 yards down the track and between the second and third gate there was a draw bridge. Past third gate the hill stretches up with a lot of open space. Recently it has been used for concerts and has a lighting system to bathe the area in different colors.
Beyond that hill the city of Arbanassi could be seen with an enormous white building that used to be the President's 33rd home can be seen.

We left the photo stop and went to a Hotel Yantra for lunch. From Reception we had another view of the fortress. Our lunch was downstairs in the restaurant where tables were reserved for each of the bus loads. We started with a Bulgarian version of Greek Salad. The second course was soup followed by the main course of a stew. The desert was a thick yoghourt with honey.
We had free time to look for souvenirs and see artisan's shops. After 30 minutes we loaded back in the bus for another hour ride back to the bus.


2017-Oct-22, Sunday 10:26 am
vango: (Danube)
[personal profile] vango

We left the hotel and drove to Arbanassi on the hill above the city. Arbanassi is unusual for a Bulgarian city in that it was settled long ago by foreigners who brought there building style with them Later the locals copied the style in this city. We visited one of these homes that is a museum. The family lived upstairs and the livestock lived downstairs. The rooms were filled with platforms. In the living room they were used for sitting. In the bedroom every slept together on one of the platforms.

We went to the local Bulgarian Orthodox Church. It was a surprise because it look a lot like a barn It was designed to hide the church from the communists. In fact, because of height restrictions the floor was lowered so as not to reveal the nature of the building. Inside there was three rooms full of frescoes. One was the male sanctuary, the one behind it was the female sanctuary and the long room was more of fellowship hall.

A small choir performed for us. Later we were able to buy their CD of Liturgical Music. The acoustics were amazing.

Hideous Hotel

2017-Oct-22, Sunday 10:22 am
vango: (Danube)
[personal profile] vango

Our first stop was for a restroom break and refreshments at the Interhotel. I think it was the ugliest hotel that I have every seen. It was built in the 1970s by the Soviets in a style that I call Bomb Shelter Gothic. It features too narrow balconies, too long staircases and useless appendages on the roof.. We entered a lower level that went directly to the banquet room where there were ample restrooms. After our drain and refresh there was time to explore outside. There was a pedestrian bridge over a ravine where you could get a good view of row upon row of houses perched on the hills.

On the other side of the bridge was a hugs monument to four ancient kings on horseback. They were life sized figures on horses on a plinth with a huge sword rising three times there height up the center of the monument.


2017-Oct-22, Sunday 10:19 am
vango: (Danube)
[personal profile] vango

We sailed through the night to reach the city of Rusé in Bulgaria. It is a former industrial city which was under Soviet rule for some 45 years. Initially the Russians came to help defeat the Turks and stayed. Like most eastern block countries it has a lot of Russian designed and built medium rise apartment buildings. Because the Soviets made it easy to buy many Bulgarians own their own home having one of the highest percentages of home ownership in the world.

We didn't come to visit Rusé but docked there because it was the closest point to Veliko Tarnovo and Arbanassi but driving through the city was interesting. One of the fun things that our guide pointed out was a shoe store named Al Bundy after the “Married with Children” character. Who know Al was so famous in Bulgaria. She pointed out all the hospitals, sports arenas, and Soviet monuments on the way out of town.. It was a little over an hour to Veliko Tarnovo.

Veliko Tarnovo is Often referred to as the "City of the Tsars". It is located on the Yantra River and is famously known as the historical capital of the Second Bulgarian Empire.It is no longer the capital because there was no room to expand in this very hilly region.
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